03 Sep At the end of this module, submit your final project, a proposal exploring how you would address a contemporary problem of cognitive psychology within a specific setting. Throughout the
At the end of this module, submit your final project, a proposal exploring how you would address a contemporary problem of cognitive psychology within a specific setting. Throughout the course, you have had multiple opportunities to work on elements of this proposal and to fine-tune your thinking on your chosen topic.
Be sure to use the Final Project Template for your submission.
Within the professions of psychology, it can be typical for you to work on proposals for programs, studies, or new initiatives. For example, you may work for a university that regularly partners with foundations and corporations to identify grant opportunities for projects in local communities. The final project for this course is a project proposal that provides you an opportunity to draw upon your knowledge of cognitive psychology and demonstrate the key skills and abilities developed in this course to address a contemporary psychological problem, giving you critical exposure to how that problem impacts people’s interactions in a professional setting. You will select an area of interest in cognitive psychology and one of the following applied settings: education, law, mental health, or technology. Your proposal may include brief references to an additional setting, but your focus must be on your primary applied setting choice. For example, you can select education as your primary applied setting as you research a contemporary problem related to memory processes and learning, but you may find that you want to also touch on memory disorders (i.e., mental health setting) within the scope of your project.
This project is supported by four milestones, which will provide you opportunities to work toward the final project throughout the course and improve the quality of your final submission. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Two, Four, Six, and Seven. The final project will be submitted in Module Nine.
Please use the Final Project Template document to help you complete this assignment. The template is linked in your course; see the Module One Final Project Review.
These assessments will address the following course outcomes:
- Apply foundational theories of attention, learning, memory, language, and decision making to practical, contemporary problems
- Identify gaps in and propose improvements for practices in professional disciplines based on the strengths and limitations of human cognitive systems
- Assess foundational theories of cognitive psychology for their relevancy to real-world issues
- Interpret current research and statistical findings in cognitive psychology through the application of sound methodological principles
- Advocate for and defend the use of socially responsible strategies and techniques for improving upon human cognitive processes
Approach your proposal by first identifying an area of cognitive psychology to address within your proposal: attention, learning, memory, language, or decision making. Then select an applied setting to connect with your selected area of cognitive psychology: education, law, mental health, or technology. You will focus on a contemporary problem that pertains to your selected area of cognitive psychology and your selected applied setting. For example, suppose that you selected “attention” as your area of cognitive psychology and “education” as your selected applied setting. Based on those selections, you will now have to identify a relevant contemporary problem. As an example, with the growth of online education, consider online students, the different factors competing for attention given the nature of the educational environment, and potential impact on success.
After you have identified your area of cognitive psychology, applied setting, and contemporary problem, you will select at least two relevant foundational theories within your selected area of cognitive psychology, keeping in mind your selected applied setting and contemporary problem. For example, in relation to attention, you may be interested in exploring Treisman’s attenuation theory, which posits that information not being attended to “consciously” is still being processed. However, the information being attended to is being processed at a deeper level than the unattended information. Based on your review of related research, you will be required to formulate a research question that addresses potential improvements to practices in your selected applied setting based on the strengths of human cognitive systems. Lastly, you will devise an appropriate solution that will offer socially responsible strategies and techniques to address the problem.
The examples below can help provide further direction for your proposal. Keep in mind that you must identify a key topic or area of cognitive psychology, as well as an applied setting (education, law, mental health, or technology) in your proposal. In your proposal, you may briefly address secondary applied settings, as well:
Topic and Proposal Examples
Area of cognitive psychology: Attention
Applied setting: Education (with potential secondary applications in technology)
Example: A study that investigates online students, the factors competing for attention, and the impacts on educational success, and draws conclusions about the resulting societal implications for improving upon these human cognitive processes
Area of cognitive psychology: Memory (processes and disorders)
Applied setting: Mental health (with potential secondary applications in education)
Example: A mental health program designed to help the elderly improve memory and prevent memory loss due to Alzheimer’s and/or dementia
Area of cognitive psychology: Decision making
Applied setting: Law
Example: A study that investigates decision-making processes of jurors in court cases
Topic Selection Resources
The following sites offer topics and news feeds on a variety of issues related to various areas of psychology.
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed in your proposal, in the following order:
- Problem Statement
- Describe the contemporary problem that is the focus of your proposal with full details with respect to your selected applied setting.
- Identify your selected area of cognitive psychology (attention, learning, memory, language, or decision making) and appropriate foundational theories that apply to your selected problem.
- Describe performance issues in your selected applied setting based on limitations of human cognitive systems.
- Create a research question that addresses potential improvements to practices in the applied setting based on the strengths of human cognitive systems. Remember that your research question should address your contemporary problem.
- Contemporary Relevance
- Evaluate the utility of the theories you identified when describing your problem with respect to their strengths and limitations.
- Which particular theory offers the greatest utility for practitioners to apply in addressing real-world issues specific to the contemporary problem you selected? Defend your selection.
- Interpretation of Research Findings: Explain how each primary or secondary resource you selected supports your research question. This is where you will apply sound methodological principles (by following the prompts below, a–b) to qualify the research results and statistical findings.
- How do the research results and statistical findings apply to your research question?*
- Explain the strengths and limitations of the research results and findings in supporting the research question. This is where you will explain how the research results and findings you have reviewed support your research question and specific gaps. In other words, in reviewing your sources, is there sufficient support for this research question? This is also where you would identify what research does not yet exist that is necessary in supporting the application of your research question.*
- Methodological Principles: This is where you will look at your research question (critical element I, part d) and determine what types of strategies or techniques you would use if you were to hypothesize improving upon the problem in your selected applied setting. Remember, this is not limited to a controlled experiment.
- What socially responsible strategies and techniques could be used for improving upon human cognitive processes specific to your applied setting?
- What are the implications for using these strategies and techniques?
- What potential future direction do you see from implementation of your research specific to addressing the contemporary problem you cited in critical element I, part a?
*Click here to access a list of approved publications, which has been provided to illustrate the standards of quality expected in the types of resources necessary in supporting this proposal.
Milestone One: Topic and Setting Submission
In Module Two, you will draft a topic suggestion by identifying your particular area of interest in cognitive psychology (attention, learning, memory, language, or decision making), select an applied setting (education, law, mental health, or technology), and describe the contemporary problem as it relates to your topic and setting. Last, draft three potential research questions that explore potential improvements related to your topic and the applied setting. This milestone will be graded using the Milestone One Rubric.
Milestone Two: Annotated Bibliography
In Module Four, you will work from the topic, applied setting, and research questions you identified in Milestone One and start identifying relevant research to support your final proposal. You will complete an annotated bibliography featuring a minimum of four research articles. In your bibliography, you will reflect on how the research applies to your topic, explore strengths and limitations of the research, and propose ways to expand on the research. This milestone will be graded using the Milestone Two Rubric.
Milestone Three: Rough Draft of Final Proposal
In Module Six, you will submit a rough draft of your proposal and post the draft to the Module Seven discussion topic to be reviewed by one of your peers. The draft will include all the required elements of your final proposal and incorporate any relevant instructor feedback you received on Milestones One and Two. This draft submission represents an opportunity to receive targeted instructor feedback that you can use to improve your final proposal. This milestone will be graded using the Milestone Three Rubric.
Milestone Four: Peer Review of Rough Draft
In Module Seven, you will review a rough draft completed by one of your peers and provide feedback related to current strengths of the proposal, potential areas of clarification, and remaining questions. You will also respond to feedback that one of your peers provided on your own rough draft. This milestone will be graded using the Milestone Four Rubric.
Final Submission: Project Proposal
In Module Nine, you will submit your final project, a proposal exploring how you would address a contemporary problem of cognitive psychology within a specific setting. Throughout the course, you have had multiple opportunities to work on elements of this proposal and to fine-tune your thinking on your chosen topic. Your finalized proposal should incorporate feedback you have received from your instructor as well as your peers. This submission will be graded with the Final Project Rubric.
What to Submit
Written components of the proposal must follow these formatting guidelines when applicable: double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and APA citations. Your proposal should be approximately 8–10 pages, not including cover page and references, and use preapproved resources. (The submission should include a variety of research and findings from at least three of the provided publications. Click here to access the list of approved publications.)
Final Project Rubric
CriteriaExemplary (100%)Proficient (90%)Needs Improvement (70%)Not Evident (0%)ValueProblem Statement: Contemporary ProblemMeets “Proficient” criteria, and the details are well qualified with examples specific to the applied settingDescribes a contemporary problem in full detail with respect to the applied settingDescribes the contemporary problem, but with gaps in detail with respect to the applied settingDoes not describe a contemporary problem in any detail with respect to the applied setting9Problem Statement: Selected AreaMeets “Proficient” criteria with examples from real-world situationsExplains aspects of foundational theories, fully connecting them to selected problemExplains aspects of foundational theories, but with gaps in connecting them to selected problemDoes not explain aspects of foundational theories9Problem Statement: Performance Issues and LimitationsMeets “Proficient” criteria and is well qualified with examples from selected applied settingIdentifies performance issues in the selected fields (education, law, mental health, or technology), demonstrating clear connection to the limitations of human cognitive systemsIdentifies performance issues in the selected applied setting (education, law, mental health, or technology), but connections to the limitations of human cognitive systems are unclearDoes not identify performance issues in the selected applied setting (education, law, mental health, or technology)9Problem Statement: Potential ImprovementsMeets “Proficient” criteria and is well qualified with examples from selected applied settingCreates research question that addresses potential improvements to practices in the applied setting based on the strengths of human cognitive systemsResearch question addresses potential improvements to practices in the applied setting, but connections to the strengths of human cognitive systems are unclearDoes not create research question that addresses potential improvements to practices in the applied setting9Contemporary Relevance: Utility of TheoriesMeets “Proficient” criteria, and contrast of theories is well qualified with real-world examplesEvaluate the utility of the foundational theories for practitioners with respect to their strengths and limitationsEvaluates the utility of the foundational theories for practitioners, but with gaps in addressing their strengths or limitationsDoes not evaluate the utility of the foundational theories9Contemporary Relevance: ApplyMeets “Proficient” criteria and is well qualified with examples in which the theory would not be applicable in real-world situationsSelects theory and defends with explanation on how particular theory offers the greatest utility for practitioners to apply specific to contemporary problem selectedSelects theory but is unclear on how selection offers the greatest utility for practitioners to apply in addressing real-world issues specific to contemporary problem selectedDoes not select particular theory for practitioners to apply in addressing real-world issues9Interpretation of Research: QuestionMeets “Proficient” criteria and is well qualified with examples in which aspects of the research and research findings would not be applicable to proposed improvementsExplains the research and research findings with regard to how they apply to proposed improvementsExplains the research and research findings, but does not connect to proposed improvementsDoes not explain how the research and research findings apply to proposed improvements9Interpretation of Research: SupportMeets “Proficient” criteria and substantiates with specific examples of scholarly researchExplains the strengths and limitations of the research results and findings in supporting the research questionExplains the research results and findings, but does not address strengths or limitationsDoes not explain the strengths and limitations of the research results and findings in supporting the research question9Methodological Principles: Strategies and TechniquesMeets “Proficient” criteria and substantiates strategies and techniques with scholarly researchRecommends appropriate, socially responsible strategies and techniques for improving human cognitive processes that are applicable to applied settingRecommends appropriate strategies and techniques for improving human cognitive processes, but with gaps in applicability to proposalDoes not make appropriate, socially responsible recommendations for strategies and techniques for improving human cognitive processes9Methodological Principles: ImplicationsMeets “Proficient” criteria, and the implications of the strategies and techniques are well qualified with examples specific to the applied settingExplains implications of the strategies and techniques in full detail with respect to the applied settingExplains implications of the strategies and techniques, but with gaps in detail with respect to the applied settingDoes not explain implications of the strategies and techniques with respect to the applied setting9ConclusionMeets “Proficient” criteria and substantiates with scholarly researchExplains potential future direction from implementation of research specific to addressing the contemporary problem(s)Explains potential future direction from implementation of research, but with gaps in how it is specific to addressing the contemporary problem(s)Does not explain potential future direction from implementation of research study5Articulation of ResponseSubmission is free of errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, and organization and is presented in a professional and easy-to-read formatSubmission has no major errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organizationSubmission has major errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization that negatively impact readability and articulation of main ideasSubmission has critical errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization that prevent understanding of ideas5Total:100%
In this course, you will synthesize quality research so that you can use your findings to develop your own solutions to contemporary issues. Psychology Today and other such publications developed for the mass consumer market are NOT appropriate resources upon which to base the research that informs your solutions in these projects. Below is a list of quality resources that are critical to your ability to map cognitive psychology concepts and theories onto real-world situations. Your work should be informed by a variety of resources from at least three of these publications. Use these resources to identify current research (less than five years old) and statistical findings that will inform your interpretation of the foundational theories in this course.
Shapiro Library Resource Guide for Undergraduate and Graduate Psychology Students
You are not limited to the publications listed below for informing your work. For additional research, you may wish to use this guide provided as a main jumping- off point to source quality research. This guide organizes and provides psychology students and faculty links to the Shapiro Library resources available in this field of study.
Association for Psychological Science
The Association for Psychological Science (previously the American Psychological Society) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of scientific psychology and its representation at the national and international level.
This journal offers articles that focus on new theoretical advances in the study of attention, memory, language processing, perception, problem solving, and thinking.
This multidisciplinary journal brings together researchers from a variety of fields including but not limited to psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, and education, which will be valuable as you seek to apply your solutions in the fields of education and mental health.
Cognition, Technology & Work
This journal focuses on human interaction with technology in the context of work and working conditions, which will be valuable as you seek to apply your solutions in terms of interaction with technology in the workplace.
Law & Psychology Review
This journal combines the disciplines of law and psychology, which will be valuable as you seek apply your solutions specific to issues of law.
Memory & Cognition
This journal covers topics including but not limited to human memory and learning, conceptual processes, and problem solving.
This journal offers the latest findings in cognitive, social, developmental, and health psychology, as well as behavioral neuroscience and biopsychology.
Trends in Cognitive Sciences
This journal provides a topic for research in cognitive science, which brings together the fields of psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, philosophy, and neuroscience, among others.
Topics in Cognitive Science
This journal offers topics specific to cognitive science.
Final Project: 6-2 Final Project Milestone three: Rough Draft of Final Proposal
Department of Psychology
PSY-540-X5265 Cognitive Processes
August 13, 2023
There are several contemporary problems associated with decision making in mental health. A few key issues.
Lack of access to care: Many individuals face barriers in accessing mental health services, including long wait times, limited availability of specialist, and financial constraints. This can delay decision making and access to timely treatment .
Stigma and discrimination is also a contemporary problem when it comes to decision making in mental health. Mental health conditions carry significant stigma, leading to reluctance to seek help and decision making about treatment. Lastly, I would like to mention that cultural and diversity considerations impact decision making in mental health as well . Decision making in mental health must take into account the cultural and diversity factors. Different cultural beliefs, values, and practices can impact treatment choices.
Addressing these contemporary problems require concerted efforts to improve access to mental health services, prioritize informed consent and promote shared decision-making. Decision making is a complex and dynamic social interaction 1 . The balance of involvement between clinician and patient can be conceptualized as lying on a continuum from clinician-led/passive/paternalistic, through shared, to patient-led/informed/active 2 . Clinician-led decision making occurs when the clinician makes the decision for the patient, possibly after consulting with him/her.
Decision making in mental health remains highly relevant in contemporary times. As our understanding of mental health continues to evolve, making informed decisions about treatment options, therapy approaches, medication, and lifestyle changes becomes crucial. With the growing emphasis on patient-centered care, involving individuals in decisions about their own mental health empowers them to take an active role in their recovery journey. Additionally, ethical considerations surrounding consent, privacy, and autonomy highlight the ongoing importance of thoughtful decision making in the field of mental health. Contemporary relevance in decision making in mental health also refers to the application of current knowledge, research, and practices to guide choices related to mental health treatment, interventions, and policies. It emphasizes using up-to-date information and insights from fields such as psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, and social work to make informed decisions that promote the well-being of individuals dealing with mental health challenges. This approach ensures that decisions are aligned with the latest understanding of mental health conditions and their management, leading to more effective and evidence-based outcomes.
Interpretation of Research Findings
This article Shared decision making in mental health: prospects for personalized medicine
Focuses on the shared decision-making model, reviews its current status in the mental health field, and discusses its potential impact on personalized medicine. Shared decision making denotes a structured process that encourages full participation by patient and provider. Current research shows that shared decision making can improve the participation of mental health patients and the quality of decisions in terms of knowledge and values. The impact of shared decision making on adherence, illness self-management, and health outcomes remains to be studied. Implementing shared decision making broadly will require re-engineering the flow of clinical care in routine practice settings and much greater use of information technology Similar changes will be needed to combine genomic and other biological data with patients' values and preferences and with clinicians' expertise. The future of personalized medicine is dearly linked with our ability to create the infrastructure and cultural receptivity to these changes.” Patients' decisions impact behaviors, such as treatment initiation and continuance, which in turn can influence individual and aggregate level clinical health status and health system outcomes.”
This article Integrating Decision Making and Mental Health Interventions Research: Research Directions discusses the importance of incorporating patient and provider decision-making processes is in the forefront of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) agenda for improving mental health interventions and services. Key concepts in patient decision making are highlighted within a simplified model of patient decision making that links patient-level/“micro” variables to services-level/“macro” variables via the decision-making process that is a target for interventions. The prospective agenda for incorporating decision-making concepts in mental health research includes improved measures for characterizing decision-making processes that are matched to study populations, complexity, and types of decision making; (b) testing decision aids in effectiveness research for diverse populations and clinical settings; and (c) improving the understanding and incorporation of preference concepts in enhanced intervention designs. “The importance of incorporating patient and provider decision-making processes in interventions research has come to the forefront of the National Institute of Mental Health ( NIMH, 1999) agenda for improving mental health interventions and services and is currently identified as a key research direction for the NIMH Primary Care Research program. Patients/healthcare users 1 are increasingly recognized as key decision makers in shared treatment decision making with healthcare providers, but relatively little research has been done in mental health regarding patient/provider treatment preferences and decision-making processes.
Methodological principles of decision making in mental health involve systematic approaches to assessing, diagnosing, and treating individuals with mental health issues. These principles often include evidence-based practices, cultural sensitivity, collaboration among professionals, patient-centered care, and ethical considerations. It's essential to consider each individual's unique needs and preferences while adhering to established guidelines and staying informed about the latest research in the field. here are a few examples of methodological principles of decision making in mental health: 1. Evidence-Based Practices: Clinicians use treatments and interventions that have been proven effective through rigorous scientific research. For example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is widely used for treating conditions like depression and anxiety due to its strong evidence base. 2. Cultural Sensitivity: Mental health professionals should consider cultural, ethnic, and social factors that might influence a person’s experience of mental health. Tailoring treatment plans to an individual’s cultural background is crucial for effective care. 3. Collaborative Approach: Decision making often involves collaboration between mental health professionals, patients, and sometimes their families. Open communication and shared decision-making empower the individual to play an active role in their treatment. 4. Patient-Centered Care: The focus is on the patient’s goals, preferences, and values. For example, a treatment plan might be adjusted to align with a patient’s personal life circumstances and aspirations. 5. Ethical Considerations: Mental health professionals adhere to ethical guidelines, ensuring confidentiality, informed consent, and respect for autonomy. This is especially important when making decisions about treatment options and sharing information. 6. Holistic Assessment: Decision making takes into account not only the individual’s mental health symptoms but also their physical health, social environment, and any coexisting conditions.
The conclusion about decision making in mental health is that it's a complex process influenced by various factors such as cognitive abilities, emotional state, social context, and personal values. It's important for individuals and healthcare professionals to collaborate, consider available information, and prioritize the well-being of the person when making decisions related to mental health treatments and interventions.
1. Ackermann R, Williams J. Rational treatment choices for non-major depressions in primary care. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2002;17:293–301. [ PMC free article] [ PubMed] [ Google Scholar]
[Note: To complete this template, replace the bracketed text with your own content. Remove this note before you submit your paper.]
Final Project: [Name of Project]
Department of Psychology
PSY-540-[Section Number] Cognitive Processes
Performance Issues and Limitations
Utility of Theories
Interpretation of Research Findings
Strategies and Techniques
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