Psych 456/556 - Attitudes and Social Behavior Paper 1

First draft due Mon. April 22

Edited Papers due Weds. April 24 Final draft due Fri. April 26

The events of September 11, 2001 had a deep and widespread effect on the U.S. - and beyond. Many people - both "experts" and "regular folks" - have a sense that things will never be "normal" again. Yet, within the chaos and tragedy of September 11, some of the ways that people behaved would have been predicted by social psychological theories. Your job is to apply some aspect of one of the following topics to explain people's behavior on or soon after September 11:




(Essentially, these are the major topics covered in Chapter 2 and the first 4 articles assigned in the reading packet.)

Provide a description of the phenomenon that you think your example illustrates. Assume that the person who is reading the paper is intelligent, but has not studied social psychology, so that you must first explain the relevant concepts before demonstrating how your example fits the concept. Your paper should clearly reflect material that you have learned in class (in other words, your paper should be one that you couldn't write if you didn't know something about the first part of this course). Incorporate information from the textbook and/or lectures.

Be sure to clearly describe the example of behavior that you choose as well. (I'm assuming that all of you are familiar with the events of September 11, but if for some reason you are not, you may wish to look at issues of Time Magazine or Newsweek or newspapers that were published soon after the event.) The behavior can something that many people did, that a small group did, or even that one individual did (including behaviors you performed).

It is not necessary to do any additional reading for this paper, but if you do, please cite your sources. If you are citing a study that Aronson talks about, but that you have not actually read, you should use the "as cited" format:

People who were newer to the neighborhood were more likely to conform, which is consistent with past findings that people who feel less accepted by a group are more likely to conform (Dittes & Kelley, 1956, as cited in Aronson, 1999).

Note that you very well might have to turn to the endnotes in the back of the book to figure out how to cite some studies!

If it is a general idea Aronson talks about, or he cites more than one study in support of an idea, you can just cite Aronson:

The fact that people used physical force to make me conform is a clear example of compliance (Aronson, 1999).

You may also want to cite one of the articles in the reading packet:

A number of people offered to help, perhaps because they had been put in a good mood (Isen & Levin, 1972).

Additional notes:

Double space your paper and leave 1 inch margins all the way around. Justify only the left margin. Remember, your editor has to have room to write his or her comments.

You may use first person.

You do not need a title page. Center your title in the middle of the first page. Put your course i.d. number (the number you got in class - send me an email if you don't have a number) and the page number in the top right corner of each page. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE PAPER!