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Quantitative Psychology and Psychometrics Fall 2013 Applicants


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I'm off to UBC

Wow -- guess it's just me.

ASU is BEASTLY.

Hey...am also planning to apply for some quant psych programs for fall 2013, but have not finalized which ones yet. I came across the field whilst researching programs on decision sciences and behavioral research (e.g. the kind of program CMU has), and quickly realised that quant psych had a lot of what I was looking for. Whats your story ?

Also, on what basis have you shortlisted the programs you are applying to - are you aware of any specific strengths that these programs have? What I am still trying to figure out is whether a strong psych background is necessary to apply successfully? The programs I have researched so far seem to give a mixed opinion - any views? My background is engineering followed by an MBA, with a reasonable (though not fantastic) background in mathematical and statistical courses, computer programming, some experience in SAS, and about 10 yrs of completely irrelevant work experience. No psych, lab or core research experience. Any feedback on my profile for quant psych ?

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I short-listed my schools based on program reputation as well as research interest match. My interests focus upon longitudinal methods, marital satisfaction, and personality.

In general, the top programs seem to be ASU(social), OSU (cognitive), WUSTL (clinical), and Vanderbilt(developmental). They're the larger programs and have the tendency to place their students directly into assistant professorships.

I have a major in economics and am finishing up a major in psychology from a well known program. I have an adequate background in math: calc III, econometrics, symbolic logic, and I'll have finished up the quant methods track by the time I graduate.

I don't know if a strong psych background is necessary, but it'll help open doors. My strength lies in research experience. I've volunteered in a social psychology lab that has been running longitudinal studies, I'm collaborating with my quant methods prof on longitudinal data analysis, and a few other things.

I don't think experience in psychology in necessary, but if I were on an adcom member, I'd be curious as to why you're applying to quant psych as opposed to economics, statistics, or I/O psych.

And by no psych experience, do you mean that you've had absolutely no coursework in psychology at all?

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Thanks QLL, that is helpful...yeah practically no psych coursework apart from a very basic introductory course, or coursework from a highly contextual (OB) perspective.

Have recently indulged in a bit of self-study, but nowhere as rigorous as say what 12-15 credits of undergrad psych coursework (thats an e.g. of what some programs seem to ask for) would involve. I think the more I review the programs in detail, the less eligible I seem to be... :huh:. Not giving up though - someone recommended giving the GRE subject test in psych to make up for it (even though most programs I am looking at don't mandate it) - which is a good idea except I don't think I'm well prepared enough to get a really good percentile there based on my current knowledge, and a not-so-good score may hurt more than it helps (viz. my general GRE scores are Q 170 / V 164)? Is that an indication in itself that I'm under-prepared and should not be pursuing this line of thought - at least for this year ?

To the question of why quant psych - am definitely not as interested in I/O psych - but a program that is based in a behavioral eco or computational sciences and which allows strong interdept. ties with a psych / cognitive sciences program may be a suitable alternative ? In fact decision sciences & behavioral eco programs where what I started with initialy, but very few places have a pure behavioral eco orientation, especially one that is more geared towards the psych / behavioural area. Most of them seem to focus more on applications to consumer behavior etc. rather than theory or behavioral models, or computational models of cognition etc. I've also realised that cognitive science programs with a strong computational orientation may probably be better suited - but the same issue re. level of psych coursework remains. Unfortunately after a few months of research, I am more confused than I was earlier !

I realise I am rambling on now so will stop and let the experts comment....

p.s. to give you an idea of the kind of programs that interest me...Cornell (PCD program), Indiana (math. psych), Ohio State (Quant Psych - Judg & decision making), Purdue (Math. & cogn. Sc.), UC Irvine (Cog. Sc. / Math. Beh. Sc.), UI-Urbana Ch. (research re. Beckman Inst.), UPenn (Dec. Processes).

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I would suggest that you talk with professors at these institutions. That's what I did.

Mike Edwards at OSU was incredibly helpful. One of my cognitive profs had a background similar to yours, he was a mechanical engineer with two courses in psychology. He did beautifully on the GRE (as you have) and volunteered in a lab for a year.

What do you want to do with your degree: Academia or industry?

The nice thing about quant psych is that there aren't enough quanty applicants. So even if the ideal candidate has training in psychology and advanced stats, there aren't enough ideal candidates to fill all the slots.

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No problem. I'm glad to pass on what I know. (I'm aiming for academia as well.) I was just lucky to have fallen in with a very quanty crowd of psychologists that were able to field my endless questions.

The one thing I can think of to strengthen your very strong application is to either volunteer in a psychology lab with a prof that's statistically savvy or sign up to take a few classes in the spring semester. That way by the time you enroll in your program, you'll have enough exposure to psych theory to quell any concerns from an adcom.

If you want some help locating quanty labs, feel free to PM me.

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Hi! I will also be applying to Quantitative Psychology for Fall 2013. I have a BA in Psychology and am currently enrolled in an MPH in Biostatistics. :)

I discovered Quant Psych through browsing different programs. I though I wanted to do Clinical but my main interest is research, statistics and methods (in Psychology) so I figured it would be better for me to apply to Quant.

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My list is still in flux, as well.

My top three programs are Vanderbilt, ASU, and UC:Davis. I'm growing more fond of OSU. I've also thrown in UNC, but their program is down to 4 people. I'm definitely applying to USC, more as a safety than anything. My mentor has strongly suggested that I stop nixing schools from my list.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey!

Just wanted to add to this thread that I too, am interested in pursuing Quantitative Psych, although I'm uncertain as to whether or not I'll be going for the Fall 2013 season (it's getting late and other aspects of my life are making it hard to find the time to seriously weigh the merits of different programs and decide which ones best complement my knowledge base) or if I'll wait until next year.

With respect to my background, I recently graduated with an undergrad in Psychology and a concentration in cognitive science, a French minor (part of which comprised several linguistics courses), and a slight smattering of Computer Science (1 course in Python and 2 others in Java, all of which I performed decently in). My research experience is largely limited to one summer I spent volunteering in a lab and a senior research project I completed on humor and its relationship to perspective-taking. Presently, I'm working in a lab for a year while trying to bolster my math skills via part-time coursework (I haven't really done much with calculus since I took my high school's AB class about 4 years ago) and learning both R and MATLAB.

The main reason for my attraction to quantitative psych has been the relatively recent deluge of articles dealing with psychology's methodological concerns (e.g., the writings of Uri Simonsohn, John Ioannidis, Ben Goldacre, etc) and scandals (i.e., Stapel). I'm thus mostly interested in the creation of quantitative methods that are less likely to be abused, and looking at ways to increase research validity. I've also developed an affinity for Kahneman and Tversky's rational choice theory over the past year, as well as several topics in philosophy of science (e.g., method as a social construct and the influence of paradigms over discovery).

I'm not exactly sure if I have any questions, insights or particularly useful comments just yet, but I thought I'd introduce myself nonetheless.

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Thanks QLL, that is helpful...yeah practically no psych coursework apart from a very basic introductory course, or coursework from a highly contextual (OB) perspective.

Have recently indulged in a bit of self-study, but nowhere as rigorous as say what 12-15 credits of undergrad psych coursework (thats an e.g. of what some programs seem to ask for) would involve. I think the more I review the programs in detail, the less eligible I seem to be... :huh:. Not giving up though - someone recommended giving the GRE subject test in psych to make up for it (even though most programs I am looking at don't mandate it) - which is a good idea except I don't think I'm well prepared enough to get a really good percentile there based on my current knowledge, and a not-so-good score may hurt more than it helps (viz. my general GRE scores are Q 170 / V 164)? Is that an indication in itself that I'm under-prepared and should not be pursuing this line of thought - at least for this year ?

To the question of why quant psych - am definitely not as interested in I/O psych - but a program that is based in a behavioral eco or computational sciences and which allows strong interdept. ties with a psych / cognitive sciences program may be a suitable alternative ? In fact decision sciences & behavioral eco programs where what I started with initialy, but very few places have a pure behavioral eco orientation, especially one that is more geared towards the psych / behavioural area. Most of them seem to focus more on applications to consumer behavior etc. rather than theory or behavioral models, or computational models of cognition etc. I've also realised that cognitive science programs with a strong computational orientation may probably be better suited - but the same issue re. level of psych coursework remains. Unfortunately after a few months of research, I am more confused than I was earlier !

I realise I am rambling on now so will stop and let the experts comment....

p.s. to give you an idea of the kind of programs that interest me...Cornell (PCD program), Indiana (math. psych), Ohio State (Quant Psych - Judg & decision making), Purdue (Math. & cogn. Sc.), UC Irvine (Cog. Sc. / Math. Beh. Sc.), UI-Urbana Ch. (research re. Beckman Inst.), UPenn (Dec. Processes).

have you looked at cmu social decision science? caltech econ?

Edited by Graham17
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Hi all,

I'm also applying to quantitative programs this year but I have one question. How broadly or narrowly have most of you defined your research interests as expressed in your statements of intent/consultations with potential supervisors? I have really enjoyed every statistics course I have taken through my school's department of psychology and even held a position this summer revising the honors course. I only recently became aware of the field of quantitative psychology and it seemed like it would be a perfect fit for me. However, due to the fact that undergraduate programs don't really get into the meat of quantitative psychology at all, my interests are relatively broadly defined. I would say that one of my major interests would be testing the validity of statistical models when certain assumptions are violated. I would also say that latent variable modelling and structural equation modelling sound very interesting, though I don't know a great deal about what issues currently exist in the area.

Given that quantitative psychology receives very little attention in most undergrad curricula, would defining research interests this broadly count against me? Or is this roughly what would be expected?

Feel free to PM me if you have any advice to offer.

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