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Psychology, Contemporary Perspectives

The Written Assignment 

Psychology is everywhere! Your assignment is to find and describe a piece of non-academic reporting on (or portrayal of) a ‘thing’ that relates topically to this class. The ‘thing’ you choose can be anything, in any form, as long as it portrays something that is relevant to academic Psychology.

This ‘thing’ can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • news story in a traditional newspaper
  • magazine article
  • radiobroadcast
  • website or blogpost
  • podcast
  • film/movie/video
  • TV show
  • book, comic book or graphic novel
  • play, musical, opera or ballet
  • contemporary or classical music (song, ensemble, symphony, etc)
  • painting, photograph, sculpture or art installation
  • video game


The Assignment:

Your mission is to briefly describe the ‘thing’ you have found and explain how it relates to a specific topic  discussed in class (or a topic that is represented in your text that has not been discussed in class). Important: If the ‘psychological’ topic or concept that your ‘thing’ depicts/illustrates/portrays is not represented either in class or in the text, please consult with us (it likely isn’t a topic that’s related to academic Psychology). For full credit, you must:

  • Cite the SourceWhere did you find it? Provide some locator information for the ‘thing’ you have chosen so that someone else would be able to find it (e.g. a link to the digital version, a URL, the TV/radio network or station, episode number, author or writer, publisher, year or date written, performed, published or produced, aired, exhibited, etc). g. “I chose “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, a 2004 film starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet and directed by Michel Gondry. More information about the film can be found at”.
  • Describe/Summarize the Source– What does it depict/illustrate/portray?

Tell us a little bit about the ‘thing’ (e.g. its actual content). g. “The film portrays a young couple (Joel and Clementine) who have recently broken up. Joel is devastated to discover that Clementine has had the memories of their relationship erased. In his grief, he scrambles to find a way to do the same….” [elaborate on the plot further].

  • Relevance to Psychology & the Course– How is it related to academic Psychology?


    1. what specific psychological concept your ‘thing’ depicts/illustrates/portrays and b)explain how, with reference to specific class lectures and/or chapters in your textbook. You may also offer your opinion or interpretation of the accuracy of the content (e.g. how well it reflects what we know about the topic as academic psychologists). g. “This film is relevant to the topic of human memory, and specifically to our discussion in class about the possibility of erasing traumatic memories by interfering with the memory ‘reconsolidation’ process (Lecture X, slides Y & Z). Reconsolidation refers to the process whereby…” [elaborate further on the concept].

Very Important: Please don’t write “It’s related to the memory ‘reconsolidation’ process that we learned about in class (Lecture X, slides Y & Z)” and leave it at that. You must also explain what memory reconsolidation is and how it relates to your source material!

  • Formatting– Use proper spelling and grammar and follow the formatting guidelines.


Formatting Guidelines:

You are strictly limited 500 words (~4,000 characters max). You should proofread your writing for grammar and spelling (it’s part of your grade!). Submit your assignment by following the ‘Submission Guidelines’ (see the next page).

Grading: We will grade your assignment according to the following rubric:


ScoreSourceDescription of TopicDescription of How the Topic Relates to a Specific Concept in this CourseFormatting, Grammar & Spelling
25Source is fully described with clear information on how it may be locatedTopic is fully and clearly describedDescribed and explained fully, including reference to specific lectures or book chapter(s)Formatting observed completely, writing is excellent and clear (no misspellings or major grammar mistakes)
20Source is incompletely described or locator information is not completeTopic is mostly describedDescribed in some detail, with incomplete or partial reference to specific lectures or book chapter(s)Formatting observed completely, but there are a few misspellings or grammar mistakes
15Either description or location information is missingVery poor attempt is made at describing the topicUnclear description or no reference to specific lectures or book chapter(s)Formatting violated (e.g. much longer or shorter than 500 words) or there are major errors of writing
10No information aboutTopic is notNo attempt to explainIncomprehensible, no


500-word writing assignment

Textbook: Psychology, Contemporary Perspectives, 1st Edition


Last Updated on June 21, 2021

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