About Me

I am a fifth-year PhD student in Developmental Psychology at Stanford University working primarily with Ellen Markman (Markman Lab) and Carol Dweck. I also collaborate with Tobias Gerstenberg to build computational models of people's lay beliefs about abstract concepts.

Broadly, I am interested in cognitive development and the relation between language and thought, especially in the social domain. Specifically, I am interested in conceptual understanding, categorization, inductive inferences, generic language, gender, and sexuality. Besides psychology, I am an avid reader of philosophy and literature. In the long run, I hope to combine cognitive science, philosophy, and literary analysis to investigate categorization principles, category-atypicality, category normativity, and abstract/metaphorical thinking about concepts.


Categorization is one of our indispensable cognitive tools for making sense of the world. However, the biases, such as psychological essentialism, that exist in the processes of categorization can lead to unwanted consequences, especially in the social domain. For example, we often make assumptions about a familiar category that might not apply to the category’s “atypical” members whom we might judge negatively simply because they do not neatly fit our preconceptions about that category. How can we “outsmart” these cognitive biases we are so prone to in conducting categorization? How should we reason about category boundaries and fuzziness? Is it possible to revolutionize the system of concepts, which are mental representations of categories? And what role does language play in the cognitive processes of categorization? These are the questions I am deeply interested in. Recently, I’ve been contemplating upon the relationships between generic language and category normativity, the connections between categories and their properties, and the alternatives to the dichotomous view of certain categories. In the long run, I hope to apply my research to helping the LGBTQ community, especially in regard to people’s attitudes toward gender non-conformity.

Learn More


Guo, C., Dweck, C. S. & Markman, E. M. (accepted). Gender categories as dual-character concepts? Cognitive Science PDF

Ambwani, S., Baumgardner, M., Guo, C., Simms, L., & Abromowitz, E. (2017). Challenging fat talk: An experimental investigation of reactions to body disparaging conversations. Body Image PDF

Roberts, S. O., Guo, C., Ho, A. K., & Gelman, S. A. (2017). Children’s descriptive-to-prescriptive tendency replicates (and varies) cross-culturally: Evidence from China. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology PDF

Conference Proceedings

Guo, C., Dweck, C. S., & Markman, E. M., (2018). Gender categories as dual-character concepts? Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society PDF

Get In Touch

If you have any questions about my research or would like to collaborate, please don’t hesitate to contact me!