Term Project Instructions
Professor: Dr. Patrice Karn
Total Marks: 100 marks; 35% of final grade
Due Date: Nov 28, 2013 before 8:30 p.m. sharp (Submit during class or during alternate date & time
Nov 29 10:00am -10:30 am Office: 2019VNR )
Late Penalty: From 10:31 a.m. Nov 29 to 2:00pm Dec 2 minus 2% (i.e.-2 marks). After Dec 2,
arrange to submit late papers to teaching assistant Amanda Baker. From 2:01 pm Dec 2 to 2:00pm
Dec 4 minus 4%. Dec 5 minus 6%. Dec 6 minus 8%. Dec 9 minus 10%. Dec 10 minus 20%. Dec
11 minus 25%. Papers not accepted after Dec 11. Papers cannot be submitted by email.
Length: Five to seven typed pages doubled spaced (not counting List of References, diagrams,
appendices). Do not exceed eight (typed) pages. One mark will be automatically deducted if
pages are not numbered. (Don’t forget the three figures and label the sections as described
below.) You must also include your course code on the cover page.
Reminder: Please review these instructions carefully as they are detailed and provide the answers
to many questions you may have. Keep these instructions close by as you write your paper.
To research and apply motivational theories taught in this course.
To practice psychological report writing skills (including use of figures, abstract and A.P.A. style
To increase self-insight and objectivity.
To obtain experience in the design of a self-improvement program.
The paper to be completed for this course is a case analysis and recommendation about a
real motivational problem that you have faced in the past or are facing at the present time. You are
to identify and describe the problem and relevant factors and then apply the theories and content of
the course to analyze the problem and suggest a course of action. You suggest appropriate
solutions or an intervention program based on the theories, case analysis and background research.
Note that you are expected to find, read and cite additional academic sources beyond the textbook.
Choose three of the most relevant and best fitting theories that are the most helpful in
solving the problem, describe them, and apply them in a program. You may suggest three separate
programs/solutions but most students develop one program that combines all three theories. You
are not required to actually implement your recommendedprogram at this time, although some
students do start on part of it and report on their progress. It should be logical, reasonable and
practical with a high probability of application in the near future.
Suggested topics: Is there an area in your life that you would like to change? Do you find yourself
unmotivated and unenthusiastic about something that should be important to you? Is there room for
self-improvement in your life but you have not got around to figuring out what to do or planning
what you should do about it? This is your opportunity to focus on something important and
beneficial to you, and fulfill an academic requirement at the same time. You do not have to address
the most important/critical issue in your life for this paper. You may choose some small
manageable area that would increase your quality of life or happiness. 2
Procrastination, achievement, exercise, increasing positive behaviors, getting rid of bad
habits, work motivation, athletic performance, nutritional eating, stress management, anger
management, pessimism, creativity and improving relationships are some suggested areas. Theories
that may be relevant include: incentives, intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation, goal setting, cognitive
appraisal, self-efficacy, cognitive behaviour therapy principles, optimism, learned helplessness,
explanatory styles, Atkinson’s theory of achievement motivation, attributional retraining,
approach-avoidance conflict, problem vs. emotion focused coping, self-regulation, BIS-BAS,
drives and need theory, mastery vs. performance strategy, physiology of arousal, physiology of
addiction, inverted u and optimal performance, sensation seeking, classical conditioning, operant
conditioning, self-determination, positive psychology concepts such as signature strengths, flow,
flourishing, and many others. There may be other motivational theories and concepts that we have
not covered in the course that you find to be relevant to your situation (e.g. Ch. 12 economics of
Format of the paper
Before you hand in your paper check that it contains all of the following sections and label them.
Each section is evaluated and the scores are totalled to give the overall mark for the paper. The
Theory section and the Recommendations sections carry the most weight.
Description of Problem
Theoretical Overview and Application
List of References
(Figures: inserted where appropriate)
The paper should have three figures or diagrams where you illustrate the theories or
application of the theories. For example, they may consist of flow charts, connected concepts with
arrows, graphs, recording chart etc. Although APA style suggests putting them at the end it is more
helpful for this course if you insert these at the appropriate points in the paper. The figure needs to
have a title and be numbered [i.e. Figure 1. Title of the figure. Description of the figure if needed.
(From or adapted from Source of the figure.) ] Note that a figure and a table are not the same
thing: a figure is usually an illustration, graph, diagram or flow chart whereas a table lists columns
of information or data. Look in your text to see examples of figures and how they are set up and also
tables to see the difference.
A portion of the mark will also be given for professionalism. This refers to following the
format instructions, the fact that your paper is neatly presented a