Senior Psychologist

Valve Corporation 12 Reviews – Bellevue, WA
Apply Now Posted 774 days ago

Job Description

We believe that the more we know about human behavior, about how and why people do what they do, the better our products will be. All game designers are, in a sense, experimental psychologists. That’s why we’re looking for a experimental psychologist to apply knowledge and methodologies from psychology to game design and all aspects of Valve’s operations. We want to exploit your experience with experimental design, research methods, statistics, and human behavior to help craft even more compelling gameplay experiences for future Valve titles. We’d also expect you to research and weigh in on any and all topics that are relevant to improving the experiences of our customers, partners, and employees.
Duties:

 Provide relevant insight into human behavior in order to shape gameplay and customer experience.
 Perform statistical analyses on all aspects of Valve’s operations: gameplay, financial, and company data.
 Research compelling new hardware technologies.
 Design experiments to evaluate various gameplay hypotheses and design choices.
 Improve existing playtesting methodologies while incorporating novel techniques to improve best practices.
 Develop innovative ways of acquiring relevant data to answer open questions about all aspects of Valve’s products and business practices.

Requirements:

 Graduate degree in Psychology (or equivalent) field
 Advanced knowledge of statistics
 Familiarity with one or more of the following pieces of data analysis software: SPSS, Systat, Matlab, R, (or equivalent)
 Four years experience with:
 Experimental design/research methods
 Relevant research in cognitive, social, human factors, and related disciplines in psychology

Recommended:

 Proficiency in one or more of the following programming languages: C++, SQL, PHP, (or equivalent)

Valve Corporation Reviews

3.9
12 Reviews
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Gabe Newell
8 Ratings
    1. Helpful (16)

      Challenging, chaotic, interesting, surprisingly similar to other great companies

      • Comp & Benefits
      • Work/Life Balance
      • Senior Management
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      Former Employee - Engineer in Bellevue, WA
      Former Employee - Engineer in Bellevue, WA

      I worked at Valve Corporation full-time (More than a year)

      Recommends
      Positive Outlook
      Disapproves of CEO
      Recommends
      Positive Outlook
      Disapproves of CEO

      Pros

      Valve offers extremely generous benefits and perqs, and affords employees high levels of trust to do whatever they need to be productive. It is a privilege to work with the folks at Valve because nearly all are exceptionally accomplished, competent and eager to build something great. The environment really encourages employees to be positive and to focus on work that will directly impact the customer. Productivity is rewarded in part by peer review which makes employees accountable to their team. Changing teams/projects is usually easy, and is usually each employee's own decision. Employee autonomy is inherent in Valve's process.

      Cons

      Many of the ways in which Valve seeks to differentiate from other companies are not actually so valid. While it's true that Valve has no official job titles or promotions, compensation varies greatly among employees and many teams have an obvious pecking order. There is no formal management structure, but it's clear that some people have substantially more control over project direction and the work of others. Even though productivity is said to be the only metric that matters, people who are already connected or are accomplished social engineers will do just fine. Denying that all of these social forces are at work makes the problem intractable and difficult to even discuss.

      For a company that makes so much money, Valve is surprisingly risk-averse. New projects, internal tools, dev infrastructure, and anything that doesn't contribute to a current product are met with disdain. Because teams are intended to be self-forming, it's rare that enough people will want to assume risk to all collectively embark on a new project. It's too safe and too profitable to just contribute to something that's already successful. Even though failure is supposed to be tolerated and even encouraged so that employees will try new ideas and experiments, there is little evidence of this. After a few rounds of bonuses, folks learn quickly what is rewarded, and what is not.

      Valve's success has made folks arrogant, and this contributes to the problem of how new ideas are considered and discussed. Dogmatic thinking is actually common because people can always point to a great success in the past and use this to justify why everything should continue as it is. Some folks at Valve do not want the company to grow. Valve already has an incredibly strong profit/employee ratio. Why dilute it? This line of thinking crops up in project discussions as well, and causes many ideas to be dismissed because they seem too niche/unprofitable (at the time).

      Advice to Management

      I think that funding separate companies would be the best way for Valve to invest in new/different product areas. Identify capable teams who already work together and let them make their own rules and set their own goals.

      Be more honest about management structure. It will go a long way toward helping people make better decisions and will create more trust among employees.

    2. Helpful (9)

      Valve is theoretically utopia, but the reality falls short

      • Comp & Benefits
      • Work/Life Balance
      • Senior Management
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      Current Employee - No Job Titles in Bellevue, WA
      Current Employee - No Job Titles in Bellevue, WA

      I have been working at Valve Corporation full-time (More than 5 years)

      Sign In or Sign Up in seconds to unlock everything on Glassdoor.

      Pros

      Morbi a metus. Phasellus enim erat, vestibulum vel, aliquam a, posuere eu, velit. Nullam sapien sem, ornare ac, nonummy non, lobortis a, enim. Nunc tincidunt ante vitae massa. Duis ante orci, molestie vitae.

      Cons

      In sem justo, commodo ut, suscipit at, pharetra vitae, orci.

      Advice to Management

      Duis condimentum augue id magna semper rutrum. Nullam justo.

    3. Helpful (9)

      Company is flush with cash but is chaotic and disorganized, refuses to "grow up"

      • Comp & Benefits
      • Work/Life Balance
      • Senior Management
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      Former Employee - Software Engineer in Bellevue, WA
      Former Employee - Software Engineer in Bellevue, WA

      I worked at Valve Corporation full-time (More than 3 years)

      Sign In or Sign Up in seconds to unlock everything on Glassdoor.

      Pros

      Etiam posuere quam ac quam. Maecenas aliquet accumsan leo. Nullam dapibus fermentum ipsum. Etiam quis quam. Integer lacinia. Nulla est. Nulla turpis magna, cursus sit amet, suscipit a, interdum id, felis. Integer vulputate sem a nibh rutrum consequat.

      Cons

      Nullam feugiat, turpis at pulvinar vulputate, erat libero tristique tellus, nec bibendum odio risus sit amet ante.

      Advice to Management

      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Morbi gravida libero nec velit. Morbi scelerisque luctus velit. Etiam dui sem, fermentum vitae, sagittis id, malesuada in, quam.

    4. See more reviews on company profile (12)