Monday, August 31, 2009

Overjustification effect and rewards in school

Reward programs in schools are a great opportunity to talk about the potentially important implications of the overjustification effect. This essay from the New York Times Review of Books might be a great starting place. The author effectively (to me) describes the inconsistent messages coming out of her the Accelerated Reader program at her daughter's school, where students get "points" for reading books and some books are worth more than others. Psych students could talk about the likely impact the overjustification effect might have on some readers in these programs, and they could broaden the discussion to how grades/point systems might affect motivation and behavior.

The Secret Life of the Brain

The Secret Life of the Brain is a five-part PBS series from the winter of 2002. In addition to the episodes, PBS has developed a relatively elaborate website to accompany the show. The home page for the website can be found at

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Is Psychology a Science?

In one of my internet searches I came across this article as required reading for a college course and was intrigued by the title. I will be very honest and say, as the school year is just starting, I have only had the time to scan the article and was hoping someone on the blog might be more familiar with it and could add a comment or two. I could see the author's premise might prove to be an interesting starting point for a class discussion.

Go to for the full article.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Psych experiments that haven't been done?

An addendum to Kent's excellent psychology experiments series: what about the experiments that haven't been done? A few years back the British Psychological Society's Research Digest blog asked a number of psychologists, writers and scientists to chime in with their thoughts about what the best psychology experiments were that have never been done (and perhaps never can be). Contributors include Martin Seligman, Judith Rich Harris (The Nurture Assumption) and Vaughan Bell (of MindHacks). Here are some of their ideas:

* a real "Truman Show" experiment
* switching parents of children at birth (to test nature/nurture)
* taking brain scans of people *as* they die

See the full list of 13 here. Maybe you can find a few to have your students attempt to come up with some operational definitions for, or even find an actual way to do some of these?

10 Weird Psychology Studies

Over the last two weeks, we have had the "Ten Most Revealing Psychological Experiments" and the "Top Unethical Experiments in Psychology". We end the experimental methods section of our Midnight Postings with a post from Great Britain's PsyBlog ( entitled "10 Weird Psychology Studies". In December of 2007, PsyBlog listed ten psychological studies which they declared as "weird" and had their readers vote on which they believe to be the worst.

The complete listing of "weird" studies can be found at

Friday, August 28, 2009

Experimental is a website detailing scientific method, research and experiments. The site includes almost every aspect of psychological research, including statistics and writing research papers, with descriptions of some of the most famous social psychological experiments including:
  • Milgram's Obedience study
  • Zimbardo's Prison Study
  • Asch's Study on Conformity
  • Bandura's Bobo Doll Experiment
  • Helping Behavior Experiment
In addition to the above experiments, psychology students might want to check out Mendel's study with peas and identical twin studies in the biology section.

While it does not appear the website is sponsored by any academic institution or organization, the limited sections I explored appear to be accurate and well written. Please feel free to leave your impressions of the site in the comments section.

The site can be found at

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This Week in the History of Psychology Podcast

This Week in the History of Psychology is a weekly podcast written and produced by Christopher D. Green, professor of psychology at York University in Toronto, Canada. Each episode is about 25 minutes in length and is freely available to anyone who is interested in the topic. Its main intended audience is students in college and university courses on the history of psychology.

The focus of each episode is an interview with an expert on a featured event that occurred during that particular week in psychology's past. In addition, each episode begins with brief descriptions of several events from that week and ends with a celebration of the week's birthdays (and other anniversaries).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Significant Experiments in Psych - Wikipedia's version

Wikipedia maintains " a list of historically important scientific experiments". The list of psychology experiments (about 3/4 of the way down the page) includes both some obvious choices and a few surprises. The first psych experiments were back in 1021? The Kansas City Preventive Patrol experiments? Makes me wonder about who is actively contributing and editing this wikipedia entry. What other experiments would you put on the list? What would you take off?

Video Games and Violence

I haven't read any detailed reports of this incident yet, but this post about a teacher (Kennet Santana) who tackled an armed student caught my attention, both because of the courageous actions of the teacher AND because the story was reported on a technology blog. The blogger wonders about possible connections between the students' actions and video game violence. Do you talk about this research in your classes? The discussion could fit well in either the social chapter (aggression section) or possibly in the developmental chapter (Kohlberg? Cognitive maturation?). The APA published a 2003 interview with Dr. Craig Anderson debunking myths about what psychologists know about the influence of video games on real-world violence which might be a good resource for helping students keep this discussion research based.

APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct

Every student of psychology should be familiar with the American Psychological Association's (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. While most of the document deals with ethical concerns between a psychologist and their patient, section 8 deals with ethical considerations within psychological research.

The complete document can be found at (or downloaded as a PDF from) or click on any of the links below.
8. Research and Publication

8.01 Institutional Approval
8.02 Informed Consent to Research
8.03 Informed Consent for Recording Voices and Images in Research
8.04 Client/Patient, Student, and Subordinate Research Participants
8.05 Dispensing With Informed Consent for Research
8.06 Offering Inducements for Research Participation
8.07 Deception in Research
8.08 Debriefing
8.09 Humane Care and Use of Animals in Research
8.10 Reporting Research Results
8.11 Plagiarism
8.12 Publication Credit
8.13 Duplicate Publication of Data
8.14 Sharing Research Data for Verification
8.15 Reviewers

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Top Unethical Experiments in Psychology

In my searching the internet, I came across this listing of the top ten unethical psychological experiments. The list includes many experiments (Standford Prison, Milgram's Obedience, Baby Albert, etc.) that are discussed in almost every psychology course. Throughout my research, while the listing is on a number of websites and blogs, I was unable to determine the author.

The list can be found at and might make an interesting discussion tool for ethical research.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Classics in the History of Psychology

The following was taken from the Classics in the History of Psychology website at

Classics in the History of Psychology is an effort to make the full texts of a large number of historically significant public domain documents from the scholarly literature of psychology and allied disciplines available on the World Wide Web. There are now over 25 books and about 200 articles and chapters on-line. The site also contains links to over 200 relevant works posted at other sites.
The target audience is researchers, teachers, and students of the history of psychology, both for use in their courses on the history of psychology, and for the purposes of primary academic research. To assist undergraduate teaching, in particular, original introductory articles and commentaries, written by some of the leading historians of psychology in North America, have been attached to a number of the most important works.
The initial set of documents was chosen by the Editor of the project, Christopher D. Green of York University, in consultation with a number of other professional historians of psychology. Many of the subsequent documents were selected in response to the requests of the site's users.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fascinating Television Dealing with Anxiety Disorders

Apparently, when A&E television created its new season of shows, they must have liked the response from Intervention. So now there are at least two shows dealing with psychological disorders, Obsessed and Hoarders. You can watch the episodes online in addition to recording them. While I have not yet seen an entire episode of Obsessed, I viewed portions of the descriptions and early cognitive behavioral therapeutic interventions. What I saw was a good representation of the anxiety shown by those who suffer from the disorder. The web site indicates that the series deals with the most severe anxiety disorders (from which there are more than 3 million Americans suffering).

In Hoarders, two people are typically viewed back and forth in their situation, their own point of view of their behavior, and the beginning of potential change. Some people have therapists helping them through, some have professional organizers. A repeated emphasis is how potentially dire the situation is regarding living circumstances (many threats of eviction and child removal). The anguish is clear on the faces of those undergoing the changes needed to create less clutter in their lives. What is not always clear is the underlying factors that led to the creation.

My view is that the portions of the shows I have seen are excellent for illustrating what these disorders look like. I've not seen enough to comment on the therapeutic value shown.

Intervention is on Mondays at 9/8C
Hoarders is on Monday nights at 10/9C
Check listings for Obsessed

As with all shows now, there is much in the way of web-only content for more details.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Hi-Low Game

Scott Reed of Hamilton High School, Chandler, AZ has developed an activity for his psychology classes called the Hi-Low Game. The game involves students trying to predict survey results of the general population. While I don't believe it was Scott's intent, the Hi-Low game is a variation of the short-lived game show from 2007-08 called "The Power of 10" with Drew Carey.

This activity could be used at anytime during the school year, but would probably work best at the beginning of the course when discussing scientific method, statistics, surveys, and the like.

The directions for the game can be found on Scott's website at or downloaded from the 4Shared file sharing account (look for "Scott Reed's Hi-Low Game.doc") at

The one major challenge of this activity is keeping the survey statistics up-to-date. If anyone has found books similar to those Scott uses or a website containing similar information, please leave a note in the comments section of this posting.

Thanks to Scott for his willingness to share this activity.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Email Updates Reach the 100 Mark!!!

As it appears many of you already know, it is possible to get a daily email from the Teaching High School Psychology Blog detailing the entries posted during the previous twenty-four hours.

As of today, we have over 100 people signed up for this service! Thanks to everyone following us over email.

To sign up, just complete the form on the left side of the blog page or go to

Please be aware that when you sign up, a verification notice will be emailed to you. Once you respond to that notice, the daily updates to the blog will start.

For more info on the updates go to

Selected Biographies in the History of Psychology

The Psychology Department of Muskingum College in New London, OH has developed a number of short biographies of many famous people in psychology.

Click on any of the names below or go to the

Alfred Adler
Albert Bandura
Frank Beach
Alfred Binet
Paul Broca
Sir Cyril Burt
David Buss
James Cattell
Noam Chomsky
Charles Darwin
Richard Dawkins
John Dewey
Dorothea Dix
Eric Erickson
Dian Fossey
Roger Fouts
Sigmund Freud
Birute Galdikas
Francis Galton
Jane Goodall
Florence Goodenough
Edwin Guthrie
G. Stanley Hall
William Hamilton
Harry Harlow
Ekhard Hess
Karen Horney
David Hothersall
Clark Hull
Carl Jung
Bibb Latané
Louis Leakey
Kurt Lewin
Jaques Loeb
Elizabeth Loftus
Konrad Lorenz
Gregor Mendel
Stanley Milgram
Hugo Munsterberg
Jaak Panksepp
Ivan Pavlov
Jean Piaget
David Riccio
Carl Rogers
George Romanes
Muzafer Sherif
B. F. Skinner
Elliot Stellar
John Maynard Smith
Edward Thorndike
Nikolaas Tinbergen
Edward Tolman
Robert Trivers
Lev Vygotsky
John B. Watson
V. C. Wynne-Edwards

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ten Most Revealing Psychological Experiments has compiled a list of what they believe to be the 10 most revealing experiments in psychology. In my opinion, the list appears to ignore many of the "classic" experiments from the history of psychology. Feel free to include your thoughts in the comments section below.

Perhaps, after studying the history of psychology, students could develop their own "Top Ten" list and compare it to the list. At the end of the year, after learning in detail about the many famous studies, students could again develop a "Top Ten" list and see how their opinions have changed since the beginning of the school year.

The list can be found at

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eastchester Clapping Sign

One of the best parts of being involved in the still young science of psychology is that its very possible for even beginning researchers to make significant contributions to the field, even (especially?) high school psychology students.
This article describes a familiar situation: a high school psych teacher from Eastchester High School is discussing hemispheric neglect and a student asks a great question: How would a person with hemispheric neglect clap her or his hands? The teacher didn't know, but contacted researchers to find out. The researchers replied that they didn't know either, but they wanted to! The subsequent research led to an important diagnostic tool they named the Eastchester Clapping Sign (ECS). Great example of how inquiry from high school psychology students can lead to not onely good research, but applied findings that benefit other folks. The school web site lists Doug Weisman as the psychology teacher - Doug, if you are the teacher responsible for this innovation, we salute you!

Where should I go to College?

Many of our high school Psychology and AP Psychology students intend to declare psychology as their undergraduate major. Some hope to eventually attend graduate school in psychology.

Every year students ask their high school psychology teacher which is the best college for them to attend. Below are a number of listings/ranking of both undergraduate and graduate level psychology programs. The graduates hotline listing includes links to the various psychology department's websites.

Perhaps as an activity, students could research the admission requirements for a number of colleges/universities and the course requirements for a typical psychology major. Students could share the information by posting their research on a Wiki Page (for more information, see the May 27th posting on this blog - Top Psychology Schools (20)

College Crunch Top 10 Psychology Colleges in the USA (undergrad)

College Crunch Top 25 Psychology Graduate Schools

Hub Pages Top 10 Best Colleges for Majoring in Psychology

Graduates Hot Line Listing of Psychology Graduate Schools

Social Psychology Network listing of Psychology PhD Programs

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Resiliancy training for U.S. soldiers

Martin Seligman and other folks from the Positive Psychology Center are working with the U.S. Army to provide resiliency training for all active duty, reservist, and national guard soldiers - all 1.1 million of them! Their hope (and this hope is backed up by good outcome research) is that this training will help immunize soldiers against some of the depression and other mental health problems that result from the high-stress situations they will experience during their duties. A question for us as high school psychology teachers: if the research is convincing enough for the U.S. Army, should we folks in the schools consider resiliency training for students? Aren't these same cognitive skills (e.g. defusing negative attributions, identifying flawed thinking, etc.) essential for our students as they experience their significant stresses?

APS Journal Free to High School Teachers

The Association for Psychological Science (APS) is providing free online access to its journal, Current Directions in Psychological Science, to high school psychology teachers. To sign up or obtain more information go to

Monday, August 17, 2009

Breaking: Ludy Benjamin resigns from the APA

The Advances in the History of Psychology blog is breaking the news this evening that Texas A&M professor Dr. Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr. has resigned from the APA. In an e-mail to the listserv of the Society for the History of Psychology, Benjamin indicated that his concerns with APA began when the APA Council began "passing resolutions on the involvement of psychologists in torture and interrogations that were opposite to positions taken by other national associations" (some background here) but those concerns were intensified during recent discussions to cut funding to the Archives of the History of American Psychology. Benjamin indicated that it was not the decision to cut the funding but the "subterfuge" that involved both the cuts and the debate about the cuts at the APA convention that outraged him. The full AHP story with more details can be found here.

In addition to his work as an outstanding scholar in and professor of the history of psychology, Dr. Benjamin has been one of the most powerful advocates for high school psychology for more than thirty years. He was one of the driving forces behind getting psychology added to the stable of approved courses by ETS/AP and led a number of NSF workshops for high school teachers at College Station in the '80s. His activity books for introductory psychology remain essential for any psych teacher and his drive to keep helping high school psychology teachers (as evident at the recent workshop at Clark) has been unwavering. Regardless of agendas, biases or ideology, Dr. Benjamin's contributions to our field have been enormous, and I hope this does not in any way tarnish his work.

Today in the History of Psychology

Warren R. Street of Central Washington University in conjunction with the APA, has designed an online database of important historical events in the history of Psychology.

The database can be searched by date or keyword/phrase and is located at

This might be the perfect way to assign a history of psychology activity for your students. Please let me (Kent Korek - know if you have developed such a project and would be willing to post it on this blog.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Streaming Video:

For many years, the mainstay of videos in psychology classes were The Brain and The Mind Series as well as the Discovering Psychology with Phil Zimbardo. Anyone teaching psychology through these times is very familiar with Phineas Gage's accident, Vicki the split brain patient, the Stanford quarterback wearing displacement goggles, and much more. When I first started teaching the standard advice given to me, which I have repeated countless times to other new teachers, was you have to get these series for your classes.

All of these series, plus much more, are now available over the internet at . Below I've provided the web addresses for each of the specific series where you can stream any of the episodes into your class.

The Brain Teaching Modules

The Mind Teaching Modules

Discovering Psychology Series

The World of Abnormal Psychology

Seasons of Life

Death: A Personal Understanding

Growing Old in a New Age

Thursday, August 13, 2009

National Governors Association AP Pilot Project

In 2005, the National Governors Association funded a six state initiative at 51 rural and urban high schools to increase minority and low-income participation in Advanced Placement classes. The project spent considerable effort in training teachers to become effective at the AP level. The NGA last week released their report on the project.

While not specific to AP Psychology, the report contains a number of points AP Psychology teachers, especially those looking to expand their programs, might be interested in.

The information on the report can be found at the National Governors Association Education Division website at or you can go to for a PDF version of the full report.

Psychology Related Listservs and Electronic Discussion Groups

If you did a survey of high schools offering psychology throughout the country, you will probably find most have only one psychology teacher on staff. In some cases this can lead to a sense of isolation. Many psychology teachers have noted they feel a bit "like an island" with no one to share ideas with. With the advent of the internet and email, this feeling of solitude is not as prevalent as the pre-internet era when peer interaction was primarily limited to conferences and workshops.

Listservs and discussion groups have helped build electronic bridges between psychology teachers around the country. Any teacher joining these groups can send email to a specific address which in turn is distributed to everyone else on the list. By sending one email, a teacher can reach hundreds, in some cases thousands, of other psychology teachers.

There are three groups of interest to high school psychology teachers. They include the AP Psychology Electronic Discussion Group, Psych-News listserv and PsychTeacher electronic group. Each is detailed below.

AP Psychology Electronic Discussion Group is sponsored by the College Board and specific to those teaching AP Psychology. For more information go to or to become a member go to

Psych-News is designed primarily for teachers of high school psychology, both the AP Psychology and secondary level psychology. To subscribe, send the email message "subscribe Psych-News Bob Smith" (without the quotes and your full name in place of Bob Smith) to listserv@list-

PsychTeacher is a moderated (which means messages are monitored before being distributed to the group) electronic discussion group from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP) and meant for all education levels. While discussions tend to deal more with post-secondary education, many postings are from and of interest to high school psychology teachers. To register go to

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

College Board One-Day AP Psychology Workshops

Now is the time to start planning which AP Psychology workshop you will be attending this year. These one day events are all sponsored by the College Board and run by endorsed consultants.

Below is a listing of the currently scheduled workshops throughout the country for the 2009-2010 school year. Click on the workshop title for more information on that specific workshop. Click on the location for a link to Yahoo maps reading that specific site.

There is an Institutes and Workshop page at AP Central where you can search for a workshop by topic, date, and location.

Please note: The 11/03/09 workshop at Northview High School is designated for experienced (three years of more of teaching AP Psychology) teachers only. All other workshops listed are for both new and experienced teachers.
Title                                                                Date                  Location
AP Workshop - Psychology
10/13/2009 La Roche College (Pittsburgh, PA)
AP Workshop - Psychology
10/16/2009 Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (Baltimore, MD)
AP Workshop - Psychology
10/20/2009 University of Nebraska - Omaha (Omaha, NE)
AP Workshop - Psychology
10/21/2009 Episcopal High School (Baton Rouge, LA)
AP Workshop - Psychology
10/23/2009 Fort Lauderdale Convention Center (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
AP Workshop - Psychology
10/23/2009 University Center of Lake County (Grayslake, IL)
AP Workshop - Psychology
10/24/2009 Bingham High School (South Jordan, UT)
AP Workshop - Psychology
10/26/2009 Riverside High School (Durham, NC)
AP Workshop - Psychology
10/26/2009 Ed White Senior High School (Jacksonville, FL)
AP Workshop - Psychology
10/30/2009 Spoto High School (Riverview, FL)
AP Workshop - Psychology
- Experienced Teachers
11/03/2009 Norview High School (Norfolk, VA)
AP Workshop - Psychology
11/07/2009 Washington Middle School (Jamestown, NY)
AP Workshop - Psychology
11/13/2009 Eastern Michigan University - Livonia (Livonia, MI)
AP Workshop - Psychology
11/14/2009 Abraham Lincoln High School (Denver, CO)
AP Workshop - Psychology
11/21/2009 John P. Stevens High School (Edison, NJ)
AP Workshop - Psychology
11/24/2009 Butler University (Indianapolis, IN)
AP Workshop - Psychology
12/01/2009 University of Wisconsin - Madison - Pyle Center (Madison, WI)
AP Workshop - Psychology
12/02/2009 Carleton College (Northfield, MN)
AP Workshop - Psychology
12/05/2009 Sachem North High School (Lake Ronkonkoma, NY)
AP Workshop - Psychology
12/12/2009 Elkton High School (Elkton, MD)
AP Workshop - Psychology
01/04/2010 Georgia Perimeter College (Dunwoody, GA)
AP Workshop - Psychology
01/04/2010 Shades Valley High School (Birmingham, AL)
AP Workshop - Psychology
01/29/2010 Omni San Antonio Hotel (San Antonio, TX)
AP Workshop - Psychology
02/06/2010 Eagle Rock High School (Los Angeles, CA)
AP Workshop - Psychology
02/06/2010 Burton High School (San Francisco, CA)
AP Workshop - Psychology
03/06/2010 Vineland High School South (Vineland, NJ)
AP Workshop - Psychology
03/13/2010 Thomas S. Wootton High School (Rockville, MD)
AP Workshop - Psychology
03/17/2010 Triton College (River Grove, IL)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Syllabi Collection - AP Psychology

We would like to create a collection of online course syllabi/content outlines for AP Psychology classes. Below you will find a listing of AP Psychology teachers with hyperlinks to their course syllabus/content outline.

Please be aware, inclusion of a syllabus and/or content outline on this page does not constitute an endorsement of the document(s). The information has NOT been reviewed and is presented for informational purposes only.

If you would like to have your AP Psychology syllabus/content outline included in this collection, please email the following information (please include every point) to (Kent Korek - We are only including syllabi which can be found online. Please do not send your syllabus or outline as an attachment to your email.
  • your name, school, school location (i.e. Tim Smith, Washington High School, Germantown, WI 53022)
  • the exact web address where your syllabus can be found online (i.e.
  • the exact web address where your content outline can be found online (if different than your syllabus)
  • time frame of your course (year long, semester, two trimesters, etc.)
  • how often your class normally meets (daily, three times a week, every other day, etc.)
  • what textbook do you use for this course (Name, edition, and author(s))
  • how long your class normally meets (50 minute period, 100 minute block, etc.)

Syllabi Collection - AP Psychology

Kent Korek - Germantown High School, Germantown, WI 53022
>>full year - daily - 50 minute period - Psychology 8e by David Myers

Nate Naughton - Arlington Catholic High School, Arlington, MA 02474
>>full year - meets 5 of every 7 days - 65 minute period - Psychology 9e David Myers

Syllabi Collection - High School Psychology

We would like to create a collection of online course syllabi/content outlines for High School Psychology classes. Below you will find a listing of High School Psychology teachers with hyperlinks to their course syllabus/content outline.

Please be aware, inclusion of a syllabus and/or content outline on this page does not constitute an endorsement of the document(s). The information has NOT been reviewed and is presented for informational purposes only.

If you would like to have your High School Psychology syllabus/content outline included in this collection, please email the following information (please include every point) to (Kent Korek - We are only including syllabi which can be found online. Please do not send your syllabus or outline as an attachment to your email.
  • your name, school, school location (i.e. Tim Smith, Washington High School, Germantown, WI 53022)
  • the exact web address where your syllabus can be found online (i.e.
  • the exact web address where your content outline can be found online (if different than your syllabus)
  • time frame of your course (year long, semester, two trimesters, etc.)
  • how often your class normally meets (daily, three times a week, every other day, etc.)
  • what textbook do you use for this course (Name, edition, and author(s))
  • how long your class normally meets (50 minute period, 100 minute block, etc.)

Syllabi Collection - High School Psychology

Teacher's name - Germantown High School, Germantown, WI 53022
>>full year - daily - 50 minute period - Thinking About Psychology 1e by Blair-Broeker and Ernst

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Midnight Postings

This coming school year I would like to write a series of blog postings that follow a "typical" (if such a thing even exists) schedule of units within a year long AP Psychology or High School Psychology course. While I realize all of us schedule our units in various ways and blogs, by their nature, tend to be a hodgepodge of thoughts and ideas, my hope is to create a small sense of continuity.

Starting today, you will find a new posting every weekday following the schedule below. Each will be released at 12:00 AM, hence the name "Midnight Postings".

Please be rest assured, there will be postings on this blog in addition to the Midnight Postings. Think of the Midnight Postings as an addition to the blog, not a substitute for what we have been doing in the past.

If you have an idea for a posting or would like to comment, positive or negative, about the Midnight Postings please send an email to (Kent Korek -

First Semester Schedule of Midnight Postings
  • 08/10 - 08/14 General Course Planning
  • 08/17 - 08/28 Introduction, History, and Scientific Method
  • 08/31 - 09/15 Biological Influences on Behavior
  • 09/16 - 10/02 Sensation and Perception
  • 10/05 - 10/09 States of Consciousness
  • 10/12 - 10/27 Learning
  • 10/28 - 11/06 Memory
  • 11/09 - 11/20 Cognition
  • 11/23 - 12/01 Intelligence
  • 12/02 - 12/23 Developmental Psychology

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


As an experiment I've created a Twitter account to accompany this blog. Instead of posting brief links every few days under the "Psych in the news" heading I'm sending those 1-2 times per day via Twitter. To read these updates, you can either read them as the pop up in the left side column of this blog or if you are on Twitter you can subscribe to these updates directly by following me.

A quick intro to Twitter: Twitter is a medium for sending messages that are 140 characters long or less. Because URLs tend to be quite long, if you include one in your message, they are shortened by using a common URL-shortening site (,, et al.). You can either keep your "tweets" (as the messages are known) public as I'm doing or you can keep them private so that a person has to have a password to access them. If a tweet has the two letters RT at the beginning followed by an @ symbol, that means this tweet has been forwarded (or ReTweeted) from the person who orginally wrote it (and whose name follows the @). And finally, Twitter isn't just -- there are many other sites and browser add-ons for people to send and receive messages (TweetDeck, Twitterfeed, EasyTweets, TwitterFox, et al.).

I have found Twitter to be a great site when a current event breaks so you can get real-time updates from all over the world. The election protests in Iran is the best recent example I can think of. And yes, there is also tons to chaff to sort through at times.

What are the bests sites to follow if you're interested in what people are saying about psychology? One way is to go to and type in psychology and see what comes up. You may or may not find anything helpful here. You can also trying searching for what's called a hashtag -- #psychology -- where people will deliberately add this tag to their tweet to let you know that it's specifically about psychology, not just mentioning it in passing (like some kid posting his AP Psychology scores). And finally, you can go to psychology-specific Twittering types -- MindHacks compiled a good list a while back.

Whether you are into Twitter or not, this isn't something that's going away anytime soon. It's used widely all around the globe, especially by the younger generations, and as a teacher your students will come in to your classroom knowing about this and perhaps using Twitter themselves. So try it out! Go to, look around, and maybe create an your own account. If you do, be sure to follow highschoolpsych so you can keep up with the latest psych-related news! And if you've tried it, leave a comment below about what you think of Twitter. Are there good applications for the classroom?