2012 TOPSS Essay Competition winners
The APA Committee of Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) congratulates the student winners of the 2012 APA TOPSS Essay Competition. Rakesh Goli of the Altamont School (Birmingham, Ala.), Ning Liu of Parkview High School (Lilburn, Ga.), Rebecca Shaw of Horace Mann School (New York) and Rachael Spillane of Topsail High School (Hampstead, N.C.) each received $250 scholarships for their winning essays. Funding is provided by the APA Education Directorate.
The 2012 essay question asked students to describe specific psychological concepts as they relate to the various ways a person might react to a natural disaster. Students were asked to relate these specific psychological concepts to a person's potential behavior and mental processes following the disaster. Students needed to include definitions and specific examples related to the experience of living through a natural disaster; examples could be as small scale or as large scale as the students preferred.
Some of the topics students were given as options for discussion included biological components related to memory, emotions and/or stress; learning principles of classical conditioning, operant conditioning or observational learning; and attribution theory.
Congratulations to all the winners!