ktwallis

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What should I do if there are two professors at one program that both strongly appeal to both my interests as well as prior research? Can I email both and ask if they are taking new students for 2007? Should I pick a favorite and then email the other only if the first is not accepting students? Will it hurt my chances to contact more than one professor at a specific program?

thanks!
 

Psyclops

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In my opinion, by all means contact both. As long as both share the same interests then it would only be natural that you would want to work with both. Just to clarify, they both not only share your interests but they share each others, right? So they both study anxiety, or PDs, or psychosis right? It may be less appealing if you were to e-mail to professors who don't share the same interests, i.e., one does depression and the other shciz.
 
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ktwallis

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Psyclops said:
In my opinion, by all means contact both. As long as both share the same interests then it would only be natural that you would want to work with both. Just to clarify, they both not only share your interests but they share each others, right? So they both study anxiety, or PDs, or psychosis right? It may be less appealing if you were to e-mail to professors who don't share the same interests, i.e., one does depression and the other shciz.
My interest is in clinical psychopathology. Most of my experience comes from working with children, but I would also be interested (and have had some experience) with working with adults. One professor lists "adult and child clinical psychology, anxiety disorders, psychophysical and cognitive assessments" and other other progessor lists "mood disorders in adults, children, and adolescents, risk for depression". Although these two interests are slightly different, they still both pretty much fall under mood disorders in children and adults, which is what I really want to do. Should my interests be more specific than that?

PS. thank you so much for your help, i really really appreciate all the advice you have given thus far!
 
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Psyclops

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I hat to say it KT, but they probably should be more focused. Let me see if I can come up with an analogy: Saying you are interested in clinical psychopathology is like saying you are interested in "cars", and when they ask you what kind you say "automobiles". Not a very good analogy, but it is redundant. An interests in clinical psychology tends to usually = an interest in psychopathology. I understan having ambiguous feelings about interests, but at the PhD level they tend to be more focused. I think it is OK to say, that you are primarily intersted in X, but not to the exclusion of Y, and Z. But usually Y and Z should be logically related to X. So you would have a tough time convincing a committee that you had your stuff to gether if you said, I love ADHD in kids, and adult anxiety (as far as I know there isn't a big link there). Now there is one exception to what I have just said: If you said you were interestedin the classification or taxonomy or alternate conceptualizations of psychopathology. In which case your interest would be in psychopathology in general.
 

Psyclops

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Upon a closer reading of your post I ahve to appoligize, I didn't see that you had said you were interested in modd disorders in kids and adults. That is more focused but still pretty broad. You may need to diferentiate depending on the program you are applying to. SOme teach child and adult in which case it would be ok, other schools have different tracks depending on which you were interested in, in which case saying you were interested both kids and adults would be a negative.
 

lazure

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In my personal statement I stated my general research interests such as developmental psychopathology, social cognition etc. and then I offered specific examples of research questions that I would be interested in pursuing and that I have pursued in the past. Do not make the mistake of being too specific either.

The topics I eventually pursued in my M.A. had nothing to do with my initial personal statement so be sure to demonstrate flexibility as well.
 

psychanon

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ktwallis said:
. One professor lists "adult and child clinical psychology, anxiety disorders, psychophysical and cognitive assessments" and other other progessor lists "mood disorders in adults, children, and adolescents, risk for depression".
These professors have listed their interests very broadly. A lot of professors do that, I think, but in reality their research is probably more focused. You should look more into what their research actually covers (do PSYCinfo searches, etc.), and see if they really do both fit well with what you want to study. It's totally fine to list more than one professor as long as you can make a coherant argument for why both are a good fit for you. If both study mood disorders (but different aspects- say one looks at psychosocial correlates and another looks at treatment outcome), then it's pretty easy to make a good case for applying for both (in fact most people applying to one prof will probably also apply to the other). If their interests are more diverse but still are both a good fit, you should think about what the common link is and how you can relate it to your interests.
 

Ratch1980

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ktwallis said:
Should my interests be more specific than that?
Definitely. I think you need to be as specific as possible to make your personal statement convincing. Remember, you need to convince the professor that you can bring something to his/her research or can lead his/her research in interesting directions...or even just that you are intellectually curious.
 

psypsypsy

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I have to say, while I think you can be more specific, I would hesitate before becoming too specific, as suggested by Ratch180. As someone currently in a clinical program, I know multiple people who didn't get in to my and other programs BECAUSE their interests were too specific. They seemed too hard headed about what they wanted to do. I know one professor who was concerned that since they were really interested in one part of their research only, they would resist being an RA on another one of his projects. Plus...if you choose to be specific, you should alter it for each school so it really appears like you match with the professor.

Anyway, others may have had different experiences, but that's what I've noticed. Basically, it's a fine line between not specific enough (psychopathology) and too specific (Asian-American women with social anxiety disorder).
 

joetro

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If you are talking about Hollon and Garber, Garber took 3 people last year and may very well not take this year. Hollon generally doesn't take. But e-mail to ask both, maybe in a couple of months when they'll have a better idea.
 

LM02

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joetro said:
If you are talking about Hollon and Garber, Garber took 3 people last year and may very well not take this year. Hollon generally doesn't take. But e-mail to ask both, maybe in a couple of months when they'll have a better idea.
I know I'm not the original poster, but I'm pretty sure (s)he was not referencing Garber & Hollon. As both blurbs include children, and Hollon is very clearly adult-focused, I'm guessing it can't be him.

However, I put my money on Craske vs. Hammen at UCLA, just based on the blurbs. Am I right? ;)

If so, you need to be more specific - their work, while complementary, is quite different. Though I agree that you should aim to strike a balance between being too specific and not specific enough, based on my hunch, I think you're not currently specific enough.

The advice to do a lit search and read through some abstracts is a good one.

Good luck!
 

joetro

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You are right about that; just checked it out.

Depression and anxiety seem like fairly distinct fields to me. But you should contact them and read up a little; I'd contact them in a couple of months when they are more clear about what they are going to do.
 

Psyclops

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Depression and anxiety aren't necessarily distict fileds if you want to study the comorbidity of the two. GAD and MDD co-occur at about 70%.
 

joetro

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That's true, and hopefully the poster will address that in her statement if in fact that's her aim.
 

LM02

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Psyclops said:
Depression and anxiety aren't necessarily distict fileds if you want to study the comorbidity of the two. GAD and MDD co-occur at about 70%.
Agreed - as a mood d/o researcher who dabbles in a little bit of comorbid anxiety issues, this is dead on.

However, those two researchers in particular do fairly different work - that is why I agree that the research interests need to be better specified! :D
 

Psyclops

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I have no idea who they are, it's amazing how oblivous one can be to those in another interest bracket.

And, just to throw my pebble on the pile: it's best to do psychINFO searches on those whom you might want to work with.
 
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ktwallis

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i can't thank you guys enough for your advice!!

but are we all in agreement that emailing one professor and then (if they aren't excepting new students) emailing another in the same dept to see if they are is okay? if their interests are close but not the same, but both fall into child mood disorder territory... i guess i can make my first contact email to see if they are accepting students more general and then follow up with something specific if they are

what a process!! :confused:
 

joetro

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It's fine I think, and in some places a great idea, to e-mail multiple people if they share your interests. So you could/should e-mail both. I did at places where there were multiple people I'd want to work with.
 

LM02

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ktwallis said:
i can't thank you guys enough for your advice!!

but are we all in agreement that emailing one professor and then (if they aren't excepting new students) emailing another in the same dept to see if they are is okay? if their interests are close but not the same, but both fall into child mood disorder territory... i guess i can make my first contact email to see if they are accepting students more general and then follow up with something specific if they are

what a process!! :confused:
I highly doubt that professors are comparing names from emails they are receiving from prospective applicants! For email purposes, it's probably fine.
 
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