Prof David Chan

Professor of Psychology and Director, Behavioural Sciences Institute
Singapore Management University

David Chan is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Behavioural Sciences Institute at Singapore Management University. He is also Adjunct Principal Scientist at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Co-Director of the Centre for Technology and Social-Behavioural Insights which is jointly established by A*STAR and SMU. He is recipient of the Lee Kuan Yew Fellowship for Research Excellence.

Professor Chan’s research works have been published in top journals in psychology, management, and research methods. He has authored or edited eight books published by Routledge, Sage, and World Scientific.

His works have been cited over 4000 times in various disciplines. In 2000, he was ranked 9th world-wide in the list of Top 100 most published researchers of the 1990’s in the top journals of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He has received several international scholarly awards and he is the first non-American to receive the Distinguished Early Career Contributions Award from the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

He has served as Senior Editor of the Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Advisory Editor for Oxford Bibliographies (Management) published by the Oxford University Press, member on editorial boards of several journals and reviewer for several grant agencies in different countries.

Together with Nobel Laureate in Economics Professor Daniel Kahneman and Professor Ed Diener, Professor Chan served on an international committee which submitted to the United Nations a report on measures of national well-being across countries.

Professor Chan is an Elected Fellow of six international organisations for psychologists, and he is the first scientist to be conferred Fellow status from all these six organisations.

In Singapore, he serves on numerous national councils, advisory panels and board of directors, and he is consultant to numerous public and private sector organizations. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Ministry of Social and Family Development, the Special Recognition Honour by the Ministry of Home Affairs for outstanding contributions to the Home Team in the field of psychology, and the Public Administration Medal (Silver) National Day Award presented by the President of the Republic of Singapore.

He is an invited columnist for The Straits Times where he writes regularly on social and public policy issues and a consultant for Channel NewsAsia on several documentary and related programme series.


Title: Enhancing Quality of Life and Building Communities through Public Housing: Contributions from Social and Behavioural Sciences

Public housing in Singapore is well-known for its high quality and affordability, with the large majority of the citizen population owning the apartment they live in. Beyond these physical features, there are social and behavioural factors in the public housing programme that contribute to the good quality of life in high-density living that the people enjoy at the individual and community levels.

Many of these factors are associated with conscious people-centric policy efforts in Singapore’s development as a society and nation. With rapid societal changes, including those associated with technology, population composition and socio-political mindsets, social and behavioural factors have become even more important for the Singapore public housing approach to remain effective and adaptive.

In this talk, Professor David Chan will discuss how the social and behavioural sciences could help us understand, predict and enhance people’s quality of life, as well as build communities that are socially integrated and resilient.