Psychological mechanics of relevant issue - Conditioned behavior

Unit 2 Paper Topics for PY 101

Fall 2019, Professor Pirrotta

Remember, these are supposed to be RESEARCH based papers. If you do not cite outside research in this paper, you will receive a score of 0.

Unit 2 Specific Topics

CHOICE A: Become aware of a behavior you perform that seems to be under the control of a conditioned stimulus (CS).  Use classical conditioning terminology to explain the process of how this behavior was learned.

CHOICE B: Can you think of a specific behavior that someone close to you often does but which you find annoying or unpleasant?  Now that you’ve studied conditioning for a few weeks, describe how you would go about changing that behavior – step-by-step. ** Note: It is not a requirement that you actually carry out your plan!

CHOICE C:  Eyewitness memory is often trusted by the general public, but the science says that it is not always reliable.  Write a paper exploring this topic.  Consider looking up the work of The Innocence Project and what they have done for people falsely imprisoned due to faulty witnesses.

CHOICE D: Doing well in college often relies extensively on memory abilities.  Using what you’ve learned in this chapter and in your own research, design a new set of techniques to use for studying, that will help you remember more on subsequent tests.  Use as many methods as possible, and be specific on how to use them.

CHOICE E:  Schemas and scripts are very important tools for organizing memories.  However, they can be overused – we sometimes fill in missing information in a memory with things that “fit” our schema.  Think of a time when this may have happened to you and write a report about what your schema was, and how it may have been altered in your memory.

CHOICE F: The availability heuristic is a very powerful tool for advertising.  Look up some information on that heuristic, and write a report discussing a few commercials and how they make use of it.

General topics for ANY unit

1.)     Current events – find a recent (within 6 months) article in the news, describing a specific event (such as a crime that was committed, a human interest piece on a somehow remarkable person, or a comment made by a politician), and explain that event using material from the unit just covered.  Be sure to use as many relevant terms from the chapter(s) as you can, and find an outside source that explains the psychological issues in your paper.

**Please note that this topic asks you to cover a SPECIFIC EVENT.  Do not write about an article explaining a recent psychological finding.  **

2.)    Psychology in your world – many of the topics in this course will relate to your own experiences and observations.  Take information from the current unit and apply it to your life (or your friends/family) and explain in detail how something that you (or your friends/family) do is an example of a specific psychological principle discussed in the recent chapters.  All examples must be distinctly different from the examples used in the book or talked about in class (though if you bring up your own example during class, you may use it on the paper in more detail).  Find outside sources that explain the behavior(s) discussed.  Make sure to cover it in enough depth to really explain the psychological mechanics of the relevant issue. 

Psychological mechanics of relevant issue - Conditioned behavior

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