Dear General Psychology Students:
Perhaps you can help me with a mystery I've wondered about for years now. As many of you know, I post a Sample Course Paper to the blog at the beginning of the semester, along with the APA handouts and instructions for the writing assignment. The title of that fake paper is: A Discussion of the Portrayal of Antisocial Personality Disorder in the Film “Hollyweird”.
Since creating that document, about 1/4 of my students turn in papers with that exact format for their title, substituting their disorder and film name (rather than creating their own title). That part is an understandable mistake, and one that I correct people on a lot.
The really weird part is that, about 90% of those make two bizarre errors that I can't account for. First, they substitute the word "on" for the word "of," making their title begin with, "A Discussion on..."
Also, those same papers fail to capitalize the word "Film," making their papers read something like, "A Discussion on the Portrayal of Asperger Syndrome in the film “Adam."
If it were one or two students, I'd chalk these up to simple typographical errors. But these same two mistakes have been made, literally, by dozens of students over the years. It's enough to make me think there might be a reason.
Any guesses? Email me if you know.