You will design a EXPERIMENT to address the following topic: The relationship between the physical attractiveness of a political candidate and voters’ opinions of him. Design an experiment to test your hypothesis. In your paper, make sure that you a) discuss the existing theory that relates to your study, b) point out your new idea and clearly state your hypothesis, c) describe your study, including specific details about your manipulations and/or measures, and d) discuss the expected results and conclusions that could be drawn from your study, tying them back into related theory and emphasizing the cool new thing your study will reveal. Formatting guidelines: Use APA style guidelines (i.e., typed, 12-pt Times New Roman font, double-spacing, and 1-inch margins all around). Include APA style title page, abstract, and reference page. Be sure to use APA style headings and subheadings within your paper. Papers should be 7-9 pages long. They can be longer, but only if necessary. General writing guidelines: Imagine that the person reading your paper is an educated person, familiar with psychology, but not with any of the specific theories or concepts you mention. Even if you spent a whole class period talking about something and you know I must be familiar with it, forget it. Pretend I don’t know. Anytime you introduce something new (i.e., a theory, concept, methodology, measure), explain it in general terms. You can then give an example if you would like, but do not use an example as a substitute for a general explanation. Parts A (existing theory), B (new idea and hypothesis), and D (discussion) should be relatively short. The majority of your paper should be spent describing Part C (study methodology). In your method section, you will need to include the following subsections: participants, design, procedure, and measures. You can use your Methods section handout as a reminder of the information that needs to be included in each of these sections. To give you a bit of a guideline as to how long each part should be, Parts A and B should be 2-3 page long. Part C should be 3-4 pages, and Part D should be about 2 pages long. As you draw on material that you learned in class, make sure that you cite your sources appropriately. Follow these guidelines for citing (yes, this is a review): When you copy someone else (i.e., textbook, lecture, article, website) word for word, put quotation marks around the copied parts, and include the author last name(s), year of publication, and page number in parentheses. i.e., Social comparison theory is “the idea that we learn about our own abilities and attitudes by comparing ourselves to other people” (Aronson, Wilson, & Akert, 2005, p. 155). Avoid using quotations!!!!!!! Copying word for word and not citing correctly is plagiarism. Avoid this at all costs. Copying word for word and citing correctly is not as bad, but it doesn’t demonstrate an understanding of the concepts. Define and explain concepts using your own words to get full credit. It’s hard to paraphrase when you have the book or lecture notes in front of you. Read, make sure you understand, then put the material aside and come up with your own way of stating things. Check your sources to make sure you didn’t accidentally memorize the original wording. Check your definition to against what it says in the book to make sure that your explanation is accurate. When you put someone else’s ideas into your own words, simply include author last name(s) and year of publication in parentheses. i.e., Social comparison theory states that people sometimes come to know themselves by evaluating their own characteristics and skills relative to those of others (Aronson, Wilson, & Akert, 2005). Try to adopt an outside perspective when you read over your paper. Make sure that your ideas are arranged logically and that your sentences make sense. Reading out loud can help you catch grammatical errors. Remember that I can’t read minds – you could understand something perfectly, but if it makes no sense on paper, that’s all I have to go on. Theories are like people, they don’t need a “the” at the beginning (e.g., according to Cognitive Dissonance Theory…). But sometimes models do (e.g., according to the Elaboration Likelihood Model…). Just see how the authors refer to it in the book. Make sure that your paper addresses every point in the paper topic. Read the instructions carefully.
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