Vivian Dzokoto, Ph.D.

Headshot of Vivian Dzokoto

Clinical Psychology

Ph.D. Clinical-Community Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005

Research Interests

Vivian Dzokoto, Ph.D., is a cultural and clinical psychologist who specializes in African populations and African ways of being in the world. She has the following lines of research:

  • 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
  • affect, wellbeing 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, labeling, treatment and management of mental illness]
  • African knowledge systems

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

Select Publications

Dzokoto, V., Anum, A., Affram, A., Agbavitoh, J., Dadzie, H., Mintah, R., Norman, Q., Owusu-Prempeh, C., Tawam, L., Turkson, S., Osei-Tutu, A. (2021). “A lot of Ghanaians really don’t understand the work we do”: Cultural Adaptations and Barriers in Ghanaian Psychotherapy Practice. International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation.
Weisman, K., Legare, C., Smith, R., Dzokoto, V., Aulino, F., Ng, E., Dulin, J., Ross-Zehnder, N., Brahinsky, J., Luhrmann, T. (2021). Similarities and differences in concepts of Mental Life Among Adults and Children in Five Cultures. Nature Human Behavior.
Dzokoto, V. A. (2020). Adwenhoasem: An Akan Theory of Mind. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (Incorporating Man) 26 (S1), 77-94
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. & 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.


  • Issachar Foundation (University of Texas Austin Award SubGrant from PI Cristine Legare). The consequences of formal education for science and religion.
  • International Research Network for the Study Of Science And Belief In Society, Research Grants, 2020-2021, 2022
  • Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA), Individual Senior Residential Fellowship, Fall 2021
  • VCU Humanities Research Center, Residential Fellowship, Spring 2018
  • Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion (IMTFI), Research Grants, 2011-2015