Applied Psychology Project
This project provides the opportunity for you to begin developing skills needed by scientistpractitioners, which correspond to the learning objectives for this course (see syllabus):
“adopt a scientist-practitioner perspective to demonstrate basic skills: 1) synthesize
information from professional and research sources, 2) connect theoretical ideas to
the central goals of an organization, and 3) articulate ideas in a concise and
This project requires researching general information about a contemporary topic that affects real
organizations, reviewing scientific literature on related topics in a report, and disseminating
findings publicly, in some manner. The 5-10 page literature review paper should be written in
APA style / format
neral_format.html is my favorite resource about APA).Advocacy – Community-Based Learning (CBL)
For this assignment, you will find an organization that advocates for leadership opportunities in a
group you support (i.e., Cuban-Americans, women, working parents, LGBTQIA+, etc.). You
will identify your organization to me and conduct a literature review and write a letter to the
editor of this organization. I will give you an example below.
For instance, if you choose to write to an organization advocating for women at work, you could
do the following:
“Women at Work (www.womenatwork1.org) is a nonprofit organization that provides career
services for the greater Los Angeles area community, including both women and men. However,
their services target women of all ages who need vocational guidance, skills training, and
general assistance searching for open positions. More broadly, Women at Work also advocates
for practices and (political and social) policies that address problems facing women employees.
Browse their website and collect some background information (from the Internet, news stories,
or people’s anecdotes) about hiring or workplace issues affecting women in particular. Then,
examine the research literature to see if scientific information has been discovered about your
topic. Synthesize all of that information to develop a solid understanding of the issue and write a
letter-to-the-editor that could be used for advocacy on behalf of Women at Work.”
If you choose a different topic (i.e., parents at work), include the website for me please!
Conduct a literature search and locate at least 2 works about your topic from
professional/business sources and at least 3 works from the scientific literature. You are
not required to find a certain number of empirical pieces, but such pieces – when relevant
– may be the most helpful for writing a persuasive letter-to-the-editor (later).
Try to find works that are most relevant to your topic; it will be obvious if you only select
the works that are easiest to access (e.g., to download as .PDFs). You should also
reference any relevant material from this course, in addition to the sources from your
literature search. However, your grade will depend more on how well you review and
incorporate works, rather than the number you use.
In your literature review, synthesize the professional and scientific literature to provide
an “actionable” conclusion. Some of you may find that the literature helps us to
understand the problem better, without offering a solution. In this case, papers may
highlight aspects of the issue that organizations need to consider. Others may be able to
recommend a specific solution/practice/policy for organizations to implement, based on
their review. Either is fine, but all papers should provide a conclusion that allows
organizations to manage the issue better, after reading the paper.
Dissemination of information:Write a fully-formatted draft of a “letter to the editor” for a (respectable) public forum of
your choosing. City, regional, or national newspapers and some magazines will likely be
acceptable sources. Some blogs may also be acceptable. If you are unsure about the
source being acceptable, check with the instructor. In all cases, the source should be
something that might actually publish your work, meaning that your topic seems suitable
for the forum.
Once you have selected a suitable forum, find past letters to use as examples for
modeling your own letter. Use your literature review and reasoning to craft a persuasive,
but scientifically-sound letter. Submit your letter to the instructor, who will then pass it
on to the director of Women at Work.
Very generic information about writing a “letter to the editor” can be found online and
some will be posted to Moodle. Yet, each source varies and may require a particular style
of writing and tone.
Submit literature review write-up by 10/4
Submit your letter-to-the-editor by 10/4
Grading: 25 points
30 points for the literature review
10 points pass/fail for the letter to the editor fitting with the forum selected, being
consistent with the literature reviewed, and being proofread
12.5 points 10 points 7.5 points 5 points
Grammar No grammatical
Illegible due to
APA Citations Accurately
format with few
Meets 5 page
turns in all
Does not meet
but still turns in
Relevance Chooses a
relevant to I/O
relevant to I/O
relevant to I/O
psychologypsychology psychology psychology, but
Tips on Writing a Literature Review
you would see in a journal article. Start broad and explain the general topic of the paper
and why it is important to organizations/employees.
around topics or concepts. A specific study or author is not as important as the theories
and empirical findings that come out of research. Thus, avoid introducing each article and
summarizing it mechanically, such as:
“Jager (1986) collected data from 221 college students. He found that…”
review into sub-sections around different topics. That is fine.
To make a general reference, you might simply state a principle or finding and cite the
work in parentheses. When a study had direct relevance to your main topic, you should
provide more detail.
when describing an empirical work in depth (refer to APA journal articles for examples).
Describe the main purpose of the study or theory underlying its predictions, in 1 or 2
sentences. Briefly describe the sample and procedure – in just 1 or 2 sentences, unless
something bizarre must also be noted. Then, summarize the results and provide an
interpretation about how they are relevant to your points. If the study has a notable
limitation (that the authors acknowledge OR that you identify by yourself), address that
in 1 or 2 sentences. If the study has major flaws, you might address those in a 2nd
paragraph. (For instance, you might review a famous study used to support an opposing
point and summarize it accurately, but then follow that paragraph with another one
pointing out why the study is invalid.)
often reduces clarity and makes points seem less connected.
report.” Instead, summarize the literature as objectively as you can, but use it to support
your own points/thesis as they relate to organizational practices / concerns.
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