Papers whose analyses/critical evaluations are not clearly and directly about social psychology will receive a score of 0!!
This final project is intended to apply what you have learned throughout the class to an intervention for a real-world problem. You should be able to
demonstrate your level of mastery and understanding of social psychology in your final project. Papers whose analyses/critical evaluations are not clearly
and directly about social psychology will receive a score of 0.
The social issue you choose does not need to be directly about social psychology but your application and analysis do. Often it is easier to apply social
psychology to an issue that is directly related to social psychology but this is not a requirement. What is required is that the phenomena, theory, and content
you draw upon for the majority of your paper in analyzing/critically evaluating your social issue are about social psychology.
You should include references to lectures, readings, and/or outside validated, peer-reviewed sources to support your claims. Although we will not be grading
by the pure number of citations, typically papers that include at least 10 references are the most successful. You should paraphrase (i.e., not use direct
quotes) the findings or suggestions from the empirical articles you select. Using direct quotes will be penalized. If more than 25% of your paper is direct
quotes, you will be given a 0 on this project.
For the final project, you will be asked to design an intervention or education program based on the knowledge, theories, and research you learned throughout
the term. This is an intervention or prevention that you are developing. You are not evaluating an existing intervention or prevention program.
Your intervention/education program should target a specific phenomenon (e.g., racial injustice in schools, smoking behaviors, intimate partner violence,
bystander interventions, etc.) and should outline a specific method for addressing the chosen phenomenon by drawing upon content from the lectures and
readings to support your argument. You may choose any phenomenon of your liking but you must be able to justify how social psychological research and/or
theories can be applied to intervene in that phenomenon. A list of suggested readings relating to intervention/prevention programs is attached here
Download A list of suggested readings relating to intervention/prevention programs is attached here; however, you are welcome and encouraged to draw
upon any readings or relevant content that is scientifically valid to support your arguments. Be sure to choose an issue that is specific enough that you can
reasonably address it. For example, racism overall is probably too broad, however, police brutality and its differential impact on BIPOC communities is more
specific and can be more directly addressed than “racism” broadly defined. Relationship quality is also probably too broad, however, relationship quality in
low-income transitioning to parenthood is more specific and can be more directly addressed than “relationship quality” broadly defined. Try to choose a topic
about which you are passionate and/or already knowledgeable. Most students find this project more enjoyable if they like the overall topic they chose.
Note: Be mindful of your terminology. Prevention refers to taking action ahead of time to stop an issue from occurring (e.g., teaching someone how to swim
to prevent them from drowning). Intervention refers to doing something after an issue has begun (e.g., teaching someone to do CPR to save someone who
has drowned). Education refers to spreading information and knowledge in the hopes to engage in either prevention or intervention but it is most often
(though not always) a prevention strategy. So: PREVENTION = STOP BEFORE IT CAN EVEN START and INTERVENTION = HELP AFTER IT HAS STARTED.
Your paper should be similar to a policy proposal (i.e., a review of the issue that needs to be addressed and the presentation of evidence in support of
implementing a policy). The paper should include a summary and analysis of the literature/evidence and a descriiption of the proposed prevention,
intervention, or education plan. At a minimum (to get a C), your paper should:
– Include a clear thesis about how social psychology can be used to create an intervention, prevention, or education program to address a social issue. Your
thesis needs to be clear, direct, and supported by the remainder of your paper. (This should be 1 paragraph at the beginning of your paper. The general theme
and tenant of the thesis should, however, be carried throughout the paper).
– Summarize the social issue you will be attempting to address. You should be sure to make it clear why the social issue you are attempting to address is in
fact an issue. For example, why is police violence a problem? (Don’t just assume we will know why something is an issue. Be explicit about it even if it seems
obvious.) Provide enough information for the reader to understand the premise of the issue, existing attempts to address the issue, etc. Basically, tell us what
we absolutely need to know to understand the rest of your paper. (This should be no more than 1 paragraph and no longer than 1 page, at an absolute
maximum. Most summaries will be significantly shorter than 1 page).
– Thoughtfully describe the social-psychological concepts, theories, and/or literature you will be using to understand and analyze your chosen social issue.
Explain what the concepts are in their fundamental forms. For example, if you are applying the Stereotype Content Model to a social issue, you should begin
by describing the dimensions of warmth and competence and the quadrants they form as well as describe the implications of those stereotype domains.
That is, make sure you demonstrate that you know what a concept is before you apply it. (This should be ~2-3 pages of your paper. Length will vary
depending on how you format your paper and how many concepts you choose to incorporate based on your chosen topic/thesis.)
– Directly apply social-psychological concepts, theories, and/or literature to your social issue by developing an intervention, prevention, or education program.
This should be the bulk (> 50%) of your paper. You should provide a thoughtful evaluation of how one or more social-psychological phenomena can help us
understand the social issue you are discussing. You should include your unique insights about how social psychological concepts can be used to form an
intervention or prevention program. You should specifically outline your intervention or prevention program and clearly demonstrate how each social
psychological concept is being used to inform every decision in your prevention/intervention program. (This should be the vast majority of your paper – and is
worth the most points. This should be ~6-7 pages of your paper. Length will vary depending on how you format your paper.)
– Finish with a strong concluding paragraph that clearly explains how you have supported your initial thesis. Wrap up your argument and briefly summarize
your intervention, prevention, or education program. Answer this question: What is the core takeaway message? (This should be 1 paragraph at the end of
your paper. The general theme and tenant of the thesis should, however, be carried throughout the paper).