Thursday, January 31, 2013

Michael Shermer to Speak at UWEC

Next week on February 6th, student have an opportunity to see nationally known speaker and supporter of scientific inquiry present as part of the UWEC forum series. Michael Shermer is the author of several books on how people form beliefs (rational and irrational), including most recently The Believing Brain: From Ghosts, Gods and Aliens to Conspiracies, Economics, and Politics--How the Brain Constructs Beliefs and Reinforces them as Truths. Shermer is a staunch advocate of the use of scientific reasonsing to answer life's most important questions, and I have used some of his videos before in class, including this one where he describes science as the best "baloney detection kit" around.

During our Psych Club meeting on Friday, I'll collect ticket money from anyone interested in attending and place a group order for tickets, which are AMAZINGLY CHEAP for students at $2 a piece ($8 for general public).

Shermer takes the stage at 7:30 PM for an hour-long lecture, followed by a 1/2 hour question and answer session. For a preview of what to expect, check out his TED Talk below. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Descriptive Statistics

It's everybody's favorite time of year: the time in AP Psychology class where we closely examine how descriptive statistics (particularly, standard deviation and z-scores) help us make sense of test data.

To help with practice on basic descriptive statistics, students should complete this PsychSim Module on Descriptive Stats. Lost the worksheet you got in class? You can print another one here. Just note that it is two pages, so be sure to complete/print both sides.

Still lost when it comes to normal distributions, z-scores, and percentile ranks? You might wish to review this video from a fellow AP Psych teacher, who has posted it to help you with your review.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Using Memory Research to Enhance your Study

In my view, one of the most helpful things students can glean from an introductory psychology course is techniques for improving their own study habits. Not only does the wealth of research on human memory inform us as to why certain things are remembered better than others, but it suggests ways that we can use that knowledge to better encode, store, and retrieve information that we are trying to learn. Meaning, you can use this to improve your test performances!

I was just alerted to a GREAT website created by Dr. Stephan Linn Chew, professor of psychology of at Samford University. He presents a video series on How to Get the Most Out of Studying that incorporates many aspects of the memory research we've been studying in class. For example, in the video embedded below, students should recognize the Levels of Processing Model (deep vs. shallow processing) that we learned about in class today. Other videos include:
Great things to keep in mind as we prepare for our last unit test (on Memory) and the final exam!