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What is a research psychologist?

Research Psychologists, also known as experimental psychologists, study the behavior of both humans and animals. They change variables within a laboratory setting to study how a person or animal reacts to or behaves in certain situations. These are the researchers studying the effects of variables on animals, such as mice, rats and monkeys.

Major areas of study include learning and memory, attention, motivation, effects of substance abuse, and genetic factors affecting behavior. They typically work in universities and private research centers for businesses, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies. There are even research psychologists employed in engineering firms, manufacturing settings and zoos!

What are the responsibilities of a research psychologist?

Research Psychology focuses on expanding understanding of how and why people think, feel, and behave. They use scientific methods as well as experimental techniques to examine basic human behavior and complex social relationships. They also examine how short- and long-term memory works, neurological foundations of addictions, emotional gratifications of specific actions, and all other aspects of human and animal behavior.

Research Psychology starts with the selection of a topic of study, such as prejudice, personal perception, social constructs such as control or cults, nonverbal communication and many other specific topics. They collect information through observation, surveys, and interviews and administer personality, aptitude or intelligence tests.

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Where do Research Psychologists Work?

Research Psychologists work in varied settings. They commonly work in an academic setting, but also work in laboratories and do field work. They work at universities, for private research organizations, and for governments. Some work independently while many work collaboratively with national or global teams.

Research Psychologists work for the military studying post traumatic stress disorder, depression and other issues affecting deployed servicemen and women. They perform medical, alcohol and drug use research; evaluate nutritional issues such as anorexia and other eating disorders, and research the cause and effect of specific human behavior.

What skills are required to get a psychology research job?

Research Psychologists require strong analytical skills. They must be able to work with raw data and numbers and be willing and able to delineate abstract information to draw logical conclusions about relevance. They need keen observation skills and strong judgement and decision-making skills. They should possess critical thinking skills and have proficiency evaluating programs, statistics and research design. Research Psychologists should hone their cognitive skills, being able to use strong perception and reasoning abilities. They must learn the ability of objectivity in order to dispassionately document data and findings.

How Much Money Can You Make in Research Psychology?

Research Psychologists currently earn a median salary of $73,000. That salary varies widely by industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs in the category of “all other,” which includes Research Psychology, will increase more than 10% from now through 2022. Research Psychologists working in education services earn $90,000 annually and those who work for the military earn $80,000 per year. Those who work at hospitals earn $84,000 each year while those working in pharmaceuticals earn $90,000 annually. Research Psychologists working as market analysts earn $61,000 and those who specialize in experimental psychology earn an annual salary of $69,000.

Latest Research Psychologist Jobs Listings

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Position Company Location Posted
Scientist, SFARI Simons Foundation New York, New York 11/23/2022
160 Fifth AvenueFull timeR0001194POSITION SUMMARY The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) is looking for a scientist to join our team to help shape and manage our growing research portfolio, which includes over 300 scientists engaged in investigator-initiated research in autism spanning a wide range including genetics/genomics, developmental biology, molecular and cell biology, circuit and systems neuroscience, ... More
Postdoctoral Fellow, Management & Organizations (Kteily) Northwestern University Evanston, Illinois 11/23/2022
Department: Management & Organizations, KelloggNour Kteily at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University is seeking applicants for a post-doctoral fellowship. The primary criterion for acceptance is research excellence and fit with the lab mission. Salary is competitive, and the position will have access to research funds. The one-year position begins in September 2023 (earlier start dates considered) and is renewable for up to two years contingent on satisfactory ... More
Open Rank Faculty; Program in Health Services Research Wake Forest University School of Medicine Winston Salem, North Carolina 11/22/2022
The Program in Health Services Research within the Division of Public Health Sciences at Wake Forest University School of Medicine is inviting outstanding applicants for tenure-track faculty positions at the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor. More
Research Lab Technician B (Unit for Experimental Psychiatry) University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 11/22/2022
Research Lab Technician B (Unit for Experimental Psychiatry)University OverviewThe University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World ... More
Postdoctoral Researcher at the Center of Social Norms and Behavioral Dynamics University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 11/22/2022
Postdoctoral Researcher at the Center of Social Norms and Behavioral DynamicsLocation: Philadelphia, PAOpen Date: Feb 14, 2022Deadline: One post-doctoral position is available at the Center for Social Norms and Behavioral Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania. This large-scale research project aims to explore the ... More
Data Analyst Junior (Neuropsychiatry) University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 11/22/2022
Data Analyst Junior (Neuropsychiatry)University OverviewThe University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has ... More
Tenure Track Faculty Position in Clinical Neuroscience Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, Illinois 11/18/2022
The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (https://www.psychiatry.northwestern.edu/) at Northwestern University is seeking a full-time, tenure-track Investigator at the rank of Assistant Professor with interest in studying mechanisms and/or treatments for affective psychopathologies using clinical neuroscience methods. The faculty member will join a large, vibrant, multidisciplinary and highly collaborative community of neuroscientists ... More
Assistant Professor of Psychology Texas Wesleyan University Texas 11/18/2022
Texas Wesleyan University, founded in 1890 in Fort Worth, is a United Methodist institution with a tradition of integrating the liberal arts and sciences with professional and career preparation at the undergraduate level and in selected graduate areas. Enrollment is over 2,600 students. The School of Arts and Sciences is currently seeking applicants for a tenure-track assistant professor faculty position in psychology beginning in Fall 2023. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and ... More
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