Week 10 Blog Prompts

Here are the blog prompt options for Week 10 (10/27-11/3):

Option 1:

One of the most commonly discussed dimensions of personality is introversion vs. extroversion. In many ways, US society values extroverts more highly, but Susan Cain discusses the Power of Introverts in her TED talk. Watch the talk and discuss my assertion that extroverts are more valued in the US. What about Austin College? Are there advantages to being either introverted or extroverted here?

Option 2:

One popular form of assessing personality is the MBTI. In fact, many of you took the MBTI before you came to AC as part of the process of assigning you dorm rooms. Here is the website for the MBTI. Read through the links describing the dimensions of the MBTI to familiarize yourself with the personality types it produces. Then I want you to choose your favorite fictional character and try to guess what personality type (e.g., ENFJ) he/she/it would have. Find a link to a website that gives a synopsis of your character in case your readers are not familiar with him/her/it and explain your choices for each dimension.

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Week 9 Blog Prompts

Here are the blog prompts for Week 9 (10/20-27):

Option 1:

Many people consider intelligence to be largely determined by genetics, but there is substantial evidence that the environment and social processes play a large role as well. Since schools are a place where children try to determine how smart they really are, it is important for educators to understand the impacts of their subtle or not-so-subtle interactions with students. Watch these three videos: Jane Elliott’s classic blue eyes/brown eyes experiment, Claude Steele explaining stereotype threat, and Rosenthal & Jacobson’s discovery of the Pygmalion effect. In your blog post, react to what you saw in the videos, reflect on your own interactions with educators throughout your school career, and discuss what, if any, changes to the school system based on the concepts in these videos could improve students’ performance in the classroom.

Option 2:

In 1998, the Governor of Georgia, Zell Miller, proposed spending $105,000 of the state’s budget to distribute a cassette or CD of classical music to the parents of each new child born in Georgia (see the NY Times article). Governor Miller was a staunch believer in the Mozart effect, a theory that listening to Mozart can increase intelligence. The Mozart effect is highly controversial and has spurred numerous research studies, but was based on one study published in 1993. Read the original journal article by Rauscher, Shaw, & Ky and discuss whether or not the original evidence supports Governor Miller’s decision.

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Week 8 Blog Prompts

Here are the blog prompts for 10/13-10/20:

Option 1:

Elizabeth Loftus is one of the preeminent researchers in false memories. Her research has shed light on the fallibility of eyewitness testimony, the over-reporting of satanic ritual abuse, and the ease of implanting false memories. Her TED talk outlines much of her research and illuminates the fragility of our memory. Watch the TED talk and discuss your reactions. Make sure to specifically address Loftus’s implication that we could manipulate memory for positive outcomes (like enjoying vegetables) by discussing potential pros and cons and stating whether or not you believe we should consider tampering with memory.

Option 2:

Now that we have discussed learning and memory, evaluate your study habits. Describe how you studied for the first exam in this class and explain what you could do differently for the second exam to improve your preparation. Also explain why these differences would be better than what you did before. You also need to find a website that provides advice about studying and critique the recommendations based on what we discussed in class and what you read in your textbook.

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Week 7 Blog Prompts

Blog post prompts for 10/6-10/13:

Option 1:

Not everyone learns the same way. Each of us do best under certain conditions, and these tendencies are called learning styles. Take these two online learning style assessments (Link 1, Link 2). Report your results, discuss how credible you find them (both in terms of how well the results fit your experience and how well the assessment is designed), and discuss how you can use your preferred learning style improve your study skills. Finally, how well does AC do at teaching to your preferred learning style?

Option 2:

Violence in the media has been controversial for decades, but over the last 20 years there has been increasing attention to the amount of violence in video games. The rise of first-person shooters and games with graphic displays of blood and gore has led to criticisms of the video game industry and claims that children are becoming more violent as a result. For this blog post, find a source on each side of the debate and summarize their arguments. Also critique how trustworthy you find each source and decide whether or not you think violent video games should be allowed or permanently banned.

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