The Program

The Social, Decision, and Organizational Sciences (SDOS) Program brings together the subspecialties of Social Psychology, Decision Sciences, and Industrial and Organizational Psychology. The goal of our graduate training is twofold: (a) to enable students to acquire ‘multilingual’ skills in the scientific approaches and methods of these three sub-disciplines of psychology, (b) to acquire an in-depth expertise in one (or more) of these areas. Our program is based on the belief that exposure and familiarity with these three, naturally intersecting, domains will augment our graduates’ ability to carry out problem-focused research that crosses area boundaries and that is of increasing relevance in the social and behavioral sciences. The following is a brief description of the three component areas of SDOS, and their main research foci:

Social Psychology. Social psychologists examine behavior, thoughts, and feelings as they relate to social situations. Topics includes social cognition, attitudes, goal systems, attributions, stereotypes, person memory, dyadic and group interactions, social influence, group decision making, relationships, prosocial behavior, terrorism, and shared knowledge.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Industrial-Organizational psychologists examine people as they interact in organizations and structured groups. Topics include leadership in organizations, teams, social networks, negotiation and conflict, diversity, work motivation, judgments of fairness in organizations, organizational climate and culture, employee selection and training, and measurement of behavior in organizations.

Judgment and Decision Making. Decision scientists examine the basic processes involved in judgment and choice utilizing a combination of experimental and quantitative modeling techniques. Topics include economic decision making, advice taking, assessments of risk, group decision making, heuristic processes, overconfidence, probability judgment, hypothesis generation, and hypothesis testing, and the cognitive and personality variables affecting these phenomena.

Students trained in SDOS are exposed to a wide variety of research methods and analytic tools, including laboratory experiments, field research, mathematical modeling, hierarchical linear modeling, longitudinal modeling, and cross-cultural methodologies.