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Social Psychology Program Information

The goal of the Social Psychology Program is to train students with the skills necessary to function as applied or research scientists within one or more of the many sub-domains of social psychology. The majority of the top 20-30 social psychology graduate programs in the country have multi- (or inter-) disciplinary themes (both within and between departments) for graduate students. Our training is in accordance with such an approach, and explicitly adopts a multidisciplinary approach to create a unique graduate training program in the systematic research of important challenges facing society. The central focus of the social psychology program is the scholarship of the causes, consequences, and/or remediation of social challenges. Students are encouraged to pursue specific research interests that complement this broad programmatic theme.

Students in our social psychology training program benefit from a number of existing departmental strengths. Such strength consists of extant research programs that are directly relevant to the scholarship of the causes, consequences, and/or remediation of social challenges. Within the social area, internationally recognized research programs in inter-group processes, the self, and relationships are well established. Many related strengths exist in our other graduate training areas. Faculty in the Cognition, Brain, and Behavior area conduct basic research on memory and categorization processes, much of which has relevance to social cognition. Social personality processes are studied in the clinical area, with a particular eye towards social psychophysiology. Very strong scholarship also exists in the study of behaviors and behavior change that, although primarily focused on sexual behavior and alcohol use, can readily extend to other behaviors and other contexts. Finally, work examining the psychology of children at home and school (primarily in the school psychology area) examines factors of direct relevance to a social-developmental perspective. The potential for multiple areas of synergy is tremendous.

Furthermore, strong cognate academic units exist within the University and its close environs. These include, but are not limited to, the Maxwell school of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Newhouse school of Communication, African American studies, Sociology, Women's Studies, Law, and Upstate Medical University. Finally, as this program strives to maintain the vision of Floyd Allport, an emphasis is placed on exceptional training in the research and statistical methodologies of social psychology. Domains of excellence include topics from experimental and quasi-experimental research design, meta-analytic procedures, structural equation modeling and path analysis, multi-level random effects modeling, measurement, psychometrics, epidemiology, and factor analysis.