Social Psychology Network (SPN) is an educational organization with nearly 2,000 members worldwide. Founded by Scott Plous in 1996, the Network grew in its first three years to include more than 3,500 searchable links and three affiliated partner sites: the Society of Experimental Social Psychology (SESP.org); the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP.org); and Research Randomizer (Randomizer.org, a web-based tool for random sampling and random assignment). By late 1998, the pages of SPN had been visited more than 750,000 times, and the National Science Foundation invited Dr. Plous to apply for a grant to further develop the Network.
In 1999 Dr. Plous received a five-year NSF research grant to support SPN and its partner sites. These funds made it possible to buy a dedicated web server for SPN, hire a system administrator, and employ student assistants. During this period, SPN was expanded to include more than 10,000 searchable links, five online forums, and an interactive directory in which approximately 1,000 psychologists from 30 countries received password protected access to their own profile, allowing them to add links to their own web experiments, research groups, course syllabi, and publications.
In addition, SPN added four other partner sites during this time:
1999: PrisonExp.org (Stanford Prison Experiment)
2000: Jigsaw.org (the Jigsaw Classroom)
2001: JoeChemo.org (anti-smoking web site)
2002: UnderstandingPrejudice.org (anti-bias site)
In 2004 Dr. Plous received a second five-year NSF grant, enabling the SPN web team to develop the eInterview.org partner site and add an advanced search option, psychology headlines from around the world, RSS feeds, PsychWidget, and many other features. In 2009 he received an additional five-year grant to convert SPN to an interactive Web 2.0 social network, and in 2011 SPN established an Advisory Board with liaisons to SPSP and SESP.
All told, the Network's pages are now viewed an average of more than 70,000 times per day by people in over 100 countries -- a total of more than 259 million page views since SPN was created. The crew running SPN is relatively small, consisting of Dr. Plous (Executive Director), David Jensenius (Director of Technology), Steven Farthing (Social Network Programmer), Jen Spiller (Senior Web Editor), and a few dedicated student interns. To learn more about SPN, please click on one of the topics highlighted on this page. You can also see a timeline of SPN's history on its Facebook page.