Much of our work starts off with college students participating in a tightly controlled laboratory experiment but then moves on to consider the complexity of the phenomenon by concentrating on other populations in real-world contexts. As such, our subprogram prepares students for careers in academia, as well as for careers in more applied settings.
Our subprogram consists of faculty members who emphasize theoretically-driven, socially relevant research with a focus on stigma, coping, intergroup processes, and the self and others. We make every effort to include in our studies participants from non-traditional populations and we make use of a wide range of methodological techniques.
The social psychology subprogram offers students core foundational studies in social psychology and specific expertise in the areas identified above. Students take a combination of foundational courses and graduate seminars and gather bi-weekly with the social faculty in a "cluster" meeting. During these meetings we generally present or propose research studies, discuss cutting edge publications, and offer specific trainings on topics of relevance to the profession (for example, grant-writing, reviewing manuscript submissions).
Some of the most important training our students receive occurs outside of the classroom in the context of conducting research. Students generally identify a faculty member with research interests that dovetail nicely with their own, and work closely with that faculty mentor following an apprenticeship model. Students' research training is frequently enhanced by serving as research assistants on funded projects. At some point during their time at UVM, many students also choose to collaborate with other faculty members within the subprogram as well as within other areas of psychology.