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About almondicecream

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  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    Social Psychology

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  1. CONGRATS!!!! Ah I love it when people get matched with their first choice professors.
  2. Hello! I don't have time to fully answer all your questions, but here is my opinion. 1. Safe GRE scores for the top programs are any scores above 90th percentile. Some people might say 85th percentile. I've heard GRE psych score is potentially useful if the applicant does not have a psychology major in undergrad (to show that they do, in fact, know basic psychology). It's supposed to be pretty useless for people who come from top 100 US universities. Outside of applicants from these universities, I'm not sure if it would be helpful. 2. A poster is somewhat like a small version of a published paper. It shows that you are involved more deeply in a project beyond just running experiments and entering data. Conference presentations (if you're talking about "talks" rather than posters) are pretty difficult for undergraduates to obtain. You should aim for a couple posters first. After then, you could consider whether you have enough data to put together a talk. Posters and talks are submitted to conferences like SPSP, APS, etc. Note that SPSP is for social psych (I'm sure there are equivalent conferences for dev psych). 3. You can somewhat use the length of the main gradcafe threads for each area (clinical psychology fall 2017; social psychology fall 2017; developmental psychology fall 2017; industrial/organizational psychology fall 2017) as a rough estimate for how easy/difficult it is to get into the top 50 programs for an area. For example, the thread for clinical psychology this year is by far the biggest thread. The social psychology thread is the next largest. The industrial/organizational psychology and school psychology threads are much smaller. Clinical psychology is also definitely the most competitive, followed by social psychology. I/O psych and school psych are significantly less competitive. 4. Publications are definitely, definitely not required at all to get into the top 30 dev psych programs. They're not even required for top 30 social psych programs (for example, for the first year PhD students at one of the top 5 social psych programs, I know that 4 of them did not have any published papers when they were accepted, and 1 did). 5. I don't know how international applicants should do anything differently, but I just know what domestic applicants typically do. Most important is having lots and lots of research experience. Not only that, but you should also be getting more deeply involved in the labs that you're a part of. It's important to find a lab where you feel like you're learning a lot about the research process rather than just running participants and entering data but never doing more in the lab. Posters are nice, but they often are just a byproduct of you having become a very advanced research assistant within a lab. The good thing about psychology PhD admissions is that they're a "war of attrition." Assuming your GPA is significantly above 3.0 and your GRE scores are above 85th percentile, the only remaining part is research experience. Those who have the most research experience, who are doing the most advanced tasks in their current labs, are the ones who usually get admitted. So it usually ends up being a matter of who is willing to do research for years and years to prove that they have the grit, the passion, and the skills to succeed in a program. Good luck.
  3. D: I don't think I'll ever be able to totally rationalize the choice I made. I can still imagine myself learning so much and meeting so many amazing people at both programs. It's hard to give one path up when you want both experiences because you know they'll be incredible. I'm happy with my decision but simultaneously so envious of whoever goes to the program I didn't choose.
  4. @canessa I think you've done all that you possibly can to improve the situation (expressed deep interest in the program, that it's one of your top choices by far). I find that what calms me down is thinking about the fact that I've given it my absolute all, and that the rest is out of my control. It might make you feel a bit better if you start working toward finding a paid position for next year (if you don't already have a full-time position), so even if you don't have a position, you'll at least have made some progress toward improving your applications for next year.
  5. I'm not sure if you're asking for a comprehensive book on psychology (i.e., how the mind works) or on jdm/cognitive biases and heuristics.
  6. If the process is really tiring for you, perhaps consider applying two years from now, rather than one! When I applied three years ago, I only got one waitlist (Cornell) and one fly-in interview (Iowa). I felt like my prospects weren't going to be that much more amazing after one year, so I decided to just keep my head down and work hard on my research for the next two years, and I made my dreams come true this time, as well as making a few friends and mentors who were really rooting for me this cycle.
  7. I'm a current lab manager that's in the process of finding my own replacement. Here are some good vs. bad questions off the top of my head- Good questions that imply you enjoy mentoring undergrads and being as inspiring to them as your undergrad mentors were What, in your opinion, defines an absolutely amazing lab manager? Asking good questions about their research that show that 1) you are very knowledgeable on the topics and 2) you are very interested. For example, one of my PIs had done research on how high status individuals perceived a person who belonged to both one high-status group and one low-status group. I asked if the pattern was reversed for low status individuals perceiving the same target and he was like "That's actually what I'm trying to figure out right now." questions that imply you are primarily there to learn skills, methodology, and theory. Maybe questions like "I know as a lab manager you can sometimes get caught up with just managing studies and moving things along in the lab, but how would you suggest that someone working as a lab manager learn as much as they can during their time in the lab?" you should ask the lab manager what he/she thinks is the kind of person who would really flourish in this lab. are there people who might have a more difficult time working in the lab? Bad maybe seeming too "materialistic" if that makes sense. It would probably be annoying if an applicant seemed like they were obsessed with posters, papers, and awards (gold stars to put on their CV) and less interested in learning skills and theory. I think it's usually ideal if the applicant wants to stay more than 1 year because it can sometimes be distracting to be applying to PhD programs in fall and then interviewing in spring while maintaining the job. But if you do plan on applying this upcoming fall, maybe you might want to talk about things that will help keep your prof super happy while making good progress on your applications I can't really think of any that are limited to lab manager positions and don't apply to any regular job. When I applied to lab manager positions, I had already applied twice to PhD programs, felt like I obviously needed way more experience, so I said that I knew I needed at least two years of experience before I was confident I could get accepted to a top 20 social psychology program. I was just looking for a lab in which I could just keep my head down, work super hard, and then hopefully have gained the skills and learned the theory (by reading in my free time) to become a competitive candidate for the fall 2016 cycle. I also mentioned that I love mentoring students in research.
  8. It depends how much worse that other school is ranked. I had to ask myself which program would be most likely to get me a good post-doc after graduation, and this includes a lot of factors. Which school you can be most productive at (remember, if you are exceedingly stressed and have no social support at your program, that will put a dent in your productivity). Also your personality fit with your primary/secondary advisors plays a role, even though ideally personality fit should not be too big a deal. For me a major factor was that I had a lot more collaboration opportunity at one program (both with graduate students and other faculty), so I felt that would help my productivity. But yeah ranking matters. I'm like...already mildly shitting myself over the fact that I chose to go to a rank 15-20 program over a rank 1-5 program, but I don't think it's an impossible hill to climb, just very difficult. I think I would have gone with the rank 1-5 program had my second choice been a rank 20-25 program, and I think I would've DEFINITELY gone with the rank 1-5 program had my second choice been rank 25-30. ...cool. I'm realizing that the pride of having gotten into an amazing program has officially worn off now that I'm worrying about not getting a good post-doc.
  9. In my opinion I actually think the clear choice is #1. Typically people are stuck between deciding to go to a better school with moderate research fit versus a worse school with a perfect research fit. I don't think #1's research being out of date matters enough. If #1's entire research career is coming under fire from replications, that is a NO-NO (although it's not).
  10. almondicecream


    I know Umich and OSU social psych sometimes do not do Skype or in-person interviews before they accept. I know UVA used to do this, also. It can change from year to year.
  11. I am dye-ing my hair a stupid color and then teaching myself R before I get swallowed into the void that is grad school. But yeah, you should email your #1. It's a perfect reason to push them for an answer.
  12. Going to contradict the other person and say it's ok to ask if UCSB is one of your top choices. Because that is a fantastic reason to be antsy about getting a response from a school. I don't see why it'd be irritating to the professor (much less the grad student) if you were super excited about UCSB and wanted to know an answer so you could inform any other school you're accepted to that you will need to reject their offer. If they're not one of your top choices, though, I suppose you could pretend like they are. o_0
  13. I ask specifically for brief "feedback" on what separated me from top candidates, outside of "research fit." The professor told me that honestly it was my GPA.
  14. Things start moving around more rapidly after mid-March bc by that time, everyone's done all their visits and is starting to make decisions. So the little waterfalls start in which one person might reject an offer, which is extended to a second person, who accepts that and rejects their offer from their 2nd top choice, and so on.
  15. Ah good. Was worried about hastening the arrival of the apocalypse.
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