The "Oooo, he's a PhD Effect"

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by SurfDoctor, May 30, 2010.

  1. lchemist

    lchemist New Member

    I disagree with that point of view, as far as I understand in a democratic society titles are not, or should not be, "bestowed upon people." When we finish a program of studies we receive a degree, we have or hold a degree, we are not a degree.

    Usually when somebody tells me "I am a........" I make fun of him/her. :)
  2. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Maybe they see you as the most competent of their employees, the one best able to handle the tough jobs.

    Of course, they also might have started perceiving you as a rival and as a potential threat, as somebody who might be shooting for their jobs.

    I don't think that the 'PhD effect' is always going to be a positive thing for the one with the degree.

    It could alienate other employees who formerly thought of the new doctor as an on-the-job equal. People don't like the feeling that they are being moved to the low-end of status hierarchies.

    And it's probably going to raise people's expectations. If somebody has a PhD, then people will expect him or her to hold a position and to have made contributions that seem commensurate. If that's not the case, then some observers could perceive the doctor as a bit of a failure.
  3. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    I pretty much agree with everything that has been said to this point, both positive and negative. All of it supports what I have been observing; people treat you differently as soon as you are associated with the PhD title. Even, as in my case, when you are just starting out.

    I agree with MC and the others who have said that it's weird that it's considered that you "are" a doctor rather than you "have" a doctorate. It really doesn't change what or who you are, but some others seem to think so. It's funny how people react to certain charged words or titles.
  4. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Technically speaking, you're not a PhD until the degree is finally conferred, presuming that will happen...
  5. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    I worked with a client who absolutely INSISTED I refer to him as "Dr.," even during private phone conversations. Yes, it was very annoying.
  6. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Leave it to Dave to rain on my parade! :)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2010
  7. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    True, I was surprise when I first found out that was no such thing (officially) as ABD.
  8. DBA_Curious

    DBA_Curious New Member

    That's an official title. You can find job applications that list that as a criteria.

    It's just not a permanent status. If I'm not mistaken, ABD is only good for 5 years or so depending on the school.
  9. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Let me rephrase - a school will not issue a diploma that says ABD.
  10. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    I suppose how people react to your PhD depends on the environment where you work. Where I work, nobody has ever had a PhD. The principal does not have one, yet he knows that I am not gunning for his job. So nobody feels threatened by my continuing education and this is probably why I have had such a positive reaction.
  11. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I gather from your posts that no one thinks less of it for being DL?
  12. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Exactly, it's just like I have said many times; nobody cares. I think we all worry about that sort of stuff too much around this board. I'm sure they would care greatly if you were trying for a professorship, but other than that, I have never ran into anyone who bats an eye over the DL issue.
  13. Scott Henley

    Scott Henley New Member

    I'm curious, did they ask where you were taking it? Do you think the effect would be the same if they knew it was from an online school? No disrespect intended, just curious.
  14. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    I have found nothing but total respect. Everyone is asking me about it and I tell them it is DL and fully RA and nobody bats an eye.

    As I said in a previous post, I think we all make a bigger deal out of the DL stigma than is called for. In my experience, and I have had my fair share of experience, nobody cares. Many of my fellow teachers hold master's degrees from B&M institutions and they have nothing but respect. The crux of the matter is the fact that it is RA.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Interesting opinion, but read the diploma. It is a title bestowed upon a graduate by a university. That's why holders of the Ph.D. are called "doctor."

    As for belittling others, I wonder if some other emotions are in play.
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    What makes it "official"? Usage by non-academics? I would think it would be "official" if universities awarded the "ABD." They don't.

    Commonly used, yes. But "official"? No.
  17. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Yes, I have never heard of an ABD title, certificate or any other formal recognition. I don't think anyone considers it official. It's just a common term for a place where many doctoral students get stuck.
  18. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Hey, you were the "MC" long before you got any degree!
  19. DBA_Curious

    DBA_Curious New Member

    You guys crack me up at times.

    I think I'll take Carnegie Mellon's word over Rich's and yours, no offense...

    All But Dissertation (ABD) Policies

    There are whole threads dedicated to how different departments view this ->

    So is Carnegie Mellon comprised of non-academicians?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2010
  20. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Looks like you got me there. Dang, I thought I was all knowing. :) Still, that's not an awarded title, it's just a description of a phase.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2010

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