Wednesday, September 26, 2012

3D Brain App--Great Review Tool

We've highlighted the Genes to Cognition website before, but one of their most interested and fun segments has been made into a phone/tablet app.

The description from the iTunes page with the app says this,"Use your touch screen to rotate and zoom around 29 interactive structures. Discover how each brain region functions, what happens when it is injured, and how it is involved in mental illness. Each detailed structure comes with information on functions, disorders, brain damage, case studies, and links to modern research."

This is what I sent my students today.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, check out this app--it is excellent for seeing the brain and reviewing the brain parts.  The app is free.
The Android/Windows 7 phones have it here:

posted by Chuck Schallhorn 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Engage students with current research

Engage students with current research in psychology at a level appropriate to their understanding.

Prospective Memory? Human Factors? Combine current research with increased exposure to additional interesting terms and topics. 

Sign up to receive a free e-mail update with the table of contents of psychology journals as they are published.  For example, from Sage publications, you can see a long list of psychology journals by viewing here including:
  • Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
  • Psychological Science in the Public Interest
  • Current Directions in Psychological Science
  • Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
  • Health Psychology
Titles alone give students an increased understanding of content areas and help them realize how psychology continues to evolve. Abstracts are free on-line providing slightly more in-depth information on articles of interest.

From Current Directions in Psychological Science:
Motivational Salience and the Amygdala provides evidence of more recent research and current understanding of the role of the amygdala as being attentive to what is salient, beyond the domains of fear and aggression.  A short read of this one clarifies the meaning of prospective memory

Even better news, searching the Teaching High School Psychology archives originally posted by Kent in 2009 is specific to high school teachers, and still provides access to Current Directions in Psychological Science.

-- Posted for Nancy (by Steve)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Using the new AP Psychology practice test

Take the Challenge!

As we noted on the blog earlier, the College Board has just released a new secure practice test.  This has potential for us as teachers to "take the challenge" as well as to use this as a teaching tool in the classroom.  Please keep in mind that great questions are hard to find, so maintaining the integrity of the test is critical.

To help in selecting possible questions or helping students identify areas of weakness later when you may give this exam, below is a table of the items sorted by topic.  As each text is somewhat differently organized, it may not be a perfect match, but the material is in chapter-like groups in the first table, and in College Board Score report groups in the second table.

** You can also download this list as a Word document.

By TEXTBOOK CHAPTER (the numbers refer to the questions on the 2012 released exam)

1 - History, approaches, and subfields of psychology - 1, 6, 44, 65
2 - Research methods, ethics, statistics - 3, 22, 31, 34, 40, 41, 48, 56, 78, 85
3 - Biology of the mind/neuroscience - 4, 18, 19, 29, 33, 50, 73, 80, 81
4 - Sensation/Perception - 10, 11, 16, 28, 43, 46, 61
5 - States of Consciousness - 9,15, 77
6 - Learning - 45, 53, 55, 60, 62, 86 
7 - Cognition - 37, 51, 58, 79, 83, 89, 93, 95, 100 
8 - Motivation and Emotion - 12, 25, 64, 71, 72, 75, 88, 97
9 - Lifespan Development - 5, 14, 21, 32, 42, 52, 67, 87
10 - Personality - 13, 17, 26, 35, 39, 47, 74, 84
11 - Testing and Individual Differences - 24, 49, 59, 63, 66, 69, 92, 98
12 - Psychological Disorders - 2, 7, 68, 90
13 - Treatment of disorders - 20, 23, 30, 38, 57, 70
14 - Social Psychology - 8, 27, 36, 54, 76, 82, 91, 94, 96, 99


Methods and History, Testing and Individual differences
1,3, 6, 22, 24, 31, 34, 38, 40, 41, 44, 48, 49, 56, 59, 63, 65, 66, 69, 78, 85, 92, 98

4, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 18, 19, 28, 29, 33, 36, 43, 46, 50, 61,73, 77, 80, 96

Learning and cognition
37, 45, 51, 53, 55, 58, 60, 62, 79, 83, 86, 89, 93, 95, 100

5, 8, 4, 21, 27 32, 36, 42, 52, 54, 67, 76, 82, 87, 91, 94, 99

12,13, 17, 25, 26, 35, 39, 47, 64, 71, 72,74, 75, 81, 84, 88, 97

Abnormal Behavior/TX of Abnormal Behavior
2, 7, 20, 23, 30, 38, 57, 68, 70, 90

-- written by Nancy/posted by Steve

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Use your BrainFacts is one amazing site! The "about us" section of the site says it "is a public information initiative of The Kavli Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and the Society for Neuroscience, all leading global nonprofit organizations working to advance brain research."

What makes Brain Facts amazing? Check out these resources:
They also host neuroscience video contests. Although they have selected the winners for this year, you can still vote until September 26 for the "People's Choice" award! If you are teaching the brain, maybe you could have your students rank the choices and explain their rankings.

The video that was ranked #1 by the experts is a terrific sock puppet video called The Carrot - if you can't see it embedded below, go to

--posted by Steve

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Making your own YouTube channel

 I decided to start collecting YouTube videos so that I could easily share them with other people. I created my own YouTube channel and while I don't have any original content to share at the moment, I do have links to more than 100 psychology related videos. Each is sorted into a playlist that is organized around the 14 content areas of AP Psychology, plus a playlist for AP Psych review and one called Favorites for videos that may not fit nicely into one category but are ones that I really enjoy.

I will be working on adding more videos later as I comb through my thousands of bookmarks (no joke) and saved videos on my hard drives, but I wanted to make sure that our readers were aware of this resource. There are links to a number of great short videos, especially in the AP Psych review playlist, that have been created by our own Chuck "Golden Voice" Schallhorn.

One other thing about videos on YouTube: as you know, these videos are notorious for "disappearing" when you go back to them later. Or you might be ready to press play on a YouTube video one day in class (when you're being observed, naturally) when you realize your Internet access has died. Or maybe you're in a district that blocks YouTube access at school altogether.

If one of these situations happens to you, then let me recommend, an amazing that lets you plop in the URL of a video (it works for YouTube and a number of other sites), choose the format you want, and within seconds download your own copy of the video. I've used it for two years now and have been pleased every single time. I know others have their own favorite sites like this, but for me KeepVid is a keeper!

--posted by Steve

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Elementary my dear Watson t-shirt

You know it's true: psych teachers LOVE their t-shirts! I was never more aware of that fact than when I spotted dozens of cool designs at the AP Reading. I was doubly psyched(!) to wear my "pink Freud" t-shirt that I bought last year from the fabulous Virginia Welle. Her psych club always creates cool shirts and I said hey, the next time you order shirts, we should feature it on the blog and I'm sure you'll get orders from other psych teachers.
So here is is! To order your own shirt from Virginia's club ($17, includes S&H), check out her post HERE. And if you've got a cool t-shirt and want others to order, let me know and we can post yours here too!

--posted by Steve

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Michael Schermer and the Baloney Detection Kit

I have been using this video but just realized I had not shared it on the blog.  It is Michael Schermer, author of these books,

explaining the role of skepticism in science.  Great words and some cute graphics to explain the important questions in skepticism.

My handout includes this information:

With a sea of information coming at us from all directions, how do we sift out the misinformation and bogus claims, and get to the truth? Michael Shermer of Skeptic Magazine lays out a "Baloney Detection Kit," ten questions we should ask when encountering a claim.
The 10 Questions:
1. How reliable is the source of the claim?
2.Does the source make similar claims?
3. Have the claims been verified by somebody else?
4. Does this fit with the way the world works?
5. Has anyone tried to disprove the claim?
6. Where does the preponderance of evidence point?
7. Is the claimant playing by the rules of science?
8. Is the claimant providing positive evidence?
9. Does the new theory account for as many phenomena as the old theory?
10. Are personal beliefs driving the claim?

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Aging brains, deception and fraud

Here is an interesting article that starts a discussion on aging brains and why elderly people are more susceptible to fraud and deception. While it has some links to studies and restates some of the more well known ideas about how to slow down the deterioration of the brain due to age, I think it could be as a part of the biopsychology unit, or even in the development unit.

How our aging brains leave us open to deception and fraud

Trevor Tusow