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“Don’t judge a book by its cover” or “Beauty is a good letter of introduction”? In other words, what can one conclude based on appearance alone?

(see Bem, 2016).  You will review and summarize relevant theory and research in order to defend a particular position (your thesis).  The topic of your literature review might come from the following list, or you may identify a different area of interest.  However, if you choose something other than the options below, you must obtain permission from your instructor prior to writing/submitting the paper.  It is up to the instructor’s discretion to allow/disallow alternative topics.  Here are some ideas you might choose to explore:

  • Accuracy of Proverbs
    • Example:  “Don’t judge a book by its cover” or “Beauty is a good letter of introduction”?  In other words, what can one conclude based on appearance alone?
    • Example:  “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” or “Out of sight, out of mind”?  In other words, do long distances or extended amounts of time strengthen relationship ties, or weaken them?
    • Example:  “Birds of a feather flock together” or “Opposites attract”?  In other words, are people attracted to similar or dissimilar others?
  • Impact of Titles/Labels
    • Example:  How do team mascots (such as the Redskins or Braves) impact Native Americans (self-esteem, stereotype threat, etc.)?
    • Example:  How do labels (such as smart/stupid, crazy or criminal, etc.) impact people’s mental processes and behaviors?
  • Altruism
    • Example:  Does true altruism exist?  What motivates people to help?
  • Explanatory Style
    • Example:  Do optimists experience better life outcomes than pessimists? 
  • Persuasive Appeals
    • Example:  How do political campaigns utilize various techniques?
  • Self-esteem
    • Example:  Is there a dark side? Can one be too confident?
  • School Size
    • Example:  Do students fare better in big schools or small schools?  Why?
  • Reactance
    • Example:  What is the theory behind “reverse psychology”?
  • Gender Differences
    • Example:  in aggression, sex, etc.
  • A Form of Prejudice
    • Example:  fat prejudice, racial prejudice, etc.
  • Psychology and the Law
    • Example:  jury behavior, etc.
  • Other:  Must be approved by your instructor in advance! 

The Final Paper

(see Bem, 2016).  You will review and summarize relevant theory and research in order to defend a particular position (your thesis).  The topic of your literature review might come from the following list, or you may identify a different area of interest.  However, if you choose something other than the options below, you must obtain permission from your instructor prior to writing/submitting the paper.  It is up to the instructor’s discretion to allow/disallow alternative topics.  Here are some ideas you might choose to explore:

  • Accuracy of Proverbs
    • Example:  “Don’t judge a book by its cover” or “Beauty is a good letter of introduction”?  In other words, what can one conclude based on appearance alone?
    • Example:  “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” or “Out of sight, out of mind”?  In other words, do long distances or extended amounts of time strengthen relationship ties, or weaken them?
    • Example:  “Birds of a feather flock together” or “Opposites attract”?  In other words, are people attracted to similar or dissimilar others?
  • Impact of Titles/Labels
    • Example:  How do team mascots (such as the Redskins or Braves) impact Native Americans (self-esteem, stereotype threat, etc.)?
    • Example:  How do labels (such as smart/stupid, crazy or criminal, etc.) impact people’s mental processes and behaviors?
  • Altruism
    • Example:  Does true altruism exist?  What motivates people to help?
  • Explanatory Style
    • Example:  Do optimists experience better life outcomes than pessimists? 
  • Persuasive Appeals
    • Example:  How do political campaigns utilize various techniques?
  • Self-esteem
    • Example:  Is there a dark side? Can one be too confident?
  • School Size
    • Example:  Do students fare better in big schools or small schools?  Why?
  • Reactance
    • Example:  What is the theory behind “reverse psychology”?
  • Gender Differences
    • Example:  in aggression, sex, etc.
  • A Form of Prejudice
    • Example:  fat prejudice, racial prejudice, etc.
  • Psychology and the Law
    • Example:  jury behavior, etc.
  • Other:  Must be approved by your instructor in advance! 

The Final Paper

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