top of page


Allan B. I. Bernardo currently conducts research in four research themes:

Intergroup Lay Theories, Diversity Ideologies, and Intergroup/Intercultural Relations


Globalization has created more culturally diverse societies where social experiences may evoke both positive (e.g., creativity, collaboration) and negative (e.g., prejudice, hostility) psychological responses. This research theme investigates different aspects of intergroup relations in intercultural contexts (e.g., culturally diverse societies, multicultural and transnational workplaces, ethnically diverse schools, communities with migrants and refugees, government foreign policy making, close interpersonal relationships, among others), with a specific focus on the role of the lay theory of polyculturalism or the belief that cultures are connected and mutually influencing each other in these intergroup processes. The theoretical aspects of this research program seek to clarify the structure of the lay theory of polyculturalism, the psychological mechanisms that underlie the intergroup influences of polyculturalism, and how these relate to other lay theories (e.g., multiculturalism, essentializing race) and other forms of prejudice (e.g., sexism, sexual prejudice, social class prejudice). The practical aspects of the program seek to understand how these processes can be used to enhance outcomes in real world contexts (e.g., schools, workplaces, community attitudes). [see more]

Socioeconomic Status Differences, Inequality and Social Mobility


There is a growing understanding of the negative impact of socioeconomic inequalities in various aspects of human development and well-being. This research theme investigates these specific impacts on psychological processes and outcomes in the Philippine context, including academic motivations and achievement of students, sense of agency, political and economic behaviors, among others. The research program tries to understand the social psychological and personality dimensions of these outcomes and has focused on personality and social cognitive constructs such as social dominance orientation, system justifying ideologies, and subjective social status. But it also seeks to establish linkages with societal level processes (e.g., dispersion of political power/control, provincial level inequality, access to ICT and social media, etc.)  Part of the program also seeks to study poverty-related or class-related prejudice among Filipinos, Filipino’s perceptions of socioeconomic inequality, constructions of the causes of socioeconomic mobility, and attitudes towards policies and programs that seek to reduce socioeconomic inequalities in the Philippines. [see more]

Hope and Well-Being in Asian Societies


The important role of positive goal-directed cognitions in the well-being of individuals has been well documented in the psychology research literature. Locus-of-hope theory (Bernardo, 2010) has been proposed as an extension of traditional hope theories in psychology and it emphasizes the conjoint forms of agency towards goal pursuit, or the role of significant others (family and peers) as well as of supernatural forces in attaining one’s goals. This research program investigates the role of internal and external locus-of-hope dimensions in well-being in different populations (e.g., students, teachers, workers, victims of intimate partner violence, etc.) and how hope interacts with other positive character strengths. The theoretical aspects of this research program seek to clarify the structure of the antecedents, interactive processes, and limitations of the different locus-of-hope dimensions across cultures. The practical aspects of the program seek to develop more varied hope-related interventions (as exemplars of low-intensity positive psychology interventions) for different populations. [see more]

Sociocultural Aspects of Motivation, Learning, and Achievement


There is a growing understanding that a one-size-fits-all approach to education does not work and that we need to understand the sociocultural dimensions of learning and achievement. For over two decades now, this research program has inquired into how language, cultural values, beliefs, and cultural meaning system relate to students’ motivations, sense of self, academic emotions, learning processes, and achievement. This research program has adopted both emic approaches (qualitative studies inquiring into how students construct and give meaning to their learning motivations, lack of motivation, achievement, and emotional experiences related to learning) and etic approaches (quantitative studies using culturally-informed theorizing about motivation, beliefs, values, and achievement) to study the sociocultural aspects of Filipino students learning and achievement. The theoretical aspects of this research program seek to develop a more nuanced understanding of how cultural and societal processes constrain learning and educational processes and outcomes. The practical aspects of the program seek provide guidance to appropriate educational interventions. [see more]

Collage 1.png
bottom of page