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Social & Personality Psychology

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The Social and Personality Program at Texas A&M covers traditional topics in both subfields, as well as exciting topics in the interdisciplinary programs of affective sciencediversity science, and personality processes. The research interests and expertise of our faculty are listed below. Collectively, we are strongly committed to training graduate students to be outstanding psychological scientists through a contemporary and structured graduate curriculum that involves students in research from the start of their graduate careers.

Our graduate program provides hands-on, apprenticeship-based training with an approximately 2:1 student-faculty ratio. Graduate students spend much of their time working closely with faculty and other graduate students on research projects. Students become heavily involved in research immediately upon arrival at Texas A&M and they are encouraged to become increasingly independent researchers during their graduate careers. Current students publish papers in high impact journals and have received awards from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Graduates of the program have obtained jobs at major research institutions, well-regarded private liberal arts colleges, and research-focused industries.

The Social and Personality program supports an active speaker series that brings in outstanding researchers from other universities each year. This series provides exposure to different perspectives on the field and the opportunity to network with professors at other institutions. Graduate students are also required to present during the speaker series to gain experience presenting and to obtain feedback on their ongoing research programs. This creates a supportive and exciting intellectual environment and helps graduate students become active contributors to a scholarly community.

Our faculty members are accomplished, energetic, and collaborative. They publish high-quality papers with their graduate students in leading outlets and they have received multiple research grants from agencies like the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Members of the faculty currently serve as editors or associate editors of major journals. Applications for admission are due on December 1 of each year.

Social Curriculum

Faculty   Interests Accepting Applications for 2019-2020
Adrienne Carter-Sowell Chronic Social Exclusion and Social Pain Assessments; Intersectionality Experiences for Women of Color; Implicit Stereotyping toward Groups Yes
Joshua Hicks Psychological Well-Being; Existential Psychology; Self-Knowledge Yes
Heather Lench Emotion; Affective Forecasting; Optimistic Bias; Motivated Cognition Yes
Vani Mathur Pain; Empathy; Social and Cultural Neuroscience; Sociocultural Contributions to Heath Disparities Yes
William S. (Steve) Rholes Attachment Theory; Interpersonal Relationships; Mental Health Yes
Phia Salter Cultural Psychology: Critical Race Psychology; Collective Memory; Self and Identity No
Rebecca Schlegel Self and Identity; Well-being; Authenticity Yes
Brandon Schmeichel Motivation; Emotion; Self-control Yes
Rachel Smallman Social Cognition; Counterfactual Thinking; Cognitive and motivational processes in decision-making Yes
Matthew Vess Psychological processes and consequences associated with people’s efforts to manage existential concerns. Yes

PhD Students in Social and Personality Psychology 2018