Short Written Assignment: (4-5 pages)
For your short paper, I would like you to bridge the gap between theory and behavior. You may either choose the topic described below, or devise a topic of your own (however, you must clear your topic with me before you begin). The first draft of this assignment is due Friday, October 22nd. The second and final draft of this assignment is due on Friday November 19th. Choose a memory from your personal past and analyze the memory in terms of one of the issues we have discussed this semester. For example, you might try to assess the accuracy of your memory. To do so, you might choose a memorable event that involved multiple people. You could interview the other people involved, consult objective sources – if applicable – and try to come to terms with both the consistencies and inconsistencies that you observe across sources (e.g., your own account versus someone else's account). You should also speculate about potential explanations for the specific in/consistencies that you observe. Your discussion should draw upon the psychological literature we have read and discussed throughout the semester (of course, you may also draw upon relevant literature that we have not discussed in class). Alternatively, you might discuss what this memory reveals about your identity. How does it fit in your life story? A third possibility would be to try to ‘place’ this memory within the larger autobiographical memory system. What function does this memory serve for you? Why do you remember the event? Why do you remember it the way you do? How does it relate to other memories? This prompt is admittedly somewhat open-ended. The point is to give you space to relate your own memory/memories to a topic that interests you.