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James W. Pennebaker, Chair The University of Texas at Austin, SEA 4.212, Austin, TX 78712 • (512) 475-7596

Program Information

Graduate Admissions
Online Research
Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate Admissions

See Psychology Department Graduate Program

Online Research

At any given time, we are engaged in a wide variety of research projects. Some of these are internet-based. To get a sense of some of these projects, we would welcome your completing the following surveys and projects. And after you have completed the questionnaires, get all of your friends, relatives, and even complete strangers to do likewise.

Oh, and lest we forget: All your responses are anonymous and confidential. If you are under the age of 18, you must get the permission of a parent or legal guardian to complete the questionnaire. If you find any question to be objectionable, do not answer it. If you feel that you have reached this webpage by mistake, you have the right to turn off your computer and take a very deep breath. If you do not want to learn anything about yourself, do not complete any of the questionnaires. If you enjoy reading the fine print of consent forms, there are a number of high paying and important career paths available for you. Indeed, if you are such a person, you are encouraged to read and reread this consent form over and over again. If you have no questions and believe that your actions are guided by your own free will (which may, in fact, be an illusion), please continue.

Expressive Writing: Streamlined edition. A large number of studies suggest that writing about emotional topics can improve mental and physical health. We are now trying to figure out which methods, instructions, and feedback work best. Try out one of our new brief writing methods. The entire project will less than 30 minutes. Your feedback will be a big help.

Personality: Describing Yourself. Using the text analysis program, LIWC (Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count), which was developed at the University of Texas and the University of Auckland, you can learn how the words you use reflect your psychogical state. At least maybe. This particular test explores your personality and takes about 15 minutes. Afterwards, your words will be analyzed and their possible meanings revealed.

The BLIRT. Who is right for you? How does the way you deal with your emotions influence your job and relationship satisfaction? This psychology test will give you information about yourself and also act as a guide to your relationships. This test measures a personality characteristic that determines who you relate to most effectively.

Big Five Surveys. How do you score on the "Big Five" dimensions of personality? This test will provide you with feedback in terms of the Big Five dimensions of Openness to New Experiences, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. In addition to the English version (above), you can also take it in Spanish. You can also get feedback in terms of characters from Star Wars!

The LIFE Survey. Is your personality defined by your attitudes or by your actions? The LIFE survey asks about a number of your daily behaviors and then gives you feedback about who you are.

Music Preferences. What does your taste in music say about your personality? Find out with this quiz! This psychology test will tell you how other people see you based on what types of music you listen to. Results are instant, free, and anonymous

Survey Wonderland. At least a dozen other research projects that link together language, personality, emotions, and other features of human experience can be found at this link. Almost all the projects are being conducted by faculty and students in the social and personality group at UT-Austin. Try them out.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of jobs are available to people who get a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Texas?
Check out Graduate Student page to get a sense of what has happened to recent graduates from our program. Most go into academics -- with teaching and research. Others have high powered research-related jobs in the private sector or government.

How many graduate students do you take each year in the social program?
We generally try to take on 2-4 new students each year.

What makes your program different from other top social psychology graduate programs?
Ours is a general apprenticeship model where you would generally work with several of the faculty members during the time you are here. The faculty all share a belief that social psychology should be theoretically rich with an eye towards the real world. In fact, if you would like to get a sense of some of our basic values, check out a recent article by Paul Rozin (2001, Personality and Social Psychology Review).

I'm a hard working student with no sense of humor. I want to devote my life to subtle distinctions between what was found by someone in your department 12 years ago with something someone else found 18 year ago. Is UT the place for me?
No. You lost us when you said you had no sense of humor.

How long will it take to graduate? Is a master's degree required?
Ideally, we would like you to be finished in 4 years. Many people take 5. We only accept people into our Ph.D. program -- which means there is no masters program per se. The masters degree is entirely optional.

Do you have stipends or scholarships for graduate school?
Although we can't make any promises about the future, we have always been able to support all of our graduate students for at least 4 years. This aid comes through teaching assistantships, research assistantships through faculty grants, or student fellowships through the National Science Foundation or other agency. For more information, click on the Graduate Admissions on the left of the page.

How do I apply? How can I get in on this amazing offer?
Click on the Graduate Admissions button to get the details about the admission procedure.

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