Faculty of Business Administration
FBA Distinguished Scholar Seminar
Hosted by The Business Research and Training Center


Diversity Interventions at time of social unrests and a pandemic: An Intergroup Perspective

Prof. Melody CHAO

Associate Professor, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology,
Hong Kong, SAR, China

Date: Wednesday, 13 October 2021
Time: 3:00 pm
Format: Online via Zoom

Online registration:



Much effort has been invested in developing diversity trainings that aim at attenuating bias against outgroups and promoting social tolerance. Most of these interventions involves intergroup contact and weeklong intensive education. Effective diversity interventions can be challenging to implement. This is particularly true when the situations involved highly polarized conflicts and depleted mental resources (e.g., social unrests, COVID-19), making it difficult to provide optimal situation to implement the interventions. Given that a diverse context is essentially an intergroup context, this program of research draws from intergroup theoretical perspectives, to examine how such fundamental social cognitive processes as deliberative processing can shape diversity attitude. It also presents initial evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of writing interventions in promoting more positive diversity outcomes (e.g., social tolerance, charitable behaviors) across different social and cultural contexts (e.g., American, British, Canadian, Chinese) at a time characterized by polarized attitude and depleted mental resources.


Melody Chao is an Associate Professor at the Department of Management and Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies at the HKUST Business School, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. degree in Social Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and B.A. degree in Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is an accredited mediator and a certified swimming coach. Prior to pursuing her graduate degrees, she worked in a community-based mental health and substance abuse treatment agency in San Francisco Bay Area. Her research interests include diversity, culture, dispute resolution, intergroup relations, and well-being.