Sunday, September 30, 2012

Boatload of Neuroscience Study Tools

It is that time of the year! The time for all good AP Psychology students to review their neuroscience. To that end, I'm including here a TON of great study helps: some video, some online quizzes, and some flashcards.

First up, if you made it through the study guide that you received in class and would like some more ways to put your knowledge of neuroscience and the brain to the test, have I got the practice for you! Below I'm posting links to two online multiple choice tests that will give you feedback on your mastery of this unit's content.
If you're not feeling quite fluent in the operations of the nervous system in general, below you'll find an excellent "crash course" video on the operations of the nervous system. This 12 minute video captures a great deal of the "big ideas" from this unit. If you would like to use more of these types of videos, check out the great biopsych collection at Education Portal Academy's Psych 101 Course. There are individual videos on virtually every topic we covered this unit.

And, last but not least, there's our old friend Quizlet. Embedded below are the flashcards for the 79 terms for this unit. As always, remember that it is not likely sufficient to JUST know these terms and their definitions, since you will have to know how to apply them in new and dynamic ways to demonstrate understanding on the test. However, no one does well in AP Psych WITHOUT mastering their vocabulary, so this is a great place to start.

And, don't forget that you also have the chance to study with other real live human beings (including your teacher) on Tuesday evening from 5-7 PM. Best of luck, everyone!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Brain Food Contest & Extra Credit Opportunity

Mrs. Welle's Brain Cake - 2010
After completing the Orange Brain Surgery lab on Friday, you have undoubtedly figured out that the best models of the brain are edible ones. So, our next Psych Club meeting will feature a celebration of delicious neuroanatomy through a "Brain Food" contest.
Current AP Psych students who participate will earn 5 points extra credit (computed in test category), as this will help them review important structures in the brain/nervous system.

The Rules:
  • Entries must be edible representations of the brain or portions of the nervous system (e.g. neuron, synapse, brain stem, etc).
  • Component parts must be accurately labeled.
  • Entries will be judged during LUNCH A, so they must be delivered to room 136 no later than 12:15. You have to set up/complete registration for your entry during lunch (or have a friend do so), so please don't just leave your creation in my room in the morning an assume it will get set out.
  • Winners will be announced and snacking will commence during our regular meeting time (Lunch B)!
Even if you do not wish to enter (and earn Extra Credit), you are welcome to join us for the meeting and eating. There is always plenty of food to go around.

If Psych Club shirts arrive this week (which might happen), I'll be sure to distribute them so that we can wear them to the meeting!

If you are looking for inspiration and ideas, check out the AP Psychology facebook page for pictures of some of last year's entries and winners.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mouse Party Assignment & Other Links

Poor, poor intoxicated mice.
Here it is! The link to the Mouse Party interactive! You should have received this worksheet, which you will use to record your answers. Remember, this assignment will require you to use what you learned in class today to determine whether a drug is an agonist or antagonist for a particular neurotransmitter. It will be due tomorrow (Sept. 25).

If you've got time after completing the Mouse Party assignment, you might want to check out some of the other cool interactives and games created for you by the Genetics Science Learning Center at the University of Utah. For example:
Learn...and have fun!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Neural Firing & Neural Communication

Greetings, all! Over the next several days in class we will be learning much more about how neurons work to enable thought and sensation. In particular, we'll spend a great deal of time learning about neural firing and neural transmission.

In order to familiarize you with these basic processes and their associated terminology, I'm asking you to complete this worksheet in time for Monday's class. In order to finish it, you'll need to work through this PsychSim Module on Neural Messaging. (Click, "Neural Messages" on the index screen.)You navigate the module using the "next" and "back" buttons at the bottom of the screen, for those of you who might miss that.

Also, for those of you who would like to earn back a few points on your last test, an opportunity: if you complete this module on correlations (Click, "Correlation Analysis" on the index screen) and the accompanying worksheet you were given in class by Wednesday, Sept. 26, you'll get three points added to that test score. It will be good review on those types of statistics, which caused confusion for some of us on the test.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Reviewing for Tomorrow's Test

You'll find this website has tons of study resources. So, in addition to completing the printed study guide you got in class, come here to get ideas about what to study. Below, a favorite tool of my students: Quizlet Flashcard links for this unit! Since there are two sections of the text covered on the text, both are provided below.

See you at the study session! Otherwise, happy reviewing. :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Basic Psychological Statistics

Okay, I think this should work! In order to make sure everyone is feeling comfortable with their basic statistical methods, I'm having you complete some questions as you view the presentation below (you should have received these in class). As a bonus, since I was trying to finish up the recording during the lunch hour, at the very end you can hear the main office making announcements...that's how close I was cutting it.

Additionally, if you feel you want more practice matching correlational coefficients with scatterplots, here's the link to the website we used in class today.

Good luck! Be sure to make a note of any questions you have so I can address them tomorrow if needed. :)

Having troubles playing the video? If the player above doesn't work, try here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Psych Club Shirt Design Finalized!

I am proud to announce that, after an initial vote last week Friday, Psych Club has received approval for and finalized its annual t-shirt design. I have long been a believer that the most important feature of any successful organization is the witty-ness of its t-shirts, and this year's model does NOT disappoint.

The 2012-13 shirt features a handsome John Watson posed in conjunction with the phrase, "I don't always scare babies. But when I do, it's for psychology." The back side showcases the necessary accompanying tagline, "Stay thinking, my friends." A fitting tribute to the father of behaviorism, an unrepentant baby-scarer. Poor Little Albert.

Chi-Hi Psych Club members have the opportunity to purchase this classy swag for the BARGAIN BASEMENT price of $12. Get your money to Mrs. Welle by Sept. 21st for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to celebrate your psychology smarts and your love of John Watson at the same time.

Custom t-shirt printing at

Monday, September 10, 2012

Notes: 6th & 7th Hour 9/11/12

Hi all!

Since I have to be at a meeting on the afternoon of Tuesday, Sept. 11, I've recorded notes & instructions for the demos and posted that here. Hope your class & quizzes go well!

Note: Yeah, I know I messed up on describing the two outcomes of the first demo. Cut me some slack, Jack. Also, there was fly in the room when I was recording that become increasingly annoying throughout the video. That should be entertaining for you.

Bonus? If you missed any of this you can go back & re-watch. Or, if you didn't quite finish before it was time for the quiz, you can watch at home. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Psychology's Top 25

Today in class you received materials and instructions for your Top 25 Assignment, which will be due Monday, September 10. To complete it, you will use your best Googling skills and the links provided below to identify the most significant contribution(s) of the listed psychologists, who are among the most important folks we'll learn about all year. Don't feel the need to summarize EVERYTHING they've done (many of them had long and storied careers); we're just looking for a sentence or two about what the psychologist is most known for.

Perhaps more fun will be Step 2: coming up with your own ranking system for them. After finding out what they did, you'll identify the first most important psychologist, second, third, etc., and number them on the worksheet. NOTE: I do not need a repeat of what OTHER scholars think is the appropriate ranking (as this is easy to find with a quick Web search). I want to know what YOU think, and you'll not be judged against any established list.

Be sure to complete YOUR OWN WORK; honesty is important, and copying another's work (descriptions or rank order) will result in a score of zero.

Also, don't forget to scope out their pictures as you read about these guys. Not only will most of them show up again later this year, but their fashion choices and poses are priceless.