Write a short paper (four to five pages) on how the field of psychology is important and relevant to your major field or future occupation. The paper must consider your occupational area from at least four different viewpoints of psychology.
Describe your future career and/or major. If you are an undecided major, pick the field that is most likely to be your major. Briefly explain the typical job duties of someone who has a career in your chosen field. What are they expected to do? How do they interact with other people in their work?
How is the behavioral perspective (learning) of psychology relevant to your occupation/major?
a) Define/explain operant conditioning and reinforcement/punishment/extinction. Another possibility would be to explain observational learning.
b) How are these behavioral concepts used in your occupation? For example, are reinforcements and punishments used to motivate people in this field? Give specific examples, then break them down by pointing out the reinforcements and the punishments. (Note: Remember that negative reinforcement is not the same as punishment.)
How is the cognitive perspective relevant to your occupation/major?
a) Define or explain at least one of the following: Problem solving, intelligence, memory (examples: explicit memory, implicit memory), cognitive heuristics.
b) Explain how your specific example of cognition is used in your career field. Again, be as specific as possible in your example and explanation.
How is personality relevant to your career/major?
a) Define or explain at least one of the following: The big five traits (Introversion/extroversion, conscientiousness, openness, agreeableness, neuroticism), ego defense, social-cognitive theory, or some other personality concept. Personality testing with projective tests or trait-based tests might also be a good topic.
b) Illustrate your personality concept with an example from your field. For example, would extroverts be more likely to succeed than introverts in your career field? What kind of mix of the big five personality characteristics would make the ideal business person, nurse, or teacher? Would knowledge about the personalities of your employees/students/patients be useful for interacting with these people?
Choose one other field of psychology that was not covered above (examples: biopsychology, health psychology, development). You can choose whatever topic from this course is most interesting to you or most relevant to your career.
a) Your fourth topic must explain at least one specific concept from your chosen area.
b) After the explanation, discuss how this field might be very important to your future career/major.
Closing: Think of psychology in broad terms and how it might be important for your occupation. You can synthesize different ideas from this course to make an argument for a role of psychology in your future occupation.
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