Psychology – Critical review paper

The CRITICAL REVIEW paper will require the student to produce a commentary focused on one of the basic ideas, concepts or topics that are presented in one of the readings from the course pack. This commentary should consist of the student’s interpretation and critique of the material, including agreement or disagreement with, or extension of the author’s ideas. Again, it is important to note that the grade on the paper will NOT depend on the student’s agreement with the author’s point of view. However, the grade will depend on how well the student justifies his or her ideas and how clearly the ideas are presented. The course pack paper chosen for this critical review should be of reasonable breadth to allow for some integration of the ideas presented in the class meetings and other readings. Any of the papers listed below will meet this criterion. Other papers in the course pack are also suitable. However, if an alternative paper is selected it must be approved (via email message) at least one class before the due date of the paper. The suggested papers for the CRITICAL REVIEW PAPER are:

1) Mueller, J. The specific energies of nerves.

2) Barzun, J. Culture high and dry.

4) Huxley, A. The Doors of Perception.

5) Gibson, J. The perceptual systems.

6) Percy, W. The Loss of the creature.

7) Bruner, J. On perceptual readiness.

8) Neisser, U. Attention and the problem of capacity.

9) Bruner, J. The Proper Study of Man.

10) Whorf, B.L. An American Indian model of the universe.

11) Davidson, D. Rational animals.

12) Davidson, D. Three Varieties of Knowledge.

12) Cassirer, E. An essay on man (chapters 2, 3, and 4)

13) Roszak, T. Science in extremis: Prospect of an autopsy

Note that many of these readings come from sections of the syllabus, associated with different parts of the course, especially the last section. Nevertheless, it is perfectly reasonable to review an article from the end of the syllabus (e.g. Davidson’s “Rational Animals”) for your critical review even though the course topic associated with the material might not have been covered. None of the articles in the course pack was written with the expectation of their inclusion in a college course and all are readable independently of our syllabus. Of course, if a student reviews an article from the end of the syllabus, the grader will not expect the student to have had access to subsequent lecture, discussion and reading material.

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