Social psychology, as an academic and a scientific endeavor, seeks to describe, understand, and enable change of social behavior and social processes. Our goal is to improve lives through our teaching and research, advance opportunities for our students and faculty, and ultimately contribute to a more free, just, and equitable society for all. In so doing, social psychology is dependent on a diversity of perspectives and experiences. We are committed to including students and faculty of all different backgrounds, especially members of groups whose perspectives have been underrepresented and marginalized in the social sciences. We actively oppose racism, discrimination, and prejudice of all kinds on campus and society at large—these injustices threaten social psychology as an empirical science and are incompatible with our goals.
We take a hard look at ourselves.
- We recruit widely from different backgrounds, different regions and different Master’s and undergraduate institutions across the U.S. and abroad;
- We monitor applications to the program to make sure that we reach a diverse set of individuals and groups;
- We ensure fairness in our admissions process (e.g., by including a student representative on our admission committee);
- We monitor student progression and success to ensure equity and fairness;
- We make sure that funding decisions are made equitably, and in a way that benefits all students equally, and ensures timely completion of the program.
We conduct research on various dimensions of diversity.
- Bill Evans’ research on historical trauma in Native American youth;
- Colleen Murray’s research on disenfranchised grief;
- Deborah Davis’ research on legal aspects of gender violence;
- Emily Berthelot’s research on the minority perspective in police use of force;
- Mariah Evans’ research on income inequality;
- Markus Kemmelmeier’s research on skin tone biases;
- Marta Elliott’s research on mental health disparities by gender, race, sexual orientation, and other axes of social inequality;
- Paul Devereux’s research on cultural identity and well-being;
- Shawn Marsh’s research on implicit bias in the courts.
(See websites of social psychology faculty for additional examples).
We are involved in programs in our community.
- Monica Miller’s literacy intervention program to support disadvantaged children’s literacy skills, as proficiency in literacy has been identified as a critical risk factor for criminality.
- Dan Weigel’s applied interventions and evaluation to strengthen disadvantaged family engagement toward strengthening young children’s literacy skills, foundational STEM skills, and health and wellness.
- On campus, several program faculty teach undergraduate courses that fulfill the university’s core requirement (for undergraduates) of CO10 Diversity & Inclusion.
- Our students have partnered with various community organizations. For example, for Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Northern Nevada they have served as mentors to children and adolescents.
We encourage our students to act and engage.
- Participate in events of The Center, a critical hub of cultural, LGBTQIA, gender-focused services, programs, and social justice initiatives
- Join various campus clubs and programs that bring together people of similar backgrounds. Examples are
- Japanese Student Association
- South Asian Student Association
- African Diaspora
- Pride (LGBTQIA+) Program
- Earn a Social Justice Certificate via the School of Social Research and Justice Studies. Various courses taught as part of this degree, including SRJS 720 "Social Justice Colloquium" may count toward the social psychology Ph.D. via the “flex-credit” option offered as part of the social psychology curriculum.