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Development of your life | Psychology homework help

You must complete ONE of four types of semester projects: (a) a guided biographical study of an older person; (b) autobiographical projected course of life; or (c) you record a podcast episode on a topic related to the psychology of aging. Guidelines for each type of term project are described below. The semester project is worth up to 30 points and 30% of your final grade.
Semester projects must include a component that addresses the academic perspective of the
psychology of aging.
All writing assignments must be written in Times New Roman, 12 pt., with standard margins of 1-inch all around. A cover page is not necessary, but your NAME, DATE, CLASS and ASSIGNMENT TITLE/ NUMBER should be clearly identifiable. All papers must be DOUBLE SPACED and TYPEWRITTEN; no handwritten assignments will be accepted. All references must be cited according to APA standards. For more information on APA Style please visit: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
I. Guided Biographical Study of an Older Person (8-10 pages in length)
A biography is the personal history of an individual life written by another person. A guided biography is one that reconstructs the past and integrates it with the present using thematic outlines or topics. Several major themes have been identified as significant in the fabric of developing and maturing lives: family, career, health, sex role development, experiences with death, and others. There are many uses of guided biography. For this course we are using guided biography as a way of learning from an older person about the psychology of adult development and aging. We are not using guided biography as a research technique or as a clinical intervention. (For example: Exceeding Expectations: One Year. One City. 20 Lives, you can also look at Carstensen, L. L. (2011). A long bright future. New York, NY: Broadway books for ideas.)
Below are a number of suggested topics or themes that you may want to touch on in conducting your guided biography of some person 55 years or older:
If you think about your life as a tree, what have been the major branching points in the way your life has developed?
What is your family history?
Describe the history of your principal career (work or homemaker).
What roles have finances and education played in your life?
What is your health history?
How would you describe the history of your self-development (e.g., sex role identity)?
What experiences have you had with death, and how have they affected how you live your life?
What is the history of your loves and hates?
Describe the development of your life in terms of meanings, values, ethics and goals.
What regrets do you have, if any, about how you have led your life?
Have you developed a philosophy of aging and/or of life that you feel helps you when times get difficult for you?
What advice would you give to future generations of people to help them age “successfully?”
Would you like to make any final comments about how your life has unfolded or about your participation in this guided biographical course exercise?
Selection of Person
You may choose to do this exercise with any person of your choice (age 55+). Be sure that you
inform him/her of the circumstances under which you are conducting the guided biography. Try
to pick a person who you think will help you to learn a lot about the psychology of adult development and aging.
Gathering Data for the Guided Biography
Data should be collected using a set of probes. Do not try to collect all of the data in one interview.
(Explain at the beginning that several interviews will take place.) Let the person do most of the
talking. Be alert to spontaneous opportunities to alter your pre-established set of probes. Ask the
person if he/she would mind if you recorded the conversation. If they don’t want to be recorded use only a notebook to take notes; if they don’t mind, then record the conversations using either zoom, a digital recorder, or your phone and in addition to taking notes on paper.
If you sense that the person is getting uncomfortable with the interview, ask him/her if he/she
wants to stop. If his/her uneasiness continues, then stop. If the person tries to engage you in a
quasi-therapeutic dialogue, remind him/her that the purpose of the exercise is education and that you are not trained as a clinical psychologist.
Write Up
Present your write-up in the following format:
the circumstances under which you know this person and why you chose him or her.
overview of the person’s current life situation.
biographical sketch of the individual’s history from childhood to the present.
themes, values, and special topics.
interweavings: exploration of one or more aspects of this person’s life with the academic treatment of the psychology of aging (Note: this section is very important);
what you learned from this exercise that you intend to think about in terms of your adult developing and aging.
Guided biographies are graded based on interweavings, which involve discussing how the themes,
values, and special topics pertaining to the person interviewed intersect with the academic
treatment of the psychology of aging.
II. Autobiographical Projected Course of Life (8-10 pages in length)
Describe the projected course of the rest of your life, up to (and including) your death.
Cover three domains: health, psychology (personality, cognitive and/or emotional) and social roles.
Include a “curve ball” (something unexpected that changes the course of your life).


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