Theme: Perceptions of Reality are more Important than Objective Reality

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The next paper expands on one theme of the class, that perceptions of reality are more important than objective reality. Your task for the second written assignment is to read an article that uses an experimental manipulation to produce cognitive dissonance to observe its effect on perception.

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Read is the following:

Balcetis, E., & Dunning, D. (2007). Cognitive dissonance and the perception of natural environments. Psychological Science, 18(10), 917-921. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.02000.x

The best papers will tackle some or most of the following questions:What was (were) the researchers’ question(s)? How did the researchers go about answering the question(s)?What did the researchers find? What do the results mean? How does this article clarify some of the findings discussed in class or in the book, and take us beyond what we already know?Does the article challenge any ideas raised in class or lecture?Are the findings optimistic or pessimistic, neither, or both?What do you think are some important remaining questions?

A warning or two:It will be tempting to try to paraphrase the abstract of this article, because that is already a concise summary of the contents of the article.Truly try to put the findings into your own words.It is usually obvious when people paraphrase the abstract by replacing words in the abstract with synonyms.Avoid taking this shortcut!Also, remember that good scientific writing is clear writing, not pretty writing or poetry.

Remember your paper must be written in double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, 8½ x 11 in. paper with 1-inch margins.Papers can be a maximum of five pages in length.There is no page minimum, but please remember that for this class there is likely a relationship between the amount of effort you put into your writing and paper length and overall quality.Please also include a cover page that includes your name and (if you wish) the title of your mini-paper.

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