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Writing Assignment #1
Scientific Reasoning: Introduction to Psychology
- Argument/Topic Selection
- Below is a list of common beliefs in psychology. Pick ONE of these ideas to research for your project. Decide if you think this belief is true or not.
- We Only Use 10% of our Brains
- It’s Better to Express Anger Than to Hold it in
- Low Self-Esteem is a Major Cause of Psychological Problems
- Human Memory Works like a Video Camera
- A Deeply Hypnotized Person Will Do Whatever the Hypnotist Suggests
- The Polygraph Test is an Accurate Means of Detecting Lies
- Opposites Attract
- People with schizophrenia have multiple personalities
- Full Moons Cause Crimes and Craziness
- A Large Proportion of Criminals Successfully Use the Insanity Defense
- People can only learn in their preferred learning style
- SSRIs make people commit suicide
- For an example I will use the popular belief “Birds of a feather flock together (meaning we like to be around people similar to ourselves)” (DO NOT use this topic). I think this belief is TRUE.
- Based on your topic, develop a working hypothesis. That is, make an ‘educated’ prediction about the relationship between these variables. A hypothesis is a testable prediction.
- Example: If people are more similar, they will like each other more.
- Example: There will be more crime during the full moon than at other moon phases.
- Now that you have a topic, describe how you’d study it.
- Describe the research design and sampling methods you’d want to use. It must be observable and testable and specific.
- Indicate the relevant variables.
- Indicate whether your study would correlational or causal, and explain why.
- Existing Knowledge, Research, and/or Views
- Conduct a literature review. Present information from credible and relevant sources representing various points of view. You must use at least 5 different sources. Cite each source using APA format.
- Find sources that are recent, less than 10 years old
- Be sure to look at credible sources especially if they don’t agree with your hypothesis.
- Write a one paragraph description of what the source says. Then analyze each source and distinguish scientific arguments from non-scientific ones.
- Make sure you use appropriate, well-documented, credible sources that are relevant to your argument! Do not just use the first items that pop up in a google search…use the library or Google Scholar. You may have to change your wording a few times to find the right key words that will result in good sources.
- To use the TCC library for sources go here: http://libguides.tcc.edu/psych .
- For a list of what a source can be go here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/552/03/ ).
- Source 1: Montoya, R. M., Horton, R. S., & Kirchner, J. (2008). Is actual similarity necessary for attraction? A meta-analysis of actual and perceived similarity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (25), 889-922 Retrieved May 17, 2016.
- This article is a research study from a psychology journal. The researchers found that both perceived similarity and actual similarity influenced interpersonal attraction. So this article supports my hypothesis that similarity impacts attraction. This journal is peer-reviewed so it is a credible and reliable source.
- Analyze and synthesize the information into a paragraph.
- Synthesize does NOT mean simply copying the descriptive paragraph you wrote for each source.
- Describe patterns of similarity and difference in the findings of the studies you found.
- Your synthesis should evaluate what the research (the 5 sources you have found) suggests about your topic picked in step 1.
- “Evaluate” means judging the validity of the findings. So for instance if four of your studies find similar results, and the fifth is different, the four studies are probably more correct.
- When evaluating, look at differences in definitions, sampling, and methods.
- Go here for help on how to organize and what to include: http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/literature-reviews/
- Conclusions, Limitations, and Implications.
- Write a concluding paragraph regarding your findings.
- Does the research support your hypothesis? State a conclusion that is a logical inference from your research findings.
- What limitations are there in your research or analysis?
- Your essay must be typed.
- Your citations must be in APA format
- Any references to your sources must be cited in the text of the essay (APA style). For example, Machleit, Eroglu, and Mantel (2000) found that shopper’s perception of store crowds impacted their satisfaction with their shopping at the store. Additionally, airlines have seen an increase in the number of fights among passengers as planes have become more crowded (Martin, 2014).
- Use proper spelling and grammar (I recommend you visit the writing center and have your essay checked prior to submission)
- Your essay will be checked for plagiarism. Plagiarism includes any ‘accidental’ cutting and pasting from sources, direct quotations that are not in quotation marks, etc. Any ideas that are not your own must be cited.
|Step 1_Argument/Topic Selection|
|Picked topic from the list|
|Develop a working hypothesis|
|Selected appropriate methodology|
|Applicable design is observable and testable and specific|
|Identified critical elements (including relevant variables and sampling methodology)|
|Indicated whether study was correlational and causal|
|Explained why study was correlational or causal|
|Step 3_Existing Knowledge, Research, and/or Views|
|Used at least 5 sources|
|Sources were credible and relevant|
|Sources are recent|
|Sources represent various views|
|Paragraph summary of each source|
|Synthesized the information|
|Noted patterns, similarities, and differences|
|Synthesis shows evidence of reasoning|
|States logical conclusion that is derived from the research|
|Noted limitations and implications of the research|
|Typed 1-2 pages|
|Citations and References in APA format|
|Spelling and Grammar|