Areas of Study

The Psychology Department at UC Riverside is home to an active and award-winning faculty. For graduate training, the faculty are grouped into four areas, although there is much interdisciplinary work. The four areas are Cognitive, Developmental, Social/Personality, and Systems Neuroscience. There is also cross-cutting and interdisciplinary study in Quantitative psychology and in Health Psychology.

Undergraduates are also welcome to work in research. The Psychology department has a long tradition of commitment to diversity in its research and in its personnel, and women and diverse ethnicities are represented at all levels of the faculty and students.
The best way to learn about the research going on in the UCR Psychology Department is to visit the homepages of the faculty and current graduate students. Many faculty homepages have further links to psychological research laboratories at UCR. To learn more about each faculty member and his or her research, click on the name of the relevant faculty member.

Cognitive Psychology

The program in Cognitive Psychology offers research training and course work in the following areas: visual and auditory perception, speech, language, and communication, categorization, memory, spatial cognition, cerebral lateralization, and mathematical/computational modeling of cognitive processes. Training is also available in cognitive development, neuroscience, computational vision, and the philosophy of mind, via collaboration with faculty in other areas/departments.

The Cognitive area has a weekly meeting, called Proseminar on Current Research in Cognitive Psychology (Cognitive Lunch), where current research in the area is presented. Cognitive lunch is held every Wednesday at 12:00 noon. The primary cognitive faculty are Professors John Andersen, Ilana Bennett, Curt Burgess, Christine Chiarello, Steven Clark, Judith F. Kroll, David Rosenbaum, Lawrence Rosenblum, Aaron Seitz, and Weiwei Zhang. Affiliated faculty are Professors John Franchak and Rachel Wu. For further information about graduate study towards the Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology, go to Graduate Study.

Developmental Psychology

The program in Developmental Psychology focuses on individual's development in various social contexts - families, peers, school, and culture. Emphasis is on longitudinal approaches and analyses of change and continuity across development.

The Developmental Area has a weekly meeting, called Proseminar on Current Research in Developmental Psychology (Developmental Brown Bag), where current research in the area is presented. Developmental Brown Bag is held every Monday at 12:00 noon.

The primary developmental faculty are Professors Cecilia Cheung, Elizabeth Davis, Mary Gauvain, John Franchak, Kalina Michalska, Misaki Natsuaki, Ross Parke (Professor Emeritus), Chandra Reynolds, Rebekah Richert, Rachel Wu, Tuppett Yates. For further information about graduate study towards the Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology go to Graduate Study.

Social/Personality Psychology

The Social/Personality psychology area at UCR joins personality, individual differences, social relations, and socio-cultural investigations into a nationally prominent program of research and graduate education. For the study of social perception, social cognition, well-being, nonverbal communication, emotional regulation and expression, and attribution processes, there are audio-visual laboratories and observation rooms. For the study of group interaction, there are laboratories for the study of small groups and group communication. In personality psychology, faculty have expertise and active research programs in personality, assessment, and relationships between personality and social behavior. Specific areas of research emphasized include psychometrics, the accuracy of personality judgments in daily life, personality and emotion, personality and culture, and the relationship between personality and health (see Health Psychology). In well-being science, faculty are investigating promotion of happiness and strengths, well-being measurement, redemptive life stories, self-serving biases, and coping, health, and well-being. Outside the laboratory, faculty and student research has been conducted in Riverside city classrooms, in local hospitals and clinics, in other countries, in California businesses, and in assorted community settings. There are also ties to the system-wide Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and to UCR's new Medical School.

The Social/Personality area has a weekly meeting, called Proseminar on Current Research in Social/Personality Psychology (Social-Personality Brown Bag), where current research in the area is presented. This is held every Thursday at 12:00 noon.

The primary social/personality faculty are Professors Jimmy Calanchini, William Dunlop, Howard Friedman, David Funder, Brent Hughes, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Carolyn Murray, Dan Ozer, Megan Robbins, Robert Rosenthal, Kate Sweeny, and Thomas Sy. Other psychology faculty members who conduct related research and/or supervise social/personality students are Steven Clark and Chandra Reynolds. Affiliated faculty is professor Steven Clark. For further information about graduate study towards the Ph.D. in Social-Personality Psychology go to Graduate Study.

Systems Neuroscience

The Systems Neuroscience area within the Department of Psychology provides a unique environment where scientists studying how the brain functions on a biological level interact with those studying the psychological level. Through an emphasis on cutting-edge research combined with a variety of classes our students gain the skills and knowledge necessary to perform research at the highest levels . Graduate students in the Systems Neuroscience area also participate in the University-wide Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, giving access to faculty and students who focus on primarily cellular and molecular questions. These interactions provide the student with a broad understanding of neural function, both at the academic and research level, and help the student explore the central questions in the field of brain research today: the integration of mechanisms ranging through the cellular and molecular levels to those of mind.

The Systems Neuroscience area also has a weekly meeting, called Proseminar on Current Research in Neuroscience (Neuro Brown Bag), where current research in the area is presented. Neuro Brown Bag is held every Friday at 12:00 noon.

The primary systems neuroscience faculty are Professors Peter Hickmott, Kelly Huffman, Edward Korzus, Khaleel Razak, Glenn Stanley, and Edward Zagha. For further information about graduate study towards the Ph.D. in Neuroscience, go to Graduate Study.

Health and Well-being Psychology

UC Riverside is actively providing interdisciplinary training in Health Psychology and the Psychology of Well-being. The emphasis is on such issues as health communication, emotion regulation, personality and disease, social support, happiness and well-being, health promotion, and healthy development and healthy aging. The basic training is in social and personality psychology, or in developmental psychology, with breadth as needed in related fields, and in-depth training in specific health issues. The student is thus able to work in such areas as conducting original psychological research in coping and health maintenance, evaluating health care, ethnicity and health, developing health and well-being promotion efforts, or consulting with health care professionals and organizations on thriving and health.

Faculty with interests relevant to health psychology include Professors Elizabeth Davis, William Dunlop, Howard Friedman, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Sara Mednick, Misaki Natsuaki, Chandra Reynolds, Megan Robbins, Robert Rosenthal, Kate Sweeny, and Tuppett Yates.

Quantitative Psychology

Psychology graduate students in any of the core areas of psychology may choose also to satisfy requirements for a minor in Quantitative Psychology. The requirements include additional courses and seminars in topical areas (e.g., multivariate statistics, latent variable models), and a research project in the student's area of interest. See the Graduate Handbook for details.

Faculty with interests in quantitative methods include: David Funder, Daniel Ozer, Chandra Reynolds, and Robert Rosenthal.