Topic paper (see list of possible topics below) must be relevant to a topic in the course.
IMPORTANT: if you are not selecting one of the more specific topics below you MUST provide me with your topic and how you plan to approach the topic via email. You only need to do this if your topic is not one of the ones listed.
Minimum length is 5 pages (not including the title page and reference page).
Must be 12 point font (such as ariel, calibri, times new roman), double spaced, with one inch margins.
Must use citations in the body of the paper, and a reference list at the end. May use either MLA or APA styles.
Need a minimum of three (3) different sources for the information. Try to avoid general websites like about.com, wikipedia etc.
May not have more than two (2) quotations in the paper, and quotations cannot be more than 40 words. In other words you need to paraphrase your sources. I want to be grading your understanding of what you have read about the topic.
Title page, with a title, your name.
Reference page. List only the sources you cited in the paper.
1. Research a famous psychologist:
Look into the life of someone who made important contributions to the field of psychology. Many of the people listed below are mentioned in the course; all had a lasting effect on psychology. Select one of the people listed and find out something about their upbringing, what drew them to their topics of study, and what is their contribution to psychology?
2. Research a neurological disorder:
There are several neurological disorders that can occur because of problems in the functioning of the nervous system. Select one of the disorders from the list below and find out more information about that disorder and the impact that it has on the lives of people. Make sure you describe the symptoms, the prevalence of the problem, whether it affects certain groups more than others, where the problem may lie in the nervous system, causes, and treatments.
Most of these disorders have societies or associations who have webpages with information about the disorder. I would avoid general sites like "ask.com" or "wikipedia", I would also avoid sites like WebMD. All of these tend to be very limited in their coverage and are often inaccurate. There are government based sites that have up-to-date research findings and much more accurate information. A very good site is the National Institute of Neurological Disorders. Don't forget books and journal articles.
3. Research a Mental Illness:
There are a number of psychological disorders. Select one of the disorders from the list below and find out more information about that disorder and the impact that it has on the lives of people. In this paper you need to describe the symptoms, prevalence, whether in effects certain populations more than others, known or hypothesized causes, and treatments.
Try to avoid ask.com, about.com, wikipedia and other general sites of that nature. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) are two excellent websites, and these also provide links to national societies for some of these disorders. Don't forget books and journal articles.
4. Research the topic of Personality:
You may select a particular personality theory, such as Freud's, or Bandura's etc., or discuss how personality is measured (trait approach) and some of the issues surrounding personality assessment.
5. Research the topic of Intelligence Testing:
Like personality, there are a number of theories regarding the best way to conceptualize intelligence. Is it a single entity, or do we have multiple intelligences?
This is also an area in psychology that has had more than its fair share of controversies. There is a dark history surrounding the measurement of intelligence and how that data has been used (or abused). So there are a number of possible topics you might want to venture into. A discussion of how intelligence testing has been used. Arguments regarding nature and nurture influences. I would not try to tackle all of it (remember the paper only has to be five pages).
6. Research Parenting Styles:
Chapter 7 discusses the topic of parenting and describes four main styles (although there are several others). You would want to consider how each of these styles is different, why parents might adopt a particular style, and what are the consequences of each style.
More recently, researchers have noticed that the consequences may vary in different cultures. Thus, a style that might be a problem in one culture, may not be in another. So another possible topic might focus on cross-cultural differences in parenting.