Tutor profile: Jennifer L.
Translate this sentence into mandarin: What is your favorite food?
According to concepts in social psychology, how might you make the best impression on a first date?
First, studies have shown that people like familiarity. For example, when people were shown Chinese characters and asked to rate how much they liked them, they rated those they saw more frequently higher. There are also a disproportionate number of people who have occupations that sound similar to their names (such as dentists named Dennis.) Statistically, it is likely that this is not by chance but rather by choice. So, it would be a good move to mirror your date's body language and show interest in similar topics. Secondly, people have a tendency to misattribute arousal. In Schachter and Singer's experiment, they gave people injections of epinephrine, which causes increase in heart rate and shakiness. When faced with a rude confederate, those who were not told the effects of the drug were more likely to report themselves as angry--they misattributed the effects of the drugs as their own emotions. Though your date would probably notice if you tried to inject them with drugs, you could set your date location at the top of some steep stairs, so that they may misattribute their increase in heart rate from exercise as being in love.
Subject: College Admissions
What extracurriculars do you participate in and how are they important to you?
One in a million. I have not interpreted this phrase literally until I moved to the dense city of Beijing. Growing up in such a busy city has shaped who I am by cultivating my interest in running. Running requires not just athletic genetics, but also motivation and endurance. To successfully run a marathon, one also needs knowledge about how to eat, train, and pace for it. Similarly, I have always been a firm believer in self efficacy. When I put my mind to something, I believe I will be able to achieve my goal. I am also a contemplative person by nature, so running also gives me time to not only breathe in fresh air but also ponder creative new ideas. It was in my morning run that I thought of the fundraiser idea, which not only combined my personal interests of designing and helping others. At our school fair, I opened a booth designing custom canvas sneakers. With the organization and planning skills I learned in my preparation for marathons, I was able to plan out the costs and end up raising $2000 for a school for the children of migrant workers. Running solitarily often inspires me to problem solve from a different and unique perspective, but there is also great joy in running with others. It can not only be a break from the busy bustle of the city but also an opportunity to bond with others. I hope that I would be able to learn and run together with classmates at your university.
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