Developmental Psychology Personal Statement

My academic goal is to be a cutting-edge expertise in psychology. Choosing to walk down such a path in life is not something that occurred to me yesterday or the day before.

My undergraduate and master-oriented graduate studies have given me well knowledge in both preschool education and developmental psychology.

My doctoral graduate study in department of psychology at XXX university, if admitted, will be most conducive to achieve my mission.

Growing up in a well-educated family of teacher, I dreamed of to be a teacher like my parents. So after graduation from a junior middle school, when most of my peers entered senior high school, I choose to go to a job-oriented pre-primary teacher training school.

I was first attracted by psychology when my teacher played teaching video about children’s moral development. To my surprise, children at different ages reacted differently to the same thing.

Children of six evaluate wrongdoing in terms of its consequences, while for the eight-years-old children, they evaluated more in terms of intentions.

To satisfy my curiosity, I read Jean Piaget’s The Moral Judgement of the Child and some examples of Lawrence Kohlberg’s applied moral dilemmas. What changes occur in we humans over the course of our life span, from infants to adults? It intrigued me so greatly that I cannot help my passion for psychology!

After going through an extremely competitive selection process of over 10000 normal students at Henan province, I become one of the thirty students to major in preschool education at Henan University.

Studies in Campus---Preschool education and psychology develop hand in hand

I have only to be admitted by pre-school education department because I am a vocational student, but I do not give up the passion with psychology. I received a GPA of 3.89, at the same time, I audited nearly all the major courses of psychology, and acted as a subsection leader in Psychology Association.

I first focus on my research interest when I volunteered as an assistant teacher at a local special needs school. My job consisted of helping deaf children with linguistic training, autistic children with social interaction and communication. I found that martial relation and parental relation together had a great influence on the treatment effect.

Children grew up with two parents performed much better than those from broken homes. Most of the deaf children are post-lingual deafness, which infers that they impaired hearing as a result of disease, trauma or as a side-effect of a medicine. Typically, children are diagnosed as hearing loss or autism long before the family will acknowledge the disability, face the reality.

To further explore my interest, I choose Influences of Martial Relation and Parental Relation on the Mental and Behavioral Problems of Rural Left-behind Children as my undergraduate thesis.

To make good use of my knowledge and my motivation, I decided to turn to the overlap of preschool education and psychology. Then I took ranked 1st in the national graduate candidate test of psychology in 2008 and joined state key laboratory, Cognitive and Developmental Psychology Lab at South China Normal University.

Ever since I get into the lab, I joined the project, The Time Course of World Knowledge integration in Linguistic Comprehension.

Here I learned systematic research method and developed the ability of working independently. I realised that although psychology is a kind of attractive subject as defined as an art, it calls for rigorous scientific approach at the same time.

I focus my study on effect of categorical priming and associative priming in name recognition by using Event-related Potential technology, and give an oral presentation on12th Chinese Academic Conference of Psychology.

As interested as I am in the pure science aspect of research, I care just as much about the human side of psychology. In the project Evaluation and Train of Mind and Behavior for Autistic Children. I mastered applied behavioral analysis and music therapy treatment for autistic children.

At the same time, I noticed that one important aspect of training children with autism is to lessen associated family distress. I wrote The influence of Parent-Child Relationships on Social Interaction Training for Autistic Children, which is under review.

Although most of my research has been in the area of psychology, my music education background in college help in my research. Liman Cai, a graduate supervisor in the department of preschool education invited me to join her Music and Language Comparative Study research group.

Semantic is a key feature of language, is music capable of conveying semantically meaningful information? Is the meaning of music represented in comparable fashion to language meaning? Whether or not music can activate brain mechanisms related to the processing of semantic meaning?

The purpose of the project is to answer these questions. We compared processing of semantic meaning in language and music by investigating the semantic priming effect as indexed by behavioral measures and by the N400 component of the event-related brain potential (ERP) measured by electroencephalography (EEG).

My past research experiences has given me an unwavering spirit to overcome difficulties I might face in the future. Now I feel confident of my skill of design and doing relative research. I wish to go ahead and study further.

Of all the programs that I have looked at, my major research interests have a good match to so many XX faculty members. If possible, my main interest in the future will be focused on the following tentative list:

- Priming:semantic priming;musical priming; name priming
- Autism Spectrum Disorders:Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Therapy, Language acquisition of autistic children; the impact of family on training effect
- Parent-child relationships: father-child relationships, mother-child relationships, especially in divorced families, the impact of these relationships on children’s health and well–being; sibling influences; influences of Martial Relation and Parental Relation on the Mental and Behavioral Problems of Preschool Children Aged 3 to 6 years
- Families of children and adolescents with intellectual disability, Families of young children with behavior problems, Young children in high-risk families.quantitative and qualitative methods such as narrative analysis.

In these areas, I have been familiar with the first-class research work done by corresponding XXX professors, and willing to do further research under their direction.

I am confident that I will be able to make a significant contribution to XXX, and I hope I will have the opportunity to do so. Please let me know if I can provide additional information to help you evaluate my application.

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This personal statement was written by Maggie N for application in 2011.

Maggie N's Comments

This is the first edition of my PS. I am not satisified with it, but I have no idea how to improve. Welcome to comment and point out my problem. I'd appreciate for your help.

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Hi

Hi

My only comment is that your research interests involve so many areas of psychology and might be taken as you being indecisive. From the looks of things, it appears that you are in the U.K. I'm not sure if it is different than the U.S or if your Psych programs are as competitive (3-7 students admitted per year), but here they prefer narrow interests that closely match the interests of particular faculty members. Hope this helps. Good luck!!!!

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