PS 212 Exercise Psychology Behavior Change Paper (50 points)
This assignment supports the following course learning objectives:
✓ Understand contemporary exercise psychology theories.
✓ Become acquainted with research design, methodology, and analytical techniques appropriate to exercise psychology.
✓ Read, synthesize, and critique existing scientific literature and to discuss the status and ramifications for future research related to exercise psychology.
✓ Examine interventions and strategies for improving exercise adherence and promoting healthy behaviors.
✓ Improve written and communication skills.
✓ Be encouraged to pursue exercise as a lifelong activity.
You will write a 5 to 10 page paper discussing your behavior change experience. Key components are below. Please note that this list does not necessarily represent the order of your paper. For example, your behavior change theory can be included towards the beginning of your paper or integrated throughout your narrative. Organize your paper in a way that makes sense to you.
• Introduction (3 pts.)
o Provide the context: identify your specific behavior change and the reasons for pursuing this behavior change.
o Generally, it is recommended that you conclude your introduction with an overview of what you will discuss in your paper (akin to a thesis statement)
• Strategies Implemented (5 pts.)
o What strategies did you use or attempt to use? Be as specific as possible.
o Why did you use these strategies? Were they based on research? Past experience? Advice from peers?
• Barriers to Behavior Change (5 pts.)
o Discuss the barriers, barriers, and/or difficulties that you encountered (both major and minor). Be as specific as possible.
• Assessment of Desired Outcomes (10 pts.)
o All in all, was this a success? Why or why not?
o Identify areas that you did well and areas where you could have done better.
o If you could do it again, what strategies would you try or what would you do differently? (This would be a good place to incorporate peer-reviewed research and/or information from class that you may not have known prior to attempting your behavior change.)
• Behavior Change Theory(ies) (5 pts.)
o Utilize at least one behavior change theory from the textbook, and apply it to your experience. This can be done in one paragraph, or integrated throughout the paper. You will decide what best suits the organization of your paper.
o You only need to spend approximately three to five sentences summarizing your theory. Focus more on the application than the description of the theory.
• Conclusion (2 pts.)
o Include a brief summary of your main take-away points and any personal reflections that were not included elsewhere.
• Scholarly Resources (10 pts.)
o At a bare minimum, you must include AT LEAST THREE peer-reviewed research articles.
o Scholarly books and literature reviews may be used, but at least three must be research articles (i.e., actual scientific studies). Research articles typically follow the traditional introduction/method/results/discussion format.
o Popular sources should not be used to support your main ideas.
o These could be used to support any section of the paper; though, they probably would not be used much in the introduction or conclusion.
o These sources should be integrated (not just dumped) into the paper.
• Spelling/Grammar/Organization/APA Formatting (10 pts.)
o Writing matters! Do not neglect this part of the assignment!
o Since you are talking about your experience, it is acceptable to write in the first person.
o You may use the 6th or 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual, but pick one or the other, and apply it consistently throughout your paper.
o Include a title page that adheres to APA guidelines.
▪ There is a great library handout near the library front desk that concisely explains how to format the running head and page numbers in APA format. If using the 6th edition, I highly recommend you seek this out. If using the 7th edition, a running head is not needed.
o An abstract is not required.
o Use APA-formatted headings (and sub-heading if necessary) to assist with organization.
o Try to avoid directly quoting unless absolutely necessary. Paraphrasing in conjunction with citing is a better approach.
o Be sure to include a references section with any sources that are cited in your paper. Do not just copy and paste references from Ebsco, Google Scholar, etc.! These databases often provide references with APA errors!
o See the APA and Busse Library Resources module on Brightspace for other recommendations and guidelines.
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