Psychology 001 – Application Assignment CHAPTER 1 ONLY

You will write an application assignment for each chapter of your textbook. Choose a specific concept or theory from the chapter and write about how it applies to real life. This could mean personal relationships, work, school – the possibilities are endless! The point of these assignments is to apply the concepts and theories, not simply restate what they are and regurgitate basic information you read in the textbook. In all submissions, highlight the theory or concept you have chosen with bold text and include the page number where it is found in the textbook.

Chapters 1

Assignments for chapters 1-6, chapters 8-11, chapter 13, and chapters 15-16 (all except chapters 7, 12, and 14) may be written in first person and must include a specific example. Submit these assignments through the text box option on Canvas. Word count requirement: 125-200 words. A couple of real examples:

Erikson’s psychosocial theory of development (p. 181) applies to my work as a violence prevention practitioner. His first stage, trust vs. mistrust, highlights why it’s so important that we work to stop child abuse. As we learned, Erikson believed that infants need to feel secure that they will get their needs met, including comfort and nurturing. Child abuse is a direct violation of those needs and it’s understandable that experiencing it would lead to a feeling of mistrust. For example, when I ran support groups for women who had experienced various forms of abuse, those who had experienced child abuse frequently remarked that their whole lives they just didn’t feel like they could really trust anyone, in some cases even their spouses and partners of many years. Moreover, Erikson’s theory provides support for the fact that, as many people in my line of work say, we need to focus not just on stopping the bad, but on promoting the good. If we build healthy, supportive environments for all children, meeting their physical and psychological needs, they will likely be able to resolve the conflict at this stage, develop a basic sense of trust, and move on to Erikson’s next stage.

I use operant conditioning (p. 325) with my dog, Julian, daily. For example, anytime I want him to do something, I provide a reward in the form of a few pieces of dog food (essentially a treat). I always try to present the reinforcer, food, as soon as possible because, as we have learned, timing matters. This is positive reinforcement because the desired behavior, like pottying outside, is likely to increase in the future because it has been followed by a desired stimulus. Sometimes, however, operant conditioning backfires. For example, he often screams at me when he’s hungry and wants me to feed him. That is an aversive stimulus, and I want it to stop. So what do I do? I feed him! In this way, he is negatively reinforcing my behavior, increasing the likelihood that I’ll feed him in the future because it removes his screaming!

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Chapter 1 requirement: For the first assignment (only), you must include a quote from chapter 1. Provide the page number where you found the quote. Submissions without a quote will receive zero points.

Focus on application: You’re not telling me your opinion or what you think about the topic. You’re not writing a book report or simply telling me what you read in your textbook. You are showing me that you understand the topic and can apply it to real life.

Keep it consistent with the textbook: Discuss the topic from a psychological perspective – approach the topic as it is explained in the book. For example, if you want to write about buyer’s remorse, you wouldn’t just say, “I once bought something and then felt bad afterwards.” The textbook’s discussion of the concept includes the cognitive processes at play, so you should address those.

Grading for these assignments will utilize the following rubric (20 points). Answers that utilize topics from the wrong chapters or topics that are too general (e.g. choosing “development” for chapter 5 or “health” for chapter 13) forfeit the rubric and will not receive a passing grade.


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