Dr. Vivian Dzokoto

Dr. Vivian Dzokoto

Associate Professor
(804) 828-4925


Clinical-Community Psychology, PhD (2005)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Research Interests 

Dr Dzokoto has two parallel lines of research: 

(1) The Cultural Grounding and Drivers of Money Behaviors (e.g. saving, spending, investing) and the adoption and failure of different forms of payment (e.g. new currencies, fintech) in developing economies.

(2) The Cultural Grounding of Affect and Psychopathology In West African Settings (e.g. cultural factors and norms shaping the communication (lexicon, proverbs, facial expression), experience, and regulation of affect; cultural factors influencing the understanding, labelling, treatment, and management of mental illness).

Other areas of interest include wellbeing, cultural clinical psychology, anxiety disorders, multicultural competencies in psychotherapy, cross-cultural transitions, and intercultural communication.

Dr Dzokoto is a Cultural Psychologist who specializes in African populations and African ways of being in the world.


Representative Publications



Dzokoto, V. & Asante, R. & Aggrey, J. K. (2016). Money That Isn’t: A Qualitative Examination of the Adoption of the 1 Pesewa Coin and Biometric Payment Cards in Ghana. Ghana Studies 19, 3-34. 

Dzokoto, V, Mensah, C., & Opare-Henaku, A. (2011). A bird, a crocodile, and a 21st century cowrie shell: Analyzing Ghana's Currency Change. Journal of Black Studies. 42 (5). 715-732.  

Dzokoto, V., Young, J, & Mensah, E.C. (2010). A tale of two Cedis: Making sense of a new currency in Ghana. Journal of Economic Psychology, 31, 520–526.



Dzokoto V. A., Osei-Tutu, A., Kyei J.J., Twum-Asante M., Attah, D.A. and Ahorsu, D.K. (2018). Emotion Norms, Display Rules, and Regulation in the Akan Society of Ghana: An Exploration Using Proverbs. Front. Psychol. 9:1916.

Dzokoto, V., Senft, N., Kpobi, L., & Washington-Nortey, P. (2016). Their Hands Have Lost Their Bones: Exploring Cultural Scripts in Two West African Affect Lexica. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 45(6), 1473-1497. 

Chentsova-Dutton, Y., & Dzokoto, V. (2014). Listen to your heart: The cultural shaping of interoceptive awareness and accuracy. Emotion, 14 (4), 666-678. 

Dzokoto, V. (2010). Different ways of feeling: Emotion and somatic awareness in Ghanaians and Euroamericans. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 4(2): 68-78.


Mental Health 

Dzokoto, V., Barnett, C., Osei-Tutu, A., & Briggs, A. (2018). Mental health reportage in Ghanaian newspapers between 2000 and 2015: A qualitative analysis. International Journal of Mental Health, 47(3), 192-214. 

DeGraft Aikins, A., Dzokoto, V. A., & Yevak, E. (2015). Mass media constructions of ‘socio-psychological epidemics’ in sub-Saharan Africa: The case of genital shrinking in 11 countries. Public Understanding of Science (24) 988-1006.


Recent Research Collaborations

The Mind and Spirit Project

Institute of Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (video introduction)

Is it well with my soul? Effects of contemporary African religious practices on well-being

The Development of Teaching and Social Learning Across Cultures

Being African in a contemporary world: exploring spirituality and psychological values in Ghana


Recent Courses

Mental Illness in the African Diaspora; African Americans in Paris; Culture and Psychology; Senior Seminar in African American Studies; Interdisciplinary Research Methods.