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Psych 100 – Spring 2019
Paper assignment: Applying Psychological Science Paper #2
Here is information on paper assignment, #2.
APSP #2 is due on Monday, April 15, end of day (11:59 pm). Papers are to be
submitted electronically, via Safe-Assign.
The APSP #2 paper assignment, and all of the paper submission guidelines, are
identical to those of APSP #1. The only difference is the new topics (below). As you’ll
recall, the paper assignment is:
(a) to address an applied challenge, that is, some challenge faced in the “real
world,” outside of university departments of psychology, by
(b) making use of information in a scientific paper that presents some
psychological science that can be used to address the challenge.
Below, you will find a list of paper topics. You should choose one as your topic.
Each topic contains two parts: (a) an applied challenge, and (b) a scientific paper relevant
to that challenge. Once you choose a topic, your assignment is to:
(1) describe the theory and research presented in the scientific paper listed
for your topic
(2) explain how that theory and research addresses the applied challenge, in
other words, to explain how the psychological science (the theory and research in the
paper) might help to solve the problem faced by the person with the applied challenge.
The paper you write should be 3.5 – 4 pages in length, double-spaced. That is font
size 12, 1-inch-margins, and 3.5 – 4 pages of actual text that you yourself write. (This
would total roughly 1100 words of writing.) In these 3.5-4 pages, you should be
accomplishing the two asks above: (1) describe the theory and research presented in the
scientific paper you read (answer questions such as: What is the main idea of the paper?
What are the main research findings supporting this idea? What methods did the
researcher use to support their findings?), and (2) explain how that theory and
research can be applied to the applied problem (explain what the person facing the
applied challenge might do differently if they knew about the theory and research in the
paper). You should probably spend about an equal amount of space on each of the
two tasks; your paper thus would have about 1.5-2 pages describing the theory and
research that is presented in the relevant scientific paper, and about 1.5-2 pages
explaining how the scientific information might be used to solve the applied problem.
Notes on the Readings: You do not have to do any additional outside reading for the
paper, that is, you don’t have to read anything except for the one paper listed as the
relevant scientific paper for your topic. Also note that you can get your paper, absolutely
for free, in either of two ways. If you’re on campus, you merely need enter the title of the
paper into an internet browser. Google Scholar almost always finds the paper, and if
you’re on campus the UIC computer system will add a “Find It @ UIC” link.
Alternatively, from any computer you can access the paper through the UIC library
system list of electronic journals.
Notes on writing style: For this paper, you should have little or no direct quotes
from the paper. Unlike a writing style in the humanities (e.g., an English class in which
you are writing about a work of fiction), here in the social sciences there is rarely any
need at all to quote directly, word-for-word, from a paper you are reading. The text in
your paper should be text written by you.
Notes on plagiarism: Anytime you are discussing someone else’s words you need
to give the author credit by citing them. Otherwise, this is plagiarism. By citing the
author, you are adding credibility to your argument and avoiding plagiarism. An example
of an in-text citation looks like this: where you first list the ideas of an author followed
with an in-line citation: Psychology is the scientific study of person, the mind, and the
brain (Cervone, 2014).
Below are four topics (please choose only one) from which to choose in writing
APSP#2, and the scientific paper that you should read and discuss for each topic.
Motivation and Self-Control
Imagine that you are an academic counselor here at UIC. A student comes into your
office and says “I’m plenty smart, Mr/Ms. Counselor, but I’ve got no self-control, and
there’s nothing I can do about it. During the semester, I never know exactly what to do to
study, and I can’t keep track of how I’m doing, and I forget to do stuff – sometimes I
totally forget to study for exams. There isn’t anything to do to change this, is there.”
Is there anything to do? Might you have any tips on how the study can improve his or
Relevant Scientific Paper
Inzlight, M., Legault, L., & Teper, R. (2014). Exploring the mechanisms of self-control
improvement. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23, 302-307.
Education and Student Interest
Imagine that you’re a teacher. You want to make class interesting for the students. To this
end, you try to make your reading assignments easy, try to keep projects as simple as
possible, and try to make the class fun for students by showing a lot of wacky TV shows
and cartoons during class. Yet the students seem bored. What might you be able to do
differently to enhance student interest?
Relevant scientific paper
Silvia, P. J. (2008). Interest—the curious emotion. Current Directions in Psychological
Science, 17, 57-60.
Gender Differences and Memory
Suppose that two friends of yours – let’s call them Joan and John – are in a romantic
relationship, and have been in the relationship a long time. One day, while you’re visiting
them, they get into a big argument about memory. Joan says women have better memory
than men. John says men have better memory than women. Joan says she can prove it,
and does so by recalling what the couple said to one another when they first met (which
John can’t remember). John says he can prove it, and does so by recalling the exact route
from their old first apartment to their old favorite restaurant (which Joan can’t
remember). The argument – “Women have better memory.” “No, men have better
memory” – goes on and on. What can you say to resolve the argument?
Relevant scientific paper
Herlitz, A., & Rehnman, J. (2008). Sex differences in episodic memory. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 17, 52-56.
Student in College Pressed for Time
Imagine that you are a student in college, and that you have a busy schedule. You
struggle to find enough time to study, and hope to use study methods that are not only
effective, but also efficient. What should you do? Should you study the same material
over and over? Should you study for a while, and then take a break and come back to the
material later? Do these different strategies make any difference at all? What exactly
would you do to meet the challenge of studying efficiently and effectively?
Relevant scientific paper
Rohrer, D., & Pashler, H. (2008). Increasing retention without increasing study time.
Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16, 183-186.
Submitting Your Paper
You will need to submit your paper to the Blackboard web site (SafeAssign).
SafeAssign is a university-administered system that cross-checks papers against material
on the internet and material submitted elsewhere at UIC, to safeguard against plagiarism.
If you copy words from other sources, this is plagiarism. If you copy words from
other students, even students from past semesters, this is plagiarism. If you copy
words from an assignment you’ve written in past semesters, this is plagiarism (self-
plagiarism). If you do any of these things, this system will flag your paper as
plagiarized, and you will earn 0 points for this paper, and your name will be
submitted to the Dean of Students where you may face disciplinary actions from the
University. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. Please use your own words
entirely when you write this paper. Please do not cheat on this assignment in any way.
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