Psychological Sciences Faculty
Assistant Professor, Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Department of Psychological Sciences
703 Third Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2081 USA
Psychological Sciences, Room 2124
Degree: Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2012
The core of my research centers on individual differences, person-environment (P-E) fit, work performance and success, and gendered career paths and gender differences in career attainment. Specifically, my research has examined the following questions: (1) How do individual differences in interests and personality, among other variables, and P-E fit influence individuals' educational and career development, the choices they make, and how well they do in school and at work (e.g., Nye, Su, Rounds, & Drasgow, 2012)? This line of research is tied into broader issues in testing and assessment, personnel selection, and human resource management. (2) What are the underlying psychosocial mechanisms that could account for gendered career paths and gender differences in career attainment, especially the under-representation of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines (e.g., Su, Rounds, & Armstrong, 2009)? This line of research has larger implications for public policy on education, workforce, and the economy. Central to both lines of research is the construct of interests—preferences for certain work activities or environments (e.g., repairing things, helping people, persuading). Interests describe people in relation to their environments and serve as impetus for individuals to navigate through and function effectively in their environments (Rounds & Su, 2014).
In addition to the above topics, my research has examined attitudes, psychological wellbeing, and health in ways related to workplace and organizations and has frequently visited the influence of culture. With a strong quantitative orientation, my research employs a variety of methods such as structural equation modeling, multilevel and longitudinal models, meta-analysis, psychometrics, multidimensional scaling, and response surface methodology.
My research has appeared in journals such as Psychological Bulletin, Perspectives on Psychological Science, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Social Psychological and Personality Science, and Journal of Counseling Psychology, and has been featured in major media outlets including Time and The New York Times. A selection of my recent publications is shown below.
Selected Recent Publications
Su, R., Rounds, J., & Armstrong, P. I. (2009). Men and things, women and people: A meta-analysis of sex differences in interests. Psychological Bulletin, 135(6), 859-884.
Einarsdóttir, S., Rounds, J., & Su, R. (2010). Holland in Iceland revisited: An emic approach to evaluating US vocational interest models. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 57(3), 361-367.
Rounds, J., Su, R., Lewis, P., & Rivkin, D. (2010). O*NET Interest Profiler Short Form Psychometric Characteristics: Summary and Supporting Evidence. U.S. Department of Labor National O*NET Resource Center.
Tay, L., Su, R., & Rounds, J. (2011). People-Things and Data-Ideas: Bipolar dimensions? Journal of Counseling Psychology, 58(3), 424-440.
Armstrong, P. I., Su, R., & Rounds, J. (2011). Vocational interests: The road less traveled. In T. Chamorro-Premuzic, S. von Stumm, & Furnham, A. (Eds.), Handbook of Individual Differences (pp. 608-631). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Nye, C. D., Su, R., Rounds, J., & Drasgow, F. (2012). Vocational interests and performance: A quantitative summary of over 60 years of research. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(4), 384-403.
Zell, E., Su. R., …, & Albarracin, D. (2012). Cultural differences in attitudes toward action and inaction: The role of dialecticism. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4(5), 521-528.
Rounds, J., Su, R., Lewis, P., & Rivkin, D. (2012). Occupational Value Profiles for New and Emerging Occupations in the O*NET System: Summary. U.S. Department of Labor National O*NET Resource Center.
Rounds, J., Su, R., Lewis, P., & Rivkin, D. (2013). Occupational Interest Profiles for New and Emerging Occupations in the O*NET System: Summary. U.S. Department of Labor National O*NET Resource Center.
Su, R., & Rounds, J. (2013). Assessment of vocational interests. In D. R. Strauser (Ed.), Career Development, Employment and Disability: From Theory to Practice (pp. 207-222). New York: Springer.
Rounds, J., & Su, R. (2014). The nature and power of interests. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(2), 98-103.
Su, R., Murdock, C. D., & Rounds, J. (2014). Person-environment fit. In P. Hartung, M. Savickas, & B. Walsh (Eds.), APA Handbook of Career Intervention. Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association.
Su, R., Tay, L., & Diener, E. (2014). The development and validation of Comprehensive Inventory of Thriving (CIT) and Brief Inventory of Thriving (BIT). Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Published online before print. doi: 10.1111/aphw.12027
Damian, R. I., Su, R., Shanahan, M., Trautwein, U. & Roberts, B. W. (2014). Can Personality Traits and Intelligence Compensate for Background Disadvantage? Predicting Status Attainment in Adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Advance online publication, doi:10.1037/pspp0000024
Su, R., & Rounds, J. (2015). All STEM fields are not created equal: People and things interests explain gender disparities across STEM fields. Invited contribution to S. J. Ceci, W. M. Williams, & S. Kahn (Eds.), Underrepresentation of women in science: International and cross-disciplinary evidence and argument on the debate, special issue in Frontiers in Psychology. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00189
Su, R., Golubovich, J., Robbins, S. B. (2015). Bridging science and practice: Toward a standard, evidence-based framework of 21st century skills. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 8(2), 289-294. doi:10.1017/iop.2015.36
Journal of Counseling Psychology (January 2014 - )
Prospective Graduate Students
I am looking for highly motivated graduate students who share similar research interests to join my research team starting Fall 2015. Funding is available to support students with outstanding qualifications. Potential students with independent funding are also welcome to apply. Successful candidates admitted to our program in the past typically have excellent academic records, high GRE scores, and strong research experiences and skills. General information about applications and admissions can be found here. More information about the Purdue I/O program can be found here.
Understand Your Interests
If you would like to gain a better understanding of your own career interests, you can take the O*NET Interest Profiler Short Form that my colleagues and I developed for the U.S. Department of Labor National Center for O*NET Development.