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Social Psychology

Area Chair: David Dunning, Professor of Psychology

2022 Social Psychology Area

Since the late 1940's, the Ph.D. Program in Social Psychology at the University of Michigan has consistently been ranked among the top programs in the world, and many of the leading contributors to the field graduated from Michigan. We strive to continue this tradition through cutting-edge research training that prepares students for a research career in academic or non-academic settings. Several features distinguish the Michigan program from many others:

With 18 core faculty in social psychology and more than 10 emeriti and affiliated faculty, the social psychology program spans a large and diverse range of research topics and methodologies.

An average of 30 graduate students, at different stages of their graduate careers, provides an equally rich and stimulating peer environment, while maintaining a student to core faculty ratio of less than 2:1.

The social psychology program is located in one of the top-ranked psychology departments. We encourage students to work with faculty across area boundaries and the flexible program requirements allow them to do so.

The University of Michigan is widely considered the leading center for social and behavioral science research in the world and its top-ranked departments and research centers provide an unusually rich interdisciplinary intellectual environment for social psychologists. We encourage students to take full advantage of these opportunities.

Building on this interdisciplinary strength, Michigan offers several interdisciplinary training programs in which social psychology students can participate. These include, among others, a Culture & Cognition Program in collaboration with the Department of Anthropology, a Decision Program that cuts across many departments and professional schools, an Evolution and Human Adaptation Program, a program in Organization Studies, a program in Social Work and Psychology, and a program in Women Studies and Psychology.

In addition, students have the opportunity to work with researchers at Michigan's numerous research centers, including the Institute for Social Research and its units, the Research Center for Group Dynamics, Survey Research Center, Center for Political Studies, and Population Studies Center; the Center for Human Growth and Development; the International Institute; the Institute for Policy Studies; the Mental Health Research Center; and many others [see research centers page].

Many research centers offer their own training opportunities, which enrich the departmental offerings. These opportunities include summer schools in survey research techniques, statistical analyses, and new developments in psychological methodology.

As befits such a rich environment, students have access to well- equipped laboratories, a departmental participant pool for experiments, computing facilities and data archives. In addition, there are many area, departmental, and university sources of funding for student research.

All students admitted to the program receive full financial support, as described by the department.

What Others Say About Us

The social psychology program at the University of Michigan is arguably one of the strongest, if not the very strongest, in the country, if not in the world. It has occupied this preeminent position for a very long time, and can be expected to maintain that stature going into the future. Any historical chronology of the great events of social psychology is destined to read like a chronicle of events at Michigan; any 'who’s who in social psychology' is bound to read like a listing of Michigan faculty and Michigan Ph.D.’s. -- From an outside review committee, appointed by the Dean of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, 1998

The strength of the social psychology program at Michigan is, in many respects, strength through diversity. Historically, and today as well, the social psychology program has been a welcome home to many and diverse theoretical perspectives, substantive concerns, and methodological orientations. It has been, and continues to be, a program that operates at multiple levels of analysis, from the cognitive through the interpersonal through the group to the cultural levels of functioning, with research programs at each of these levels as well as ones that span and integrate these levels of analysis. -- From an outside review committee, appointed by the Dean of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, 1998.

Few, if any, training programs can offer either the quantity, diversity, or quality of training facilities or experiences that students in the Michigan program have the opportunity to experience. -- From the NIMH review of our training grant renewal, January 2004.

The faculty are impressive in breadth, productivity, and level of extramural support. They have an outstanding record in mentoring and graduating first-rate students. -- From the NIMH review of our training grant renewal, January 2004.

For Prospective Students