Jump to content


Senior Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by PhDwannabe

  1. Moo: A couple of major points. 1. You don't need a master's first. More and more people come in with one as the field becomes more competitive--it can help with application strength a little, particularly if undergraduate performance was weak. However, even a master's in psych won't do much for you once in graduate school--like many PhD programs, they're finicky as hell about accepting transfer credits. People are often fighting tooth-and-nail to get a few things counted. We usually do a "master's along the way" model. For admission, the primary factors of importance are GRE score, research experience, undergrad GPA, and strength of letters of rec, in loosely that order (depending on program). 2. You choose schools (besides all of the obvious considerations like whether you like the area) mainly according to something we vaguely call "fit." Indeed, "fit" is also how schools choose you. Like many grad programs, you're not really primarily accepted to a school; you're accepted to a professor and their lab. So people spend a lot of time stalking departmental websites looking for people whose research agenda fits with theirs (ideally, you're familiar enough with the literature in your area or have networked enough that you know some of these names already). Fit also has to do with your professional goals: do you want to be an academic scientist? A clinician? Different schools have different focus there, and some are known as having de-emphasized clinical training in favor of research. The standard model for PhD grad psych training is called the "scientist practitioner" model, in which both skill sets are supposed to build on and inform the other, and share more or less equal training emphasis. Those schools who more more toward research are starting to call themselves part of the "clinical scientist" model. Finally, some schools have dominant theoretical orientations. Washington and Arizona, for instance: classically huge behaviorist hubs. Penn: the center of cognitive behaviorism and, increasingly, behavioral medicine. Lots of New York schools: more psychodynamic. 3. You didn't ask it, but as part of this "fit" thing, she ought to be getting herself sure of what sort of program she wants to go into; I'm referring here to the major division: clinical and not-clinical. Clinical psychologists study mental disorders, broadly, but out of all the specialties, clinical psychologists are generally the ones who can become licensed to practice (not all of them do). They're not the only ones--school psychologists get licensure, but their scope of practice is often almost exclusively made of assessments. With a license, you can practice therapy, supervise (which many academics do, because they teach students who are doing clinical experiences as part of their training), do assessments, and some other stuff. The non-clinical specialties are more basic science, and train almost exclusively academics: developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, physiological psychology, social psychology, etc. Even if you're going into a clinical program, however, and you want to practice, you more or less have to lie and tell people you want to be a researcher and an academic. This is a known lie, as most of us don't become academics, but they often don't want to waste their time on someone not willing to tell it. This is the game. Oh, you just want to practice? Cute. Get out of here; go get a master's or a PsyD (more on what that is later). 4. Essentially all schools require the GRE. 1200 is often cited as a bare minimum for being reasonably competitive--I'm not sure what that translates to in the goofy new scoring system, but I imagine equivalency tables are available online. The psych GRE is required by a minority of programs--most scholars are unconvinced that it adds relatively little predictive utility to deciding who's a good match. Many schools will take the scores as optional; a few do require. I honestly limited my initial applications to those that didn't, since I was so averse to having to take it. 5. The APA index is a nice place to start. Also, studentdoctor.net is a lovely website full of neurotic pre-meds, residency applicants, and psych grad applicants. Around app and interview time, the forums are flooded with people exchanging information about who they've heard from and stuff, but people are on there all year talking about the app process. This is also a nice book, updated yearly, with lots of basic critical info about every single program in the USA which trains psychologists. 6. Regarding money, most schools remit tuition for some to all of the course of grad training, and offer some kind of modest stipend for grad fellowship duties, which can include research, teaching, lots of things. In some schools--usually tier one research institutions or close to them--they don't do this directly, but the idea is the faculty you're brought on to work with has active grants, and the grant will pay you as you work on their projects. Sometimes, students can be expected to go find paid practicum experiences (you need them anyway; some are paid.) Some schools have semi-formal opportunities for students to earn money if they go beyond a tuition remission or stipend period, like seeing extra clients at a clinic or teaching extra classes. It varies somewhat widely, and that book I recommended tells you about this sort of thing for pretty much every school--it's an important consideration. 7. You didn't ask about it, but I'll mention it anyway: as I let slip above, there's also a degree called a PsyD. It's a doctoral-level degree (rolls eyes) for people who are going to be pretty much exclusively practitioners. Remember when I mentioned the schools that de-emphasize clinical training in favor of research? Well, these go their other way. Their research requirements are--and hence, their research knowledge is--quite minimal. Some of these people are great clinicians. But the schools that grant these are often standalone institutions that grant 50, 70, 100 degrees a year, as opposed to our 4-12. I'm not calling them diploma mills, but as institutions, they're frequently looked down upon--depending on who you ask, the attitude towards them is something like that doctors have towards Caribbean medical schools (if you don't know about that phenomenon, ask a doctor). I won't lie to you when I say myself and my colleagues in PhD-level clinical psych have to bite our lips when we hear some of their students at conferences, moaning about the unbearable, 20-page tome they're having to write for their "dissertation." (One girl once said to me incredulously, "I had to get SPSS!") In the clinical world, they typically fare significantly worse on our one holy educational outcome measure: internship match. (You do an internship year or two at the end of all of this, around the time you're doing your dissertation.) If someone really honestly doesn't want anything to do with research, do it. If not, avoid. If she's anything like her sister, well, she's more of a scientist than that. 8. The app process is pretty onerous--it's a task many people start getting together in the spring or summer, since most due dates are December-January, and arranging everything can take months. I won't lie, it's very late to start this process now for this round of spring 2012 admissions. A standard school might get 250 applications by January, interview 30 in February, and make 6 offers in March. You've gotta go to that interview if you get it--everyone there is qualified to get in, but they've got to kick the tires and check for crazy in person (and they are there--half of them are, in hushed whispers, voted off the island by current students and faculty in the first couple of hours). Does your sister live in Israel? If she's lucky enough to get three interviews, that's three trips around the world. Hope you've got a couch for her to crash on here in the States. Hope all that helps. Check out that book and those websites.
  2. Could you clarify what you mean by "mentation," exactly? It seems like you're talking about thought, in some sense. One of the hallmarks of behavioral theory is that it does a relatively lovely job of explaining behavior without the need for thought (or a "mind") of any kind. Indeed, a big part of the point is sort of that conditioning is a process mechanistically well-defined enough that it does not necessarily imply or necessitate a mind. But what you're saying might be subtle, so I'm interested to hear what you mean here.
  3. Awwww, a charitable admission of one's overreach, apology, and polite explanation. It warms my heart. How often do we see any of this here? Cheers to the lady. hugs mooeypoo
  4. Science is a systematic method for investigating natural phenomena. Hypnosis is a goofy technique for altering consciousness. You're right. It is not regarded as "a science." It joins the long list of other things not regarded as "a science," such as particle accelerators, refrigeration, dining room tables, blowing one's nose, squid, and purchasing a taco.
  5. It sounds like plain old self-important gnosticism to me. A few of us, the elect, can really see the world for what it is. You're not talking about "consciousness," the cognitive state of wakeful self-awareness, you're actually talking about nothing more elaborate than the actual content of people's beliefs. To critique society, to call its structures cheap or artificial or meaningless, does not have anything to do with the cognitive state. Read Plato. He beat you to this by 2400 years, give or take. Also: Agreed. You have no external perspective. That's self-referentially incoherent.
  6. I'll agree that things are kind of subtle. I certainly think that a zygote is "alive" in a way that the gametes which fuse to form it are not, as it in itself contains the full instructions and potential to create the adult organism. But the status of being alive is itself on more of a spectrum than we'd like it to be.
  7. Brain activity = personality? This seems to be a pretty big non sequitur. Those are two different things in two different domains. Another analogy? Who used the first analogy? Did you think I was offering analogies? They were not analogies, and I said so, clearly. I am not making arguments by analogy. At any rate, you seem to be dispensing with the brain stuff and just sticking with this: Do we habitually confer rights based on future states? A pile of building materials is not a house, even when workmen begin to turn it into one. It does not have legal status as a residence, even though we're almost certain it will be one soon. Aha, you might say; that's an inanimate object--we're talking about people. In 1923, Gerald Ford was 10 years old, and he was to be the future President of the United States, but nobody gave him powers commensurate with the Commander-in-Chief of our nation's armed forces. Aha, you might say, that's because nobody knew or could've known he'd be President--a couple of children currently living will be the President one day, but we don't know which ones. So it's a matter of certainty, perhaps? Well, nobody knows what zygotes or fetuses will become babies, either. Something like three-fourths of fertilized eggs fail to implant, and are expelled. Something like a third of implanted zygotes fail to even become embryos, because the body spontaneously aborts them. While the chances are certainly nonzero, they are far, far from 100%. To your credit, you do seem to admit that personhood is not present within a fertilized egg, but it is life, and the "outcome of that life is personhood" (my emphasis). In that case, you have a further argument to make: why we should grant rights to something because it will maybe sometime soon display the characteristics which actually engender those rights. Particularly in light of the fact that the eventual earning of that status is not only far from certain, it is, at conception, far from likely.
  8. Life does indeed begin at conception. The fertilized zygote is living h. sapien which manages to fulfill all of the requisite conditions of life to nearly everyone's satisfaction. It's alive. Nobody can doubt that. The issue, however, is not whether the zygote (or, often more relevantly, the fetus) is a living human being. The more substantive issue is whether or not it is a human person. Personhood may or may not be entirely contiguous with life. Suppose you removed my head entirely--decapitated me--and hooked my body up to a bunch of machines to keep it humming along. It would go on pumping blood and absorbing oxygen, metabolizing, even perhaps making some responses to tactile stimuli, since a few of them are controlled by the spinal cord. So, that body. It's alive. Clearly. Is it a person, though? Is it me? What if it were just my brain that was removed, so I still had a skull and face--would I still be a person then? Maybe personhood lies in the presence of a working brain. But then, what about the unfortunate kids with intractable epilepsy who get a complete hemispherectomy: are they half a person when the operation's over? How would we know that these cases are "people", or if they aren't? The point here is not to make analogies to abortion. The point is to demonstrate that personhood is more complex than just a physical body, or some amalgamation of functioning h. sapien cells which approximates a physical body well enough, or might do so in the near, 9-month future. If you just define human personhood as the presence of a live physical body, you start running into problems. So when pro-life advocates say that life begins at conception, they're shooting over their opposition's shoulder--of course it does. That's simply not the point. Personhood is. Is the fetus a person? And if so, when is it one? What are the characteristics that define personhood, and when and how are they acquired? Even if it's established that the fetus meets criteria for personhood such that it "qualifies" to be treated in accordance with human rights, there may be even yet more considerations. Suppose I'm on a battlefield; an enemy soldier is a human person in every possible way. He's consciously aware, he has hopes and dreams, he makes decisions, feels pain and suffers. But we don't regard it as wrong to kill him, typically, if he's firing at me and we are legitimate combatants in a legitimate conflict. Once more: the point here is not to call a fetus an enemy soldier on a battlefield. This is not an argument by analogy. This is a demonstration of the fact that the right not to be killed with impunity is not fully contiguous with personhood. We very commonly accept that there are situations in which it is not. War might be one, capital punishment might be one. Nonmartial self-defense is almost always certainly one. Euthanasia, for many, might be another. Abortion might be another, for those on the pro-choice side who accept fetal personhood. To sum up: 1) You haven't demonstrated anything substantive by just saying the fetus is alive. Of course it is. That has relatively little to do with the moral status of abortion. You've got to establish that it's a human person. 2) You still haven't made your full case by arguing successfully that the fetus is a person. We accept that there are situations in which human people can be killed because of other interests. You have to defend its interests against those which compete. Ain't that easy?
  9. What you seem to be saying is that drugs with effect/side effect profiles that point in the opposite direction should be automatically contraindicated to take together. The answer is simple: this alone is simply not a basis for contraindication, that's all.
  10. Why won't any of the mods just answer the simple question: was the earth closer to the sun in the past or wasn't it? All things proceed outward from their core.
  11. You named three alleged IQ tests. Show them to me. Produce them.
  12. They're not Grand Inquisitors enforcing doctrine. They're enforcing some semblance of scientific thinking and discussions normative to that discipline. Do you think they're not aware of the progress of science, and how much of what we know will be expanded upon, overturned, etc. by future science? It doesn't tell us anything useful to note that. It doesn't destroy current knowledge, because current knowledge is better than past knowledge. Knowing that the earth orbits around the sun in an ellipse is better than thinking it orbits in a circle, which is better than thinking the sun orbits the earth, which is better than thinking the earth is flat and illuminated daily by a celestial sun chariot. We're wrong about stuff. We're righter than yesterday. Get over it. No mod here is closing doors on reasoned, informed discussion. They close doors on outlandish, baseless, worthless pontification. And out of a precautionary principle which generally airs on the side of respect for the free exchange of ideas, they sure as hell let a lot of it go. Now. Everyone. Please. Back to innuendo.
  13. What you're describing is not science. It's junk introspection. Period. It doesn't get us worthwhile therapies, or cancer drugs, or to the moon, or valid sociological observations. It doesn't get us anywhere. How should a layperson who might be reading this easily detect this fact? I'll show you: Dear anyone who might be reading this: whenever anyone makes a pronouncement that begins with "The mind works by..." and then actually finishes the thought confidently with some short rubric or law... stop listening. Run in the other direction. You cannot, cannot, cannot express how the mind works in any such terms. You don't know how the mind works well enough to usefully sum it up in that manner. Neither do I. Neither does anyone. If anyone tries to, they're making it up. The end. These are made up. These are not real psychometric instruments. That is not how psychometric instruments are named. Congratulations. You have made them up.
  14. Cute. One or two standard deviations above the cute mean.
  15. Howl, you look to be a teenager, and I give you kudos for spending some time on a site called Science Forums, and engaging yourself in ethical discussions. So don't take any kind of offense when I argue with you, because I think we all have a special responsibility to, well, challenge the youth. Because it's good for you, and if your teachers are anything like mine were, they're so happy you think about anything at all that they don't go the extra mile in really challenging you and forcing you to defend what you've put forward. With that in mind, I'm going to challenge you on your comments with a couple of questions: 1) The way you've framed it, abortion is wrong primarily because it allows individuals to somehow "get away with" the natural consequences of an action the freely participated in. (The free participation part seems to be the crucial bit for you, because it looks like you regard rape as a special case.) If that's true, since you mention STDs, why should we treat STDs? Doesn't it follow from your argument that we should withhold medical treatment from someone who has contracted an STD from unprotected sex? After all, they played with fire; they're going to get burned. Where are the limits of this rule? I choose to drive, for instance, which is a risk. If I crash my car, should people come help me? After all, if I didn't want to "get burned," I could always take the bus. 2) The second part of your argument seems to be an argument derived from the effects of legal abortion, posed hypothetically. But, we don't need to be hypothetical, because we already have legal abortion (although access to it has been increasingly restricted in many places.) Do you have evidence that we have created a "problem for ourselves" since Roe v. Wade? How do you think you could prove or demonstrate something like that?
  16. In general--I really have nothing to contribute except this--I'd keep the word "phantom" out of discussions of RLS, so as to avoid confusion.
  17. Finally, someone with unblemished mental health of their own stands up to the insane moderators. Bravo.
  18. Excellent point--I should've chimed in on this as well and will strongly echo it. In general, two good rules that are often broken are: 1) Don't use things you want them to do or might eventually want them to do as punishments (e.g., chores, reading) 2) Don't reward positive behaviors that they enjoy doing already.
  19. Justin: From what you've described, it does sound pretty mild and self-limiting to me. There is nothing what you say here that suggests that this would grow as a problem--really what concerns us are larger patterns of behavior across domains of life (e.g., impulsivity or misbehavior in school, at home, with friends.) Even really scary-sounding behavior (say, firestarting) are really often only suggestive of serious later problems within a larger context of behavior, and can just be relatively limited quirks when in isolation. Humans are complex, and we don't have neat formulae to predict how people will turn out given such a small bit of data--a pattern of some kind would definitely suggest something a little more worrying. If things ever did go that way, well, find a good child psychologist! For now, though, again, it sounds like a fairly isolated behavior of relatively minimal concern that shows no clear sign of getting bigger. As you say: try some positive reinforcement and give it some time. Good luck!
  20. Justin: Quasi-mental health professional here who can't dispense that kind of advice over this medium for a bucket of ethical reasons, so we'll go ahead and say that this is for quasi-entertainment purposes only. I should also say that I'm not a child behavior specialist, but I can hit some basics. I've got a couple of questions for you: first, what's "middle of the night?" Is this bedtime or just-post-bedtime behavior, or are we actually talking about her getting up at, say, 3AM, devouring snacks, and returning to bed? Also, is this part of any kind of pattern of other impulsive or disruptive behavior? Attentional difficulties? Other problems at nighttime like bedwetting, excessive nightmares, separation anxiety? Is she unusually deceitful about things other than the snacks (keeping in mind that normal kids do fib with some regularity?) Developmentally normal otherwise? It's not as if any of these responses are going to go a long way in helping me crack some sort of elaborate puzzle here; to be honest, I'm mostly curious about them so I might be able to make a more informed recommendation about whether or not you might want to look into consulting with someone in person. Not knowing any of these (though it'd be helpful to), I think I could generally encourage some kind of positive reinforcement schedule--it's simply more effective than punishment for things like this, especially when done with some immediacy--most kids are not terribly great at delaying gratification (think of how bad adults are at it, and realize that they're even much, much worse.) You have to catch positive behavior to reinforce, however. Suppose she goes a night without taking anything. You might note this in the morning. "You remember how mom and I have been asking you to not take food? Thanks for doing that. I put a special treat in your lunch today!" Doesn't have to be massive--better if it isn't, actually. We're talking Tootsie Roll territory. There are plenty of old-fashioned curmudgeons who moan about rewarding mediocrity, but I can give some assurance that it's not as problematic as some might think--the goal is not to provide some treat every damn day she behaves for the rest of her life. You "thin the reinforcement schedule"--perhaps stop doing that every day she doesn't take anything, and do so every other day, every few days, every week, until you're perhaps able to taper it entirely. These things can be surprisingly effective. Additionally, and on a somewhat simpler note, might it not be a little easier to just not keep junk food in the house? Just sayin'. And finally: Well, that's just good science, folks.
  21. A dictionary definition is not a scientific operationalization. That is not how this process works. Do you think a physicist can explain the collapse of the wave function by providing dictionary definitions for "collapse," "wave," and "function?" No. Well, psych is a science too. It makes just as little sense here. Try again. Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth. Emphatically, desperately, with every fiber of my being, I scream aloud: this is not research. This is not research. This is the opposite of research. Science is systematic and public. To make claims based on personal, unsystematic observation is to pontificate baselessly. "My observations... research in my head" is worse than worthless, because it deludes and misleads. No. A thousand times no. Incorrect. Tell me which valid, professionally used psychometric instruments, and which versions.
  22. This is vague and poorly operationalized. What is a "mentality?" What are "physical elements?" Same story here. Also, would love to see some research to support some or any of this. I give them. Incorrect.
  23. The negative effects of the deficiencies does not, in any way, suggest positive effects of excess. The state of the science does not currently lean towards any kind of supplementation above and beyond a normal healthy diet as being efficacious to improve memory or other cognitive functions substantially above an individual's personal baseline. Can you show me perhaps a meta-analysis or two which disagrees with me here? On a completely separate note, passive-aggression is decidedly un-cute. And, Appolinaria: On the contrary, these are two large components of general cognitive ability.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.