Sunday, December 30, 2007

Personality Disorders

(Unit Quiz) Due Monday, January 14. Assignment:
Screening for Personality Disorders:
Treatment for Personality Disorders:
Looking for an all-inclusive site pertaining to personality disorders? This is what you are looking for:
(An excellent resource as you complete your unit quiz on Personality Disorders as well as informative for those of you choosing to focus on Personality Disorders for your final paper.)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Lessons from "I am Sam"

What did you learn about the challenges any new parent faces with a newborn?
How does Sam cope with his new responsibilities as a parent?
What qualities does he possess? What does he lack?
Why do you think society tends to be more accepting of the phobias/obsessive-compulsive tendencies of someone like Rita and less accepting of the autistic-tendencies Sam exhibits?
What disorder did the character Annie suffer from? How did she cope with her disorder?

Did any other characters exhibit symptoms indicative of one of the personality disorders we discussed in class? If so, who? What disorder(s)? What led you to this conclusion?
Did this movie change your impressions of mental disorders and/or disabilities. If so, how?

Agoraphobia - Mayo Clinic

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Autism Speaks - An excellent resource on the topic

New York Times Health Information: Autism

Agoraphobia Wikipedia Entry

"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" Wikipedia Entry

"Here Comes the Sun" Wikipedia Entry



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Do Something!

Links to sites of interest:
Teach for America
Pay it Forward Foundation
American Democracy Project
Service Learning Clearinghouse
Heifer International - Ending Hunger
Yes Magazine (many inspirational stories, excellent resources, etc.)

Van Halen - "Right Now"


Watch "All the President's Men" and answer the following questions:

1. Who were the Washington Post reporters portrayed in the movie?

2. What techniques were used by investigative reporters in an effort to get information from their sources?

3. What ethical standards did journalists follow? Ethical standards for editors?

4. What risks are involved in running a controversial story such as the Watergate scandal? (include a brief discussion of the use of anonymous sources, challenging government leaders - even alleging criminal activity)

5. Discuss the competing interests in U.S. v. Nixon.

6. Briefly discuss the legacy of both the case and the scandal as a whole.

Wikipedia Entry: U.S. v. Nixon

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Anxiety Disorders

Resources for students and teachers:
(Note for Psychology students: We will be reading a case study and discussing it in class. If you would like to familiarize yourself with the questions ahead of time, visit the Teaching Tolerance site below. The questions we will discuss are 1-5 &7.)
A Lesson Plan:
Anxiety Disorders Checklist (for teens)
Anxiety Disorders Screening Test
Discussion Questions:
Panic Attack Facts
Psych Central
Treatment G.A.D.
OCD (Wikipedia)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Psychology Take-Home Quiz (Mood Disorders)

Mood Disorders

1. What factors do clinicians consider when distinguishing clinical depression from normal sadness?

2. In class we discussed clinically depressed people as experiencing a "cluster" of biological, physical and cognitive symptoms. Briefly explain each category of symptoms.

3. Briefly explain two theories regarding why more women are diagnosed with clinical depression than men.

4. Although not every person experiencing a significantly stressful life event (recall those from the Social Readjustment Scale) becomes clinically depressed, some do. List four vulnerability factors.

5. Briefly, discuss several differences in the Social Readjustment Scale for minors (compare to the Social Readjustment Scale for adults.)

6. What is the difference between Cognitive and Interpersonal Therapy?

7. Briefly discuss the treatment methods for S.A.D.

8. How common is postpartum depression? Researchers are calling for increased screening measures for new mothers through the first year of giving birth. What preventative measures can expectant and new mothers take to deal with P.P.D.?

9. Bipolar disorder involves episodes of mania and depression. Briefly describe a manic state?

10. Discuss the difficulties involved in treating people diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Do not post your answers in the "comments" section.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Mood Disorders - Post Partum Depression

Post Partum Depression Basics:
60-70% of new mothers experience "The Baby Blues" lasting between one and two weeks
10-15% of new mothers experience post partum depression lasting weeks to months
Post partum depression, more serious and long-lasting that the "baby blues" can effect a new mother's ability to care for her baby and function effectively in her daily life. Feelings of sadness and anxiety can become overwhelming rendering her unable to function.
Many women experiencing post partum depression also report feeling exteme fatigue and either a lack of concern for her baby or overconcern for her baby.

A much more serious related disorder is called, post partum psychosis. Feature associated with this disorder include: constant fear of harming one's baby, hallucinations, extreme mood swings.
More on this in the wikipedia link below.

It is believed the drastic decline in the hormones estrogen and progesterone following birth triggers depression. The inevitable stress involved in caring for a newborn is also a contributing factor.

Many are calling for wide-spread screening among new mothers beginning a couple weeks after giving birth through the first year.

Maternal depression can impact a newborn's development:
-poor impulse control
-low self-esteem
-increased behavioral problems

Danish researchers reported last year that it seems as if post-partum depression is physiological rather than psychosocial. First-time fathers received hospitalization for mood disorders at about the same rate as men in the regular population, perhaps indicating post partum depression is physiological.

Treatment options:
Additional information:
American Psychological Association:
To learn more about one woman's battle with post partum depression:
APA brochure:

Monday, November 26, 2007

Seasonal Affective Disorder

S.A.D. - is unlike the "Winter Blues" or "Holiday Blues"in intensity and duration. The "Holiday Blues" for example, tend to result from unrealistic expectations of the holidays, anxiety over gift-giving (financial difficulties), remembrance of loved ones lost or memories of past holidays with loved ones lost. The duration is temporary, lasting days to possibly weeks.

S.A.D. -believed to be associated with decreased exposure to sunlight in the winter months. Treatments often include exercise - preferably outdoors, cognitive therapy, photo therapy and/or medications. Women seem to experience S.A.D. more often than men - perhaps this is because men are less likely to seek treatment.

Mayo Clinic - Information about S.A.D.
National Alliance on Mental Illness - Information about S.A.D.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Psychology (3rd Period, Nov. 27, 4th Period, Nov. 28)

First, answer the assigned questions from the November 17th post entitled, "Depression and Teenagers." You may post your answers online or hand them in on a separate piece of paper. Assignment is due at the end of the period.

Second, if you finish early, spend some time looking at the "Ending Hunger" and "Coats for Kids" posts. Visit the links listed under each post. (I suggest looking at the ABC news story under the "Coats for Kids" post and the CBS news story under the "Ending Hunger" post.) If time permits, after reading and/ or viewing some of the news stories, post your comments.
Social Readjustment Scale (Wikipedia Entry) Definitely check this out. Included is a scale particular to the stressful life events of minors.
If you have time, comment on the scale for minors. Does it seem realistic? Any other comments about this site?
Also note the links on the "Depression and Teenagers" post, especially those from the American Psychological Association. I mentioned both studies in class. If you have time today, read more about them.
These links contain a lot of information about depression:
Fourth Period: Here is the wikipedia link to Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lesson Plans and Discussion Questions from "Good Will Hunting"

Lesson Plans - "Good Will Hunting"

Psychology and "Good Will Hunting"

Wikipedia entry - "Good Will Hunting"

Wisconsin State Journal Article - Risk Factors and Child Abuse

Additional Information (Long-Term Effects of Child Abuse)

Answer the following questions (Use the links above to help you answer the questions):

Trauma as a young child can manifest itself in a number of ways later as an adult. How does the trauma Will experienced as a child manifest itself? Give three specific examples from the movie.




What other examples did we talk about this semester with regard to the lasting effects of childhood trauma? Provide three specific examples.




Briefly discuss Will's attitude toward therapy in the beginning. How does this relate to his disorder(s)? 

When does Will's attitude change? Why? What does this mean with regard to his future?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Body Image (Resources and Discussion Questions)

APA Report: Sexualization of Girls - Depression, Anxiety
APA - "Rumination" Not so good...
Reviving Ophelia Questions (Video) This is an assignment for all Psych students. You may post your answers online or give them to me on a separate piece of paper. Assignment due: Nov.27
1. According to Pipher, how is the media toxic to both boys and girls?
2. Briefly discuss the psychological implications of this.
3. What advice does Pipher provide girls for combating the barrage of cultural negativity they are confronted with (especially from the media)?
4. What advice does Pipher give boys with regard to their relationships/friendships with girls?
If you enjoyed this video, I recommend the book, Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher. You may also enjoy the book, Ophelia Speaks by Sarah Shandler.
Ophelia Speaks
Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls
Jean Kilbourne's book, Deadly Persuasion, an excellent resource on the toxicity of the media and body image
New York Times Article Detailing the 1998 Figi Study - Women and Body Image - Before and After the Introduction of Television

Friday, November 9, 2007

Stoping Female Genital Mutilation - A Human Rights Issue

Links from WPR's "Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders"
This link contains links to a New York Times article on the issue as well as several NGO sources containing more information on the topic.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"The Helpers High"

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. ~Robert F. Kennedy

The time is always right to do what is right. ~Martin Luther King Jr.

More reason to do good:
ABC News story:
Research on the "helpers high"
More on "helpers high"
Christian Science Monitor Article:
Boston Globe Article:
MSN Article:
Take the "Compassion Quiz"
Why Good Things Happen to Good People
Extra Credit: Read one of the articles above. Write a brief reflection. What did you learn?

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Safe Environment for LGBT Students

Wisconsin was the first state in the country to enact a law guaranteeing equal access to curriculum and extracurricular activities to all students, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation. Information about starting a GSA

In its 2005 National School Climate Survey, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) found:
75% of students heard derogatory remarks such as "faggot" or "dyke" frequently or often at school, and nearly nine out of ten (89%) reported hearing "that's so gay" or "you're so gay" -- meaning "stupid" or "worthless" -- frequently or often.
Over a third (37.8%) of students experienced physical harassment at school based on sexual orientation and more than a quarter (26%) based on their gender expression.
Nearly one-fifth (17.6%) of students had been physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation and over a tenth (11.8%) because of their gender expression.
LGBTQ students were five times more likely to report having skipped school in the last month because of safety concerns than the general population of students.
LGBTQ students who experience more frequent physical harassment were more likely to report they did not plan to go to college. Overall, LGBTQ students were twice as likely as the general population of students to report they were not planning to pursue any post-secondary education.
The average GPA for LGBTQ students who were frequently physically harassed was half a grade lower than that of LGBTQ students experiencing less harassment.

The Power of Words

GLSEN's December 2003 National School Climate Survey, for example, revealed a direct link between at-school harassment and the declining grade-point averages and college aspirations of LGBTQ students.
"It's really simple: If you don't feel safe at school, you can't learn -- you're thinking about the next insult, the next throw against the locker," says Brian Juchems, program director for GSAs for Safe Schools. Based in Madison, the group provides leadership development and technical assistance to GSAs across south-central Wisconsin.
In June 2004, GLSEN surveyed state policies to determine how well states were protecting LGBTQ students from harassment. Arranged report card-style, the survey assigned each state a grade: 42 states received F's, and only two received an A.
Alarmingly, only eight states prohibited harassment based on sexual orientation, and seven states criminalized any positive mention of LGBTQ issues or people in the classroom.
Wisconsin's survey grade was a C; only five states scored higher.

Words that Reinforce Stereotypes Lesson Plan - Teaching Tolerance
Psychology Students (Anyone looking for EXTRA CREDIT?)
Any comments about Wednesday's Activity? - Post your comments here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Take a Stand Against Hate

Every hour someone commits a hate crime.

Every day at least eight blacks, three whites, three gays, three Jews and one Latino become hate crime victims.

Psychology Students- Respond to A&E Investigative Reports Video

1. For many teenagers who join hate groups, what attracted them to the group?
2. What methods do some hate groups use to entice young people into their organization? (How do many hate groups go about expanding their base?)
3. According to the ADL, what is one of the worst ways of dealing with this issue?
4. Why are many police/DA offices reluctant to label crimes against gays as hate crimes?
5. How are police departments working to be more proactive in preventing hate crimes?
When you are finished with the questions, visit the interactive map and the hate symbols, graffiti sites (highlighted in light blue). Also, check out the video linked below. See how one community responded to hate.


American Psychological Association - Understanding and Taking a Stand Against Hate Crimes
Interactive Map of Hate Groups in the United States
Hate Symbols, Graffiti, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hate Crimes
Lesson Plan - The Rhetoric of Hate

PBS Lesson Plan
Not in Our Town - National Program Combating Hate
History of Activism Timeline
George Burdi Interview with Intelligence Report:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


DeJure and DeFacto Segregation/NPR Story

Key Findings in Harvard Research on Increasing Segregation:
Increasing Segregation in States with Substantial Black Enrollment: Virtually all states with substantial black enrollments increased integration during the 1970's, but showed a rise in segregation between 1980 and 1996. The largest increases in segregation occurred in Rhode Island (20%), Wisconsin (13%), Florida (12%), Oklahoma (12%), Maryland (9%), Delaware (9%), and Massachusetts (9%).
New York Times Lesson Plan (Little Rock to Jena)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Online Quizzes - Inequality

3rd and 4th Period Psychology classes: Visit the following sites and take the online quizzes. Some of the sites contain activities pertaining to the issues of prejudice, discrimination and racism. Do the sorting activity. When you are finished with the quizzes and activities, post a comment. What did you learn from the quizzes and activities?

Online Quiz:
Sorting Activity:
"What's Race Got To Do With It?"
Although this web site is intended to supplement a McGraw-Hill anthology entitled Understanding Prejudice and Discrimination, all pages and activities are freely available and can be used with other texts or on their own.
Online Quiz - Prejudice
Images in Action - Learn More About the History of Prejudice

Harvard Online Test - Implicit Biases
Tell Your Story
Vote in the Mix it Up Poll
List of links pertaining to prejudice - Useful for future projects, etc.
Understanding Sexism online Quiz
Learn more about Implicit Associations Tests
Hidden Bias: A Primer
American Psychological Association: Thwarting Prejudice
"Baby-Doll" Study - Clark's Research (See images above)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Institutional Racism

Exploring Unintentional Racism: A Case Study:
U.S. History Recovery/Civil Rights Mini Course Assignment:
Click on the link below. Click on "Handout." Print a copy. Ask me for a copy of the transparency with the photo of the young child at the Klan rally in Gainesville Florida. If you would like to see the image online, click on "Picture." Answer all of the questions on the handout.
"Kiddie Klan" Discussion Activity:

La Crosse Tribune Article/Mascot and Logo Issue UW Eau Claire - Ethical Implications Native American Mascots and Logos
Psychological Considerations/Use of Native American Mascots and Logos
Institutional Racism in the Criminal Justice System
Additional information about Rubin Hurricane Carter
Note about "The Hurricane:" There has been controversy over the accuracy of the movie. For more details on this issue, check out the wikipedia entry.
Psychology Students: Respond to the film, "The Hurricane." Despite the controversy over the accuracy of the events portrayed in the film, what did you learn about the issue of institutional racism in the criminal justice system? Can you find other recent examples of institutional racism in the criminal justice system?

Economic Justice

*12% of American Children don't have any insurance coverage at all
*The U.S. Ranks 37th in the world for infant mortality
*One-in-five U.S. jobs does not provide health insurance, a pension, or wages high enough to support a family
*For a family of 4, one year of health insurance costs an average of 11,000
*Over 1/2 of all bankruptcy filings in 2001 were a result of medical expenses

How much do you know about inequality? Take this on-line test to find out!

Los Angeles Program - Meals in a Backpack - Story and Video

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Adbusting- Diamond Industry

Lessons and Activities (Blood Diamonds and Adbusting)

Assignment: You are going to be an "adbuster," creating an "advertisement" reflecting the sometimes grim reality of the diamond trade. The links above, the movie "Blood Diamond" as well as class lecture and discussions should provide you with the foundation to create an effective "adbusters style" advertisement.

The Adbusters and "badvertising" websites contain many examples of adbusters style advertisements. Spend some time on these sites exploring.

Related Lesson:

Monday, October 1, 2007

Improving School Climate

Fast Facts:
A 2001 GLSEN survey found that 80 percent of GLBT students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment in school. Nearly one-third reported missing at least one day of school in a 30-day period due to personal safety fears. And one in five of the students reported being physically assaulted.
Thirty percent of workers say they've heard colleagues use racial or ethnic slurs in the last 12 months. The same number report hearing sexist comments.
Twenty-one percent of workers say they've overheard age-related ridicule, and 20% of workers report hearing jabs aimed at sexual orientation.

One in 10 students say that someone at school has called them a derogatory word related to race, religion, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexual orientation in the past six months.

Lessons, Activities and Information on Improving School Climate:
Speaking Up Against Everyday Bigotry:
Gay or Straight? Lesson Plan:
Learning About "isms" Lesson Plan:
Responding to Hate - Advice from Dr. Bud, Ball State University
Can you tell someone's race by looking at them? Take this on-line "sorting" activity if you think you can.
"What's Race Got To Do With It?" Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes by watching and listening to four slideshows. You may be surprised to learn how great a role race plays in your own life.
American Psychological Association Statement on Combating Racism

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thank You Nicole!

Thank you Nicole for sharing your experiences working for the United Nations with us. Your stories and photographs will forever be imprinted in my memory (and I'm sure the memories of all the students). Your work with refugees is inspiration to all of us that we can indeed make a mark - and work toward making the world a better place!

2nd Period Civics: Don't forget to comment on one of two websites I asked you to visit. In your comment, relate what you've learned from the website to what you learned from our guest speaker, Nicole Brudos. You may post your comment here or on the Sierra Leone post.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Political Ideology Quiz

Here are two good on-line quizzes identifying where you are with regard to political ideology. The image above does not represent where I stand ideologically. I found this image on flicker. I posted the image so you could get a better idea about what the test measures. Feel free to post comments on either of these "quizzes."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Making a Difference - UN

Missing Points? Visit the website below, watch four PSA's (public service announcements)created by Middle School students at Harmony Middle School in Kansas City. Let me know which PSA's you watched. What new information did you learn from the PSA's you watched?

I'd also recommend reading the stories and watching the clips detailing these issues from the perspectives of the aid workers.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Darfur Resources

Children's Drawings of the conflict in Darfur. (ABC News)

AOL Video/Children's Drawings of the Darfur crisis.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum site. Information about Darfur and other genocides here. Very extensive coverage.

Online simulation - Refugee Camp

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Sierra Leone

I've provided some supplemental information here if you are interested in learning more about the issue of conflict diamonds. Warning, some of the links contain material that may be disturbing to some viewers. Exploring all of these links therefore, is not mandatory. We will, as a class, discuss the questions listed below. If time permits, we will examine the wikipedia link and the official movie site in class.

Watch the following videos on the topic of conflict diamonds:
Story: Movie Sparks Debate over Diamond Trade, 12/04/06

Reading Comprehension Questions:

1.What is a conflict diamond?

2. What is the movie Blood Diamond about?

3. According to human rights groups, are conflict diamonds still a problem today?

4. What actions did the World Diamond Council take before the movie's release?

5. Which country purchases the greatest amount of diamonds and which continent produces the most?

6. What is the Kimberley Process?

7. Why is it hard to determine how successful the Kimberley Process is?

8. What does the director of Blood Diamond hope the movie will do?

Discussion Activity (more research might be needed):

1. Do you think the movie will change the way consumers think about diamonds? Will it make some people stop buying diamond jewelry? Why or why not?
2. Who do you think is responsible for keeping conflict diamonds off the world market? Is it the industry, world organizations or governments? Why?
3. Do you think movie makers have a responsibility to be historically accurate, or are they just making entertainment? How might a director's concerns about plot, characters and dialogue conflict with complicated political and historical issues?
Learn about the Kimberley Process:
Movie Sparks Debate:

Not in Our Town (Reacting to a Video)

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. Martin Luther King, Jr.

After watching the video, comment on how the people of Billings, Montana embraced the meaning of King's words. What did they do? Do you think their actions were courageous? Why?

How to be a Wise Consumer of Psychology

Read the tips listed in this brief essay provided by the American Psychological Association. What two criteria do they deem most important when evaluating the validity of good psychological research?

Select an article from the links provided below. Using what you learned from the American Psychological Association essay, briefly discuss questions, concerns or comments you have about a particular psychological study.

More recent studies:
(Caring for Pets - Good for Mental Health?)
(Doing Good - Feel Better? "The Helpers High")
Older studies:
(Why Women Read More Than Men)
(Stress and New Motherhood)
(Women and Body Image)
Birth Order and IQ:

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Role of Government in Times of Crisis

We've already discussed your perspectives on the proper role of government. Many people suggested that at minimum, the government should provide a sort of "safety net" for people in need.

View the following stories dealing with communities in crisis. Do you think the government is serving the needs of the people? If so, what is the government doing to help people? If not, what should the government do to help people?

If addressed in the clip, how do the people experiencing crisis view the government's reaction to their situation? Are they satisfied or dissatisfied with government reaction? Explain.