Instructions for Psychology Essay Assignment
To successfully complete this course, you must write an essay based on information found in your textbook Psychology and your life by Robert S. Feldman. The great thing about this assignment is there is NO outside research necessary!
Based on the three subjects below (Conditioning, memory, and motivation/emotion), you will choose ONE out of the six topics presented and submit a well-written argument that is 750 to 1000 words in length. We encourage you to always use your own words. But remember, if you use the exact word of the author, you must use quotation marks and cite the information properly. See below for assistance with APA style for your references and in text parenthetical citations.
Conditioning. Begin by reviewing Chapter 5. Chapter 5 discusses Classical and Operant Conditioning including the experiments of Ivan Pavlov and B.F. Skinner’s contributions (in particular with reinforcement and punishment). Chapter 5 also discusses Cognitive Approaches to Learning which include latent learning and observational learning based on Bandura’s experiments.
***Please be sure that you do not confuse Classical and Operant Conditioning styles. There is a chart on page 184 of your textbook that summarizes the main components of each style. Another quick review of Classical Conditioning, Operant Conditioning, and Cognitive Learning is found on pages 202-3.
1. Choose one of these conditioning/learning styles and discuss how it may be applied to child rearing. In essay format, create a plan to help get a young child to clean his/her room. Depending on the conditioning style that you choose, you will be expected to describe that approach in detail and explain all key components. We expect that you incorporate key terms into your plan.
2. The text discusses the pros and cons of punishment and why reinforcement “beats” punishment in module 16. Explain the theory behind this phenomenon and give an example of how you would use reinforcement and punishment when training an animal. Here you will discuss Operant Conditioning. Be sure to explain the differences between positive and negative reinforcement, and positive and negative punishment. Incorporate the concepts of shaping and partial reinforcement schedules into your plan.
Memory. Begin by reviewing Chapter 6. Chapter 6 discussed memory, how the brain processes information and explains the process involved in forgetting information. In addition the chapter discusses how we as humans think, reason and problem solve, and the role our brain plays in developing language.
3. Discuss the process of memory; in particular discuss the different types of memory and relate each one to a personal experience. In your essay you are required to include a description and examples of each of the three types of memory: Sensory, Short Term and Long Term. In addition, you will need to discuss the different types or modules of long term memory (declarative, procedural, semantic, episodic, implicit, explicit, flashbulb and autobiographical). Provide an example of each. You are not required to include information on forgetting–but be sure to read this part as you may encounter the topic of forgetting on a future exam 😉
4. Discuss the different theories on language acquisition; as our country becomes more multicultural, how can these theories aid our children and/or you in learning a second and perhaps a third language? For this topic you will explain the Learning-Theory approach (reinforcement/conditioning), Nativist approach (universal grammar) and the Interactionist approach (a combination of genetic pre-disposition and environmental circumstance) to language acquisition. Which of these theories makes most sense to you? Why? How can you use that theory to explain learning a second or third language?
Motivation and Emotion. Begin by reviewing Chapter 7. Chapter 7 states as humans we are born to be motivated to satisfy our needs, discusses why some of us seek out sensation and thrills more than others, and ends with a discussion of the cultural differences on how we as humans express emotions.
5. According to Maslow, our motivation progresses up a pyramid. Discuss his theory and give your opinion on whether or not you agree with it. Give concrete examples (in relation to the hierarchy) as to your opinion. Discuss (define and thoroughly analyze) the 5 steps of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in detail with examples and whether you agree or disagree with his theory in all its aspects.
6. The text discusses three models of emotions; choose one of those models and describe the way you deal with a crisis. Give specific examples. Begin by defining and describing the three theories of emotion from the textbook: James-Lange, Cannon-Bard, and Schachter-Singer. Which theory makes most sense to you? Why? Use the theory of your choice to explain the emotions you go through during a crisis situation (a car accident, fire, robbery, flood, tornado, etc…)