Monday, May 17, 2010

Consumer Education Unit. - Presentations Due May 26 (b) and May 27 (a)

Here are links to resources for our Consumer Education unit.

1 - Why am I broke all the time?

2 - What security deposit?

3 - Pay myself first?

4 - As seen on TV:

5 - The story of stuff.

6 - Scams, spam and getting slammed:

7 - I wish my parents were rich!

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

9 - Pay the man.

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

11 - A cheeseburger costs $487.63!

12 - If it seems too good to be true...

13 - How Insurance can save your butt...

Consumer Education Projects

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.


  1. “Why am I broke all the time?” How and why to do a personal budget.
  2. “What security deposit?” How to rent an apartment.
  3. “Pay myself first? What the…?” The how and why of savings.
  4. “As seen on TV.” The power of advertising.
  5. “The story of stuff.” How do my buying habits affect the world?
  6. “Scams, spam and getting slammed.” How to avoid getting ripped off online and in the real world.
  7. “I wish my parents were rich.” How to pay for college and not get buried in debt.”
  8. “But I thought I was making 10 bucks an hour!” What to expect from wages. Where does all the money go from your paycheck?
  9. “Pay the man.” How to do your taxes.
  10. “Oh Lord, won’t ya buy me a Mercedes Benz.” How to buy cars and other expensive stuff. (or just take the train)
  11. “A cheeseburger costs $487.63?” How to avoid credit card debt.
  12. “If it seems too good to be true...” How bad consumer decisions contributed to the recent financial crisis.
  13. "I always use protection!" How Insurance can save your butt.
  14. "I want it NOW!" How to separate needs from wants and base consumer decisions on your core values.


Each team must create:

* A one-page handout with key ideas which will be printed and distributed. (10pts)

* An activity so students can practice using the information. This can be a worksheet, a game, an online activity or some other learning tool. (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 15 minutes long and the activity should take 20 to 30 minutes.

Why do Drug Dealers Live with their Moms?

Steven Levitt explains why dealing drugs in a gang is, by far, the worst job you can have... less than minimum wage and a 25% chance of being killed on the job.

If it's such a bad job why do so many people want to do it?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Congrats and Thanks!

Congratulations and thanks to all of my great students who worked hard all year and put in lots of time reviewing and preparing for the AP Psych exam! You ROCK! You make teaching fun. I know many of you will achieve your AP exam goals and your goals in college and beyond.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I'll Earn a Five song... to the tune of "I Will Survive."

This AP Psych song was written by AP Psychology teacher Cara Terry. It's a great review of key concepts and people. If you need the tune go to Youtube, iTunes or Amazon. Gloria Gaynor did the classic version, but Cake's version is pretty great too.

(FYI, "Clive" refers to Clive Wearing who has a serious case of anterograde amnesia. He appears to only have STM... about 30 seconds of memory. Absolutely no new LT memories are formed.)

I'll Earn a Five

Thought I was afraid,
And was petrified,
My thinking Schactered all those
feelings that I had inside,
But then I changed the valence of
my emotions for this song
I grew strong,
AP psych had turned me on.
So now I'm here,
Ready to test,
And I know Pavlov’s UCR
And Little Albert’s UCS,
Bandura and his Bobo dolls;
Role-playing, Standford, Dr. Z;
Milgram worked with obedience
Gestalt orders what I see

Cerebellum: Balances me
The limbic system’s
Hippocampus aids in memory
I guess we’ve come a long way since phrenology
I’ve used mnemonics,
Problem-solved heuristically
I know that I
Will earn a five
I know of modes and medians,
And the STM of Clive.
Operate with Piaget;
Reflex: fight or run away;
I’ll earn a five.
I”ll earn a five

Hey, Hey

Superego, ego, id
Brain plasticity
REM, alpha waves
Schema, stranger anxiety
And I’ve spent such a lot of nights
Hoping someday to understand
I used to sigh
But now the test is nigh
And so it’s true
Call me Freud two
I know Festinger and Watson and
Flashbulb memory, too.
And so I feel like standing up
To say to people close to me
That I’m using all my knowledge
I’m no pigeon. I can see …
Chorus: (coda: I will survive and earn a five)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Use the Force

As master Yoda says, "Do or Do Not Do, There is No Try." You've learned a ton about psychology. It is time to persevere, keep "Doing" to master the material. You ARE a Jedi!