Assignments :   Critical Reasoning Essays:   Select  1  of the following 5 topics and prepare a multi-paragraph essay  (at least four paragraphs) .   Include results from class materials, readings and research on the top ic. Provide a hard copy the completed  essay to  me;  emailed submissions are preferred .   The  essay must be submitted by  the  eleventh week  of the term  (last regular class meeting) .


Topics to choose from:

1.)   Neur al Pathway

2.)   Learning Process

3.)   Operant Conditioning and Modifying a Behavior
4.)   Stages of Development: Understanding Y ourself

5.)   Psychological Disorders


Critical Reasoning Essay Prompts

Choose an y one  from the following essay prompts. Essays should be submitted during the term after the appropriate material has been covered in class lectures. No papers will be accepted after the  eleventh  week of the term.   Your essay  can be submitted earlier than the suggested deadline. Your essay is worth 100  points.  Department policy d oes not accept late assignments; therefore, if the assignment is not turned in on time, you will receive “0” points for that assignment.

1)  Neural Pathways
Choose any neural pathway you feel passionate about like the visual path way, auditory pathway, olfactory pathway, etc., and describe how the pathway travels from the stimuli through the nervous system.   Then, explain how the environment (experiences) may have an effect on how  stimuli   may be  perceived.   Example:   If you were to choose the visual pathway and you were raised around snakes as pets , first describe the visual pathway from stimuli to occipital lobe,  and how  would a picture of  a snake (the stimulus ) travel from the occipital lobe  to other parts of the brain like the limbic  system (specific parts of the limbic system) to the cortex and how might your autonomic nervous system react.

2)   Learning Process
Describe  how learning is accomplishe d  from stimuli to processing.   Here you don’t have to be specific with the neural pathways if you choose not to, but you do have to identify the brain components responsible for learning.   What I am looking for is that you understand the different components, modalities, and how to optimize your time to learn material presented during your academic career.

3)  Operant C onditioning  and Modifying a B ehavior
Drawing on personal  experience,  choose a person whose behavior you want to change. You may select one of your own behaviors for this question. How could you use operant   conditioning to change the less desirable behavior into the desired behavior?
In a multi-paragraph essay describe your plans to condition the new behavior. Be sure to mention what type of reinforcer and reinforcement schedule you would use and explain why you mad e  those particular choices. Include information from class materials, readings and research on operant conditioning to support your discussion.

4)  Stages of Development: Understanding Y ourself
Psychologists, such as Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson, theorize that humans go through stages in their development throughout life, growing from infancy to old age. Piaget outlined stages of thinking, referred to as cognitive development; Erikson described stages of personality, referred to as psychosocial development. How can you use this information to better understand your own life? What stages of cognitive and psychosocial development have you gone through since you were an infant? Which stages will you encounter during adulthood and old age?

In a multi-paragraph essay describe all the different stages of cognitive and psychosocial development throughout your life span. Be sure to provide examples to illustrate the thoughts, emotions and behavior typical of each stage. Include details from class materials, readings and research on human development to support your discussion.

5)  Psychological Disorder
Choose any psychological disorder  and write how it can be developed from the environment (experiences or biological) or genetics.   If it is genetics, what may trigger the gene to synthesize? Then, choose a current media, where someone may be suffering from this disorder and give the main exhibited behaviors that may have led to the diagnoses.

Again, be  sure to provide evidence from the  person’s or  character’s thoughts, emotions and behavior. Include details from class materials, readings and research on personality to support your discussion.

Essay  Format

  1.  Proper APA citation of article.   This includes author/s (last name/s first), date of publication, article title, name of journal, and pages. 2.  Four paragraphs: Introduction– stating the topic you will be discussing and why you feel passionate about it; description of the topic and how it fits within your hypothesis, discussion, or position; support  your  hypothesis, discussion, or position using the text and any other scholarly material  (at least one reference must be other than the text) ; summarize by suggesting why you were passionate about the topic  and how your  evidence  is supported .

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