Academic Team - Dr Tan Kok Wei, Lecturer in Psychology

Academic Team

Dr Tan Kok Wei | Lecturer in Psychology

dr. tan kok wei

Dr Tan Kok Wei obtained his PhD in Psychology from the University of Nottingham in 2016, where he studied how supplementation of fruit and vegetables influences skin colour and texture – which subsequently has an impact on apparent health judgment 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 studies how different internal (e.g. disgust sensitivity) and external factors (e.g. wearing a facial mask) affect the processing of facial information. He has also designed and conducted several behavioural interventions with his collaborators - examining the impacts of nature exposure, diet, gaming and mindfulness training on cognition (e.g., executive functioning, attention and memory) and physiological changes.



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+60 7 268 6294

Web profile

Speciality areas

Experimental Psychology
Applied cognition

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
PY3JUD Judgement and Decision-making
PY3P Project

PhD in Psychology

Research interests

The impact of Urban Green Space, biophilic design, diet and gaming on cognition

Social perception, specifically on attractiveness and apparent health.

Judgment and decision making.

Creativity and divergent thinking.

Current projects

Face perception studies - with Dr Ian Stephen (Bournemouth University)

Investigating the effects of Urban Green Spaces on cognition, mental, and physiological health – with Dr Shumetha Sidhu (UoRM), Dr Rozainee Khairudin, Dr Hilwa Abdullah Mohd Nor (UKM), and Dr Nor Akmar Abdul Aziz (UPM).

Individual differences in face perception - 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, Dr Polly Chen and Dr Marieke de Vries (University of Nottingham Malaysia)

Recent publications

Hooi, L. Y., & Tan, K. W. (2023). The association between divergent thinking, personality, and listening to classical music. Psychology of Music, 03057356231211824. 

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 do 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. DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88963-748-5

Tan, K. W., & Stephen I. D. (2019) Skin colour preferences in a Malaysian Chinese population. Frontier in Psychology. 10:1352. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01352

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, K.W, Tan CBY & Stevenson RJ. (2018) Sexual Dimorphism and Attractiveness in Asian and Caucasian Faces. Visual Cognition. DOI: 10.1080/13506285.2018.1475437 (IF 2014: 2.16)

Tan, K.W., Graf, BA, Mitra, SM, & Stephen ID. (2015). Daily Consumption of a Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie Alters Facial Skin Color. PlosOne. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0133445

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. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2017.02.004

Stephen, ID. & Tan, K.W. (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. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0133445

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



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