key questions from my undergraduate discipline
As an undergrad I was a psychology major. As I'm sure you all know, psychology is the study of human behavior and mental processes. So the main question addressed is (surprise) 'why does an individual person do what he/she does?' The main line of thinking is 'why,' followed by 'how' (in cognitive psychology), and it ultimately leads to 'what.' The 'what' referred to labels that could be assigned to a person based on their behavior and thoughts. (Based on this test, you are a manic depressive, obsessive compulsive, etc. etc. I never cared much for the labels.)
I don't know if I understand the question from the syllabus, but how does the form of the question shape how?? (how what?) The form of the questions in the discipline of psychology maps where you are focusing your attention and how much independent conjecture can be applied. The 'why' question is the broadest and can accomodate the most opinion and hypotheses. The 'how' is still a relatively new field, but it is very scientifically based upon the biological processes of the brain and cannot reflect much conjecture (unless you can reasonably prove it). My least favorite part, the 'what' line of questioning where you try to pigeon hole someone into a category or label is the most defined. There are multitudes of tests and multitudes of personality types and psychological disorders that people can fall into. Did this answer the question?? I don't know. I guess I'll find out tonight.