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Prospective Ph.D. Students

I am currently accepting Ph.D. students. Here's the pitch.


Ten reasons to come to Waterloo to work with me:

10. The University of Waterloo is a (dare I say, the) leading center for decision-making research in Canada.

9. I love interdisciplinary work. My home discipline is basic cognitive science, but I get ideas from all areas of psychology and fields as diverse as philosophy, biology, economics, political science, sociology, history, anthropology, and statistics.

8. I'm also excited by interdisciplinary methods. The bread and butter of my work is experiments of adult cognition. But I've also been involved in projects using developmental, cross-cultural, mathematical modeling, computational linguistics, and econometric techniques. Let's let the question decide the methods, not the other way around.

7. Considering that I do basic science, I'm very interested in the real world; in fact, not long ago I worked in a Marketing department. Let's work on things that matter; maybe we can even change the world!

6I've lived and worked in both the US and UK before coming to Canada, and at lots of institutions (Yale, UCL, Bath, Warwick, Waterloo). Having been around the block a few times I have a pretty good sense for how things work in different systems and in different fields.

5. My colleagues at Waterloo are ridiculously smart and absurdly nice. Just down the hall (okay, sometimes up some stairs) from my office are the likes of Jonathan Fugelsang, Derek Koehler, Evan Risko, Ori Friedman, Igor Grossmann, Stephanie Denison, and that's just the start. Like I said, Waterloo really is a world-leading centre for research in higher-level cognition and decision-making. Many (indeed most) students are co-supervised and it is easy for students to work with multiple faculty, even across areas.

4. Because we have such a massive number of behavioural science people at Waterloo, there are numerous opportunities to engage with the intellectual community. Between the six research areas in our department, we have seminars almost every day (e.g., weekly cognitive area seminars), as well as monthly departmental colloquia.

3. I have pretty good insights about how to have a successful academic career and, if that's something you want, I'll do my best to help you make it happen. When I was at Warwick, I was on the department's Postgraduate Career Taskforce – and eager to apply this lens to all mentoring.

2. I study things that are really interesting. (Or at least I think so! If you agree, maybe we're a good match.) A few things I'm particularly curious about these days:

  • Basic psychological mechanisms of explanation and morality

  • Lay theories about how the economy works

  • How psychological, social, and economic processes work together interactively to shape our economic and political institutions

  • How people decide which charities to donate to

  • Behavioral economics applied to voters and civil servants


1. I'll give you lots of good music suggestions. For example, here's an incredible recording of an incredible string quartet. If this doesn't give you chills, I don't know what will.

0. This very cute dog (and lab mascot) wants you to apply. Don't make Mozzi sad!

Check out the department's website to learn more about opportunities to do a PhD with me and my brilliant colleagues at Waterloo. (Please note that the funding/admission situation is currently much more favorable for Canadian applicants.) If you're interested in working with me, I would encourage you to contact me before applying.

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