We are hiring! Full time research assistant

Please enter the number 1600587 into this Princeton website to apply.


Job description:

Betsy Levy Paluck, Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, is seeking applications for a research specialist. See a description of her team's work, combining social psychology, field methodology, network data, and social intervention evaluation, here: http://www.betsylevypaluck.com
The successful applicant will join a dynamic research group that includes postdoctoral associates and graduate and undergraduate students. The research specialist will assist with many aspects of research, helping to plan, implement, and to manage data from field and laboratory experiments. Other important work will include conducting literature reviews; conducting data analysis; and contributing miscellaneous research support, including scheduling, assistance with grants and with ethics applications. 

Applicants with various backgrounds, including computer science, sociology, economics, and political science, are welcome in addition to applicants with a background in psychology. Interest in and engagement with our laboratory's research is more important than disciplinary background. Other key applicant attributes include quantitative data analysis experience or computer programming, writing skills, and excellent organizational skills. If the applicant does not have an extensive data management or quantitative analysis background but knows some basic computer programming and is willing to learn, the position could include training. 

Finally, we look for someone who will share in our enjoyment of and enthusiasm for research, mentoring, and learning. 

Initial appointment is for one year with possibility for renewal pending satisfactory performance and funding availability. The proposed start date is September or October 2016. Please submit a cover letter, CV, and contact information for two references. Applications will be evaluated beginning immediately, and will continue until the hiring process is complete. 

The final candidate will be required to complete a background check successfully.  

Essential Qualifications

-Bachelor's degree in psychology, economics, computer science, sociology, political science, public health, or related fields. 
-Writing and editing skills. 
-Strong managerial and organizational skills  

Preferred Qualifications

-Previous research experience in designing and conducting field and/or lab experiments
-Quantitative analysis or data management or computer programming experience (Python, STATA, R) 
-Grant writing experience  

Reading list: Effects of race on life outcomes in the U.S.

A working list (please comment below with suggested additions).

Inclusion criteria: Studies that investigated causal impacts on real world outcomes or close proxies of those outcomes, in a highly naturalistic or field setting.



Hagiwara, Nao, Louis A. Penner, Richard Gonzalez, Susan Eggly, John F. Dovidio, Samuel L. Gaertner, Tessa West, and Terrance L. Albrecht. "Racial Attitudes, Physician–patient Talk Time Ratio, and Adherence in Racially Discordant Medical Interactions." Social Science & Medicine 87 (2013): 123-31.


Green, Alexander R., Dana R. Carney, Daniel J. Pallin, Long H. Ngo, Kristal L. Raymond, Lisa I. Iezzoni, and Mahzarin R. Banaji. "Implicit Bias among Physicians and Its Prediction of Thrombolysis Decisions for Black and White Patients." Journal of General Internal Medicine 22 (2007): 1231-238.


Douglas, Almond, Hilary W. Hoynes and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach. "Inside The War On Poverty: The Impact Of Food Stamps On Birth Outcomes." The Review of Economics and Statistics 93, no. 2 (2011): 387-403.


David M. Cutler, Roland G. Fryer, Jr., and Edward L. Glaeser. “Racial Differences in Life Expectancy: The Impact of Salt, Slavery, and Selection.” unpublished manuscript, Harvard University and NBER, March 1, 2005; and Katherine M. Barghaus.


Noymer, Andrew, Andrew M. Penner, Aliya Saperstein, and Cécile Viboud. "Cause of Death Affects Racial Classification on Death Certificates." PLoS ONE 6, no. 1 (2011): E15812.


Criminal justice


Eberhardt, Jennifer L., Phillip Atiba Goff, Valerie J. Purdie-Vaughns, and Paul G. Davies. "Seeing Black: Race, Crime, And Visual Processing.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 87, no. 6 (2004): 876-93.


Eberhardt, Jennifer L., Paul G. Davies, Valerie J. Purdie-Vaughns, and Sheri Lynn Johnson. "Looking Deathworthy. Perceived Stereotypicality Of Black Defendants Predicts Capital-Sentencing Outcomes." Psychological Science 17, no. 5 (2006): 383-86.


Correll, Joshua, Bernadette Park, Charles M. Judd, and Bernd Wittenbrink. "The Police Officer's Dilemma: Using Ethnicity To Disambiguate Potentially Threatening Individuals."Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 83, no. 6 (2002): 1314-329.


Correll, Joshua, Bernadette Park, Charles M. Judd, Bernd Wittenbrink, Melody S. Sadler, and Tracie Keesee. "Across The Thin Blue Line: Police Officers And Racial Bias In The Decision To Shoot." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 92, no. 6 (2007): 1006-023.


Donohue, John J., III, and Steven D. Levitt. "The Impact of Race on Policing and Arrests."The Journal of Law and Economics 44, no. 2 (2001): 367-94.


Goff, Phillip Atiba, Matthew C. Jackson, Brooke A. L Di Leone, Carmen M. Culotta, and Natalie A. DiTomasso. "The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 106, no. 4 (2014): 526-45.


Saperstein, Aliya, and Andrew M. Penner. "The Race Of A Criminal Record: How Incarceration Colors Racial Perceptions." Social Problems 57, no. 1 (2010): 92-113.




Bertrand, Marianne, and Sendhil Mullainathan. "Are Emily And Greg More Employable Than Lakisha And Jamal? A Field Experiment On Labor Market Discrimination." American Economic Review 94, no. 4 (2004): 991-1013.


Pager, Devah. "The Mark Of A Criminal Record." American Journal of Sociology 108, no. 5 (2003): 937-75.


Barron, Laura G., Michelle Hebl, and Eden B. King. "Effects of manifest ethnic identification on employment discrimination." Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 17, no. 1 (2011): 23.


Milkman, Katherine L., Modupe Akinola, and Dolly Chugh. "What Happens Before? A Field Experiment Exploring How Pay and Representation Differentially Shape Bias on the Pathway into Organizations." A Field Experiment Exploring How Pay and Representation Differentially Shape Bias on the Pathway into Organizations (April 23, 2014) (2014).




Ondrich, Jan, Stephen Ross, and John Yinger. "Now You See It, Now You Don't: Why Do Real Estate Agents Withhold Available Houses from Black Customers?" Review of Economics and Statistics 85, no. 4 (2003): 854-73.


Pager, Devah, Bruce Western, and Bart Bonikowski. "Discrimination In A Low-Wage Labor Market: A Field Experiment." American Sociological Review 74, no. 5 (2009): 777-99.


Heckman, James J. and Peter Siegelman, “The Urban Institute Audit Studies: Their Methods and Findings,” in Michael Fix and Raymond J. Struyk, Clear and Convincing Evidence: Measurement of Discrimination in America, Lanham, MD: Urban Institute Press, 1992.




Steele, Claude M. "A Threat In The Air: How Stereotypes Shape Intellectual Identity And Performance." American Psychologist 52 (1997): 613-29.


Walton, Gregory M., and Geoffrey L. Cohen. "A Brief Social-Belonging Intervention Improves Academic and Health Outcomes of Minority Students." Science 331, no. 6023 (2011): 1447-451.


Sharkey, Patrick. "The Acute Effect of Local Homicides on Children's Cognitive Performance." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107, no. 26 (2010): 11733-1738.


Burdick-Will, Julia, Jens Ludwig, Stephen Raudenbush, Robert Sampson, Lisa Sanbonmatsu, and Patrick Sharkey. "Converging Evidence for Neighborhood Effects on Children's Test Scores: An Experimental, Quasi- Experimental, and Observational Comparison." In Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children's Life Chances, 225-276. Greg Duncan and Richard Murnane ed. New York: Russel Sage, 2011.


Milkman, Katherine L., Modupe Akinola, and Dolly Chugh. "Temporal Distance and Discrimination An Audit Study in Academia.Psychological Science 23, no. 7 (2012): 710-717.


Voting and Political influence


Butler, Daniel M., and David E. Broockman. "Do Politicians Racially Discriminate Against Constituents? A Field Experiment on State Legislators." American Journal of Political Science 55, no. 3 (2011): 463-77.


Broockman, David E. "Black Politicians Are More Intrinsically Motivated to Advance Blacks’ Interests: A Field Experiment Manipulating Political Incentives." American Journal of Political Science 57, no. 3 (2013): 521-36.


Enos, Ryan D. “What the Demolition of Public Housing Teaches us About the Impact of Racial Threat on Political Behavior.American Journal of Political Science (forthcoming).


Gilliam, Franklin D., and Shanto Iyengar. "Prime Suspects: The Influence of Local Television News on the Viewing Public." American Journal of Political Science 44, no. 3 (2000): 560-73.



List, John A. "The Nature And Extent Of Discrimination In The Marketplace: Evidence From The Field." The Quarterly Journal of Economics 119, no. 1 (2004): 49-89.


Ayres, Ian. "Fair driving: Gender and race discrimination in retail car negotiations." Harvard Law Review (1991): 817-872.


Intersection with gender discrimination


*** Need more here


Intersection with LGBTQA identities


*** Need more here


Intersection with class


Klag, Michael J., Paul K. Whelton, Josef Coresh, Clarence E. Grim, and Lewis H. Kuller. "The Association of Skin Color With Blood Pressure in US Blacks With Low Socioeconomic Status." JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association 265, no. 5 (1991): 599-602.


Freeman, Jonathan B., Andrew M. Penner, Aliya Saperstein, Matthias Scheutz, and Nalini Ambady. "Looking the Part: Social Status Cues Shape Race Perception." PLoS ONE 6, no. 9 (2011): e25107. Accessed December 16, 2014. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025107


Penner, Andrew M., and Aliya Saperstein. "How Social Status Shapes Race." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105, no. 50 (2008): 19628-9630.





Dovidio, John F., Louis A. Penner, Terrance L. Albrecht, Wynne E. Norton, Samuel L. Gaertner, and Nicole J. N. Shelton. "Disparities And Distrust: The Implications Of Psychological Processes For Understanding Racial Disparities In Health And Health Care."Social Science & Medicine 67, no. 3 (2008): 478-86.



Sen, Maya, and Omar Wasow. In Press, 2016. “Race as a 'Bundle of Sticks': Designs that Estimate Effects of Seemingly Immutable Characteristics”, Annual Review of Political Science 19 (forthcoming). Copy at http://j.mp/1CNEEs4



Paluck, Elizabeth Levy, and Donald P. Green. "Prejudice reduction: What works? A review and assessment of research and practice.Annual Review of Psychology 60 (2009): 339-367.


Implicit bias

Banks, Richard R., Jennifer L. Eberhardt, and Lee Ross. "Discrimination and Implicit Bias in a Racially Unequal Society." California Law Review 94, no. 4 (2006): 1169-90.


Racial profiling

Glaser, Jack. Suspect Race: Causes and Consequences of Racial Profiling. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.


Thanks to my lab group, Omar Wasow, Don Green, Devah Pager, Peter Aronow, Adam Pearson, and Alin Coman for contributions. 


thoughts on this debate about social scientific rigor

On his terrific blog, Professor Sanjay Srivastava points out that the current (vitriolic) debate about replication in psychology has been "salted with casually sexist language, and historically illiterate" arguments, on both sides. I agree, and thank him for pointing this out.


I'd like to add that I believe academics participating in this debate should be mindful of co-opting powerful terms like bullying and police (e.g., the "replication police") to describe the replication movement. Why? Bullying behavior describes repeated abuse from a person of higher power and influence. Likewise, many people in the US and throughout the world have a well-grounded terror of police abuse. The terror and power inequality that these terms connote is diminished when we use it to describe the experience of academics replicating one another's studies. Let's keep evocative language in reserve so that we can use it to name and change the experience of truly powerless and oppressed people. 


Back to replication. Here is the thing: we all believe in the principle of replication. As scientists and as psychologists, we are all here because we wish to contribute to cumulative research that makes progress on important psychological questions. This desire unites us.


So what's up?


It seems to me that some people oppose the current wave of replication efforts because they do not like the tenor of the recent public discussions. As I already mentioned, neither do I. I'm bewildered by the vitriol. Just a few days ago, one of the most prominent modern economists, currently an internationally bestselling author, had his book called into question over alleged data errors in a spreadsheet that he made public. His response was cordial and curious; his colleagues followed up with care, equanimity, and respect. 


Are we really being taught a lesson in manners from economists? Is that happening?  


As one of my favorite TV characters said recently ...


If we don't like the tenor of the discussion about replication, registration, etc., let's change it.


In this spirit, I offer a brief description of what we are doing in my lab to try to make our social science rigorous, transparent, and replicable. It's one model for your consideration, and we are open to suggestions.


For the past few years we have registered analysis plans for every new project we start. (They can be found here on the EGAP website; this is a group to which I belong. EGAP has had great discussions in partnership with BITSS about transparency.) My lab's analysis registrations are accompanied by a codebook describing each variable in the dataset.


I am happy to say that we are just starting to get better at producing replication code and data & file organization that is sharing-ready as we do the research, rather than trying to reconstruct these things from our messy code files and Dropbox disaster areas following publication (for this, I thank my brilliant students, who surpass me with their coding skills and help me to keep things organized and in place. See also this). What a privilege and a learning experience to have graduate students, right? Note that they are listening to us have this debate. 


Margaret Tankard, Rebecca Littman, Graeme Blair, Sherry Wu, Joan Ricart-Huguet, Andreana Kenrick (awesome grad students), and Robin Gomila and David Mackenzie (awesome lab managers) have all been writing analysis registrations, organizing files, checking data codebooks, and writing replication code for the experiments we've done in the past three years, and colleagues Hana Shepherd, Peter Aronow, Debbie Prentice, and Eldar Shafir are doing the same with me. Thank goodness for all these amazing and dedicated collaborators, because one reason I understand replication to be so difficult is that it is a huge challenge to reconstruct what you thought and did over a long period of time, without careful record keeping (note: analysis registration also serves that purpose for us!). 


Previously, I posted data at Yale's ISPS archive, and for other datasets made them available on request if I thought I was going to work more on them. But in future we plan to post all published data plus the dataset's codebook. Economist and political scientists friends often post to their personal websites. Another possibility is posting in digital archives (like Yale's, but there are others: I follow @annthegreen for updates on digital archiving).


I owe so much of my appreciation for these practices to my advisor Donald Green. I've also learned a lot from Macartan Humphreys


I'm interested in how we can be better. I'm listening to the constructive debates and to the suggestions out there. If anyone has questions about our current process, please leave a comment below! I'd be happy to answer questions, provide examples, and to take suggestions. 


It costs nothing to do this--but it slows us down. Slowing down is not a bad thing for research (though I recognize that a bad heuristic of quantity = quality still dominates our discipline). During registration, we can stop to think--are we sure we want to predict this? With this kind of measurement? Should we go back to the drawing board about this particular secondary prediction? I know that if I personally slow down, I can oversee everything more carefully. I'm learning how to say no to new and shiny projects. 


I want to end on the following note. I am now tenured. If good health continues, I'll be on hiring committees for years to come. In a hiring capacity, I will appreciate applicants who, though they do not have a ton of publications, can link their projects to an online analysis registration, or have posted data and replication code. Why? I will infer that they were slowing down to do very careful work, that they are doing their best to build a cumulative science. I will also appreciate candidates who have conducted studies that "failed to replicate" and who responded to those replication results with follow up work and with thoughtful engagement and curiosity (I have read about Eugene Caruso's response and thought that he is a great model of this kind of response).


I say this because it's true, and also because some academics report that their graduate students are very nervous about how replication of their lab's studies might ruin their reputations on the job market (see Question 13). I think the concern is understandable, so it's important for those of us in these lucky positions to speak out about what we value and to allay fears of punishment over non-replication (see Funder: SERIOUSLY NOT OK)


In sum, I am excited by efforts to improve the transparency and cumulative power of our social science. I'll try them myself and support newer academics who engage in these practices. Of course, we need to have good ideas as well as good research practices (ugh--this business is not easy. Tell that to your friends who think that you've chosen grad school as a shelter from the bad job market). 


I encourage all of my colleagues, and especially colleagues from diverse positions in academia and from underrepresented groups in science, to comment on what they are doing in their own research and how they are affected by these ideas and practices. Feel free to post below, post on (real) blogs, write letters to the editor, have conversations in your lab and department, or tweet. I am listening. Thanks for reading.




A collection of comments I've been reading about the replication debate, in case you haven't been keeping up. Please do post more links below, since this isn't comprehensive.