Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Applying to Graduate School (PhD) in Psychology


Cai is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Cai and his fellow scholars here.

Hello everyone! This is my final post for the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. As someone who just went through the entire process of applying to graduate school in Psychology, I think I should conclude my blogging with an article detailing my experience and what I learned in the process.

1. What type of program should I apply to?

This is a very important question, because different types of graduate programs have very different focuses. Many people think they should pursue a PhD because the “doctor” title seems like a crown. However, PhDs are suitable for only a handful of people because of both the commitment and effort they require and the relatively limited career paths they typically lead to. Continue Reading

Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Cai’s Good News


Cai is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Cai and his fellow scholars here.

Hi all! I know you’ve been missing my posts, so this is me again, with some good news!

  1. First of all, I decided to join Stanford University in the fall as a first-year PhD student in Psychology! This is a milestone in my life. I am very excited about the next 5 years at Stanford and can’t wait to be spoiled by the unparalleled intellectual environment there, and of course, the good weather in the Bay Area.

  1. I received a competitive Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grant to support my current project! This would allow me to recruit more participants as I can pay more of them with more money. I guess sometimes materialism can be used for good 😉

  1. I am halfway through data collection! I have already collected data from 80 participants and need 60 more. To be completely honest, it was really exhausting to collect data from so many people, especially when it was an experiment where you needed to take care of even the most trivial detail. But no pains no gains. I am hopeful that I will be able to finish data collection by the end of the semester! Oh, I should probably stop stealing food from participants’ leftovers.

  1. I gave a short-paper presentation at the 4th Eating Disorder International Conference in London, England on March 17th. The presentation was about another project that our lab (CARE Lab) at Dickinson College worked on as a team. This was my first short paper presentation at an international conference. I am very happy that I made it. Many thanks to Dr. Suman Ambwani and other lab mates.

  1. I’m a month away from my graduation from college. This will be a bittersweet moment! But I am super excited about the new chapter in my life and can’t wait to go back home. I miss China! FYI: Authentic Chinese food is a totally different concept from what you guys have here in the US.

Looking back, I do feel that I was lucky enough to have all the wonderful people and opportunities to support my career [shout-out to Active Minds]. As I begin doing new wonderful things in the future, I will always appreciate the generous help I have received from those people and organizations! Having had the personal experience of benefiting so much from others’ help, I am even more committed to helping people around me with my research and academic endeavors!

Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Meet Cai Guo’s Mentors


Cai is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Cai and his fellow scholars here.

Hello again! I’m a few days late, but Happy International Women’s Day!

In honor and celebration of this day, I would like to introduce my two mentors, Dr. Suman Ambwani and Dr. Rebecca Pearl, who have made great contributions to mental health issues that are particularly prevalent among women. Specifically, both of them are experts in the field of weight- and eating-related mental health.

cai advisorDr. Suman Ambwani is my On-Campus Advisor. She is now Associate Professor of Psychology at Dickinson College. She received her B.A. at Macalester College and her PhD from Texas A&M University. Dr. Suman Ambwani is particularly interested in eating disorder and how personality, interpersonal interactions, and social cognition are related to eating disorder. More recently, Dr. Ambwani has also become interested in weight stigma and the means by which we transmit the stigma.

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Meet Cai Guo


Cai is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Cai and his fellow scholars here.

cai blog 1

Hello! My name is Cai Guo [pronounced as “Tsai Gwo”]. I am currently a senior Psychology major at Dickinson College, PA. I am originally from Wuhan, China, a gargantuan city with over 10 million people.

I am very interested in the intersection of philosophy and psychology, so I want to explore how people’s conceptual understanding of categories guides their real-life behavior. Interestingly, my academic passion stemmed from my love for the nonpareil German-speaking poet, Rainer Maria Rilke.

Reading about his poignant young adulthood experience at a military school that agonized his poetic, sensitive soul made me wonder why men are expected and stereotyped to be physically strong, tough, and emotionless.

This contemplation gradually led to a deeper conceptual question: do social norms and people’s endorsement of stereotypes come from the abstract, philosophically loaded belief that every category has its own essence that dictates the features of all the tokens (individuals) under that specific category?

With this question in mind, I became especially interested in the mental mechanisms behind social categorization and their relations to the formation of stereotypes, prejudice, bias, stigma, and intergroup conflicts.

So…what do we talk about when we talk about weight bias?

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