Tuesday, August 31, 2010

National Council for the Social Studies Psychology Community

I got to meet Daria Schaffeld, chair of the National Council for the Social Studies Psychology Community, last year at NCSS. She helped run a great meeting for psych. teachers at NCSS, and I mentioned that I could post something about her group here on this blog. Here's Daria's message - please join this group!

"NCSS Communities are groups of NCSS members formed around a similar interest, subject, or job area and vehicles for NCSS members to discuss current topics, seek advice, share their knowledge and connect with other members with similar interests. Our goal is very simple - to help Psychology teachers!

Each year at the National Conference, my co-chairs and I present many wonderful sessions filled with lesson ideas and best practices. We also write 3 newsletters a year and send them to our members.

I am very dedicated to showing NCSS that Psychology is a valuable elective within the Social Studies Curriculum. It is vital that we have a voice.

I truly believe that if you are looking for some inspiration, networking, or assistance becoming part of our organization would be a great move. Membership information can be found on our website.


Online membership is free. I ask that you take a moment to join us. The higher numbers we show the more support NCSS gives our science."

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

TV alert: Secrets of Your Mind

 A belated thanks to Nancy F for finding this one: ABC's Nightline is in the middle of a four-part series called Secrets of Your Mind airing Thursdays at 10pm ET/9pm CT. Last week's focus was Love, this week's is Violence, and the next two weeks are Trauma and Hunger. While they don't appear to offer the entire episodes online, it looks like you can view a number of clips from each episode.

If you have seen this program or can watch this week, please offer a review in the comments!
-- posted by Steve

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Egotist Rex: Are a Dictator's Defiant Statements Indicative of Self-Delusion?"

Here's an article examining the mental state of Muammar Qadhafi. It is an article from Scientific American, written by John Matson, based on an interview with Jerrold Post. Jerrold Post in a Professor of Psychiatry, political psychology and international affairs, and Director of the Political Psychology Program at George Washington University.

D. Post analyzes the long-time leader of Libya by providing evidence for narcissistic and borderline personality features in Qadhafi's statements and behaviors. It is an interesting examination of a very complex individual.

For teachers wishing to bring current events into the classroom, this article might provide an interesting way to discuss the definitions of "abnormality," the difficulty of diagnosis, and/or the characteristics of various personality disorders.

Kristin H. Whitlock

Sunday, August 15, 2010

No Arms, No Legs, No Worries

 From Nick Vujocic's website:
Imagine being born without arms. No arms to wrap around someone, no hands to experience touch, or to hold another hand with. Or what about being born without legs? Having no ability to dance, walk, run, or even stand on two feet. Now put both of those scenarios together: no arms and no legs. What would you do? How would that effect your everyday life?

Of course, there are other links on this page to more of his work.

Posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Friday, August 13, 2010

Back to School Motivation-A Must-See Video

Yesterday, I was sitting in my in-service meetings.  My Principal showed us this video by Dalton Sherman, a young man who is well on his way to doing great things.  Please take the time to watch.  It is very much worth it.  By all means, share it with your colleagues as well.  These days with classes of more than 40 students, we need to be reminded of what our roles are. 

Posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Monday, August 2, 2010

Das Experiment [The Experiment]

Das Experiment is a German film that fictionalizes (but has the standard disclaimer that the film was not based upon real events or people) the Zimbardo Prison Study.  The film focuses upon on subject in the film (Number 77) going from his seeing the newspaper ad for the research study, the preliminary testing, the entrance into the simulation, and the subsequent events (most of which we've all read about or even seen). 

Because the film is fictionalized, they've been able to add a love story and added some events that did not occur in the original (such as the love story and computerized surveillance of the prisoners.  In addition to many elements of social cognition, bigotry, social isolation, conformity, obedience, intentional disobedience, role playing, and other overt and subtle psychological principles, they've added some ethical issues that Zimbardo did not face.  Without spoiling anything, the primary antagonist plays the sadistic guard with particular glee.
Because of the language, nudity and sexuality, it is unlikely that any of us could/would use the film in our classes, it is an excellent one for us to view.  There are some wonderful dynamics among the prisoners and among the guards and between the two groups that those of us in psych would appreciate more than the lay person.

The trailer of the film can be seen here.  For those of you on Netlflix, the film is available on both DVD and via streaming.

Posted by Chuck Schallhorn