The reaction paper will test your ability to think, generate hypotheses, and, in general, apply psychological science. The task will be to take a position in a current debate in cognitive science. You will then have to support your position by drawing on the data that are available on the topic. The goal is to convince readers that the position you take is correct by presenting the relevant data on the topic. Writing that both positions are correct will automatically result in a deduction of points. Think of this as a “debate” in which your job is to argue one of the positions. This paper will require you to go beyond Matlin's textbook. You will need to refer to journal articles, book chapters, and, if you must, websites. Each student must read journal articles for the paper. At least three journal articles must be referenced. If you use websites, you are responsible for any misinformation you get from the website (the best websites to use are those of the researchers themselves). Your view in the reaction paper must be supported by psychological science (including neuroscience, social psychology, neurobiology). Your feelings and impressions are not relevant in this paper; rather it is scientific data that you must draw upon. You do not have to be balanced.
Choose arguments that support your position, and refute arguments that may support the other position. You will be graded on your ability to do both. You may email me questions on how best to do this. APA style is encouraged but not required. You must also answer the question in approximately 1,000 words (about 3 pages). You must craft your arguments to fit into the word limit. The word limit refers to the body of your paper and does not include title page, references, and any supplementary material you add.
Topic: Many years ago, Benjamin Whorf argued that the language we speak shapes the thoughts we have. Most psychological data dismissed the idea. However, recently, there has been a resurgence of Whorfian thinking. Does language shape the kinds of thoughts we can have? (This question is about language, not about culture).