Advice from a Master Jedi Series – Part II: PhD Advice from Gary Latham

1) Look for what’s missing in literature and research that.

One such area would be subconscious goals. He only knows of only one study of this that works (!) so far (Shantz & Latham, 2009 in Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes)

2) Know the editors’ biases before submitting your manuscript for publication.

You can find this out through conversation sessions at conferences or the editorial section for new editors of a journal. They usually tell you what they’re looking for (i.e. “I hate lab studies.”)

3) Know your journal before submitting your manuscript for publication.

Some journals are apparently biased against Americans! (I need to find out the journal names, what does AP stand for? Probably not American Psychologist. There’s another one called International something Review, does anyone know?)

4) Write in advance to the editor or the people whose theory you are using to ask them for a critique of your manuscript before you submit it for publication.

“Dear Dr. X. I’ve applied your theory of X to Y. Please critique my paper/idea on everything, i.e. style, composition ideas, etc.”

Gary said, “My publications hit rate is high because I have nasty friends.” When you want to get published, “You don’t want hugs; you want smacks.”

LOL. Basically, Gary is saying that people who tear your paper apart is good for your editing phase. This is probably the only time having nasty friends is good!

5) During comps, always start an answer with, “You begin with a job analysis.”

6) Use your ace.

This advice he geared specifically for me during the meet-with-graduate-students session. He, for some reason, knew right away that I was from a different culture and he asked where I was from. I said, “Thailand.” And he said (I paraphrase), “Use your ace. Are there Thai researchers in psychology that have your level of education? Honestly, most and the best research are coming out of North America. You could do something new by using Thai samples.” And that is my ace.

That has definitely got me thinking. I can replication SO MANY THINGS in Thailand because I have extensive connections through my family there. And there’s barely any research using Thai samples out there and apparently our culture is different from East Asia (gasp!) so that would be a great contribution to the field of culture psychology. There’s also a huge number of expats there so I have access to that pool, too…now for ideas…Another pro, if I do want to go collect data in Thailand, it’s definitely a win-win; I get to go visit friends and family and eat the food and also be doing what I’m supposed to be doing anyway!

Gary also said if I do studies in Quebec, that would probably get published easily, too, because to Americans, Quebec is like a foreign country (more foreign than Canada in general) lol. We do have connections in Montreal!


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