Favorite Activities for the Teaching of Psychology

Pages: 291
Item #: 4316105
ISBN: 978-1-4338-0349-9
List Price: $34.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $29.95
Copyright: 2008
Format: Softcover
Availability: In Stock
FREE Shipping

For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


The most popular activities from APA's successful Activities Handbooks for the Teaching of Psychology are gathered together and updated in this book of teachers' favorites. The lesson plans, which encourage active learning and involve the whole class, have stood the test of time and proven themselves to be entertaining, effective, and easy to plan.

Contributed by psychology teachers nationwide, the activities are most appropriate for courses at the college undergraduate or high school level, yet many are also applicable to more advanced classes. Both beginner and experienced teachers will appreciate the wide variety of teaching techniques described, including demonstrations, experiments, discussions, and simulations.

Each lesson plan is presented in an easy cookbook format that lists materials needed, timeframe, instructions, and discussion items. The activities are grouped by topic and cover history, statistics, and research methods; the brain and sensory processes; perception; states of consciousness; learning and memory; thinking, problem-solving, and language; motivation and emotion; developmental psychology; personality; psychological disorders and treatments; social psychology; and race, gender, and multiculturalism. Busy teachers will find themselves turning to this book over and over again for inspiration.

Table of Contents


I. History, Statistics, and Research Methods

  1. Chain Reaction Time: Measuring the Speed of Thought
    —Michael Wertheimer
  2. A Tasty Sample(r): Teaching About Sampling Using M&M's
    —Randolph A. Smith
  3. On the Average…
    —Kurt Salzinger
  4. Checking a Test's Reliability and Validity
    —Harold Takooshian
  5. Experimental Versus Correlational Research
    —Linda Leal
  6. Research Methods and Critical Thinking: Explaining "Psychic" Phenomena
    —Sandra Goss Lucas and Douglas A. Bernstein
  7. Experimental Design: Varying Heart Rate
    —Samuel Cameron, Jack Christiano, and Bernard Mausner
  8. Three Exercises on the Ethics of Research on Humans
    —Joan E. Sieber

II. The Brain and Sensory Processes

  1. The Autonomic Nervous System
    —Allan L. LaVoie
  2. Cerebral Lateralization
    —Ernest D. Kemble
  3. Observing Neural Networking in Vivo
    —Philip Schatz, Anthony C. Ruocco, John Medaglia, and Douglas L. Chute
  4. And Then the Lights Went Out: Constructing a Simple Ganzfeld
    —Cathy A. Grover and Stephen F. Davis
  5. Distributions of Rods, Cones, and Color Vision in the Retina
    —Charles T. Blair-Broeker and Douglas A. Bernstein
  6. How Blue Are You? The World of Taste Variations
    —Margaret Davidson
  7. The Interaction of Taste and Smell to Create Flavor
    —Bernard C. Beins
  8. Sensory Interdependencies
    —George M. Diekhoff

III. Perception

  1. Decreased Visual Perception During Saccadic Eye Movements
    —James W. Kalat
  2. Using Prism Adaptation to Explore the Eye–Hand Control System
    —J. W. Kling
  3. The Pulfrich Pendulum Effect: When To and Fro Is Roundabout
    —Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr.
  4. Size–Weight Illusion: A Pound Is a Pound the World Around?
    —Clifford L. Fawl

IV. States of Consciousness

  1. To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
    —Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr.
  2. The Role of Prior Information in Dream Analysis
    —Douglas A. Bernstein
  3. An Introduction to Meditation
    —Antonio E. Puente
  4. Addiction Simulation Exercise: Ice Cube Addiction
    —Todd C. Campbell

V. Learning and Memory

  1. Classical Conditioning: An All-Purpose Demonstration Using a Toy Watergun
    —Joel I. Shenker
  2. Operant Conditioning in the Classroom: An Inexpensive Student-Built Skinner Box
    —Kenneth D. Keith
  3. Concept Learning
    —Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr.
  4. A Cognitive Taxonomy of Multiple-Choice Questions
    —Drew C. Appleby
  5. Context and Memory
    —Marty Klein
  6. Information Processing Capacity: A Visual Demonstration of the Magical Number Seven
    —Fairfid M. Caudle
  7. Processing Meaning Enhances Recall
    —James J. Jenkins
  8. The Semantic Content of Long-Term Memory
    —George M. Diekhoff

VI. Thinking, Problem Solving, and Language

  1. The Use of Urban Legends to Improve Critical Thinking
    —Alva Hughes
  2. Set and Information Processing
    —Michael Wertheimer
  3. Functional Fixedness in Problem Solving
    —Douglas A. Bernstein and Sandra Goss Lucas
  4. The Role of Expectancies in the Perception of Language
    —George M. Diekhoff

VII. Motivation and Emotion

  1. Defining Aggression
    —Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr.
  2. Exploring the Concept of Sexual Orientation Through Classroom Group Discussion
    —Mark G. Hartlaub
  3. Assessing Student Worries
    —Patricia Smoot McDaniel and James Eison

VIII. Developmental Psychology

  1. Bringing Genetic Screening Home: Are We Moving Toward Designer Babies?
    —Richard Ely
  2. Animal Observation: The Mama Rat Project
    —Barbara F. Nodine
  3. Early Motor and Verbal Development
    —Peter S. Fernald and L. Dodge Fernald
  4. Parent Panels: Bringing the Parent into Understanding Childhood and Adolescence
    —Janet Morahan-Martin
  5. Three Tasks of Adolescent Identity: Cognitive, Moral, and Social
    —Mary Moore Vandendorpe
  6. Investigating Attitudes Toward Older Adults
    —Paul E. Panek

IX. Personality

  1. What is Personality? A Personal Appraisal
    —Kenneth W. Kerber
  2. The Sentence Completion Test: Assessing Personality
    —Peter S. Fernald and L. Dodge Fernald
  3. The Illusion of Control
    —Stephen J. Dollinger
  4. Personality Tests
    —Nancy Felipe Russo
  5. Interpreting the Self Through Literature: Psychology and the Novels of Wallace Stegner
    —Dana S. Dunn

X. Psychological Disorders and Treatments

  1. Paradigms on the Etiology and Treatment of Abnormal Behavior
    —Janet Morahan-Martin
  2. A Module for a Self-Directed Behavior Change Project
    —Janet Morahan-Martin
  3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation: One Component of Effective Stress Management
    —Paul Bracke
  4. Romeo, Juliet, and Conflict Resolution
    —Robert A. Goodale
  5. The Insanity Trial of Hamlet: A Teaching Activity
    —Elizabeth V. Swenson

XI. Social Psychology

  1. Romantic Relationships: Studying Theories of Personal Relationship Development
    —Elizabeth L. Paul
  2. Attitude Change Factors in Television Commercials
    —Margaret A. Lloyd
  3. Human Judgment Versus Empirical Evidence
    —Jane A. Jegerski
  4. The Nature of Groups: An Exercise for Class Discussion
    —Robert P. Agans
  5. The Fundamental Attribution Error
    —David L. Watson
  6. Application of Attribution Theory to the Social Issue of Homelessness
    —Susan H. Franzblau

XII. Race, Gender, and Multiculturalism

  1. Teaching About Prejudice and Discrimination in the Introductory Psychology Course
    —Joseph I. Lamas
  2. Gender Bias in Leader Selection
    —Michelle R. Hebl
  3. Gender Messages in Toys: An Out-of-Class Project
    —Margaret A. Lloyd
  4. Sex Role Stereotyping in Children's Books
    —Lita Linzer Schwartz
  5. The Contact Hypothesis: Interviewing Across Cultures
    —Pat A. Bradway and Sarah Atchley
  6. Cross-Cultural Sensitivity in Psychology
    —Lani C. Fujitsubo


About the Editor

Editor Bio

Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr., is a professor of psychology and Presidential Professor of Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M University, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the history of psychology, introductory psychology, and a graduate course on the teaching of psychology. His published works include 22 books and more than 150 journal articles and book chapters, divided between the history of psychology and the teaching of psychology. On teaching, his published works have emphasized the importance of active learning.

Benjamin was elected a Fellow of APA in 1981 and has served as president of two of APA's divisions — the Division on the History of Psychology and the Division on the Teaching of Psychology. He received the prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award from the American Psychological Foundation in 1986, and in 2001 he was awarded the Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training Award from APA. At Texas A&M University he has held the Fasken Chair and the Glasscock Professorship, both awarded for teaching excellence.

Benjamin began his academic career in 1970 at Nebraska Wesleyan University, a small liberal arts college. From 1978 to 1980 he served as Director of Education for APA before moving to Texas A&M University. When not engaged as a professor of psychology he enjoys traveling, baseball, theater, and fishing.