Paper Assignment #1 – Psych 301

Paper Assignment #1 – Psych 301 (Due Tuesday, September 6, by 11:59pm; worth 10 points) Much of the work you will do in your labs will be designed to guide you through the research process in step by step toward completing a research proposal for your Final Paper. All research begins with the generation of interesting questions. For this assignment, you will think about: 1. What broad psychological topics you find interesting, 2. Why you are interested in those topics, 3. What you already think about these topics. The first thing you will do is to pick one psychological topic that you find particularly interesting. This should be something that you would like to read more about, and think about more…you will be “living” with this or a related topic for most of the semester, so choose something that interests you! There are several ways you might need to think about choosing your topic: –Consider topics within the sub-areas of psychology of interest to you: clinical and counseling psychology, personality psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology, psychobiology or social neuroscience, industrial/organizational psychology, developmental psychology, and sports psychology. –Consider your own interests and your own background: What sorts of activities consume most your free time? What kinds of social and/or personal issues make you angry, happy, or sad? Which psychological topics related to your friends and/or family do you want to know more about? For Paper Assignment #1 you are asked to do the following: 1. Choose a broad topic that you find interesting and that you would like to work on this semester. Your subsequent papers would be related to this topic. For ideas, see the topic list presented in class. 2. Explain why you are interested in the topic you chose and why you think it is important. This may be a personal statement about your own interests, or how something has influenced you or those close to you. Or you may want to answer the broader, less personal question of “Why is this topic important?” Either way, please give some real thought to why you find this important, and explain. 3. List some (5 to 7) questions that you have about the topic, or some thoughtful observations you have about it. These may be your own ideas. For example, if you are interested in athletic performance, you can list ideas about how specific factors influence performance and choking under pressure. If you are interested in eating disorders, you may ask several questions about how different social and personal factors may increase susceptibility to eating disorders. For each question/observation, try to connect the relationship between two variables (e.g., why might Variable A cause Variable B?, or Factor A cause Outcome B?). This part of the assignment is intended to get you thinking about what sorts of more specific interests you have in your topic, and to narrow it down in some possible directions. 4. Choose a secondary (different) topic that you also find interesting, and describe why you think it is important. This should be a brief version of questions 1 and 2 from above. The purpose of choosing a secondary topic is to have a back-up in case the literature on your primary topic is limited, or it turns out to be uninteresting to you, etc. You don’t want to have to start from scratch to find another topic if your primary topic becomes problematic. Your paper should be typed in Times New Roman 12-point font, have 1-inch margins, and be double-
spaced. Papers should be written formally (meaning full sentences, correct grammar, and in paragraph form). There is no length requirement, but a paper of less than one page is too brief to provide thorough responses to the 4 steps outlined above. Submit your paper as a Word file in Canvas, by the due date listed above. • Aging • Anger
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