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Difference Between Personality & Social Contexts and Social Psychology


Prospective students may wonder about the differences between the Personality & Social Contexts Psychology area and the Social Psychology area. Below are the core research themes of each area. There is overlap, as is typical of the subfields of psychology. Please read the full descriptions of both programs and review the lists of the faculty in each program in order to decide which program you should apply to. Note that, while students are admitted to a particular area, they may take courses and work with additional faculty in other areas.

Social Psychology Area

Core Themes

  • Social cognition
  • Prejudice and stereotyping
  • The self and social identity
  • Cognitive biases
  • Emotion
  • Aggression
  • Cultural psychology
  • The evolution of social behavior
  • Psychology and law

Core Faculty

  • Phoebe C. Ellsworth
  • Richard Gonzalez
  • L. Rowell Huesmann
  • James Jackson
  • Shinobu Kitayama
  • Richard Nisbett
  • Daphna Oyserman
  • Norbert Schwarz
  • Denise Sekaquaptewa
  • Oscar Ybarra

Personality & Social Contexts Psychology Area

Core Themes

  • Identity
  • Motivation
  • Power
  • Oppression
  • Culture

Core Faculty

  • Tabbye Chavous
  • Elizabeth Cole
  • Terri Conley
  • Lilia Cortina
  • Robin Edelstein
  • Lorraine Gutierrez
  • Fiona Lee
  • Ramaswami (Ram) Mahalingam
  • Nansook Park
  • Robert Sellers
  • Abigail Stewart
  • Sari van Anders
  • David Winter