Nick Byrd’s Blog

How To Prepare For A Thesis Defense

I defended my doctoral dissertation in 2020—yes, remotely. I also defended a master’s thesis a few years earlier. I learned a few things and sought plenty of advice between these two defenses. In this post I will share the checklist that I used to prepare for the dissertation defense.

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6 Tips For Academic Presentations

Like many academics, I’ve given dozens of academic presentations and dozens more audio and video interviews in the past few years. After a series of subpar presentations, plenty of feedback, and lots of practice, I now get remarkably positive feedback on these presentations. For example, some professors have advised their graduate students to model their job talks after some of the talks that I have given about reasoning, morality, and religion. In this post, I’ll share the best advice for academic presentations that I have received so far, focusing only on what I have found to be most helpful.

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5 Ways To Overcome Junk Data From mTurk (and online surveys more generally)

The data quality on Amazon Mechanical Turk (mTurk) has suffered for years now (Chandler & Paolacci, 2017; Moss & Litman, 2018; Chmielewski & Kucker, 2019; Ahler et al., 2020; Kennedy et al., 2020; MacInnis et al., 2020). There are a few ways to protect online survey data quality. In this post, I will briefly cover five strategies for weeding out junk data in online research (not just via mTurk), from easiest to hardest.

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What good is reflective reasoning?


Philosophers and cognitive scientists tend to think that reflective reasoning will improve our judgments and decisions. The idea reflection will lead us to test our judgments by “looking for their coherence with our beliefs about similar cases and our beliefs about a broader range of …issues” a la reflective equilibrium. This sounds intuitively plausible. But is it true? In this post I briefly present some research suggesting that reflective reasoning often, but does not always improve our judgments and decisions.  Continue reading What good is reflective reasoning?

10 Steps For Organizing A Conference or Workshop

Organizing a conference or workshop is time-consuming yet important work. I have organized a handful or international conferences, in-person and online. In this post, I distill my conference organizing experience into a list of 10 steps to make your conference or workshop a success. To find out more about organizing conferences/workshops—especially online—see Online Conferences: Some history, methods & data

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8 Sources Of Morality

What is the source of morality? There are many proposed sources of morality. Here are eight, with links to peer-reviewed resources where you can find out more about each proposed source of morality.

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A Year On The Job Market With A Ph.D. – Some Data

I was on the job market in the Fall of 2019 and the Spring of 2020. I submitted over 280 job applications to universities, governments, companies, think tanks, and grant agencies. After some interviews, job talks, and a few offers, I thought that I would share my experience here. If at any point you have questions, then feel free to contact me on your platform of choice; I’ll see if I can answer your question in a future post. Today’s post visualizes data about the job market process from application submission to job offer.

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