First, find a piece of “popular psychology” advice. This might be in a magazine,
First, find a piece of “popular psychology” advice. This might be in a magazine, an advice column, a self-help book, or on a blog (e.g. “Here’s how to attract the right man,” or “To relieve stress, try daily meditation.”) Attach this to your assignment (or paste in a weblink, if applicable).
Next, write about how you would approach this pop psychology advice from what you know so far about the academic discipline of psychology. How would you turn the advice into a testable hypothesis? How would you design a study—be sure to describe the essentials, including control and experimental groups, as well as the dependent and independent variables. Would it be possible to use surveys or case studies for your (hypothetical) research? What would the benefits and disadvantages of the experimental, case study, and survey approaches be? Be sure to address all of these questions in your journal.
Finally, consider your reaction to the process of analyzing pop psychology. What is it like for you to shift from reading advice as a “regular” reader to reading as a critically thinking psychologist?