Imagine that you are a psychology graduate student from a different planet. As part of your alien Ph.D. requirements, you have been sent to earth to conduct a naturalistic observation study of any “human activity” of your choosing. This activity may be something you are currently witnessing (e.g., behavior in the student center) or something you have witnessed in the past (e.g., a family celebration of a specific holiday). You are to conduct a small naturalistic observation of this activity (observe at least 3 humans, separately or together). Remember that you are an alien, but luckily you are fluent in written English. You are describing this activity to the scientists back home who have not been to earth. Make sure you are staying true to the naturalistic observation method. Hint: This is not a case study.
The point is to try to keep me guessing about what you are describing until the end of the paper. Hopefully, you do such a good job that I won’t know what you are describing until you tell me at the end of your paper.
Remember to stay in character as an alien, but also remember that humans are the aliens, to you. You know nothing about humans – what they look like, their behavior, their earthly surroundings, etc. As a result you can only describe things and people. You don’t know about articles on earth, human emotions, motivations or customs, etc. You will want to stick to describing things as they might be interpreted or construed on your planet.
It is very important that you stick to describing only, and that you are remain as objective as possible, as this is what is done in observation. Remember that it is not objective to assume emotions. For example, don’t assume smiles mean happiness. Describe a smile instead. You also cannot assume other internal states of your subjects – thoughts, memories, etc. You can discuss your OWN emotions, but not that of the subjects you are studying.
It is even more important that you don’t draw conclusions that cannot be drawn from a naturalistic observation. Remember you are only allowed to describe in this type of study. You cannot draw conclusions about relationships between occurrences (that requires a correlation) or cause and effect (that requires an experiment).
At the end of your paper you will be allowed to come to a conclusion about what you may have witnessed. Do so from an alien perspective! You do not have to be correct, but be creative. Show me that you understand that observations can lead to misunderstanding. For example, what an earthling might do to express celebration or love, might look like sadness or aggression when an alien witnesses it.
Be creative and have fun with this.
YOU MUST DIVIDE YOUR PAPER INTO THE FOLLOWING HEADINGS (IN THIS ORDER) OR I WILL NOT GRADE IT:
1. Methodology: Explain how you conducted your naturalistic observation. When and where did your observation take place? How many subjects did you study (minimum 3)? How long did you observe them?
2. Findings: Describe the humans and their activity in detail. What does this activity look like/sound/smell like you? Maybe it registers on your heat monitors, whatever. Be creative!
3. Limitations: Explain the limitations of your study. Make recommendations for further studies.
4. What Is It? Finally, tell me what you really observed. What do earthlings call this this activity? What have you been describing? Don’t tell me what I’m reading about until the end.
ALIEN PSYCHOLOGIST PAPER POSSIBLE POINTS GRADING RUBRIC :PSYC 2301 You follow all directions. Missing Headings = Will not be graded. If resubmitted = -10 Incorrect Headings or Incorrect Order of Headings = -4 Not Double Spaced = -2 Less than 3 Subjects = -4 Out of Character = -3 Word Count Below 750 = -3 points /50 words below 750 (max off 15 points) Word Count Not Included = -3 Word Count Inflated = -5 10 You are creative. See some of my suggestions in the directions. Refrain from using names for objects. Describe things instead of naming things. (2 points) Don’t tell me what signs or people say, assume you cannot read English. (2 points) Don’t tell me anything that might let me know what you are describing, until the last section of the paper. Try to keep me guessing. (2 points) 6 Grammar. You use correct grammar/punctuation/spelling/word usage. You do not have run-ons or sentence fragments in your paper. (3 points) You use the correct words, tense, etc. (3 points) You spell correctly. (3 points) You punctuate correctly, including using quotes, when required. (3 points) You use capitalization correctly. (3 points) Your paper is easily clear, organized and easily readable. (3 points) 18 First Heading: Methodology:
Explain how you conducted your naturalistic observation:
How did you get to your observation place? (1 points)
When (1 points) (Date & Time) and where (Country, State or City) (1 points) did your observation take place?
How did you choose your subjects? (2 points)
Exactly how did you go about observing subjects? Were you hidden, invisible, etc. (2 points)
How long did you observe your subjects? (2 points)
How many subjects did you study (minimum 3)? (2 points)
Your methodology is consistent with naturalistic observation. (5 points)
Second Heading: Findings: Describe what you observed in detail:
Be sure to LIMIT YOURSELF TO ONLY MEASURABLE OBSERVABLE BEHAVIOR (this would not include emotions). Be as OBJECTIVE as possible. (See notes on being objective in the Canvas Written Assignment module.) (9 points)
Make your observations from the perspective of an alien, who does not know about earth and its inhabitants. (2 points)
Describe what the activity looks/sounds/feels/smells like you? Maybe it registers on your heat monitors, or your other special powers. Don’t tell me anything that might let me know what you are describing. (2 points)
Your findings are consistent with naturalistic observation. (5 points)
Third Heading: Limitations:
THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THE PAPER!
Discuss the limitations of naturalistic observation:
LIST at least 3 limitations of ANY naturalistic observation. This is not about your study, but about naturalistic observation in general. (See notes on methods of science from the Unit 1 Canvas module.) (5 points each = 15 points)
Apply the 3 specific limitations to your mention to your study, in particular. How do the above limitations apply specifically to your study? (2 points each = 6 points)
Make recommendation for future studies. How can future researchers improve on your study? How else can they study human behavior? (3 points)
Include the method of science you would use and why (2 points) & what exactly you would study (2 point).
Fourth Heading: What Is It?
Finally, what do earthlings call this this activity? What have you been describing? (2 points)
Don’t tell me what I’m reading about until the end (here). (2 points)
TOTAL POINTS / GRADE 100