While most OWL resources recommend a longer writing process (start early, revise often, conduct thorough research, etc.), sometimes you just have to write quickly in test situations. However, these exam essays can be no less important pieces of writing than research papers because they can influence final grades for courses, and/or they can mean the difference between getting into an academic program (GED, SAT, GRE). To that end, this resource will help you prepare and write essays for exams.
Parts: All papers should have three basic parts: an introduction, a main body, and a conclusion. The is the key to letting your reader know where you are headed and what you will accomplish. Remember always that while the organization of your paper may be clear to you, it is not clear to your reader. Therefore, the introduction is something like a road map that acquaints the reader with the journey ahead. This will make it easier for the reader to understand what follows and will improve the reader's evaluation of your work. Tell the reader in concise terms (1) what the subject of the paper is, (2) what it is that you hope to find out, and (3) how you will go about it.
Luengo, M. A., Carrillo de la Pena, M. T., Otero, J. M., Romero, E. (1994). A short term longitudinal study of impulsivity and antisocial behavior. (3), 542-548. doi:10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2062 Analyzes the relationships between impulsivity and antisocial behavior in a noninstitutionalized sample, taking into account the multidimensional nature of impulsivity and the diversity of types of antisocial behavior. Data were obtained in 1989 and 1990 from 1,226 adolescents aged 12-18 yrs as part of a longitudinal study of risk factors for drug abuse and delinquency. The patterns of stability or change of the various dimensions of antisocial behavior (rule breaking, vandalism, theft, aggression, and drug taking) in relation to impulsivity were investigated. The results support that self-report measures of impulsivity are closely correlated with antisocial behavior among adolescents. The longitudinally-oriented analysis of this work also shows that impulsivity is associated with a future increase in antisocial behavior.
Livesley, W. J. (2007). A framework for integrating dimensional and categorical classifications of personality disorder. (2), 199-224. doi: 10.1521/pedi.2007.21.2.199 Although empirical evidence strongly supports a dimensional representation of personality disorder, there is strong resistance to dimensional classification due in part to concerns about clinical utility. Acceptance of an evidence-based dimensional classification would be facilitated by information on how such a system would map onto existing diagnoses. With this objective in mind, an integrated framework is proposed that combines categorical and dimensional diagnoses. A two-component classification is adopted that distinguishes between the diagnosis of general personality disorder and the assessment of individual differences in the form the disorder takes. Then, the DSM definition of personality disorders is extended by defining individual disorders as categories of trait dimensions. This makes it possible to develop an integrated classification organized around a set of empirically derived primary traits. Assessments of these traits may then be combined to generate categorical and dimensional diagnoses. It is argued that this approach would introduce an etiological perspective into the classification of personality disorder and improve categorical classification by providing an explicit definition of each diagnosis. The clinical utility of incorporating a dimensional classification is discussed in terms of convenience and acceptability, value in predicting outcomes and treatment planning, and usefulness in organizing and selecting interventions.
Liddle, P. F., & Wilson, P. (2001). London: RCPsych Publications. Modern neuroscience has provided us with a foundation for understanding mental disorders in terms of brain dysfunction. Imaging techniques, such as PET and fMRI, have demonstrated graphically the correspondence between patterns of brain activity and patterns of mental activity. This book draws on evidence from neuroimaging studies, together with evidence from the fields of neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, electrophysiology, neurochemistry and pharmacology, to generate a coherent and plausible account of cerebral processes by which mental symptoms are generated. It is intended for psychiatrists and psychologists with an interest in the origins of the symptoms they observe and treat, as well as for neuroscience students and researchers interested in the relationship between findings from the laboratory and the mental disorders that occur in clinical practice. Indeed it is intended for anyone with a serious interest in how the mind works, and in how mental disorders arise.
Verplaetse, J., Schrijver, J. de, Vanneste, S., & Braeckman J. (Eds.). (2009). New York: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4020-6287-2 Scientists no longer accept the existence of a distinct moral organ as phrenologists once did. A generation of young neurologists is using advanced technological medical equipment to unravel specific brain processes enabling moral cognition. In addition, evolutionary psychologists have formulated hypotheses about the origins and nature of our moral architecture. Little by little, the concept of a 'moral brain' is reinstated. As the crossover between disciplines focusing on moral cognition was rather limited up to now, this book aims at filling the gap. Which evolutionary biological hypotheses provide a useful framework for starting new neurological research? How can brain imaging be used to corroborate hypotheses concerning the evolutionary background of our species? In this reader, a broad range of prominent scientists and philosophers shed their expert view on the current accomplishments and future challenges in the field of moral cognition and assess how cooperation between neurology and evolutionary psychology can boost research into the field of the moral brain
Blair, R. J. R. (1995). A cognitive developmental approach to morality: investigating the psychopath. (1), 1-29. doi:10.1016/0010-0277(95)00676-P Various social animal species have been noted to inhibit aggressive attacks when a conspecific displays submission cues. Blair (1993) has suggested that humans possess a functionally similar mechanism which mediates the suppression of aggression in the context of distress cues. He has suggested that this mechanism is a prerequisite for the development of the moral/conventional distinction; the consistently observed distinction in subject's judgments between moral and conventional transgressions. Psychopaths may lack this violence inhibitor. A causal model is developed showing how the lack of this mechanism would explain the core behavioural symptoms associated with the psychopathic disorder. A prediction of such a causal model would be that psychopaths should fail to make the moral/conventional distinction. This prediction was confirmed. The implication of this finding for other theories of morality is discussed. . . . This study revealed: first, and in line with predictions, that while the non-psychopaths made the moral/conventional distinction, the psychopaths did not; secondly, and in contrast with predictions, that psychopaths treated conventional transgressions like moral transgressions rather than treating moral transgressions like conventional transgressions; and thirdly, and in line with predictions, that psychopaths were much less likely to justify their items with reference to victim's welfare.
Blonigen, D. M., Carlson, S. R., Kruegar, R. F., & Patrick, C. J. (2003). A twin study report of self-reported psychopathic personality traits. (1), 179-197. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(02)00184-8 Previous twin studies attempting to assess the origins of psychopathic personality traits have mainly focused on an overt behavioral conceptualization of the syndrome as defined by a history of chronic antisocial behaviors. This investigation instead focused on a personality-based approach which emphasizes maladaptive personality traits as central to the syndrome. Psychopathic traits were indexed by the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI), a self-report measure designed to assess the personality domain of the disorder. Biometric parameters obtained from the responses of 353 male twins from the Minnesota Twin Registry revealed significant genetic influences, largely non-additive in nature. Although preliminary due to the modest sample size, the findings encourage a larger scale investigation with greater statistical power to evaluate competing models of genetic influence. . . . One group of scholars view psychopathy primarily from a personality-based approach (e.g. Hare, 1970; Lilienfeld, 1994; Lilienfeld & Andrews, 1996; Lykken 1995; McCord & McCord, 1964). This is exemplified by Cleckley's classic clinical description of psychopathy as a constellation of deviant personality traits. Other scholars, however, (e.g. Cloninger, 1978; Spitzer, Endicott, & Robins, 197 conceptualize psychopathy as a behavioral syndrome that should instead be operationalized in terms of a history of chronic antisocial behaviors. Such behavioral, categorical conceptualizations continue to dominate the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. . . . The objective of this investigation was to evaluate genetic and environmental contributions to psychopathy defined in terms of a personality construct. . . . Epistasis involves an interaction between genes across multiple loci as they contribute to a specific phenotype. Emergenesis (Lykken, 1982b; Lykken et al., 1992), on the other hand, refers to a situation in which several heritable traits combine in a configural, rather than additive, manner. Complex traits are considered emergenic if they reflect a non-additive aggregation of basic, metrical traits that are themselves genetically determined independently from one another. . . . Emergenic traits do not run in families. However, they are evident in studies of twins, since MZ pairs share the exact same genetic configuration. . . . Correlations from this investigation suggests a non-additive genetic influence, such as that observed in some previous research with twins on configural phenotypes.
Hare, R. D. (1980). A research scale for the assessment of psychopathy in criminal populations.(2), 111-119. doi:10.1016/0191-8869(80)90028-8 This paper describes an early phase in the development of new research scale for the assessment of psychopathy in criminal populations. The scale is meant to be a sort of operational definition of the procedures that go into making global ratings of psychopathy. While the interrater reliability of these ratings is very high ( > 0.85) they are difficult to make, require a considerable amount of experience, and the procedures involved are not easily communicated to other investigators. Following a series of analyses, 22 items were chosen as representative of the type of information used in making global ratings. Two investigators then used interview and case-history data to complete the 22-item checklist for 143 male prison inmates. The correlation between the two sets of total checklist scores was 0.93 and coefficient alpha was 0.88, indicating a very high degree of scale reliability. The correlation between the total checklist scores and global ratings of psychopathy was 0.83. A series of multivariate analyses explored the factorial structure of the scale and demonstrated its ability to discriminate very accurately between inmates with high and low ratings of psychopathy. Preliminary indications are that the checklist will hold up well to crossvalidation. . . . The Cleckley criteria can be reduced to five factors: (1) an inability to develop warm, genuine relationships with others, a lack of empathy and a callous disregard for the rights and feelings of others; (2) an unstable, transient lifestyle, with an absence of long-term commitments or plans; (3) a general inability to accept responsibility for persistent antisocial behavior; (4) an absence of clinically significant intellectual and psychiatric problems; (5) and the presence of weak or unstable behavioral controls (Hare 1980). . . . Presents Hare's Original 22 item Psychopathy Checklist (PCL)