Social Psychology Research
Social psychologists at USC conduct research on four broad topics.
Social Cognition. Research on social cognition strives to understand the cognitive processes that underlie social behavior. This work includes specific topics such as causal reasoning, person perception, and attribution (Steve Read, Jesse Graham), cognitive dissonance and attitude change (Norman Miller, Steve Read, Wendy Wood), social categorization and stereotyping (Norman Miller, Steve Read, Wendy Wood), legal, moral and everyday decision making (Dan Simon, Steve Read, Lynn Miller, John Monterosso, Jesse Graham), cultural differences in reasoning about people and groups (Steve Read, Wendy Wood, Jesse Graham), and automaticity in behavior (Jesse Graham, David Neal, Wendy Wood).
Motivation and Emotion. Motivation and emotional processes play an important role in social behavior. Research on motivation and emotion conducted by social psychologists at USC includes work on anger and aggression (Norman Miller), self-regulation (John Monterosso, David Neal, Wendy Wood), motivational structures of ideological and moral convictions (Jesse Graham), group memberships such as gender as a basis for identity and motivation (Norman Miller, Wendy Wood, Jesse Graham), and developing computer models of personality, motivation and affective processes (Steve Read, Lynn Miller).
Interpersonal Relationships. Social relationships between individuals form the basis for much social behavior. Understanding the psychological bases of interpersonal behavior is a major goal of social psychologists. Specific areas of research on interpersonal relationships at USC include work on attraction and attachment in romantic relationships (Lynn Miller, Steve Read), relational correlates of political orientations (Jesse Graham), and decision-making and interpersonal negotiation in risky sexual behavior (Lynn Miller, Steve Read).
Intergroup Relations. Groups are centrally important for regulating human behavior, and relations between human groups are often antagonistic. Researchers at USC are investigating the cognitive and affective mechanisms that underlie affiliation with antisocial groups such as urban street gangs (Karen Hennigan), political and religious ideologies as they affect intergroup behavior (Jesse Graham, Wendy Wood), aggression between groups (Norman Miller, Karen Hennigan, Jesse Graham), and ways to reduce prejudice through intergroup friendships, contact, and cross-group identification (Norman Miller, Wendy Wood).
- Department of Psychology
- University of Southern California
- SGM 501
- 3620 South McClintock Ave.
- Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061
- Phone: (213) 740 - 2203
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org