PSY-4207: Week 2 – Assignment: Debate on Skinner

 Warm-up Activity 2.1: Review Academic Integrity
Throughout your coursework you will be asked to review the work of others, make critiques, and provide your own solutions to issues and problems related to the field. During this process you must be scrupulous in distinguishing between your work and the work of others. One way of doing this is through integrity in writing.

Northcentral University considers it a violation of Academic Integrity to knowingly submit another person’s work and present it as that of the Learner’s, without properly citing the source of the work.

• Carefully note that Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity code requires not only that the Learner abstain from presenting the work of another as his or her own work, but also that the Learner properly cite the source of the work.
• Northcentral University considers it the responsibility of the Learner to become familiar with how to properly cite sources. All Learners are required to successfully fill out the Academic Integrity Questionnaire at the beginning of their course of studies, thus confirming their understanding of the Integrity policy and their commitment to adhering to that policy.
• Mentors are required to provide a sample of each Learner’s work to the TurnItIn service, which checks each paper for similarity to original works and papers turned in by students in hundreds of other universities.
• The Learner is responsible for understanding and adhering to the Academic Integrity Policy and for avoiding all instances of plagiarism in writing. Violations of the Northcentral University Integrity Code are reported by the Mentor to the School and a series of consequences follow, ranging from being required to revise the paper within 3 days (first violation only) to grade penalties, course failures, and dismissal from the university.
View Northcentral Academic Integrity Tutorial to refresh your knowledge of how to achieve academic integrity.

Warm-Up Activity 2.2: Continue to Work on Signature Assignment
In Week 1, you read about your topic in a general reference work. You submitted a topic of choice and your instructor’s feedback helped you determine the appropriateness of the topic. Now, go one step further, and prepare a thesis statement and three subtopics related to your topic that you plan to develop.
The thesis statement is a statement or idea about the topic that you will defend or elaborate on in the paper. For example, if you’ve chosen the topic of “Learning theory applied to increasing compliance with medical regimens” your thesis might be: Apply learning theory to increase compliance with medical regimens. Your subtopic might be: a) The historical use of learning theory to change medical regimen behavior compliance in the classroom; b) Research on the effectiveness of learning theory to increase medical compliance c) Medical compliance in diverse groups.

These subtopics may change later in the course as you learn more about your subject. Include at least three citations for information obtained from the general reference work(s), one for each of the three subtopics. Your final document should include:

• A thesis statement
• The name of three subtopics
• A revised reference list including one reference for each of the three subtopics
Assignment: Prepare a Transcript of a Fictional Debate
Imagine this scenario:

You are attending a local psychology conference and you find two graduate level psychology students entered in a hot debate, with a crowd of people around them. You are curious and come closer to see what everyone is interested in. You find that they are debating the work and personality of BF Skinner. One of the students, Rick Nilsen claims that Skinner was a cool headed scientist who based his opinions about the human being only on observable behavior. The other student, Blanca Alvarez, says that Skinner was not just as simple as he seemed. He believed in behaviorism, just like other people believed in Marxism or any other –ism.

Based on your readings in the text, the additional Books & Resources, and at least one outside reference, prepare a transcript of their fictional debate. Be sure that transcript incorporates the following:

• According to your readings, what points would each one make? Would they bring in other behaviorists’ theories? Consider Hull and Thorndike’s ideas.
• How would each one refute the other’s points?
• Finally, end the debate by stepping in to give your own opinion.

Length: 3-5 pages; including one reference

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