The Social Psychology program at Florida State University involves the scientific examination of how people think about, influence, and relate to each other. The program provides students with in-depth training in the areas of personality and social psychology, focusing on both basic and applied research. The goal of the program is to prepare students for future positions as researchers and educators. Coursework provides students with an education in a broad range of areas including classic and contemporary issues in social psychology, methodological and statistical approaches to psychological research, as well as in depth seminars in specialty areas such as prejudice and stereotyping, the self, motivation, social cognition, evolutionary psychology, and close relationships. Graduate students develop further expertise in a specific area or areas of personality and social psychology through hands-on research, in collaboration with one or more faculty members in the Social program. Students in the program may specialize in one research area but are encouraged to work in several in order to broaden their experience. Students have been very successful at collaborating with multiple faculty members to help broaden their research. Some students may also have opportunities to collaborate with faculty in the other psychology programs whose interests and expertise are relevant to social psychology.
The broad areas of research interest and expertise of the Social Psychology program’s faculty provide several possible directions for interested graduate students to pursue. These broad areas of research include:
Close Relationships Research projects focus investigating factors that promote or hinder the successful maintenance of long-term relationships; identifying cognitive, situational, behavioral, and individual difference variables that predict relationship satisfaction, commitment, and longevity.
Emotion Specific research includes emotional influences on judgment and decision-making, risk-taking, and social cognition; the self-regulation of emotional states; emotional experiences in the context of social interaction; psychophysiological processes and emotion.
Evolutionary Psychology Research involves the examination of evolved psychological mechanisms in areas such as romantic attraction and the maintenance of long-term relationships, power and dominance, social affiliation and rejection, prosocial behavior, and prejudice; evolutionary approaches to human emotion and motivation; hormonal processes involved in social behavior.
Health Specific research includes social processes in physical health (cancer prevention, healthy eating and physical activity, smoking cessation) and mental health (anxiety, depression, etc.); health communication; determinants of health protective or health-damaging behavior; judgment and decision making in the health context.
Prejudice and Stereotyping Research includes the regulation of prejudice, intergroup interactions, and people's motivation to respond without prejudice; identifying mechanisms that encourage reductions in prejudice; the causes and consequences of negative affect in interracial interactions; the implications of race for responses to criminal suspects
Self & Identity Specific research includes self-control, self-regulation, self-esteem, accuracy and error in self-judgment, self-deception and defense mechanisms, self-presentation and impression management; how the self operates in social interactions; how people respond to blows to their pride or "threatened egotism," including effects on decision-making and aggression; the "need to belong" as a basic motivation, including what happens when people are rejected or excluded.
Facts & Figures
Financial Aid: No
International Financial Aid: No
Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive
Locale: Midsize City
Size & Settings: 20,000-39,999