Students and faculty associated with the Personality & Social Contexts Area share the facilities of all the diverse research institutes on campus, such as the Institute for Social Research, the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, and the Mental Health Research Institute.
The Research Center for Group Dynamics (RCGD), originally founded by Kurt Lewin, is housed within the Institute for Social Research (ISR). Research programs within RCGD address issues of aggression, cognitive aging, culture, race, and self. RCGD also offers a summer school in psychological methodology that attracts instructors and participants from national and international universities.
ISR also houses the nation's leading academic center for survey research, the Survey Research Center (SRC), as well as the largest archive of survey data, ICPSR. Both institutions provide psychologists with outstanding opportunities to leave the laboratory and acquire skills in survey research. Other programs address adolescent development, economic behavior, the ethnography of everyday life, health and well-being, prevention research, and aging. Many students participate in the SRC and ICPSR summer training programs. To facilitate the involvement of graduate students in SRC research programs, SRC offers a number of graduate student fellowships, for which students can be nominated by their department.
The Institute for Research on Women and Gender provides stimulation, coordination and support for research on women and gender at the University of Michigan. The Institute encourages and facilitates activities that link research in Women's Studies, disciplinary department, interdisciplinary programs and the professional schools.
The International Institute offers many resources that are of interest to culture research. It includes centers for Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, as well as other regional programs.
The Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship is an exciting new movement in organizational studies that draws on path-breaking work in the organizational and social sciences. It focuses on the dynamics that lead to developing human strength, producing resilience and restoration, fostering vitality, and cultivating extraordinary individuals, units and organizations.
Interdisciplinary Training Programs
The Culture and Cognition Program is completing its sixth year as a Rackham Certificate granting unit. The program is jointly supported by Anthropology, Psychology, and the Institute for Social Research. The central mission of the program is to create and maintain an inter-disciplinary intellectual environment favorable to the exploration of the cultural context of human mental life and the mental foundations of culture.
Surrvey methodology, the science of how to improve the quality of what we can learn through surveys, is recognized as both a scientific field and a professional practice. The field blends study of human behaviors (e.g., judgments and choice; interpersonal attribution) capable of producing errors in data with statistical methods that draw scientific inferences.
The University of Michigan launched MS and PhD, as well as Certificate, degree programs in survey methodology in Fall 2002. These degree programs are administered by an interdepartmental program, the Program in Survey Methodology. The Program draws faculty and courses from social, behavioral, and statistical science departments across the University. The Program is located at the Institute for Social Research, the world's largest university-based center for social science research.
The Ph.D. program in Social Work and Psychology was one of the original programs in 1957. Psychology's link with social work has traditionally been strong and is most evident in the contributions psychology has made to social work theory in the areas of individual, group and family treatment. Less obvious, but no less important, is psychological knowledge that can be applied to more macro level issues in social work having to do with human service delivery in particular and social welfare policy and planning in general.
The doctoral program in Women's Studies and Psychology is one of several graduate programs in Women's Studies at the University of Michigan. Students can complete either an interdisciplinary joint doctoral degree or a graduate Certificate (equivalent to a minor) in Women's Studies. These programs provide students with conceptual and methodological tools grounded in the interdisciplinary perspectives of the Women's Studies Program.
ICOS has the single goal of enhancing the University of Michigan's strength as a world center for interdisciplinary research and scholarship on organizations. We seek to enrich the intellectual environment of Ph.D. students and faculty interested in organization studies, by increasing the quality, breadth, depth, and usefulness of organizational research.
The Interdisciplinary Program in Organizational Studies at the University of Michigan provides multiple perspectives on how we create and influence organizations, and how we are in turn influenced by them. Organizational Studies is an intensive interdisciplinary concentration for select undergraduate students, designed to train the future leaders of an organizational world. Theoretical appreciation of social organization through foundational courses in sociology, economics, and psychology builds a strong interdisciplinary foundation.
The Center for the Study of Complex Systems (CSCS) is an interdisciplinary program that recognizes that many different kinds of self-regulation, feedback, and adaptive systems have a common underlying structure, despite their apparent differences. These deep structural similarities can be exploited to transfer methods of analysis and understanding from one field to another. Students can complete a graduate certificate in Complex Systems.