The research program of the KLI embraces the full range of social psychology and its applications. This entails a commitment to both fundamental and applied research. Throughout the KLI research endeavour there is an emphasis on the complementarity of fundamental and applied research. The guiding principle is to improve our understanding of fundamental scientific questions and our awareness of and responsiveness to applied and policy-relevant issues in current society. This is also a policy that is sensitive to the career perspectives of graduate students, many of whom go on to pursue successful research careers in employment outside academia.
Thus research conducted within the KLI is of two types. It is either primarily theory-driven, in the sense that it addresses questions generated by social psychological theories, or it is primarily problem-driven, in the sense that it uses social psychological knowledge to address questions generated by societal events or processes. Both laboratory and field methods are used in the course of each type of research.
Research conducted within the KLI can be described in terms of four levels of analysis: intrapersonal, interpersonal, group and organizational, and intergroup. These levels of analysis provide the basis for the four research divisions.