Academic Team - Dr Tan Kok Wei, Lecturer in Psychology-tes1

Academic Team

Dr Tan Kok Wei | Lecturer in Psychology

tan kok wei

Dr Tan Kok Wei obtained his PhD in Psychology from the University of Nottingham in 2016, where he studied the effects of skin colour and texture on health perception in Asian faces.

Kok Wei completed his master's degree in developmental psychology from the National University of Malaysia (UKM) in 2007, by which he examined the usage of private speech in young adults as a means of problem-solving. Upon completion, he worked as a lecturer at the University of Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) for 4 years. He was also engaged by a community college while pursuing his PhD, teaching developmental psychology-related subjects.

Before joining the University of Reading Malaysia in 2016, Kok Wei worked as a course writer for the Wawasan Open University (WOU). He designed and wrote academic modules for WOU’s students, in Experimental Psychology and History and Systems of Psychology subjects.

His research focuses on perception and applied cognition. He has designed and conducted several behavioural interventions with his collaborators - examining the impacts of diet, gaming, mindfulness training and nature exposure on cognition (e.g., executive functioning, attention and memory) and physiological changes.


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+60 7 268 6294

Web profile

Speciality areas

Developmental Psychology
Experimental Psychology

Highest qualification and awarding body

PhD in Psychology, University of Nottingham, 2016

UoRM programmes taught/supervised

BSc (Hons) Psychology:

PY1PAB The Person and The Brain
PY2SID Social Psychology and Individual Differences
PY2CBP Cognitive and Biological Psychology
PY3FAP Face Processing

PhD in Psychology

Research interests

The impact of diet, mindfulness and nature exposure on cognition
Social perception, specifically on attractiveness and apparent health.

Judgment and decision making.

Creativity and divergent thinking.

Current projects

Perception of faces with facial mask - with Dr Ian Stephen (Macquarie University)

Investigating the effects of green urban spaces on cognition, mental, physical, and physiological health – with Dr Shumetha Sidhu.

Impact of micronutrients (carotenoids and flavonoids) on apparent health and cognition, with Dr Ian Stephen (Macquarie University), Prof Claire Williams, Dr Daniel Lamport (UoR), and Dr You Yee Xing (UKM).

The building of an Asian face and body image database, with Dr Treshi Marie-Perera (Nottingham Trent University) and Dr Chung Kai Li (UoRM).

Impact of nut, fruit and vegetable supplementation on cognition and mood, with Vashnareka Kumarasuriar (UoRM), Prof Chia Yook Chin, Dr Ooi Pei Boon (Sunway University) and Khor Khai Ling (Disted College Penang),

How meditation can affect attention, executive functions and mental health, with Hooi Ling Yut, Dr Wong Hoo Keat and Dr Marieke de Vries (University of Nottingham Malaysia)

Recent publications

Jones, B., DeBruine, L. M., Flake, J. K., Liuzza, M. T., Antfolk, J., Arinze, N. C., Ndukaihe, I. L. G., Bloxsom, N., Lewis, S., Foroni, F., Willis, M., Cubillas, C., Vadillo, M., gilead, M., Simchon, A., Saribay, S. A., Owsley, N. C., Calvillo, D., Włodarczyk, A.,... Tan, K. W.... ... Peters, K. O. (2021). To which world regions does the valence-dominance model of social perception apply? Nature Human Behaviour, 5(1), 159-169.

Tan, K. W., Welling, L. L. M., Stephen, I. D., Jones, A. L., Sulikowski, D., eds. (2020). Perceptions of People: Cues to Underlying Physiology and Psychology. Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA.

Tan, K. W., & Stephen I. D. (2019) Skin colour preferences in a Malaysian Chinese population. Frontier in Psychology. 10:1352.

Tan K.W., & Stephen ID. (2018). Skin texture and colour predict perceived health in Asian faces. Evolution and Human Behavior. 39(3): 320-335

Stephen ID, Salter DLH, Tan KW, Tan CBY & Stevenson RJ. (2018) Sexual Dimorphism and Attractiveness in Asian and Caucasian Faces. Visual Cognition. (IF 2014: 2.16)

Tan, KW, Graf, BA, Mitra, SM, & Stephen ID. (2015). Daily Consumption of a Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie Alters Facial Skin Color. PlosOne.

Tan, K. W., Graf, B. A., Mitra, S. M., & Stephen, I. D. (2017). Impact of fresh fruit smoothie consumption on apparent health of Asian faces. Evolution and Human Behavior. 38(4): 522-529.

Stephen, ID. & Tan, KW. (2015). Healthy body, healthy face? Evolutionary approaches to health perception. In: E. Sheppard & S. Haque (2015) Studies in contemporary psychology: A collection of critical essays. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang Publishing.

Tan, K. W., Graf, B. A., Mitra, S. M., & Stephen, I. D. (2015). Daily Consumption of a Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie Alters Facial Skin Color. PlosOne.

Tan, KW & Stephen, ID (2013). Colour detection thresholds in faces and colour patches. Perception, 42: 733 – 741.


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University of Reading Malaysia
Persiaran Graduan, Kota Ilmu, EduCity, 79200 Iskandar Puteri, Johor, Malaysia.

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