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Psychology Major Heads to NYU for Ph.D. Program

Sarah Dimuccio

Sarah DiMuccio

Major: psychology
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Graduate School: New York University
Field of Study: social psychology, Ph.D. program

What will you be studying/doing?

I am currently enrolled in the Social Psychology Ph.D. program at New York University, where I am studying the effects of masculinity and manhood on political attitudes. In my current research I am examining if threatening men’s manhood (by having them do a feminine task such as painting their nails pink), will cause them to become more aggressive in their political attitudes (e.g. show more support for war, aggressive war methods and aggressive politicians). Around the world, politics is a male-dominated domain, and the U.S. is no exception. Because of this, I think it’s important to understand how cultural prescriptions and proscriptions for men can affect their voting behavior, as well as their support of the aggressive policies or decisions that politicians make.

How has Dickinson prepared you for your future?

Dickinson’s focus on interdisciplinary perspectives, critical thinking, global engagement and close faculty-student mentoring has been indispensable to my success. Through Dickinson’s support, I learned skills that have already proven useful in my graduate career including perseverance and grit, the importance of building a network of mentors and the courage to try new academic experiences. In addition, my coursework in psychology and Italian at Dickinson and my study abroad experiences in Bologna and Copenhagen allowed me to broaden my research to other cultures and become trilingual.

What internship or research experiences have you had at Dickinson?

As a sophomore, I was able to begin conducting independent research with [Associate] Professor [of Psychology and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies] Megan Yost. As a junior, with support from Dickinson, I was able to continue this line of research by collecting cross-cultural data while studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. [Associate] Professor Yost, Professor [of Psychology Marie] Helweg-Larsen and I published our findings from these two studies in a psychological journal in 2016. As a senior, I also conducted a yearlong honors project with [Associate] Professor Yost, the results of which we are currently working to publish.

What are you most anticipating about your future?

The prospect of being able to shed light on important political issues in our society is something that greatly excites me. But what is equally exciting is the prospect of teaching young, aspiring psychologists about how amazing and relevant studying social psychology is to understanding why people do what they do. I hope to be able to do both of these things as a psychology professor at a small liberal-arts school like Dickinson.

What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?

The relationships that I cultivated with my professors is something that has influenced me greatly—the mentorship and support that I received from all my professors at Dickinson was one of the best parts of my Dickinson experience and something without which I would not have successful.


Published June 13, 2018