Don Zhang, Associate Professor & Director of Undergraduate Studies

Photo of Dr. ZhangOffice: 224 Audubon Hall
Department of Psychology
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

View my current VITA.
View my lab webpage.



Dr. Zhang will be accepting students for Fall 2024.


PhD Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Bowling Green State University

MA Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Bowling Green State University

BS Psychology, Michigan State University

Research Interests

Dr. Zhang has three major areas of research. First, he is interested in the antecedents of risk-taking at work, examining both stable individual differences as well as situational factors that may encourage or inhibit risky behaviors on the job. He is particularly interested in the double-edged effects of workplace risk taking. Second, Dr. Zhang conducts research on the employment interview process, focusing on the perspectives and behaviors of both applicants and interviewers. His work has examined dubious interviewing tactics used by hiring managers, while exploring the implications of these practices on recruitment success. Finally, Dr. Zhang leverages insights from judgment and decision-making (JDM) to inform organizational research on work behaviors. He strives to build translational linkages between foundational decision research and applied topics in industrial-organizational psychology. He has received over $2.8 million in NSF Grants and is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award. His work has been featured on news outlets such as The Guardian, New York Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. To learn more about Dr. Zhang's research program, he can be contacted at His lab website, Risk and Decision Making Lab, provides additional details on his various projects and opportunities to join the lab as a research assistant or graduate student.

Research Topics

  • Workplace risk taking
  • Judgment and decision-making
  • Personality and individual differences
  • Employee recruitment and selection
  • Job interviews
  • Psychometrics and testing

Representative Publications

Zhang, D.C., Barratt, C.L. & Smith, R.W. (2023). The Bright, Dark, and Grey Sides of Risk Takers at Work: Criterion Validity of Risk Propensity for Contextual Performance at Work. Journal of Business and Psychology

Zhang, D.C. & Kausel, E.E., (2023). The illusion of validity: How effort inflates the perceived validity of interview questions. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology.

Highhouse, S., Wang, Y., & Zhang, D. C. (2022). Is risk propensity unique from the big five factors of personality? A meta-analytic investigation. Journal of Research in Personality, 98, 104206.

Zhang, D.C. (2022). Duck-sized horses or horse-sized ducks? Oddball Personality Questions are likable (but useless) for organizational recruitment, Journal of Business and Psychology.

Zhang, D.C., Highhouse, S., & Nye., Development and validation of the general risk propensity scale (GRiPS). (2019). Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. 32(2), 152-167

Zhang, D.C., Highhouse, S., Brooks, M.E. & Zhang, Y. (2018), Communicating the validity of structured interviews with graphical visual aids. International Journal of Selection and
Assessment. 26(2-4), 93-108

Zhang, D.C. & Highhouse, S. (2018) Judgment and Decision Making in the Workplace. In Anderson, Ones, Sinangil, & Viswesvaran (Eds.), Handbook of Industrial, Work, and Organizational Psychology, 2nd Edition. Sage, CA