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Psychology is the study of mental processes and behaviors. For this
paper you are asked to observe the behavior of someone (human or animal) and to
apply the basic goals of psychology (describe, explain, predict, control)
towards trying to understand that behavior. Remember:
To observe something means that you simply watch. You do not put yourself into
the situation you are observing, otherwise it is considered an experiment. Your
presence or interaction may change the behavior you start to observe. Paper is
to be submitted in the assignment drop box. No late submissions accepted. Observation paper is to be formatted in Times New Roman 12 pt
font, double spaced.
Paper is to be a minimum of 3 pages.
You may use either MLA or APA format style for your paper. Observation Paper Outline
1. Title Page Example – First Page
1030 – Introduction to Psychology
2. Introduction: Discuss the person or animal that
you choose to observe and why. Is the observation about something you see every
day in a workplace or at home or some other place you frequent?
3. Description: Who or what is being observed? What
is the location? Time of day? Weather? Are others present? Details about the
person, gender, dress, age, are they able to move around? Are they with someone
else? If you are observing an animal, add detail about the animal – what kind,
appearance of being well taken care of, friendliness, etc. The key here is
detail, detail, detail!
4. Explain: Why do you think that the person or
animal is doing what they are doing? Did you observe something that preceded
the behavior? What was it? Explain what happened.
5. Prediction: Do you think that the same behavior
would occur again under the circumstances? Explore the possibilities. The what
6. Control: In your opinion, do you think that
different conditions would cause a different change in behavior? What would you
suggest? Do you think it would work?
7. Writing Mechanics: Instructions for formatting
paper should be followed. Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, 1 inch margins, and paper
should be doubled spaced.
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