Monday, October 24, 2016

Unit 03 Ch.03 The Biological Basis of Behavior and Mental Processes... Mind Is What Brain Does

Everything psychological is biological...

In other words, "Mind is what brain does..."

Objectives (think about these as you read):
1. Describe the general structure, organization and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems.
2. Describe the structure and function of neurons and other cells in the nervous system.
            3. How and why do neurons communicate with each other?
            4. What are “action potentials,” and how do they work?
5. Compare the somatic and autonomic parts of the peripheral nervous system.
6. Compare the important neurotransmitters.
7. Describe the endocrine system. What does it do?
8. Describe the various parts of the limbic system and what they do.
9. Describe the various parts of the cerebral cortex and what they do.
            10. Be able to explain how damage to a part of the brain may affect the organism.

1.     Key Term FlashcardsThere are 63 Key Terms highlighted in the textbook. Do at least 45. Do 5 to 7 per day and you’ll be fine.
2.      Pictures/diagrams are important to this unit!

3.     Don’t freak out. I know it’s a lot of flashcards. It will be worth memorizing and understanding the key terms. You will need to review the flashcards before quizzes and exams in class and as you study for the AP exam.

This site has some very easy to read descriptions of parts of the brain. Use it to help you understand what's between your ears if our book gets too confusing.

Our friend Hank discusses the chemistry of our brain...

Try this EdPuzzle link which asks you some questions as the video plays to check to see if you are understanding important points. It was developed by AP Psych teacher Mr. Mcentar. 

And Hank discusses the overall structure of the brain... from phrenology to Phineas to the old brain and the new brain.

Here is the EdPuzzle link for this video... try it out! Remember, quizzing yourself and connecting new information to old is the best way to learn new content.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Hair Length, Shoe Size, Height Correlation Blog Post Assignment. Due Tuesday 10/18 by midnight.

In a comment to this post, please discuss each of the graphs below. Be sure to address the questions under each graph. Please don't copy the questions or number your answers, rather, you should write a paragraph or two in complete sentences so your reader knows what you are talking about. Be sure to sign in as "anonymous" but put your first name and last initial in the post so I know to whom to give the credit. If you have any questions please e-mail me. Review the "how to e-mail a teacher" post on my blog before you send your e-mail.(click on the graphs to enlarge)

I strongly suggest you write the comment in Word or another program and then copy and paste it into the comment section below. This way, if the comment doesn't go through or is accidentally deleted you'll have a record of your work. Please also remember that I have to approve all comments, so it may take a while for it to show up on the blog. You don't need to resubmit it over and over. 

Click on graphs to enlarge. 

Graph 1  Hair vs. Height
Hair Length vs. Height
Correlation Coefficient r =  -0.57

What can we see from the above scatter plot of hair length vs. height? Is there a correlation? How strong is it? If so, is it positive or negative; strong or weak?

What information about the students in our class does this graph give you? Are there a few "outliers" or extreme data points that seem unusual? If you throw them out of the data set what does the correlation look like? What other information would be helpful to interpret the data? 

Graph 2
Height vs. Shoe Size 
Height Vs. Shoe Size
Correlation Coefficient r = 0.72

Above is the data we collected about our shoe sizes vs our heights. Can you see a relationship? Is there a correlation? If so, is it positive or negative? How strong is it?  Does shoe size cause height to change? Does height cause shoe size to change? What about the person who is over 160 cm tall, but has the smallest feet in class? They're the about same height as two of the people with the largest feet in class. 

Graph 3 
Shoe Size vs. Hair Length 

Shoe Size vs. Hair Length
Correlation Coefficient r = -0.42

Finally, the above graph shows the relationship between shoe size and hair length. Is there a correlation?  If so, is it positive or negative? How strong is it? The points are clustered in an interesting way (one cluster below 20cm hair length and one cluster above 48 cm hair length.) What third variable which is not shown on any of the graphs might be causing the relationship between shoe size and hair length?  Does correlation imply causation? Why or why not? How about that high value for Shoe Size? 

And a video about ice cream and polio... 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Unit 02 - Ch 01 History of Psychology

If you're ready to have your big brain explode, our friend Hank Green does a great job of laying out the basics of the history of psych too... be ready for some rapid-fire knowledge with this one.

You can watch it directly on Youtube too.

And while this video about the history of psych is not a snappy as Hank's, it covers more people and movements in the history of this most interesting field.

Some timelines of the history of psychology:

And... a sample from a comic called Action Philosophers

Monday, September 19, 2016

Unit 1 Chapter 7 - Memory

Unit 1 Chapter 7 Memory
Key ideas from Memory Unit:
Encoding, episodic vs. semantic and procedural memory, explicit vs. implicit memory, maintenance and rehearsal strategies to improve memory, various models of how memory works such as PDP and Info Processing, understand the difference between sensory, short term, and long term memory, compare recency and primacy effects, understand what affects memory retrieval, understand the limits of eye-witness testimony, Herman Ebbinghauss , compare retroactive and proactive interference,  compare retrograde and anterograde amnesia,
*****Use mnemonics and distributed practice to learn all this stuff and know why you are remembering and forgetting.

Good overview of basic memory concepts.

A whole site dedicated to human memory... very helpful. It has this very complete concept map.
Crash Course Psychology with our friend Hank!
How we make memories... 

Remembering and Forgetting 
Some fun memory games you can do online

Elizabeth Loftus's Ted Talk - The Fiction of Memory... the rape conviction of an innocent man... 

NOVA: How Memory Works

Article - What Science Says about Ferguson: Hacked memory.  We may all be working from different sets of "facts" about the same event.

This is not specifically about memory, but about implicit associations we make about people. You can take some of the Implicit Association Tests to see what some of your implicit associations about people and groups are. I’m putting it with this unit as an example of implicit vs. explicit thought processes.

Story from National Public Radio (NPR) about H.M., the man who had the bilateral removal of his hippocampus (What is the plural of hippocampus?) and ended up with the nearly complete inability to form new memories. Find out why he had his hippocampus removed and learn about this amazing case study of anterograde amnesia.

And an article from Psychology Today about H.M.

This video clip was made based on 2000 slices that were made of H.M.'s brain after he died in 2008. 

The movie Memento was the first feature film by star director Christopher Nolan who went on to direct The Dark Night and Inception. It is a fictional film about a character who, like H.M.,  loses the ability to create any new memories, but still tries to solve a horrible crime.

It is rated R due to some very violent content and adult language. If that sort of film is acceptable to you and your parents, you can stream it on Netflix or rent it. It's definitely not appropriate for younger siblings. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Consumer Education Unit - Due May 18th

Your job is to become an expert on one of the following topics and then teach the important ideas about it to the class. Your final grades in the class and your consumer education credit depend on your project, your presentation and a final exam. Topics:
    1. “But I thought buying this would make me happy” Needs, wants and satisfaction. (Needs)
    2. “Why am I broke all the time?” How and why to do a personal budget. (Budget)
    3. “What security deposit?” How to rent an apartment. (Rent)
    4. “Pay myself first? What the…?” The how and why of savings. (Savings)
    5. “As seen on TV.”  The power of advertising. (Ads)
    6. “Buying Misery? How do my buying habits affect the workers of the world? (Workers)
    7. “Scams, spam and getting slammed.” How to avoid getting ripped off online and in the real world. (Scams)
    8. “I wish my parents were rich.” How to pay for college and not get buried in debt.” (College)
    9. “But I thought I was making 10 bucks an hour!” What to expect from wages. Where does all the money go from your paycheck? (Paycheck)
    10. “Pay the man.” How to do your taxes. (Taxes)
    11. “Oh Lord, won’t ya buy me a Mercedes Benz.” How to (and if you should) buy cars and other expensive stuff. (or just take the train) (Transport)
    12. “A cheeseburger costs $487.63?”  How to avoid credit card debt and have good credit. (Credit)
    13.  “I always use protection!” How insurance can save your butt. (Insurance)
    14.  “We can always get another planet.” How our purchases affect the Earth (Earth)
Each team must create:
* A one-page handout with key ideas which will be printed and distributed. (10pts)
*A 10 question multiple choice quiz on your topic. (10pts)
* In addition to the above, each team must present their information to the class through a PowerPoint presentation, a video, a website or other product(20pts). The presentation should be 10-12 minutes long and include time for questions.

All documents must be e-mailed to Mr. Cantor ( ) by May 18th at midnight. 
I will print copies of your handouts.

All documents must have titles that make sense, your group name, your topic and the full names of all group members at the top. 

Use this format for naming your files... YES REALLY! : (color coded here for emphasis, you don't need to color code them on your documents) 
Group NumberTopicType of Document.
For Example: 

As you work - save your files often, and be sure to e-mail the most recent version to your partner(s) at the end of every class/work session. Losing your file is not an acceptable excuse for late or incomplete work. Remember, your classmates are counting on y0u. 

Here are some links to resources for our Consumer Education unit. You may and should use other sources, but these should get you started.

1 - “But I thought buying this would make me happy” Needs, wants and satisfaction.
2 - Why am I broke all the time?

3 - What security deposit?

4 - Pay myself first?

5 - As seen on TV:

7 - Scams, spam and getting slammed:

9 - But I thought I was making 10 bucks an hour...

10 - Pay the man.

11 - Oh Lord, Won't ya buy me a Mercedes Benz..

12 - A cheeseburger costs $487.63!

13  - How Insurance can save your butt...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Units 17, 18 Social Psychology

You should also be reviewing while you learn this new material. Scroll down to all our previous blog posts and check out our review resources!


The Robber's Cave - Sherif: In-group, out-group, Bias, Bonding, Competition and Cooperation

Social Thinking - Crash Course

Social Influene - Crash Course

The Bystander Effect... what would you do?

This happened a few years ago in NYC it looks like a 31 year-old Guatemalan man named Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax was stabbed on the street in New York City and many pedestrians walked right past him as he died. You can read the story and see a surveillance video here.

Read more about the bystander effect here

The Bystander Effect/Diffusion of Responsibility video we saw in class is below or here

Asch's Conformity

Solomon Asch's conformity study showed how easily people will give an obviously wrong answer when other people are giving that same answer. Watch the video at the link below:

Milgram's Obedience

Stanley Milgram's obedience study was recently partly replicated by ABC's Prime Time show. Watch how easily people follow orders even when they know the orders are wrong.

Zimbardo's Prison Roles

Philip Zimbardo's experiment about how roles affect behavior is known as the "Stanford Prison Experiment." Those playing inmates became passive while those playing guards became aggressive. Subjects' real identities seemed to pale in comparison to the roles they played so much that the experiment had to be stopped after a few days. Who knows what would have happened if the experiment had gone on for two full weeks.

Prejudice and Discrimination - Crash Course 

Aggression v. Altruism - Crash Course

Monday, April 4, 2016

Unit 16 - Treatment of Psychological Disorders

(Scroll down below this post for earlier posts such as Review Resources )

What are the main ways we treat psychological illness? What are the important the differences between psychotherapy and the biomedical approach? How does the psychodynamic approach compare to the humanistic approach? Are some treatments more effective for some disorders? Does psychotherapy work? Do psychiatric medications work? How do we know?

If you are concerned about your own mental health or that of someone close to you, speak to your counselor or teacher right away. If it's an emergency - that someone is going to hurt themselves or others, call 911. In a non-emergency the school can refer you to someone who can help, such as the professionals at the Near North Health Service Corp. which is only about a block from school. 

Trepanation- cutting holes in the skull - is no longer used as treatment of mental illness.  For other obsolete forms of psychiatric treatment, see this list.
The PsychCentral website lists all the disorders in the DSM 5 including their previous DSM IV names, so you can see how the textbook relates to the new DSM 5 listings.

The Mayo Clinic website has a good explanation of many mental illnesses including symptoms and treatment options.

Getting Help - Psychotherapy Crash Course

Biomedical Treatments - and Effectiveness of Psychological Treatments Crash Course

How do Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants work?

The Mayo Clinic has a good webpage that explains how SSRI and Serotonin/Norepinephrine SNRI's  work.

A detailed explanation of Freud and the basis for psychoanalysis (at 5:50 or so) - The School of Life

An AP Psych Review video for this unit - basically like having a tutor showing you a Prezzi and discussing each major idea. The nice thing is, you can pause and take notes which is something you can't usually do during class.

And finally... one mnemonic you can use to remember that Aaron Beck's cognitive approach to treatment involved reducing negative thinking about the self.