The primary aim of the Social/Personality graduate program is to provide in-depth training in the scientific study of social and personality processes. Students are expected to pursue the goals of research excellence, effective teaching, and scholarly breadth. Towards fulfilling these goals, graduate students engage in research from the outset of the program, first by working under the close supervision of an advisor and then by assuming a more independent role as specific research interests are formulated.


The Social/Personality graduate program employs an "apprenticeship" model of research training in which students work closely with one or more faculty members. Students are encouraged to work on projects with people other than just their primary advisor(s). Each student is selected for his/her compatibility of research interests with one or more members of the Social/Personality faculty. The program is designed to expose students to social/personality research early in their graduate training and to equip them with the skills necessary for conducting their own high-quality research.

Graduate courses in the traditional areas of social and personality psychology are offered on a continuing basis and more specialized seminars are offered as well. Students are expected to take advantage of departmental courses and seminars in related interest areas such as clinical, cognitive, and developmental. All students are required to complete a one-year sequence in statistics and many will take additional departmental courses in those statistical techniques most relevant to their research interests.

Most students in Social/Personality take four courses (12 credits) in their first year of graduate studies: two 3-credit courses in statistics and 6 credits of social/personality coursework selected in consultation with their Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee comprises the student's research supervisor and two additional faculty members chosen to assist in the student's academic development. A written proposal for the M.A. Thesis is required by the spring of the first year. In their second year, students take one or more courses per term and present their completed M.A. thesis research at a departmental conference ("Psychfest") held each May.

As part of the Ph.D. requirements, students must successfully complete a minimum of two courses in Social/Personality, two breadth courses offered by other areas of the department, and a comprehensive examination. The Social/Personality comprehensive requirement consists of: (1) a 30-page Psychological Bulletin-type paper (this typically serves as the basis for the student's Ph.D. thesis research) and (2) a series of lectures in three broad areas of Social/Personality psychology.

All students attend a weekly Social/Personality Seminar, and give one research talk per year, for as long as they are in the program. Graduate students are encouraged to attend, and present papers at international scientific meetings such as SPSP, CPA, APA, APS, and WPA.

590Survey of Social Psychology I (Intrapersonal Processes)
591Survey of Social Psychology II (Interpersonal Processes)
525Attitudes and Social Cognition
526Individuals and Groups
527Advanced Interpersonal Processes
528Advanced Methods in Social/Personality Psychology
529Special Topics (e.g., Culture, Stereotypes, the Self)
567Personality Dimensions and Structure


Each faculty member has a well-equipped laboratory with multiple computers for use by graduate students.

All graduate students are provided with free e-mail accounts and are encouraged to create their own web pages. The LAN permits, among other things, easy access to recent software including statistical programs, anti-virus software, and various internet programs.


From left to right: Seated: Steve Heine, Jessica Tracy, Ara Norenzayan
Standing: Liz Dunn, Mark Schaller, Del Paulhus, Joe Henrich, Toni Schmader

Jeremy Biesanz (Assistant Professor), Ph.D. Arizona State University, 1999

Elizabeth Dunn (Associate Professor), Ph.D. University of Virginia, 2004

Steven Heine (Professor), Ph.D. UBC, 1996

Joe Henrich (Canada Research Chair & Professor), Ph.D. UCLA, 1999

Darrin Lehman (Professor), Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1985

Ara Norenzayan (Associate Professor), Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1999

Delroy Paulhus (Professor), Ph.D. Columbia University, 1980

Mark Schaller (Professor), Ph.D. Arizona State University, 1989

Toni Schmader (Associate Professor), Ph.D. University of California, 1999

Jessica Tracy (Associate Professor), Ph.D. University of California, Davis, 2006


Andrew Baron (Assistant Professor), Ph.D. Harvard, 2009

Frances Chen (Assistant Professor), Ph.D. Stanford University, 2009

Don Dutton (Professor), Ph.D. Toronto, 1970

Victoria Savalei (Assistant Professor), Ph.D. UCLA, 2006

Peter Suedfeld (Professor Emeritus), Ph.D. Princeton University, 1963

Lawrence Walker (Professor & Director of the Graduate Program), Ph.D. Toronto, 1978


Many of the Ph.D. students that have been supervised by faculty in the Social/Personality Area have accepted academic positions, and others are in industry, government, and private companies. We list a sample of these students below, with their name, year of graduation, and present position.

 Azim Shariff
Asst. Prof.
University ofOregon
 Emma Buchtel
(2009)Asst. Prof.
Hong Kong Institute of Education
 Leslie Duncan
(2009)Research Manager
eNRG Canada
 Catherine Rawn(2009)Instructor I UBC
 Travis Proulx
(2008)Asst. Prof.
Tilburg University
 Ilan Dar-Nimrod
(2008)NIMH PostdocUniversity of Rochester
 Ian Hansen
(2007)Asst. Prof.
City University of New York-York College
 Kevin Williams
(2007)Senior Research AssociateMulti-Health Systems Canada
 Justin Park (2005)Senior Lecturer
University of Bristol
  Aliye Kurt (2004) President Set-Sail Career Consulting
 Andrew Ryder(2004)Asst. Prof.Concordia University
 Katherine White(2003)Asst. Prof.University of Calgary
 Sunaina Assanand
Instructor I
 Luke Conway(2001)ProfessorUniversity of Montana
 Roger Tweed (2000)Asst. Prof.Kwantlen U. College
 Loraine Lavallee(2000)Asst. Prof.U. Northern B.C.
 Michelle Yik(1999) Assoc. Prof. UST, Hong Kong
 Steven Heine(1996) Assoc. Prof.University of B.C.
 David Mandel(1996)Res. Scientist

Defence Research & Dev't Canada

  Candace Taylor (1996) Tenured Instructor University of the Fraser Valley
 Christopher Davis(1995)Assoc. Prof.Carleton University
 Paul Trapnell (1995) Assoc. ProfUniversity of Winnipeg
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