ASSIGNMENT: Topics in Psychology


Find a TED Talk related to any topic in psychology. Here is the link for the TED homepage:

Once you are on the site, you can conduct a search using different keywords for topics. Make sure that the person giving the talk is a psychologist. You can confirm this by reading their brief bio. Also, the talk must be at least 8 minutes in duration. These are the only two requirements for the talk. It can be on any issue or topic related to psychology. If you have no idea for a topic, you can just type in “psychology” in the search field, and you will retrieve lots of talks by psychologists.

Watch the talk carefully, and take notes as you are watching to capture the specific information presented by the speaker and the points made.


In a cohesive essay, respond to each of the following question sets:

Paragraph 1:

What is the main question or issue that the talk is about? Define the concepts (i.e., any psychological or scientific terms) within the question.

What is the point of view of the speaker? You can consider the speaker’s educational background, in addition to personal characteristics, such as age, race/ethnicity, gender, nationality, etc. Regarding their educational background, what perspective in psychology best fits how they are looking at the issue? To answer these questions, read the biographical information on the website and/or do some basic background research on the presenter.

Paragraph 2:

What information is presented in the talk? Summarize the facts, statistics, and scientific findings presented in the talk.

Paragraph 3:

What is the speaker’s conclusion (i.e., inference) to the question/issue? And what are the implications of this conclusion? The inference is the general answer to the question. Implications are what we should or could do about the issue, given the conclusion drawn.

Paragraph 4:

What did you find most interesting about the talk, and what will you most likely remember from the talk? What other questions would you have for this presenter if you could have a conversation with them? What else would you like to know about the topic?

Your paper should be about 2 pages in length, with 1-inch margins, 12-point font, and double spacing. Make sure to use the terms in a blue, bold font in the questions above in your paper. In other words, explicitly identify the parts of the talk in your analysis. Make sure to carefully proofread your paper, and run both a spell check and a grammar check.

At the end of your paper, include a reference. The reference should contain the name of the talk, the name of the presenter, the date the talk was filmed, and the link to the video.

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