Group Project: Application of a social psychological concept to the world beyond the classroom
Social psychology involves the scientific study of the interactions between people that take place in everyday lives. Therefore, the concepts and situations being studied often relate directly to each of our personal lives, as well as a variety of current events. For this project, you will work with 2 other group members to present findings related to a social psychological concept, and connect it to the world outside of academia.
What you will be doing
We will be covering a variety of social psychological concepts over the course of the semester. Early on, you will be given the opportunity to rank order a list of topics as to your preference. Options will include cognitive dissonance, foot-in-the-door phenomenon, obedience, conformity, deindividuation, groupthink, prejudice and discrimination, right-wing authoritarianism, aggression, bystander effect, liking and loving, and altruism and prosocial behavior. Groups of 3 students will be formed based on these preferences.
Each group member will be responsible for finding one empirical article related to the topic of interest. Each student will also be responsible for summarizing the article in a brief paper to be handed in to the professor, and to educate the rest of the group on his or her chosen article. Together, the group will write a paper summarizing the articles, as well as drawing connections to the course material (textbook, etc.). Also in the paper, you will use this information to apply the concept to either 1) a current event, 2) something in pop culture (a movie, TV show, or book), or 3) an issue in another disciplinary field. The topic of analysis will have to be approved by the professor in a short scheduled meeting with the group.
Lastly, you will give a group presentation of your paper, focusing on the application of your concept to something outside of the course. These presentations will take place throughout the course, and will follow the unit your concept appears in. You can choose to present using powerpoint, visual or video aids, creating a game, performing a skit, etc. This presentation should also include a handout for your classmates. All group members should make every effort to be an active part of the presentation. If you think this will be a problem, please speak to me.
Through this project, you should be able to
· Show comprehension of an empirical article through a written summary
· Demonstrate an understanding of a social psychological concept and its application to a topic outside the classroom
· Work effectively as a member of a group toward a common goal
· Take responsibility for educating other members of the class about a concept and its application
Parts of the project
· Individual summary of article
· Group paper
· Group presentation
· Group member evaluation
What exactly this will entail
· Complete the topic/concept preferences form in class on Wednesday, September 7. You will be informed of your concept and the members of your group by Monday, September 12.
· Within the week (by Friday, September 9), meet with your group to decide on an exact topic. Some of the topics on the preference list are more specific, but others (such as altruism, or liking and loving) are a bit broader. Please contact me if you would like some guidance in narrowing your topic.
· After we go over how to find and read empirical journal articles in class (Monday, September 12), each group member will begin searching for an empirical journal article related to the concept. An individual summary of the article should be handed in, one week prior to the presentation date. Students are encouraged to discuss their articles with one another, but these individual summaries should be done individually. These individual summaries will probably be around 1-3 pages, double-spaced.
· At least two weeks prior to the presentation date, group members should meet with the professor to discuss their chosen topic outside of the course to which their concept can be applied. This topic can be chosen from current events, popular culture (movies, TV shows, or books) or another discipline. Group discussion of the topic should take place prior to the meeting with the professor.
· On the presentation date for their topic, group members will work together to educate their classmates on their social psychological concept, and its application to a topic outside the course. The application to the topic should be the focus of the presentation. Roughly 15 minutes will be allotted for each group presentation. The presenters can utilize a variety of presentation tools, including but not limited to, powerpoint, visual or video aids, creating a game, performing a skit, etc. The group members will then help facilitate a discussion with the rest of the class.
· A group paper will be due the class after the presentation date. This should allow you to incorporate any clarifications needed that have been brought to light during your presentations. This paper should include an integration of information related to the chosen topic from the 3 articles found by the group and course related materials, such as the textbook. Additionally, the paper should include the application of the concept to a topic outside the course. There is no required minimum or maximum length, but most papers will probably be 5-10 pages, double-spaced.
· The class after the paper is handed in, the group members will hand in a form evaluating the contributions of one another.
How it will be graded
Out of the 1000 points possible in this course, this project in its entirety will be worth 180. The point breakdown is as follows:
· Individual summary of article: 25
o All major aspects of research article (introduction, hypotheses, method, results, discussion) are included in the summary: 20 pts
o Quality of writing: 5 pts
· Group presentation: 60 points
o Explanation of concept: 15
o Explanation of outside topic: 5
o Application of concept to topic: 20
o Organization and clarity: 10
o Handout for class: 10
· Feedback from class on presentation: 10 points
o Your classmates will be given a rubric to award you a total out of 10 points on the quality of information, clarity, and interest of your presentation.
· Group paper: 70 points
o Articles are briefly summarized: 15 pts
o Information from textbook (and possibly other resources) are summarize: 15 pts
o Connections are made between these various resources: 10 pts
o Outside topic is summarized: 5 pts
o Concept is applied to the outside topic: 20 pts
o Quality of writing: 5 pts
· Group member evaluation: 15 points
o Group members will evaluate one another (out of a possible 10 points) on contribution and effort.
· Myer, D. G. Exploring Social Psychology. (6th Edition)
· Empirical articles
o See course handouts and notes for information on searching for and reading empirical articles
· Meetings with the professor: at least 1 required, others welcome!