I had the opportunity to spend my summer doing research in Dr. Jamil Zaki’s Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab. The people I had the chance to work with were amazing. I spent the most time with post-doc Leor Hackel who took me through the ropes of conducting a study from beginning to end. I was also fortunate enough to get mentorship from a Ph.D. student named Yuan Chang Leong who helped me grasp a lot of what is to come during my senior year as an undergraduate; from potential labs to graduate applications.
The main study I worked on was related to empathy and generosity; does emotional support similarly induce generosity in an economic game? We built this study with four phases, which got me a lot of experience using Qualtrics, a platform used to build surveys.
Our lab and other labs in the department held plenty of workshops throughout the summer that related to different aspects of research, such as learning programming tools like R, coming up with a research ideas, learning about different paths in psychology, and how to read an empirical paper quick.
I miss the lab most of all. The people were phenomenal. They all shared their experiences with me, mentored me in different ways, and showed me what a lab family looks like.
In addition to the wonderful people, the Stanford campus was beautiful. My family and me were fortunate enough to live on campus in the graduate family housing, which had a backyard that lead to a park. Overall, this was such an amazing experience and I am so thankful to have shared it with the people I love. I’ve made meaningful connections with my lab mates and I’ve gained valuable skills. This summer really prepared me for the next step on my journey into a graduate program.