National Ranking Puts UC Davis Fourth In Social and Personality Psychology

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National Ranking Puts UC Davis Fourth In Social and Personality Psychology

The UC Davis Department of Psychology has been rising in prominence among the top departments in the nation, currently ranked by US News & World Report as #22 of 161 nation-wide departments of psychology. It also ranked very high in the latest National Research Council, landing in top 10% of the 237 programs nationwide.

But its excellence in certain areas of psychology is even more impressive. The social-personality area of psychology was recently recognized by a national study as one of the top in the nation, coming in at #4 on the nation. Only the University of Michigan, UCLA, and Harvard were above UC Davis, with Stanford, UC Berkeley and Yale trailing behind UC Davis in the top ten.

"The personality area of psychology at UC Davis has a long tradition of excellence both nationally and internationally," said Richard Robins, a professor of psychology and expert in social-personality psychology. "What is particularly exciting about this ranking is that it brings the excellence in social psychology to bear as well. It's a true balance between the two fields – social and personality psychology. It is probably the highest honor that our area has received in its history."

The Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, recently published a study that examined the scientific impact that faculty and researchers in the area of social and personality psychology make across universities in the United States. The study looked at the degree to which published articles are cited by other researchers, and used this information to rank all of the psychology departments in the United States and Canada. Robins, for instance, has been widely cited for his work on narcissism, but also just this month received (with co-researchers) a $6.5M grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse for a longitudinal study that follows Mexican-American families, looking at substance use risk and resilience.

The study, titled "Cumulative and Career-Stage Citation Impact of Social-Personality Psychology Programs and Their Members," listed psychologists from UC Davis among the top 10% individual scientists based on career-stage impact indicators and cumulative impact indicators. Among those noted for their productivity and impact, the report named Phil Shaver, Rick Robins, Robert Emmons and Gregory Herek.

Contributions from the social-personality area of psychology (which has a total of ten members), the study placed UC Davis at number four in the nation among the top 50% of social-personality programs combining cumulative and career-stage impact indicators.

Robins noted that these rankings will “help greatly with recruiting the top graduate students in social- personality psychology because they place us among the pre-eminent departments in the country. And, because so much of the research we do is interdisciplinary, the rankings bring recognition to the entire department, and highlight the excellent work being done here at UC Davis.”

"The Department of Psychology is an example of one of our highly ranked social sciences departments that have risen dramatically in national prominence over the past decade," said George R. Mangun, dean of the Division of Social Sciences. "We have among the best faculty in the nation, and the campus' investments in the discipline have paid off well. The high quality of the department and its subdisciplines like social and personality psychology, translate into a first rate education for our students. Particularly impressive is that the department is also a workhorse on campus, graduating the largest number of majors annually of any degree granting department or program, with around 10% of all degrees awarded."

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