Graduate Focus Area

Applied Social Psychology

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Area Description

Students in the Applied Social Psychology area study social psychological understandings of the self, interpersonal relations, intergroup relations, and social cognition.  These theoretical foundations in core social psychological theories and processes serve as a basis that guides their integrative applied research. We follow a full-cycle social psychology model with basic research informing applied social problems.


Core Faculty

  • Tessa Dover, Ph.D.
    • Focus: Stigma, inequality, and health; diversity initiatives; psychophysiological methods
  • Kimberly Kahn, Ph.D.
    • Focus: Stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination, experimental methods
  • Eric Mankowski, Ph.D.
    • Focus: Intimate partner violence and masculinity, efficacy of male self-help and support groups, qualitative research methods
  • Cynthia Mohr, Ph.D.
    • Focus: Social relationships and health, daily process methods

Please contact the individual faculty member you are interested in working with for area-specific questions. If you have more general questions about the area, reach out to the area representative, Tessa Dover, at


University Partners: Criminology and Criminal Justice, Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium, Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Sociology, College of Urban and Public Affairs

Community Partners: Oregon Department of Justice, Oregon Nurse’s Association, Sexual Assault Resource Center, Emanual Hospital’s CARES Program, Oregon Department of Human Services, Multnomah County Department of Community Justice, Tri-County Batterer Intervention Providers Association,  Portland Police Bureau, Oregon Healthy Workforce Center, Oregon National Guard

National and International Partners: Center for Policing Equity, US Army Medical Research Directorate-West, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, University of Exeter, Lisbon University Institute, University of Washington, UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Francisco, University of British Columbia, Stanford University, Oregon Health & Science University, Dalhousie University, Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Problems, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, American Psychological Association, University of Maryland Baltimore County, ManKind Project.


Our curriculum was developed to provide students with strong theoretical and methodological perspectives. In particular, the purpose of our substantive courses is to examine contemporary social issues, as they occur in their varied social contexts, while considering the appropriateness and relevance of social psychological theory. We consider theoretical approaches from a multilevel perspective, incorporating theory related to self (intrapersonal), interpersonal relationships, intergroup relationships and phenomena. We simultaneously highlight successful examples of applied psychology in health, environment, organizations, and legal and criminal justice systems, to name a few. Integrative to our coursework is an appreciation and thoughtful engagement of diversity.

Core Applied Social Psychology Courses

  • PSY 514/614 Advanced Applied Social Psychology
  • PSY 510/610 Intergroup Relations and Diversity
  • PSY 510/610 Interpersonal Relations
  • PSY 510/610 Stigma & Health
  • PSY 510/610 Implicit Social Cognition Methods
  • PSY 510/610 Psychophysiological Methods

Where Our Alumni Go

Students who earned their Ph.D. in Applied Social Psychology work in diverse settings as academic faculty and in applied research settings. Past placements have included: CSU Long Beach, Western Oregon University, Gonzaga University, Oregon Health & Sciences University, Centers for Disease Control, US Army Medical Research Directorate-West, WestEd Heath & Justice Program, RMC Research Corporation, Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Oregon Department of Corrections, NPC Research, Department of Human Services, Amazon, and Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.