Psychology in Action

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Instructor's Resource Guide Chapter 2 Page 81
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W riting P roject Given the need for improved writing skills in college students and to respond to the call for "writing across the curriculum," we offer writing projects for each chapter. In Chapter 2, we suggest a 2-3 page written response to one of the issues found on Handout 2.1- Writing Project.Recognizing the time involved in grading such writing projects, one alternative is occasionally to collect the papers, remove student names, and assign "peer grading." It also helps to make their participation in peer grading a required part of the overall points for the writing project. This encourages a more thoughtful and responsible evaluation, as well as acknowledging and rewarding the additional work.                        H andout 2.1 – Writing Project Instructor's Resource Guide Chapter 2 Page 82
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Write a 2-3 page thoughtful response to one or both of the following: 1. The Case of Charles Whitman As a child and young man, Charles Whitman was kind, quiet, and known by all as a "good boy"-- serving as both an altar boy and an Eagle Scout. As a student at the University of Texas, however, he began to experience severe headaches, assaulted his wife, and became involved in numerous fights. He confided to his psychiatrist that he was fighting the urge toward even more extreme violent behavior. He lost the fight. Climbing to the top of the campus observation tower with a high-powered rifle, he shot wildly at his fellow students, ultimately killing 14 people and wounding more than 20 before the police finally killed him. An autopsy on Whitman's body revealed a large tumor pressing against his amygdala. Recognizing that this area of the brain is known to regulate aggressive behaviors in animals (the research is less clear for humans), should Whitman be held fully responsible for his actions? Why or why not? If Whitman had lived, would you have been in favor of capital punishment or life imprisonment for his crimes? 2. What do you think about the possible use of brain stimulator implants to achieve control over mental patients? Under what circumstances would you believe such implant procedures should be considered? What about the idea of implanting electrodes in the pleasure centers of all newly born infants? If these electrodes could be used to soothe a crying baby, to replace drug effects in drug addicted teenagers and adults, would there be any disadvantages? Would you be willing to volunteer your own child or yourself for implantation if there was no possibility of physical harm? Instructor's Resource Guide Chapter 2 Page 83
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