Choose just 3 of the 4 topics to complete for a total

 

Unit 4 Discussions

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Ch. 14 Personality (Required)

Personality Theories:  There are a variety of ways to view the development and function of personality.  Ch. 14 of your text covers material on the major theories of personality, including Freud’s Psychoanalytic approach, Adler’s approach (derived from but split from Freud’s idea with regard to the source of motivation), behavioral or learning theories, humanistic viewpoints and the Big 5 Trait approach.  I will remind students here that the study of the human personality is broad and complex, and this area of psychology is represented by a vast amount of research – all of which cannot be adequately presented in an introductory course of study.  For students who major in psychology, an entire semester class (or more than one class) would be spent on personality theories alone.  The intention of an introductory course is to provide you with exposure to the general ideas where personality and personality testing are concerned.  Please ask questions as needed so the material can be adequately clarified.

I.  First, discuss your responses to the theoretical presentations as they are given in the text, and in conjunction with the DETERMINING YOUR SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY document.  This brief questionnaire is self scored, and serves as a very basic guide of which theory you might gravitate toward in reflection of the statements provided.  Which theory(theories) would you be more or less likely to endorse, and why?  Explain.

II.  Watch Inside Out: The Enduring Self :  Discuss key points from the film that you find important to understanding personality.  Compare and contrast any information from the film with information from Chapter 14 of the text.  

III.  For added interest, and in reflection of the Big 5 Trait model, you can take an online version of the Big Five Personality Test . Do the results you received reflect how you view your own personality?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of viewing personality from the 5 Factor Model perspective? (sharing the results of your assessment is not required or necessary; you can share the results at your own discretion)

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Ch. 15: Abnormal Behavior & Treatments (Optional)

Chapter 15 discusses aspects of abnormal behavior and how it is identified and measured, as well as various  psychological diagnoses and their treatments.  Watch Psychopathology (30 min)  as an adjunct to the text material.  Discuss ideas from the film and text that catch your interest.  What do you think about the different psychological diagnoses and treatments presented in the text?  What questions do you have?

This is a good opportunity to ask questions about specific diagnoses and treatment models.  As is the case with the personality material, this chapter is only intended to give a general overview of this area of psychology.  Please ask questions as you find helpful, or to get clarifications on items from the final test study guide.

 

Unit 3 Discussions

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Ch. 10 Sleep & Consciousness

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Controversies about Consciousness:  Much controversy exists around the idea of consiousness, how it is defined, and discrepancies between animal and human consciousness.  For this discussion, give consideration to the following:

1)   How would you define the concept of “consciousness”? Do you think there is such a thing, apart from the physiological activity of the brain? Why or why not? (Consider revisiting the material on the mind-brain problem, first encountered in Chapter 1 – how might this concept apply here?)  How does one define where consciousness ends and unconsciousness begins (or vice versa)?  Where does sleep fit into the realm of conscious/unconsciousness (e.g., when you sleep, are you conscious or unconsious)?

2)  Watch both of the following Ch. 10 Films:

  • Dreams: Theater of the Night (30 min)  This film, while older, tends to reflect text material and concepts fairly well.
  • Why Do We Dream?  (50 min.)  This film expands our understanding of sleep and dreaming.
  • For fun – you can self administer the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and post reflections or ask questions as part of your discussion post.
  • Share your reflections to the films as part of your discussion post and in consideration of Question #2 (above).  What are some key points from the film that you find informative and useful/relative to the material presented in Ch. 10 of your text.  Use specific examples from the film to illustrate your ideas.

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Ch. 11 Motivation

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Chapter 11 covers an array of topics related to the study of motivated behaviors.

  • Watch the following video to compliment your reading of Chapter 11 material and highlight 2-3 key points that you find valuable in your understanding of this topic: Motivation and Emotion (30 min) and/or Motivational Theories: Crash Course (12 min)
  • Which motivational theory seems to reflect your own experience with motivation, i.e., being a student or worker?  Explain your response and give some examples. 
  • Take the Self Motivation Quiz and share reflections of your results.
  • Ask questions about the motivational theories as needed, and propose other ideas relative to the material.

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Ch. 12 Stress & Health

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Watch Stress: Portait of a Killer

After viewing, respond to the following:

  • Compare and contrast the physiological vs. sociological/environmental factors associated with the stress response.  Use examples from the film to support your response. (physiological responses are bodily responses that occur at the cellular or biochemical level, where sociological factors would be external social and cultural factors)
  • Consider the theories of stress and/or emotion presented in your text (i.e., James-Lange theory, Selye’s concept, Lazurus’ cognitive appraisal theory).  Do you think these ideas align with or contradict what is being presented in the video with regard to stress and health.  Use examples from film and text to support your response.
  • Consider items in the COPE Questionnaire – How do you view your style of coping?  Are you more emotion focused or problem focused in your coping style?  (see pp. 406-408 in text)
  • Share any other reflections or ideas based on your viewing of the video and reading of Ch. 12 material.  What is your response to this material – what can be learned from this?  

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Ch. 13 Conformity & Obedience

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Chapter 13 of your text discusses a number of topics from the field of Social Psychology.  Overall, social psychologists are interested in studying how the power of the group or situation influences behavior, rather than focusing on the individual characteristics of a person.  Social psychologists emphasize that behavior is a function of both the individual and the environment or situation.  These ideas contrast with the usual focus of study, which often emphasizes the individual and her/his internal personality traits.  For this discussion, watch the films from the links provided below as an adjunct to the textbook material, as well as review the relevant concepts in the text, and respond to the questions/ideas that follow.

*Note:  The Stanford Prison Experiment contains footage from an actual study that in today’s time would be considered unethical.  Some of the material can be sensitive.  Students are encouraged to read pp. 442-448 before viewing the videos.

Obeying or Resisting Authority:  Obeying or Resisting Authority (35 min) 

Stanford Prison Experiment (30 min): Stanford Prison Experiment 

  • What do you think are the positive and negative aspects of group identity?  What are some of the possible behaviors (positive or negative) that may result from being a member of a group? 
  • Is there any benefit to having people conform to authority – is obedience and conformity necessary for a successful society?  Are you a conformist or a rebel?  Why or why not?  Explain your response.
  • Imagine you are a participant in the Stanford Prison Experiment – would you be a kind guard or a sadistic guard? Would you be a conforming or rebellious prisoner?  Explain your response.
  • You are also welcome to reflect on any of the concepts presented in Ch. 13.  Present an example from our current culture/society that you think might reflect some of these ideas, i.e., examples of conformity to group norms (like those shown in the Asch, Milgram or Stanford experiment), or perhaps examples of how people respond to different leadership styles (i.e., based on Lewin’s study).  Explain how you think your example fits with the ideas as presented either in your text or in the film.  There are many ideas presented here, select one that is most relevant to you.  Ask questions to extend the discussion forum.
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