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Social-Personality Division

Program Description

The graduate program in Social-Personality Psychology at the University of Illinois is one of the oldest and most respected in the country. More research conducted at University of Illinois labs has appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology than from any other university in the world (Quinones-Vidal et al., 2004, p. 436). The program provides intensive training in research methods, statistical analysis, and a wide array of theoretical perspectives sharing the theme of the cognitive and emotional basis of social interaction.

Social psychology emphasizes the power of the social situation as a determinant of individual behavior, thinking, and emotion. Personality psychology emphasizes characteristics of the individual that are stable over time but which also determine the individual's behavior, thinking, and emotion. The social-personality program provides particular emphasis on attitudes, culture, emotion, attachment, close relationships, personality development and assessment, genetic and environmental etiology of individual differences, social cognition, social status and power, religion, and subjective well-being.


Students may specialize in social psychology, personality psychology, or both. Students also may take advantage of related courses offered in Industrial-Organizational psychology. The program is designed to train students to become contributing scientists in academic or applied settings and to become teachers at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Over the course of the program, students and advisor work together to design a program of study fitted to the student's particular needs and interests. The program places a heavy emphasis on original research from the beginning of graduate studies, and all students complete a first-year research project which they then present in the division seminar.

Facilities and Resources

Students have access to state-of-the-art research facilities. Laboratories are run by individual faculty members, and include small cubicles for individual computer testing, small conference rooms for group interaction, and large rooms for mass questionnaire testing.

Affiliated Departments, Programs, and Institutes

The social-personality program is closely aligned with the program in Industrial-Organizational psychology. In addition, faculty with training in social and personality psychology are to be found in other departments across the university, specializing in advertising, communications, marketing, and organizational behavior.

Social-Personality Division Faculty

Dolores Albarrcin, Professor

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Dr. Albarracin specializes in attitudes and persuasion, the intention-behavior relation, goals, predicting general activity patterns, predicting and changing health risk behaviors, and reviewing the effects of behavioral and clinical treatments in various settings (e.g., through meta-analaysis and clinical trials).

Office: Room 415 | (217) 244-7019 |

Dov Cohen, Professor

Dov Cohen

Cultural continuity and change, including culture and different perspectives on the self, cultural syndromes of honor, dignity, and face; language use; the interactions of people, culture, and situations.

Office: Room 413 | (217) 244-5830 |

Jaime Derringer, Assistant Professor

Jaime Derringer

I am interested in how genetic and environmental influences explain individual differences in human behavior

Office: Room 418 | (217) 333-0631 |

R. Chris Fraley, Professor

R. Chris Fraley

Attachment theory and close relationships; personality development and organization; social cognition and affect; evolutionary psychology.

Office: Room 409 |

Michael W. Kraus, Assistant Professor

Michael Kraus

His research examines the ways in which social hierarchy, emotion, and close relationships shape social life.

Office: Room 417 | (217) 300-0191 |

Jesse Preston, Assistant Professor

Jesse Preston

Interests include causal thinking and explanation, religious beliefs, perception of agency in self and others, and cognitive processes in judgment and decision making.

Office: Room 423 | (217) 333-4921 |

Brent W. Roberts, Professor

Brent W. Roberts

Dr. Roberts's primary line of research is dedicated to understanding the patterns of continuity and change in personality across the decades of adulthood and the mechanisms that affect these patterns.

Office: Room 411 | (217) 333-2644 |

Monica Uddin, Associate Professor

Monica Uddin

Genetic and genomic basis of stress-relevant mental disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Office: Room 631 |


Associated Faculty

Ed Diener, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Psychology (Emeritus)

Ed Diener

Subjective well-being and life satisfaction; measuring well-being; cross-cultural differences in subjective well-being; personality and well-being.

Office: Room 415 | (217) 333-4804 |