Nick Byrd

Nick Byrd

“Getting paid to live the dream!”

College: Arts and Sciences
Degree Program: Philosophy and Psychology
Degree: Doctorate

Award: GSCT Fellowship (2018)


Video Credit: Samantha Klupchak, UROP Research Assistant

Motivation to pursue a graduate degree

Nick is a Graduate Student Cross-Training Fellow and currently works in the Social and Moral Reasoning Lab in the Department of Philosophy. He chose Florida State University because of the excellent philosophy and psychology programs and proximity to his family. His motivation to pursue a graduate degree stems from his need to understand human reasoning and disagreement with more advanced methods.

Importance of research

I study how our reasoning biases (or lack thereof) correlate with certain philosophical beliefs (e.g., moral, religious, political beliefs). I find, for instance, that overcoming certain reasoning biases correlates with different moral judgments than not overcoming those biases. This raises a variety of questions about whether some beliefs are more biased than others and whether we should be worried about. His work finds that less reflective people tend towards different philosophical beliefs than more reflective people.

Advice for prospective graduate students

Consider your opportunity costs: Getting a PhD can be fantastic, but that doesn’t mean that it will give you an academic job, a non-academic job, or a solely positive experience.

Accomplishments during graduate career

Nick is a recipient of the 2019 Graduate Student Research and Creativity Award, the 2018-2019 Graduate Student Cross-Training Fellowship, and the 2018 Dissertation Research Grant. He is a Contributing Editor for The Brains Blog at and recently published the article What We Can (And Can't) Infer About Implicit Bias. Check out his website.

Career aspirations

I'd like to continue researching and teaching philosophical reasoning. Nick has assisted in teaching Philosophy of Mind and Environmental Ethics and served as the instructor of record for Philosophy of Mind.