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Cognitive + Social Psych in Harvard and Princeton


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I will be a Sociology grad student this Fall 2010, and part of my research interest involves looking at how social networks could give rise to cognitive bias. I don't have a firm background in social psychology or cognition, and would probably have to sit in classes in the Psychology dept to "learn the ropes". In the long run, I hope to be able to work together with the researchers and faculty in both Sociology and Psychology departments.

As with all disciplines, I imagine there are intra and inter-disciplinary camps and factions. I'm interested in Harvard and Princeton's psychology department in particular. Is it possible to characterise Harvard and Princeton's psychology program in a sentence? Where do they stand in the subfields of social psychology and cognition respectively, relative to other universities that have a reputation in these fields? What are the most interesting findings in social psychology and cognition in either university (e.g. Princeton's face evaluation work in their Social Cognition and Social Neuroscience lab)? Does the faculty in Harvard and Princeton have very specific orientations (e.g. Johnson-Laird's mental models) that might possibly define the program's approach, or are they more eclectic? Would the faculty in either university be amenable to a sociologist learning from them, using their data with permission, and perhaps even working with them (or with their grad students)?

Any comments at all would be appreciated. Thanks!

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As an applicant to both programs, my impression is that both programs (in terms of Social Psych) are fairly eclectic. It does seem to me that Princeton does have a disproportionate number of people working in prejudice, intergroup relations, stereotypes, etc. Regardless, you should read the faculty bios of both institutions and decide which would be more in sync with what you're looking to investigate.

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