Social Psychology is a “hub” discipline that provides a bridge between other disciplines that are not directly connected, from neuroscience and cognition to sociology and political science. Because of this breadth, the methods and tools of social psychology are diverse as well, ranging from laboratory experiments and surveys to computer simulations and Big Data. The breadth of social psychology topics and research paradigms is represented by the interests, expertise, and track record of the Social faculty in the Psychology Department. The topics currently under investigation include self-concept, self-regulation, social judgment and interaction, social networks, social influence, intergroup conflict, social change, and computational models of social processes.
The program provides training in both theoretically-oriented basic research and problem-oriented applied research in these areas. Coursework provides students with an education in diverse methodological approaches (experimentation, computational modeling, Big Data) and in a wide range of topics and issues in classic and contemporary social psychology. Graduate students develop expertise in a specific area of personality and social psychology through hands-on research in collaboration with one or more faculty members in the Social program. The program thus prepares students for professional careers as researchers, teachers, program evaluators, and consultants in the field of social psychology.