How casual explanations of behavior made by the average person compare to those made by psychologists.

Psychology homework help

2 page Case study due in 6 hours

PSYCH 105: Introductory Psychology

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Due October 29th, 2018,

20 pts (10% of your course grade)

The Case Study Assignment



After completing this assignment, you will understand:

1) How casual explanations of behavior made by the average person compare to those made by psychologists.

2) How psychological principles can be used to explain human behavior.


After completing this assignment, you will be able to:

1) Adopt the mindset of a psychologist and form specific, functional connections between the course material

(i.e., the science of human behavior) and your own personal experience.

2) Use the information you have learned in this course (i.e., psychological terminology, principles, concepts,

and/or theories) to explain behavior you observe in the real world.


You will need to recruit a friend or acquaintance to assist you with this assignment. This individual should be a person who has no formal training in psychology (i.e., has not taken a psychology course or received some other form of training on the topic). Ideally, this person will have the opportunity to make a behavioral observation along with you. That way, you are both witnessing the behavior in real time, under the same conditions and circumstances. Be sure to explain this assignment to your friend ahead of time and get permission to use her/his input in your write-up (see below).

Over the next few days, your task is to pay attention to your behavior and the behavior of others around you. You are looking for situations and interactions that you and a friend can collectively observe and then discuss, interpret, and analyze together. Your friend will provide the perspective of the “casual observer” (i.e., the average person). You will provide the perspective of the “social scientist” and use the information you have learned in this course (i.e., psychological terminology, principles, concepts, and/or theories) to explain what you have witnessed. For these reasons, you should focus on observations you can link to any of the topics covered in the course thus far in the semester.

Your behavior observation will be referred to as your “case study.” Once you and your friend have completed the observation, you will construct a “case study write-up” that includes the following information:

1) Date of the behavioral observation (i.e., case study).

2) Location of the case study.

3) Brief Case Description. This description should include any and all details needed to provide a complete

description of the event/observation for someone who did not witness it first-hand. Avoid specific personal identifying details, such as names, to protect the privacy of the people you observe but be sure to provide a comprehensive description of the event itself and the behavior of the persons involved.

4) Casual Explanation. This explanation will be provided by your friend/acquaintance. Ask your friend to

describe what she/he observed and to provide an explanation for, or interpretation of, the behavior. How does the “average person” view the behavior(s) observed? What explanation does she/he give for those behaviors?

5) Psychological Application. This application will be provided by you (the social scientist). In doing so, you will

seek to analyze/explain/interpret the behavior(s) you observed using what you have learned in this course. You will provide functional connections between your observations and relevant course material (i.e., a specific psychological concept, principle, or theory). Be sure to discuss your case study using appropriate psychological terminology. You must also incorporate information from ONE academic source into your analysis (this CANNOT be your textbook). Be sure to cite that source both in text and in a Reference list at the end of your assignment using APA editorial style. You should avoid internet sources, with the exception of electronic versions of articles from peer-reviewed journals.

6) Compare/Contrast. Compare and contrast the explanations provided by your friend (the casual observer) and

you (the social scientist). Were the explanations similar or different? In what ways? Did you focus on different aspects of behavior when trying to explain it? If you focus on different factors/variables when trying to explain the behavior? What did you learn from this exercise about casual, everyday explanations of behavior and those provided by the scientific study of behavior?

7) Reference list. Provide a complete reference entry for any source cited in your psychological application

discussion. The APA tutorial from Assignment 1 covers citation and APA format for journal article references. You are encouraged to use the APA resources posted in Blackboard for help with APA format.


Review the grading criteria for this assignment on the attached grading rubric (see page 3) to understand what you need to address in your case study to earn points on this assignment.

Your Completed Assignment MUST Include:

1) ONE behavioral observation of events in your own life.

2) A 2-3 page write-up (12 point Times New Roman font, double-spaced and 1 inch margins) in which

you summarize and then compare/contrast the two perspectives/explanations specified in this assignment (i.e., a causal/everyday explanation [provided by a third party] and the explanation based on scientific investigation).

3) Full in-text and Reference list citation for the research sources used to complete the assignment (in APA editorial


4) A copy of the grading rubric (found at the end of this assignment). Be sure to complete and sign the academic

integrity statement before submitting your assignment.


Chances are you have made a lot of casual observations of human behavior in your lifetime. You have probably also speculated about the causes of many of those behaviors (i.e., asked yourself “why did so-and-so behave that way?”). Psychologists are also keen observers of human behavior. However, in contrast to the average person, psychologists are interested in determining the causes of behavior using the scientific method and using what they learn to explain other instances of similar behavior. When we say psychology is an “applied” science, we are highlighting how psychologists use scientific inquiry to understand behavior and then apply what they have learned to solve problems in the real world.

This assignment will teach you how to adopt the mindset of a psychologist and form specific, functional connections between the course material (i.e., the science of human behavior) and your own personal experience.

REMEMBER: Your write-up should consist of complete, understandable sentences with proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Clearly label your work following the example given above. Carefully proof-read your paper before submitting it to avoid losing points.

PRINT THIS PAGE and staple it to your assignment for use during grading.

The grading rubric below will be used to evaluate this assignment. Addressing each element of the rubric well will ensure that you have included all critical aspects of the assignment.

Academic Integrity: Any student caught plagiarizing this assignment will receive an F for the assignment and will be formally reported to the Office of Student Conduct. To reinforce academic integrity, insert your name in the statement below and provide your signature prior to submission.

“I, ______________________________________________, verify that this assignment is my original work.”

Your Signature: _______________________________________________________________


MECHANICS & STYLE (25% = 5 points)

1) Are there 3 or more errors in spelling, grammar, and/or punctuation? If so, -2 pts

2) Are sentences logically related to one another? If not … -1 pt

3) Is the paper’s overall organization consistent and logical? If not . . . -2 pts

APA FORMAT (20% = 4 points)

1) Are the in-text citations in APA Format?

Only 1-2 errors -1 pt

3 or more errors -2 pts

2) Are the references on Reference page in APA format?

Only 1-2 errors -1 pt

3 or more errors -2 pts

NOTE: Failure to include citations for references in your assignment is considered plagiarism so

please be sure to cite all resources you use.

CONTENT (60% = 11 points)

1) Does the write up include a detailed description of an event involving the behavior of

one or more individuals under “real world” conditions” Does the description provide

sufficient details of all behaviors observed (including verbal and nonverbal) so that

someone who has not witnessed it would still have a clear understanding of what had

occurred? ____/3 pts

2) Does the write-up provide a critical analysis that compares and contrasts two

potential explanations or interpretations of the behavior, including:

a) one everyday, casual explanation provided by a third party [i.e., a friend]

and ____/4 pts

b) another explanation that uses a psychological principle/theory/concept to

explain the behavior(s)? ____/4 pts

Was the assignment late? _________

(2 pt deduction per/day including the due date if assignment was submitted after class)

NOTE: Assignments submitted more than 3 days past their deadline will not be accepted.

FINAL GRADE (Mechanics/Style + Format + Content minus any late deductions): _______/20 points


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