Tips #What I am looking for are two things: analytical rigor and creativity. I define analytical rigor as the ability to apply materials from class or elsewhere (feel free to include any relevant knowledge that you may have about a field/topic) to the problem at hand. This implies that the concepts and ideas have direct relevance to the problem and its solution, and are used in a consistent and logical way. I define creativity as the ability to come up with novel ideas and solutions that go beyond what we have done in class. For instance, talking about a concept in class for domain X and using it for domain Y would still be a demonstration of analytical rigor (knowledge transfer), but it would not be very creative. So, I encourage you to go beyond the class material and find your own psychological frameworks and solutions. Essay Grading: I will grade essays out of 40 points, where 40 is “exceptional” (will be given VERY rarely), 37 is “nearly perfect” and 1 is “unacceptable” (you didn’t answer the question). Most grades will range from 25 to 35, with 30-35 implying that the essay was very good. Topics: 1. Incentives matter. Find an example of bad incentives in the real world and suggest ways to fix the problem. Bad incentives are incentives designed to change certain behaviors but fail to do so. Explain why you think your approach is better. 2. Several studies report gender differences in competitive settings. Discuss ways how you could mitigate the negative effect of competition on the career progression of women in corporate settings. Discuss novel ideas, not discussed in class. 3. People tend to share negative experiences at a higher rate than positive experiences on social media (“negativity bias”). Discuss ways to get people to share also positive experiences. Use innovative ideas other than just offering payment or other straight-forward incentives. 4. People tend to pay their taxes at much higher rates than warranted by the deterrence approach of standard economics that considers audit rates and penalties. Discuss what factors might be responsible for people’s relatively high tax compliance and discuss ways of how the IRS could further increase compliance. Come up with your own ideas.