Friday, April 29, 2016

AP Psych Exam: Final Reminders

This Monday, you'll be taking the AP Psych Exam. Here's what Chippewa Falls AP Psych students need to know:
  • The exam begins at 12:00 at Korger-Chesnut School (an old district building). (See Map below) Arrive a few minutes early, if possible, to locate your testing room, as there will be more than one testing room for this exam. 
  • You will be automatically excused from 4th - 7th hours (release @ 11:12 AM) for testing. If you wish to use the morning hours to prepare at home, your parents will need to call you in to excuse you from hours 1-3.
  • Since there will be little time between the end of your 3rd hour class and the exam start, consider packing a LIGHT lunch to eat on the way/before the exam begins. However, you can't bring food into the exam rooms. You may pack a snack in your backpack, though. Like maybe your Juicebox Robot? 
  • You need to provide your own transportation to the test site. Arrange carpools ahead of time, if necessary. Don't wait until the last minute!
  • Be sure to practice a solid pre-test regimen: get plenty of sleep the night before, eat healthful meals, and of course, review your course materials!
  1. A couple of #2 pencils (for the MC part).
  2. A couple of pens (blue or black) for the F-R part. Be sure to have a couple in case one runs out of ink!
  3. A watch (that does not beep!), in case you are seated in a place where the clock is not easy to see.
  4. A sweatshirt? It's ideal to dress in layers so you can adjust if you're too hot/cold.
  1. Cellular phones, beepers, MP3 players, or personal data assistants (PDAs)
  2. Books, correction fluid, dictionaries, highlighters, or notes
  3. Scratch paper (notes can be made on portions of the exam booklets)
  4. Calculators
  5. Watches that beep or have an alarm
  6. Portable listening or recording devices (even with headphones) or photographic equipment
  7. Clothing with psych-related information on it (e.g. sorry, even Psych Club shirts are a no-no)
  8. Food or drinks
Good luck, everyone! You can do it!

Map to testing site:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Reviewing Key People and Bio for the AP Psych Exam

Today, many of you expressed interest in getting more practice with key people/names in psychology, as well as Biological Psychology. To help you with your studies, I'm going to point out a couple of resources that can help.
  • First, the Quizlet sets below on Famous Psychologists and Biological Bases of Behavior are a good place to start.
  • Want to test your understanding of Bio? Try these practice questions: and enter game code 624469.
  • People Quizizz: and enter game code 176976.
  • If you never really understood what an action potential is, try viewing some of the Bio crash course videos below. Be sure to test yourself afterwards, though.

Famous Psychologists to Know

Biological Bases of Behavior

Crash Course: The Chemical Mind

Crash Course: Meet Your Maker (Brain Anatomy)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Tips and Tricks for Preparing for Your AP Psych Exam

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).
Want a helpful list of the NEED-TO-KNOW terms for the AP Psych Exam? This list won't probably get you a 5, but it will make sure you've got the absolute basics down.

Peep Diorama Contest Voting

I am very impressed with this year's entries in the Social Psych Peep Diorama Contest. Particularly notable is the diversity of concepts students chose to illustrate with Peeps (or other anthropomorphic candies). We even had a video submission! Well done, everyone!

I believe I've correctly included all of the entries that were sent to me. If yours is missing, please email me ASAP and I'll add it to the form. With submissions coming in on several different platforms, I worry that I might lose track of one, and I'll be happy to update the form to include it if that is the case.

Rules for Voting:

  • Voting will open at Noon on Sunday (4/24) and will close on Tuesday (4/26) at 8 AM.
  • You may only vote once.
  • Voting is only open to Chi-Hi staff and students, so you'll need to log on to your account in order to access the form.
  • You may encourage peers to vote for a particular choice, including those not currently in a psychology course, though current and former psychology students will likely be the most discerning voters. I will be emailing the form to Psych Club members to encourage them to cast votes as well.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Study Resources for Your Social Psych Test

Our LAST unit test in AP Psych will happen on Tuesday. Be sure to finish strong, knowing that doing so is simultaneously preparing you for a major chunk of the AP Psych exam on May 2!

Some resources you might find useful:
  • Review this unit's Learning Objectives. Can you do all of these things?
  • 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. Use the testing effect to your advantage!!!!
  • Study Session Resources: (posted here soon)

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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Exploring the Social and Cognitive Roots of Prejudice


So, I think I overdid it yesterday by staying late to finish scoring practice tests. Still sick. Still no voice. Blergh. So I'm staying home to (hopefully) recover and also to stop spreading disease, which means the Internet will be teaching you today. My apologies to those of you who want to see your Practice Exam results...they are with me here at my house. I will be sure to show you them on Friday. (Thanks for your patience.)

Be nice to your sub. Odds are, given the sub shortages, it may be someone who is just filling in for a single class period, so they know as much about what is happening in class today as you do right now.


1. Watch the Crash Course Video Below on Prejudice and Discrimination

2. Once you have viewed the video, find a PARTNER to work with. 

It could be your table buddy, or maybe someone else? You are certainly welcome to make a new friend. :) Regardless, you need to find someone to work with because we don't have enough plastic animals for people to work independently...and groups tend to produce Social Loafing, so...yeah.

3. Get a bunch of those plastic figurines we've been working with. The more diverse, the better.

I'm not there right now, and I'm pretty sure those were left on one of the tables near the front of the room, but I don't know for sure. Either way, be resourceful and find them. Remember, SHARING IS CARING, so don't hoard the toys and leave every other group with nothing.

4. With your partner, complete the activity found here

You can use your text as a reference if you need (including the extras in the room). Be sure to share this document with me before the end of the hour.

5. IF YOU HAVE TIME REMAINING, you may choose to complete one of the Implicit Association Tests discussed in the video.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Measuring Racism

Today in class we'll be discussing the roots of prejudice and discrimination. For some background, please read through this article: Racial Bias, Even When We Have Good Intentions.

It will provide you with some examples of how psychologists and other social scientists isolate and test for racial biases.

If you would like, after you finish the article you may choose to take an Implicit Association Test (IAT). This is one of the ways researchers have attempted to assess unconscious bias.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Stanford Prison Experiment

Today in class we'll be continuing our discussion of landmark studies in Social Psychology.

After you complete the questions in Socrative, I'd like you to view the video below. It provides a summary of Zimbardo's Prison Experiment. As you watch, please consider the following question:

What ethical concerns were raised by Zimbardo's work?

WARNING: There is some emotionally intense imagery and dialogue in this video.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

AP Exam Review: There's An App for That

Looking for a user-friendly, mobile solution for your AP Exam Review? Spending a lot of time on the bus or waiting out rain delays in spring athletics?

You might appreciate the iScore5 App for AP Psychology.

Available for iPhone and Android, the app features game-based review and costs $4.99 to download.

Users progress through 5 different Levels, starting with basic vocabulary and proceeding to more difficult questions. 800 different AP Psychology terms are included, and questions are sorted by topic area.

Overall, this is a very comprehensive review tool. If you can complete all 5 levels I'd anticipate an amazing test performance on the actual exam come May 2!

Full disclosure: I was one of the question contributors for this app. However, my paid work for the developers is complete, so I'm not promoting this as part of some money-making scheme. I don't get paid anything if you purchase it. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Results: Diagnosis Hero

Today in class we'll have the opportunity to review results from yesterday's Diagnosis Hero challenge.

Here is the document with explanations for the correct diagnoses. (Sorry, this document is accessible only to my students at this time. You'll need to be logged in to your account to view.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Study Resources for Psychological Disorders and Treatment

I will be updating this post gradually over the next couple of days (and the weekend), as I gather and add resources we'll be using both in class and during study sessions. This unit can be a challenging one, as there is a lot of new vocabulary and terminology to nail down. You guys have become much more adept at thoroughly preparing for your unit tests over the course of this year, so you'll want to bring those skills with you as you move into 4th Quarter!

Some ideas:

Psych Disorders Notes

Biomedical Treatments