Laura’s Psychology Blog

One Professor’s Observations of the World of Psychology….   

May 31, 2011

readings in psychology for may 31st 2011

After my third trip across the county this month, I plan to stay put for another couple of weeks! The APS convention this year was wonderful in Washington, D.C. and our team project ( including 9 or so Cal Poly student researchers) was video interviewed by APS! How cool is that!

Here is what I am reading today:

“In an award address on May 28 at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science in Washington, D.C., University of Michigan psychologist John Jonides presented new findings showing that practicing this kind of task for about 20 minutes each day for 20 days significantly improves performance on a standard test of fluid intelligence—the ability to reason and solve new problems, which is a crucial element of general intelligence. And this improvement lasted for up to three months.”

“Recalling painful memories while under the influence of the drug metyrapone reduces the brain’s ability to re-record the negative emotions associated with them, according to University of Montreal researchers at the Centre for Studies on Human Stress of Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital. The team’s study challenges the theory that memories cannot be modified once they are stored in the brain.”

“Many coaches and physiologists believe that a longer warm up provides an increase in muscle temperature, acceleration of oxygen uptake kinetics, increased anaerobic metabolism and a process called postactivation potentiation of the muscles. However, very few studies have studied if warm ups has a detrimental effect on performance.”

Archaeologists recovered the first anchor from what’s believed to be the wreck of the pirate Blackbeard’s flagship off the North Carolina coast Friday, a move that might change plans about how to save the rest of the almost 300-year-old artifacts from the central part of the ship.

May 29, 2011

our aps convention pictures in washington, dc #aps2011dc

My daughters Karen and Kristin being interviewed by APS at the convention.

Kristin and Karen were the lead authors and presented at APS: “Reverse-Engineering Leadership: Deconstructing Perceptions of Personality in Generals, SMIs ( social media influencers) and CEOs.”

The question Karen wanted to explore was SMI’s, Kristin wanted to look at Generals and I thought it might be fun to throw in CEO’s.  So we asked, “What do Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, and retired U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal have in common?” A Q-sort technique was used to identify audience perceptions of personality characteristics of CEOs and generals, and results indicate more similarities than differences.

"Lego Soldiers" is our team theme for this year's presentation! Kristin was in charge of finding the shirts and they did raise a smile!

The convention is over this year and we certainly enjoyed the time! Now it back to finding the right challenge for this ‘transdisciplary team!’ See you next year!

May 28, 2011

readings in psychology for may 28th 2011 #aps2011dc

Trees around the area of Louisville , Kentucky

Here are some readings for today:

“For decades, autism researchers have faced a baffling riddle: how to unravel a disorder that leaves no known physical trace as it develops in the brain.”

“Omega 3 fatty acids may be beneficial for more than just the heart. Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine have found at a molecular level a potential therapeutic benefit from these dietary supplements for treating alcohol abuse and psychiatric disorders.”

“Researchers showed video clips that portrayed intentional and accidental harm, and found that all participants, irrespective of their age, paid more attention to people being harmed and to objects being damaged than they did to the perpetrators”

“Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al and Tipper Gore — these are the exceptions, not the rule, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. The report says that fewer Americans are getting married, and more marriages are lasting longer.”

“What do Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, and retired U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal have in common? A Q-sort technique was used to identify audience perceptions of personality characteristics of CEOs and generals, and results indicate more similarities than differences.”

social media in the classroom at nitop convention jan 3rd #aps2011dc

the national institute on the teaching of psychology

CLICK on the picture to visit the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology.

I always enjoy talking about the teaching of  psychology, although I find that even after thirty years in front of the classroom,  I continue to agree with William James’s comment:

“Psychology is a science, teaching is an art.”

A hundred years or so, William James edited a collections of his lectures entitled “Talks to Teachers.”  He reminded us that although we might be scientists and researchers, we have a responsibility, we must be teachers, too.  In his preface he wrote:

“The teachers of this country, one may say, have its future in its hands.”

William James also wrote an interesting analogy between the art of war and teaching:

“In war, all you have to do is work your enemy into a position from which the natural obstacles prevent him from escaping if he tries to; then to fall on him in numbers superior to his own, at a moment when you have lead him to think you are far away; and so, with a minimum of exposure of your own troops, to hack his force to pieces,and take the remainder prisoners. Just so, in teaching, you must simply work your pupil into such a state of interest in what you are going to teach him that every other object of his attention is banished from his mind; then reveal it to him so impressively that he will remember the occasion to his dying day; and finally fill him with devouring curiosity to know what the next steps in connection with the subject are.”

So join us this year and travel to the  NITOP  2012 Convention (Florida) and see how many view the ‘art’ of teaching Psychology. A special at this conference is a keynote address by by John Cacioppo , “Five Vignettes for Teaching Psychology as an Integrated Science.”

Take the time to invest in your future.



May 27, 2011

readings in psychology for may 27th 2011 #aps2011dc

Here I am at the APS discussing my book Discovering Biological Psychology at the Cengage booth! CLICK on the above picture to see my book!

Here is what i am reading today:

“In a paper titled “The History of African Gene Flow into Southern Europeans, Levantines and Jews,” published in PLoS Genetics, HMS Associate Professor of Genetics David Reich and his colleagues investigated the proportion of sub-Saharan African ancestry present in various populations in West Eurasia, defined as the geographic area spanning modern Europe and the Middle East.”

“he Mount Sinai team evaluated the prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain that controls a wide range of cognitive processes and mediates the highest levels of learning. Nerve cell circuitry in the prefrontal cortex of young animals is highly plastic, and life experiences, particularly those that involve learning, can profoundly alter prefrontal circuitry.”

“A new study by motor control and psychology researchers at Indiana University suggests that postural control problems may be a core feature of bipolar disorder, not just a random symptom, and can provide insights both into areas of the brain affected by the psychiatric disorder and new potential targets for treatment.”

Come Join my daughters and me at our presentation this year at the APS! What do Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, and retired U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal have in common? A Q-sort technique was used to identify audience perceptions of personality characteristics of CEOs and generals, and results indicate more similarities than differences.

“Understanding the actions of other people can be difficult for those with schizophrenia. Vanderbilt University researchers have discovered that impairments in a brain area involved in perception of social stimuli may be partly responsible for this difficulty.”

“Now, an international team of researchers co-led by MIT’s Josh Tenenbaum has found that infants can use that knowledge to form surprisingly sophisticated expectations of how novel situations will unfold.”

Discovering Biological Psychology and mousepad

Discovering Biological Psychology and mousepad . If you are at the convention come on down and say "hello!"

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Quote to Ponder

It is not a lack of love,
but a lack of friendship
that makes unhappy marriages
-------- Nietzsche

Discovering Behavioral Neuroscience 3rd edition

3rd Edition of my textbook

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Discovering Biological Psychology 2nd edition

2nd Edition of my textbook

Argosy on-line degree in clinical psychology

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Social Media in the Classroom

Using Social Media in Class!

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Laura Freberg in the popular press

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