Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 AP exam breakdown

Nancy Diehl and I have teamed up to break down this year's AP Psychology released exam by content areas (see previous posts for the breakdowns of the tests of 2013 and 2012). Remember: these are exams that have been released by the College Board only for teachers through the AP Course Audit site. These are not to be posted online, and we are not doing so - we're just categorizing the multiple choice items.

How can you use this as an AP psych teacher? Well, give one of these exams as a practice exam in your classroom, then use our specifications to evaluate how each student does on each section. You can then use these results to have them focus their review on the areas they need the most help on! (Talk about - dare I say it? - actual data-driven instruction?)

Several of these were almost impossible to fit into just one content area, so Nancy and I are using our best guesses. We've been back and forth on some of the questions a few times ourselves, so I'd be surprised if our guesses were exactly the same as everyone else's - but they're sure to be close. Hope this helps you and your students!

-- posted by Steve

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Show some love for the Psych Files

I apologize for not posting very much recently - I've been swamped with various tasks at school and haven't had much free time to spare. One thing that I've been very thankful for, though, is the many people in the psychology community who do such a terrific job of creating and sharing great resources for us all. For example, my fellow moderators on this blog have been adding some great things recently, and I love reading their posts!

But another person who constantly creates interesting and helpful psychology resources is Michael Britt of the Psych Files. I have been following his work for the past five or six years, and I'm amazed at the depth and breadth of wonderful things he's offered, such as:

an AP Psych Test Review site and app
mnemonics for parts of the brain, Erikson's stages, and Piaget's stages
an app to insert Freud into your selfies
a great series of podcasts (including the most recent one on psychology and torture)

I'm posting this because Michael is shifting into a different mode, asking folks who listen and use his terrific resources to contribute financially to enable him to keep doing this. I support this idea and hope all folks who use his great stuff take a few minutes during the season of giving to show some love to Michael. But more than that, think of this as an INVESTMENT so that Michael can continue to create high quality resources that we can use and use with our students. Click on the image above (or here) to become a patron of the Psych Files today!

--posted by Steve

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Commercial with Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Every time I see this commercial, I cannot help but think it is an example of self-fulfilling prophecy, although a mistaken one.  The man sees his shirt in the window and then notices people, especially attractive women, looking in his direction and being interested and smiling. Of course they are looking at the stylish car and beyond him.  After this happens a couple of times, he begins to change his attitude and act more confidently.

Again, this is accidental, but seems to illustrate the point.  Please let me know if you have a different view.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Friday, December 12, 2014

Historical Psychology Texts Online

One of the emails I receive is from "The Scout Report" from the University of Wisconsin.  They put out a weekly set of amazing resources out on the web.  In today's email, I found this wonderful set of historical documents compiled by Mike Palij.

Here is the selection of the entry in today's email.  I apologize for the formatting issues.

HathiTrust Digital Library: 19th-20th Century Psychology Texts·;c=715130871
The HathiTrust Digital Library is a partnership between academic and research institutions "offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world." Named "Hathi" for the Hindi word for elephant - because the apocryphal elephant never forgets - this free resource will serve anyone with an internet connection and a thirst for knowledge. For instance, the current link navigates to a collection of 19th and 20th century psychology texts, 238 of which may be read in full on the site. With volumes such as The American Journal of Insanity, published in 1845, and the Archives of psychology, spanning from 1908 to 1923, there is much to explore in these pages. If psychology is not for you, the Collections section is another great place to scout. Here, readers can explore what others are searching for in the Trust, such as "Islamic Manuscripts" and "Records of the American Colonies." For those doing any sort of historical research, this site is definitely worth while.

Here is a link to a scanned version of Watson's textbook on comparative psychology:;view=1up;seq=1


posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Monday, December 8, 2014

25 Things Psychology Teaches Us

I just received this in my email--25 Things Psychology Tells You About Yourself."  I was hooked but was skeptical at the claims.  But after reading them, I see them as potential case studies to connect to concepts or as a review for Advanced Placement Psych.  They could also be used for a hook at the beginning of a semester or unit.  Take a look, they are worth it.  This is how the rest of the world sees us in psychology.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Symmetry and Attractiveness: A Demonstration

During the Social Psych unit, I always deal with attractiveness.  One factor that goes beyond the social is the concept of symmetry.  It is said to be an indicator of good health.  That said, none of us have perfectly symmetrical faces.  You can see with the Taylor Swift example that the regular face on the left is not symmetrical and that creating symmetry makes people look kind of strange.

When at the Eastern Illinois National Science Foundation Summer Institute, my group studied emotion and examined the idea of taking two left sides and two right sides of someone's face to see which side would be more attractive.  After years of not being able to find anything on it, I ran across a Buzzfeed article that you need to see to believe.

Using just your cursor to mouse over each image, you can some combination of a traditional photo of celebrities and the comparable left-left and right-right.  There are 15 celebrities shown, some with effects more dramatic than others.  That link is here:

Check it out, you will be amazed.  It is also a great and simple demo for class regarding how each of us may have a "good side"--especially when it comes to selfies. ;)

posted by Chuck Schallhorn