Social Psychology

Area Faculty


Lara Aknin
Yuthika Girme
Michael Schmitt
Stephen Wright

Associate Faculty

Rebecca Cobb
David Cox
Russell Day



How do the social worlds in which we live – from our closest personal relationships, to the small groups and broader communities to which we belong – define who we are, shape our beliefs and values, affect our well-being, and determine how we behave? In turn, how do our responses to the social environment shape the social environment itself? These are the broad questions that are the focus of social psychology.

Social psychology at SFU emphasizes questions of practical and theoretical importance. Faculty in the social area at SFU demonstrate that a rigorous social science can engage questions of basic human processes while also providing insights relevant to the society in which we live. Our research uses a variety of methods, including experimental, observational, correlational, longitudinal and qualitative approaches, in laboratory and field settings.  The social psychology area cultivates a cooperative and supportive research environment, and faculty regularly engage in collaborative research.

The social psychology area at Simon Fraser University conducts research on the following topics:

·         Collective identity and intergroup relations

·         Prejudice and discrimination, intergroup contact, and collective action

·         Adjustment and functioning in intimate relationships

·         Altruism, prosocial behavior, and social support

·         Happiness, well-being

·         Pro-environmental attitudes and behaviour

Social Psychology Research Labs:

·         Intergroup Relations and Social Justice Lab (Dr. Stephen Wright)

·         Helping and Happiness Lab (Dr. Lara Aknin)

·         Self in Social Context Lab (Dr. Michael T. Schmitt)

·         Supporting Relationships and Wellbeing Lab (Dr. Yuthika Girme)

For more information on applying to SFU to pursue a graduate degree in Social Psychology, see Graduate Studies Application Information, and degree requirements and course requirements.