Monday, January 31, 2011

Battle of the Brains

Video link: thinkers from different walks of life compete against each other on a variety of tests of mental ability.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

PsychSim: Descriptive Stats

I realized as I was falling asleep last night that I had told people I would post this link before leaving school...and then didn't. I hope it didn't interfere with your ability to access the PsychSim Module on Descriptive Statistics, since the link for PsychSim modules is always in the "course links" section of the blog.

But in case it did, I'll take the worksheets tomorrow, too, if need be. My apologies...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Inspiration for Your Studies: The Bias Song

I am humbled by this AP Psych teacher's mad skills. The song includes a review of several of the terms we've covered during this unit on thinking & language. Other forms of "bias" in the song we will address later in the year...but you should find it entertaining nonetheless.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Quizlet Added: Thinking & Language

Sorry for the delay, but here's the link to the Quizlet on Thinking & Language! From here on out you will be able to find it on the "Commonly Used Course Links" list on the left hand side of the blog.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Talk with a Chat Bot: Ultra Hal

Today in class we conversed with Ultra Hal, a chat bot who is designed to "learn" from the conversations you have with him.

Hal's developers are marketing software that will allow you to "talk" with your computer, much like having a virtual assistant. Apparently, Hal also has a Facebook presence and a character on 2nd Life.

He sounds like a busy guy, but if you want to catch up with him for a brief chat, here's the link!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Book I Want to Read: Sleepwalk With Me

Sadly, despite its prominent place on my Christmas lists this year, this item was ignored by my gift-purchasing relatives in favor of other trinkets. Don't get me wrong, Santa (& his associates) were good to me this year, but I was disappointed not to receive Sleepwalk with Me (and Other Painfully True Stories) by Mike Birbiglia.

Why? Two reasons (one of which relates to psychology):
  1. Mike Birbiglia is hilarious.
  2. In the book he shares his experience of REM Sleep Disorder, which I have discuss in my classes during our "States of Consciousness" unit.

Ok, both could relate to psychology, but the second reason is clearly an easier fit if you are trying to justify including this book in your curriculum.

For those of you not familiar with Mike Birbiglia, he is a stand-up comedian whose work has been featured on NPR's This American Life on several occasions. I have purchased his previous albums and am envious of those who were able to catch his live tour show of the same title in 2008-09.

For those interested in his (very funny) account of discovering his REM sleep disorder, you can probably still listen to it on NPR's This American Life online archives. It aired during a show entitled "Fear of Sleep," which is appropriate given the situations he describes.

Or you could buy the book. Unfortunately for me, student loan-enduced poverty now forces me to choose between waiting for it at the library or enduring the 9 months until my birthday in the hopes someone will buy it then.

P.S. Mike, if you read this, perhaps you would consider "donating" a copy to a needy AP Psychology teacher (me). :)

P.S.S. Students, with final exams right around the corner, there is no time like the present to ingratiate yourself with your teacher. Nothing says 'A' like a great gift...

P.S.S.S. Okay, just kidding about that last part. I do not accept bribes. That would be unethical.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

NOVA: What are Dreams? Link

For those of you who missed all or part of the NOVA film we watched in class, here you go!

If the embeded video above does not play correctly, try this link.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Final Exam Review Dates

Time to mark your calendars! The end of the semester is rapidly approaching, so as we finish our last unit of course content for this semester we also want to be looking ahead to the final exam.

Two Evening Review Sessions have been scheduled for the final.
Sunday, January 16th - 5:00 PM
Tuesday, January 18th - 5:00 PM
Since doing well on the final will require you to review all of the content from this year so far, it would be a good idea to bring your notes/binder (with handouts) and a textbook to the review sessions.

The final exam for this semester of AP Psych will consist of a practice AP exam (with only one free response). This has the advantage of giving you a sense of what an AP exam looks (and feels) like. It will be a good reminder of all you've learned over the course of this semester, as well as a way of alerting you to the fact that there is still much more to look forward to in AP Psych.

We'll talk about how the exam will be scored (and grades determined) in class as the exam approaches.