Semester Paper Assignment

Psychology is a scientific discipline.  The knowledge that we have gained and the information written in your textbook have come from psychological research studies.  Therefore, it is important that you have familiarity with influential research and theoretical articles in Psychology. You will be reading particular interesting and relatable articles that I have chosen. These articles are located in the Blackboard system in a file called “Review Articles.”

It is expected that you will read all articles given in the Review Articles file.  Summarizing these six articles is the focus on part I of your paper.   Your literature review should NOT be in essay format for this portion, and should be typed (single-spaced) on the template below (For each article, cut and paste this template, and then provide your responses).  ALL RESPONSES NEED TO BE IN YOUR OWN WORDS—NO QUOTES EITHER…..or points will be deducted!!  ?  For a detailed description of each of the sections in Part I, please see “Explaining Part I below.

1.    Author(s) of the Article:
2.    Title of the Article:
3.    Purpose and/or Hypothesis(es) of the Study:
4.    Results of the Study:
5.    Method for Testing the Hypothesis(es)
6.    Implications for the Results:

Prepare written responses to each of the questions below by copying and pasting the questions and then inserting your thorough responses to each question.

What current study in Psychology (within the last three years) has been conducted in the area of Mind Set?  For this, you should go to the IVC Ebsco database (see a librarian for help). Specify your search searching “peer reviewed” research articles written by professors from research universities.  Also, when you are in the Ebsco data base, search by title or keywords of your interest.  You can go to the American Psychological Association ( , but you might have to pay for the article).  Please make sure that if you are on a site other than or in Ebso, then you check to make sure the article is written by a professor from a research university.  In answering this question, I am looking to see that you can find current psychological research, and then relate it to new ideas). Please include answers to the following questions:

1.    Who was the author and what is the title of the article that you chose?
2.    What is the date of its publication (must be within 3 years of the current date)?
3.    From what research university is the first author of the study?
4.    What was the hypothesis or purpose of the study?
5.    How did they test their hypothesis?
6.    What were the results of the study?
7.    What are the implications or importance of these results?
8.    In what ways are the findings of the current article consistent or inconsistent with other 5 articles on Mindset? What new information has been given?  This should be VERY well-developed section of your paper—I want to see how you can assimilate the new information into existing literature.  Be sure to mention and properly cite the other 5 articles when referring to each. DO THIS IN YOUR OWN WORDS—NO QUOTES!
a.    OVERALL CHARACTERISTICS:  After reading 6 articles on mindset, what are the characteristics associated with a growth mindset? What characteristics are associated with a fixed mindset?   Describe and explain.
b.    SELF ASSESSMENT:  In a well-developed paragraph, discuss your mindset orientation.  When answering, consider the following questions:  Do you tend to have a fixed or growth mindset? Observe your thinking patterns over a 3-day period. Was your mindset pattern easily identifiable?  Do you think your mindset is dependent on the situation you are in?  Describe and explain.  How difficult do you think it would be to go from a fixed to a growth mindset?
c.    CREATE A PLAN:  In thinking about your highest goal, generate a plan using the findings from the Mindset literature to achieve your highest goal.  This would need to include a plan for moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Use the research findings from the 6 articles to help your plan.  What growth mindset exercises would you create to help you make a habit out of growth mindset?  Please indicate your highest goal, and indicate how you would proceed. Carry out your exercises for 3 days.  Report your observations, challenges, successes, and projections for the future attainment of your highest goal.


a.    In a well-developed paragraph, what further questions remain? (Don’t say there are no more questions, since the number of questions that could be asked is practically infinite.  For example, one might wonder if there are gender differences in the degree to which a person has a growth mindset. Does society socialize males and females differently for these types of mindset orientation?  Come up with your own question, and ask one of the authors in the articles that were posted on Blackboard and the one you found.  For this, YOU WILL HAVE TO EMAIL ONE OF THE AUTHORS OF THE ARTICLE (to do this, locate the university from which the author is affiliated; see the librarian to show you how to look for this information but university affiliation is given on the title page).  Once you have located the university, you can browse that university’s website to look for the email address of the professor who had written your article.  By the way, do NOT tell them that this is for a class assignment—rather, you should genuinely express your interest in his/her work by introducing yourself, telling him/her that you are interested in his/her research, that you have read their article titled X (fill in the title), and that you would like to know if he/she has ever examined X (fill this in with your area of interest). Please check your spelling and grammar before sending an email to this professor!  Copy and paste the email that you sent to the professor and include his/her response.  After contacting the professor who you contacted, what are your thoughts after he/she responded to you?

b.    What are your thoughts or conclusions about how this psychological theory, research and everyday experiences relate?

11.    What are your overall conclusions about Mindset in general, and how this may or may not apply to your life?  Do you think this is a useful construct and one in which gives useful direction and preparation for achieving success?  Why or why not.


What and Where Do I Find the Information about the Hypothesis(es), Results, Method, and Implications?

1.  Purpose / Hypothesis
* This is found in the beginning of the article, usually in the introduction or first part of the article.  Look for statements about why is the author conducting the study or writing the article.  The hypothesis is what the author expects to find? This should be worded as a predictive statement.  Look for words such as, “it is expected that…..,” “it is believed that….,” “….thus, it may be that…..,” “the hypotheses of the study are…….”  This should only be one or two sentences.

2. Results
* There is usually a section called “Results” when hypotheses are tested.  Although, I am asking this out of order, I want you to focus on the research findings first.  The research findings ARE the answers to the hypotheses.   So, the results should directly relate to the hypotheses of the study—each result is an answer to each hypothesis.  The results of the study are what textbook and research authors are interested—this is the information that gets discussed,  often following statements such as “Research shows…..”

3.  Method
* There is usually a section called “Method,” which is the next section that I’d like for you to think about.  That is, now I want for you to think about how the authors tested his/her/their hypotheses.  This is the “who,” and “what,” of the study—that is, who were the participants (e.g., were they college students, community workers, mothers and fathers…..), how many subjects participated in the study, and what was the experience of the subjects?  That is, did they complete questionnaires?  If so, what were the questionnaires measuring?  Were they part of an experiment?  If so, what did the researchers have the participants do in the study?  Please provide enough detail here to clearly describe how the study was conducted.

5.  Implications
*This is probably the most important part of your thinking.  What is the “big deal” about the research findings?  That is, “so what” that they found what they found.  What do the results suggest for the “bigger picture?”  In other words, now that we have found these results, what should happen as a result of knowing this.

Plagiarism Handout
Produced by Writing Tutorial Services, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
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What is Plagiarism and Why is it Important?
In college courses, we are continually engaged with other people’s ideas: we read them in texts, hear them in lecture, discuss them in class, and incorporate them into our own writing. As a result, it is very important that we give credit where it is due. Plagiarism is using others’ ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information.
How Can Students Avoid Plagiarism?
To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use
•    another person’s idea, opinion, or theory;
•    any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings—any pieces of information—that are not common knowledge;
•    quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words; or
•    paraphrase of another person’s spoken or written words.
These guidelines are taken from the Student Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.
To help you recognize what plagiarism looks like and what strategies you can use to avoid it, select one of the following links or scroll down to the appropriate topic.
•    How to Recognize Unacceptable and Acceptable Paraphrases
o    An Unacceptable Paraphrase
o    An Acceptable Paraphrase
o    Another Acceptable Paraphrase
•    Plagiarism and the World Wide Web
•    Strategies for Avoiding Plagiarism
•    Terms You Need to Know (or What is Common Knowledge?)
How to Recognize Unacceptable and Acceptable Paraphrases
Here’s the ORIGINAL text, from page 1 of Lizzie Borden: A Case Book of Family and Crime in the 1890s by Joyce Williams et al.:
The rise of industry, the growth of cities, and the expansion of the population were the three great developments of late nineteenth century American history. As new, larger, steam-powered factories became a feature of the American landscape in the East, they transformed farm hands into industrial laborers, and provided jobs for a rising tide of immigrants. With industry came urbanization the growth of large cities (like Fall River, Massachusetts, where the Bordens lived) which became the centers of production as well as of commerce and trade.
Here’s an UNACCEPTABLE paraphrase that is plagiarism:
The increase of industry, the growth of cities, and the explosion of the population were three large factors of nineteenth century America. As steam-driven companies became more visible in the eastern part of the country, they changed farm hands into factory workers and provided jobs for the large wave of immigrants. With industry came the growth of large cities like Fall River where the Bordens lived which turned into centers of commerce and trade as well as production.
What makes this passage plagiarism?
The preceding passage is considered plagiarism for two reasons:
•    the writer has only changed around a few words and phrases, or changed the order of the original’s sentences.
•    the writer has failed to cite a source for any of the ideas or facts.
If you do either or both of these things, you are plagiarizing.

NOTE: This paragraph is also problematic because it changes the sense of several sentences (for example, “steam-driven companies” in sentence two misses the original’s emphasis on factories).
Here’s an ACCEPTABLE paraphrase:

Fall River, where the Borden family lived, was typical of northeastern industrial cities of the nineteenth century. Steam-powered production had shifted labor from agriculture to manufacturing, and as immigrants arrived in the US, they found work in these new factories. As a result, populations grew, and large urban areas arose. Fall River was one of these manufacturing and commercial centers (Williams 1).

Why is this passage acceptable?
This is acceptable paraphrasing because the writer:
•    accurately relays the information in the original
uses her own words.
•    lets her reader know the source of her information.
Here’s an example of quotation and paraphrase used together, which is also ACCEPTABLE:

Fall River, where the Borden family lived, was typical of northeastern industrial cities of the nineteenth century. As steam-powered production shifted labor from agriculture to manufacturing, the demand for workers “transformed farm hands into industrial laborers,” and created jobs for immigrants. In turn, growing populations increased the size of urban areas. Fall River was one of these hubs “which became the centers of production as well as of commerce and trade” (Williams 1).

Why is this passage acceptable?
This is acceptable paraphrasing because the writer:
•    records the information in the original passage accurately.
•    gives credit for the ideas in this passage.
•    indicated which part is taken directly from her source by putting the passage in quotation marks and citing the page number.
Note that if the writer had used these phrases or sentences in her own paper without putting quotation marks around them, she would be PLAGIARIZING. Using another person’s phrases or sentences without putting quotation marks around them is considered plagiarism EVEN IF THE WRITER CITES IN HER OWN TEXT THE SOURCE OF THE PHRASES OR SENTENCES SHE HAS QUOTED.
Plagiarism and the World Wide Web
The World Wide Web has become a more popular source of information for student papers, and many questions have arisen about how to avoid plagiarizing these sources. In most cases, the same rules apply as to a printed source: when a writer must refer to ideas or quote from a WWW site, she must cite that source.
If a writer wants to use visual information from a WWW site, many of the same rules apply. Copying visual information or graphics from a WWW site (or from a printed source) is very similar to quoting information, and the source of the visual information or graphic must be cited. These rules also apply to other uses of textual or visual information from WWW sites; for example, if a student is constructing a web page as a class project, and copies graphics or visual information from other sites, she must also provide information about the source of this information. In this case, it might be a good idea to obtain permission from the WWW site’s owner before using the graphics.
Strategies for Avoiding Plagiarism
1. Put in quotations everything that comes directly from the text especially when taking notes.
2. Paraphrase, but be sure you are not just rearranging or replacing a few words.
Instead, read over what you want to paraphrase carefully; cover up the text with your hand, or close the text so you can’t see any of it (and so aren’t tempted to use the text as a “guide”). Write out the idea in your own words without peeking.
3. Check your paraphrase against the original text to be sure you have not accidentally used the same phrases or words, and that the information is accurate.
Terms You Need to Know (or What is Common Knowledge?)
Common knowledge: facts that can be found in numerous places and are likely to be known by a lot of people.
Example: John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States in 1960.
This is generally known information. You do not need to document this fact.
However, you must document facts that are not generally known and ideas that interpret facts.
Example: According the American Family Leave Coalition’s new book, Family Issues and Congress, President Bush’s relationship with Congress has hindered family leave legislation (6).
The idea that “Bush’s relationship with Congress has hindered family leave legislation” is not a fact but an interpretation; consequently, you need to cite your source.
Quotation: using someone’s words. When you quote, place the passage you are using in quotation marks, and document the source according to a standard documentation style.
The following example uses the Modern Language Association’s style:
Example: According to Peter S. Pritchard in USA Today, “Public schools need reform but they’re irreplaceable in teaching all the nation’s young” (14).
Paraphrase: using someone’s ideas, but putting them in your own words. This is probably the skill you will use most when incorporating sources into your writing. Although you use your own words to paraphrase, you must still acknowledge the source of the information.
Produced by Writing Tutorial Services, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

General Guide for Figuring out Your Overall Grade:

It is often the case that student’s want to know how to figure out their grade.  To this please do the following calculation:

1).  Take each component and multiply by its “weight” toward your overall grade, and then add that to the o.  For example,


2).  Then add those together to get your overall percentage earned in the class.  Please remember, though, that this formula does not include extra credit points.  I do add them for you in my own records, but this is just a general guide to calculating your overall percentage correct.

These are SLOs that have been used in the past; this semester similar but perhaps not identical SLOs will be assessed

SLOs – (S&BS) – Psychology – PSYC 1 –
Psychology I – SLO #1 Psychological Perspectives – Students will be able tocorrectly identify explanations and interpretations of human behavior provided by psychology’s alternative perspectives with an accuracy rate of 70% or higher.
(Created By SLOs – (S&BS) – Psychology)

SLOs – (S&BS) – Psychology – PSYC 1 –
Psychology I – SLO #2 Human Behavior -When provided with examples ofexplanations and interpretations of human behavior taken from the popular media, students will be able to apply criteria useful for identifying those which are pseudoscientific with an accuracy rate of 70% or higher.
(Created By SLOs – (S&BS) – Psychology

SLOs – (S&BS) – Psychology – PSYC 1 –
Psychology I – SLO #3 General knowledge of psychology scale. – Students will score 75% or higher on the IVC general psychology knowledge scale.
(Created By SLOs – (S&BS) – Psychology)


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