Doctoral Program in Social Psychology

Department of Psychology
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
New York University

The Social Psychology program at New York University offers training in the psychological theories, principles, and research methods relevant to understanding the behavior of individuals and groups in social and organizational contexts. Students are exposed to a broad range of scholarship in social psychology, and receive research training that will enable them to become independent contributors to the field. What distinguishes our program from many others is the combination of quality and breadth. With fifteen core faculty and a number of affiliated faculty, our program is acclaimed for its cutting-edge research on a wide range of topics in the following areas:

Social cognition and attitudes: Person perception and social judgment (Emily Balcetis, Yaacov Trope, Jim Uleman, Jon Freeman, Jay Van Bavel, Tessa West); implicit social cognition (David Amodio), relational processes (Susan Andersen), inferences about self and other (Susan Andersen, Emily Balcetis); spontaneous trait inference, culture and social cognition (Jim Uleman), implicit/explicit attitudes, stereotypes, and prejudice (David Amodio, Liz Phelps); political attitudes and ideology (Eric Knowles, John Jost); developmental social cognition and social categorization (Marjorie Rhodes); social cognitive neuroscience (David Amodio, Jon Freeman, Jay Van Bavel, Liz Phelps).

Motivation, emotion, and self-regulation: Self-regulation (Yaacov Trope, Gabriele Oettingen, Jim Uleman); motivation and goal pursuit (Peter Gollwitzer, Emily Balcetis, Jay Van Bavel); system justification (John Jost), roles of emotion and motivation in self-regulation (David Amodio, Emily Balcetis), affect in the relational context (Susan Andersen), affective neuroscience (Liz Phelps, Jon Freeman).

Relationships, personality, and social development: Significant others and the self, social cognition and personality, hopelessness/depression (Susan Andersen); relationships, stress, and coping and methods for studying these processes (Patrick Shrout), attitudes and relationship formation (Tessa West); social cognitive development (Marjorie Rhodes).

Groups, organizations, and societies: Social justice and political ideology (John Jost, Eric Knowles, Maureen Craig), intergroup interactions (Tessa West), intergroup prejudice and stereotyping (David Amodio, Jon Freeman, Jay Van Bavel, Maureen Craig), and stereotyping and prejudice in the workplace (Madeline Heilman).

In addition, there is a major interest and presence in Social Neuroscience. Research within the program examines topic such as the neural mechanisms underlying activation and regulation of social biases (David Amodio), the neural substrates of social perception and evaluation (Jay Van Bavel), the neural mechanisms of face perception and categorization (Jon Freeman), the neural processes underlying impression formation (Jim Uleman with Liz Phelps and Lila Davachi), and social effects on neural processes of fear learning (Liz Phelps). Several other faculty members in the program collaborate on various other social neuroscience projects, and the Psychology Department hosts a Social Neuroscience Speaker Series. The Psychology Building houses facilities for fMRI, EEG/ERP, eye-tracking, and other psychophysiological methods.

Graduate study in the Social Psychology program at NYU means being part of an unusually active research culture. We share well-equipped laboratories, and we promote 'open door' relationships between professors and students. Although students typically have a primary home in one professor's laboratory, we require that students work in at least one other laboratory to promote breadth of training in a variety of methodological approaches and research issues. Our goal is to prepare students to be highly competitive in the job market for the type of career they seek, and we are proud of the steady success of our students over the past 15 years in obtaining academic positions at the best research universities as well as important teaching colleges.

The NYU social program has a history of a special communal, cooperative spirit, with very high morale among the students. A core component of this community is the weekly brownbag seminar, where students and faculty share their recent findings and research plans with the rest of the group. Students can bring this forum special expertise that they obtain in NYU’s programs in quantitative, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology, which supplement the core curriculum in social psychology.

Applications for Fall admission are due on December 1

To apply for admission to the Graduate Program in Social Psychology, you'll need the application form, which is available from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Apply for admission to the Department of Psychology. In the forms there is a place where you specify the particular program in which you are interested (e.g., Social Psychology), as well as whether you are also interested in the Developmental Concentration.

The Social Psychology curriculum may be found in the GSAS Bulletin.



Courses in the four core areas of doctoral social psychology vary from year to year, but the following list provides examples of courses that have been taught in each of the categories since 2008 or that are planned for 2010 or 2011

Social Cognition and Attitudes
--Person Perception: Cognitive (G89.2286)
--Social Judgment and Decision Making (G89.2282)
--Social Neuroscience (G89.3404)
--Stereotyping and Prejudice (G89.3380)
--Self and Social Judgment

Motivation and Self-Regulation
--Self-Regulation (G89.3393)
--Conflict and Psychological Control (G89.3394)

Relationships, Personality and Social Development
--Developmental Social Cognition
--Social Cognitive Processes in Personality
--The Relational Self (G89.2297)
--Person Perception: Interpersonal

Groups, organizations, and societies
--Psychology of Justice
--System Justification Theory
--Psychology and Design of Legal Institutions
--Political Psychology (G89.3399)

Example of Advanced Electives
--Theories in Social Psychology (G89.2216)


Methods and Statistics Courses
--Research Methods in Social Psychology I (G89.2217)
--Research Methods in Social Psychology II (G89.2217)
--Math Tools for Cognitive Science and Neuroscience (G89.2211)
--Intermediate Statistical Methods (G89.2228)
--Advanced Regression Analysis (G89.2229)
--Advanced ANOVA Methods (G89.2239)
--Structural Equation Modeling (G89.2247)
--Analysis of Change (G89.2248)      


David Amodio, Susan Andersen, Emily Balcetis, Maureen Craig, Jon Freeman, Peter Gollwitzer, Madeline Heilman, John Jost, Eric Knowles, Gabriele Oettingen, Elizabeth Phelps (primary appointment in C&P), Marjorie Rhodes (primary appointment in C&P), Diane Ruble (Emeritus), Patrick Shrout, Yaacov Trope, Jay Van Bavel, Jim Uleman, Tessa West

Social Program, NYU
September 2011