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

Friday, November 28, 2014

TV Alert: Sleepless in America on National Geographic

This Black Friday morning, I am watching tv, surfing the web, and avoiding crowds.  I found this commercial about an upcoming show related to sleep.
The website says:
In an unprecedented partnership, NGC along with The Public Good Projects and NIH, America’s foremost scientific authority, will draw the nation’s attention to the science of sleep — a topic fundamental to our collective well-being.
The link to the site with several other video clips is here:
Topics include highway hypnosis, sleep deprivation, sleep after combat, fatigue, and more.

The episodes airs at 8 pm and 11 pm Eastern, 5 pm  and 8 pm Pacific time.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pinterest and Psychology-Amazing Resources

I was recently sick and had too much time to use my iPad.  I went back and looked at my Pinterest app and discovered some amazing things.

One person in particular, Francesca Mura, a person from Italy, has an incredibly detailed set of "pins" organized into a variety of "boards." Check out her collections here. Boards are kind of like folders and Pins are like bookmarks, but they can be organized in whichever way you would like.  You can Pin sites, infographics, and more.  Even if you are not into recipes, DIY projects, wedding pictures, and the other stereotypes of Pinterest users, there is still some amazing content out there.  I have selected a few accounts I follow about both psychology, technology, and education.

Pinterest on Apple Products:
For Android:

Here is a screenshot of a tiny bit of what you can find on just her page--she has at least eight times this number of boards:

If you are anything like me, you could easily get lost for hours on this site.  Enjoy. There are so many class-worthy ideas on this site.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Sunday, November 23, 2014

NCSS 2014 - Psychol-a-palooza!

THANKS to the fantastic, dedicated folks at the NCSS Psychology community for another GREAT set of psychology sessions at the NCSS convention!

Below are a few notes from the sessions I was able to attend. Apologies to presenters who I wasn't able get to see.

As you can tell by the notes, NCSS is one of the best conferences psychology teachers can attend - thanks to all the presenters!

Friday 10:00, Hillary and Pete, Mindfulness Revolution

What is mindfulness? Being present in the moment, awareness, directed attention (we’d like this for our students!)

The opposite of mindfulness is thinking, judgment, multi-tasking - anything not relevant to what is happening here and now

Bio-psychology of mindfulness
Applications for mindfulness in the classroom
The Mindful classroom 

Keith Maddox Tufts University, 1:00 Friday “Discovering Bias: Challenges and Opportunities for Organizational diversity” 

Trying to translate lab research into practical implications

Who is biased
    GREAT implicit associations demonstration using slides without technology! REALLY effective
how bias affects us
    confirmation bias and attributional bias 
    stereotype threat
    attributional ambiguity
    potential strategies - we don’t want to be bias but we know we are 
                      DON’T try to be colorblind - not realistic
                      DON’T try suppression - will come back to haunt you
                      DO increase your awareness - make implicit processes explicit
                                        acknowledge, recognize, and strategize

Maria Vita: APA/TOPSS Psychology Standards: Deepening Scientific Inquiry & Literacy
See the whole presentation at - great use of wikispaces as a presentation tool!
·      Connections between the APA High School Psychology standards and the C3 framework – inquiry!
·      Examples:
o   movement feature detectors – sensation or perception?
o   Is everything lost when it comes to Alzheimer's or dementia?
o   What is life like with only one hemisphere?

Rob McEntarffer – Responsive psychology
Argument for using response systems to check for understanding
·      The index card test
·      Examples of response systems
o   Poll everywhere
o   Kahoot
o   Socrative
o   EdPuzzle
o   Plicker
o   Pear Deck

Charlie Blair-Broeker Memory:

remote associates test

in the old days, there were literally no resources, now there is a barrage

Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning McDaniel, Roediger
Opening Demo for memory unit – 107!
Deep processing task 
Moonwalking with Einstein: The art and science of remembering everything - Foer
Loftus constructed memory replication
All purpose memory demo

Alan Feldman and Rob McEntarffer - Reading Psychology
Conversations about books that might be interesting/useful for high school psychology teachers
  • Perry - Behind the Shock Machine
  • Haidt - The Righteous Mind
  • Eagleman - Incognito
  • Show and tell with Alan! 

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Friday, November 21, 2014

How to Think Like a Psychologist

One of my favorite sites to find free things is "Open Culture" at

I had bookmarked a site I wanted to share with everyone.  I have already written about Jane McGonigal and her TED talk about gaming.  Her twin sister, Dr. Kelly McGonigal has complied a continuing studies course called, "How to Think Like a Psychologist" available on iTunes.  This link takes you to the Open Culture write-up of the course:

The iTunes web link to the course is here:

As you can see from the screenshot, there are other podcasts available for the psychology aficionado.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Brain From Top to Bottom: McGill University

Kent first posted about this site back in 2009, but it has been updated and is worth a visit for those teaching or learning neuroscience.  For an amazingly detailed site that has various levels and topics dealing with neuroscience, it would likely take hours (or a full-year course) to utilize all its content.

So check out: if you would like to have a great resource for your kids doing research (or for you as well).

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Monday, November 17, 2014

What's your favorite psychology book? Help us out with suggestions!

Alan Feldman and I (Rob McEntarffer) get to chat with psychology teachers at the National Council of Social Studies (NCSS) conference during a session focused on books high school psychology teachers love/use. We'd like to make a "bibliography" of books, and we'd love your help!

Please answer this short survey. Note: Your responses will be shared anonymously during our presentation, made available for other psychology teachers (via a permanent URL address) and will be shared with the excellent blog

Reading Psychology: Books for High School Psychology Teachers

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Request for Suggestions

Hello Everyone,

I received a great question from one of my US Government students today.  He wanted to know if I could give him a list of books (top 5) in psych to give him a good overview of the field.  He mentioned Freud (and to be honest, I internally cringed). While I have my personal favorites, I would love to hear from you all.

What recommendations do you have?  What are the best books about psych for a non-psych person to get acquainted with our field?  You can post in the comments or email me at schallhornpsych @

I look forward to hearing from many of you. I will compile the list and publish in a few weeks.

Thanks in advance,

Chuck Schallhorn

Saturday, November 8, 2014

What do I do now? Mental Health Referral

Here's some information from the site.

The acronym “REFER” can be a guide for the mental health referral process.
  • Recognize - what’s going on in this situation ?
  • Extend knowledge - learn more
  • Facilitate a conversation - start talking
  • Evaluate the experience - how did things go?
  • Revise and revisit - continue the conversation with follow up as needed
Mental health issues often come to light in the course of a psychology class whether related to self, friends, teammates, or family.  Students understand that they are not mental health professionals and they can help by making a referral, but how do you really initiate the referral conversation?

The NCAA has funded research and programs to support mental health for athletes and this interactive website demonstrates several real life situations and possible outcomes.  It typically takes students about 20 minutes to go through the site, and efficacy for making a referral is increased. Probably the most useful sections of the site are the two below, which come up as you enter the site.  "What would you do?" follows several steps and conversations between two athletes.

For a variety of different situations, have a look at the these:

There is also some basic information and links to professional organizations for more information on other parts of the site.The NCAA holds its annual meeting in January, and if this site is helpful to you or your students, your positive feedback is most welcome! Please comment on the blog or email me directly

posted by Nancy Diehl

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Brain Games--National Geographic Series

I could have sworn I had posted about this before, but perhaps I had just created a false memory based upon mental repetition of the intent to do so.

If you have not seen these shows, they are fantastic.  The first season begins with hour-long episodes. Seasons two, three, and four have half hour episodes, but each one runs 22 minutes.  The segments are as varied as psychology itself, but ultimately, you will have one of the best resources you can imagine.

Demonstrations I used to create for class or had on old VHS video are now all in high resolution and prepared professionally by editors and graphic artists.  I must say, I am a huge fan of this show. Below are links for you to order them from  I have seasons 1-3 and have preordered season 4 since I have watched them on tv.  Simply great tv and great psych.  For me, seasons two and three were excellent, but one got me hooked.  Check them out.  You will not regret it.  This is great for both regular and AP Psych.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Exercise and the Brain Video

One of my students found this short video on exercise and the brain.  I enjoyed the narration because it so closely mirrors my own in class. There are lots of brain and bio connections made.  Just lots of good stuff.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

One Minute Video on Taste--Ask Smithsonian

A nice one minute video on taste buds and explaining away the old taste bud map we've all seen.  You know, the one that was misread from a 1901 study and reprinted in biology and psychology texts for decades?

Anyway, this is a nice one-minute into to the chemosenses.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sleep Videos--Wow! I Had No Idea There Were This Many!

My kids are doing a project on the brain and related topics and creating infographics (more on that in a later post).  One group found some amazing videos on sleep.  Here they are.  Enjoy.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Psychology in the Supermarket

I have this app called Flipboard that I use on my iPad.  It's great for reading articles across genres and topics online.  The flipboard link above has links to downloading the app to your portable device.

Today I found this gem.

"How to Buy Food: The Psychology of the Supermarket" on a website I had never heard of,  I love food, but am not a foodie.

The article examines several factors that are manipulating the consumer including layout/design, the no longer accurate "perimeter rule," identity politics, hunger and more.  This is potentially a great article to use for introducing kids to social psychology, persuasion techniques, Human Factors and Applied Cognition, offering your samples, and more.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Monday, October 27, 2014

Harvard's Free Online Neuroscience Course--Lots of Media

I first discovered this new source from a link off of Google News:

This article gives a nice overview of the course which I will not repeat here.

The course itself is available here:
To access it, you'll need to register through EdX or one of your social media accounts.

It looks very promising.  Here are a couple of sample videos they use:

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Depression Cartoon

October is Depression Screening Month and I recently came upon this cartoon in the blog, Blogzuola.

I post the first two frames here, but please check out that blog for more.  It's really quite accurate and gives a positive message.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Emotions, Language, and the Untranslatable

This is a cross-post to both the Teaching High School Sociology and Psychology Blogs.  This chart shows primary emotions and the less-used words that are related.  The chart also offers us some untranslatable nuanced terms that are found in other, non-English languages.

It is an infographic that I found from Mental Floss at this address:

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

New TOPSS Lesson Plans are Here! New TOPSS Lesson Plans are Here!

If you're not yet a member of TOPSS, now would be a great time to join! New members can join now and get an extra few months of membership (through Dec. 2015)!

If you already are a member of TOPSS, now is a great time to rejoice!

Why you ask? All the great new lesson plans available for TOPSS members!
  • Psychological Disorders (DSM 5 compliant!)  This lesson plan was written by the fabulous (and college question leader at the AP Psychology reading!) Richard Seefeldt, EdD, of the University of Wisconsin River Falls, and reviewed by TOPSS members Scott Reed and Nancy Diehl, PhD.
  • Perspectives on Psychological Science, written by the equally fabulous Ken Keith (former college question leader and chief reader at the AP Psychology reading, and one of the reasons why high school psychology is a thing!). Lesson plan reviewed by a team of TOPSS members including Nancy Fenton!
  • And a "problem based unit plan" on Childhood Obesity - really well organized and complete unit plan that will get your students going on their inquiry/critical thinking skills! Written by Jeanne Blakeslee, high school psych teacher extraordinaire from MD.
Find the complete list of lesson plans at the link below - thanks TOPSS!
TOPSS Unit Lesson Plans

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Friday, October 17, 2014

Infographic on Hearing and Decibels

Was doing some other research/demo for students and discovered this little gem.

The actual infographic can be found at this link:

The entire article from DailyInfographic can be found here:

posted by Chuck Schallhorn