The graduate program in Social-Personality Psychology at the University of Illinois is one of the oldest and most respected in the country. More research conducted at University of Illinois labs has appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology than from any other university in the world (Quinones-Vidal et al., 2004, p. 436). The program provides intensive training in research methods, statistical analysis, and a wide array of theoretical perspectives sharing the theme of the cognitive and emotional basis of social interaction.

Social psychology emphasizes the power of the social situation as a determinant of individual behavior, thinking, and emotion. Personality psychology emphasizes characteristics of the individual that are stable over time but which also determine the individual's behavior, thinking, and emotion. The social-personality program provides particular emphasis on attitudes, culture, emotion, attachment, close relationships, personality development and assessment, genetic and environmental etiology of individual differences, social cognition, moral judgment and decision-making, social status and power, religion, and subjective well-being.


Students may specialize in social psychology, personality psychology, or both. Students also may take advantage of related courses offered in Industrial-Organizational psychology. The program is designed to train students to become contributing scientists in academic or applied settings and to become teachers at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Over the course of the program, student and advisor work together to design a program of study fitted to the student's particular needs and interests. The program places a heavy emphasis on original research from the beginning of graduate studies, and all students complete a first-year research project which they then present in the weekly brown bag seminar for the social-personality program.

Facilities and Resources

Students have access to state-of-the-art research facilities. Laboratories are run by individual faculty members, and include small cubicles for individual computer testing, small conference rooms for group interaction, and large rooms for mass questionnaire testing.

Affiliated Departments, Programs, and Institutes

The social-personality program is closely aligned with the program in Industrial-Organizational psychology. In addition, faculty with training in social and personality psychology are to be found in other departments across the university, specializing in advertising, communications, marketing, and organizational behavior. Faculty also maintain affiliations with the Center for Social and Behavioral Science, the Institute for Genomic Biology, the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

Faculty working in Social-Personality

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