Monday, April 27, 2015

Voting: Social Psych Peep Dioramas

As we close our unit on Social Psych today, take a moment to vote on your favorite entry in our Peep Diorama contest. In total, I received 27 entries, and I think you'll be impressed with your classmates' creativity and social psych expertise.

You must be logged in to your Chippewa Falls Google account to vote. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

AP Exam Review Resources, Tips, and Tricks

There are SO many things you can do to help you review for your AP Psych Exam, and it can be hard to know where to start. Never fear! Here are some links and general tips, including some important "Do's" and "Don'ts" to help you out.

What NOT to Do:
The following strategies have been shown by researchers to be ineffective (people using them don't do much better than people who hadn't studied at all), so DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME ON THEM.
  • Re-reading your textbookSkimming over previously read passages of your text is a terrible way to study, in part because 1.) it is time-consuming, 2.) you don't actually retain any more info after doing this, and 3.) (even worse) it fosters the "illusion of mastery,"  which leads to WORSE performance. For example, you may think you "know" something just because you think to yourself, "oh, sure, that seems familiar," when actually you aren't able to answer questions about it correctly. Of course, this tip assumes you read the textbook the first time. Also, note that there is nothing wrong with looking up a specific topic that you don't understand in order to get a question clarified or answered. Just avoid passive re-reading of whole chapters (or the whole book).
  • Highlighting stuff in your notesWhile it sure makes stuff look pretty, there is little processing going on when you highlight terms or ideas in your notes. Since memory is the product of thinking about something, you're better off doing something that forces you to think about the material.
What works?
  • Distributed PracticeYou may remember this being called "the spacing effect" in your textbook. Spacing out study of your material, rather than planning one giant cram session, leads to better memory. In fact spacing is most powerful once a little "forgetting" has set in. So, study a topic until you feel you've "got it," then come back to it in a day or two and quiz yourself. This strategy can also be a time-saver, since less overall time is needed to achieve the same result as cramming. However, it takes more planning, which is the hard part.
  • Retrieval Practice or Self-Testing. There is NO BETTER way to prepare yourself for a test than to practice pulling information from memory. There are LOTS of online tools to help you do this, and I've included some of them below.
  • Use what you've learned this year about memory! If you are continuously stumbling over the same term, researcher name, or list of things you need to recall, use encoding strategies to help you! Mnemonics, acronyms, chunking, and DEEP PROCESSING/ELABORATIVE REHEARSAL (thinking about connections between course concepts and what you already know.
So...where do I start?
  1. Take a practice testThis will help you identify areas of strength and weakness and provide you with feedback about how "far" you have to go yet to achieve mastery. If you haven't already taken advantage of a weekend practice exam, here are some options to get you started:
  2. Narrow your focus and make a plan. If you found out that you rock at Abnormal Psychology, but are not exactly comfortable with Developmental Psych, use that to plan your study sessions! 
  3. In the last couple of days before the test, plan time for "polishing." 
    • Review Famous Psychologists to help practice many different areas of the course. Can you identify how these people are similar to each other? Different? 
    • Use the "combine sets" feature on Quizlet to study multiple topic areas at once.
    • Study with a friend: take turns quizzing each other on major course topics (using flashcards or term lists).

Friday, April 24, 2015

Reviewing for Your Social Psych Test

Once you've rested up after Prom, you'll want to return your attention to preparing for your Social Psych test. You've got an opportunity to finish strong on this last one, so don't neglect it!

Some resources you might find useful:
  • The MC Study Guide you picked up after your unit quiz
  • Why not complete the Days in your 40-Day Packet on Social Psych? (the whole thing is due on Friday, after all)
  • Quizlet Flashcards
  • Online Practice Multiple Choice Questions
  • Crash Course Videos (embedded below). Note: Don't assume passively viewing videos constitutes "studying," be sure to actively process that info by testing yourself on it. 

Notes from your Social Psych Unit

Crash Course Episode #37: Social Thinking

Crash Course Episode #38: Social Influence

Crash Course Episode #39: Prejudice and Discrimination

Crash Course Episode #40: Aggression v. Altruism

Monday, April 20, 2015

Prejudice and Discrimination: Social Psych Research

In class over the next couple of days, we'll be exploring the social and cognitive factors that lead to prejudice and discrimination. We're going to attempt to answer a few questions about these issues through our work, including:

What evidence is there that prejudice and discrimination persist in modern life?
To see how social scientists explore these issues, we'll read this article.

Secondly, we'll attempt to figure out why prejudice and discrimination appear even when people readily acknowledge such things are wrong and consciously believe they (personally) do not harbor such inclinations?

One area of research that has suggested answers to this second question is the use of Implicit Association Tests, which are described by your text on p. 782. In order to get a sense of how these tests measure implicit bias, you'll have time to complete one in class.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Social Psych Peeps Diorama Challenge

Want to earn additional points on your upcoming Social Psychology test? Do you have an abundance of Marshmallow Peeps left over from Easter? Well, do I have an opportunity for you!

Create a Peeps Diorama illustrating a Social Psych principle of your choice. Snap a photo of that thing and Tweet it or email it to me. For full contest rules, click here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Psych Disorders & Treatment Review

Reviewing for your Psych Disorders and Treatment Unit Test is going to require you to bring your A-game. You've been working hard all year to master your study habits, so put those hard-earned skills to work in the week ahead.

This unit has a lot (100+) of confusing-sounding vocabulary terms (e.g, drug names, disorder names), so it would be easy to get bogged down in vocabulary. I would highly recommend that you avoid simple "death-by-flashcard" review and instead focus on identifying connections and relationships between ideas. For example: if using flashcards, can you group terms into piles by category? Which ones are anxiety disorders? Which therapeutic techniques are behavioral?

To help you focus your studies and recognize the relationships between the vocabulary terms, I've created this Short List of key items for review. You might question whether this is "short" or not, it will provide a place to start.

Study Session Materials:

Class Notes/Activities on Psychological Disorders

Therapy & Treatment - Unit 13

Biomedical Treatments (4/14/15)

Monday, April 6, 2015

The New Asylums

Interested in viewing the rest of documentary that we excerpted in class? The New Asylums aired on Frontline in 2006. It features an excellent overview of the difficulties of treating persons with mental illness in prison systems, and is definitely worth a watch (though, take the "graphic content" warning seriously: some of these inmates are very ill and their speech and behavior reflect that).

I wish we had time to view the entire thing in class. Perhaps after the AP Exam?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Practice Exam - Friday, April 3


Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe (large meeting room)
1120 122nd Street
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729

Start Time: 9:00 AM
Come early and buy a cup of coffee or tea. We’ll have breakfast snacks available in the meeting room, but you’re also free to purchase other items, if you like.


  • A pencil and a blue or black pen
  • A watch that does not beep?
  • Your student #

We will be reversing the order of the test sections (FRQ's first, MC second) to (hopefully) allow you to know how you did before you leave.