Assignment 1: Discussion—Environmental Factors
In this assignment, you will have a chance to discuss a topic that brings personality theory together with social psychology. Dealing with unhealthy groups like gangs or cults is an important issue in social psychology. However, you cannot fully address this issue if you do not first understand personality development and how one’s personality affects the choices that are made. Specifically, you will look at Skinner’s behavioral perspective on personality development and discuss how that theory can play a role in this issue of unhealthy groups.
Bob is an adolescent who grew up in a gang-infested part of a large city. His parents provided little supervision while he was growing up and left Bob mostly on his own. He developed friendships with several kids in his neighborhood who were involved in gangs, and eventually joined a gang himself. Now crime and gang activities are a way of life for Bob. These have become his way to identify with his peer group and to support himself.
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It is relatively easy to see that Bob’s environment has played a large role in his current lifestyle. This coincides with Skinner’s concept of environment being the sole determinant of how personality develops. Skinner believed that if you change someone’s environment and the reinforcements in that environment, you can change their behavior.
Use the Internet, Argosy University library resources, and your textbook to research Skinner’s concept of the environment and answer the following questions:
If you were to create an environment for Bob to change his behavior from that of a gang member to a respectable and law-abiding citizen, what types of environmental changes and positive reinforcements would you suggest and why?
What are some interventions that are used in the field currently? Are there any evidence-based programs that use these environmental and reinforcement interventions?
Write your initial response in 2–3 paragraphs. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.
By Saturday, March 1, 2014, post your response to the appropriate Discussion Area. Through Wednesday, March 5, 2014, review and comment on at least two peers’ responses.
ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CLASS
Discussion Questions (DQ)
Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.
Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.
APA Format and Writing Quality
Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.
Use of Direct Quotes
I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.
For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.
The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.
Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.