Yueh-Ting Lee

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Yueh-Ting Lee (黎岳庭)[edit]

Dr. Yueh-Ting Lee (pronounced as “you-ting” or “your-ting” Lee, aka “Li Yue-ting” ) received his Ph.D. from State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is an immigrant from China and he is a Social and Cross-Cultural Psychologist who has taught a variety of courses at various institutions for over 20 years. Currently he is a full professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toledo, Ohio.

Dr. Lee has produced nine scholarly books and approximately 90 refereed journal articles and peer-reviewed book chapters. His work is funded by various federal and state agencies. As a social scientist and cross-cultural/ethnic scholar, he has taught courses in psychology and cultural and ethnic studies for years at various colleges and universities in the United States of America. In addition to teaching, research, and administrative services, Dr. Lee has performed consulting and training services for multinational corporations and public agencies both in the USA and in China. These services include such areas as cultural competency, differences appreciation, and conflict management.


Dr. Lee’s research has centered on categorical knowledge, cultural stereotypes, stereotype accuracy, and personality psychology for the past twenty years. His research has dealt with the accuracy and validity in human categorical perceptions and judgments, including cultural stereotypes and stereotyping.

Dr. Lee's work has addressed various ethnic and cultural identity conflicts and justice for years, both in the USA and around the world with a focus on victimized or disadvantaged groups.

He has conducted field research on American Indian beliefs and ancient East Asian beliefs (e.g., totemic psychology, shamanic psychology) for approximately 15 years both by working with Ojibwa (in MI, MN and ND), Dakota, Lakotas, Nakota, Hidatsa, Arikara and Mandan (in ND and SD), Native Alaskan tribes, and other tribes in Americas and by working with various ethnic groups in China and other parts of Asia.

EPA Model (Evaluation, Potency, Accuracy)[edit]

Dr. Lee and his colleagues have developed an Evaluation-Potency-Accuracy (EPA) model of stereotypes in which the model breaks stereotypes and categorical knowledge into three dimensional components. "E" represents evaluation or valence (e.g., stereotypes and human categories can range from positive to negative). "P" represents potency or latency of activation from the memory of human knowledge (e.g., stereotypes or human categories can range from automatic activation to little or no activation). Finally, "A" represents accuracy (e.g., stereotypes and human categories can range from accurate to inaccurate). According to the model, Evaluation (positive-negative), potential (active-inactive), and accuracy (accurate-inaccurate) are not dichotomous but continuous variables. The dimensions in Lee et al.'s (1995; 2013) EPA model of stereotypes are different from the three dimensions proposed in Osgood et al.'s Semantic Differential model (1957)http://www.indiana.edu/~socpsy/papers/AttMeasure/attitude..htm. Osgood et al.'s (1957) model had Evaluation (e.g., positive-negative; good-bad; true-false), Potency (e.g., hard-soft; strong-weak; heavy-light) and Activity (e.g., active-passive; fast-slow; hot-cold). Lee et al.'s (1995; 2013) perceived the potency and the activity components as conceptually similar, so rather than having both potency and activity, they (Lee et al., 1995; 2013) included accuracy as the third dimension of stereotypes.

Further when reality changes, human perceptions and stereotypes may also change.[1][2][3]

Dr. Lee's research concerning stereotype accuracy looks at the importance of studying stereotype accuracy and inaccuracy. His research is aimed towards those interested in understanding the issues of culture, race, class, and gender.

The Cultural Stereotype Accuracy-Meaning Model (CSAM)[edit]

The Cultural Stereotype Accuracy-Meaning Model (CSAM, Lee & Duenas, 1995) suggests the level of accuracy in stereotypes is based on the culturally bonded interpretation of stereotypic beliefs of a stereotyped culture. Specifically, if the two people’s evaluation of a single act or behavior is depended on the personal interpretation of a particular act, then it is possible that a correlation, in an other words accuracy, could be found in cross-cultural perceptions of that same act or behavior. To illustrate using the bath routine in rural China and the United States, Americans may perceive the ural Chinese’s habit to only show once a month in winter as dirty; the rural Chinese may interpret Americans’ habit of showering everyday as “shower-addicted.” Stereotype accuracy is relative rather than absolute. People may judge themselves and others using the shared beliefs and standards of their own cultural group. Moreover, the accuracy of cross-cultural perception could be restricted and varied due to time and spatial. Finally, stereotype accuracy requires mutual understanding of culturally specific interpretations.

Taoist (or Daoist) Big Five and Water-like (W-L) Leadership/Personality[edit]

Dr. Lee’s Daoist (Taoist) Big-Five model has been studied both in China and in the USA, and can be applied to social, counseling/clinical, and industrial/organizational psychology. It is based on the philosophy of Laozi (or Lao Tsu) and uses water to represent five distinct areas that affect leadership and personality (e.g., altruism, modesty, flexibility, honesty, and perseverance). According to Dr. Lee, “the best is like water” (上善若水), which is one of the Taoistic (or Daoistic) quotations from Lao Tsu in ancient China. For example, water can be altruistic and serve all things in its quality. The lesson is that human beings could learn from water to be altruistic and serve others without the need of reward.

Altruism does not require self-sacrifice but sacrifice, such as time or energy, is shown to be of greater significance. Second, water can be said to be modest since naturally water always goes to the lowest position. Instead of competing for a high position, water is yielding moving to a position below others. Again, one can learn from water to be humble and modest. Third, water can be described as adaptable and flexible as it matches the shape of any container. Water can not be broken and is able to adjust to pressure and work around it. The lesson, according to Lee, is to be flexible and adaptable to different people in different situations. Fourth, water can be very clear and transparent. Being clear shows others that you are trustworthy, as you have nothing to hide. Gentle and persistent force will complete the task overtime, rather than forcing a task and creating more problems. In other words, human beings should be honest and transparent with others. Finally, water can be very soft and gentle (making it difficult to catch) but also strong and persistent (even the hardest rock will yield to continuous drips of water).

Dr. Lee suggests that it is good to be soft, gentle, and friendly with others but also be persistent with them. Perhaps water is our best teacher, not only for a leader but also for any individual.[4][5]

Totems, Totemic Beliefs and Totemic Psychology[edit]

Totem is a visual representation of a group, normative identification of ones’ personality and even soul. The totemic animal could take on the form of any animals, plants, or even beast. Totem is fundamental and sacred to human belief systems, so injuring and killing the totemic animal are prohibited. Totem is helping humans to categorize objects, such as animals, plants, and humans themselves. Thus, in this way, totem functions like stereotype, which also serves as a way of categorization.[6]

There are various types of totem. The tribe totem, the sex totem and the individual totems are the most common ones among the native people. Connection with Modern Psychology Ecologically/Biological Studying totemic psychology enables the modern psychologists to understand the worldview of the native people. Cognitive Examining totemic psychology will also help psychologists from the individualistic culture understand the thinking of collectivist people. Personality, Social and Ethnic Psychology Studying the native people and their individual totems will help psychologists comprehend the personal and group affiliations and identification.

Totems have been around for many years in native cultures and religions throughout the world. The cross is an example of a totem for Christians. The cross represents the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for all humanity according to the Bible. Old totems like these still exist, however, modern totems or symbols exist today as well. Take the American flag for example. When an American looks at the flag and pays respect to it during the National Anthem before an event, they typically think about pride, sacrifice, bravery, freedom, and accomplishment. The American flag is a totem for the American people. It brings a rise of different emotions to the individual. Another example of a modern totem is the national bird of the United States, the bald eagle. By simply looking at a bald eagle, Americans can feel a sense of pride, resilience, and also power, but with grace as well. Totems today are very common in everyday life. Company or sports team logos that produce specific emotions out of individuals can even be looked at as totems. Totems help people put an image in their head to represent the combinations of emotions they feel while thinking about a specific topic or idea.

Selected publications[edit]

2013 Examining Daoist big-five leadership in cross-cultural and gender perspective

2013 Stereotypes as valid categories of knowledge and human perceptions of group differences

2011 Social psychology of stereotyping and human difference appreciation

2010 Back in the real world

2008 Leadership & management in China: Philosophies, theories and practices

2008 Daoist leadership: Theory and application

2007 How did Asian Americans Respond to Negative Stereotypes and Hate Crimes?

2004 The Psychology of Ethnic and Cultural Conflict

1999 Personality and person perception across cultures

1997 Are Americans more optimistic than the Chinese?


  1. ^ Lee, Y-T., Jussim, L. & McCauley, C. (Eds.). (1995). Stereotype accuracy: Toward appreciating group differences. Washington, DC: The American Psychological Association.
  2. ^ Lee, Y-T.; Vue, S. Seklecki; Ma, Y. (2007). "How did Asian Americans Respond to Negative Stereotypes and Hate Crimes?". American Behavioral Scientist. 51 (2): 271–293. doi:10.1177/0002764207306059. 
  3. ^ Lee, Y-T.; Jussim, L. (2010). "Back in the real world". American Psychologist. 65 (2): 130–131. doi:10.1037/a0018195. 
  4. ^ Lee, Y-T., Han, A. G, Bryron, T. K., & Fan, H. X. (2008). C. C. Chen; Y-T. Lee, eds. "Daoist leadership: Theory and application". Leadership & management in China: Philosophies, theories and practices. New York: Cambridge University Press: 83–107. 
  5. ^ Lee, Y-T., Yang, H-G, & Wang, M. (2009). "Daoist harmony as a Chinese philosophy and psychology". Peace and Conflict Studies. 16 (1): 68–71. 
  6. ^ Lee, Y-T.; McCauley, C.; Jussim, L. (2013). "Stereotypes as Valid Categories of Knowledge and Human Perceptions of Group Differences". Social and Personality Psychology Compass. 7: 470–486. doi:10.1111/spc3.12039. 

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