Psychology: A World-class Major


Sofia Silvosa hadn’t completely decided to major in psychology upon her arrival on campus but knew it had been a consideration of hers during high school. She notes that one of her reasons for attending Duke University is because of the freedom that the University’s classes offer and its top-ranking psychology department. Silvosa, who is starting her junior year studying abroad in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh, eventually decided to use the freedom that comes from a major in psychology to take her around the world.

Silvosa spent this past summer in New York City completing an internship at Showtime Networks, a subsidiary of Paramount Studios. The internship was the ideal opportunity for her to combine her major in psychology, minor in history, and certificate in innovation and entrepreneurship. “During my time at Showtime I worked as a business intelligence analyst and analyzed streaming analytics” she shared. “My experience perfectly combined my interests in psychology research and film by allowing to use my research skills to analyze media data.”

Sofia at Showtime

The Miami native enjoyed utilizing the skills developed in Dr. Greg Samanez Larkin’s Quantitative Research Methods and Statistics for Psychology course, such as data analytics, data analysis, how to present research, creating data visualizations, and how to communicate those findings. “Analysis helped us figure out the amount of content being consumed, most watched shows, and driving factors that caused people to watch certain shows” Silvosa shared. “I would then share the findings with the marketing and leadership departments through meetings, presentations, and data translation.”

Silvosa shares her talent with the Duke community and develops her research skills by remaining active in Dr. Makeba Wilbourn’s Infant Lab, the Business Oriented Women’s Society, and through service as president of the Duke Independent Film Festival.

Silvosa is grateful for her decision to major in psychology after her interest was piqued in high school, and shared that her Psych 101 course with Dr. Bridgette Hard’s class cemented her interest. “I enjoy applying science to understanding people. It is also an interdisciplinary field, which I find cool” grinned Silvosa. “I have decided to continue to pursue psychology because of the research and jobs that having a background in psychology will lead me”. While she is not certain whether her path will land her in industry or academia, Silvosa is excited to continue to be a world-class, psychology researcher.