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Assignment Questions

Using cognitive dissonance

Please choose ONE of the following:

Assume that you are part of a student group trying to persuade others to recycle more. You plan to go door to-door in residence halls and to use cognitive dissonance to change recycling behaviors. How would you do this, and why would your strategy work?
Describe the three controllable things in a person’s life that can lead to greater happiness and explain why these things lead to greater happiness.
How do schemas and expectations influence our interpretation of events? Can you use these concepts to explain the racial divide over the verdict in the O.J. Simpson case??”that is, that most whites, when polled, believed that Simpson had been wrongly acquitted, while most African Americans believed that justice had been served?
You are a social psychologist contacted by a defense attorney who is convinced that her client is innocent of assault. The prosecution’s case rests heavily on eyewitness testimony. You have agreed to serve as an expert witness whose task is to educate the jury about the shortcomings of eyewitness testimony. What would you tell the court?
What is deterrence theory, and what does scientific data suggest about the deterrence value of severe punishment such as capital punishment?
Explain what is meant by internal and external loci of control. Then, imagine that a person is in a car accident. How would someone with an internal locus of control explain it? How would someone with an external locus of control explain the same event?


Paper length: 4-7 pages (not including the bibliography section) double spaced lines, no larger than 12 point font.

References: You must cite where you got your information. Please use at least three scholarly* references (this course textbook does count as one of the three) and cite them in your paper as well as on a reference/bibliography section that can demonstrate you have done independent research.

Warning: Wikipedia and/or any informational website (specially “.com”) are NOT accepted as scholarly references.

Any recognized format for citing will be acceptable. For example, citing according to the guidelines of the Modern Language Association, the American Psychological Association, Chicago or Turabian will assist you in citing references correctly. The guidelines for these formats can be found at:


* “Scholarly” means any publication in a reputable Journal, book, etc that is open to peer review and it is backed scientifically by a professional association (i.e., APA), written by a researcher, etc, etc. Stay away from “.com” websites. Magazines or newspapers such as TIME, Newsweek, etc can be used as “informational” in the body of your essay, but do not count (or at least I do not count them) as “scholarly references.” They are usually reporting from an original source that you should research and look into.

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