Gabrenya, William

Professor
School of Psychology

Personal Overview

William Gabrenya received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology in the joint Psychology-Sociology program at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His exposure to sociological approaches to social psychology led to his move into the then-new field of cross-cultural psychology during his postdoctoral fellowship at Ohio State University, where he conducted the first cross-cultural research in the group performance paradigm termed “social loafing.”

Prof. Gabrenya has had extensive experience living and working outside the United States in East Asia (Taiwan) and Europe (Germany). In addition to teaching in these two countries, he has taught workshops in China and has lectured at universities in Taiwan, Germany, China, and New Zealand.

In the mid-1990s, Prof. Gabrenya assumed the editorship of the Cross-Cultural Psychology Bulletin, the magazine-newsletter of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP). He was appointed to two four-year terms as chair of the IACCP Communication and Publications Committee through 2008. In 2008 he was elected Secretary-General of IACCP, and he was re-elected in 2012.

Prof. Gabrenya’s research has been focused primarily on social and personality topics within cross-cultural psychology. He is the leader of the Culture Research Group in the Florida Tech I/O psychology program, a research team that conducts research on topics in cross-cultural I/O psychology. Dr. Gabrenya’s area interest is Chinese society. Current research topics include culture competence, expatriate/repatriate adjustment and readjustment; training for overseas work; and modernity/modernization processes. He has also conducted research and published in the areas of indigenous psychology movements and cultural differences in sexual behavior.

Prof. Gabrenya has been involved in international education in his university and internationally. He was chair of the College of Psychology and Liberal Arts’ International Education Committee in 2009-10 and currently represents the College to the university’s Internationalizing the Campus Committee. He has presented papers at international conferences on international teaching collaborations with colleagues in China, Taiwan, and Poland; and is establishing the International Education Special Interest Group within IACCP during 2011.

Educational Background

A.B. Ohio University 1974, Psychology, minor in math
M.A. University of Missouri-Columbia 1977
Ph.D. University of Missouri-Columbia 1979, Social Psychology, concentration in statistics

Professional Experience

Postdoctoral Fellowship:
Ohio State University, Behavioral Sciences Laboratory

Overseas appointments:
National Taiwan University, Department of Psychology
Jacobs University Bremen, School of Humanities and Social Science


Dr. Gabrenya teaches undergraduate and graduate courses including cross-cultural psychology, culture and psychology, research methods and social psychology. He is the director of the Psychology Honors Program.

Professional activities include editor of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology's Cross-Cultural Psychology Bulletin and Secretary-General. He is the Webmaster for IACCP.

Courses Taught
-Cross-Cultural Psychology (undergraduate)
-Culture and Psychology (postgraduate)
-Culture Research Methods (postgraduate)
-Research Methods (undergraduate and postgraduate)
-Social Psychology (undergraduate and postgraduate) 
-Honors Seminar (undergraduate)

Selected Publications

Gabrenya, W. K., Jr. & Sun, C.-R. (in press). Kuo-Shu Yang: Scholar and Activist. In G. J. Rich, U. P. Gielen (Eds.). International pioneers: Portraits and perspectives.

Gabrenya, , W. K. Jr., & Yan, W-H. (2014). The making of generation g: Education and collaborative teaching to create the next generation of international work and organizational psychologists. In R. L. Griffith & L. F. Thompson (Eds.), The age of Internationalization: Developing an International Organizational Psychology Curriculum. Springer.

Van Driel, M., & Gabrenya, W. K. Jr. (2013). Instrumentation challenges in developing 3c models. In Greene Sands, R., Rasmussen, L., & Greene-Sands, A. (Eds.) Culture, the flipside of the COIN: cross-cultural competence for a 21st century military (pp. 147-174). Lexington Books.

Van Driel, M., & Gabrenya, W. K. Jr. (2013). Organizational cross-cultural competence: Approaches to measurement. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44(6) 874–899.

Gabrenya, W. K., Jr., Kung, M.-C., & Chen, L.-Y. (2006). Understanding the Taiwan Indigenous psychology movement: A sociology of science approach. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 37(6), 597-622.