To conclude the course, you have the opportunity to choose a topic of interest to you and analyze it from a social psychological perspective. You will then write a literature review (see Bem, 2016), which is a scholarly paper, written in an objective and academic tone, focused on a particular subject. To do this, you must gather, review, and summarize relevant theory and research.
For example, if you chose to examine a proverb, such as Opposites attract, you would first find scholarly articles outlining the major predictors of attraction and testing this notion specifically. Begin your paper with a clear stance on the topicyes, opposites do attract, or no, they do notand then present the evidence in an organized fashion to support your thesis.
The topic of your literature review might come from the following list, or you may choose to identify a different area of interest. Scan your textbook for relevant concepts to explore. However, if you choose something other than the options below, you are encouraged to obtain permission from your instructor prior to writing/submitting the paper to ensure the suitability of your topic.
Here are some ideas you might choose to explore:
Accuracy of proverbs
Example: Dont judge a book by its cover or Beauty is a good letter of introduction. In other words, what can one conclude based on appearance alone?
Example: Absence makes the heart grow fonder or Out of sight, out of mind. In other words, do long distances or extended amounts of time strengthen relationship ties, or weaken them?
Example: Birds of a feather flock together or Opposites attract. In other words, are people attracted to similar or dissimilar others?
Impact of titles/labels
Example: How do team mascots (such as the Redskins or Braves) impact Native Americans (self-esteem, stereotype threat, etc.)?
Example: How do labels (such as smart/stupid, crazy or criminal, etc.) impact peoples mental processes and behaviors?
Example: Does true altruism exist? What motivates people to help?
Example: Do optimists experience better life outcomes than pessimists?
Example: How do political campaigns utilize various techniques?
Example: Is there a dark side? Can one be too confident?
Example: Do students fare better in big schools or small schools? Why?
Example: What is the theory behind reverse psychology?
Example: in aggression, sex, etc.
A form of prejudice
Example: fat prejudice, racial prejudice, etc.
Psychology and the law
Example: jury behavior, etc.
Other: If you have something else in mind, contact your instructor as soon as possible to ensure the topic is appropriate and to seek additional direction.
In your paper,
Analyze the social psychological literature for evidence that supports your thesis, providing a Synthesis (Links to an external site.) of your findings. Be sure to dispel refuting evidence.
Illustrate specific social psychological concepts using real life examples.
Examine relevant situational factors.
Identify social and cultural forces at work.
Indicate potential ethical considerations in research on this topic or application of insight.
The final paper
Must be seven double-spaced pages at minimum (not including title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA Style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Centers APA Style (Links to an external site.) resource.