Aug 7, 2016
4
0
Status
Psychology Student
Hey, everyone. New member and first time poster here.

I'm going to start my applications for PhDs in psychology this fall and I've been constantly looking at schools and people. I was originally planning on neuropsychology or something with an emphasis on biology, but looking through the papers and at people I haven't really found anything that jumped out at me.

My real love is evolutionary psychology and comparative animal psychology. My issue is that I can't seem to find a lot of professor's who do research under that umbrella. I found some people at Oakland University in Michigan and McMaster University in Canada and Duke University has a program in evolutionary anthropology that's interdisciplinary and looked interesting.

My question is can anyone suggest any schools or individuals that might do work like that? Thanks!
 

MamaPhD

Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2010
2,075
1,945
Status
Psychologist
What do you want to do in your career? By the way, evolutionary and non-human animal psychologists don't necessarily run in the same professional circles.

It sounds like you need to get a better idea of what you would be getting into by pursuing graduate study in one of these areas. A good way to learn more about a specific sub-discipline is to join a lab where you can get some mentoring from people who are more immersed in the subject matter. If you think you might have found a good fit, a next step is to join a professional society as a student member, go to a meeting or two if you can, and learn more about what topics are hot, what gets recognized, what people's careers look like, etc.
 
  • Like
Reactions: singasongofjoy

Ollie123

10+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2007
4,800
1,364
Status
Psychology Student
Agree that more information would be helpful.

Its also worth noting that many people in the field have VERY strong reservations about evolutionary psychology as a field, which could make it difficult to find employment. I do think it has value (primarily for hypothesis generation/exploratory work), but many disagree. If the goal is R1 academics...know that it is going to be an even tougher path than it would be for someone with different research interests.

I say all this not to dissuade you from pursuing it if its genuinely what you want to do. I'd just strongly advise a backup plan and/or making evolutionary psych more of a "secondary" line of work.
 
OP
N
Aug 7, 2016
4
0
Status
Psychology Student
What do you want to do in your career? By the way, evolutionary and non-human animal psychologists don't necessarily run in the same professional circles.

It sounds like you need to get a better idea of what you would be getting into by pursuing graduate study in one of these areas. A good way to learn more about a specific sub-discipline is to join a lab where you can get some mentoring from people who are more immersed in the subject matter. If you think you might have found a good fit, a next step is to join a professional society as a student member, go to a meeting or two if you can, and learn more about what topics are hot, what gets recognized, what people's careers look like, etc.
I want to do research. I do undergrad research now (not in the same are, but I've been in the lab for over 2 years and fell in love with research) and am reading different articles about the area in general (primarily stuff from professors I'll hopefully be applying to work with).

I'm part of the Eastern Psychology Association as a student member since I was on a poster but looking at other organizations is a good idea.
 
OP
N
Aug 7, 2016
4
0
Status
Psychology Student
Agree that more information would be helpful.

Its also worth noting that many people in the field have VERY strong reservations about evolutionary psychology as a field, which could make it difficult to find employment. I do think it has value (primarily for hypothesis generation/exploratory work), but many disagree. If the goal is R1 academics...know that it is going to be an even tougher path than it would be for someone with different research interests.

I say all this not to dissuade you from pursuing it if its genuinely what you want to do. I'd just strongly advise a backup plan and/or making evolutionary psych more of a "secondary" line of work.
Thanks for the heads up.
I've been looking at different professors in programs and part of me is worried because not a lot of research jumps out at me. Part of that makes me worried that I won't be able to find someone to work with. But I definitely agree having a backup is a good idea.