The Social/Personality faculty in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior conduct theory-based empirical work that addresses a variety of important social issues across the life span. Our faculty bring a multidisciplinary approach to the study of human behavior and a sensitivity to the relevance of our research to individual and social problems. The faculty also share a strong commitment to train students in theory, field and laboratory research methods, and advanced statistical techniques.

Our faculty have research interests covering a broad range of topics in the areas of social and personality psychology, including investigations of social cognition and decision-making; effects of emotions on reasoning and memory; subjective well-being; self and identity across cultures; control behavior; personality resilience; interpersonal relations; adaptation to stressful life events; risk perception; and psychology and law.


Chen, Jacqueline M., Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
Experimental social psychology, diversity and intergroup relations, social cognition, social perception, cultural psychology

Ditto, Peter H., Ph.D., Princeton University
Social cognition, motivated judgment and decision-making process, social psychology

Heckhausen, Jutta, Ph.D., University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Life-span developmental psychology, motivation and developmental regulation in children, adolescents, and adults, control and health, cultural universals and differences in achievement behavior

Levine, Linda J., Ph.D., The University of Chicago
Relations between cognitive and emotional development, how emotions influence attention and memory, the development of children's strategies for coping with negative emotions

Loftus, Elizabeth F., Ph.D., Stanford University
Human memory, psychology and the law, how facts, ideas, suggestions and other forms of post-event information can modify our memories

Piff, Paul K., Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Social psychology, group processes, altruism and cooperation, socioeconomic status, inequality, social emotion, moral judgment, ethics, uncertainty

Pressman, Sarah, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University
Health psychology, positive emotions, stress physiology, psychosocial, effects on physiology and health

Rook, Karen, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Gerontology, social psychology, health psychology, social support and social networks

Scurich, Nicholas, Ph.D. University of Southern California
Psychology & law; judgment and decision making; violence risk assessment

Silver, Roxane Cohen, Ph.D., Northwestern University
Coping with stressful life events (e.g., personal traumas, natural disasters, terrorism)

Zinger, Joanne, Ph.D. University of California, Riverside
Expressive writing, meta-analysis, positive psychology, health psychology, preventive medicine, educational psychology