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56 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is the novel format that Mertens developed?
In each section of the letter, he asks the student to describe and evaluate his/her behavior related to the topic of that section.

In each section are behaviors that Mertens can respond to with his own observations and evaluation of the student's performance.
What does Mertens believe that this format permits?
The inclusion of more detailed information about the applicant, such as the student's:
-writing skills
-self-assessment approach
-behaviors selected as important by the student
-comparison between the student's self-evaluation and Mertens' view of the student's performance
What are the four things that Mertens proposed as the form for the letters?
1) Informal tone
2)Strengths and weaknesses
3) Length of letter
4) Outline of the letter
Informal tone
an informal tone is used throughout the letter, even in the student's descriptions
Strengths and weaknesses
Mertens tries to present the full range of the student's abilities.

He covers major strengths as well as some of the weaknesses.
Length of letter
The style of letter is longer than most, and may not appeal to some readers.

A summary is included in Section VI.
Outline of this letter
He and the student discuss and agree upon an outline
Melinda's outline
I. General Nature and Length of Contact with Mel
II. General Description of Relevant Courses Taken by X
III. Professional Development
IV. Strengths and Weaknesses
V. Activities She plans to accomplish before grad school
VI. Items that were specifically asked for on application form
VII. Summary
What are the 4 areas that psychology is traditionally broken down into?
1)possible major
2) an area for a career possibility
3) selected area for study in grad school
4) breakdown of the discipline in a general psych course
What has this type of breakdown become?
The traditional dogmatic/categoristic way of viewing psychology.
"When does a person become more human-like and less like his animal history?"
When he becomes less DOGmatic and CATegoristic.
What is an alternate way to look at this traditional dogmatic / categoristic breakdown in careers in psychology?
For a student to look forward to how he or she is going to approach the discipline of psychology, rather than what traditional area of psychology one hopes to go into.
What are the 5 differences that exist within psychology?
1) how objective someone is going to be in their job
2) how closely one is going to rid themselves of using nonobservable inferences in their explanations of behavior
3) how much one uses the better established principles of science in his or her look at human behavior
4) how many useless and harmful explanatory fictions are used in an effort to explain behavior
5) how much one is to avoid explanations of human behavior which are more mysterious than the Easter Bunny
What does scientific inquiry continue to show?
The complex role that environmental variables play in causing human behavior.
What is an unavoidable by-product of humans interacting with the environment?
Control of behavior
What is useful for someone considering career choices?
To look at how the principles of behavior control the behavior in the areas of interest.
What changes as one goes from one application of learned principles to another?
A change in setting.
What dominated the categorization in the traditional classifications of psychology?
The setting
How may one look at behavior control?
In terms of who controls the behavior of others, for what purpose, and which principles are used in control.
Every individual controls behavior in everyday life.
-An individual controls their own behavior (e.g. setting alarm clock will be a stimulus in the future)
-An individual controls the behavior of other people in his environment
Parents control the behavior of their children in many settings, which qualifies them as behavioral engineers.
-Parents teach their kids new behaviors and educate them
-Parents control social and economic aspects of the family and are involved in behavioral management for the purpose of effective individual function
Business and Industry
-Business involves controlling behavior of customers
-Businesses manage the behavior of their employees (e.g. training, supervisors)
Labor organizations
-control of "joining" the group
-control of management organizations
-management of employee behavior
Religious agencies
-getting people to join and provide economic and work support to the church
-function as educators
-set up guidelines and rules pertaining to the personal lives of their parishioners
-many involve behavioral control of clients/patients
Federal, state, and local governmental agencies
-control of governed individuals
-control of governing agencies and the public
Educational agencies
-concerned with pupil's acquisition of new behavior
-management of behavior
-large employers
What does Mertens require before considering to write a letter of recommendation?
A high number of quality contacts with the student:

-4 three semester hour classes, including at least
-1 independent student course (3 cr)
What results from this long term contact requirement?
A better evaluation of the student and a more useful letter of recommendation.
What is the success ratio students of students achieving the goal for which Mertens wrote a letter?
How have the readers of the letters reacted?

many find the more detailed format Mertens uses useful.
What is "safe to say" about Mertens?
He is fairly demanding in terms of quality and amount of daily work required in his courses and in personal contacts outside of class.
What is more probable if a student can handle the high demands?
That they will be able to handle the higher demands in grad school programs and/or work.
What do the usual recipients of his letters know?
That his recommendations are based on good criterion.
What is Mertens's reason for giving this handout to students?
In order to provide them with a better basis for judging if they will work for a letter from him.
What is the first independent study course that Mertens generally has students work on?
TA critical analysis
What is the objective of TA critical thinking?
To expose the student to a variety of areas related to critical thinking;

develop a critical analysis of the topics of teaching
What does TA expose the students to?
A critical analysis of many facets of life, from the more exciting development of topics of possible interest to the student.
What are some examples of topics that the TA experience allows a critical analysis of?
-daily life
-topics found in the traditional intro psychology text
-extraordinary claims
-hard look at traditional abstract concepts
How is a critical analysis of teaching accomplished?
By working with the instructor doing the things a teacher does and various other topics
What are some of the topics that the student and instructor can agree upon and work on?
-Achievement place model
-behavior analysis/principles
-careers in psychology
-Critical thinking/analysis
-Defense mechanism
-Emotions (a behavioral look)
-Equity issues
-GRE prep
-graduate school selection
-the psychology of magic
-Meaning (the meaning of meaning)
What are the means to learn?
The major means to accomplish the objectives of independent study is for the student to work to produce academic products.
What kind of products does Mertens try to get?
Those that can be used by other students, or that can be further developed by other students
What is an example of a product?
A paper, or working on developing an existing paper;

working on a set of questions in a given area
What are 7 means to work on topics that the student may do?
1) write questions on a reading
2) improving existing sets of materials, papers, etc
3) reading psychology related articles, and taking notes on the reading
4) library work
5) computer work
6) Work on demonstrations of various psychology related activities
7) Work on other agreed upon tasks
What are the mechanical aspects of developing a critical analysis of the area of teaching?
Accomplishing by doing;

having students help daily with teaching tasks (as much as is ethically possible)
How is the amount of work in the course measured?
In hours of quality work, because there are no tests.
How many hours a week are needed for an A?
6 hours a week, 3 on your own, and 3 separate hours of scheduled meeting times;

there are daily meeting times to hand in work and talk about tasks;

student gets credit for time to learn any skills needed to do the tasks
What are 7 reasons a student should do independent study courses or get similar "extra" learning experiences?
1) Learning
2) Credentials
3) Possible topics of interest
4) Opportunities for material for letter of recommendation
5) Mertens's letter of recommendation requirement
6) Learn the system -- help the system
7) GRE option
The general objective of independent study is to learn something (not read and test);

learn things as you read, or learnas you do
"Extra" course work or experiences can show graduate schools or a potential employer you care enough to do more than the minimum to get by;

you did activities to get a better repertoire
Possible topics of interest
possibly study topics that interest you
Opportunities for material for letter of recommendation
IS can provide an opportunity to give the instructor something to write about;

do something worthwhile for the writer to write about
Mertens's letter of recommendation requirement
Mertens requires that a student do an independent study before getting a letter of recommendation
Learn the system -- help the system
You can learn more about the system's mechanics
GRE (graduate record examination) option
Students can do their out of class work on trying to improve their GRE repertoire