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Posts posted by watson

  1. I used to teach for The Princeton Review...I made a killer amount of money and worked only a few hours a week when I wanted, or volunteered to cover classes and worked many hours when I wanted to....for reference, 5 years ago teaching the SAT I was being paid $32/hour BASE with extra when they overloaded a class with students (I taught a class that got merged with another class because of a flub by a summer 'camp' type thing, so I was making an ungodly amount for the 9 hrs a week I taught that class).  Plus online grading of essays (optional extra work) was $1/essay, and grading took like 2-3 min per essay (they are short), so you could make a ton extra if you can handle reading that much bad writing.

  2. Uhhh YES.  My department will ask if we had particularly strong feelings (good or bad) about the applicants.  Faculty have never accepted someone that one of us has said was unfriendly/rude/arrogant/competitive/non-appreciative of the opportunity to interview in our department. 


    The grad students end up seeing the applicants a lot more than the faculty, and you wouldn't believe how many applicants BLOW IT by saying something in front of a grad student that they just should NOT have.  Go in with the attitude you have and you will not be admitted into my department--we really do not want to work with someone who thinks they know more and have more life experiences than us--you don't even know anything about these grad students and this is how you view them!?  And even if you DO know more and have more (notice, not better) life experience, does this mean you cannot be friendly, polite, and interact with them in a professional way??  That kind of attitude would surely be communicated back to the faculty, the faculty whose loyalty is to the current students, who put their trust in the current students assessment of your character. 


    How about you just act like a nice, happy, normal person who is appreciative of the opportunity to meet with current students at the place you might live the next 5-8 years?  Also these are the people who you will see more than anyone else for those years, so how about you try just being nice to them and maybe make a friend?

  3. Honestly, I'd see if you can just move the flight up or back by a day rather than not stay a night with the grad student.  Usually this is not a problem if you get it cleared first, especially if it won't cost any extra money to the school.  Here's why I suggest this:


    1. Staying with the grad student actually is a time you can really learn a lot about the program "off the record" when the grad student isn't worried about what other people are hearing her/him say.  You can ask questions that maybe you wouldn't feel comfortable asking in a group or with faculty in the room.  You can actually see what a typical grad student can afford on the stipend and what housing options are like in the area, as well as get a feel for local neighborhoods that you might actually end up living in someday.  These are things you don't get from being on campus and will remind you to ask real questions about quality of life outside the lab.


    2. Admissions are a crap shoot and I'd take all the opportunities possible to get yourself an advocate.  Bonding with a current student can only help.  We use hotels, but if a grad student volunteered to share their apartment they probably want to talk to you and they can be useful to you!


    3. Last year we invited students to visit and 2 of them took off after a dinner with the current grad students to go meet friends--everyone else hung a little to talk. They were already making the least great impression of the group, but having made the plans and run off did sour us on them even more.  It's probably not terrible if you're making a great impression otherwise, but if you're borderline it won't work in your favor.

  4. 10 per spot? Don't most schools accept about 10-15 people? Inviting 100 people seems a bit crazy. 3-4 also seems quite high. That could mean 60 people. How many people are invited to most interview weekends, anyway?

    We usually want an incoming cohort in social of about 2-4, so we invite usually 8-12 people for interviews.  10-15 is a really big incoming class but might be more common at a large state school?  My entire cohort for the department (social + cog + neuro + clinical) was 10, my cohort in social was 4.

  5. Interview weekend usually means they are definitely inviting more people to visit than they will be extending offers to--most programs are moving to this model.


    Visiting weekend means that you will still be evaluated, but is usually a bit less formal--here they may be willing to offer to all the invitees but reserve the right to not offer until they've met you and determined you're not a complete mismatch (as a person) for the program.  Sometimes they consider everyone at least now on the waitlist but may make staggered offers to the most wanted candidates first.


    Visiting weekend is really only a pure 'preview day' if you have already been told explicitly that you are accepted into the program before the visit.  I remember this being the case at OSU when I applied--I got a call offering me admission and simultaneously asking me to come to visiting weekend.

  6. Well...this news is EXTREMELY disappointing to read (sigh).  I did, however, have an understanding that few profs at Northwestern (the purple dream as I've been calling it) were reviewing new applicants with the intent to accept.  Northwestern's program and profs are really awesome from the outside looking in and it seems as though it will remain that way. Watson, best of luck to you during the rest of your journey and thank you for the info.  I guess the fantasies of being sleeped deprived in Evanston are ostensibly over.  Just tell me one thing: when you walk through the department is the Tron Legacy soundtrack song, "The Son of Flynn," or the A Beautiful Mind soundtrack song, "A Kaleidoscope of Mathematics," playing as you feverishly write a novel experiment idea in your notebook on your way to a 'brown-bag' like they do in my daydreams (since submitting my dreams/daydreams are really weird). Wait--don't tell me. Some things are best left to the imagination. I don't know about anyone else, but one of the main reasons I can't wait to hear about admissions decisions is so that my mind will stop creating weird dreams and daydreams about being in grad school.  I'm sure if we receive the privilege of being admitted we will dream about getting out at some point in the near future.


    LOL!  I can't say either has played while I was walking to brown bag at NU, but growing up John Nash was one of my neighbors and if he walked past you in the neighborhood someone was bound to start humming that song after the movie came out (I was in high school back then).


    The NU faculty had originally planned to accept some new students but then it turned out that this year only a maximum of 1 student will graduate from the area (the 5th years didn't have job market luck and prefer to stay another year at NU rather than post-doc...the exception is the student who is looking for jobs outside academia).  Thus the labs were full and to a certain degree morale took a hit.  But rest easy, I haven't heard of any other school pulling the same thing.

  7. I should also point out--in my program, we are constantly teasing each other and being lighthearted during talks, so there may not have been ill-will there necessarily.  It's usually a group of people who are all friends, cracking jokes at each others' expense with no offense taken--to an outsider getting laughed at will probably seem like people are being really mean, but it may actually be something that they didn't intend to be taken to heart.

  8. My guess is they were laughing at the suggestion of dropping half the sample after you ran the study just because you didn't get the results you want.  It's not the best way to do science and actually a hot topic right now about research analysis ethics.  Re-analyzing without the women to see if it warranted running a new study would be fine, but you'd have to then pretty much dump the first study to stay really above board.  Also, as bad as this is, people do tend to get annoyed when the undergrads ask questions/make comments (especially at job talks) and this can lead to less than polite reactions to their questions.

  9. I want to encourage everybody to attend the "professional" or "current issues" types of sessions, maybe even make them a priority over content sessions. For example, last year there was a symposium on false positive psychology (hawt topic right now) that include a nice public--and later email--argument between Uri Simonsohn and Norbert Schwarz. Sadly, I skipped it in favour of something else, which I regret.

    e.g., SPSP sent this last week: "...this year a special symposium session is being added, designed to allow the membership of SPSP to come together to discuss current issues important to the Society. Such issues might include priorities for action in the coming year, administration, financial issues, the pending reorganization of the Society’s central office, the profession’s response to recent episodes of research fraud and questions about the reliability of scientific findings, or anything else of interest to the membership. We have scheduled this session for Saturday, January 19 from 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm in Room 203-205 of the Convention Center."

    "Administration" = boring. "fraud and reliability" = spicy

    Other possibilities:

    "Openness in scientific reporting: Potential and reaction" S-B1

    "False positive II: Effect sizes too small, too large, or just right" S-D1

    And the data blitz is great for those of us with short attention spans (S-B9).


    That was the second best session I have ever attended. The best one wasn't at SPSP, and sadly sharing the story will almost certainly out me here, so I'll have to laugh to myself for now.

  10. Noticed a couple of results posted for Northwestern's cognitive program... Has anyone heard about social?

    We decided not to bring in any new students for social this year.  Labs are pretty full and profs think the lackluster academic job market warrants holding back on accepting students (so they don't graduate to unemployment).  We cancelled our interview weekend.

  11. On 12/1/2012 at 7:08 AM, EarlyBird said:

    Thank you for your replies.

    All Canadian schools I’ve looked at require GREs - because it is so much more fun with just a pinch of bureaucracy.

    Definitely a PhD. Although, I know that most programmes require the students to acquire a Master degree as part of the PhD programme. However, that most psychology PhDs receive full funding is surprising to me. When I clicked my way through the profiles of PhD students, it seemed as if only a small minority is fully funded. Especially if there are on the social side of cognitive neuropsychology, and as I would be. Sorry, I should probably have mentioned that.

    Regarding the schools I have in mind: I am not worried about my favorite as it offers funding to all PhD students “in good standing” and seems to be not too difficult to get accepted to. Otherwise, I have found researchers that could be a good fit at Toronto and McGill, both seem to have rather good funding.

    With the US things are a bit different. So far none of the programmes/POIs I looked up seemed like a great fit. Except one POI at Stanford and two at Princeton but that would be a long shot. I keep my eyes open, though.

    Hmm, well my area is social neuroscience, and everyone I know in the area is fully funded! So hopefully that's good news for you. I know that Stanford and Princeton are definitely fully funded. You may want to look at social psychology PhDs that do social neuroscience, which seems to be what you are interested in. I'd suggest looking at WashU and NYU as they have great faculty working on these issues and are also fully funded. If you have a particular type of research you're interested in I can probably give better guidance (e.g., neuroscience of prejudice, emotion, decision-making, etc)

  12. ...are you planning to get a PhD or a terminal masters? In the US and Canada you apply straight to a PhD program and sort of just get the masters along the way, and most psych PhDs are fully funded in the US and Canada (tuition remission + stipend), meaning that every accepted student is covered including internationals. Especially in your particular subfield, you don't find many programs that have fMRI but don't have grad student funding...are there particular schools you are wondering about?

    Since most undergrads don't get hands on EEG/fMRI training that will be very much to your advantage.

  13. Hi! Thanks for the response. I have another question for you or anyone else who might be knowledgeable in this aspect. To my understanding (at least for CPA), accreditation only applies to PhD and post-doctorate level, so my question is how exactly will the selection of a MA/MS.c degree is related to accreditation at all?

    Thanks a lot!

    Not having accredidation will affect your ability to get licensed in most places. Meaning, not having it means you can't work as a counselor in most states. Not sure about Canadian provinces. If your ultimate goal is to get a PhD, it will make you a significantly stronger candidate. Check local laws for how APA/CPA would affect you if you are interested in practicing.

  14. If you informed them that you wanted them as letter writers earlier you are probably fine. Just email a quick apology (need not go into detail or be more than a sentence), get them the forms ASAP, and move on.

    If you didn't already ask for letters, then you need to be more profuse in the apology and explain why you are asking so late. That said, if there are at least 6 wks left until the letter deadline, you are just fine.

  15. I heard from 1 school in mid-December that I was getting an interview, but that was unusually early (they had done interviews late the prior year and lost out on students). Most I heard back from in January and February--most interviews occur in the late Jan-early March period. Wait list people will usually get notified between early March through mid-April, with a few coming after that (but since most people have accepted an offer by April 15, it isn't many).

  16. Hi all

    I'm also looking at applying to schools in Europe in general (French and English programs)

    I'm confused about how to address the POI issue when applying to European schools.... I can't even find faculty profiles for a lot of professors at a lot of schools... and yes, this does seem to be a trend across Europe (with the exception of the UK (who apparently don't really accept non-UK residents)).

    Can anyone tell me how to go about this?

    Do you follow the same format for Canadian/American schools (search for POI, apply to that POI, mention POI in SOP etc)

    Thanks in advance!

    In Europe a lot of the PhD programs do applications differently. Frequently, you apply for and complete a masters degree before applying for a PhD program (unlike the US model of applying directly for the PhD and picking up the masters along the way). Because in masters programs you usually apply to the department (rather than a lab/POI) this may be part of the issue. But, it is highly dependent on field/country/university.

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