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The purpose of this writing assignment is to assess your scientific thinking skills, in particular, your use of scientific skepticism.

1) Name and describe (in your own words) the Six Principles of Scientific Thinking (Lilienfeld, Chapter 1, pages 21-26), and state why you think it is important to use them when thinking about behavior.

2) Find three examples of claims made in newspapers, magazines, television, or the Internet that you think should be evaluated with a principle of scientific thinking.  Describe the source and the claim made for each example. (Note: each of your examples must highlight a different principle of scientific thinking.)

3) For each claim, cite and describe the principle that applies, and show how it applies.

4) This paper should be approximately 3-4 pages double spaced, 1 inch margins, with 12 point font. Please upload your work as a word document.

Rubric for Writing Assignment 1

Content Knowledge – The Six Principles

Above Proficient: All six priniciples are named and described clearly and correctly, in the student’s own words.10 points

Proficient: All six priniciples are named and described mostly correctly, and/or mostly in the student’s own words, and importance is explained mostly clearly.8.5 points

Below Proficient: Many errors in naming and/or describing the six principles, and/or mostly copying wording from text, and/or importance not explained clearly.7 points

10 points

Importance of Six Principles

Above Proficient: A compelling argument is made for the importance of the six principles.10 points

Proficient: Importance of the six principles is explained in a basic way.8.5 points

Below Proficient: Little or no explanation of the importance of the six principle is provided, or explanation is not relevant.7 points

10 points

Sources and Claims

Above Proficient: Appropriate examples are selected from media source, and sources and claims are described clearly and accurately.10 points

Proficient: Examples selected from media sources are mostly appropriate; sources and claims are described mostly accurately and clear with nor more than minor errors.8.5 points

Below Proficient: Significant problems with selection of some examples and/or description of some sources and claims.7 points

10 points

Relating claims to principles

Above Proficient: Application of principle to claims is clear, complete, and insightful.10 points

Proficient: Principles are identified and applied with no more than minor errors.8.5 points

Below Proficient Significant problems identification and selection of some principles.7 points

10 point


Above Proficient: Writing is clear and relevant, with no grammatical and/or spelling errors – polished and professional.10 points

Proficient: Most ideas are stated clearly and are related to the topic, with only minor grammatical and/or spelling errors.8.5 points

Below Proficient Many ideas require clarification and/or are off-topic or have marginal relevance to the assignment. Many grammatical and/or spelling errors throughout the paper.7 points

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