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Social / Personality

Research in social and personality psychology at the University of Oregon reflects an intellectually diverse approach to understanding intrapersonal and interpersonal processes and individual differences. The primary goal of our program is to train outstanding researchers, and our program stands apart for its high quality of research and training combined with substantive and methodological breadth. Our faculty conduct research spanning a broad spectrum of human behavior using innovative approaches. Areas of particular focus include:

  • Emotion and motivation: emotion regulation, social functions of emotions, self-regulation, goal pursuit, stress and physiology
  • Self and social cognition: self-perception and interpersonal perception, perspective-taking and empathy, self-other comparisons
  • Groups, networks, and organizations: status hierarchies, social power, psychology of war and sociopolitical violence, group dynamics, online social networks
  • Culture, values, and worldviews: moral psychology, culture and belief systems, psychology of religion
  • Personality structure and development: structure of personality attributes, culture and personality description, lifespan development
  • Decision making and risk perception: neuroeconomics and valuation, social and financial decision making, decision making in applied contexts (e.g., legal, aviation, risk assessment)

Research in these areas draws upon a wide range of methods, including dyadic and group methods, psychophysiology, neuroimaging, neuroendocrinology, experience sampling, longitudinal studies, surveys, computational methods, and field studies. Students have the opportunity to develop their skills through coursework and through collaboration with faculty mentors.

Our program encourages an interdisciplinary approach, and training exposes students to a wide range of topics through small seminars, several informal brownbag series, lab meetings, and a variety of other opportunities. Students often work with multiple faculty, including faculty from other areas of psychology, from other departments and units on campus, and from other institutions. Each student can flexibly tailor his or her own graduate program under the guidance of faculty advisors, making the social and personality psychology program a distinctive training experience for each graduate student.

Go to Doctoral Admissions or Individualized Master’s page.