Sunday, February 28, 2010

Modern social learning examples

I came across two separate items in the past 24 hours and I put them together to make a trend. (!) First, there's a new movie coming soon called "The Joneses" in which a faux family moves into an upscale neighborhood and is so cool that everyone wants to be like them -- which means having all the cool brands and new toys that they have. Of course they don't just happen to have these items, but in reality they are selling them and constantly evaluating how their actions are affecting their market share. Their neighbors see them as models and seek to imitate them, as in social learning. The trailer to The Joneses appears above -- and yes, I am delighted to hear David Duchovny say "I'm Steve Jones."

The other example was on the program Marketplace Money where host Tess Vigeland was discussing a YouTube trend called hauls -- young people (who all seem to be female, at least based on the examples) go out on a shopping spree, return home, create a video detailing their hauls and upload it for the world to see. Again, but this time in real life, some people see these young women as who they want to be and therefore want to buy the products to be like them. There are also more examples from a different NPR show earlier this month. (Is there something about NPR that hates conspicuous consumption? I'll leave that for you to decide.)

None of this is new of course (the "Be Like Mike" campaign of the '90s comes to mind as a prime example) but I wonder how long before marketers emulate "The Joneses" and co-opt the haul videos by paying young women to pimp their products. Or maybe they already do? Also, I wonder why the Marketplace Money story didn't ask the question I wanted to know the answer to: where is this money coming from to fund these hauls, and what do these girls' parents think about this?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Phobia Puzzles

Yesterday, the Midnight posting concerned the many, many online lists of phobias. Today we center in on possible uses of those lists in class.

Below you will find a number of links to different types of phobia puzzles.

New York Times Crossword Puzzle: "What are You Afraid of?"

Two short crossword puzzles on Phobias

Phobia Word Search

Online Phobia word find

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Temple Grandin's TED talk

Clearly I'm not objective here (witness my last post on TG) but I am so psyched to realize today that the TED folks have just released Temple Grandin's talk from last month. It's a 20 minute talk from Temple about how she thinks and she discusses the recent movie as well. Her manic energy and passion for the subject is so engaging that this will fit nicely into any unit on thinking, disorders or Cool Stuff (my favorite unit). She talks about different ways that kids learn in addition to just those who think in pictures, and the similarity of thinking in pictures with animal thinking.

Provocative quotation: "I'm seeing a lot of these geeky, nerdy kids and the teachers out in the Midwest and in other parts of the country, when you get away from these tech areas, they don't know what to do with these kids ... we've got to show these kids interesting stuff."

TED talks are usually just awesome, like the one I just noticed about how brains learn to see. You can also search by tags for subjects like the brain, psychology, and happiness. Check 'em out!

A Listing of Phobias

Creating an online listing of Phobias seems to be a "hobby/interest" for a number of people/groups. Below you will find the first six responses for a Google search of "list of phobias".

The Phobia list of over 500 phobias

Phobia List - An A to Z List of Phobias from About

List of Phobias from Wikipedia

The List of Phobias


A Complete List of Phobias

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

NIMH Publications

The National Institute of Mental Health has a large number of excellent mental health publications. They come in booklet, easy to read, or fact sheets formats.

Almost all of the publications can be downloaded as a PDF file and printed for classroom use. Many of the publications can be ordered in limited quantities from the NIMH.

you will find a search function for all the mental health publications at the site.

Below you will find a selection of NIMH's booklets on the major mental disorders.

Publications » Booklets

Anxiety Disorders
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Autism Spectrum Disorders (Pervasive Developmental Disorders)
Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens: A Parent’s Guide
Eating Disorders
Men and Depression
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Women and Depression: Discovering Hope

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Food Court Musical

OK, this is the last one, I promise.   I just love to see how people will react to odd situations.  Maybe it was all those "Candid Camera" episodes when I was a kid.  This one is called, "Food Court Musical."  Something about needing a napkin.

Shutter Island

One of the best things about being a psych teacher is hearing the magic question, "Have you seen movie X or read book Y?  "It has so much to do with class" or or "I saw this and it made me think of you."  Something along those lines.  Not sure about you, but I love hearing that.  In my head, I'm jumping up and down thinking "they are making connections!!!!"  It's even better when they go into detail about how the connections are made. 

The current pop culture event that is prompting the question is the new film, Shutter Island with Leo DiCaprio and Sir Ben Kingsley.  You can imagine my delight when I discovered this review on NewAmerican by Raven Clabough that uses the terms "behavioral psychology," "humanistic psychology," and "experimental psychology."  The review itself is excellent and based upon its descriptions, makes the film a must-see.

I've had numerous students mention the film in class.  Former students have contacted me on facebook to ask me if I've seen it.  I suppose I now must go.  After all, I did not see The Matrix when my students told me to back in 1999.  The three Matrix films are now among my favorites (can you say The Ultimate Matrix Collection [Blu-ray]???).  I should have listened to my students then--I think I will now.

DSM-IV-TR Classification Listing

From what I can determine, one of the Prentice Hall Abnormal Psychology Textbooks includes an online appendix to the book which details the classification and assessment system of the DSM-IV-TR.

The first eight pages of the PDF document includes a detailed listing of all the mental disorders with their code numbers. The second part of the appendix provides a basic explanation of the multiaxial assessment system.

The appendix detailing the DSM's systems can be found at

Monday, February 22, 2010

New Concussion "Test"

I've posted several entries on concussions before. This one, posted on NPR today, is about a "new test" that is low tech to help diagnose concussions. For any of you who have done the Activities Manual Volume 1 activity using the yardstick, this will sound very familiar. Health Professionals attach a hockey puck to the end of a stick.  The article does a nice job of describing what the test is and is not along with more information on diagnosing concussions.  If you should also do the yardstick activity, this will be a nice supplement to it.

One of the saddest stories ever told . . .

This story hit me like an emotional ton of bricks this weekend when I heard it on This American Life (it was a revisit of a story already aired on the radio show we plug most often on this blog: Radio Lab). The blurb on the website makes the story sound only mildly interesting:

"Chimps. Bonobos. Humans. We’re all great apes. This hour we take a look at what happens when we all try to live together. Our main story is about a chimp named Lucy."

But that quick summary completely misses the powerful emotional impact of the story: The bulk of it is focuses on one researcher's attempt to treat Lucy humanely (semi-pun intended) AFTER the research is over. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and others "raised" Lucy as human, and they may have been far too successful. What happens after you are "done" with the 20-30 year old chimpanzee you used in your research? The story documents the noble and corageous efforts of Janis Carter to care for Lucy, going to extraordinary lengths to help Lucy have some sort of life after the research. Warning: keep some kleenex handy for the ending.

(Teaching thought: This story could get students fired up about the ethics of animal experimentation)



On their website, American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. includes electronic versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders I, II, III, IIIR, and IV. Each of the books are available in a PDF format.

This provides a perfect opportunity to see how the various disorders names, descriptions, and symptom patterns have changes over the years. Below I've included the links to each of the past DSMs.






Sunday, February 21, 2010

What if People Froze in Place?

Improv Everywhere does it again with their "frozen in place" scene.  In this one, 207 people, on cue, freeze in place for two minutes.  Group norms are powerful.  The reactions can be predicted, but not all of them.  Enjoy.

How to Find a High School Psych Teaching Job

Before I was hired for my first job, I was really clueless about how to find a job teaching psychology.  For the younger folks, this was in the days before the internet and before online job application forms.  Everything was either done by hand or very carefully on my IBM Selectric typewriter (insert groans or knowing smiles here).  I made lots of phone calls (remember long distance in the time before cell phones?) and checked the classifieds.  In any case, things are much easier now. 

In California, there is one website that nearly every school district uses to advertise jobs. That site is: If there is a school job in the state, it will be there.
There is also a site for community college jobs.  These are site for all teaching jobs, and you will have to narrow your search.
In California, one will be probably not be able to teach only psychology—we often have to add other social science classes to our schedules (I've also taught US Government, Sociology, and World Religions here). It has to do with graduation requirements and the culture in the past 20 years or so.  Also, many electives in Cali are being cut as a result of the budget issues at the state level.
Here is where we really need your expertise--especially for those of you not in California. Since this blog is about teaching high school psychology, I suspect most of us will be at the high school or community college level. I'm not aware of any centralized location to seek out psych teaching jobs at the high school level across the US.

I recall that making contacts at the AP reading was a great place to find out what was available.  I vaguely remember how counties in Illinois had listings for their areas.  I can thank the Psych-News listserv for finding out about my current job. 

What is out there now?  If your state has such a web site(s) or services, please add the information and any insights in the comments section.  Thanks in advance for your contributions.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Quackwatch and Snopes

Quackwatch?  What the heck is that, a bird-watching group that focuses on Mallards?  No, it is a web site that is devoted to exposing those who are engaged in health fraud.  Dr. Stephen Barrett, a psychiatrist, takes skepticism to a higher level than most of us practice.  For that, he's encountered some critics and controversy.  Does that make his conclusions wrong?  A good debate to be sure.  He exposes some very popular methods of healing as scams or ineffective.  Some "cherished beliefs are challenged."  Personally, I like anything that takes us out of our cognitive comfort zone.  

As teachers of psychology and science, we've undoubtedly encountered students who share with us experiences that family members have had with healing magnets, crystals, homeopathy, special vitamins, colon cleansing, etc.  When I hear of these, I will go to to see what they and the research has to say.

I will also do this with when I hear things that sound like Urban Legends.  For those unfamiliar, urban legends are stories that are told and retold as fact even though there is often no basis for the story--they are modern myths.  From Wikipedia, "Like all folklore, contemporary legends are not necessarily false, but they are often distorted, exaggerated, or sensationalized over time."  While they make for great entertainment and even as cautionary tales, they are not true and often reflect fears, biases and prejudices of the tellers.  Anyone who recalls the "Birther Conspiracy" or the lady with the cat caught in the rain who microwaved it to dry it out faster will recognize the power of these stories.  Often, it has happened to a FOAF (friend of a friend)--but it's REAL!!!!!  according to the teller. 

Both sites deal with our individual cognition as well as social cognition on top of research methods.  They would fit nicely within any of those units.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The No Pants Subway Ride/Improv Everywhere

Group norms can be very powerful--perhaps as much, if not more than our own conscience.  For this, I like to examine this video--a group plans to ride the subway without pants (bit still wearing underwear).  I like this not so much for the humor, but for the reactions of those who are stuck in group norms.  This activity is brought to us by a group called "Improv Everywhere." 

Lorenz Imprinting Video

This video clip is actual footage of Konrad Lorenz with his imprinted geese. The silent clip shows Lorenz being followed by the geese on land and in the water. I would suggest starting the video at about the one minute mark.

For those who have access to YouTube go to

For everyone else, go t0 the VidoMo version at

At the beginning of the clip Lorenz is speaking through a megaphone. I am at a loss as to what Lorenz is doing. If anyone knows please leave a comment below.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sound of Music | Central Station Antwerp (Belgium)

A while back, I had seen this video and was reminded of it earlier while discussing social psychology with my spring semester class.  The video was of a group of people who planned and executed a group dance in a Belgium train station

This is a fun video to see the reactions of the passersby--what would our students predict of the audience?  would they be surprised? show fear?  would they try to participate?  some other reaction?

I will post other videos in a series of changing the social context by individual and group behavior

Motivation and Behavior Knol

Goggle's Knol, similar to Wikipedia, allows authors to post their writings online. Kevin Spaulding of Sunnyvale, CA has written a number of psychology related articles. One of his better pieces is Motivation and Behavior. Kevin's posting is similar to what a traditional introductory text tends to cover for this unit, though the section on emotions is a bit sparse.

No different than with Wikipedia, people should be cautious of Knol's postings for accuracy and potential extraneous motives. Different than Wikipedia, modifications to the articles on Knol can only be done by the original author. Anyone with a Knol account can suggest changes, but the ultimate power rests with the author of the piece.

To view Kevin's piece on motivation go to

For a complete listing of psychology related articles on Knol go to

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mental Illness and Stigma

A post today on PsychTeach about reducing stigma associated with mental illness reminded me of this web site that I had found a few years ago, but promptly filed and lost:
This reminds me about one of the missions we have as educators--to reduce the level of ignorance about all things psychological--to inform our students to help bring change to society (at least it's in my mission).

Whereas ours is in a general sense, BringChange2Mind's is more focused on mental illness.

The site focuses upon fact/fiction, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and PTSD, getting help to those who are suffering, and helping to change the minds of those who misunderstand the disorders. On this page, there are links to various other societies and groups that help those in need. All in all, a great site with resources to assist in educating our students.

Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center

Established in 1999, the Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center has been informing the public on the various eating disorders and their treatments. While the site appears to be primarily designed to assist someone in finding treatment, there is basic information on anorexia, bulimia and the other eating disorders.

Students might be particularly interested in the section concerning celebrities and eating disorders. The homepage can be found at

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Genes to Cognition - great brain site

I was checking out iPhone apps when I stumbled upon one that teaches the parts of the brain. When I went to the maker's website I saw this incredible resource! Genes to Cognition is created by the Dolan DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and I feel like I could spend days here. Have you tried it? If so, please share what you have done in the comments!

For me, the online or iPhone version of the brain simulation is pretty awesome, but I imagine there will be people salivating over these cognitive maps. The topics really range far from just the brain, including schizophrenia, autism, thinking and attention.

P.S. The Dolan DNA Learning Center also offers workshops for teachers!

NIMH Eating Disorders Publication

In 2008, The National Institute of Mental Health published a 26 page booklet on the various Eating Disorders. The book, written primarily to a layperson, provides a good background to the basics of the many Eating Disorders as they currently appear in the DSM-IV-TR.

The booklet can be viewed online by each individual chapter or as a whole, downloaded as a PDF and then printed for your students, or ordered in a paper format.

To view a specific chapter, simply click on the links below.

To view the complete publication online

To go to the webpage detailing the publication

To download a PDF version of the booklet

To order a hard copy of the booklet

Monday, February 15, 2010

Heads of State

The following was posted this morning (02/15/10) on PsychTeacher, the listserv for the Society for the Teaching of Psychology:

"For those of you teaching Cognitive Psych, this link might provide interesting stimulus material for a discussion on feature and structural theories of pattern recognition. It certainly illustrates that facial recognition may be possible even without facial features present (or that hair should be considered a prominent facial feature). "

While the PsychTeacher posting centered on Cognitive Psych, I as a psychology and history major, was excited to see something which could be used in a psychology or US History course.

For a brief article and graphic on the heads and hair of former presidents, go to

For a similar article and graphic concerning the first ladies, go to
Many of us teaching high school psychology have discussed Paul Ekman's classic studies on the universality of facial expressions and emotions. Professor Sophie Scott from the University College London, along with Disa Sauter, has published a study trying to determine if specific sounds associated with a given emotion are the same between different cultures of the world.

Dr Sauter studied subjects in Britain and northern Namibia. While they found commonality with some emotional sounds, they did find it true for all forms of emotions.

To read a ScienceDaily article, Everybody Laughs, Everybody Cries: Researchers Identify Universal Emotions, go to

For a previous THSP Blog posting on Paul Ekman's work on facial expressions go to

Friday, February 12, 2010

E-IQ Test

As part of the student website for the text Understanding Interpersonal Communication with Infotrac: Making Choices In Changing Times by Richard West and Lynn H. Turner, Wadsworth/Cengage Learning includes what they refer to as a "Communications Assessment Test: Emotional Intelligence" taken from Daniel Goldman's Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ?

This online test is supposedly designed to provide a "rough idea" of a person's E-IQ based on how they respond to ten real life situations. The test can be found at

Thursday, February 11, 2010

DSM-5 Proposed Changes Website

On Wednesday, February 10, 2010, the American Psychiatric Association released the proposed draft diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

The proposed diagnostic criteria will be available for public comment until April 20, and will be reviewed and refined over the next two years. According to the current schedule, DSM-5 will be released in May of 2013.

To view the proposed changes go to

On a completely trivial point, it appears from their website, press releases and other publications, the American Psychiatric Association is abandoning the Roman Numeral system in going from DSM-IV to DSM-5.

ScienCentral Blog Hunger Posting

In May of 2008, the ScienCentral Blog published a posting regarding studies from the journal Cell Metabolism which suggests a relationship between hunger and a hormone, ghrelin. The study uses MRIs to explore whether the presence of ghrelin makes food look more appetizing which in turn makes the person feel hungry.

The posting gives a complete explanation of the study and a short (1:19) YouTube video clip. The site includes links to clips on other websites for those not having access to YouTube. The blog entry can be found at

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Social Psychology of Social Networking

Recent articles about the Facebook redesign, Google Buzz, and Facebook battling back against Google Buzz got me thinking about how the tidal wave of social networking behaviors relate to the social psychology principles we discuss with students.

I'd love to hear how students would answer a question like: "How do social psychology principles influence on-line social networking behaviors?" Principles like diffusion of responsibility, norms of reciprocity, social facilitation, conformity, etc. obviously interact in powerful ways in online communities, and I haven't read anything great that explores these forces in this context (although I bet there's a lot of good analysis out there). If anyone tries this with your students, please holler back in the comments section and let us know what they said!

THSP Blog One Year Celebration

Today (02/10/10) marks the one year anniversary of the Teaching High School Psychology Blog. In the course of one year we have had over 380 postings and are currently receiving an around 10,000 hits a month. Thanks to everyone who has helped make the THSP Blog such a success.

In honor of our birthday, many of the textbook publishers have generously donated prize packages. Over the course of the next week and a half, we will have a number of contests and drawings to distribute those prizes to lucky psychology teachers.

On February 12th we will randomly pick winners from the list of Followers of the THSP Blog and from those who receive THSP Blog postings via Feedburner.

To become a Follower of the THSP Blog, simply go to the blog page at , then cursor down the left side column to the followers section. Click on the "sign up" link and follow the directions.

To receive the THSP Blog postings via Feedburner, go to the THSP Blog, then cursor down the left side column to the section entitled "Get Email Updates of the Teaching High School Psychology Blog" section. Enter your email address and click subscribe. You will then be sent a verification via email. Follow the directions in that email and you will start receiving a daily email update of the blog's postings and become eligible for the drawing.

We at the THSP Blog hope everyone has found our posting useful and pertinent to their teaching. Please feel to contact any of the blog's moderators if you have questions, comments, or suggestions. We are always looking for ways to improve.

NY Times DSM-V Article

The front page the national edition of this morning's (02/20/10) New York Times, includes an article on the upcoming revision of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The article, Revising Book on Disorders of the Mind, states DSM-V is slated for publication in 2013 and goes through a number of potential changes.

The article can be found online at Be sure to click the multimedia box on the left hand column for detailed information on the reclassification of Personality Disorders.

The Emotional Life

In January (2010) PBS introduced a three-part series, This Emotional Life, which explored the psychological aspects of emotions and human interactions.

Hosted by Daniel Gilbert, the series' website can be found at which includes a number of good items including video clips from the series. Be sure to check out the "resource finder" section.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Maslow and YouTube

Since its inception, YouTube has been a fantastic resource of short video clips not just for psychology, but all courses. The primary difficulty with YouTube is going through the large collection and determining which would work best in a class.

For example, a search on YouTube for "Maslow hierarchy of needs" came back with over 500 hits. Many of the postings are from students who created a video for their psychology class. Some are fantastic others are questionable to say the least.

For this posting of the Midnight Postings I would ask that anyone who has found a good YouTube video on Maslow to add the specifics in a comment below. The homepage for YouTube can be found at

Monday, February 8, 2010

LOL to Good Health

Laughing Out Loud (LOL) to Good Health is an award winning website written and designed by three high school students from around the world who have never met. While the site appears to have been written some time ago, the material and web design is still very current.

The site deals primarily with emotions, stress, and laughter. All three sections can easily be used in a high school psychology course (grade level, AP or IB).

It might be interesting to assign your students to explore the site and get their reactions. Be sure to check out the Teacher's Corner.

Laughing Out Loud (LOL) to Good Health can be found at

Friday, February 5, 2010

Top 10 Nonverbal Communication Tips Psychology has an interesting posting on their Top Ten Nonverbal Communication Tips. The listing provides insights on how someone can notice nonverbal communication cues in others and how they should be aware of their own nonverbal communication when interacting with people. The top ten tips can be found at

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Eureka Brain poster

Serendipitously this fits nicely with this week's THSP theme of freebies ... who wants a giant poster of the brain like the one above? Actually the picture above is just a smidgen of the real thing which is just huge -- did I mention ginormous even? It's HERE. (And there's an accompanying article on the brain as well, all compliments of the Times Online.)

Want to make it a real poster? There are many sites on the Internet to do that but another idea is to make it for "free" (you pay for your own printing and paper) via BlockPosters. You can make an enormous brain and take up an entire classroom wall!

(And THANKS to the always amazing Vaughan Bell of MindHacks for the tip!)

UPDATE: here is a smaller version of the brain poster. Enjoy!

THSP Blog Birthday Celebration - New Teacher Peer Award

Believe it or not, next week marks the first anniversary of the Teaching High School Psychology Blog. On February 10, 2009 we published our first post. 370 some posts later we are ready to celebrate what we hope everyone agrees has been a very successful year. To help make the event truly a celebration, many of the publishing companies have promised a number of "goodies" such as books, DVDs, resources items and the like.

One birthday event which I hope will become an annual tradition, is the New Teacher Peer Award. Nominated and voted upon by one's fellow high school psychology teachers, the recipient of this award must have been teaching psychology for ten or less years, and, in the words of Phil Zimbardo, has worked to "share psychology" with the world.

For the next week (2/3 to 2/10) I will be excepting nominations for the New Teacher Peer Award. Send your nomination(s) to Kent Korek at Please include the nominee's name, high school, email address and a brief statement (which will be published on the THSP Blog) on why you feel the teacher is deserving of this award. I would ask that you contact the nominee(s) to confirm their willingness to be nominated. Self nominations will NOT be accepted.

On February 11th, the poll of the nominees will be published on the THSP Blog where high school psychology teachers can vote for their choice. On February 16th the poll will close with the winner announced the next day.

Worth Publishing has graciously donated what I consider the ultimate new teacher prize, the DVDs for both The Brain and The Mind series. We would like to thank Rich Rosenlog and Eileen Tanania for their generosity. This is just one of many prizes coming from Worth for our birthday celebration.

Over the next few days, please take some time to consider nominating a fellow psychology teacher. Over my many years of teaching psychology, I have come to realize we are a very unique group in our willingness to share and collaborate with each other in ways I've never seen in the other areas I have taught. I hope this is an opportunity to say "thanks" to someone who has helped your teaching.

How Stuff Works - Lie Detector

The "How Stuff Works" website has a fantastic explanation of the inner workings and the theory behind a lie detector.

The site even includes a three minute video clip from the Discovery Channel's MythBusters show interviewing an expert on lie detection.

Go to
for more information.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Midwest Institute for Students and Teachers of Psychology

For the past seventeen years, Pat Pucio and her colleagues at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL have put together one of the best teaching of psychology institutes in the midwest. The Midwest Institute for Students and Teachers of Psychology (MISTOP) has always included some of the top speakers from around the country.

This year's institute, on March 5th and 6th, promises to be just as good as those in the past with the keynote address given by James Kalat of North Carolina State University and author of Introduction of Psychology. Dr Kalat's talk, The Modern Psychology of Consciousness will open two days of poster sessions, concurrent sessions, textbooks distributors and much more.

For more information on this year's MISTOP go to

Call for Submissions - Whitman Journal of Psychology

Below is an email from Sheryl Freedman of Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, MD and the editors of the Whitman Journal of Psychology. I would strongly suggest every high school psychology teacher, (grade-level, AP, and IB), seriously consider having their students submit articles to this journal devoted to high school psychology. To see a previous THSP Blog posting on the Whitman Journal go to

Dear Psychology Teachers,

The Whitman Journal of Psychology is a student-run, student-funded, psychology journal that reaches over a thousand schools and psychology students each year. Two editions are published annually that consist of articles submitted by students across the country.

This year, the Journal is looking for both psychological experiments and research-based articles. Both should be submitted in APA format.

Please inform your students about this unique opportunity to have their work published in a nationally recognized journal. All interested students should e mail their submissions to

If you have any questions about submmisions or the journal, please visit or send us an e mail at

Sheryl Freedman on behalf of the Editors of the Whitman Journal of Psychology
Walt Whitman High School
Bethesda, MD

Frontline: Digital Nation

This isn't psych specific, but it sure is psych applicable: Did anyone else watch the Frontline Episode called "Digital Nation" last night? I thought it was a thorough and fascinating discussion of the questions posed by the roles of technology in schools, in raising kids, etc. There was some treatment of the impact of videogames on behavior (specifically the US Army's use of videogames in training and recruitment) that could fit well into the social psych chapter. I'd love to hear what you think about the issues if you get a chance to see it.

How Are You Feeling Today?

Probably the most famous "emotions" classroom poster is Jim Borman's "How Are You Feeling Today?" of thirty faces in different emotional states. The poster can be found at some retail stores and many online sites.

After a quick internet search, the best online "deal" I was able to find was from Child Therapy Toys. They had the a 18X24 laminated version of the poster currently on special for $12.65 plus shipping. For more info go to

Please leave a comment below if you; (1) Find a better online deal than mine above, (2) Find the poster in a national retail chain (i.e. Walmart, Target, etc.).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Harm Reduction

At the Northern Kentucky High School Psychology Institute (waaay back in the 90s - any alums out there? Holler!) Perilou Goddard, the director of the institute and an addiction specialist, taught us about the "Harm Reduction" perspective toward addiction treatment. Briefly, this perspective (common in Europe and Canada) tries to get policy makers to set laws that reduce the harm posed by drug addicts to the rest of society. This perspective can result in some policies that seem counter-intuitive to many of us Americans.

Mind Hacks describes one of these practices "that provides injecting drug users with a place to safely inject drugs with clean equipment and medical staff on hand." The article is a good summary of how Harm Minimization is being implemented, and could be the start of a GREAT classroom discussion.

Paul Ekman's Website

Paul Ekman, author of "Unmasking the Face", "Telling Lies" and "Emotional Awareness", has developed a relatively sophisticated website detailing, as well as promoting, his research and books.

The site includes videos, a newsletter, and much more. To view Ekman's website go to

Below you will find more links and more information so you can purchase many of Paul Ekman's books.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Online Responsive Face

Ken Perlin, professor of Computer Science of the New York University Media Research Lab has developed an online program called "Responsive Face" in which the user can manipulate various aspects of a computerized virtual face.

The site includes preset faces for various emotions including: frightened, disappointed, annoyed, surprised, happy, arrogant, and angry. Users can changes many aspects of the face to create their own set of emotions. The Responsive Face can be found at

Faceland, a distant cousin of the Responsive Face, is a computer program for sale from Do2Learn for $179. From what I can tell by the promotional information, the program is a very sophisticated version of Responsive Face. If anyone has purchased Faceland for use within a high school psychology class, I would love them to leave a comment below detailing their experience. For more information on Faceland go to