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 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.


James W. Grice, Ph.D.
James W. Grice, Ph.D.
University of New Mexico
Social-Personality Track. Observation Oriented Modeling, Quantitative Methods, Personality Theory, Psychology of Religion, and Idiographic Assessment of Personality. Recent publications appear in Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, Psychological Methods, Multivariate Behavioral Research, and the Journal of Personality.
Shelia M. Kennison, Ph.D.
Shelia M. Kennison, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Cognitive science with a broad focus including topics in cognition related the communication and social processes, especially those involving bilingualism and trilingualism.  New research focuses on biological basis of behavior, especially involved in risk-taking in children and adults.
Jaimie Arona Krems, Ph.D.
Jaimie Arona Krems, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Arizona State University
 Social-Personality Track. Friendship; Female social psychology and behavior (cooperation, competition); Stereotyping and prejudice (e.g., fat stigma). Recent publications appear in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, and Evolution & Human Behavior. 

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

Required Courses:

PSYC 5813 – Lifespan Cognitive Development

PSYC 5913 – Lifespan Social Development

PSYC 6913 – Multilevel Modeling in Psychology

Recommended Track Courses:

PSYC 4333 - Personality

PSYC 6563 - Advanced Social Psychology

PSYC 6130 - Ethnic and Cultural Diversity

  • 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