Social and personality psychology is the study of how one’s thoughts and behaviours are influenced by characteristics of oneself and others, both real and imagined. In contrast to developmental psychology, social-personality psychology focuses mostly on adults, and in contrast to clinical psychology, we typically study what is normal or the average person’s response rather than what is abnormal. Much of social-personality psychology shares some overlap with cognitive psychology except that our stimuli are social objects like oneself or other people. Indeed, the primary social-personality psychology faculty at Queen’s share a common grounding in social cognition but with diverse research interests including attitudes and persuasion, judgment and decision-making, close relationships, the self, and personality assessment. The social-personality psychology faculty also look at a variety of individual difference moderators including attachment style, culture, the dark triad, depression and causal uncertainty, gender/sex, self-esteem, etc.
The graduate coursework in our program reflects the faculty’s research interests and expertise, which includes research methods and statistics. That is, in addition, to a course on research methods, the social-personality faculty teach 3 of the 4 graduate statistics courses offered in the Department. This emphasis on data science prepares our graduates for a variety of positions not just in academia but also government and industry. We also hold weekly brown bag meetings where faculty and students present their research or developing issues in social-personality psychology including tutorials on new methodological and statistical techniques.