The social-personality program is devoted to training graduate students for careers in research and teaching. The program faculty and several affiliates conduct research and provide intensive training in six core areas of the field:

  1. Self, identity, and culture
  2. Social cognition
  3. Emotion, emotion regulation and affective neuroscience
  4. Personality processes and adult development
  5. Relationships and intergroup processes
  6. Power, hierarchy, & social class

In addition to training in these core areas, the program encourages graduate students to develop their own research interests and build an independent research program. The area has a dual mentorship model where students  are expected to work with 2 program faculty, one serving as the primary, the other as the secondary mentors. This approach to mentorship facilitates the mastery of multiple perspectives and methodologies in students’ chosen area of specialization. The program is characterized by considerable breadth and diversity, and provides students with special research opportunities, such as access to unique longitudinal data bases, interdisciplinary training grants (e.g., affective science), multi-method approaches (self-report, observational, archival, life-data, physiological), and biological perspectives on social behavior (e.g., evolutionary, neuroimaging).


Additional resources include the interdisciplinary research facilities of several institutes here at Berkeley (e.g., Institute of Personality and Social Research (IPSR), Greater Good Science Center (GGSC), Institute for Industrial Relations (IIR), and Institute of Human Development (IHD), as well as special relationships with Professional Schools (e.g., Public Policy, Haas School of Business, and Social Welfare). In addition to class work and research group meetings, area colloquia foster an exciting atmosphere of intellectual discovery and exchange: one colloquium series (jointly sponsored by IPSR) features new research by leading researchers in social/personality and related disciplines, while a second colloquium series, the student-led Gordon Allport Society, provides a forum for graduate students to present new ideas and discuss ongoing research.