Watching the whole video below and then participating in the class forum discussion on it are part of your quiz grade this week. 
The video forum discussion is also due by our normal Sunday night deadline.  
If you complete the forum requirements and it is well done you will get up to +30 on your quiz grade this week.  If you don’t watch the video and complete the forum requirements you will lose 30 points on this week’s quiz. If it is poorly done you will get partial credit on a sliding scale somewhere between +30 and -30. It is not possible to earn more than a 100 on the quiz this week. 

Unfortunately, the prison system in the United States is doing a very poor job of using the principles of conditioning to effectively deal with crime in our society. We lock up a higher percentage of our population than just about every other country on earth, and there are about 200 countries!  That is not something at which we want to be number one.  We also have a very high recidivism rate, which means that many prisoners who leave the correctional system end up going right back in. Our prisons are truly awful places where many people are forced to participate in violence, and yet they are not “scaring people straight”. Clearly the way we are using punishment and reinforcement is not working well to change the behavior of many people. Check out the way the Germans use conditioning in this video, and then participate in the forum discussion on it to earn credit towards this week’s quiz.

The directions for this week’s forum discussion can be found in our “forums” folder on the left tab of our course sakai site, but I will also put them below:

To receive full credit for this forum you will need to provide a two paragraph response after

watching the complete video clip on the German Prison system that is available in this week’s lesson.

The German system is clearly based on a different philosophy of human nature, and this topic is relevant to

what we are studying this week in psychology

because the conditioning techniques they use are quite different in many ways than the style of behaviorism

practiced here in the U.S. prison system. Your first paragraph should be 4-6 sentences long and explain

what you think are the three most important differences in how the German system treats its prisoners

compared to the system we have here in the United States. This paragraph should reference direct and

specific examples from the video clip. In your second paragraph of 4-6 sentences offer your overall

impression and opinion after watching the video. What do you like and dislike about their system? Do you

think it could work well here in the U.S.? Finally, read a few of your classmates’ posts (not just one!), and

then choose at least one person to respond to.


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