Monday, April 30, 2012

With the AP Psychology Exam just one week away, many of us are reaching the end to a long journey that started last fall. Below are some of the "last minute" items I (Kent) tell my students. Please Note: This listing is basically the same as previous years, with the exception of items in red.

General Information:
  • Monday May 07, 2012 in the afternoon.
  • Bring pencils and erasers for the multiple choice and blue or black pens for the FRQs.
  • Bring a watch that does not beep.
  • Do not wear any psychology related clothing.
  • Do not bring anything else: books, papers, calculators, cell phones, etc.
Multiple Choice Section:
  • 100 multiple choice questions
  • 70 minutes
  • 2/3 of the overall score
  • A-E Answers
  • Names, charts, graphs, drawings are all possible
  • There is no adjustment for guessing, if you are unsure about a question, take your best educated guess after using process of elimination
Free Response Section:
  • 2 required Free Response (essay) Questions
  • 50 minutes
  • 1/3 of the overall grade - 1/6 of grade for each question
  • Points are given for correct responses, not taken away for incorrect material
  • Once given, points can only be removed if one part of an answer contradicts another part
  • Read through both questions before doing anything else
  • Think through the answer before starting to write
  • Write an outline or notes on the test question pages.
  • Don’t be afraid to cross something out, if needed.  Anything crossed out will not be scored.
  • Write in complete sentences - DO NOT OUTLINE OR BULLET YOUR ANSWER.
  • Be as complete as possible, but keep to the point.
  • Watch the time. Don’t get caught short on essay #2
  • Structure the answer following the structure of the question
Test Security:
  • Do not discuss the multiple-choice section with anyone
  • Do not discuss the free response questions for 48 hours. The general rule of thumb is wait until the questions have been posted on the College Board website.
  • You may only discuss the free response questions released on the College Board website.  Any other free response questions must NOT be discussed.
  • Do NOT post, text, email etc. anything about the exam on the Internet, especially on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks
  • Do not come and visit me between the multiple choice section and free response section
If you have any questions on the above items, please contact me at Please feel free to leave any other ideas in the comments section below. Best of luck to everyone.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

AP Psych exam review links

As of this writing it's just under 8 days to the test and while I know some teachers and students have already been reviewing diligently, others are just getting started. Here are some suggestions for places that might be helpful, mostly taken from previous THSP posts and psych teacher listservs. If you have a site that you think should be added, please post a comment below.

Video reviews - see the YouTube channel of THSP's own Chuck Schallhorn
Quizet exam review flash cards - 394 terms, 771 terms, famous psychologists
Apps - 5 Steps to a 5, Brainscape, PsycTest Hero
Review quizzes - Bubbabrain
Diagnostic test - Sparknotes
Review books - check out this THSP post from 2010 on review books
Twitter - students can ask questions via Twitter by putting the hashtag #appsychreview at the end of their tweet, and someone will reply with an answer and/or link to more information. See this link for current questions and answers and this link for past questions and answers.
Teacher sites - these have an assortment of various links to review sites.
You might also try sites on these old THSP AP Psych review links: 2009
--posted by Steve

More AP Psych Review Videos

After some time away to deal with family matters, I began producing more videos for AP Psychology review today.  Below are three screen captures of my YouTube Channel that has all the videos.  I hope that you and/or your students find these videos helpful.  My goal is not to go into an in-depth explanation of particular content ideas, but rather to create short reviews of the concepts in the respective titles.

At the moment, I have uploaded about 25 videos.  More are on the way.  I included memory, forgetting, bodily rhythms, psychophysics, standard deviation, random sample versus random assignment, transduction and the ear/eye, the genes to cognition website as a great review and more.

Click here to select the video(s) you would like to watch.

posted by Chuck

Friday, April 20, 2012

"Big Reward for your Teaching Strategies"

Patrick Mattimore taught high school psychology for 13 years and many of us knew him through his well-written emails and contributions to various high school psychology conversation. He moved on from teaching to get more involved in writing about education in general, and recently he and Jay Mathews issued an interesting challenge/contest in the Washington Post.

In a column called "Big Reward for your Teaching Strategies", Patrick and Jay Mathews invited teachers to "send in effective teaching strategies" and they would publicize strategies that seem effective/provocative/useful.  Since Patrick is a former psychology teacher, I bet he would love for our community to participate!

I suspect I don't agree with Patrick (or Mr. Mathews) about many current educational issues (Patrick and I had many LIVELY discussions when we attended the Nebraska Wesleyan Psychology Institute together), and I think that disagreement is productive. I value their thoughtful arguments about education issues, and I love that they are inviting teachers to submit their creative ideas.

Ideas can be submitted via email to and with “teaching strategy” in the subject line. Let's get them some good ideas! I'm trying to figure out what to send in ...

(One more thought: After the AP exam, maybe AP Psych students would like to list "best lessons" from your AP Psychology class and choose something to submit? That way the class could share in the glory!)

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Monday, April 16, 2012

Race is Real

This blog was posted a couple of weeks ago, but I just got to reading it.  It examines how I've taught about race--there are no "races" in terms of biology, but rather social categories made up by groups of humans to justify whatever their aims were.  The blog entry is here:

But the best part of this was an introduction to some resources including this one:

Do check out the intro at least once.  Valid questions.  The main home page is here:

The American Anthropology Association has create a look at race through three lenses: history, human variation, and lived experience.  This site will take you some time to examine, but is totally worth it if you want to provide some additional context to your students.  I'd never seen this one before and it is an excellent site.  Kudos to the AAA.  At the end, there is a section for resources for teachers and families. Great stuff.

 Posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Friday, April 13, 2012

Reminders from TOPSS

FINAL reminder - the deadlines for these is April 15! If you have any questions, please contact Emily Leary Chesnes (

APA/Clark University Workshop for High School Teachers
The eighth annual APA/Clark University Workshop will be held July 16-18, 2012 at Clark University in Worcester, MA. The workshop will be open to 25 teachers. 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. Five travel scholarships of $250 each will be available to teachers in need of extra travel support (please note that the maximum travel reimbursement any teacher would receive is $250). Information and application forms are available online at

APF Professional Development Awards for High School Psychology Teachers
The purpose of these awards is to help high school psychology teachers travel to and attend regional or national teaching and/or psychology conferences; applicants may be awarded up to $500. Visit for details.

2012 APA Convention Award Program for High School Psychology Teachers and Students
The APA Education Directorate, thanks to support from APA President Suzanne Bennett Johnson, PhD, is pleased to announce an award program for high school psychology teachers and their students to attend the 2012 APA Annual Convention (Orlando, Florida; August 2-5). Applicants travelling from within Orange County, Florida, can apply for up to $300 in funding and those applicants travelling from outside Orange County can apply for up to $500 in funding.  Funds must be used to cover one $95 teacher registration fee and up to four $10 student registration fees; teachers must plan on bringing at least two students to be considered for an award. Any funds within the requested amount that remain after registration fees have been covered can be used for food and travel expenses. Visit for details.  Given the location of the APA convention, preference will be given to applicants from Florida. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A new twist on review

I had this idea tonight and hope that you all can spread the word to your students. The AP Psychology test is around the corner and I thought that there might be a new way to help students review this year - via Twitter. Teens are increasingly using Twitter (see story on the subject here, with nice graph) so I thought that offering a "place" on Twitter for students all over the world to ask questions might be a good idea. I floated the idea on #psychat tonight and it was well received by @allisonshaver and @irishteach, so I think we're going to try this. So, please share this with your students:

Studying for the AP Psych exam and need a little help? Tweet your question with the hashtag #appsychreview and real AP Psych teachers or your fellow AP Psych students will help you find the right answer.

Interested in answering questions? Jump in and answer them! Not quite sure what this means, but know your students are using Twitter? No problem - just share this post with them and they'll explain it to you. :-)  You can also e-mail me ( if you have other questions about this or using Twitter in general.

--posted by Steve

Monday, April 9, 2012

AP Review Videos

I began creating some review videos for my own students and decided to make them available for anyone.  I certainly hope they can be useful.  I've made only five so far, but am on spring break and the AP Exam is only a few short weeks away and I intend to make quite a few more.

Here are a couple.  I hope you like them are find them useful.  The first two are taking the confusing pairs sheet shared by Kate Duggan and putting the ideas onto PPT slides and explaining them.  The third is an overview of people in psych history AP students need to know and the basics about each.

My YouTube channel for AP Psych videos can be found here.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Social Psychology Examples Worksheet

I just finished up the social psych unit in my regular psychology class and was encouraged by my kids' ability to get the answers to the examples below.

Here is the link to where the .docx activity is located.  Obviously, it will be different depending upon which text you use.  As it turns out, not all of them are the same :)

I exclude a key on purpose.  I believe that figuring out the answer on our own helps us understand the concepts better.  I also like to see how the kids work their way through understanding an example to see if the example properly builds to a particular concept.

***Addendum--I made and added a key after an impassioned email about possible errors that people may make.  Thanks for the push :)

Picture credit to, a great site to go to for humor as it relates to psychology and human behavior.

Most Appropriate Term
The cognitive component of group antagonism

The affective component of group antagonism

The behavioral component of group antagonism

What is the name of the Jane Elliott study?

“He’s hot!”  What factor in attraction does this illustrate?

“I’ve never fallen in love with someone I’ve never met.”  What factor in attraction does this illustrate?

“We’ve got so much in common.  I feel like I’m looking at the female version of me!”  What factor in attraction does this illustrate?

If someone is “not like us” and is successful, we are most likely to give him/her what kind of attribution?

A classmate asks us for help on one math problem.  The next thing we realize, we are helping him/her with every problem on the homework.

A teacher treats you as though you are an idiot because of an older sibling.  You start performing poorly even though you are a good student and are quite bright.  What concept does this illustrate?

When running at practice, you hate sprinting.  But by the end of practice, you convince yourself that it helped.  What concepts does this illustrate? 2x

When a brown-haired girl who hangs out with blonde-haired girls dyes her hair blond.  What concept does this illustrate?

When you run with slow people, you tend to run at a slower pace than your normal one and run at a faster pace than normal when you run with fast people.  What concept does this illustrate?

You see a person on the news who is similar to you (ethnicity, age, etc.) who is accused of beating his/her child.  You think, “it must have been the child’s fault.”  But if it had been a person not like you, you would have thought it was the parent’s responsibility.  What concept does this illustrate?

You were with a group of friends who are attending a football game.  Suddenly, someone from the other team hits your team’s player out of bounds, the crowd goes wild and everyone (including you) jumps into the melee.  People are doing things they normally would not.  What concept does this illustrate?

When with one group of friends, Mary smokes, but when with another group of friends, she never lights up.  What concept does this illustrate?

In one of your homework assignments, the teacher asked you to “write your name here.”  By doing so, what concept were you following? (term with **)

The people I hang with are cool.  We do all our homework, compete for the highest grades, play sudoku, listen to emo music, wear all black Hollister clothes, throw gang signs, shave half our heads, and make up strange stories about taking over the world.  Everyone else is an idiot.  This is an example of what?

The Zimbardo prison study dealt with the issue of the importance of and the power of ___________________.

Joe finds Cindy fascinating.  She listens to similar music, has been to many of the same places, and is quite a talented guitar player.  He also gets funny feelings when he is around her that he cannot explain.  He is feeling ________________________________.

Talking with friends and/or loved ones about what is going on in your life—your concerns and problems.  What concept does this illustrate?

Chuy hates the relationship that he is in, but convinces himself that he will not give up on something he has worked so hard for.  What concept does this illustrate?

When smart people, working together in groups, make really stupid decisions because no one was questioning each other.  This illustrates which concept?

A classmate is a Detroit Tigers fan.  He has bragged about their recent baseball success, especially with their sweep of the A’s.  You treat him poorly as a result of your not agreeing with his team of choice.  You won’t let him play in any of your reindeer games because he is “not like the rest of us.”  This best illustrates which concept?

Adolf is a stern, organized, harsh father who insists that his children dress a certain way, act a certain way and do not disobey him.  What kind of personality will his children likely have?

I am treasurer of my club and am very important to the club.  I run the finances and take care of all things related to money.  I am respected in my position.  This best illustrates which concept?

When I am in any class, the teacher or the substitute is the boss.  I follow their instructions because they are the authority figure.  This best illustrates which concept?

I would like to become like the “Plastics” in my school.  They are so popular and well-liked.  I use their slang, dress like them, and join the same groups as they join.  This best illustrates which concept?

When Jim was a freshman at college, he missed home and felt unsure about where his life was going.  He met some really cool people who gave him unconditional acceptance into their group.  He stopped going to classes and began telling other people about the wonderful teachings of this group.  Jim has probably been ________________________________________.

Earl regularly tells his friends that he hates “those people.”  He claims that they are lazy and that they are taking over his neighborhood.  Jim is experiencing what concept?

When the hippies of the 1960’s counterculture were rejecting the ways of their parents, they went off and did the same things as nearly everyone else in their group—they bathed irregularly, they smoked pot, the took LSD, and all listened to the same music as each other.  They were “guilty” of which idea?

Julie and Johnny were dating for over a year until Johnny had to move away to college.  They had kept the relationship going for several months into the new school year.  However, Johnny kept seeing this new girl in one of his classes and was put into a study group with her for class.  He could not help it, but felt very attracted to her.  He then decided to break up with his girlfriend rather than cheat on her.  Which factor of interpersonal attraction did he fall prey to?

“I really dislike people who are not in my culture—they bug me.”  Which concept does this illustrate?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Nice article on HS psych in the APA Monitor

A quick post to  alert you all to this article in April's APA Monitor about some interesting things happening in high school psychology classes. Of course this is completely self-serving since the piece opens with a nod to this blog and a few quotes from me, but keep reading to learn about the terrific work being done by our colleagues across the US. Huzzah!

--posted by Steve