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Applied Social and Developmental Psychology

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Applied Social and Developmental Psychology

graphic of two human heads facing eachother

The Applied Social and Developmental Psychology PhD program focuses on research training related to basic affective, cognitive, cultural, and biological processes underlying complex social phenomena, and the development of these processes across the lifespan. Graduate training in the Applied Social and Developmental Psychology program is designed to prepare students for careers in academic research and teaching, and graduates of the program are also well prepared for applied positions in government and industry.

Program FacultyLara Mayeux (Program Coordinator)Adrienne Carter-Sowell, Mauricio Carvallo (Program Coordinator)Nicole Campbell, Charlie Rioux and Michael Sladek.

Graduate Students: Asser Salem, Hannah Baskin, Ranyu Bo, Tammy Chen, William Curth, Mike Doerge, Destiny Gayle, Menglin He, and Brett Keenan

Faculty members in the Applied Social and Developmental Psychology program have interests spanning such questions as:

  • How does the activation of stereotypes guide our perceptions and impression of minority group members? What are the antecedents and consequences of experiencing discrimination? 
  • How does the cultural ideology of honor influence violence, relationships, psychological health, lifespan development, ethical behavior, group dynamics, and economic decisions? 
  • How do popular and socially well-connected youth achieve high status, and how do they use their social power to further their own social goals? 
  • How do friendships and peer relationships buffer LGBTQ+ youth from the risks associated with family rejection and other stressors? 
  • How do sociocultural contexts shape adolescent stress, health, and identity?  
  • How do family, school, and community assets buffer youth from the adverse effects of stress and promote health and positive identity development?  
  • How can we learn from and partner with youth, families, and community leaders to inform interventions that disrupt the status quo of societal inequities in education and health? 
  • How do individual and environmental factors interact to predict mental health across developmental periods?

Research in the Applied Social and Developmental Psychology program takes place in a variety of settings, including laboratories equipped with two-way mirrors; computer terminals for capturing reaction times and high-quality video display; and space for small group interactions. The Department and the University offer access to the Department’s research participant pool and licensed software for data analysis and online data collection platforms.  In addition, some of our research takes place in the field, outside of the laboratory, including with the university at large and in partnership with local schools. Finally, our research also includes the analysis of archival and cohort data from government and international sources.