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Nicholas M. Michalak

Data Scientist | Ph.D. Candidate in Social Psychology

Insight Data Science

Department of Psychology, University of Michigan

Biography

I'm a Data Science Fellow at Insight Data Science as well as a PhD candidate in social psychology working with Josh Ackerman at the University of Michigan. More broadly, I have 10 years of experience conducting research in the social sciences with a focus on motivation and social cognition. I'm skilled in statistical modeling, machine learning, and experimental design. I'm looking to my leverage research and analytical skills to help businesses solve problems (my resume).

As a Data Science Fellow, I spent 7 (intense) weeks honing my skills in computer science fundamentals, applied statistical modeling, and machine learning. During four of those weeks, I developed a Flask web application—Next Escape (nextescape.me)—that simplifies web searches for users looking for an ideal escape room or escape rooms similar to ones they’ve played and enjoyed before (GitHub | Slides).

As a psychology researcher, I use advanced methods and statistics to study how both modern and evolutionarily-relevant threats affect how people perceive themselves and others. For example, in my current work, I use the reverse correlation image classification task to estimate mental representations of infected persons. I’m also conducting a Cross-Temporal Meta-Analysis to test whether stereotype threat effects have dissapated over time, depending on negatively stereotyped group (e.g., Women, Black Americans).

I’m asking three main questions right now: (1) How do people mentally represent threatening persons, (2) How do people use emotional expressions in trait judgements, and (3) What are the effects of negative stereotypes changing over time?

Interests

  • Person Perception
  • Nonverbal
  • Threat
  • Evolution

Education

  • M.S. in Social Psychology, 2017

    University of Michigan

  • B.S. in Neuroscience, 2012

    University of St. Thomas (MN)

Skills

Experimental Design

Measurement

Analytics

Machine Learning

R

Python

SQL

SPSS

Recent Publications

Projects

Next Escape: Find your next escape room

Next Escape nextescape.me recommends escape rooms based on one of two search options: (1) Users can enter their favorite escape room, …

SPSS for Research

OSF page storing materials used for Undergraduate Research Opportuntiies Program (UROP) workshops conducted at the University of …

R Programming for Psychology Research

OSF page storing materials used for workshops conducted at the University of Michigan

2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Polling Averages

R Shiny Application and GitHub repository for 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Polling Averages

Blog Posts

Learning Python as an R user

Logistic Regression in R

Introduction In this post, I’ll introduce the logistic regression model in a semi-formal, fancy way. Then, I’ll generate data from some …

Presidential primary candidate name recognition matters

Key takeaway FiveThirtyEight claims that early national primary polls can become more useful for predicting party nomination success if …

Testing Conditional Indirect Effects/Mediation in R

This post builds on a previous post on Testing Indirect Effects/Mediation in R. What is mediation? There are many ways to define …

Using Principal Components or Common Factor Analysis in Social Psychology

Multidimensional Scaling, the precursor to Principal Components Analysis, Common Factor Analysis, and related techniques …

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