CRITICAL ANALYSIS IN PSYCHOLOGY (PSYD16) 2009
Professor: Gerald Cupchik
Office Hours: Wednesdays 10-11 am and 1-2 pm
Course Website: www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~cupchik/psyd16.htm
Text: Van Manen’s (1990). Researching Lived Experience. London: Althouse.
Goals of the course:
The course is designed to help students understand the difference between
psychology as a discipline and as a profession. This is equivalent to mastering
skills in a particular area and learning how to develop a career. The co uld will
therefore help students develop critical skills which can be applied both in
academic and practical settings. One way to do this is to examine historical
trends and issues in social psychology. Students will be assigned a different
reading each week and we will consider the reading in detail. Assigned readings
will be on 3 hour reserve in the library. The purpose of the textbook will be to help
students understand the theoretical foundation of their term paper.
There will be a midterm exam (two hours), a final exam (three hours), and a term
paper (30 pages minimum). Each exam will involve two essay questions and
students will be given 5 single-spaced pages to develop an answer (along with
an outline). The questions will be distributed to the students two weeks before
the midterm an final exams. Answers to the questions will be written from
memory and no notes will be permitted in the classroom.
The term paper will explore a phenomenon from everyday life that is of interest to
the student. Working with the professor, the student will define the problem and
then interview people to obtain information about real events in which the
phenomenon was manifested. These episodes will form the basis for the paper.
In addition, the student will search the literature for relevant concepts after the
episode data are collected and interpreted. They then compare their ideas wi th
those in the literature (when available) and reflect on the overall process.