Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Teaching HS Psych Store

Recently, we began a business relationship with  By that, I mean that they have opportunities for people like us (bloggers, organizations, website owners, etc.) to create accounts through which viewers can make their purchases from Amazon, but by using the links directed through our site, we can earn Amazon credits to be able to create more giveaways to our readers. 

So far we have a few hundred items on our site divided into a few categories.  Rather than adding items at will by keyword, we've decided to add only the items that we or people whose judgment we trust to be added to the site.  So everything in the store has been hand-picked.  There are certainly more items to add.  If you have recommendations, please email Chuck.

Our store can be found here:

Friday, January 29, 2010

Personality Tests Published Online

Last year, as part of Wikipedia's entry on the Rorschach Inkblot test (, Dr. James Heilman, an emergency-room physician in Canada, posted all ten inkblots along with the most common responses to each. A controversy erupted from the posting. Many felt, not only were copyright laws violated, the integrity and validity of the test had been compromised. During the uproar, Dr Heilman was investigated for unprofessional behavior by his local medical association.

If you go to you will find a posting for a discussion group on in which the person listed the first 75 questions of the MMPI-2. Here, too, questions of ethics and copyrights can be raised.

While I am not advocating the use of these items in your classroom, that is a question for each teacher to individually answer, I am suggesting both postings can make for a very interesting class discussion on testing, copyrights, ethics, keeping things confidential in the internet age, etc.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Birth Order and Personality

Samantha Murphy has created a very informative website on birth order and personality. The site provides a basic summary of what birth order is and what personality traits tend to be correlated with each position. From my limited knowledge of birth order, the site appears to be fairly accurate and can be found at

If anyone has further information on the accuracy of the site and/or information on Samantha Murphy's background, please post a comment below.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Phonemes and Morphemes & Two PowerPoints

I posted these two ideas on the AP Psych listserv this week.  Thought it would be a good idea to share the information here.
Thanks loads to my CLAD trainer Kathleen Kenfield—she is the source of the information below.  If my notes are accurate, that would be good as well.
Phonology: system of sounds
Phoneme: a sound unit
Morphology: word formation
Morpheme: smallest unit of meaning (prefix, root word, suffix)
Syntax: word order and grammar
Semantics: word meaning
Pragmatics: system of language—situationally appropriate

A.      What is the first sound in the word, “cut”?  What is the final sound?  What’s the medial sound/vowel sound?  Now, what’s the first sound in the word, “cute”?  The final sound?  The vowel (medial) sound?

B.     What is the first sound in the following words?
a.       Easy
b.      Judge
c.       Psychic
d.      Pneumonia
e.       Civic
f.       Apple
g.       Chutzpah

C.     What is the final sound in the following words?
a.       Judge
b.      Cheese
c.       Long
d.      Niece
e.       Checked
f.       Watch
Note:  The following letter combinations in English make just one sound: ch sh th ng ph

D.     How many phonemes (sounds) are in these words?
Chin (3)     Habits (5)                    thing (3)                       thought (3)       psychology (8)
Three (3)    hopes (4)                     weigh (2)                     please (4)         sun (3)
Wish (3)     enough (4)                   nation (5)                     quickly (6)       laughed (4)

Some parts snipped out

Part 2: Morphology
Morphology is the study of the structure of words and of how words are formed.  A morpheme is the most elemental unit of meaning.  In English, a morpheme is a prefix, a root word, and a suffix.  Morphemes cannot stand alone, that have no meaning unless they are attached to another morpheme are called “bound morphemes.”  Morphemes that can stand alone are called “free morphemes.”  So in the word “reader,” “read” is a free morpheme while “-er” is a bound morpheme.

How many prefixes or suffixes can be added to the words, “read” or “develop”?

How many morphemes in the following words?
People (1)
Redevelopment (3)
Swimming (2)
Orange (1)
Literally (2)
Erasable (2)
Reddish (2)
Radish (1)
Language (1)
Grandmother (2)
Waited (2)
George’s (2)—the “-‘s” is a morpheme
Desirability (3)
Education (2)
Unhappy (2)
Remain (1)
Misspell (2)
Water (1)
Higher (2)
Finger (1)
Houseboat (2)
Antidisestablishmentarianism (7)

Hope that this helps everyone with this bit of language.
As you may have guessed by my last post, I’m a little bit into language.  As such, a while ago, I created PowerPoints, one dealing with the concept of linguistic relativity, cognitive maps, the role of language in our lives, etc.  I also created one on periphrastics (this is the use of big words when little ones could suffice).  Those PPTs along with some other documents are available here if you’d like to take a gander.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

UC Berkeley Webcast Psychology of Personality

The University of California at Berkeley provides a webcast for many of their courses including Psych 150: Psychology of Personality for the 2005 Fall semester. While probably not something you would show to high school students, the twenty-eight videos provide a good background to what is currently being taught at the upper division undergraduate level. The Psychology of Personality videos can be found at

Every semester a large number of courses are recorded and posted to the web. To find out more go about Berkeley's webcast program go to

Monday, January 25, 2010

How would Freud make a PB&J sandwich?

I just saw this great post about how various characters from "Lost" would make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I thought wow, how easy it would be to do something like this in psychology! Maybe as an end of the year review activity of famous psychologists, or as a wrap of a unit (like personality or development) with lots of theories.

So here goes ...
  • Freud's would be in three parts with a much larger part below the table.
  • Loftus's would be --- wait, she thought she made one, but she really didn't!
  • Asch's would require you to check out others were making their sandwiches first, and if they were making theirs wrong, what would you do?
  • Rorschach would make disturbing pictures in the jelly and ask you what you saw.
  • Walter Freeman's wouldn't involve cutting the sandwich but would require an ice pick.
Add more below! Or suggest other ideas besides "making a PB&J sandwich."

Set your DVRs: Temple Grandin on HBO

Since reading Oliver Sacks' An Anthropologist on Mars I have been fascinated by Temple Grandin. As many of you know Temple is a woman with autism who has had enormous success in her career as a professor at Colorado State and as one of the foremost authorities on the design on livestock facilities. Her rare ability to share the way her brain works -- thinking in pictures, she calls it -- has always been compelling to me and I have used her writings in every psychology class I've taught.

Among her works:
So I was thrilled today to see that the HBO film "Temple Grandin" debuts Saturday, February 6 at 8 pm. You may be surprised to see that Claire Danes stars as Temple but after viewing the trailers I was convinced that except for the physical differences (the dainty Danes playing the broad-shouldered Grandin) that she did a good job. And I got all verklempt seeing those pictures in the trailers that only lived in my head -- Danes as Grandin down on all fours in a livestock pen, seeing the world from a cow's point of view, for example.

For more info on Temple Grandin check out these links:
Check out the trailer and tease below and post your thoughts in the comments. Does she pull it off? Are you as excited as I am?

Personality Theories Website

Dr. C. George Boeree from the Psychology Department at Shippensburg University in PA, has developed an electronic textbook (e-text) designed for a post-secondary level personality theory course.

The text provides a good background to many of the personality theories discussed in a high school psychology course. The main page for the text can be found at The writings are available online or as a PDF file as well as in Spanish or German.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Schemas--a great demo

I posted this recently on the AP Psych Listserv:

Schemas are a core concept that I have in all my psych classes--they are the key idea around which I create everything else (except biology).  I use the Drew Appleby Demo on Déjà vu, not for that concept, but for the creation of a false memory based upon our schemas.  The PPT I use is here:

Description of the activity I give I created for a textbook video lessons project and can be found on YouTube here:

The debriefing is here:

The demo has worked perfectly for the past 15+ years.  Feel free to use and adapt.

For an assimilation example, I use "Monster's Inc." and the little girl "Boo" who calls Sully a "kitty."  He's obviously a monster to us, but she does not yet have that in her schema, so she uses what she has available already--furry, with ears, four legs and a tail means "kitty."  So far as I could tell, she never accommodated the idea of monster with Sully--she only had that with Randall.  She distinguished the two.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Psych Test Prep Tools from The Psych Files

Back in early May we told you about a new reviewing technique Michael A. Britt, host of The Psych Files podcast (, was developing called MAPPR or Make a Personal Psychology Review. In a MAPPR, Michael combines a concept map with audio explanations for each idea presented.

Since May, Michael has changed the MAPPR name to "The Psych Test Prep Tool" and created a number of new tools including two for the personality unit. All of the Psych Test Prep Tools can be found at

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Using the Classics in the History of Psycyhology with Personality Theory

One way to cover the various personality theories is to have your students read the original writings of the classic theorists throughout history. The Classics in the History of Psychology at includes many of the major theorists' writings.

We would ask that as visitors to the Teaching High School Psychology blog read through the many articles on The Classics in the History of Psychology, they would share their evaluations in the comments section.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Big Five Personality Test

The debate on whether or not to give high school psychology students personality or intelligence tests been going on for as long as I can remember. Rather than venture into the debate, the Midnight Postings will include links to various personality tests and allow each individual teacher to decide whether or not to use them.

Please be aware, personality tests posted on this site have not been thoroughly examined. It is extremely important that teachers preview personality and intelligence tests before using them in class.

The Big Five Personality Test was developed by Oliver John from the University of California Berkely. This online test can be found at

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Freud Museum

The Freud Museum in London would probably be the ultimate field trip for any psychology class. To see Freud's couch up close and personal would be the highlight of many a psychology teacher or student.

While a trip to London is probably not be in the works, a visit to the Freud Museum's website might be a close substitute. The site can be found at

Pay particular attention to the Photo Library, Education and Shop sections. Just image discussing Freudian Slips as you walk around your classroom in Freud Slippers from the giftshop.

Perhaps some of the visitors to the THSP blog from the London area could provide some insights into the museum in the comments section.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Psychology Textbooks--The First in a Series of Posts

Every year on the various listservs, a number of discussions break out as to which Psychology text are good and which ones can work.  This will be the first in a series of posts discussing a variety of textbooks for both regular and AP Psychology.  For the uninitiated, psych teachers and professors tend to refer to general psych texts not by title, but rather by author, since most of them seemingly have the word, "Psychology" in their titles.

Other than colleagues, the first place most of us look to for textbooks is the Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP), an online presence of APA Division 2: The Society for the Teaching of Psychology.  On this site is a section devoted to introductory psychology.  One of the resources on that page is a compendium of of information about intro texts, publishers, a rating of level of the textbooks (low, low-mid, middle, mid-high, and high), and other helpful information.

Obviously, this list needs to be updated, but an experienced teacher on several of the listservs probably has a feel for what is out there, even with new texts being introduced every year.  One of our goals is to highlight some of the texts that our readers use with their high school classes for both regular and AP levels.  To that end, this week, I will be discussing and evaluating the textbooks that I use (currently Coon and Mitterer for AP and Coon for regular psych).

If you'd like to be a guest contributor and tell us about one of your texts, contact one of the moderators and we will coordinate postings.  Information that we'd like to include is listed below.  Likely this is too much for some and not enough for others.  Please comment on what else you'd like to see.
  • Title and Edition
  • Author(s)
  • Publisher 
  • Textbook's companion website for instructors (URL)
  • Companion website for students (URL)
  • Date of most recent edition
  • Level (use OTRP as a guide)
  • Number of Authors
  • Number of Female Authors
  • Number of chapters
  • Number of Text Pages
  • Number of Pages per Chapter
  • Text Pages Plus Back Matter
  • Commentary on how much you have to supplement the text for your students (level of your students)
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of the text
Supplements for the text:
  • Describe and evaluate the supplements that come with the adoption of the text
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of the text
We look forward to the discussion (and probably debate) about texts in the next few months.

The Personality Project

What better way to begin our Midnight Postings for the Personality Unit with The Personality Project from William Revelle of the Psychology Department at Northwestern University? The project provides a great resource for "those interested in personality theory and research to current personality research literature" as stated by the website.

The Personality Project can be found at

Saturday, January 16, 2010

And the winners are ...

Thanks to everyone for commenting on the Top Psychology Books of 2009 post. As promised I randomly selected two commenters to receive a free book from THSP and the winners are ...

Cari will receive 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology and Julie will get Reading in the Brain. (I'll contact both winners by e-mail for more information.)

Stay tuned to THSP as we hope to keep offering additional giveways to our readers. Thanks so much for helping to make this a great resource for psychology teachers!

Friday, January 15, 2010

20 Studies that Revolutionized Child Psychology

In the early 2000's, Wallace Dixon conducted a survey of over 1,500 members of the Society for Research in Child Development on studies they thought revolutionized child psychology. Dixon went on the write a book on his results (see below for more information) detailing each of the twenty studies.

His original list as published in the April 2002 issue of Development can be found at

In my mind, Dixon's list provides an excellent guide as to which developmental studies/theories we should be covering in our high school (AP or grade level) psychology courses.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Nun Study

In 1986, David Snowdon, then at the University of Minnesota and later at the University of Kentucky, began a longitudinal study of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The study, centered on Alzheimer's disease and aging in general, has come to be known as "The Nun Study"

Go to for more information. While the whole website has a wealth of information on the study, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section contains a good, short synopsis.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thinking critically example: Playboy model as vaccine expert

This article about the ABC nightly news "consulting" with Jenny McCarthy regarding the supposed "link" between vaccines and autism made me think about the potential power of research method training for our psychology students. (I found out about the article from Mark Breedlove's excellent Biological Psychology listserve)

Like other issues (e.g. facilitated communication, learning styles, etc.) the peer-reviewed, controlled research evidence clearly points to one conclusion, but very powerful anecdotal research (mostly from parents convinced that vaccines caused their child's autism) is emotionally compelling.

Students could examine the competing claims about the safety of vaccines and discuss which research methodologies were used for each "side" of the debate. This article from Wired does a good job tracing the history of the issue (although the article doesn't present the issue as open or unresolved - the author clearly concludes that the scientific evidence points to the safety of vaccines).

Getting students to think critically about these competing claims of truth is going to be increasingly vital (in my opinion), since folks are now faced with multiple competing truth claims from all our super-fast media sources.

GMU's Online Resources for Development

Adam Winsler and Susan Keegan of George Mason University's Psychology Department developed a website to assist students in their developmental psychology courses. The site is a primarily filled with links to other websites. A search function is included as well as suggestions how the site can be used by both teachers and students. GMU's Online Resources for Developmental Psychology can be found at

As people have an opportunity to explore this site, please feel free to leave your "special finds" in the comment section below. Thanks in advance for your help.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ethics and the Teaching of Psychology

I found this article by Ana Ruiz on the Association for Psychological Science website that describes the ethical issues related to teaching several of the units that we will focus upon during our courses.  She discusses both ethical concerns on the part of instructors in addition to ethical questions to be asked during each topic.  The author also recommends further resources (which will be reviewed here later).

Developmental Psychology Lesson Plans

In the Classroom Resources section of the Discovery Education website at there are two lesson plans devoted to developmental psychology.

The Building a Baby lesson ( is designed for middle school/junior high students, but can easily be adapted to a higher level student.

The Human Development lesson plan ( deals with Erikson's eight stages of psychosocial development.

Please feel free to leave a note in the comments section if you try one or both of these lessons.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Autism and Cluster Data

On January 6, NPR had a story discussing clusters of cases of autism.  The article examines the issue of data analysis and correlations explaining the seeming clusters.  The researchers are very careful with their words and the distinctions are important.

Great story for both autism and data analysis.

At the bottom of the article, there are related stories to this one.
The Teaching Resource Center at the University of California at Berkeley has developed a Teaching Guide for their graduate student instructors. The website has a page on Theories of Learning which includes information on the cognitive development theories of Piaget and Zygotsky. Either click on any of the links below or go to the introduction page at


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Using Media for Illustrating Disorders

In general, I will try to locate video clips of real people who suffer from disorders to show the pain, anxiety, panic, depression, mania, etc. to illustrate certain symptoms or disorders. I ran across this site on YouTube this week. The author is a doctoral student in media psychology and calls himself "Mediashrink." He uses cartoons and other media to illustrate disorders. The link is here: While I have not viewed all the videos, I liked the one on the Wizard of Oz as possibly suffering from Bipolar Disorder.

His description of his Channel: This site will be dedicated to explanation of psychological disorders using existing media remixed by Nuwerks Publishing and
These videos were created to convey information about symptoms and hold the viewer's attention. Further information about how these disorders can be found in the DSM IV. While some of the characters in the videos do not precisely fit the specified disorder, they do make do make learning about the disorders more entertaining and memorable.

Does the Internet change the way we think?

The online salon recently posed this question to 109 scholars: "How Has The Internet Changed The Way You Think?" The answers are diverse, often conflicting and utterly fascinating. One warning: this site is a) laid out very poorly and b) a time suck -- you will skip from thinker to thinker and before you know hours have gone by. If you'd like a brief overview, check Sharon Begley's article in Newsweek. Here are selected thoughts from some of the psychologists who participated:
  • Gerd Gigerenzer - "The Internet is a kind of collective memory, to which our minds will adapt until a new technology eventually replaces it. Then we will begin outsourcing other cognitive abilities, and hopefully, learn new ones.")
  • Stephen Kosslyn - "I am a better thinker now than I was before I integrated the Internet into my mental and emotional processing."
  • David Myers - "In the echo chambers of virtual worlds, as in real worlds, separation + conversation = polarization."
  • Sherry Turkle - "To me, opening up a conversation about rethinking the Net, privacy, and civil society is not backward-looking nostalgia or Luddite in the least. It seems like part of a healthy process of democracy defining its sacred spaces."
  • Simon Baron-Cohen - "This year's Edge question at least gives me pause to think whether I really want to be spending 1000 hours a year on email, at the expense of more valuable activities."

Time flies. How?

This nice lesson plan from the New York Times' Learning Network appeared in my inbox this week. It takes an article from earlier this week (Where Does the Time Go? Do Not Ask the Brain) and expands it with several experiments that use the article to explore the scientific method.

Further browsing the Learning Network offerings yields article-based lesson plans on legalizing marijuana, teenage brains, the role of dopamine, stereotypes and prejudice. Have you used these lessons in class? If so, please share your feedback in the comments.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Psych Files: Mnemonic Device for Erikson's Eight Stages of Development

Michael Britt of The Psych Files has developed a clever mnemonic to help remember Erik Erikson's stages of psychosocial development. Michael uses common household items within a peg word mnemonic to help students remember all eight stages.

While the video can be found on a number of websites, I thought I would go straight to the primary source. Go to to view the clip.

Perhaps Michael, a follower of the THSP blog, would like to comment on how he developed the mnemonic and additional mnemonics on The Psych Files website.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010 TOPSS Scholars Essay Competition

The following comes from Emily Leary of the APA's Education Directorate.

The 2010 Essay Topic focuses on human behavior and the environment. In 3,000 words or less, students are asked to develop a statement on how human behavior affects a specific environmental issue and describe a project that could be carried out in the local community. Students must include three principles of learning theory that may encourage behavior change in the community, and research findings on these principles should be used to support the plan. The competition is open to any high school student who has been enrolled or is presently enrolled in a high school psychology course. Up to four $250 awards will be given to the best papers. Essays must be submitted online.

See for full details. The submission deadline is March 1, 2010

Ainsworth Strange Situation

Free Response Question #1 of 2008 AP Psychology Exam included a section where students were asked to "summarize one main idea or finding" from Mary Ainsworth's studies on attachment.

Students were then asked to "provide a specific example of actions the Smith-Garcias (a fictitious set of parents) might take to raise their child to produce positive outcomes" in the area of self-reliance using Ainsworth's theories.

A number of good video clips exist showing various aspects of Ainsworth's research and demonstrate her "strange situation" study. Wherever possible, I've included multiple sites where the clips can be found.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

APA TOPSS Excellence in Teaching Awards 2010

The following comes from Emily Leary of the APA's Education Directorate.

The purpose of the APA TOPSS Excellence in Teaching Awards is to recognize outstanding high school teachers in psychology. Up to three awards will be given to recognize outstanding teaching. The award includes a cash prize, award, certificate, and TOPSS membership or renewal, along with a teaching resource donated by Worth Publishers.

See for full details. The nomination deadline is March 5, 2010.

2010 APA/Clark University Workshop for High School Teachers

The following comes from Emily Leary of the APA's Education Directorate.

The 6th Annual APA/Clark University Workshop will be held July 26-28, 2010 in Worcester, MA. This exciting annual event is co-sponsored by APA, the American Psychological Foundation, and Clark University. All interested high school psychology teachers are invited to apply; the workshop will be open to twenty-five teachers. Workshop presenters will include Nancy Budwig, PhD, Marianne Wiser, PhD, and others from the Clark University Psychology Department. TOPSS members Charlie Blair-Broeker of Cedar Falls High School in Cedar Falls, Iowa and Michael Hamilton of Hopkinton High School, Hopkinton, MA will also present. Dana Dunn, PhD, of Moravian College, will deliver a keynote address.

Housing in the Clark campus dorms and materials will be provided for all participants. There is no registration fee. Participants will also receive travel stipends of $100. New in 2010, five travel scholarships of $250 each will be available to teachers in need of extra travel support.

The application deadline is April 15, 2010. Participants will be selected by approximately May 1. For additional details on registration, travel reimbursement, and more, please visit

TV alert: The Human Spark

PBS brings back Alan Alda for a three-part series called "The Human Spark." The episodes air nationally on PBS as follows:
The final episode may be of most interest to us and includes an MRI of Alda's brain. There's a nice review in the LA Times today about the program to learn more, and as usual, the accompanying PBS website is great.

Developmental Psychology on Cliff Notes

The CliffNotes website includes a page entitled "Homework help in Developmental Psychology from CliffNotes" which includes articles on all the major areas of developmental psychology. In addition, the site includes a glossary of major developmental terms.

The homework help can be found at The homework help section also includes a webpage for introductory psychology at

The developmental psychology glossary can be found at,articleId-30164.html

For more information on CliffNotes books go to

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Video Clips on Harlow's Monkeys

There are a number of online video clips of Harry Harlow's attachment studies with rhesus monkeys. Wherever possible, I've included non-YouTube links for those of you who have the service blocked by your school's firewall.

Please be aware, there are many other video clips of these experiments available online. I have tried to pick ones which feature both Harlow and actual footage of the monkey subjects. Please fee free to leave other links in the comments section below.

Monday, January 4, 2010

TV alert: This Emotional Life

Tonight PBS presents the first of a three part series called "This Emotional Life." Hosted by Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, TEL (according to the press release PDF) "tackles everyday issues, from fear and anger to more complex ones such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, exploring how our social interactions and our emotions are deeply wired in our brains. The series looks at the latest biological and social science behind our human nature to help us better understand what drives our emotions and what can lead us to greater fulfillment." Parts 2 and 3 are to air on Tuesday and Wednesday night, respectively, but since this is PBS be sure to check your local listings first.

In addition the accompanying website offers links to topics (along with video clips) that you may be able to use in class. Topics include Grief and Loss, Humor, PTSD, Attachment and more -- see the full list here.

The Teen Brain

The September-October 2008 issue of the Harvard Magazine contains a concise article describing current research into the adolescent brain. The effects of alcohol and sleep deprivation are also discussed.

The Harvard Magazine website at includes a function where the article is converted into a PDF document suitable for printing.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

APA Psychology National Standards--updated info

My spring semester begins in the morning and I was doing some planning this afternoon.  Our school has finally gotten to the electives for creating curriculum maps and there are no California state psychology standards.  So I began my revisit to the APA National Standards for Psychology.  Kent already highlighted the site this past April, but the URL has changed.

As Kent had written earlier:
So, you've been asked to teach a psychology course and have no idea where to start? At a workshop or meeting of psychology teachers, you are puzzled when someone asks if you follow the domains? When your school administrators ask you to submit a formal curriculum complete with content standards for your high school level psychology class, do you wish someone in the country had one posted online?

Believe it or not, since 1999 TOPSS (Teacher of Psychology in Secondary Schools) has published national standards for a high school psychology course (non-AP). The document has gone through a number of different names, but it is now referred to as "National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula".

The Standards have been endorsed by the National Council of Social Studies (NCSS) and would make an ideal framework for any state's educational standards.

One of my favorite features is the visual map below of the primary domains of psychology.  One strategy of designing a course is to choose one overview topic from each domain to create the foundation of a course (especially those of us who have one semester courses).

The standards can be found online in a PDF format at or from the "Links of Interest" section of this blog. The document can be downloaded by sections or as one complete .pdf file.  It is an outstanding resource.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Top Psychology Books of 2009, revised links

Below are some of the top psychology books published in 2009 selected completely by me based on what I read, book reviews and other "best of" lists. Also, great news -- I have two of the books below to give away for free! I have one copy each of Scott Lilienfeld's 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology and Stanislas Dehaene's Reading in the Brain. To enter, enter a comment below with both your e-mail address and the name of a psychology-related book that you've always enjoyed (regardless of the year of publication). I'll randomly select two winners from the comments that are posted by 6 pm EST on January 15, 2010. Good luck!
(side note from Chuck here--I took all Steve's info and changed the links--sorry for any problems this may have caused)

Reading in the Brain: The Science and Evolution of a Human Invention
Stanislaw Dehaene -- "Drawing on scads of brain-imaging studies, case histories of stroke victims and ingenious cognitive psychology experiments, cognitive neuroscientist Dehaene diagrams the neural machinery that translates marks on paper into language, sound and meaning."

Scott O. Lilienfeld et al. -- "Because I only use 10% of my brain, I had to play Mozart music while reading this book, and then be hypnotized to recover the memory of it because of early childhood traumas that were repressed but occasionally leaked through out-of-body experiences and ESP. And if you believe any of the above you need to read this book...twice if its mythbusting revelations cause you to repress the memory of it." (Michael Shermer!)

The Red Book
C.G. Jung -- "It is an astonishing example of calligraphy and art on a par with The Book of Kells and the illuminated manuscripts of William Blake. This publication of The Red Book is a watershed that will cast new light on the making of modern psychology."

Lise Eliot -- "In taking the challenge of addressing the difference between little boys and little girls, Eliot explains how modest differences at birth between the brains of boys and girls are amplified by social factors that in turn produce anatomical changes in the brain to give rise to the greater differences evident in the actions of brains of mature men and women. Eliot explains, in language that is clear to all of us, that these sex differences are plastic and can be modified by experience."

Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive
Barbara Fredrickson -- "Positive psychology pioneer Fredrickson introduces readers to the power of harnessing happiness to transform their lives, backed up by impressive lab research."

Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman -- "The central premise of this book by Bronson (What Should I Do with My Life?) and Merryman, a Washington Post journalist, is that many of modern society's most popular strategies for raising children are in fact backfiring because key points in the science of child development and behavior have been overlooked."

The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life
Alison Gopnik -- "As she tackles philosophical questions regarding love, truth and the meaning of life, Gopnik reveals that babies and children are keys not only to how the mind works but also to our understanding of the human condition and the nature of love."

Christopher Payne -- "Architect and photographer Christopher Payne spent six years documenting the decay of state mental hospitals like these, visiting seventy institutions in thirty states ... Accompanying Payne's striking and powerful photographs is an essay by Oliver Sacks (who described his own experience working at a state mental hospital in his book Awakenings)."

The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite
David Kessler -- "Conditioned hypereating is a biological challenge, not a character flaw, says Kessler, former FDA commissioner under presidents Bush and Clinton). Here Kessler describes how, since the 1980s, the food industry, in collusion with the advertising industry, and lifestyle changes have short-circuited the body's self-regulating mechanisms, leaving many at the mercy of reward-driven eating."

Jonah Lehrer -- "Lehrer [...] illuminates the many processes involved in even the simplest decisions. By letting the experts do much of the talking and by drawing conclusions from his voluminous research and knowledge of the field, Lehrer presents a readable account of what we know about how we decide -- and acknowledges the vast universe of what we don't."

Dave Cullen -- "Cullen expertly balances the psychological analysis—enhanced by several of the nation's leading experts on psychopathology—with an examination of the shooting's effects on survivors, victims' families and the Columbine community. Readers will come away from Cullen's unflinching account with a deeper understanding of what drove these boys to kill, even if the answers aren't easy to stomach."