Oklahoma State University


An emphasis in social-personality psychology was first introduced to Oklahoma State University in 1967 by Mark MacNeil, a student of the esteemed social psychologist Muzafer Sherif. Social-personality psychology is the scientific study of the how people think, behave, and feel about themselves and others. Social-personality psychologists examine how the social situation and the individual’s personality interact to influence a wide range of topics, including prejudice, motivation, aggression, conformity, group behavior, and social perception. The principal aim of graduate training in the social-personality psychology track is to develop a strong theoretical and research competence in the field; the ultimate goal is to prepare students for productive careers in research and/or teaching. Graduate students in the social-personality psychology track work in a close mentoring relationship with a social-personality psychology faculty member. Current research by faculty members in the social-personality psychology track includes work in self and identity, motivation, self-regulation, prejudice and stereotyping, persuasion, social cognition, personality assessment, and mortality salience.


Numerous students have earned doctoral degrees from our program.  These students have chosen academic careers in colleges and universities throughout the United States (e.g., Kansas State University, University of Central Arkansas), have arranged post-doctoral training (e.g., University of Maryland), or have worked for the government or private industry as research consultants.


Edward Burkley, Ph.D., University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (2006),

Associate Professor – Self and identity, motivation, goals, self-regulation, self-control

Self-Regulation Laboratory


Melissa Burkley, Ph.D., University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (2006),

Associate Professor – Stereotypes and prejudice, stigma, implicit attitudes, gender differences, social cognition

Social Cognition Laboratory


James W. Grice, Ph.D., University of New Mexico (1995),

Professor – Personality assessment, idiographic measurement, multivariate statistical models

Personality Research Lab


Shelia M. Kennison, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1995),

Professor – Social and cognitive topics, stereotype information in language comprehension, mortality salience

Cognitive Science Laboratory


Aaron Lukaszewski, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara (2010)

Assistant Professor -- Evolutionary and ontogenetic origins of personality and individual differences,
evolved psychology of hierarchy negotiation, self-evaluation via social comparison, social endocrinology
Laboratory Website

Affiliated Faculty:

Robert Baron, Ph.D., University of Iowa (1968),

Professor, Chair in Entrepreneurship - Cognitive and social factors in entrepreneurship, bridging of psychology and entrepreneurship


John M. Chaney, Ph.D., Psychology Department, Clinical Program

Professor – Native American stereotypes and sports mascots, implicit racial bias


Stephanie N. Mullins-Sweatt, Ph.D., University of Kentucky (2009),

Assistant Professor - Conceptualization of personality disorders using general personality models, clinical applications of personality models

Recommended Track Courses:

PSYC 4333 - Personality

PSYC 6563 - Advanced Social Psychology

PSYC 5913 - Lifespan Social Development

PSYC 6130 - Ethnic and Cultural Diversity

PSYC 6393 - Language Development

HDFS 6553 - Marital and Couple Relations 

  • The cognitivecomparative-neurobiologydevelopmental and social-personality tracks are all housed under the general Experimental Psychology program. Our program adopts the perspective that psychology is a very broad and dynamic discipline. The central focus of psychology is on the understanding, prediction, and enhancement of individual behavior, from a variety of perspectives. These perspectives can range from cognitive neuroscience; to the biological and physiological bases of behavior; to behavior in social environments; to the assessment of individual differences in personality; to the developmental changes that impact behavior; to the quantitative modeling of individual performance. To accommodate this broad spectrum, our program examines the biological, cognitive, developmental, social, and personality factors that affect behavior.


  • When applying to the Experimental Psychology program, each potential graduate student applies directly to one of these four tracks, depending on their interests and career goals. In general, students will be “housed” in a particular track and within a particular laboratory, but it is also possible to collaborate with faculty and students in other tracks or laboratories, especially during the later years of graduate training.


  • To learn more about the Experimental Psychology Program and its associated tracks, please click here.


  • For more information about the Experimental Psychology Program and its tracks, contact the program director Dr. Jennifer Byrd-Craven at jennifer.byrd.craven@okstate.edu.