PSY 444 Narrative Psychology
Feb 28, 1997


Mid-Term Examination

This is a "take-home" examination. Your completed answers should be handed in at the class on next Friday, 7 March. You must return your examination in typed form. This examination will take the place of class on March 5.

Answer two (2) questions from among the choices below. Each answer should take the form of a well thought-out essay of at least one and not more than four pages. You are encouraged to cite the names and ideas of some of the psychologists and narrative theorists whom we have looked at in support of your answer. Each essay is worth 25 points. Be sure to label your answers with the number of the question you are responding to.

(1) Discuss the deficiencies or problems with psychology as it conceptualized its task during the period of the "Cognitive Revolution" which the "narrative turn" in psychology then sought to redress or answer or change.

(2) Imagine that you were asked to conduct research on the education and training experience of American physicians or doctors. This research seeks to answer the question why doctors seem, sometimes, to act as if they are gods. How might you conduct an effective study which employed a qualitative, narrative methodology? What sorts of pitfalls should you consider? What sorts of ideas or notions should you keep in mind as you design and carry out this study?

(3) A roommate or someone in your family has said to you that they don't understand what you're studying in this class. "What the heck is 'narrative psychology'?" How might you respond to them simply but in a way which touches on the more important aspects of the narrative perspective in psychology.

(4) Jerome Bruner argues for the centrality of meaning in the goal of psychological research and practice. Discuss Bruner's argument and include some discussion of the roles of both culture and folk psychology in your answer.

(5) Some people have argued that the mind of human beings is more about doing than being, that the mind acts rather than receives or absorbs. Making reference to the history of psychology in the last 80 years, how might someone set about expanding that argument and affirming it?

(6) Discuss the problem of validity or truthfulness in research based upon narrative sources of data.