I'm applying to PhD programs in CS this round and was finishing up my application materials when I had a question regarding the SoP.
Many people have advised me to state why I want to pursue study at that particular institution and what I want to study. My main research interests in my own subfield tend to be rather specific (discovering latent bias variables in natural language processing tasks) but I'm also open to exploring other options as well.
I have also heard stories where a competitive applicant is not offered admission because how they explain their plans of research are "too specific" and there aren't any faculty members that would be willing to work on that particular aspect.
This led me to wonder how specific I should actually be writing my SoP, or if I should include something like "My main interests are in X but I am also open to exploring other topics in the larger field."
Any opinions are welcome, thanks.