Deborah Cai

Senior Associate Dean

Dean's Office, Globalization and Development Communication, M&C and Strategic Communication

Annenberg Hall, Room 334
2020 North 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Dr. Deborah A. Cai is an internationally recognized researcher specializing in intercultural communication, negotiation and conflict management, and social influence. Her research examines the effects of culture on social networks and on cognitive processes related to perceptions of conflict, decision making, and planning in negotiation. She has studied variations in social networks and relational obligations across cultures, in particular comparing China with Western cultures. Her scholarship addresses theoretical questions utilizing the full range of statistical techniques, from simple tests of mean differences to analysis of elaborate causal structures. She is the editor of the four-volume set that is part of the Sage Benchmarks in Communication on Intercultural Communication, and she has published in the premier outlets of the Communication discipline, including Communication Yearbook, Human Communication Research, Communication Monographs, the Journal of Applied Communication Research, and Communication Research.


BookIntercultural CommunicationSageThousand Oaks, CA2010
Journal ArticleFace goals in apology: A cross-cultural comparison of Chinese and U.S. AmericansHan, B.Journal of Asian Pacific Communication201020(1), 102-124
BookThe SAGE handbook of conflict communication: Integrating theory, research, and practiceFink, E. L., & Wang. Q.SageThousand Oaks, CA2006pp. 33-64
BookCultural structuring of the social context of negotiation. In M. J. Gelfand & J. M. Brett (Eds.), The handbook of negotiation and cultureGelfand, M. J.Stanford University Press2004pp. 238-257
BookCommunication MonographsFink, E. L.2002pp. 69, 67-87
BookWhom do you trust? A cross-cultural comparisonHampton PressCresskill, NJ2005pp. 73-104

Lectures / Conferences

“Do we really know who we are when fighting?”: The effect of roles, goals, and emotion on responses to conflict.November 2010
A cross-cultural study of the effect of empathy on the moral judgment of equity – Part II.November 2010
Accounting for conflict behaviors: An attributional approach.June 2010
A cross-cultural study of the effect of empathy on the moral judgment of equity — Part INovember 2009
A roles approach: Modeling the effect of self- and other-role enactment on conflict strategies.November 2009
Computer mediated communication and negotiation: Effects of media and power on relationship development.November 2008
Obligations and costs in direct and indirect relationships: A cross-cultural analysis.November 2007
Strategic uses of avoidance in interpersonal conflict: A goals approach.November 2007

Additional Projects

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Researcher on multi-disciplinary team

Principal investigator