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One of the core insights of social psychology is that human thought and behavior are shaped by the social context. In Waterloo's social psychology program we put that insight into practice by creating a collaborative context that has succeeded in producing innovative experimental research since the program's inception. The work of Richard Walters, Melvin Lerner, Michael Ross, John Holmes, and Mark Zanna, and Ziva Kunda established Waterloo's reputation as an international leader in social psychology. Currently, Waterloo is ranked among the top programs in North America, with an excellent track record of job placements in academia and non-academic research institutions. Waterloo graduates are the top Canadian contributors to scholarship in the field of Social Psychology.
Social Psychology at Waterloo is guided by the specific research interests of the faculty. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to develop their own research interests. At the present time, faculty and students are engaged in studies of attitudes and attitude change, cultural psychology, emotion and self-regulation, motivation, health psychology, intergroup conflicts, interpersonal and close relations, prejudice and stereotyping, social comparison, and wisdom.
During their PhD training students acquire broad knowledge of the major trends and theories in Social Psychology, and a thorough understanding of its context and methods. The major objective of the program is to train scholars who understand the strategies and techniques underlying research, with special emphasis placed on using research methods to investigate important social problems. Through a close working association with multiple faculty in the program, students achieve mastery of the theories and research methods relevant to their special interest areas.