Oct 28, 2021 Uncategorized

Human Development in Speculative Fiction

Human Development in Speculative Fiction

Assignment overview

As a budding psychology student, one of the skills you need to hone is being able to apply research into real-life situations. This may be adapting results from a small study into a bigger population (more people) or adapting a study done in one context to another.

In the ‘human development’ week, we discussed in class how current social and environmental contexts in the world or specific events may affect how people develop. To further this discussion, you will be asked to reflect on how human development might be similar or different in a speculative fiction setting of their choice. The paper should include 1) a description of the speculative fiction setting, focusing on elements of the context that could affect human development, 2) an explanation of how these elements could affect development, and 3) support for your theory. Students will be asked to use at least two journal articles to support their arguments, and all arguments MUST have support. (e.g., one article can talk provide support for two of the factors you talk about).

Note: you do not have to do an analysis on the entire fictional world. You may choose to focus on one specific context.

What is speculative fiction?

“Speculative fiction is a broad category of fiction encompassing genres with elements that do not exist in reality, recorded history, nature, or the present universe. Such fiction covers various themes in the context of supernatural, futuristic, and other imaginative realms.”

Examples: Hunger Games, Star Wars, The Hobbit, Dune, Avatar: The Last Air Bender

  • The further from reality your setting is, the better. Do not choose a fictional setting that is too closely modeled after real life.
  • NOT speculative fiction: Bring It On, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
    • I also wouldn’t recommend using horror movies


  1. Write one paragraph describing the context of the fictional setting (5 points)
  2. Give me at least three characteristics of the context that affects an individual’s development. You may do more than three but there will be no additional points for this.
  3. Explain how exactly these characteristics affect development (15 points)
  4. Cite appropriate research papers/studies that support your claims. You must use at least two journal articles from peer reviewed journals. (5 points)
  5. Paper must be clearly organized, thorough, and free of grammatical and spelling errors. (5 points)
  6. Utilize APA format throughout the paper (5 points)
  7. Passed on time (5 points)


Note: You will get deductions for not following instructions.

  • Must be 3-4 pages long (at least three full pages and no more than five full pages, not including the cover page)
  • Use APA format: (please refer to APA slide deck on Blackboard or to the Purdue Online Writing Lab; I will also upload an APA paper sample) 


  • Provide cover page and reference page. No need for an abstract.
    • Page numbers must be flush to the right
    • Size 12 font
    • Times New roman
    • Double-spaced
    • 1-inch margins all around
    • Indent first line of each paragraph
    • No additional spaces between paragraphs
    • Use appropriate formatting: for cover and reference pages, headings and subheadings

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