Social Psychology (Ph.D.) Program Details

Degree Requirements

    ❱   Required coursework
    ❱   Qualifying or comprehensive examination
    ❱   Graduate School writing proficiency requirement
    ❱   Graduate School Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement
    ❱   Dissertation  
    ❱   Final oral examination/Dissertation defense 

Breadth and Minor Areas

   ❱  Developmental Psychology
   ❱  Personality Psychology
   ❱  Neuropsychology

Research Areas & Interests 

Faculty Research Interests

 A sampling of research interests

  • Mechanisms underlying evaluative judgments, including both meta-cognitive and automatic processes
  • Investigations of meta-cognitive processes underlying certainty judgments
  • Stereotype traits unique to the ingroup
  • Racial identity tailoring in advertising 
  • Information-processing models of decision-making, social cognition, and personality
  • Political media impacts on attitude change and decision-making
  • Attribution, social judgment, and mechanisms underlying sociability
  • Violent media impacts related to judgment
  • Group success influences on self and group identity
  • Causes and consequences of Stereotype Threat’s detrimental effects on stereotyped group members’ performance
  • Social biases in judgments of justice across cultural groups
  • Social cognition and its interactions with affect/arousal
  • Neural mechanisms involved in social behavior regulation
  • Social and personal trait relationships to mental health
  • Ostracism and social exclusion

Faculty Areas of Specialty

Dr. Jamie Barden examines mechanisms underlying evaluative judgments, including both meta-cognitive and automatic processes. A second theme of his research is the consequences of placing the self and others into social categories (race, gender, sexual orientation). The bulk of his research reflects the intersection of these two themes. Current projects in the lab include investigating meta-cognitive processes underlying certainty judgments (including the role of accessibility and certainty in standardized test performance), stereotype traits that are unique to the ingroup, and racial identity tailoring in advertising.

Dr. Angela P. Cole Dixon investigates information-processing models of decision-making, social cognition, and personality, and has resulted in publications in Health PsychologyLaw and Human Behavior; Brain, Behavior and Immunity; Basic and Applied Social PsychologyArchives of Clinical Neuropsychology; and African American Research Perspectives. She has received external funding from the National Science Foundation, the American Psychological Association, and the Department of Homeland Security.  She is a member of the APA Psychology Summer Institute Selection Committee. 

Dr. Lloyd Ren Sloan examines political media impacts on attitude change and decision-making, attribution, social judgment, and mechanisms underlying human and animal sociability. Additionally, his research has explored group success (especially in sports) influences on affect as well as self and group identity. His enduring interest in the attractions of, and identity impacts of, sports for fans led to exciting research both at Notre Dame and in his current position at Howard University. Dr. Sloan’s other key research interests include the causes and consequences of Stereotype Threat’s detrimental effects on stereotyped group members' performance, stereotypes and evaluations of persons belonging to multiple categories, ostracism and social exclusion, social and personal trait relationships to health and mental health, social cognition and its interactions with affect/arousal, time orientation influences on behavior, social biases in judgments of justice across cultural groups.

Program of Study* 


PSYC 203: First-Year Research I

PSYC 219: First-Year Research II

PSYC 207: Statistics I

PSYC 208: Statistics II

PSYC 206: History & Systems

PSYC 205: General Research Methods

PSYC 222: Social Psychology of the Individual

PSYC 226: The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations

PSYC 227: Research Methods in Social Psychology

PSYC 238: Attitudes & Social Cognition

Group Dynamics

Intergroup Relations


Select three breadth courses (9 credits).  One breadth area course should be taken in each of the other Psych tracks.

Select three minor area courses (9 credits). One minor area course should be taken in each of the other Psych tracks.


Seminar in Social Psychology


*Courses included in the sample program of study are subject to change. Students should consult with their programs regarding their required program of study. 

Admission to Candidacy 

Students are admitted to formal candidacy by the Graduate School when they have completed the required coursework, passed the qualifying or comprehensive examination, submitted an approved topic for research, and been recommended by the Department. Candidates must also have satisfied the Graduate School writing proficiency requirement and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement.

Graduate Funding 

Admitted students may be eligible to compete for Graduate School competitive awards, which provide tuition remission and a stipend during the academic year. Additionally, graduate research or teaching assistantships may be available at the department level. Research assistants and teaching assistants work no more than 20 hours a week under the program's direction, usually in support of faculty research (research assistants) or in support of assigned courses (teaching assistants). Please see the Funding website for more detailed information.