Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Guinness Record for 3D street art!

If you're not done with sensation and perception yet (or if you have time to go back, briefly) this world-record breaking effort at 3D street art might be worth sharing with your students. A huge understanding - these pictures show a bit of the "planning" and the final product, and this video includes an interview with one of the organizers/artists. Students could try to spot the monocular depth cues used!

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Flavorists on 60 Minutes

On tonight's (11/27/2011) episode of 60 Minutes, there is a nice piece on the flavor industry and their attempt to create "addictive flavors" to woo consumers.  Lots of potential here.

The link to the segment with script
The video segment itself:  it's 14 minutes long

One of the things I make sure to mention to my students during this unit is the use of language in terms of sights, sounds, smells, and flavors.  We are often lacking in describing smells and tastes that those in other cultures would easily describe.  To me, this is an important part of psychology--how do we understand the world around us and how can we best communicate it to others?

posted by Chuck Schallhorn


I was catching up on some reading this weekend and discovered a nice little article in the California Educator, our state (California Teachers Association/NEA magazine).  The post has a number of items that teachers/educators should know about ADD. 
This is the link to the direct article (digital version).
Text version of the article
California Teachers Association

Among the key ideas are:
  • this is a brain disorder--it's not that the students are trying to be annoying
  • larger class sizes make for more challenging circumstances for teachers
  • ADD/ADHD is the most common behavior disorder among children
  • self-regulation is a key deficit
  • these kids need "wiggle time"
  • article also covers teaching strategies, medication, and what life is like for someone who has the diagnosis
 Medline Plus reference and links on ADD
To learn more about ADD/ADHD, please visit the Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder website at or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Friday, November 18, 2011

Great student-created neural transmission video

Scott Miller sent me this link for a great student authored video about neural transmission (thanks Scott!). The video goes "deeper" into the chemical details of depolarization that I usually did, but it's well done! Congrats students!

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Psych Songs!

Our topic in psychology club this morning was "Brains!" One of our great club members asked me if I'd heard "Phineas Gage: A Song" on youtube and I said "No, but I need to!" As far as I can tell, the song is not only catchy, it's pretty accurate! (although I never heard the detail about a tea cup full of brains?)

The song reminds me of the only other direct psych-concept to song translation: "John Lee Supertaster" by one of my favorite bands, They Might be Giants (that youtube clip isn't a great version of the song - the lyrics might be more useful)

Does anyone know any other "direct" connections between songs and psych concepts? Please chime in in the comments!

(PS: If you have kids, I think the They Might be Giants kids albums are a must-have. Great music that are perfect for little ears. The science album is my favorite :)

Picture credit:

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Monday, November 7, 2011

Brain Anatomy Instruction ... now with Zombies!

@BrdCmpbll posted a link to a great biopsychology assignment on his Twitter feed today: Zombie Day! Here's his description of the assignment: "Market a product to zombies as a way to prove you understand the importance/function of an assigned part of the brain."

His students' work is definitely worth a look - great, creative ideas that effectively connect their knowledge about brain anatomy and function to their obvious affection for zombie-Americans. Mmmm... Brain Bits. Please vote for your favorites!

posted by Rob McEntarffer

History of the Brain: A New BBC Radio Series

Do you like British accents?  Do you like learning about the brain?  How about history?  If so, I've found something you will probably like.  I was reading a blog over at "Advances in the History of Psychology" and they have a post about a new BBC Radio 4 show about the history of the brainCheck out their post here.

The BBC 4 Radio Site
Episode 1--A Hole in the Head

If you explore the site, there are also other links to some great brain education items.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Movie review: A Dangerous Method

Unless you've been living under a rock - an iceberg, you probably are well aware that this is an exciting month for psychology: a feature film featuring Freud and Jung comes out on November 23rd nationwide. At THSP we're excited to feature this review of A Dangerous Method from our special correspondent, fellow psych teacher Kimberly Patterson:

With the succession of “psychological movies” out there, and an endless list of theatrical ventures of historical figures from psychology, I was surprised at the film that bubbled up at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) 2011. On Friday evening, a colleague and I went to see A Dangerous Method – a film advertising itself as a historical account of Carl G. Jung and Sigmund S. Freud and their shocking friendship. This familiar camaraderie sets out with a bold woman who confesses her hysteria and becomes sexually involved with Jung, a Russian Jew named Sabina Spielrein. Multiple books exist about Spielrein, one of the first woman psychoanalysts.

I was stunned by the poignant dialogue and although I had many “what on earth?” moments, I found the film touching, lovely, and antiquely impulsive. Although this glance at the Jung-Spielrein story is solely alleged, the film captured viewers with the efficacy of talented actors, an eye-catching set, and costumes of the period.

If, by happenstance, the film makes it to your area, I encourage you to check it out. Lord knows we watch all types of movies for a $10 movie ticket – at least this one is entertaining in regards to the character portrayals.

And of advice from a nomadic character – “Never repress anything”. Enjoy!

Kimberly C. Patterson teaches AP Psychology at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Florida.

[If the trailer does not appear above, it is available on YouTube at

--posted by Steve

Saturday, November 5, 2011

How do you use THSP?

(A THSP meta-cognitive moment.)
 You know who you are: you're a THSP user. That's right, just like some people use PCP or LSD or even THC, you are a THSP. What is THSP? It's this blog of course - Teaching High School Psychology. What we want to know is this: how do you use this resource?

I am delighted that three of the moderators - Rob, Kristin and myself - are going to be presenting at the National Council for the Social Studies conference next month about how our fellow psychology teachers are using the information shared here in your classrooms. We have a lot of empirical data already - we know the number of hits that we get, our most popular posts, the countries in which our readers are located - but we'd like to add some stories from actual users like you. (No, you don't need to begin with "Hello, my name is John, and I am a THSP-oholic...")

So: please either post your thoughts in the comments below, or send me a note privately ( Please be sure to include your school, the subject(s) that you teach, and whether we can use your name. I would love to have all of your comments by Tuesday, 11/ 8. Thanks so much for reading our blog!

--posted by Steve

Friday, November 4, 2011

Scientific Fraud

 The New York Times coverage of a recent case of scientific fraud could be a good starting point for a discussion about how science is supposed to "work", and how dishonesty and lack of replication/ oversight, etc. can cause it all to go "wrong", at least for a while.

Brief summary of the article: social psychologist Diederik Stapel of Tilburg University in the Netherlands recently admitted to falsifying data for several of his published journal articles.

This controversy started a very lively discussion about implications and potential "fixes" on the PSYCHTEACHER listserve  - a good reason to join that listserve if you like to read those kinds of discussions

image credit:

posted by Rob McEntarffer