BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR THE ASSIGNMENT:
Throughout the semester you have been introduced to a wide range of topics, demonstrating the diverse nature of psychology. You have also been exposed to a variety of philosophical and theoretical perspectives used to examine and explain those topics. Different philosophical and theoretical perspectives make different assumptions about human behavior and mental processing. Consequently, they often seek to understand human behavior by focusing on different aspects of that behavior and/or different causal variables. The purpose of this final assignment is to help you better appreciate the scope of psychology by examining how different philosophical and theoretical perspectives seek to explain a given psychological topic. Doing so will help you understand how psychologists working from different philosophical and theoretical perspectives make different contributions to our understanding of particular psychological topics and how the integration and/or competition between these explanations helps the discipline (at large) advance its understanding of human behavior and mental processing.