Critical Reasoning Essays

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APA Assignments:

Critical Reasoning Essays: Select one of the following five topics and prepare a multi- paragraph essay (at least four paragraphs). Include results from class materials, readings and research on the topic.

Topics to choose from:

  1. Neural Pathway
  2. Learning Process
  3. Operant Conditioning and Modifying a Behavior
  4. Stages of Development: Understanding Yourself
  5. Psychiatric Disorders

Critical Reasoning Essay Prompts

Choose any one from the following essay prompts. 

Neural Pathways

Choose any neural pathway you feel passionate about like the visual pathway, auditory pathway, olfactory pathway, etc., and describe how the pathway travels from the stimuli through the nervous system. Then, explain how the environment (experiences) may have an effect on how stimuli may be perceived. Example: If you were to choose the visual pathway and you were raised around snakes as pets, first describe the visual pathway from stimuli to occipital lobe, and how would a picture of a snake (the stimulus) travel from the occipital lobe to other parts of the brain like the limbic system (specific parts of the limbic system) to the cortex and how might your autonomic nervous system react.

  • Learning Process

Describe how learning is accomplished from stimuli to processing. Here you don’t have to be specific with the neural pathways if you choose not to, but you do have to identify the brain components responsible for learning. What I am looking for is that you understand the different components, modalities, and how to optimize your time to learn material presented during your academic career.

  • Operant Conditioning and Modifying a Behavior

Drawing on personal experience, choose a person whose behavior you want to change. You may select one of your own behaviors for this question. How could you use operant conditioning to change the less desirable behavior into the desired behavior?

In a multi-paragraph essay describe your plans to condition the new behavior. Be sure to mention what type of reinforcer and reinforcement schedule you would use and explain why you made those particular choices. Include information from class materials, readings and research on operant conditioning to support your discussion.

  • Stages of Physiological Development

In a multi-paragraph essay describe all the different stages of physiological development throughout YOUR life span. Be sure to provide examples to illustrate the thoughts, emotions and behavior typical of each stage. Include details from class materials, readings and research on human development to support your discussion.

This is a very broad prompt, which gives you room to develop your thesis/hypothesis.

  • Psychiatric Disorder

Choose any psychiatric disorder and write how it can be developed from the environment (experiences or biological) or genetics. If it is genetics, what may trigger the gene to synthesize? Then, choose a current media, where someone may be suffering from this disorder and give the main exhibited behaviors that may have led to the diagnoses.

Again, be sure to provide evidence from the person’s or character’s thoughts, emotions and behavior. Include details from class materials, readings and research on personality to support your discussion.

Please do not use anyone you know; identify a fictional character, and provide support using the DSM-5 criteria for your support and provide a treatment plan.

Essay Format

  1. Proper APA citation of article. This includes author/s (last name/s first), date of publication, article title, name of journal, and
  2. Four paragraphs: Introduction— discussion on what the disorder is and state your hypothesis (e.g. bipolar disorder has a genetic factor); support your hypothesis –using the text and any other scholarly material (at least one reference must be other than the text).

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