Psyc 345. Psychology of Adulthood and Aging. Dr. vom Saal
NOT INCLUDE NAME OR IDENTIFYING INFORMATION*****
As described in class, it is
important to maintain confidentiality of the interviewee. Do not include the name of the interviewee
or identifying information in any written report, and do not use the name in
any oral report. As described in class,
failure to follow this guideline could be grounds for failing this course.
The following guidelines apply to all students
unless a student has made an alternative proposal that has been agreed to by
1. Each student should conduct a series of three
interviews with one individual over age 60, based on guidelines and topics
presented in class. Note that sometime
during your interviews you should discuss with your interviewee at least two of
the "Issues important to the Elderly" that we discussed in class or
were described in handouts. (Refer to
the handouts on planning interviews and the handouts on on "Aging:
2. The Interview Report must be submitted by the
deadline described on the syllabus or announced in class. The report is a single report that covers
all of the interviews.
3. The Interview Report should be 6-10 typewritten pages.
4. The Interview Report should follow all of the
normal guidelines for a well-written paper.
Please refer to Part 1 of the separate handout on Guidelines for
Writing Papers. You should read
that handout before you write your report, and read it again after you have
written your report. I will expect you
to follow all of the guidelines in Part 1 of that handout.
5. The Interview Report and Reflection Paper should use the following
outline. Begin each section with a
numbered boldface title as shown here.
1. Introduction and overview. This
section should be a page or less. It
should describe how the interviews were arranged, give a general description of
the interviewee (NO NAME!), describe when and where the interviews took place,
and give an overview of what happened.
It should briefly orient the reader to what is to come, give sufficient
background information so the reader can understand the context for the
remainder of the report, and give a brief summary of what happened.
2. Plans for the Interviews. Describe your plans for each interview even
if they were not carried out. Include
any planning materials or other materials you prepared in advance in
appendix. If the plan for an interview
arose from what happened in the previous interview, explain that.
3. Descriptions of the Interviews. What happened in the interviews. This may include descriptions of the
physical setting; behaviors observed; topics discussed; description of the
interviewee's answers and comments. It
may include brief verbatim sections or quotations to illustrate general aspects
of the interview or to describe a particularly important part, but should not
contain extensive quotes.
Note: The above format assume you will write
one single section that describes your plans for all of the interviews and
then another section that describes what happened in all of the interviews.
Depending on your preference and on how your interviews worked out, you
may prefer to write a separate "plan" and "description"
section for each interview. If you choose to do that, label this section
as follows: 2&3: Interview Plans and Interviews, and then
describe each interview separately.
If for some reason fewer than three
interviews were conducted, explain what happened.
4. What I Learned About the Interviewee.
This could include such things as health, living situation, personality,
etc. You certainly do not have to try
to include everything you have learned about the interviewee, but you should
include highlights, especially significant things, and broad conclusions. Be sure to distinguish between your observations
and your conclusions. For broad
conclusions, give at least some of the specific observations that led to those
conclusions. (For example, if you say
the interviewee seemed anxious, or seemed easy-going, what behaviors did you
observe that led you to those conclusions?)
5. Summary of other experiences.
This section should summarize your soup kitchen
experience, your visit(s) to facilities or agencies for the elderly, and any other relevant experiences with the elderly that were part
of the course. Use the following
5A. Soup Kitchen Experience. Summarize your soup kitchen experience in
just a few sentences. You do not need to repeat all of the material in
your soup kitchen report, but you should include enough information here so that
the reader can understand conclusions you draw below about what you learned..
Visit [or Visits] to Living Facilities or Agencies. Summarize your
visit or visits to living facilities or agencies in just a few sentences. You do
not need to repeat all of the material in your facility visit report, but you
should include enough information here so that the reader can understand
conclusions you draw below about what you learned.
Other Experiences. [optional section]
Summarize any other experiences you had that are relevant to this course and to
your discussion below about what you learned.
6. What I Learned. This section should include your comments, analysis, questions,
concerns, and conclusions. It should
demonstrate evidence of critical thinking.
You should relate what happened in your interviews and other experiences
to the concepts you are learning in readings and in class. Include the following subsections that
describe what you learned:
6A. What I Learned About Living Facilities and
Agencies. This section should
summarize what you learned about agencies and/or living facilities you visited,
including where your interviewee lived if relevant.
6B. [OPTIONAL SECTION] What I Learned About
Society or History. This may be
appropriate for some students, but not for others. For example, during your interview or in other experiences, you
may have learned some things about our current society, or other cultures
around the world, or World War II, or the Depression, etc.
6C. What I Learned About Issues. Sometime
during your interviews you should have discussed with your interviewee at least
two of the "Issues important to the Elderly" that we discussed in
class or that were described in the various handouts. Describe briefly what you learned about some of those issues.
6D. What I Learned About Aging. What did you learn about principles of
aging? Relate this to concepts in the
text. In your discussion, refer to at
least one concept from the text. Cite
the page number in the text that you are referring to. (Examples include: Alzheimer's disease; cognitive
changes in aging; personality changes in aging; physical changes or health
6E. What I Learned About Myself. This is an important section, and you should
do some careful thinking and self-analysis while writing this section. During your interviews you may have found
out something about how you were as an interviewer, how you relate to others,
your attitudes, and so on. During the
other experiences you may have realized other things about yourself. You may have learned new things about
yourself, or confirmed things you already know. Did your experiences lead to any new insights, awareness, or
“Aha's” about yourself? Was there
further confirmation of anything you already knew about yourself? Hint: ask yourself whether you learned anything
about your likes and dislikes, and also about your strengths and
7. Appendix: Include the planning material
prepared in advance of the interviews.
It is NOT necessary to re-write or type this material, but please label
each page so I can understand what it is.
Appendix material should be clearly labeled as an appendix, and the body
of the report must stand on its own without requiring reference to the
appendix. Appendix material should be
stapled to the report OR you may staple the report separately and submit the
report and the appendix material together in a folder that has pockets, with
the report in one pocket and the appendix material in another pocket.