Unit 3 Paper Topics for PY 101
Fall 2020, Professor Pirrotta
Remember, these are supposed to be RESEARCH based papers. This is the last one – if you do not cite outside research in this paper, you will receive a score of 0.
Unit 3 Note – Psychological disorders are topics that are often being very carefully researched, and our knowledge base can often change greatly, quickly. Reflecting on this, please use fairly recent sources (definitely within the last 10 years, ideally in the last five) for topics on those subjects.
Unit 3 Specific Topics
CHOICE A: Your textbook provides information about the psychological, biological, and cultural factors that combine to influence our eating behaviors. Using overeating and obesity as your focus, prepare a paper that explains how all these forces come together to produce overweight individuals.
CHOICE B: You may select any of the disorders from the DSM-5 to research in greater depth than the textbook. Your report should include the diagnostic criteria identified in the manual and some information about what is known about the origins of the disorder. Also, find a website that is a “support” for people with the disorder (or their friend/family) and write about three new things you learned from this website.
CHOICE C: Choose a book, movie, or TV show in which the main character is officially diagnosed with a psychological disorder (do not diagnose them yourself. If the work is set in the past or is some sort of sci-fi/fantasy world, the author/actor/director needs to have clearly stated somewhere the character was written with the disorder). View the movie or read the book and discuss the disorder based on DSM-5 criteria. Is the disorder treated in the movie/book, and if so, identify the treatment that is used. How do other characters respond to the character’s disorder? How does the audience respond to the character’s disorder? Is the depiction of the disorder accurate based on DSM-5 criteria? Note 1- make sure the focus of your paper is on the disorder, not the movie/TV show/book.
CHOICE D: Find a creative work that depicts a first-person account of living with and treating a disorder, produced by someone with that disorder (i.e. a professional author’s essay about their struggles with OCD, or something similar. Do NOT use songs, they are too short and do not get descriptive enough). How does that work impact your understanding of the disorder? What common symptoms of the disorder are present, are not present? Look up academic sources (beyond the textbook) to show how well their account matches the typical diagnostic criteria.
CHOICE E: Describe a situation in which you were under social pressure to conform. Using the information in your research: 1) identify the processes involved in conformity, compliance, and obedience, 2) determine whether the pressure to conform to norms was successful, and 3) speculate on the reasons for this success or failure.
CHOICE F: The Bystander effect is a prevalent, and unfortunate, concept that is well observed in Social Psychology. Have you ever been in a situation where someone needed serious help and you didn’t offer it? Explore some research on the Bystander Effect and apply what you learned to your situation, explaining how what you now know could be used to prevent future Bystander Effect situations.
Pre-Approved 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 outside sources that explain 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 psychological principle discussed in the chapter. 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). If one topic from the unit does not fill the required pages, bring in a second, third, or fourth. Find outside sources that also helps explain the behavior(s) discussed. For more information on the Psychology Of Education check on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychology_of_education
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