Laura’s Psychology Blog

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

December 29, 2011

a new way to teach Psychology

(Our new Psychology textbook will be available March 2012)


John Cacioppo and I are proud to introduce our new textbook:  Discovering Psychology: The Science of Mind. This is not your typical ‘modular’ textbook that treats each topic as a separate, stand-alone unit. In the spirit of the great American psychologist William James, our textbook integrates the formerly disparate fields of psychology into an interrelated, breathing and living discipline. Just as we struggle to understand the nature of our being, we also study the ways we are nurtured and how this interaction of nature and nurture changes over time. We discuss how psychology is also one of the “hub sciences”–a major contributor to human knowledge and to our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

Here is how our publisher describes a recorded webinar with John Cacioppo in which he discusses this new approach:

“We’d like to invite you to view author John Cacioppo’s recorded webinar on The Discipline of Psychology: How it’s changing, and implications for how psychology is now taught.

Description: In this online seminar John Cacioppo, Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, and past president of APS, talks about how the field of psychology has changed as a science in the 21st century, and will make the case for changes in how psychology is taught at the undergraduate level. Over the last 20 years Dr. Cacioppo has seen the discipline of psychology move from a discipline composed of many independently functioning subdisciplines to an integrative science which applies the total sum of its collective knowledge in its research and perspectives. As the field continues this metamorphosis it is important that psychology be portrayed in introductory psychology classes as accurately as possible, and that undergraduates come away from their intro psychology course with an informed view as to what it is psychologist do, and what it is the science of psychology is trying to accomplish. This webinar is really the beginning of a dialogue around these important ideas, and interaction will be highly encouraged. Join us, and begin the conversation!


As always, I look forward to talking with you. Any questions? Feel free to contact me: laurafreberg at


December 27, 2011

readings in psychology for 27 december 2011

My daughter Karen's gift into our lives is a kitten named 'Alpha' or 'Boo Boo' depending on how we feel about him!

Readings for today:

“A new paper scheduled for publication in the January issue of Nature Photonics describes the use of spinning microparticles to direct the growth of nerve fiber, a discovery that could allow for directed growth of neuronal networks on a chip and improve methods for treating spinal or brain injuries.”

“At UCLA’s Laboratory of Integrative Neuroimaging Technology, researchers use functional MRI brain scans to observe brain signal changes that take place during mental activity. They then employ computerized machine learning (ML) methods to study these patterns and identify the cognitive state — or sometimes the thought process — of human subjects. The technique is called “brain reading” or “brain decoding.””

“Smithsonian researchers report that the brains of tiny spiders are so large that they fill their body cavities and overflow into their legs.”

“A mother lode of bonding – or a lack thereof – between moms and young children can predict kids’ behavior in romantic relationships decades later, a new study suggests.”


December 21, 2011

readings in psychology for 21st december 2011

"Alpha" (Named by Karla) is the newest member of our little Menagerie

Here is what I am reading today:

“People are more likely to lie through texts than other forms of communication, such as video chats and face-to-face interactions, a new study suggests. A new study from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia found that people feel more comfortable hiding the truth through texts and those that are lied to this way get the most upset.”

“Research into decision-making by European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) may help to explain why many animals, including humans, sometimes exhibit irrational preferences.”

“Anxious people have long been classified as “hypersensitive” — they’re thought to be more fearful and feel threatened more easily than their counterparts. But new research from Tel Aviv University shows that the anxious may not be hypersensitive at all — in fact, they may not be sensitive enough.”

“(NaturalNews) An inexplicable butter shortage in Norway that authorities and the media are blaming on the growing popularity of low-carb, high-fat diets has left the wealthy Scandinavian country scrambling to find other sources of the precious cooking ingredient. After all, the Christmas season is upon us, which means that millions of Norwegians need this natural cooking fat to produce a multitude of butter-rich baked goods that have long been a staple of the Norwegian Christmas tradition.”

December 20, 2011

sharing happiness this season

Filed under: a current story,a Family Blog or 2 — Laura Freberg @ 1:08 pm

Our daughter Kristin and future son-in-law Scott

In the holiday season, we all should share some joy and happiness. My daughter Kristin is engaged to a wonderful man, Scott.

All the happiness to you.


December 19, 2011

readings for 19 december 2011

And What are you making this season?

Here are some of the things I am reading today:

“Winter is the perfect time to crack open and leaf through the pages of a new book, while you sip hot cocoa by the fireside. With the advent of e-books, this seasonal image may soon be due for an upgrade. E-books have exploded in the online scene, libraries are beginning to shift their emphasis to e-books, and teachers are starting to favor the “e-convenience” of online textbooks. The e-book revolution seemed almost as sudden and unexpected as Paris Hilton’s singing career.

In reality, it was years in the making.”

“Contrary to the ideal of a completely engaged electorate, individuals who have the least interest in a specific outcome can actually be vital to achieving a democratic consensus. These individuals dilute the influence of powerful minority factions who would otherwise dominate everyone else, according to new research published in the journal Science.”

“The mould fungus Penicillium crustosum occurs relatively frequently in food and animal fodder stored in temperate conditions. This mould produces powerful neurotoxins, for example penitrem A, which causes symptoms that are difficult to distinguish from those of other neurological diseases. Angel Moldes-Anaya’s doctoral research has shown that penitrem A is capable of penetrating the blood-brain barrier and has unveiled the mechanisms behind the neurological effects of the toxin.”

“Your parents were right: Hard experiences may indeed make you tough. Psychological scientists have found that, while going through many experiences like assault, hurricanes, and bereavement can be psychologically damaging, small amounts of trauma may help people develop resilience.”

Next Page »

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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