Social Psychology Network:
Helping to Enhance and Develop the Field
In this electronic age, no intellectual discipline can remain an island. To prosper, to grow, to realize its potential, it must reach out to other communities. Over the past few years, Social Psychology Network (SPN) has proven to be an exceptionally useful platform for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology to connect with outside constituencies and enhance and develop the field.
This outreach takes many forms. First, SPN offers an excellent means to support and communicate with students who will become the next generation of personality and social psychologists. Students interested in psychology can -- in one place -- browse graduate program listings, find career tips, examine job opportunities, and exchange information with each other in the SPN Student Discussion Forum. SPN has also helped increase diversity in the field, not only by making diversity-related resources widely available, but by establishing an extensive volunteer network in which students from underrepresented groups can obtain free career assistance from more than 250 faculty mentors.
In addition, SPN allows personality and social psychology to be more global and multicultural than ever before. The Network contains profiles of psychologists from dozens of countries and includes translations of select material into Spanish, French, German, Russian, Chinese, Italian, Polish, and other languages. With the click of a "search" button, psychologists from all over the world can find out about each other's work with an ease unimaginable just a decade ago.
Finally, beyond its value to students, teachers, and researchers, SPN has helped educate the public about personality and social psychology. For example, SPN worked with the Society for Personality and Social Psychology to edit, update, and post a web brochure entitled "What is a Personality/Social Psychologist?" This web page conveys the excitement at the center of our field, and it has already been visited more than 150,000 times.
Since its founding in 1996, Social Psychology Network has given a great deal to science and the public, and we strongly encourage our faculty and student members to join and support the Network. Although SPN provides many useful resources for individual students and scholars, perhaps the most valuable aspect of SPN is what it means to the entire discipline. Through its wide reach, SPN presents a face to the outside world that can be seen by colleagues in other fields, political leaders, funding agencies, curious reporters, students applying to graduate school, and even next-door neighbors. In an increasingly wired world, a well developed global network such as SPN is of inestimable worth, and its worth will only grow over time.
--Society for Personality
and Social Psychology
(July 13, 2005)