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Some anecdata on a successful SOP


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Saw this on Twitter this morning:


049411912157677185ba621988dc2f5e_normal.Dominic Packer ‏@PackerLab

Interesting dissociation in words used in research statements by highest vs lowest-ranked applicants to grad program. http://db.tt/SuXW7yuE



The link goes to a picture of two word clouds - one with the most common words used by his top 8 applicants, the other with the most common words used by his bottom 8 applicants.  Actually, it looks like there is some overlap, but the best applicants more frequently used words like "moral", "cognition", "processes", and "group".   Here's the blurb on his lab page about what he does (I wasn't terribly familiar with his work): "Our lab investigates the mental processes that allow for collective life, with a particular interest how they facilitate or inhibit social change. We conduct experiments to better understand the cognitive and neural processes that give rise to conformity and dissent, prejudice, and moral judgment."

So, the successful applicants were more likely than the unsuccessful applicants to use specific words that related to his research interests.  No big shock, but it's interesting to see "behind the curtain," as it were. :)

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Okay, it took some wrangling, but here it is:Wordle.png


This is missing the note at the end that indicates that the rankings are Packer's own.


I found this to be very cool; I wish profs from all psych fields could put out something like this.

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