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marshal the knowledge you have built to accomplish the core goal of all psychologists—to explain human
behavior. You will select a current or historical event and use theory and research from the field of social cognition and perception to explain, from your
perspective, why the event occurred. You will also suggest, again drawing from social cognitive theory and research, how this event could have turned out
differently had it occurred in a different culture. Although you will not have been exposed to the material in the entire course by the time you begin working
on the project, you should feel free to utilize theory and research covered in any portion of the course readings, or elsewhere within the field of social
cognition, in achieving the project objectives. The project will be completed in three steps: a topic proposal, a detailed outline and tentative annotated
bibliography, and a final paper.
The project is divided into two milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final
submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Three and Five. The final research paper will be submitted in Module Seven.
This assessment will assess your mastery with respect to the following course outcomes:
 PSY-326-01 Evaluate contemporary research in social cognition and perception for its contributions to and importance for analyzing human behavior
 PSY-326-02 Analyze the impact of cognitive theory and methodology on socialpsychology
 PSY-326-03 Assess the impact of the social environment (with a focus on both functionality and shortcomings) on basic cognitive processes,
perceptual processes, and behavior
 PSY-326-04 Apply the automatic versus controlled model of social cognition to the analysis and evaluation of human behavior
 PSY-326-05 Assess the role of culture as one component of the social environment for its impact on basic cognitive and perceptual processes
Your paper will address two major questions:
1. How does the literature in social cognition and perception help explain a real-world event?
2. Based on the literature, how could this event have happened differently had it occurred in a different culture?
The introductory part of your paper should provide background information on your chosen event, including where and when it occurred, how people were
affected by it, and its impact. For example, the event might have significantly impacted individuals, or perhaps it had an environmental or political impact.
Include any other relevant information that will provide the reader with a full picture of the nature of the event.

l utilize your knowledge of social cognitive theory and research to explain why the event occurred. Select two theories from the course that
could explain how and why the event happened. In your discussion of each theory and how it applies to understanding the event, incorporate information
from at least two representative, peer-reviewed articles that capture the essence of the theory and can be used to illustrate what the theory predicts would
happen in this situation.
Although you will address the applicability of the theories to the event in some detail, you should also analyze the role of other basic cognitive, perceptual,
and social psychological forces at work in bringing about the occurrence or unfolding of the event. Part of this analysis should include how the dual process
model can be utilized to analyze the course of events. How did automatic and controlled processes contribute to the event? What is the difference between
these two modes of processing? Utilize scholarly research to support all of your claims.
What specific heuristics, biases, or errors might have occurred in the course of the event? How are the biases or heuristics that you have identified functional
or problematic within this context? How might they have been reduced? Utilize information in the scholarly literature or your textbook for this discussion.
Finally, could this event have turned out differently if it unfolded in a different culture? Or do you think the outcome would have been much the same? Make
use of information in the scholarly literature or your textbook in discussing thisissue.
You will need to take care in selecting an event that will lend itself to detailed analysis from a social cognitive perspective. One example of such an event
would be the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001, and the aftermath. Many things occurred that could be viewed through the lens of
social cognition. The individuals who carried out the attack may have had certain motivations that social cognitive perspectives could explain. The public
developed certain views of the hijackers and, in some cases, had altered views of the groups to which the hijackers belonged. The rate of flying on
commercial airliners plummeted for a time. Subsequent U.S. military invasions of Afghanistan and later Iraq were portrayed as responses to this attack.
Yellow ribbons and “Support Our Troops” bumper stickers became widespread symbols. Hostility toward those critical of U.S. government policies increased.
Here are some other topics that you might choose as the focus of your paper:
 The civil rights movement
 The My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War
 The Nazi Holocaust
 The struggle to abolish slavery in the United States
 The Russian Revolution
 The stock market crash of 1929
 Human-induced global climate change
 The AIDS epidemic
 The nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan
 The Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal

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