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PSY 3680: Positive Psychology: Your Assignment

This research guide is dedicated to assisting you with research for your PSY 3680 course.

Project Proposal

TRADITIONAL LITERATURE REVIEW OPTION

You may opt to do a traditional research paper in which you develop a topic that intrigues you into an argument or a thesis with a minimum of ten sources. You may select any topic you wish related to positive psychology, but you may want to consider a paper that focuses on some aspect of a virtue. The following list from Peterson & Seligman (2004) might spur you in the right direction:

Wisdom & Knowledge Courage Humanity
Creativity Authenticity Kindness
Curiosity Bravery Love
Open-Mindedness Persistence Social Intelligence
Love of Learning Zest
Perspective
Justice Temperance Transcendence
Fairness Forgiveness Beauty Appreciation
Leadership Modesty Excellence Striving
Teamwork Prudence Gratitude
Hope
Humor
Religiousness

Reference:
Peterson, C.,& Seligman, M.E.P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. Washington, DC: American psychological Association

The best way to go about the paper is to develop a question that represents curiosity about a phenomenon that fits with the study of positive psychology.

Examples could include:

• Why doesn’t winning the lottery make people fundamentally happier?
• What are the hazards and benefits of an open-minded stance?
• What impact does participation in social media have on social intelligence?
• What function does gallows humor play in adaptation?
• What are the long term effects of harboring a grudge?

EXPECTED LENGTH OF PAPER 12-15 PAGES.
EXPECTED MINIMUM NUMBER OF REFERENCES: 10
YOUR TARGET DATE TO SHARE YOUR RESULTS IS NOVEMBER 20, 2014.

GRANT PROPOSAL OPTION

Particularly for individuals who find themselves working in the nonprofit sector after graduation, it may be useful to pursue the grant writing option. Grants are simply funding requests to capture funding for a specific purpose. For our purposes, you will be writing your grant proposal to the David Myers Happiness Research Institute. [David, pictured below, is a famous psychologist and wealthy author of psychology textbooks who has established a foundation to help finance ideas that will move psychology forward. Although our Institute is fictional, David has set up the Myers Foundation to fund good projects in psychology].

Granting agencies usually specify the information they need to deliberate and make a decision. For our purposes, the DMHRI requires the following information:

A. Principal Investigators (PIs)
B. Title of Project (Note: Clever titles help proposals stand out).
C. Executive Summary of Intent – a short paragraph that captures all the essentials of the proposal
D. Relevant Literature Review (minimum of five targeted references)
E. Proposed Intervention Timeline
F. Proposed Intervention Budget
G. Proposed Evaluation Strategies (how will you determine whether or not the intervention is successful

EXPECTED LENGTH OF PAPER: 10 PAGES
EXPECTED MINIMUM NUMBER OF REFERENCES: 5
YOUR TARGET DATE TO SHARE YOUR RESULTS IS NOVEMBER 13, 2014.


RESEARCH OPTION: Correlational or Experimental

Those headed to graduate school can also select a research option that involves the collection and interpretation of data. Any research option will require approval from UWF’s institutional review board. A correlational study (e.g., using assorted happiness instruments to gather data about a target population) will be easier to manage in the confines of the semester. An experimental option may also be possible; however, depending on the scope of the project you have in mind, we may need to settle for the experiment proposal. However, this would be a valuable product should you choose to head to graduate school specifically to study positive psychology.


EXPECTED LENGTH OF PAPER 12-15 PAGES.
EXPECTED MINIMUM NUMBER OF REFERENCES: 10
YOUR TARGET DATE TO SHARE YOUR RESULTS IS NOVEMBER 20, 2014.

SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT

.What are the possibilities? They are limited only by your imagination but consider some of the following to stir your own good thinking:
• Organize a celebration of wisdom at a senior living facility.
• Design and implement a program to recognize and honor students who do
exemplary contributions to the community.
• Sponsor a fund-raising activity for a worthy target or cause.
• Develop and deliver a program that helps high school students learn why they
should always strive for excellence.
• Find an unsung hero or heroes and create a gesture of appreciation for their
contributions.
• Stage a flashmob with an explicit purpose tied to positive psychology.

Remember, the point of positive psychology is enhancement and enrichment so you should guard against trying to fix or cure damaged or disordered people since that would be a throwback to the traditional psychology paradigm.
This project not only gives you an experiential opportunity to apply positive psychology concepts, it provides a great vehicle for honing your leadership and teamwork skills. Consequently, this version is highly recommended for those who are considering joining the workforce after graduation. Once your team is assembled, work together to identify the intellectual strengths each person brings to the team. Allow people to contribute from their strengths but don’t forget the project is about stretching so work together to help each other achieve the personal growth that may be possible.
Although the project will be a group project, your proposal should be an individual one that highlights what you hope to contribute and what you hope to get out of it.
Your final project should be written as a group but you will need to include a separate reflection on your personal reaction to the learning in the project.

EXPECTED LENGTH OF GROUP PAPER: 10 PAGES.
EXPECTED LENGTH OF PERSONAL REFLETION: 3 PAGES
EXPECTED MINIMUM NUMBER OF REFERENCES: 5
YOUR TARGET DATE TO SHARE YOUR RESULTS IS NOVEMBER 6, 2014.

REPORT FORMAT

POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY PROJECT PROPOSAL

In this project, you will provide all the information we need to be able to give your project the official green light. The report is worth ten points. Here are the data I would like you to provide, in order:

1. Name of Project
2. Type of Project (Traditional Literature Review, Grant Proposal, Experiment Proposal, or Community Service Project)
3. Authors (Are you working solo or on a team?)
4. What key words will you be using for your literature review?
5. Cite one primary source in APA format that may be helpful to you in the development of your idea.
6. What goals will you strive to achieve? (leadership, time management, writing improvement, reading professional literature)
7. What timeline will you try to accomplish to complete your project in early November?
8. What obstacles do you currently anticipate in the timely completion of your work?
9. Is there any additional assistance you will need from my team or me to help you accomplish your goals?
10. Do you have any additional questions about the expectations or instructions?

Criteria for the Good Project Proposal:
___ clearly identifies individual or group option
___ makes tentative commitment to workforce or grad school pathway
___ provides explicit links to positive psychology concept
___ defines a project that can be manageable with the time constraints
___ identifies team members, where appropriate
___ formulates any relevant personal goals

(e.g., improve leadership, strengthen APA writing style, make a decision
about grad school, improve time management, etc.)