PSYC 200 - Lifespan Psychology
Biography/Autobiography Analysis (100 points)
Due:  Dec. 8, 2010

Select one of the biographies/autobiographies from the list below within the first two weeks of the quarter.  Begin reading the book right away, reflecting on the relevance of topics from class and the text; be prepared to meet with others reading the same book to discuss application of concepts from lifespan development. 

Begin writing responses to the questions below early in the quarter so that you have enough time to reflect on, play around with and critically examine the developmental process of the individual you are reading about.  Your final product will be word processed, 12 point font and double spaced.  Be sure to include the full citation of the book you read as well as page citations within your answers.  Use your own words for definitions of concepts.

1.  Use one of the following theories to explain the subject's development: learning theories, social role theory, cognitive developmental theory, or systems theory.  Use at least four concepts from the theory to explain your answer and give specific examples from the person's life illustrating the concepts in operation.  Be sure to cite page numbers for your examples.

2.  Briefly define cultural theory and then identify 3-5 ways in which the individual's culture influenced her/his development.  Consider both the person's primary cultural identity as well as the influence of mainstream or dominant culture.  Be sure to cite page numbers for your examples.

3.  Choose any developmental stage and discuss the subject's accomplishment of or challenges with at least two developmental tasks of that stage.  For example, what elements in their radius of significant relationships supported them or interfered?  What experiences or circumstances supported them or interfered?  Be sure to cite page numbers for examples.

4.  Consider the coping behaviors, both prime adaptive ego quality and core pathology, of this individual.  Define 3-5 of these that you think the individual you read about demonstrated.  Give examples for each and be sure to cite page numbers for examples.

Grading Matrix

Element Description of full credit work
Accuracy and understanding of concepts (40%) All terms are defined and applied accurately; student makes distinctions between concepts; explanations are specific and meaning is clear.
Thoroughness and thoughtfulness (40%) Student has responded to each part of the question and gives adequate explanations; student includes the required number of examples; writing demonstrates that student has reflected on material; examples are cited.
Mechanics (20%) Spelling, grammar and punctuation are near-perfect; paper is neat and well organized.