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PSY 1303 Introduction to Psychology Signature Assignment (50 points) Overview: T
PSY 1303 Introduction to Psychology Signature
Assignment (50 points)
The purpose of this assignment is to
showcase your ability to apply course concepts while critically exploring an
idea or issue from more than one perspective. To accomplish this you will need
to select a current event or social issue, critically analyze and discuss the problem
from at least two perspectives, apply at least one course concept to the
event/issue, and reach a conclusion based on your critical analysis.
1. Select a Topic. Select
a current event or social issue that can be seen from more than one perspective.
You are not required to share your personal view, but you must be able to discuss
the idea from differing viewpoints. Being able to write about and discuss
different perspectives does not mean that you agree with or validate either
perspective. Instead, it shows your ability to critically examine an idea. 2. Critically Analyze
Topic. To critically analyze a topic, you need to be able identify at least
two different perspectives, evaluate each perspective, conclude the best course
of action moving forward (or the best stance/option to take if no action is
required), and recognize possible limitations. After you have selected your topic, identify the different
perspectives you want to discuss. These perspectives should not simply be based
on your own experience. You should back up your thoughts with evidence and
citations from scholarly sources. It is fine to start from your own experience,
but that experience needs to be supported by the research literature. Next, clearly explain each perspective in your paper. For
each perspective, describe what the supporters believe. Examine why they might
hold these beliefs. Explain the consequences and implications of their beliefs
for your social issue.
You will need to discuss and acknowledge the viewpoints of
others, specifically other communities or cultures, and question your own
convictions or values with regard to your chosen topic.
to Course Content. Link your social issue/event and different perspectives
to concepts from the course. There are many good ways to do this:
a. Could you
apply the concept to show a possible causal relationship linked to your issue/event?
b. Can you
show how your event or issue is a real world example of the abstract concept
discussed in class?
c. Could you
apply the concept to consider possible ways to help improve or solve the issue
d. Could the
concept help explain why people are likely or resistant to help in this area?
e. Could the
concept be used to help educate others about the issue?
These are just possible prompts to get you
started. You do not need to answer all of these questions. There are also other
ways to complete the assignment. Try to focus on just one or two concepts so you can thoroughly
discuss the application of these concepts. 4. Reach a Conclusion. You
should make a conclusion based on your critical analysis of the topic. Your
conclusion should present the perspective that seems the most logical and best
addresses the issue. Your conclusion may take the form of a necessary action,
but does not need to.
5. Recognize Limitations and
Implications. Make an effort to think about both the limitations of
the conclusion you reach and the implications of what it would mean to move forward
with your conclusion compared to other options.
Things to keep in
mind as you complete this assignment:
perspectives about your own cultural rules and biases. As you think about
your topic and the different perspectives, take special care to think about and
discuss how culture has shaped your perspectives and the perspectives of
others. Are there inherent biases involved? How can those be seen and dealt
of elements important to members of other cultures. Be careful not to fall
into the trap of thinking that what you see and do every day is the right way
to think about or do things.
and emotional dimensions of more than one worldview. People may disagree,
but that does not inherently mean that one side is wrong. Do your best to think
about and recognize situations where considering something outside your normal
perspective is important and necessary.
differences in verbal and nonverbal communication. Take a moment and think
about how information is communicated. How do verbal and nonverbal
communication streams apply as you think about different perspectives from
cultures outside of your own? Guidelines:
While a portion of the paper will be devoted to describing
the current event or social issue, as well as a general discussion of the
psychological concept/theory, the vast majority of the paper should consist
of your analysis. Papers should be well-written, organized, and coherent. Your analyses should be in-depth and
thorough. You should cite your book or
other sources when discussing the theory/concept; be sure to include all
sources in the reference section (including a main media source of the current
event). Your paper should be in APA
format and include a title page and a reference page.
guidelines (see: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ for specifics on APA): • Use APA style guidelines (i.e., typed, 12-pt
Times New Roman font, double-spacing, and 1-inch margins all around).
• Use APA style citations and title/reference page
(you do not need to do an abstract). See
APA Style Citations section on next page for more information.
• Papers should be 800-1200 words long, no more
(body only – title page and reference page not included in word count). It will be graded on quality not quantity.
guidelines: • Submit
your paper to the Turnitin link on Blackboard Learn by the end of class time on
the due date. General writing guidelines:
Assume that your reader is an educated
person, familiar with psychology, but not with any of the specific theories or
concepts you mention. Any time you
introduce something new (i.e., a theory, concept, methodology, measure),
explain it in general terms and then cite it. You can then give an example if you would like, but do not use an
example as a substitute for a general explanation. Your discussion of the social issue/current event and
psychological concept/theory should be relatively short. The majority of your
paper should be spent analyzing the issue/event and applying the chosen
theory/concept. APA Style Citations:
As you draw on material that you learned in class, make sure
that you cite your sources appropriately. Follow these guidelines for citing:
• No quotations
should be used. Instead, put things in your own words and cite the original
source with in-text citations.
Define and explain concepts
using your own words to get full credit. Putting things in your own words does not mean simply changing a couple
words (or all of them) using a thesaurus.
It is difficult to paraphrase when
you have the reference in front of you. Read,
make sure you understand, and then put the material aside and come up with your
own way of stating things. Check your
sources to make sure you did not accidentally memorize the original wording. Check your definition against what it says in
the book to make sure that your explanation is accurate. • Copying word for word and not citing correctly
is plagiarism. Turnitin will catch this.
Copying word for word without quotes is plagiarism too.
• When you put someone else’s ideas into your own
words, simply include author last name(s) and year of publication in
parentheses. For example: social comparison theory states that people sometimes
come to know themselves by evaluating their own characteristics and skills
relative to those of others (Aronson et al., 2005).
Try to adopt an outside perspective when you review/edit
your paper. Make sure that your ideas
are arranged logically and that your sentences make sense. Reading aloud can help you catch grammatical
errors. Remember that I cannot read
minds – you could understand something perfectly, but if it makes no sense on
paper, that’s all I have to go on.
Current Event/Issue – Whether to get the COVID-19
Perspectives – 1. The COVID-19 vaccination is safe and it is best that
all individuals be vaccinated.
2. The COVID-19 vaccination is not safe and individuals
should avoid being vaccinated.
3. The COVID-19 vaccines appear safe and effective, but
some individuals are waiting for additional research and/or full FDA approval
before getting vaccinated. Critical Analysis – What does each perspective actually
believe/think? Why does each of these perspectives believe/think what they do?
What is the evidence for believing in or supporting each of these perspectives?
How could ideas from the course be applied here?
Examples of application of course
content – 1. Discussion of confirmation bias. Discuss how
individuals are more likely to pay attention to and remember information that
corresponds with what they already believe.
2. Discussion of cognitive dissonance. Discuss how
individuals may alter their attitudes through the cognitive dissonance process
when presented with information about their beliefs and behaviors that
How might different groups respond/behavior in this example
– The medical
community has a troubled past in terms of its treatment of African Americans.
Very public examples such as the Tuskegee Syphilis study and the story of
Henrietta Lacks highlight the ways in which Black Americans have been
mistreated by doctors and researchers. The documented mistrust in the medical
community that can be seen is a possible reason that some individuals may be
hesitant to receive a new vaccine.
Conclusion – Based on your critical analysis and
application of course content, which perspective seems the best to support
moving forward? Limitations/Implications
– Are there limitations to this
conclusion? Is there nuance or context that matters? Are there cultural factors
that need to be acknowledged here?
What are the implications of your
conclusion? What would be the impact of moving forward in the direction you
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