Paper 2

The second paper, like the first, is to be short, no longer than 3 pages double spaced (approximately 750 words). Moreover, it is to be a paper, so a hard copy should be delivered at the beginning of class on November 7th.

Again similar to the first paper, the goal of the paper is to demonstrate how a basic psychological approach can be an effective tool in analyzing a particular political issue/concern/phenomenon of interest. Rather than choose one of the classical approaches as in the first paper, this time you are to use one of the approaches covered in second part of the course. Therefore the choices on offer are: post war personality theory; social psychology of conformity & obedience; social cognition and neuroscience. Keep in mind citations should be sparing as this is again to be essentially a thought piece, not a research paper.

As with the first paper simple description of both the psychological approach and political phenomenon should be kept to the absolute minimum. Your focus is to be on analysis and synthesis. So identify the essential aspects of your psychological approach and how it sheds specific light on the political concern. An excellent paper must provide strong evidence of a nuanced understanding of the psychological approach selected (analysis) and its specific application in understanding an instance of contemporary political life (synthesis). Of course, your paper should be well written.

As always, an excellent paper must be well written and organized with clear indications of originality.

Detail on grading standards are available here and through a link on the evaluation page.