After completing this assignment, you will understand:
- The scope and diversity of psychology as a discipline.
- How psychologists working from different philosophical and theoretical perspectives make different contributions to our understanding of particular psychological topics.
After completing this assignment, you will be able to:
- Assess the strengths and weaknesses of various explanations for your topic.
- Explain how the Integration and/or competition between explanations from various perspectives helps psychology advance our understanding of human behavior and mental processing.
Your task is to select ONE psychological topic you find particularly interesting. This may be a topic we have covered in the course or a psychological topic we have not covered. You will then examine this topic from three different philosophical or theoretical perspectives within psychology. For example, you could examine your topic from any of the following philosophical perspectives: physiological, behavioral, cognitive, social, humanistic, evolutionary, psychoanalytic, etc). Alternatively, you could opt to examine your topic more specifically using three different theories, which may or may not differ in their philosophical perspectives. For example, imagine that you choose “bullying” as your topic. You could examine how bullying is explained from a biological, behavioral, and social perspective (three different philosophical perspectives). Alternatively, you could choose to examine how three different theories attempt to explain bullying. Two of these theories might be theories from a “social” perspective and one might be a theory from a “biological” perspective.
In either case, you must utilize and cite original sources for those perspectives in your analysis/discussion. This means that you must research your topic to find three different explanations for your topic. Your analysis cannot be based on personal opinion alone.
Write-up: Your write-up should begin with a general overview of your topic and the reasons why it is particularly interesting or relevant to you. This introduction should be followed by an analysis of your topic from three different philosophical or theoretical perspectives. Your analysis should demonstrate a general understanding of your topic and the fundamental principles used by each philosophical or theoretical perspective to explain that topic (using at least three academic sources outside of your textbook as source material). In addition, you should discuss whether the explanations offered by the different perspectives are complimentary to one another or contradict one another. Finally, your analysis should include your own personal reflection of these perspectives and an informed assessment of what you see as the strengths and weaknesses of each based on your research of them.
Review the grading criteria for this assignment on the attached grading rubric (see page 3) to understand what you need to address in your case study to earn points on this assignment.
Your Completed Assignment MUST Include:
1) Identification and description of ONE psychological topic that interests you.
2) A 2-3 page write-up (12 point font, double-spaced and 1 inch margins) in which you examine this
topic from THREE different philosophical or theoretical perspectives within psychology (e.g., cognitive, behavioral, social, physiological/neuroscience, evolutionary, psychoanalytic, etc).
3) Full citations (in text and in a Reference list) for all research sources used in this assignment in APA
4) A copy of the grading rubric (found at the end of this assignment). Be sure to sign the academic
integrity statement before submitting your assignment.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR THE ASSIGNMENT:
Throughout the semester you have been introduced to a wide range of topics, demonstrating the diverse nature of psychology. You have also been exposed to a variety of philosophical and theoretical perspectives used to examine and explain those topics. Different philosophical and theoretical perspectives make different assumptions about human behavior and mental processing. Consequently, they often seek to understand human behavior by focusing on different aspects of that behavior and/or different causal variables.
The purpose of this final assignment is to help you better appreciate the scope of psychology by examining how different philosophical and theoretical perspectives seek to explain a given psychological topic. Doing so will help you understand how psychologists working from different philosophical and theoretical perspectives make different contributions to our understanding of particular psychological topics and how the integration and/or competition between these explanations helps the discipline (at large) advance its understanding of human behavior and mental processing.
REMEMBER: Your write-up should consist of complete, understandable sentences with proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Clearly label your work following the example given above. Carefully proof-read your paper before submitting it to avoid losing points.
PRINT THIS PAGE and staple it to your assignment for use during grading.
The grading rubric below will be used to evaluate this assignment. Addressing each element of the rubric well will ensure that you have included all critical aspects of the assignment.
Academic Integrity: Any student caught plagiarizing this assignment will receive an F for the assignment and will be formally reported to the Office of Student Conduct. To reinforce academic integrity, insert your name in the statement below and provide your signature prior to submission.
“I, ______________________________________________, verify that this assignment is my original work.”
Your Signature: _______________________________________________________________
THE GRADING RUBRIC
MECHANICS & STYLE (25% = 5 points)
1) Are there 3 or more errors in spelling, grammar, and/or punctuation? If so, -2 pts
2) Are sentences logically related to one another? If not … -1 pt
3) Is the paper’s overall organization consistent and logical? If not . . . -2 pts
APA FORMAT (20% = 4 points)
1) Are the in-text citations in APA Format?
Only 1-2 errors -1 pt
3 or more errors -2 pts
2) Are the references on Reference page in APA format?
Only 1-2 errors -1 pt
3 or more errors -2 pts
NOTE: Failure to include citations for references in your assignment is considered plagiarism so
please be sure to cite all resources you use.
CONTENT (60% = 11 points)
- Is the overview of the selected topic sufficiently complete so that someone unfamiliar
with the topic would have a general understanding of it? ____/2 pts
- Does the write-up provide a critical analysis of the explanations provided by THREE
different philosophical and/or theoretical perspectives?
Perceptive #1 ____/2 pts
Perceptive #2 ____/2 pts
Perceptive #3 ____/2 pts
- Does the write-up include an insightful discussion of what the student sees as the
strengths and/or weaknesses of the explanations provided by each perspective? ____/3 pts
Was the assignment late? _________
(2 pt deduction per/day including the due date if assignment was submitted after class)
NOTE: Assignments submitted more than 3 days past their deadline will not be accepted.
FINAL GRADE (Mechanics/Style + Format + Content minus any late deductions): _______/20 points