Assessment: Minimizing Social Influence in Political Debates

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Assessment Instructions---Must use attached template for the assessment

Preparation

Use the Capella Library and the Internet to research theories of social psychology and strategies for minimizing social influence in political debates. Some suggestions for keyword searches include (but are not limited to): debate format analysis; moderator influence; the impact of social and mainstream media; self-presentation and visual influence; minimizing bias; presentation style, and voter perception.

The authentic deliverable for this assessment is a proposal with an executive summary. There are many resources on the Internet and free templates or examples, if you choose to use one as a guide for completing this assessment. This assessment is also an exercise in disciplined professional writing. Carefully parsing down information to maximize conveyance of knowledge with the minimum of space is as rigorous as writing an academic paper.

Instructions

Assume the role described in the following scenario as you complete this assessment.

Scenario

You are a political consultant to a "better government" citizen group, such as the League of Women Voters. You have been hired to develop guidelines for holding neutral and fair public town hall–style debates, covered by social and mainstream media, to ensure that the voters make up their own minds as free of social influence as possible.

Deliverable

Develop a proposal of research-based guidelines for neutral and fair public debates and media coverage. The first part of the proposal is an executive summary, which should be about one page in length.

The Executive Summary

Writing must be succinct, clear, and comprehensible to a layperson. The purpose of the executive summary is to:

· Provide a concise analysis of the problem.

· Explain the rationale.

· Report the main conclusions.

The first two subheadings constitute the executive summary portion of your proposal:

Analysis of the Issue: Social Influence and Politics

· Analyze how social psychology theory can be applied to identify and reduce sources of social influence in a debate setting.

o Write an introductory paragraph or two.

Analysis of the Issue: Perception and Bias

· Assess how social context (relationships, groups, and culture) influences perception and behavior in a debate setting.

o Write an explanatory paragraph or two.

Proposed Guidelines

· Write research-based guidelines for fair public debates and media coverage.

o Use subheadings to organize content.

o Use bullet points and phrases for main points, in addition to short, succinct paragraphs.

o Include a visual, such as a graph, table, or chart to succinctly convey information, if you choose.

Guidelines for Fair Public Debate

· Integrate principles of social psychology and research to develop guidelines for fair public debate.

o Consider the following guiding questions as you develop the guidelines.

o How does the format affect voter perception?

o How can a moderator influence voter perception?

o How can social and mainstream media be managed in a debate for balance?

o Consider the implications of visuals and voter perception.

o What participant behaviors would you prohibit?

o How do you propose to manage the behavior of the audience?

References

· Support positions with references from scholarly and professional literature.

o Support each guideline with at least one reference using APA format and style.

Additional Requirements

· Length: Maximum length is 3–4 pages.

· References: Your references may include both scholarly literature and practitioner sources. Support each guideline with at least one current reference.

· Written communication: Write clearly and logically, with correct use of spelling, grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and APA format and style.

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