Social Psychology (PSY 343): 
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Instructions for Group Projects & Presentations:
All group members must share the work of gathering the information and giving the presentation. Group members will be asked to design and agree to a contract for group participation and to divide the work of the project in a clear and equitable way. On the day of the presentation, group members will be asked to rate the extent to which other members contributed a fair share to the project and these ratings will determine a portion of each person's grade. Group members who miss in-class meetings will be penalized by losing points from the final grade.
_The presentation itself should take about 15-20 minutes, plus at least 2 or 3 minutes for questions.
It must include the following:
a) a picture or videoclip of the social psychologist
b) appropriate biographical information (e.g., birthdate, how the researcher first became interested in social psychology, where s/he went to graduate school, who s/he worked with, and any other interesting personal information you can obtain)
c) a brief summary of the person's most interesting work, based on 7 to 10 different articles or pieces of her or his work. This aspect should include an attempt to trace the development of the person(s ideas and research over time. It should also relate the person(s work to the chapter of the textbook we are covering on the date of the presentation (look in the chapter for citations to the person's work). It is very important to bring out, in your presentation, the work that the person did that is relevant to the chapter we are covering.
d) a brief evaluation and critique of the person's contributions to social psychology. How useful, interesting, or important were these contributions?

_Some important points:
1) You are encouraged to use overhead transparencies, slides, posters, videos, or other auxiliary material to make your presentation clear and interesting to the class.
2) On the day of the presentation, please distribute a one-page outline to the class, containing the most pertinent facts.
3) At least one week before the presentation, the whole group must meet with me to turn in and go over a proposal that includes (1) a complete bibliography of the person(s work, (2) a detailed outline of what the presentation will cover, and (3) a list of props or visual aids to be used. [If there is no timely meeting or no proposal, your group will lose 4 points]
4) DO NOT E-MAIL, TELEPHONE, OR WRITE TO YOUR SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGIST! These people have a lot to do. It’s fine to go to their web sites, if they have them, but I do not want you to contact them or involve them in getting information. That is your job.

_Grades for the project (25 points) will be determined as follows:
1) Proposal (4 points)
2) Class handout (2 points)
3) Group presentation grade: Based on how organized, comprehensive, informative, creative, and engaging the presentation is overall (Determined by the instructor, and influenced by written feedback from other members of the class) (10 points)
4) Individual presentation grade: Based on the content, clarity and delivery of each group member's individual part of the presentation, and how well it is integrated into the whole presentation (Determined by the instructor, and may be influenced by feedback from other members of the individual's group) (5 points)
5) Peer ratings of contributions to the group (Determined by other group members) (4 points)
_Instructions for Projects and Presentations Continued:
It is important to get across, in an interesting and understandable way, not only the LIFE of your social psychologist, but also the WORK of that person: important theories, interesting studies, etc.

It is important that your presentation be coherent, informative, engaging. To achieve this result, you have to PRACTICE your presentation as a group ahead of time. That means testing your multimedia materials, practicing and timing your individual talks, etc.

_Past successes with this type of project:

Some groups have used videoclips from movies or television shows to illustrate a researcher’s theories.

Some have found film clips in which the social psychologist is interviewed.

Other groups have demonstrated theories by acting out skits or by videotaping skit ahead of time and showing them to the class. (e.g., one group did a simulated talk show in which their psychologist was interviewed, and made up “commercials” to air during the show that illustrated his theories of attitude change).

Some groups have replicated experiments or conducted in-class activities during the presentation itself.

Some groups have staged debates or panel discussion between their psychologist and someone who took a different approach to the same problem.

_Remember, group projects can foster the dreaded SOCIAL LOAFING phenomenon.
To avoid this problem:

Make sure every group member is accountable for specific jobs and that you all report to the group at regular intervals.
Work as a team, not as a collection of individuals who happen to be working on the same topic.

Start work early in the semester, so that people who have a particularly busy schedule around the time of the presentation can make larger contributions early in the process.
Make sure you stay in contact with one another. Exchange e-mail addresses and phone numbers, so that if you have to miss a meeting in an emergency, you can let your group know.
Don’t miss class. That is the one time and place that you know you all have in common and can touch base with one another.
If you start to have a social loafing problem, try first to correct it by clarifying expectations within your group. If the problem proves to be intractable, invite me to a meeting of your group that includes all group members. (Don’t wait until the week before your presentation to do this).


Good luck! Some of the best and most satisfying discovery and learning experiences can come from working collaboratively as a group. If you make the most of this opportunity, you will not be sorry.

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