Department of Psychology strengthens Social Psychology focus

August 29, 2016

The Department of Psychology at Western University is bringing together professors to strengthen the areas of psychology focused on human social behaviour.

The new Social, Social Development and Personality Psychology cluster merges existing research strengths. Bringing together smaller groups will allow researchers to work closely and build on what others in the group are doing.

“This new cluster makes sense as we all look at how people are influencing each other and how they interact in society,” said Victoria Esses, Chair of Social Psychology. “We also look at individual differences and how they moderate the effects of social situations.”

The Department is also increasing the number of faculty working in the area. The Social Psychology group was a large research cluster with seven active researchers, but this decreased due to retirements and staff changes.

A new faculty member, Rachel Calogero, will be joining the Department soon. Calogero is coming from the University of Kent. Her research focuses on system justification and social change, and gender, class and inequality. She is interested in why people accept and support social systems that may not be optimal for them.

The Department has also posted for two additional faculty members in Social Psychology, and one position to bridge between this area and the Industrial/Organizational area.

“Western is known for research in Social Psychology,” said Esses, “The low numbers of faculty we have experienced lately impact the area’s ability to mentor students and to support a vibrant research area. Bringing young active people in will help revitalize our national and international reputation.”