During this class you will be learning about some of the uglier parts of human nature, particularly the nature of prejudice.Your task for the first written assignment is to read an article that addresses some of the life-and-death consequences of prejudice and discrimination, from one of my favorite psychology journals.
Read is the following:
Sim, Corell & Sadler, (2013). Understanding police and expert performance: When training attenuates (vs. exacerbates) stereotypic bias in the decision to shoot” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 39(3) 291–304
The best papers will tackle some or most of the following questions:What was (were) the researchers’ question(s)? How did the researchers go about answering the question(s)?What did the researchers find? What do the results mean? How does this article clarify some of the findings discussed in class or in the book, and take us beyond what we already know?Does the article challenge any ideas raised in class or lecture?Are the findings optimistic or pessimistic, neither, or both?What do you think are some important remaining questions?
A warning or two:It will be tempting to try to paraphrase the abstract of this article, because that is already a concise summary of the contents of the article.Truly try to put the findings into your own words.It is usually obvious when people paraphrase the abstract by replacing words in the abstract with synonyms.Avoid taking this shortcut!Also, remember that good scientific writing is clear writing, not pretty writing or poetry.
Remember your paper must be written in double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, 8½ x 11 in. paper with 1-inch margins.Papers can be a maximum of five pages in length.There is no page minimum, but please remember that for this class there is likely a relationship between the amount of effort you put into your writing and paper length and overall quality.Please also include a cover page that includes your name and (if you wish) the title of your mini-paper.