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

her self-control?


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.