PERSONAL JOURNAL ANALYSIS PAPER
This assignment will enable you to choose an experience from your life and interpret it
from a social psychological perspective.
You will need to select some past or present personal experience (e.g., dating situation,
uncoupling process, parents’ or your own divorce, job interview, party, Thanksgiving
dinner, family ritual, traveling adventure, personal crisis) that will enable you to illustrate
and examine at least SIX key social psychological concepts (e.g., see the list of key terms
and concepts listed at the end of each chapter, and other concepts we studied this
semester). One of the key terms that you analyze in your paper must be Symbolic
Interactionism. You may choose the other five concepts/theories that you use. Make
sure and define the concept before jumping into analysis. Show me your knowledge and
understanding of the concept and then apply it. (You may not use any examples or
concepts that you have used in discussion board assignments this semester).
LIST OF KEY SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL CONCEPTS: (PLEASE HAVE AT
LEAST 6 KEY TERMS INCLUDING SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM)
*DEFINITIONS ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE, I have also put the page
numbers to can cite properly)
– Symbolic Interaction (p.9) – Discrimination (p.456)
– Attitude (p.244) – Norm (p.445)
– Subjective norms (p.265) – Role (p.502), Values (p.513)
– Body language (p.283) – Social Class (p.504), Status (p.502), Position (p.502),
Alienation (P.533) – Fateful events (P.536)
– Communication (p.272) – Social Networks (p.502) , Social Structure (p.502)
– Communication accuracy (p.275) – Upward Mobility (p.504)
– Empathy (p.346) – Powerlessness (P.536)
– Egoism (p.345) – Role Overload (p.519)
– Personal Norms (p.355) – Authority (p.332), Persuasion (p.314), Promise (p.328)
– Frustration (p.372) – Bystander Effect (p.361)
– Victim-blame (p.389)
– Loneliness (p.433)
– Group Cohesion (p.442)
– Primary Group (p.441) or Secondary Group (p.441)
– Conformity (p.446)
I expect you to write a coherent essay that relates these concepts to one another and
demonstrates not only your understanding of what these concepts mean in general but
how they relate specifically to your real life experience.
You should choose a subject that holds a great deal of meaning for you. You are likely to
write a stronger paper, and learn more about yourself, if you write about something that
has affected you in a profound way.
Your papers are confidential…no one else but Dr. will see them.
You MUST substantially incorporate class readings and course material to support your
claims. You must also organize your paper using subheadings and themes. Each concept
that you use should be a subheading of your paper. You many not use any direct quotes.
You need to put the information into your own words, but make sure to cite properly!
HOW YOU’LL BE GRADED
I will assess your journal concepts paper on the following criteria (use this as a check
1. Degree and quality of analytic effort (most important, 70 points)
a. how insightful is your SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL analysis, ie., does it go
beyond a superficial treatment of the subject and get at underlying themes and
b. have you CLEARLY demonstrated that the course material has enlighted your
analysis, i.e, to what extent does your paper represent a type of analysis that
you could not have achieved without taking this course
c. do you present your ideas in a logical fashion–does your analysis make sense
d. does your analysis integrate key concepts in meaningful, thought-provoking
e. have you used the concepts and symbolic interactionims accurately?
f. do you properly cite the course work and use in-text citations correctly
2. Organizational structure and writing style (20 points)
a. is your paper easy to read, are your sentences lucid
b. is your paper well organized with topic sentences and logical transitions
c. is your paper free of grammatical errors
d. is there a sense of continuity from the beginning to the end
e. have you included a strong opening and conclusion?
3. Quality of professional presentation (10 points)
a. have you double and triple checked your paper to eliminate typos and
b. is your paper organized with subheadings
c. have you followed my directions for preparing your paper including
page numbers, double spacing WITHOUT extra spacing between paragraphs,
12pt font, times new roman, one inch margins?
d. do you not use direct quotes? You may not use direct quotes…you need to put
the material into your own words but still cite…paraphrase.
e. have you submitted your paper on or before the due date?
*** IMPORTANT FOR ALL STUDENTS
All information from the book, articles, lecture and other sources must be referenced and cited
within the body of the paper as well as properly listed in a reference page at the end of the paper.
In-line references should include the author(s) last name(s) and the year (e.g.,
(Cragun and Nielsen, 2009). At the end of the paper you should have an alphabetized list
of references that includes all of the articles you read and discussed in ASA format:
Cragun, Ryan T., and Michael Nielsen. 2009. “Fighting Over “Mormon”: Media
Coverage of the FLDS and LDS.” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.
– Symbolic Interaction: A theoretical perspective based on the premise that human
nature and social order are products of communicate among people.
– Attitude: Predisposition to respond to a particular object in a generally
favorable or unfavorable way
– Subjective norms: A individuals perception of other’s beliefs about whether a
behavior is appropriate and their motivation to comply with those expectations
– Body language :
– Communication: Process through which people transmit information about their
ideas and feeling to one another
– Communication accuracy: The extent to which the message inferred buy a
listener from a communication matches the message intended by the speaker
– Empathy: Emotional response to others as if we ourselves were in that persons
situation; feeling pleasure at another’s pleasure or pain.
– Egoism: Helping behavior motivated by a helpers own sense of self-gratification
– Personal Norms : Feelings of moral obligations to perform specific actions that
stem from an individuals internalized system of values
– Frustration : The blocking of goal directed activity. Frustration leads to
– Discrimination : Overt acts, occurring without apparent justification that treat
member of certain out- groups in an unfair or disadvantageous manner.
– Victim-blame: When responsibility for a sexual assault is placed on the victim
rather that the perpetrator
– Bystander Effect: The tendency for bystanders in an emergency to help less often
and less quickly as the number of bystanders present increases.
– Loneliness : An unpleasant, subjective experience that results from the lack of
social relationships satisfying in either quantity or quality
– Role: A set of functions to be performed by a person on behalf of a group of
which he or she is a member; closer of rules indicating the set of duties to be
performed by a member occupying a given position within a group.
– Social Networks: The sets of interpersonal relationships associated with the social
position a person occupies.
– Social Structure: The ordered and persisting relationships among the positions in
a social system.
– Social Class: Persons who share a common status in society. One’s class standing
may be based on occupational prestige and income.
– Status: The social ranking of a person’s position
– Position: A designated location in a social system
– Alienation : The sense that one is uninvolved in the social world or lacks control
– Fateful events: Events that are beyond an individuals control, unpredictable,
often life-threatening often large in magnitude and that disrupt peoples usual
– Values: Enduring beliefs that certain patterns of behavior or end states are
preferable to others
– Upward Mobility: Movement of a person from an occupation lower in prestige
and income to one higher in prestige and income
– Powerlessness: The sense of having little or no control over events
– Role Overload: Condition in which the demands placed on a person by his or her
roles exceed the amount of time, energy, and other resources available to meet
– Group Cohesion: A property of a group, specifically the degree to which members
of a group desire the remain in that group and resist leaving it. A highly cohesive
group will maintain a firm hold over its members time, energy and loyalty and
– Norm: In groups, a standard or rule that species how members are expected to
behave under given circumstances; expectations concerning which behaviors are
acceptable and which are unacceptable for specific persons in specific situations.
– Primary Group: Group with strong emotional ties and bonds that endure over
time. This type of groups tends to be more informal and intimate than other
groups that individuals belong to.
– Secondary Group: A group that is formal and impersonal, often organized around
– Authority: The capacity of one group member to issue orders to others – that is, to
direct or regulate the behavior of other members by invoking rights that are
vested in his or her role
– Persuasion: An effort by a source to change the beliefs or attitudes of a target
person through the use of information or argument.
– Promise: An influence technique that is a communication taking the general
forms, “If you do X (which I want), then I will do (what you want)”.
– Conformity: Adherence by an individual to group norms so that behavior lies
within the range of tolerable behavior
Needs to be in ASA Format:
DeLamater, John D., Daniel J. Myers, and Jessica L. Collett. 2015. Social
Psychology. Boulder: Westview Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.