For example, if you chose to examine a proverb, such as “Opposites attract,” you would first find scholarly articles outlining the major predictors of attraction and testing this notion specifically. Begin your paper with a clear stance on the topic—yes, opposites do attract, or no, they do not—and then present the evidence in an organized fashion to support your thesis.
The topic of your literature review might come from the following list, or you may choose to identify a different area of interest. Scan your textbook for relevant concepts to explore. However, if you choose something other than the options below, you are encouraged to obtain permission from your instructor prior to writing/submitting the paper to ensure the suitability of your topic.
Here are some ideas you might choose to explore:
- Accuracy of proverbs
- Example: “Don’t judge a book by its cover” or “Beauty is a good letter of introduction.” In other words, what can one conclude based on appearance alone?
- Example: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” or “Out of sight, out of mind.” In other words, do long distances or extended amounts of time strengthen relationship ties, or weaken them?
- Example: “Birds of a feather flock together” or “Opposites attract.” In other words, are people attracted to similar or dissimilar others?
- Impact of titles/labels
- Example: How do team mascots (such as the Redskins or Braves) impact Native Americans (self-esteem, stereotype threat, etc.)?
- Example: How do labels (such as smart/stupid, crazy or criminal, etc.) impact people’s mental processes and behaviors?
- Example: Does true altruism exist? What motivates people to help?
- Explanatory style
- Example: Do optimists experience better life outcomes than pessimists?
- Persuasive appeals
- Example: How do political campaigns utilize various techniques?
- Example: Is there a dark side? Can one be too confident?
- School size
- Example: Do students fare better in big schools or small schools? Why?
- Example: What is the theory behind “reverse psychology”?
- Gender differences
- Example: in aggression, sex, etc.
- A form of prejudice
- Example: fat prejudice, racial prejudice, etc.
- Psychology and the law
- Example: jury behavior, etc.
- Other: If you have something else in mind, contact your instructor as soon as possible to ensure the topic is appropriate and to seek additional direction.
In your paper,
- Analyze the social psychological literature for evidence that supports your thesis, providing a Synthesis (Links to an external site.) of your findings. Be sure to dispel refuting evidence.
- Illustrate specific social psychological concepts using real life examples.
- Examine relevant situational factors.
- Identify social and cultural forces at work.
- Indicate potential ethical considerations in research on this topic or application of insight.
The final paper
- Must be seven double-spaced pages at minimum (not including title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA Style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s APA Style (Links to an external site.) resource.
- Must include a separate title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- For further assistance with the formatting and the title page, refer to APA Formatting for Word 2013 (Links to an external site.).
- Must utilize academic voice. See the Academic Voice (Links to an external site.) resource for additional guidance.
- Must include an introduction and conclusion paragraph. Your introduction paragraph needs to end with a clear thesis statement that indicates the purpose of your paper.