Q & A, Dr. Matsumoto- Psychology, Emotion and Work


Courtesy of StockVault

The Student Doctor Network recently did a Q & A with SFSU’s Culture and Emotion Research Laboratory director and Humintell’s Director Dr. David Matsumoto.

In this interview Dr. Matsumoto delved into the topics of psychology, microexpressions (one of of his specialties), and what his typical work day looks like.  He was asked questions such as, how and why did you choose the doctorate program you attended and what do you like least about being a psychologist.

For a sneak peek see some of his answers below.  For a more in depth look read the entire article.

What do you like least about being a psychologist?
I don’t like the politics and administrative work that are involved in doing my work. I definitely don’t like waiting to get the answer once I do a study. I could have an interesting research question and do a study, but it could take me two years to get the answer. It’s not something that I can get immediately, so I don’t like waiting because I’m kind of an impatient guy.

Describe a typical day at work—walk readers through a day in your shoes.
I’m up around 5:30 a.m. I’ll decide then if I’ll get up then and work or if I’m going to stay in bed for an extra 30 minutes and then get up. As soon as I wash up, I go straight to my study in my house. I write every morning, six days a week. Whether it’s a journal article, chapter, book, grant proposal, I’ll be writing, which is a creative activity for me. I’ll spend one and a half to three hours, six days a week, doing that with minimal interruptions and I have done that for over 30 years. After that time, I’ll take my dog for a walk and eat breakfast. From there I usually go to one of my offices and supervise work going on there. I’m generally always moving from one office to the next, usually doing work which requires coordinating with other people, such as seeing how data collection is going, analyzing data, etc. I take breaks here and there. In the evening I go home or go to judo practice at my dojo, the East Bay Judo Institute

On average: How many hours a week do you work? How many hours do you sleep per night? How many weeks of vacation do you take?

On average I work 12-hour days three times a week and 12- to 14-hour days the other days in the week. I work a total of about 70 hours a week. When I was coaching judo, I had much longer days. I usually sleep seven to seven and a half hours a night. I can’t remember a time in the past where I took a week vacation where I did absolutely nothing to do with work or judo. Even now when go on vacation, the longest being around 10 days, most mornings I keep writing. Instead of taking long vacation, I tend to rest my mind and body throughout the month. I look forward to not doing anything on Saturday afternoons or evenings. Micro breaks throughout the day work better for me.

Dr.Matsumoto’s best advice,  …is to learn basic research methodology really well. Become a critical thinker and reader. Be a good scholar. Work hard.

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