Amanda is an Assistant Professor at UCLA in the Department of Psychology – Quantitative Area. She received her PhD in Quantitative Psychology from the Ohio State University in 2018 and completed her M.A. in Psychology and M.S. in Statistics at Ohio State in 2016. She graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Mathematics in 2013. Her research interests include mediation, moderation, conditional process models, structural equation modeling, and meta-science. Her research primarily aims to improve practice and implementation of statistical methods in psychological science. You can find her on twitter @AmandaKMontoya

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early Bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?


4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Lots of space art that my partner has made, also a 6ft tall painting of Albert Einstein

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?

Trying to learn Spanish, Used to be very proficient at Japanese

8 If you could switch professions, what would you do?

Event planning / Stage Management

9 If you could switch science fields, what field would you want to work in?

Atmospheric sciences

10 If you got a plane ticket right now, where would it go?


11 If you had one superpower, what would it be?


12 Is there anything you strongly recommend we watch and/or read and/or listen to?

Yale Needs Women (really striking detailing of the introduction of women to Yale)

13 It’s your day off. What do you want to do?

Circus Arts

14 What are three things you can’t live without?

Breakfast, To-Do Lists, Statistics Puns

15 What beverage gives you life?


16 What book did you read in school that positively shaped you?

City of Joy

17 What did you want to be when you grew up?


18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Improving science

19 What got you excited in science?

The idea that people are trying to empirically evaluate humans and use that information to improve the world

20 What excites you about science now?

Mentoring others to do what I do but even better, they have more time and space to learn and have the opportunity to shape their own future to make change

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Mac and Cheese

22 What is a secret talent of yours?


23 What is your favorite game?


24 What is the last book you read?

The Stand

25 What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received?

Prioritize working on the thing that is closest to done

26 What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?

Stand up comedy

27 What is the best advice for your 18 year old self?

YOU LIKE MATH AND SCIENCE! They just weren’t taught in a way you liked in high school.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Board games

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Avatar: The Last Airbender

30 What is the weirdest thing you’ve had in your bag?

Not sure

31 What is your favorite animal?


32 What is your favorite book?


33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Anything with cheese

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Mother’s Day

35 What is your favorite plant?

All herbs

36 What is your favorite science fact?

You definitely use more than 10% of your brain

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

Baked goods

39 What is your favorite sound?


40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I take a work-hard play-hard approach to life

41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?

tokidoki (sometimes in Japanese)

42 What is your proudest moment?

Watching my first year graduate students give their first talks

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Evergreen (always active)

44 What’s the best thing about where you live?

Los Angeles has amazing diversity and quality of cuisine

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I played in a punk rock marching band when I was in college.

46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?

Idan Blank, @IbanDlank