The Social-Personality Psychology program focuses on preparing graduate students as researchers, providing them with the theoretical and methodological tools that are needed for advanced scholarly work.
During the fall semester of their first year, students take a general course in social-personality psychology, taught by all members of the Social-Personality Psychology faculty, a course in research methods, and a course in quantitative methods. The latter course continues in the spring semester. Students also participate in the research of one or more faculty members. After the first semester, students take more advanced seminars in Social-Personality Psychology or in any of the areas in the department. Students also receive training in a variety of advanced methodological and quantitative skills. Concurrently with course work, students conduct research that gradually becomes more independent and leads to the masters thesis which is expected to be finished by the end of the second year. In the third year, students take a comprehensive exam in Social-Personality Psychology and proceed with their dissertation research.
The Social-Personality Psychology faculty are active in diverse areas of research, including intrinsic motivation, self-determination, achievement motivation, emotion, social interaction and close relationship processes, social cognition, nonverbal communication, and health psychology. Our students find it easy to match their interests with those of one or more members of the faculty. There are also ample opportunities to collaborate with faculty from other areas in the department and other departments with overlapping interests (e.g., Family Medicine, Psychiatry).