Social and Personality Psychology

The specialization in social/personality psychology trains students to examine how features of the social environment and characteristics of individuals interact to influence behavior, cognition, and affect. Training will allow students to develop a strong foundation in the theoretical perspectives, research methods, and current controversies in the field of social/personality psychology. Special emphases include social cognition, emotion, subjective well-being, self and identity, personality resilience, interpersonal relations, cultural psychology, and adaptation to stress and perceived risks.


Campos, Belinda, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Culture, relationships, positive emotion, health

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

Jamner, Larry, Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook
Health psychology, psychophysiology, biopsychosocial factors related to tobacco use in youth

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

Shariff, Azim, Ph.D., University of British Columbia
Social psychology, morality, the psychology of religion, evolutionary psychology

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

To learn more about research specializations in the department, click here.