Frequently Asked Questions:
Are you currently accepting MA or Ph.D. students?
We always review applicants who are interested in working in our laboratory. If you are interested in working with us, be sure to mention Dr. Cohen’s name in your application and your general research interests. Of course, you are always welcome to email Dr. Cohen before applying to discuss fit as well.
What are some of the topics researched in this lab?
We study a variety of topics, including how people make social, economic, and other types of decisions; how people understand and use numbers; clinical assessment; and more.
Learn more about our research on our Current Research page.
What is it like to work in your lab?
Everyone in the lab participates in a laboratory meeting once a week. In this meeting, we are all equals and we brainstorm ideas, critique procedures, and statistics, present theories, etc. It is a fun and vibrant discussion. The rest of the week, graduate and undergraduate students have different concentrations.
At the graduate level, your job is to learn the skills required to conduct research independently and to communicate that research to others. You have a lot to learn in a relatively short period of time. To facilitate this, Dr. Cohen meets with his students often. During these meetings, he gives some instruction, a task to tackle, and feedback on your last task. The tasks progress from literature review, model building, experimental design, statistical programming, data collection, writing, and presenting. These tasks often overlap. For example, you will be writing throughout your career as a graduate student, but you won’t start programming until after you complete your initial literature review. Dr. Cohen has taught many students these skills. He knows where the difficulties lay and how to overcome them. Dr. Cohen has helped countless graduate students move through the program on time.
At the undergraduate level, you will be helping graduate students with their routine tasks, such as collecting data, doing literature reviews, managing participants, etc.
Will I publish papers?
Nothing is guaranteed. However, we have found that most MA theses get published, as well as papers the students work on as side projects. Ph.D. students have many opportunities to publish, as long as they are committed to the process.
What kind of jobs do graduates tend to get after receiving their MA or Ph.D.?
Graduates from Dr. Cohen’s lab are well versed in statistics and experimental design, as well as cognition, perception, and decision science. These skills are in high demand in social science research firms (e.g., AIR, Pearson, etc.), military research facilities, tech companies (Facebook, Google, etc.), and others. In addition, students with MA degrees are qualified to teach at community colleges and those with PhDs are qualified to teach at 4-year colleges and universities.
Where have Dr. Cohen’s graduates been employed?
The first Ph.D. student in Psychological Science graduated in 2022. She was interested in doing research in non-academic settings and quickly got a job at a military research facility. Prior to that, Dr. Cohen’s graduate students graduated at the MA level. Most of them went on to earn their PhDs at other universities (UVA, Tufts, UNCG, etc.). Those that went into the workforce, got jobs as statisticians or researchers at various firms or university settings.
I am an undergraduate and I am interested in doing a DIS with Dr. Cohen. What requirements do DIS credits count towards?
Directed Independent Studies (Psy 491) credits count towards the “explorations beyond the classroom” general studies requirement.
In addition, you can count up to 9 DIS credits toward the required Psychology Major electives.
Finally, DIS provides excellent exposure to a research environment. The faculty member you work with will come to know your skills and often is able to serve as a referee if you apply to graduate school.
What courses does Dr. Cohen generally teach?
Dr. Cohen generally teaches:
- Research Methods (Graduate)
- Cognitive Psychology (Graduate)
- Advanced Modeling and Simulations (Graduate)
- Sensation and Perception (Undergraduate)
- Cognition and Perception (Undergraduate)
- Scientific Computing (Undergraduate)
- Among others