Friday, February 27, 2015

What Color is That Dress? S & P in today's popular culture

Fun Friday story on perception.

This week, my Facebook feed has been inundated and my students have been asking me about "THE Dress."  What color is it?  It depends on a number of factors.

To the rights is a picture that was posted on Tumblr and has gone viral. Why do some people see a gold/white dress and others see a black and blue dress?

To figure out why the different perceptions and get beyond the screaming headlines, a few scientists have been asked to weigh in.  I am linking a few articles that deal with the issues of color of the dress, lighting color(s), reflection patterns, color blindness, color constancy and more.  Enjoy!

Original Post

Buzzfeed Article

Wired Article

The Independent (with explanatory video and illusions)



From Vine

Related illusion in the io9 article

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

#Psychat Sessions Upcoming

If you are not already on Twitter, please stop what you are doing, turn on your phone, tablet, or computer and make your way to  Sign up and follow the people below to keep up on some of the best online training available from those of us who are still in the trenches teaching and in psychology.

You can find me, Chuck Schallhorn at
Steve Jones is and
Rob McEntarrfer is

#Psychat is a Twitter professional development opportunity for psychology teachers most Wednesdays.  The wonderful folks who run the show with organizing and setting up guest hosts are:  (Jen) (Heather) (Amy)

Follow them and get some great ideas for class and keep up with the field of psychology and teaching.  The remaining schedule of topics, hosts, and archives are available on the graphic below. There have been quite a few already this year.

Archives of #psychat available at:

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Science of Getting Drunk

I know what you are thinking.  What? Our students get drunk?  No way!  Um, I've got news for you. They are and they are binging. I found this little gem last week while on a college tour.  How appropriate, right?

I've never seen it explained this well, so have at it.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Monday, February 23, 2015

Online Counseling Infographic

This infographic was shared with me.  With the rise of online sources of psychological assistance, it may be helpful to keep up with the trend.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Friday, February 20, 2015

Details on the 2015 APA Clark Workshop for Psychology Teachers

I am happy to share this announcement from TOPSS! I have had the good fortune to both attend as a participant and as a presenter, and both times I was convinced it was an outstanding experience. This year will be even better because the high school teacher presenters are THSP's own Rob McEntarffer and the amazing Maria Vita. (I'm trying to figure out how to sneak in myself!) 

This terrific opportunity is made possible by TOPSS, the incredibly supportive folks at Clark University (especially Dr. Nancy Budwig), and most of all by the man I've dubbed "the godfather of high school psychology," Dr. Lee Gurel, whose generous financial gifts provide the funding for this workshop. 

The APA Education Directorate, APA Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS), American Psychological Foundation and Clark University are pleased to announce the eleventh annual APA/Clark University Workshop for High School Teachers, to be held July 20-22, 2015, at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. All interested high school psychology teachers are invited to apply; the workshop will be open to 25 teachers.


  • Maria Vita of Penn Manor High School (Millersville, Pa.).
  • Rob McEntarffer of Lincoln Public Schools (Lincoln, Neb.). 
  • Susan Nolan, PhD, of Seton Hall University will deliver a keynote address: "Really?! The Key Role of Introductory Psychology in Creating Scientific Thinkers."
  • Maria V
    Dr. Rob
  • Faculty from the Clark University Psychology Department also will present.

Financial Support

There is no registration fee. Housing in the Clark campus dorms and materials will be provided for all participants. Participants will also receive travel stipends of $125.
For teachers in need of extra travel support, three travel scholarships of $250 each and two travel scholarships of $500 each are available. Teachers with far distances to travel and/or with need for additional travel support are encouraged to apply for these scholarships. Applicants should indicate their need for additional travel support and provide an estimated budget of travel expenses. The maximum amount of financial aid any one participant will receive is either $250 or $500.  Please see the application form for details.

How to Apply

The application deadline is April 15, 2015. You may apply one of two ways:
Mail, email or fax a hard copy application form (PDF, 101KB).
Submit an online application form.
Participants will be selected by approximately May 1.

This workshop is sponsored by the American Psychological Foundation, Clark University and APA, with generous support from Lee Gurel, PhD.
Please contact Martha Boenau (202) 336-6140 if you have any questions.

--posted by Steve

Monday, February 16, 2015

Concise list of Brain Myths

 It's not hard to find stuff about "Brain Myths" in textbooks or on the web, but this list of 5 myths from Scientific American is one of the most concise/clear lists I've seen. Myths covered:

Five Common Myths about the Brain

  • Humans use only 10% of their braim
  • "Left/Right" brain people differ
  • You must speak one language before learning another
  • Male/Female brains differ in ways that dictate learning abilities
  • Each child has a particular learning style
This quote at the end is a good caution to keep in mind whenever anyone invokes brain research to make an assertion about learning: “There is huge demand by the general public to have information about neuroscience for education. As a consequence, there's an enormous supply of totally untested, untried and not very scientific methods.”

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Fantastic Drug & Neurotransmitters Chart

I found this fantastic chart from MIT that has an overview of the effects of various drugs on the body. The top portion is licit and illicit drugs.  The portion I took a screenshot from is here.  Simply wonderful overview of the neurotransmitters.  The entire chart is available at this link:

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Friday, February 13, 2015

Why Are Some People Left-Handed?

From the YouTube Channel, It's OK to be Smart

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Psychology at the Movies: A Psychological Review

Quick post this morning.  I found this really cool article from the American Psychological Society that talks about a website that critiques psychological conditions from a scientific and neurological perspective (it includes amnesia and Finding Nemo).

Here is the article link:

Here is the actual site, NeuroPsyFi:

How cool a name is that!

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

James Randi TED Talk: Tears into Psychics

I accidently discovered this one.  James Randi gives a 17-minute speech about why parapsychology is not true.  Humorous and skeptical in tone. He also covers his million-dollar challenge and the lack of takers.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Post #1000 for the THSP Blog

When Kent, Steve and I created this blog back in early 2009, we had no idea how things would pan out. I suspect it has been much better than we could have imagined.  We have over 1000 visitors to our blog daily, over 1,000 people who receive an email when we post and have had nearly two million hits in our history.  With this post, we will hit one thousand entries/posts.  That is mind-boggling to us.  As Homer Simpson would say, "Woo Hoo!!"

The reason we do the blog is to share information, resources, videos, lessons, etc. out to teachers who may not otherwise have the access.  When we began teaching, there was no world wide web, limited internet, no blogs, and only journals and snail mail that could unite us.  Ultimately, we want to make teaching psychology easier and more effective and perhaps make connections with people around the United States and the world.  There is no pay in this, so your feedback is important to us.  We strive for accuracy and efficacy.

So thank you to everyone who has posted, commented, read, and benefited from this blog.  Big internet high fives and hugs to everyone!

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Monday, February 9, 2015

Highlighting Psychology Teachers-Jennifer Schlicht

This is the first in what I hope is a series of highlighting teachers and their contributions to the teaching of psychology across the nation/world.

Our first teacher is Jennifer Schlicht of Olathe High School in Olathe, Kansas near Kansas City. She has been teaching for sixteen years, the past ten in Psychology and Advanced Placement Psychology. She has also taught Cross-Cultural Connections and Seventh Grade Social Studies (that should earn her a medal, IMO).

Professionally, Jennifer has created a blog to make connections between psychology and popular culture. She finds clips on YouTube, embeds them into her blog and posts to share with her students. She now gets to share them with you--they are at this address: She began the blog to keep track of the clips she found.  I'm glad she did--there are some wonderful ones there.

Jennifer is also an active Twitter user with the handle of @Jenslish (  She is one of the creators and coordinators of #psychat, a weekly professional development conversation to bring together various experts and teachers via Twitter.  While I cannot make it every week, I have been able to enjoy a few sessions where I have both led and participated--it's great fun.

Jennifer is also the NCSS Psychology Community Co-Chair, so she is making inroads into an organization that has been primarily geared toward history, geography, and civics teachers.

One of her beliefs about people and life is that the more you know, the funnier it is.  That is why I am rarely bored.  I know what is going on (or make something up)

Jennifer is looking for more people to participate in #psychat.  She loves her dogs and is looking forward to using her new pup in the learning unit

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

More on Teens and Their Amazing (and unpredictable) Brains

NPR has delivered another great author interview with a psychologist who has written a book about the teenage brain.  Dr. Frances Jensen has updated research in the book, The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults.

The interview deals with addiction, binge drinking and marijuana use and its impact on the teenage brain, the effects of constant access to stimuli, and brain myelination.

There are many neuro books out there, but this one is highlighting recent research to assist in our understanding of those in our charge.

The NPR interview can be found at this link:

The book can be purchased here:

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Friday, February 6, 2015

Careers in Psych--Updated for the Online World

Last week, I posted a "Careers in Psychology" document from Drew Appleby, a retired psychology professor.  Someone shared the post with him and he sent me some updated sources that are great for the internet. Simply amazing stuff.  Check out this list, it has 172 majors of interest to psychology majors.  Included are multiple links for each profession.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Vaccines, Skepticism, Evidence, the Group Mind, and Cognitive Dissonance

I was listening to this on NPR earlier this week and it immediately struck me as a psychological story.  It's important to listen to the woman being interviewed. She describes why she was a "crunchy" mom, one who surrounded herself with like-minded others she met online who shared and confirmed fears about vaccinations and autism.

When she did not vaccinate and her daughter developed autism anyway, she had to reevaluate her stance.  This is her story.  It could be a great tool to examine evidence, the use of skepticism, how groups influence us, confirmation bias, and cognitive dissonance and its reduction.

The photo is of the woman and her children and was posted with the article on

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Your Brain, Love, and Addiction

I recently ran across this article on love that compared being in love to addictions.  They linked to the Rachael Leigh Cook, "This is your brain on drugs" commercial, which was one of my all-teim favorites.  This post was an excuse to share the video.

Here is the article:
I suspect your students might like or hate this, depending upon their current romantic state.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Grammar and Its Impact

For those who know me, I am a bit of a grammarian.  I can be annoying with all my pointing out of, what to me, are obvious errors.  I emphasize grammar and writing in my classes, much to the consternation of my students.  I endeavor to write posts free from mistakes.  On this note, a wonderful site called Grammarly was shared with me by Nikolas Baron.

Psychologically, the way we write matters to our respective audiences, whether they are friends, family, teachers, or employers.  So imagine my happiness when I read this infographic.  I was very pleased to see it.  The data in the infographic comes from research conducted with over 400 freelance writers.  Of course, have the patience and perseverance to do grammar and writing checks means that these folks are likely higher in the conscientiousness scale of the OCEAN (Big Five) personality test.

To that end, Grammerly also has a grammar checker online.  Check it out. I ran this post through the service after a brief log in.  It is available as a Chrome plugin.  Very cool.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Brain Games Episode Concepts/Episode Guide

Hi Everyone,

I love Brain Games on the National Geographic Channel.  That said, I have not been able to find a decent episode guide, or any actually.  So I asked my two wonderful TAs, Jai and Karlie, to watch Season Two of Brain Games. has the names of the episodes, but nothing in detail.
My TAs have compiled a chart to describe what each demonstration is in each of the episodes on Disc 1. The chart is linked here.

My question is this:  Do you find this useful? Should I have them do the rest of the episodes in the series? Please leave a yes or no in the comments, or send me an email at schallhornpsych AT

As always, Brain Games and other resources can be found in our Psych Store.

Thanks and Enjoy.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Top 10 All-Time Posts of the THSP Blog

image courtesy of

Good morning,

I thought I would share out what have been the top posts over the history of this blog.

#1 is the FRQ released questions, responses, stats, and keys
Kent first had the post in 2010 which was updated recently.  The original post has had almost 47,000 hits

#2 Rob's post on itchiness and being able to resist the feeling

#3 Optical Illusions, another Kent post

#4 Developmental Psychology Lesson Plans

#5 Picture Puzzles

#6 Harry Potter and the Myers Briggs (I suspect this was more Potter and less Briggs)

#7 Superheroes and the Brain Assignment

#8 Using 12 Angry Men in Intro Psych

#9 Sternberg's Triangular Theory of Love

#10 Radiolab, The Prisoner's Dilemma and an Aha! Moment

I hope you enjoy these top posts and the future posts we share.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

James Randi and The Secrets of the Psychics

Back in the day, I had this video on VHS and have used it in a variety of ways, from a substitute lesson plan to using it as a prompt and evidence for essay writing on critical thinking.  I converted my VHS to DVD for personal use, by recently found it on YouTube.

I love James Randi and how he uses rationality and critical thinking to poke holes in the methods and claims of psychics.  This is a great addition to any intro to psychology class. In this documentary, he shows how magic can be used to recreate what people claim to do in the name of being psychic, palm reading, horoscopes, faith healing, and more.  Great stuff if you are a skeptic.

Additionally, for those who claim that psychics are real, direct them to his website,  He also has had the $1,000,000 challenge since the 1980s.  He will give a person that money IF s/he can scientifically demonstrate parapsychological powers.  To date, those who make claims do not take the challenge. To the few who do, they fail.  It is a classic "put up or shut up" scenario.

 posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Psychology Benefits Society

If you like to keep up with psychological news, there is a nice site for you called the Psychology Benefits Society hosted by the APA.

Their main page is here:

The article that I received in my email this morning was about the APA and sexual minorities.  I subscribe to the "get involved" newsletter.  There are others you can follow.

Recent topics include racism, microaggressions, subtle racism, teen suicide prevention, parenting and timeouts, and human trafficking.  Great source of scientific information about many different aspects of psychology.

This link is for getting involved and receiving their emails.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Monday, February 2, 2015

List of Top Unethical Psychological Studies

Quick post this morning.

The usual suspects are here and Mental Floss has created a list of the most unethical psychological studies ever done.  The list also has several clips that can be found on YouTube.  There are overviews of the Zimbardo prison study, Milgram, Little Albert, Darley and Latane's research on bystander effect, Harlow and his monkeys, and more.  Could be a great handout or discussion starter about the ethics of research for students.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn