Week 6 First Impression Prompts – Consciousness

Hand writing on a notebook   Option 1 (please use the Tag “Drugs” on your post): Recently, several states have legalized recreational use of marijuana and even more are considering it. This has lead to both celebration and condemnation depending on who you ask. Medicinal use of marijuana is still controversial as well. In your blog post, take a position on both medical and recreational use of marijuana. Should they be legal or not? Make sure to point out pros and cons to both arguments. Option 2 (please use the Tag “Sleep” on your post): In this TED talk, Russell Foster outlines 3 prominent theories about why we sleep. Watch the talk and argue for the theory you find the most convincing. Include a discussion of your current sleep habits and how healthy you think they are. ...

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Week 5 First Impression Post – Memory

Hand writing on a notebook Regardless of which prompt you choose, please use the Tag “Memory” on your post: 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: One of the topics we will discuss related to memory is study habits. For this post, critique your current ...

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Week 4 First Impression Prompts – Neuroscience

Hand writing on a notebook Regardless of which prompt you choose, please use the Tag “Neuroscience” on your post. For your blog prompt this week, you are to choose one of the following TED talks:

Week 3 First Impression Prompts – Development

Hand writing on a notebook Regardless of which prompt you choose, please use the tag “Development” on your post. Here are the prompts for this week: Option 1 Tiger moms, jellyfish dads, and helicopter parents. These terms all refer to various parenting styles and each has been both promoted as an ideal and criticized as “the problem with kids these days.” We will discuss parenting this week, but I'm curious what you think is the “best” way to parent. By “best” I mean most likely to produce children who grow up to be happy, healthy, and productive members of society. Write your post about the ideal way parents should raise their kids. Option 2 While most developmental psychologists have focused on how we grow and change from birth to early adulthood, Erik Erikson was one of the ...

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Week 2 First Impression Prompts – Research Methods

Hand writing on a notebook Regardless of which prompt you choose, please use the Tag "Research Methods" on your post. Here are the prompts for this week: Option 1 For this week’s discussion, I want you to design a research study about a topic you find interesting in psychology. You can choose any topic you would like as long as you relate it to something from our textbook. In your post make sure to do the following:

  • List your research question
  • State your hypothesis (what you think the outcome would be and why)
  • Describe your procedure (what you would have participants do, how you would recruit participants)
Make your research idea something feasible that you could actually do as a student researcher. In other words, assume you have a fairly small budget and a limited amount of time. If you’re a psychology major or ...

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Finals Week Blog Prompt: Reflections

Hand writing on a notebook This is the prompt for finals week. You must post by noon Friday, 5/13 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, 5/14  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 your favorite and least favorite topics, and try ...

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Week 14 Blog Prompts: Mental Health

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 Elyn Saks, who received her law degree from ...

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Week 13 Blog 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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Extra Credit Blog Post

Since we ran out of time to watch the last video I wanted to show in class on Friday, I want to give you the opportunity to watch it and provide your thoughts. The video is from the ABC News program What Would You Do and aired in May, 2010. After you watch the clip, write a post (must be at least 200 words and use the tag "Social Psychology") sharing your reactions to what you saw, what you think you would do in this situation, and explain which of the following terms apply to this situation: stereotypes, prejudices, discrimination, oppression. The post is due at 9 pm on Wednesday, April 27th.   If you want to see the extended version of the clip, you can watch it here.

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Week 12 Blog 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 TED talk “Making Stress Your Friend.” ...

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