APA's fourth and latest volume of activities for teaching psychology contains a wide range of enjoyable and instructive exercises that emphasize active learning. Each of the 80-plus exercises is described in a cookbook format that allows the instructor to quickly see the concept underlying the activity, materials needed (if any), and class time required.

Contributed by psychology teachers nationwide, the activities are appropriate for introductory courses at the college or high-school level, yet many are also applicable to more advanced classes. Both beginning and more experienced teachers will appreciate the variety of teaching approaches, which include demonstrations, experiments, discussions, and simulations. The activities are grouped by topic and cover critical thinking, research methods and statistics, biopsychology and animal behavior, sensation and perception, learning, memory, cognition, emotion, development, human diversity, social psychology, personality, and psychological disorders.

Table of Contents


List of Reviewers

I. General Skills and Critical Thinking

  1. Learning to Use the Contemporary Library: A Laboratory Exercise
    —Charles L. Abramson, Donald P. French, and Steven M. Locy
  2. Keeping in Touch With Your Students by "Carding" Them
    —Margaret A. Lloyd
  3. The Costs and Benefits of Critical Thinking
    —Randall E. Osborne, Judy Laws, and Ken Weadick
  4. Parsimonious Explanations of Apparent Mind Reading
    —James W. Kalat
  5. The Use of Urban Legends to Improve Critical Thinking
    —Alva Hughes
  6. Research Methods and Critical Thinking: Explaining "Psychic" Phenomena
    —Sandra S. Goss and Douglas A. Bernstein
  7. Reading, Writing, and Thinking Before Each Class
    —William J. Lammers
  8. Letters Home: Writing for Understanding in Introductory Psychology
    —Kenneth D. Keith
  9. The Use of Correspondence in the Classroom
    —Charles I. Abramson and Douglas A. Hershey
  10. Applying Psychology to Issues in Society
    —William J. Lammers
  11. Academic Challenge: A Review Activity
    —Margie Cole, Betsy Fuqua, Lisa Kopacz, Kathleen Self, and David Weiss
  12. Have I Heard That Name Before? A Survey of Historical Figures in Psychology
    —Charles L. Brewer and Stephen F. Davis
  13. Read All About It! Wundt Opens Psychology Lab: A Newspaper Assignment for History of Psychology
    —William H. M. Bryant and Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr.

II. Research Methods and Statistics

  1. Counting Fidgets: Teaching the Complexity of Naturalistic Observation
    —Bernard C. Beins
  2. Discovering the Relationship Between Operational Definitions and Interobserver Reliability
    —Angela H. Becker
  3. A Classroom Demonstration of Galileo's Distinction Between Objective and Subjective Reality
    —Ann N. Elliott
  4. A Tasty Sample(r): Teaching About Sampling Using M&M's
    —Randolph A. Smith
  5. Using Jelly Beans to Teach Some Concepts in Research Methodology
    —Hank Rothgerber and Eric Anthony Day
  6. The Effects of Gender on the Number of Shoes Owned: Gathering Data for Statistical and Methodological Demonstrations
    —Steven E. Stern
  7. Probability Distributions With Real Social Judgment Data
    —Jane A. Jegerski
  8. Pets and Prediction: Understanding Suppressor Variables
    —Kristin K. Woolley
  9. Survey Construction and Analysis
    —Howard F. Gallup
  10. Checking a Test's Reliability and Validity
    —Harold Takooshian

III. Biopsychology and Animal Behavior

  1. Observing Neural Networking in vivo
    —Douglas L. Chute and Philip Schatz
  2. The Ultimate Portable Brain Model
    —Susan J. Shapiro
  3. Circadian Rhythms in Body Temperature
    —Michael J. Renner
  4. Flight Distance in Small Birds
    —Michael J. Renner
  5. Petscope: Pet Stores and the Study of Animal Behavior
    —Charles I. Abramson, Jeanine M. Huss, Kristy Wallisch, and Delissa Payne

IV. Sensation and Perception

  1. Distribution of Rods, Cones, and Color Vision in the Retina
    —Charles T. Blair-Broeker and Douglas A. Bernstein
  2. Stereopsis: Learning by Doodling
    —Paul H. Schulman
  3. The Signal Detection Game: An Exercise for Generating an ROC Curve
    —Thomas W. Pierce
  4. Decreased Visual Perception During Saccadic Eye Movements
    —James. W. Kalat
  5. Truncated-Pyramid Illusion: The Logic of Perception
    —Clifford L. Fawl
  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. Testing Sense of Smell With Scratch and Sniff
    —Steve Charlton

V. Learning

  1. Classical Conditioning: An All-Purpose Demonstration Using a Toy Watergun
    —Joel I. Shenker
  2. Planarians in the Classroom: Habituation and Instrumental Conditioning
    —Charles I. Abramson, Deborah E. Kirkpatrick, Nathan Bollinger, Rihaneth Odde, and SHannon Lambert
  3. Operant Conditioning in the Classroom: An Inexpensive Home-Built Skinner Box
    —Kenneth D. Keith
  4. Shaping Behavior Through Operant Conditioning
    —Peter S. Fernald and L. Dodge Fernald
  5. Using Psychological Perspectives to Change Habits
    —Rob McEntarffer
  6. Applying the Principles of Learning and Memory to Students' Lives
    —Allyson J. Weseley

VI. Memory

  1. Information Processing Capacity: A Visual Demonstration of the Magical Number Seven
    —Fairfid M. Caudle
  2. Do You See What I See?: Examining Eyewitness Testimony
    —Steve Charlton
  3. Memory for Monopoly Properties
    —Dina M. Wieczynski and Kenneth A. Blick
  4. Effects of Unconscious Memory on Subjective Judgments: A Classroom Demonstration
    —Benton H. Pierce
  5. Constructive Memory/Schemas: The Rumor Chain
    —Douglas A. Bernstein and Sandra S. Goss

VII. Cognition and Emotion

  1. An Experimental Demonstration of Place Schema
    —Mark. G. Hartlaub
  2. Functional Fixedness in Problem Solving
    —Douglas A. Bernstein and Sandra S. Goss
  3. Reorganization and Productive Thinking
    —Michael Wertheimer
  4. Set and Information Processing
    —Michael Wertheimer
  5. The Facial Feedback Hypothesis: Are Emotions Really Related to the Faces We Make?
    —Charles Schallhorn and Jeff Lunde

VIII. Developmental Psychology

  1. Bringing Genetic Screening Home
    —Richard Ely
  2. Virtual Pregnancy: The Project That Delivers
    —Shalynn Ford
  3. The Ends and Means of Raising Children: A Parent Interview Activity
    —Frank M. Bernt

IX. Human Diversity and Psychology

  1. Teaching About Prejudice and Discrimination in the Introductory Psychology Course
    —Joseph I. Lamas
  2. The Contact Hypothesis: Interviewing Across Cultures
    —Pat A. Bradway and Sarah Atchley
  3. The Importance of Cross-Cultural Sensitivity in Psychology
    —Lani C. Fujitsubo
  4. Making Research Come Alive: Exploring the Effects of Culture and Confounds
    —Richard Ely and Carter Yeager
  5. Prejudice and the Loss of Individuality: An Experiential Exercise
    —George L. Moutsiakis
  6. Exploring the Concept of Sexual Orientation Through Small-Group Discussion
    —Mark G. Hartlaub
  7. Gender Bias in Leader Selection
    —Michelle R. Hebl
  8. Gender Stereotypes and Methodology: What's the Connection?
    —Eugenia M. Valentine
  9. Issues in the Psychology of Women: Explorations Through Art
    —Fairfid M. Caudle
  10. Gender Stereotyping in Commercials
    —Margaret A. Lloyd
  11. History of Women in Psychology: A Time Line
    —Bernice S. Strauss

X. Social Psychology and Personality

  1. The Nature of Groups: An Exercise for Classroom Discussion
    —Robert P. Agans
  2. Application of Attribution Theory to the Social Issue of Homelessness
    —Susan H. Franzblau
  3. Romantic Relationships: Studying Theories of Personal Relationship Development
    —Elizabeth L. Paul
  4. Measuring Attitudes Toward Public Assistance
    —Peter S. Fernald and L. Dodge Fernald
  5. Personal Space Invasion
    —Robert Sommer
  6. The Marlboro Cowboy Versus the Surgeon General: Who is Winning the War on Smoking?
    —Tami Eggleston and Frederick X. Gibbons
  7. Tom Sawyer: The Fence and Social Psychology
    —Alan Feldman and Rebecca Lafleur
  8. Aggression on Television
    —Margaret A. Lloyd
  9. Using Negotiation and Mediation to Resolve Disputes
    —Elizabeth V. Swenson
  10. The Insanity Trial of Hamlet: A Teaching Activity
    —Elizabeth V. Swenson
  11. Expressing Your Identity
    —Jane S. Halonen
  12. Interpreting the Self Through Literature: Psychology and the Novels of Wallace Stegner
    —Dana S. Dunn

XI. Psychological Disorders and Treatments

  1. Addiction Simulation Exercise: Ice Cube Addiction
    —Todd C. Campbell
  2. The Role of Prior Information in Dream Analysis
    —Douglas A. Bernstein
  3. For Love or Money
    —Jane S. Halonen
  4. Diagnosis of Psychological Disorders: A Group Therapy Simulation
    —John R. Rudisill
  5. Empathy: The Cornerstone of Counseling
    —Peter S. Fernald and L. Dodge Fernald
  6. The Doctor Is In: How to Treat Psychological Disorders
    —Allyson J. Weseley and Chuck Schira


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