Thank you for hosting this AMA session!
I happened to chance upon the field of quant psych only in the past year and I find this part of psychology to be really interesting! I'm also hoping to apply to a quant psych program in the near future!
I would greatly appreciate it if someone could answer some of queries below:
1. What is the level of mathematical rigour one should expect in quant psych? I've browsed through several articles in quant journals (SEM, MBR, Psychometrika) and the level of mathematics involved seems to vary wildly from article to article. Should I be expecting epsilon-delta proofs and asymptotics? Or is it more computational (e.g. extensive simulations) in nature? I'm pretty comfortable with simulation-based studies but I can't quite imagine spending 4-5 years solely on deriving asymptotic properties (which seems kind of divorced from psychology).
2. What is considered a decently strong math background? I'm currently doing a double in psych and stats but I kind of messed up a few math modules (B+ for calc, multivariable calc, real analysis I & III). Will that be a problem? To put things into perspective, I've scored decent grades (at least A-) in other math modules (ODE, Linear Algebra, Real Analysis II, Probability etc.) and all the stat modules. Also there's no grade inflation where I'm at (some school in Asia) but I guess most American professors won't be aware of that?. Is it even worth it (from an admissions point of view) to take more advanced (pure-ish?) math classes (like linear algebra II, functional analysis) to make up for those deficiencies?
3. One thing that really confused me is the apparent distinction between mathematical psychology and quantitative psychology. How exactly are they different? Or are there some overlaps?
4. Will previous experience in substantive research actually help when applying to quant psych programs? If yes, how much does it matter? I've spent quite a bit of time working on social decision-making before transitioning towards quant and I'm just wondering if its even relevant at this point.
5. Does the prestige of the PhD program matter when it comes to job prospects for faculty positions later on? I know that the specific advisor you get is probably more important but still... Also, how do you actually evaluate the "prestige" (whatever that means) of a quant psych program since there are so few of them? Its a little confusing since the conventional league tables for psych don't really apply to the quant subfield.
6. I know that some programs allow (or demand?) that their students take up a masters from the stats/biostats department. Is that usually the case or is it program-specific?
Sorry for the long list of questions! Really appreciate being able to get some insight into quant psych through this platform!