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This writing assignment aims to help you relate what you have learned in this course to your life experiences outside the course. In this assignment, you will write about 3 social psychological phenomena you have learned about in this class that will change how you will act or how you want to act in future situations. You will choose three phenomena to discuss, one from each “Section” (i.e., the material covered on each exam) of the course.
In each paragraph, you will first name and define (in your own words) the specific psychological phenomenon you have chosen. Next, explain what the research tells us about this phenomenon (for example, When or why does it happen? When or why does it not happen? Is it more likely to occur among certain types of people? Is it related to a specific fundamental motive that drives behavior?) Next, explain how that phenomenon relates to your own life, and how knowing about this phenomenon will change (or makes you want to change) specific behaviors on your part, and why.
In the first paragraph, you will choose a phenomenon you learned about in Section 1, which includes the self in a social world, social beliefs and judgments, and behavior & attitudes (Ch 1, 2, 3, 4). Define the phenomenon, in your own words. Explain what the research tells us about this phenomenon, in your own words. Describe how this phenomenon relates to your own life—what are the specific behaviors you will change, or that you want to change, and why? Give concrete examples of your behaviors that will change.
In the second paragraph, you will choose a phenomenon you learned about in Section 2, which includes genes, culture, & gender, conformity & obedience, persuasion, and group influence (Ch 5, 6, 7, 8). Define the phenomenon, in your own words. Explain what the research tells us about this phenomenon, in your own words. Describe how this phenomenon relates to your own life—what are the specific behaviors you will change, or that you want to change, and why? Give concrete examples of your behaviors that will change.
In the third paragraph, you will choose a phenomenon you learned about in Section 3, which includes prejudice, aggression, attraction & intimacy, helping and, conflict & peacemaking (Ch 9, 10, 11, 12, 13). Define the phenomenon, in your own words. Explain what the research tells us about this phenomenon, in your own words. Describe how this phenomenon relates to your own life—what are the specific behaviors you will change, or that you want to change, and why? Give concrete examples of your behaviors that will change.
Each paragraph should apply the findings from the research discussed in a section of this course to your own life. Your explanations of the phenomena ought to be concise, but clear and specific enough to convey your understanding of the research related to this phenomenon, as it was defined and described in class and in the textbook. You need to include studies as a part of your discussion, or you will be docked heavily. Beyond this, grading will be based upon the quality and accuracy of your application of the research findings to real-world behaviors, and the quality of your writing. Yes, writing – lucid, articulate writing is critical for success in many professions, and American education gives far too little training in this skill. Students often assume that “good writing” means using ornate vocabulary and complex sentence structures. Actually, good science writing aims to be as simple and straightforward as possible. Simple words and simple sentence structures make it as easy as possible for the reader (me) to understand your point. However, the grading emphasis is on content—as long as I understand what you’re trying to say! I will award points for critical thinking and creative ideas that are consistent with the class material.