image of Social  Psychology lab

Faculty and students in the Social Area work on a range of research questions such as how do peers influence teen decisions? Or how does the cerebellum modulate the cortex to give rise to complex social behavior? Many of our  faculty collaborate with researchers in the department as well as researchers in other departments across the university including Computer Science and Business.

A list of Social Psychology faculty is given below. Faculty research areas can be subdivided into two clusters based on methodology: 

  1. Social Psychology (focus on behavioral paradigms)

  2. Social and Affective Cognitive Neuroscience (includes using fMRI, non-invasive brain stimulation, and EEG)

Some Social faculty are also part of the Cognition & Neuroscience Area or the Developmental Area. Prospective applicants are encouraged to explore faculty web pages to get a closer look at the research topics that are currently being investigated. A strong fit between an applicant’s research interests and those of a specific faculty member is a very important aspect of the admissions process.

For further information or questions concerning the Doctoral Program in Social Psychology, contact Dr. Hongling Xi at

Social Psychology Faculty

  • Donald Hantula, PhD - Dr. Hantula's current research projects focus on: Neurodiversity and technology at work, Human-Robot Interaction, and Behavioral Economics. Accepting social psychology students for 2024
  • Andrew Karpinski, PhD - Not accepting social psychology students for 2024
  • Hongling Xie - Dr. Xie’s Peer Social Networks lab studies adolescents’ peer relationships, including bullying, victimization, popularity, cross-race friendships, and social media engagement. - Accepting social psychology students for 2024

Social and Affective Cognitive Neuroscience Faculty

  • Jason Chein: Does research on social media use and how it affects adolescent brain and behavior - Accepting students for 2024
  • Chelsea Helion, PhD - Accepting social psychology students for 2024
  • Johanna Jarcho, PhD – Accepting social psychology students for 2024
  • Vishnu (Deepu) Murty, PhD: Dr. Murty does research on how motivation and  emotion influence memory in service of adaptive behaviors (i.e., decision-making, social communication). - Not accepting social psychology students for 2023
  • Ingrid Olson, PhD: Dr. Olson does research on theory of mind, and social-affective functions of the cerebellum. - Accepting social psychology students for 2024
  • David Smith, PhD:  Dr. Smith does research on reward processing and how it contributes to maladaptive social and economic decisions. - Accepting social psychology students for 2024

For information on how to apply to the Social Psychology program, please visit the Psychology Graduate Bulletin.