Reflection Paper Interpersonal Psychology The purpose of this assignment is for you to document your learning by (a) integrating your personal experiences

Reflection Paper Interpersonal Psychology

The purpose of this assignment is for you to document your learning by (a) integrating your personal experiences with the course material or (b) conducting “research” and integrating your observations with course material. For all papers, you are expected to make at least five clear insightful connections to course material. To encourage you to do this in a consistent manner, please follow these directions with respect to at least five terms from class:

  • Identify the term in an obvious way (putting the term in bold)
  • Define the term in your own words immediately thereafter
  • And then offer an example or illustration of the term

Other guidelines:

  • Please create a title page for your papers that includes your name and which option you selected. The title page need not conform to any particular style, but because I will be attempting to grade the papers anonymously, please include your name ONLY on this page.
  • Please double-space your papers and ensure that you have an opening paragraph and a closing paragraph.
  • Please spell-check and proofread you papers.
  • Papers will be evaluated based on strength of class connections, writing quality, and adherence to guidelines.

Please select one of the following options:

  1. In-depth romantic relationship reflection. Analyze your relationship as it relates to material discussed in class. What were the qualities that attracted you to your partner? How would you evaluate your relationship as it relates to the terms of social exchange theory? Attachment theory? What is your communication style like and how do you typically resolve conflict? Feel free to select a past relationship if it ties in better with the material or to conduct an in-depth interview with a friend or parent instead of self-disclosing. Make multiple clear connections to course material.
  2. Gender OR sexual orientation differences/similarities in attractive attributes. Approach at least 10 men and 10 women (or equal numbers of straight men and women and lesbians and gay men) and ask them “what are the most important qualities that (they) look for in a partner?” Have each individual list as many attributes as they want to and simply jot them down in sequence. After collecting the data, compare the lists. Do men and women look for the same things? Do men and women list the attributes in different orders? Or do you see different patterns as a function of sexual orientation? Make multiple clear connections to course material and summarize your data using a chart.
  3. Evolutionary exploration into personal ads. Explore the world of Internet dating to investigate how men and women (or straight versus gay people) look for love. Try to select profiles in as random a fashion as possible. Many of the online sites have requirements that you set up an account (or create a profile), but OK Cupid is free and less intrusive than the other sites. The purpose of this assignment is for you to evaluate whether expected sex differences in mating strategies (as a function of evolutionary theory) are verified by archival data. What do men say they are looking for? What do women say they are looking for? How are men advertising themselves? And how are women advertising themselves? For those of you interested in sexual orientation as a predictor, do gay women’s profiles look similar to straight women’s profiles? Men? This assignment may take more legwork, but it will be interesting! Make connections to course material and include your ads with your assignment.
  4. For the very brave….and very honest. In a public setting, observe five pairs of individuals for a period of 5-10 minutes per pair. After watching the pairs and before asking them questions, answer the following three questions based upon your observations. Based upon verbal and nonverbal communication, what relational category would you put them in? (use the following as potential categories: acquaintances, friends, close friends, romantic partners, siblings, parent-child, work colleagues), how long do you think they have known each other? (estimate the length of time). How intimate (close) do you think their relationship is on a scale from 1-10? Then approach the individuals and ask these same questions (how do you know one another? How long? And how close would you say your relationship is?). Compare your initial estimates with the pairs’ self-reports and relate your observations to class material.
  5. Does relationship status predict life satisfaction? For this option, interview men and women you know who are single, married, cohabiting, and divorced and ask them about their level of happiness, what they like about their lives, and how they might like their lives to be different. Ideally, you would question two men and two women from each category. Come up with a numerical scale for happiness so you can compare results. Do you see any themes? Does gender relate to satisfaction? Relate your observations to class material.
  6. Design your own adventure. I am open to students pursuing their own topic (either a research topic or an experiential learning topic), but they must receive approval first. Touch base with me about your ideas.

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