HISTORY & SYSTEMS
The following written assignment is intended to help you think about the process of accumulating knowledge in our field and the relationship between psychology and other disciplines. The assignment involves the following steps:
1. Watch the film “Footnote”
2. Think about the questions below in relation to the characters in the film and the context in which they worked
3. Write a paper answering the questions below
Be concise, specific, and to the point. There is no need to write more than is necessary to answer each question but your answers should generally be longer than a single paragraph and should involve serious thought. You should use the textbook, the internet (e.g., Wikipedia and other sources) and the relevant psychology databases (PsychInfo) and other textbooks to find out the information you need to respond to the questions.
There is a correct answer to Question 1, but not to any of the other questions. For those, your grade will be based upon how much thought you put into your answers to the questions about the film and textbook, and how well you express your ideas and support your assertions with argument and evidence. It will be helpful if you think about the characters in the film in psychological terms and think about the motives and context in which their behavior occurs.
Format is as follows: (1) double space throughout; (2) number each question but do not repeat the question itself; (3) if you use sources beyond the film and textbook cite them in your paper and include a reference list at the end of your paper (APA format is a good way to do this).
1. At the beginning of the film, the son (Uriel) is being inducted into the National Israel Academy of Sciences. What is the name of the equivalent American institution? Are psychologists members of that body?
2. During the ceremony, the father (Eliezer) is questioned by a security guard. Explain why this occurs and why the father reacts as he does, with reference to the context of life in modern Israel, the history of Jews in Europe in the 20th century, and the father’s situation in the film.
3. Father and son display very different approaches to scholarship. Describe the values and approach of each and pick a psychologist from the textbook who exemplifies a similar approach in the field of psychology. Explain why you have chosen the psychologists you have chosen (one for the father, one for the son).
4. The father (Eliezer) labored painstakingly for 30 years only to have his work made obsolete by a newer scholar whose findings were published instead of his own. Who in the history psychology had something similar to this happen to him or her? Support your answer with evidence.
5. What is the role of women in the events depicted in this film? Are any women scholars in the Talmudic Studies Department? How is this similar to and different from the role of women in academic psychology?
6. Both men are motivated by pride but they exhibit it in different ways. Explain how pride motivates the scholarly work of father and son and the ways in which they are similar and different. Describe a psychologist who was similarly motivated by pride and explain why you consider him or her to be similar. You may choose someone you consider similar to either the father or the son in the film.
7. In psychology, is there a tension between narrowly focused, detailed oriented scholars and more broadly focused researchers, as there was between the scholars in this film? Discuss the ways in which each approach contributes to our field.
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