Francis Yuen

Francis Yuen's image
The origins of dehumanization
Faculty of Arts
Kiley Hamlin
SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

During my last year as an undergrad at UBC, I was feeling very lost, and I stumbled across the opportunity to work in the Centre for Infant Cognition. Being a baby-enthusiast, I jumped at the opportunity to hang out with babies as a volunteer research assistant. Within the first two weeks, I fell in love with the research, fascinated by all the amazing things young infants can already do and understand. I guess you could say I came for the babies, and stayed for the theories.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I wanted to work with Dr. Hamlin, who essentially pioneered research on infants' moral reasoning and understanding. The Early Development Research Group at UBC also has an incredibly efficient system in place for developmental research, with friendly faculty members that encourage collaborations. Finally, Vancouver is a fantastic place to live in (provided that you can afford it).

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

Being a research-focused program, the MA/PhD in Psychology program allows me to pursue my research interests with a great degree of freedom. The course requirements are extremely flexible, and gone are the days where I need to take courses in which I have no interest just to fulfill the requirements.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

Though at times I feel like, as a slightly older student who started the graduate program at age 28, I am a bit behind compared to my peers, I genuinely believe that having explored other options prior to graduate school has prepared me for this arduous journey. Being able to put things in perspective, both the good times and the bad times, has helped me push through many moments that would have pushed a younger version of myself over the edge.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I enjoy some casual video gaming with a nice glass of Osmanthus wine.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Take time off. Before your degree. During your degree. Anything to prevent yourself from burning out. Remember that graduate school is a marathon, not a sprint. Every journey has its final day. Don't rush.


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