Jeffery Yen

Graduate Studies Coordinator, Applied Social Psychology
Applied Social Psychology
(519) 824-4120 ex. 58208
(519) 837-8629
MacKinnon Extension

Accepting Graduate Students: 
Accepting New Experiential Learning Students: 

I was trained as a counselling psychologist and have worked as both practitioner and researcher in university and public health settings in South Africa and China, focusing on cultural issues in mental health. My PhD and current work deals with the public understanding of psychology, and the socio-technical aspects of psychological science (such as the Implicit Association Test). I am also interested in the psychology of science and technology.


2013 - Ph. D. Psychology (University of Toronto)

2000 - M. A. Counselling Psychology (Rhodes University)

1995 - B. Sc. Psychology and Physiology (University of the Witwatersrand)


My research deals with the ways in which psychological concepts and practices become embedded in our cultural common sense, and employed in everyday reasoning and social discourse. In particular, I am interested in the social and political effects of framing issues such as racism and prejudice in psychological terms, or with the use of psychological metaphors.

I am also interested in the psychological and social impacts of new science and technology, with a particular focus on big data, self-tracking and wearable technology.

Key words: discourse; science and technology; history and theory; culture; mental health

Selected Publications

Feige, S., & Yen, J. (2021). The making of financial subjects: A phenomenological study of student debt. Theory & Psychology, 31(4), 611–631.

O’Doherty, K. C., Osbeck, L. M., Schraube, E., & Yen, J. (2019). Introduction: Psychological Studies of Science and Technology. In K. C. O’Doherty, L. M. Osbeck, E. Schraube, & J. Yen (Eds.), Psychological Studies of Science and Technology (pp. 1–28). Springer International Publishing.

Yen, J., Durrheim, K., & Tafarodi, R. W. (2018). “I’m happy to own my implicit bias”: Public encounters with the Implicit Association Test. British Journal of Social Psychology.

Yen, J. & Vaccarino, O. (2018). “Health psychology”, or “psychology for health”? A history of psychologists’ engagement with health in South Africa. Journal of Health Psychology.

Van Ommen, C., Cromby, J. & Yen, J. (2016). The contemporary making and unmaking of Elaine Scarry's 'The Body in Pain'. Subjectivity. doi:10.1057/s41286-016-0012-8

Genik, L. M., Yen, J., & McMurtry, C. M. (2015). Historical analysis in pediatric psychology: The influence of societal and professional conditions on two early pediatric psychology articles and the field's subsequent development. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 40(2), 167-174.

Arfken, M. & Yen, J. (Guest Editors) (2014). Psychology and social justice: Theoretical and philosophical engagements. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 34(1), 1-13.
Yen, J. (2013). Positive Psychology. In T. Teo (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology. SpringerReference. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. DOI: 10.1007/SpringerReference_304876.
Yen, J. & Tafarodi, R. W. (2011). Becoming scientific: Objectivity, identity and relevance as experienced by graduate students in psychology. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum Qualitative Social Research, 12(2), Art. 26,

Stenner, P., Cromby, J., Motzkau, J., Yen, J. & Ye, H. (Eds.) (2011). Theoretical psychology: Global challenges and transformations. Concord: Captus Press.

Yen, J. (2010). Authorizing happiness: Rhetorical demarcation of science and society in historical narratives of positive psychology. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 30(2), 67-78.

Yen, J. (2008). A history of community psychology in South Africa. In D. Painter & C. Van Ommen (Eds.), Interiors: A history of psychology in South Africa (pp. 385-412). Pretoria: UNISA Press.

Yen, J. & Wilbraham, L. (2003). Discourses of culture and illness in South African mental health care and indigenous healing. Part 1: Western psychiatric power. Transcultural Psychiatry, 40(4), 542-561.

PSYC1000 Introduction to Psychology

PSYC3000 Historical and Critical Perspectives on Psychology

PSYC6471 Psychology Practicum (Applied Social Psychology)

PSYC6900 Philosophy and History of Psychology as a Science

PSYC6910 Critical Approaches to Applied Social Psychology

PSYC6950 Qualitative Methods in Psychology