Finals Week Blog Prompt – Reflections

Hand writing on a notebook This is the prompt for finals week. You must post by noon Friday, 5/12 to receive credit. This prompt will either replace a non-zero post from earlier in the semester or give you 2 extra credit points (I will apply whatever helps your grade more). Comments will be accepted until noon on Saturday, 5/13  and  will either replace a non-zero comment from earlier in the semester or give you 1 extra credit point (I will apply whatever helps your grade more). Use the tag “Finals” on your post. Return to your introductory blog post where you described the 3 topics you were most and least excited about for this course, and the one question you wanted to be able to answer when it was over. Reflect on whether your predictions came true in terms of ...

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Week 14 First Impression Prompts

Hand writing on a notebook Here are the three prompts for this week. Regardless of which prompt you choose, use the tag “Mental Health.” Option 1 Schizophrenia is often depicted dramatically in the media, and has been the subject of many major films like A Beautiful Mind, The Soloist, and Donnie Darko. Less frequently, however, do people get the chance to think about the daily life of someone who experiences hallucinations and delusions. Watch this video which simulates the experience of a person with schizophrenia, share your reactions, and compare this to how you typically see schizophrenia in the media. Option 2 People often associate schizophrenia with the homeless population or mental hospitals, but rarely do we think about people who are professionally very successful. One person who is thriving despite her schizophrenia is ...

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Week 13 First Impression Prompts – Social Psychology

Hand writing on a notebook Here are the two prompts for this week. Regardless of which prompt you choose, use the tag "Social Psychology." Option 1

The Implicit Association Test (which can be accessed through this link) is a tool to identify biases which may be outside your conscious awareness. The results of this test cannot determine whether or not you are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., but they are useful to help you understand yourself and how you interact with others. For this post, you must take two separate IAT tests from the link above. You do not need to share your results if you don’t want to, but you need to talk about the experience of taking the test and getting the results, comment on whether or not the results were surprising, and discuss how this test can be useful for ...

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Week 12 First Impression Prompts – Stress & Emotion

Hand writing on a notebook Here are the two prompts for this week. Option 1: Please use the tag “Emotion.” We all want to enjoy life and seek ways to make ourselves happy. Indeed, we spend much of lives chasing the goal of happiness. But how good are we at actually finding it? Dan Gilbert discusses the ways in which we sabotage our own happiness in his TED talk. Watch the video, share your reactions, comment on the speaker’s credibility, discuss how reasonable you find its message to be, and discuss ways in which you can incorporate more synthetic happiness into your life. Option 2: Please use the tag “Stress.” Stress is something all too common in college students’ lives, but what if you could change your relationship with stress. Kelly McGonigal discusses doing just that in her ...

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Week 11 First Impression Prompts – Motivation

Hand writing on a notebook **Since we're still working our way through personality in class, I've decided this week we will make a small diversion into talking about motivation for the blog prompt. This material is related to Chapter 11 in the textbook, but we will not be covering this in class. For refinement posts make sure you read Chapter 11 to incorporate material from the text.** Here are the two prompts for this week. Regardless of which one you choose, please use the tag “Motivation.” Option 1 America is currently facing an obesity epidemic that some experts have labeled the biggest public health threat we have today. We have all heard the recommendations to eat healthier and get regular exercise. Some people, however, are taking the message of healthy eating too far. A new mental health ...

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Week 10 First Impression Post – Personality

Hand writing on a notebook We all want to know more about our ourselves, and psychological tests are one way to explore our personalities. While the full psychological tests are often long and require a fee to take, there are an abundance of free versions online. Take the four personality tests linked below, discuss how accurately they describe your perception of your personality, and discuss the credibility of each test. Make sure to use the tag “Personality” on your post.

I look forward to seeing what you write!
Header image: CC by Flickr user Caitlinator

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Spotlight Blog 1 Prompt

Regardless of which option you choose, make sure to use the tag "Spotlight" on your post. Also include the tag listed for the option you choose below. Option 1 - Use the tag "Development" As divorce has become more and more common in the US, the number of children affected by divorce has increased greatly. The effects of divorce on children are controversial and there are a number of opinions out there on just what is "best" for kids. If you select this option, I want you to find two credible sources that argue divorce is inherently harmful to children and two credible sources that argue children can come through a divorce without serious consequences. Make sure to assess the arguments and supporting data presented in each source, explain what makes the source credible, and state which side of the issue you think is ...

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Week 9 First Impression Prompt

Hand writing on a notebook Here are the two prompts for this week. Regardless of which one you choose, please use the tag “Intelligence.”

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 ...

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Week 8 First Impression Prompt – Learning

Hand writing on a notebook Regardless of which prompt you choose, please use the Tag “Learning” on your post. Option 1: BF Skinner passionately believed in the power of operant conditioning. He thought it was such a powerful influence that it proved free will is an illusion. See Skinner make this claim here. You can read more about “radical behaviorism” at this link. After reading these sources, respond to Skinner’s assertion that there is no such thing as free will. Do you agree or disagree? Why? 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 ...

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Week 7 First Impression Prompts – Sensation & Perception

Hand writing on a notebook Regardless of which prompt you choose, please use the Tag “Sensation & Perception” on your post. Option 1: Synesthesia is a condition in which people’s perceptions of one sense activates another (for example hearing colors or seeing sounds). Watch Daniel Tammet explain his experience of synesthesia in a TED Talk entitled “Different Ways of Knowing.” Share your reactions to this video and discuss how you think this condition would affect someone’s day-to-day life. Option 2: Can we use magic to help people on the autism spectrum? This is actually a serious question. There is some evidence that people on the autism spectrum are less likely to be fooled by the slight of hand on which magicians rely. For this post, watch this video from the PBS show NOVA where neuroscientists work with ...

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