Information for Prospective Graduate Students

Are you considering applying to U.C. Berkeley for graduate school? Perhaps you've already heard of the Mills Longitudinal Study, and that's why you're interested in coming to Cal. Or perhaps you are considering Berkeley for other reasons, but are interested in learning more about the project.

Doing research with the Mills Study:

The Mills Study offers a unique opportunity for graduate students. We have a "living archive" of data about our participants, including:

  • Open-ended writing
  • Daily diaries
  • Life data about work and family
  • Videotaped interviews
  • Questionnaires from partners and spouses

A diverse range of research questions have been built into the study; if you're interested in topics like personality change or relationships, you'll find a rich set of resources that you can use in exploring your interests and testing hypotheses.

More recent assessments have assessed additional areas such as emotion regulation (using the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire, ERQ), attachment, future time perspective, and well-being.

Many graduate students find opportunities to create, code, and analyze data for new questions. For example, a former UC Berkeley graduate student in clinical psychology (Meg Jay) was interested in the development of depression in women, so she developed a depression scale using items from the California Psychological Inventory (CPI), a standardized questionnaire that we have included at every assessment. Depression was not an initial research focus of the Mills Study, but it turns out that the CPI items are quite effective at assessing depressive symptoms. Using this inventory, it is now possible to comprehensively examine the relationship between depression and a wide range of outcomes (such as subjective well-being, health, and divorce) across 50+ years of adulthood. Similar measures have been developed for the Big Five personality trait dimensions, self-esteem, future time perspective, and others.

To find out more:

If you think you might be interested in working with the Mills Study as a graduate student, this web site is a good place to start learning about the project:

  • The Research page will give you an overview of current research projects.
  • The Publications page lists representative publications.
  • The People page will tell you more about what we're all working on, and shows the breadth of current interests within the group.

If you are going to be in the Bay Area, feel free to set up a meeting with Professor Oliver P. John to talk in more depth about your interests and to learn more about the project.

Information about applying to graduate school at U.C. Berkeley can be on the Psychology Department's Graduate Program Applications website.

You don't need to be affiliated with any particular department or area to work on the Mills Study. Our strongest ties have traditionally been with the personality/social area within the Department of Psychology, but we are connected to other areas of psychology (such as clinical and developmental) as well as other departments, such as Women's Studies, Social Welfare, and Sociology.