Dr. Vivian Dzokoto

Dr. Vivian Dzokoto


Dr. Dzokoto will be on leave for the Fall 2021 semester.

Visit Dr. Dzokoto's research lab.


Clinical-Community Psychology, PhD (2005)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Research Interests 

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

She 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.


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.

Wellbeing, Relationships, and Mental Health


Dzokoto, V. A. (2020). Adwenhoasem: An Akan Theory of Mind. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (Incorporating Man) 26 (S1), 77-94.

Affram, A. A., Osei-Tutu, A., & Dzokoto, V. A. (2020). Conflict Handling in Ghanaian In-law Relationships: Implications for Face Concerns. Journal of Family Communication, 20 (4), 285-297. DOI: 10.1080/15267431.2020.1822845

Osei-Tutu, A., Dzokoto, V. A., & Affram, A. A. (2019). Common presenting problems in religious lay counselling practice in Ghana. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 22:8, 819-831, DOI: 10.1080/13674676.2019.1666096


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.