Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Meet Cai Guo

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

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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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