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Mac or PC: What is the best laptop for a student in a Clinical Psychology PhD program?


K@tie
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Hi everyone!

So, I've struck a bit of luck -- my mom's boss is offering to buy me a new laptop, which I desperately need! Now, because my budget is not an issue, I want to be strategic and get a laptop that will suit me best in graduate school. I am currently reapplying to clinical psych phd programs. What's the best laptop for statistical analysis programs, and these programs in general?

 

Any advice is helpful!!
 

- k@tie

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I like Statistica (and it's very reasonably priced for students), but I don't know if it will run on a Mac.   See if you can find out what they're using at programs you're interested in, or what the POIs that you're interested in are using.  

Edited by Piagetsky
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Most stats programs run optimally on PCs and when you're giving talks, you can more reliably count on them having Powerpoint. Colleagues will want you to work on Word file manuscripts.

So the answer is PC will be easier on you in terms of work, but some people like their Macs. The macs-per-capita is higher in academia than other places.

 

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7 hours ago, lewin said:

Most stats programs run optimally on PCs and when you're giving talks, you can more reliably count on them having Powerpoint. Colleagues will want you to work on Word file manuscripts.

 

FYI–The office suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) runs great on OSX.

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Most people in my cohort use a mac partially because of its portability. I prefer power and went with a customized pc laptop (dell xps) since I need to use stata and spss. Though with the latest stupid windows OS I may just switch...

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SPSS is probably done for, so I wouldn't worry about it re: software.

Lots of people are learning to use R, and on top of that, for the less code savvy among us, researchers have also created jamovi as a point-and-click version built on R, and can also produce R scripts (so helpful if you need guidance on how to learn). It has the benefit of making ready-to-publish APA-style tables (which you can also do on R). Bayesian analysis is also getting popular and JASP is also built as a user-friendly alternative to introduce people into Bayesian stats. Both of these were built by actual researchers and are not proprietary, but if you're worried about continued support in the future, learning R (and using something like R Studio as a GUI) down the line would probably be your best bet as you can do frequentist and bayesian stats on it. If you do qualitative analysis, R also has a package for that.

I think the only time you might have issues is if you're doing really intense analysis using large data sets. I know the graduate student I worked with took a computer for an entire day to run reverse correlations, and I've had really simple simulations take a few hours (but that was because I was working off old school computers).

Edited by Oshawott
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I found that I really enjoy working on a Mac. I work in a clinical research heavy lab and have analyzed all my data via R on a mac (also used SPSS when I had a license, but I just prefer R...if you're just starting, would recommend using R-Studio), drafted presentations/ my manuscripts etc with no difficulty using Mac OS. 

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