Thursday, December 29, 2011

The top psychology books of 2011

To begin, a few caveats. I'm a very bad reader. I read *about* a lot of books, and even read a few chapters here and there, but in terms of actually starting and finishing books, I'm not so good. So when I was thinking about a post on the best psychology books of 2011, I was delighted that the amazing had already gone to the trouble in a much better fashion than I would have. Actually, the site's list is of the best psychology and philosophy books of 2011, so here are the psychology-related books from the list:

There is also a psychology book in the Best Biographies and Memoirs of 2011 post, Moonwalking with Einsten: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer. Finally, listed in the Best Food Books of 2011 is Maira Kalman's excellent illustrated version of Michael Pollan's Food Rules, which includes this illustration:

Here are some other books from 2011 that should be in a top psychology books list, in no particular order:

Whew - that's quite a list. What books have YOU read? What are your thoughts? And which books did I omit that should be added? Please share in the comments section below.

--posted by Steve

Friday, December 23, 2011

Design a Brain Experiment Competition

The Dana Foundation is sponsoring this competition which asks high school students to design "an original brain-related experiment." Please note the quick deadline - January 19! The guidelines referred to are in PDF format and can be found here:

Design a Brain Experiment guidelines

--posted by Steve

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Race: The Power of Illusion and Race Sorting

I was just reading my email from Teaching Tolerance, an offshoot of The Southern Poverty Law Center trying to raise awareness of racial/ethnic issues and decreasing the conflict related to them.  In the newsletter there was a link to a PBS site called "Race: The Power of an Illusion, a video from 2003."  The main activity I was directed to was to look at pictures and sort the faces into racial categories.  Wow.  

Let's just say I was not successful.  Nor are most people.  It's a real eye-opening activity that can be done by a person on under five minutes and could be a great beginner to a social psychology unit or a mini-unit on race, ethnicity and/or prejudice/discrimination.  Great for sociology as well.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More than Mouse Party

It's not that Mouse Party isn't one of the most amazing websites for teaching about how various drugs affect neural tranmission - CAUSE IT IS - but there's a lot more to this site than just Mouse Party. Check out some other offerings from the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah:

Oh - did I mention the lesson plans and activities? Oh my!

So - how do you use Mouse Party and these other sites in your class? Have you played Cerebral Commando or used any of these other links? Please share below!

P.S. I could listen to the Mouse Party music all day. Is that wrong?
-- posted by Steve

Saturday, December 10, 2011

4Shared File Sharing Account

A few years ago, as many of the listservs and electronic discussion groups stopped allowing attachments to their posting, it became increasing difficult for teachers to share files with one another. Teachers were left with pasting the document within their posting which caused most of the formatting to be lost or offering to email the file to all interested parties. This last option became increasing difficult as one posting could result in hundreds of requests. Teachers became reluctant to make such an offer.

To solve these problems, in February of 2009, an all access account at 4Shared filing sharing service was created. The account allows anyone to easily download and upload files. The account currently has hundreds of files with thousands of downloads.

Below I've tried to outline the steps of downloading and upload files to and from the 4Shared account. Please be aware, the directions may vary based on the computer and internet browser you use. Please let me know how I can change these directions to accommodate everyone.

Some may have problems reaching the site as a few school districts block access to file sharing accounts. As a result, a number of teachers download the information at home and transfer it to their school computers.

Please feel free to download any of the files on the 4Shared site. Each was uploaded by teachers throughout the country willing to share their work. Please seriously consider uploading materials as well. Throughout my teaching career, I have found psychology teachers always willing to help. Please refrain from uploading copyrighted materials or items inappropriate for the high school level.

To Download Items from the 4Shared account to your computer
  1. Go to The main 4Shared screen should appear listing the various units in a psychology course
  2. Browse through the various folders (click on any folder you would like to explore) until you find an item you would like to download
  3. Once you have found something to download, click on the green down arrow located at the extreme right
  4. Cursor down until you see a blue box saying "Download Now" and "No Virus Detected". Click on that box.
  5. Click the "Slow Download" button. The screen should change to one with a blue countdown box. Wait until the countdown is complete.
  6. Click on "Download File Now".
  7. A typical Windows "You have chosen to open" box should appear. Select whether you want to open the file or save it.
  8. Click OK. If you are saving the file you will be asked where you want the file saved. Choose a location and click save.
Under no conditions should you be required to pay for using the 4Shared account. The owners of the account would obviously prefer you purchase a premium account. A premium account allows for a host of options making downloading files a bit easier and faster, but is not necessary to download or upload files.

To Upload Items from your computer to the 4Shared account
  1. Go to The main 4Shared screen should appear listing the various units in a psychology course.
  2. Browse through the various folders (click on any folder) and determine which subdirectory would be the best for your item.
  3. In the Upload files box at the bottom of the screen click the "browse" button.
  4. Locate the file you would like to upload on your computer.
  5. Use the "more" button if you have multiple files to upload to the subdirectory.
  6. Click the "Upload" button with the green up arrow.
  7. A screen should appear stating your upload was successful.
Thanks to everyone who has posted files on the 4Shared account. Please feel free to contact me (Kent Korek) at if you have any questions, comments, suggestions, etc. about the 4Shared account.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

APA Announces National Survey of High School Psychology Teachers

APA Announces National Survey of High School Psychology Teachers

All high school psychology teachers are invited to participate in a national survey the American Psychological Association (APA) is conducting of high school psychology teachers. This survey, which has been funded through the American Psychological Foundation, will provide APA and the APA Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) with vital information on who is teaching high school psychology across the country. The survey asks questions about your educational background, preparation and training, resources and opportunities, classroom issues, future trends, and professional development needs.

Please take 20 minutes and complete the online survey, available at:

All data will be held confidential and reported in the aggregate only; individual-level data will not be released. Overall compiled survey results will be shared with everyone who completes the survey. The survey will close March 1, 2012, but we encourage you to take the survey now. It is critical for us to be able to have data on the teaching of high school psychology, as it will inform our work on behalf of high school psychology teachers and students.

If you have any questions, please contact Emily Leary at 202-572-3013.

-- posted by Steve

Sunday, December 4, 2011

NCSS2011 - what an experience!

 I am back from this past weekend's National Council for the Social Studies Conference and I can happily report to all who were unable to attend that it was a BLAST! I will be posting many updates over the next few weeks about the conference, but I also wanted to put up this post to remind everyone that THSP would love to be the home of any and all reports from the conference. If you attended and have notes to share from a presentation, overall impressions to share, photos -- as long as they are not incriminating photos of a certain THSP moderator with a certain emeritus professor of psychology -- please send them to me at and I will post them here. I'll also add the new label NCSS2011 to each post, so by clicking on NCSS2011 you can see all of those posts.

I will also be sharing the THSP presentation that I presented (along with Rob and Kristin) at the conference. Thanks again to everyone who attended, presented and shared - it was a GREAT experience!

--posted by Steve