November 2023 Spotlight – Matthew Kim, PhD

This month, we are delighted to introduce Dr. Matthew Kim (, as our member in the spotlight. Matthew is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Kentucky.

What drew you to do work on Asians, Asian American children and youth, or another topic that is important to you now?

I’ve always been curious about why and how individual differences in motivation emerge across development and different achievement domains. My research examines how motivational beliefs, values, and goals shape academic and life outcomes. Currently, I examine growth mindset in domains such as intelligence, interest, and health, and how students’ perceptions of their own mindset and those of others shape their engagement in learning settings. My work is rooted in an ecological systems perspective that acknowledges the importance of race, culture, and sociohistorical context on motivation (Kim et al., 2021; Contemporary Educational Psychology).

A short paragraph describing a particular recent finding, current study, or recent publication and what makes you excited about it.  Feel free to describe its importance from any one or more of these lenses: a) research contribution; b) our knowledge about Asian or Asian American populations; c) our knowledge about other [understudied?] populations; d) practice or policy relevance. 

In addition to my research on motivation, I also study the metascience behind developmental science. Specifically, I’m interested in learning more about inclusivity, openness, and reproducibility in our field, and how we can best advance these values. My lab and I coded the content of research posters presented virtually at SRCD in 2021. We found that 90% of posters featured a first author and participant samples from the United States, Europe, and English-speaking countries. Only 5% of posters shared data/materials, 2% of posters featured studies that were preregistered, and 3% of posters featured qualitative methods. Our results demonstrate that there is more work to be done to make developmental science more open and reproducible, more representative of the majority world, and more inclusive of different research paradigms. See our preprint:

Your reflections on your interactions with the Asian Caucus would be highly appreciated. Please feel free to share your thoughts, whether it’s a simple message for the Caucus community or more.

The SRCD Asian Caucus is a wonderful space for individuals and allies connected to the Asian diaspora to engage with each other in ways that acknowledge and celebrate the diversity present in our cultural and academic communities. I am honored to be a part of it.

Any upcoming talks or presentations we should know about?

As a developmental and educational psychologist, I am actively involved in SRCD, AERA and APA Division 15, and the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science. I hope to connect with many of you at SRCD in 2025 or at these other venues prior to then!

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