180 Daily Questions and Activities in 5 Minutes a Day
EDITION 5 Minutes to a 5
STEP 3. DEVELOP STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
When reviewing questions for an exam, remember the term KREC:
Keyword—use your pen or pencil to underline keywords in the question stem.
Reword the question to be sure you understand what it is asking.
Eliminate any obviously wrong choices.
Choose from the remaining choices.
Use your highlighter wisely.
Use your pen or pencil to follow strategy #1 (KREC) and to indicate your best choice.
Use your highlighter to identify every term or phrase that you DO NOT fully know, in both the question stem and the answer choices. Even though it may not be the correct response for this particular question, it may be the correct choice on the next exam. Using the highlighter helps identify what you DON’T know, which can be much more important than identifying that which you do know. Once you have highlighted the concepts, names, studies, and/or structures of which you are unsure, be sure to find time to research each term or phrase. Write notes in the margins or create flash cards.
When answering constructed response questions, follow this simple recipe:
• Define the term (even if the exam tells you definitions won’t gain points) because it provides a simple start to your essay.
• Give an example of the term within a situation.
• Answer the question within the parameters set by the question itself.
CHAPTER 5. HISTORY AND APPROACHES
To understand the Barnum Effect, use a daily horoscope and switch the predictions for each of the astrological signs. Share the new “predictions” with classmates, friends, or family and observe the participants’ likelihood to believe the interpretation.
Spend a week observing and noting any coverage of psychology in the media (such as radio, TV, newspaper, movies, social media, etc.). Relate the news story to any terms you know in psychology.
Research what happened in psychology on your birthday.
Distinguish between Ancient Hebrews, Augustine, Locke, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Descartes in terms of the relationship between mind and body.
Who is considered the “Father of Psychology,” and why?
Compare and contrast structuralism and functionalism.
CHAPTER 6. RESEARCH METHODS
Research several simple experiments and identify the independent variable, dependent variable, and extraneous variable(s), if any. Define each term.
Draw a scatter plot to indicate each of the following:
A) strong positive correlation
B) weak positive correlation
C) strong negative correlation
D) weak negative correlation
E) zero correlation
If a cube measures 1 cm long on each side (1 cm × 1 cm × 1 cm), how many cubes will be needed to form a cube that is 2 cm on each side?
Define hindsight bias and identify an example from recent events in the news.
Is it ethical to experiment on people? Support your response.
Define mean, median, mode, range, and standard deviation. Which of these are measures of central tendency?
CHAPTER 7. BIOLOGICAL BASES OF BEHAVIOR
Explain why neural communication is said to be electrochemical in nature.
Research the phenomenon of the 1848 railroad foreman Phineas Gage and the accident that changed his personality. Explain, in terms of brain structure, connectivity, and plasticity, why he became more aggressive and quick to anger after his accident.
Define phrenology and discuss its importance in the history of studying the brain.
What is meant by the term plasticity when referring to the brain?
Describe the parts of a neuron.
Explain how a neural impulse is generated.
What is meant by the all-or-none response?
Create a chart of the following neurotransmitters. Be sure to include the function, as well as what malfunctions may be associated with an under- or oversupply of each: acetylcholine, dopamine, GABA, glutamate, norepinephrine, serotonin.
Describe the difference between the action of an agonist and that of an antagonist.
Describe the breakdown of the various parts of the human nervous system.
If you could purchase only one tool to observe the brain, which would you choose, and why? Discuss with your classmates.
Draw a cross section of the human brain. Include the following: frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, temporal lobe, brainstem, thalamus, reticular formation, pons, medulla, cerebellum, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, amygdala, hippocampus, corpus callosum, motor cortex, sensory cortex, auditory cortex, visual cortex, Broca’s area, Wernicke’s area, angular gyrus. Label each part. Create a chart to identify the function of each structure and attach it to the back of the drawing.
Carry this chart with you in your notes to use during the chapter on neurobiology as well as preparation for the exam.
Use a plain white swim cap and colorful permanent markers to draw all of the parts from the previous question. Enlist a friend’s help and put the cap on him or her. Draw the four lobes on the right half of the cap and all the internal structures on the left. You can draw the corpus callosum directly down the middle of the crown of the cap.
Why are twin studies so valuable?
What information would you use to support the belief that postnatal experiences affect brain development?
CHAPTER 8. SENSATION AND PERCEPTION
Explain the difference between bottom-up and top-down processing.
Research product placement in media and suggest a reason why companies pay millions to have their products seen in movies and television shows.
Explain how absolute thresholds can change.
To demonstrate the just noticeable difference, or difference threshold, hold one penny in your left hand and two pennies in your right. Continue to add pennies, one at a time, until you can detect the difference in the mass in both your hands. This is a fun experiment to do with a willing (and blindfolded) partner.
Conduct a quick experiment to demonstrate sensory adaptation.
Describe the nature of the wavelength and amplitude of light.
Explain how light energy is transduced to neural messages.
How do we see color?
How is transduction accomplished in the inner ear?
Unscramble the following two lists of words.
Which list was easier to decipher? Why?
Prism goggles can be obtained from a number of online sources. They will flip your vision either a number of degrees to the left or right, or completely upside down. Experiment with throwing a ball (a soft foam ball is safe!) back and forth with a partner. Observe how many times it takes for your brain to adjust to the new, altered information. Typically, within a few tries, you are throwing the ball reasonably close to your partner. After taking the goggles off, throwing the ball back and forth will again cause you to over- or underestimate your target, until your brain once again adjusts to the new (correct) information.
Perception is often based on expectation, experience, and culture. You can observe this in action by obtaining a pack of musk (yes, really) flavored Lifesavers from the Australian Products Co., www.aussieproducts.com. You can either grind the lifesaver in a small bowl or keep it whole. Ask your partner to identify the substance using his/her sense of smell and/or sight and how he or she thinks it might be used. People in Western cultures might identify it as baby powder or soap based on its smell. Others may say it is an antacid, such as Pepto-Bismol, based on its look. People in New Zealand should quickly identify the smell as musk, which is more commonly associated with a flavor there. Give your partner a whole Lifesaver to taste. Many will believe they taste baby powder because of the smell.
Draw a picture that includes buildings, fields, a river, and mountains and include at least five monocular cues. Explain how each one is used in the picture.
How does your body detect position and movement?
CHAPTER 9. STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Write down exactly what you were thinking about during idle moments of the day (before class, waiting for the bus, etc.). Be sure to recall fantasies and daydreams.
Keep a sleep journal for a month. Record the time you fall asleep and the time you wake. Many modern devices including smartphone apps and exercise trackers will record this for you. Note the patterns in your sleep (weeknights vs. weekends, etc.). If possible, track circadian rhythms.
Keep a dream journal for a month. Each morning as soon as you begin to reach wakefulness, record the iconic imagery of your dreams. Reflect on the frequency of recurring images, lucidity, color, people, and symbols. Research the meaning of these images. Do you believe these interpretations? Why or why not?
Research one contemporary film or book about drugs and consciousness. Construct a well-written essay that discusses how the film or book addresses the topic of drugs, altered states of consciousness, effect on the person (addict, victim, etc.) and his or her family and friends, and recovery, if any.
Practice deep breathing and/or meditation every day for a week at the same time. Include additional sessions during times of stress. You can use websites for guided meditation. Reflect on the process at the end of the week. Feel free to continue the practice.
List and describe the various states of consciousness.
Distinguish between REM sleep and the other stages of the sleep cycle.
List five reasons why we need to sleep.
How is each of the major sleep disorders treated?
What are the past and current explanations for dreaming?
List the major categories of drugs and describe their effects on the body.
Explain the difference between tolerance, withdrawal, dependence, and addiction.
CHAPTER 10. LEARNING
While studying classical conditioning, plan a way to “train” your parents or younger sibling.
Define learning. How do we learn?
Using Pavlov’s experiments as an example, define acquisition, extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization, and discrimination.
Complete the following classical conditioning problem by identifying the N, CS, UCS, CR, and UCR.
Tactless Tom yells at Emotional Ernie. As a result, Ernie’s blood pressure automatically rises. The next time he sees Tom, Ernie’s blood pressure rises.
(N) __________________________ + (UCS) ____________________ = (UCR) _____________________
(CS) ________________________________ = (CR) _____________________
What type of conditioning did John Watson use on Little Albert? How can you tell?
Describe John Garcia’s contribution to conditioning.
What is a Skinner box?
Use a game of “Hot and Cold” to demonstrate operant conditioning.
Define shaping in terms of conditioning.
Give an example of a primary and secondary reinforcer.
Complete the following chart by giving an example of each:
Complete the following chart by giving an example of each:
Discuss the nature of punishment in terms of reinforcers.
How do rewards or punishments affect motivation?
Explain the importance of the discovery of mirror neurons.
Discuss Albert Bandura’s research on observational learning.
CHAPTER 11. COGNITION
At the start of the chapter: Do not remember the number 518 (my favorite number!). The next day and the day after, see if you had difficulty forgetting it.
What are the components of Atkinson-Shiffrin’s three-stage memory processing model? Create a chart to organize the facts about these components. Discuss what each holds, how much, how long, and subcomponents, if any.
How does the brain process information?
Define semantic memory, episodic memory, implicit memory, and explicit memory. Give an example of each.
Define flashbulb memories and give an example.
Do you perform better on multiple choice or constructed response exams? What does your response say about your memory abilities? Be sure to include the terms recognition and recall.
List several examples of mnemonic devices.
Discuss Elizabeth Loftus’s research on false memories.
What are some memory-related disorders?
What is the purpose of language?
Define phoneme. How many phonemes are present in the English language?
Define morpheme. How many morphemes are present in the English language?
What are grammar, semantics, and syntax? Give an example of each.
Research Noam Chomsky’s contribution to our knowledge of language development.
What is cognitive psychology?
How do people form concepts?
What are heuristics? Give two examples of types of heuristics.
How can overconfidence and belief perseverance bias people’s undermining beliefs?
Explain the difference between algorithms, heuristics, trial and error, and insight.
What are some obstacles to successfully solving problems?
CHAPTER 12. MOTIVATION AND EMOTION
What are the four major perspectives that attempt to explain what motivates people?
What is a biological instinct?
Explain the drive-reduction theory of motivation.
At what level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs do you believe you usually can be found? Explain and be sure to give evidence. Consider a time in your life when you felt compelled to move to a lower or higher level of need. Explain the circumstances under which this occurred and how it made you feel at the time.
Why is hunger considered to be such a strong reinforcer for motivation?
What is the role of the hypothalamus in satisfaction of hunger?
This exercise examines the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, including the symptoms, treatment options, and new research findings that are unlocking the causes of this disorder. This exercise also will introduce you to the features of the Internet Mental Health website, probably your single best web resource for information on mental disorders.
Go to http://www.mentalhealth.com and enter anorexia nervosa in the search tab.
Treatment for anorexia nervosa must address both the medical/physiological and psychosocial roots of this disorder. Briefly describe the various medical and psychosocial treatment options available for individuals with anorexia nervosa.
What is the social impact of obesity?
What is the human sexual response cycle?
Differentiate between the James-Lange theory of emotion, the Cannon-Bard theory of emotion, and the Schachter-Singer two-factor theory of emotion.
How does the autonomic nervous system react to emotion?
How can emotion be communicated nonverbally? Do people from different cultures display and interpret facial expressions of emotion in a similar manner? Explain.
Briefly explain the stress response system.
Describe the Type A and Type B person.
CHAPTER 13. DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
Think of three words that seem appropriate to each decade of life. Record them in the chart.
Trace the biological development of a child from conception through birth.
Define teratogen and give a few examples.
Interview your parents or guardians to determine your height and weight at birth and at various ages, as well as at what age you mastered the following: lift your head, roll over, smile, laugh, crawl, stand, walk, climb stairs, run, put on shoes yourself, skip, ride a bike. If this personal information is unavailable, research the average age children master each task.
Design a preschool program based on any of the developmental theories from this unit.
Teach a lesson to an elementary child such as those modeled in Kohlberg’s dilemmas or Piaget’s stages of conservation.
Create a lifeline of family pictures depicting Kohlberg’s, Piaget’s, and Erikson’s stages.
Eggsperiment! Parent a raw egg (or be daring and adopt twins!) for a week, including a 2-day weekend. You must use an appropriate carrier, cannot leave your egg in your locker or car, and it must attend class with you daily. When you leave your house, you must take the egg baby with you or find a responsible egg-sitter (your dog, cat, or goldfish is not a responsible egg-sitter). If your egg breaks, you may adopt another from your refrigerator. You must find playtime for your egg’s social and emotional development. Reflect on the experience of parenting and interacting with your egg.
Complete the following chart to organize Piaget’s stages of cognitive development.
Summarize Harry Harlow’s study on the effects of nourishment, contact, and familiarity on infant socialization.
Complete the following chart of Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development
Write a short story that models Kohlberg’s theory of moral development.
Differentiate between crystallized and fluid intelligence.
What are the three major controversial arguments of developmental psychology?
Spend a day (or two) dressed as an old person. Use a sports bandage or tape to bind one or more of your joints to experience the frequent discomfort; try going without your contacts or glasses for a day (but not while driving); use cotton in your ears to mimic loss of hearing. Reflect on any ageism you might have been subjected to. Consider interviewing a grandparent or other elderly person in your life to get his or her views and experiences with ageism or other matters related to aging.
CHAPTER 14. PERSONALITY
To model Freud’s concept of penis envy, ask your friends to empty their pockets, book bags, totes, purses, etc. and take out every writing utensil they are carrying. Typically, the girls in the class will have many, many more pens, highlighters (perhaps in every color), eyeliners, lip liners, etc. than the boys will.
What are the five major perspectives that explain personality?
How can Freud’s concept of the structure of the mind be compared to an iceberg?
Describe the interactions of the id, ego, and superego, according to Freud.
Construct a chart to organize information about Freud’s psychosexual stages.
Give an example of each of Freud’s defense mechanisms.
Ask your friends, family, teachers, coworkers, etc. to describe your personality in a word or two and write it on a small piece of paper or 3 × 5 card. Collect 50 comments. Once collected, organize them into various categories of your choosing. Reflect on the way people see you. Are you different in different environments or at different times?
Create a mask to represent your personality. Masks can be purchased at the local craft store or from www.psychkits.com. You can use any medium you want to decorate your mask, including markers, crayons, paint, stickers, beads, feathers, etc. The outside of the mask should reflect the part of your personality that everyone sees and knows. The inside of the mask should reflect the part of you that only you know. Write a descriptive summary of the outside portion of the mask.
Read the following list of constructs:
Which three items are the most important regarding your view of human personality? Why?
Visit the Keirsey temperament website at http://keirsey.com. Take the Keirsey Temperament Sorter II, a test similar to the Meyers-Briggs Type Inventory including four scales assessing the dimensions of extraversion versus introversion, intuiting versus sensing, feeling versus thinking, and judging versus perceiving. This categorizing parallels Carl Jung’s effort to classify people according to specific personality types. After taking the test, you can see how the personality types can be categorized as Artisan, Guardian, Rational, and the Idealist. Write a brief composition about your measured personality type. Do you agree or disagree with the category into which you were placed? Recall that the scientific worth of the Meyers-Briggs has recently been questioned. Is there reason to believe that the Keirsey Temperament Sorter has great validity? Does the site offer empirical support for its claims?
Describe Carl Jung’s theory of collective unconscious.
Describe what is happening in the picture below. Be sure to discuss events, emotions, results, etc.
What are projective tests? Give two examples.
What is the humanistic perspective’s view of personality?
Construct a diagram to model Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
What are the parts of Carl Rogers’s person-centered perspective?
How does the trait perspective differ from the humanistic perspective?
How is personality assessed?
What are the personality factors of the “Big Five”?
What is meant by the reciprocal influences of the social-cognitive perspective?
What are the benefits of positive self-esteem?
How is personality viewed in different cultures?
CHAPTER 15. TESTING AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES
Using 22 matchsticks, construct a puzzle that has 8 regular-sided squares, similar to the diagram below.
Remove 9 matchsticks to create 3 squares.
Use a reputable online service to measure your own IQ.
Discuss the differences between IQ, multiple intelligences, and general intelligence, g.
Differentiate between achievement and aptitude tests. Give an example of each.
What does it mean when a test is standardized, reliable, or valid?
Construct a chart to organize the extremes of intelligence.
According to scientists, what is meant by heritability of intelligence?
Provide some examples of how environment can influence intelligence.
Read a scholarly article on one aspect of intelligence, such as the evolution of intelligence in animals and humans, education of those with intelligence extremes, etc. Highlight any important aspects of the article. Underline one word, one phrase, and one sentence that resonated with you. Be prepared to discuss with your peers or study partners.
CHAPTER 16. ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR
What is the definition of insanity? How does it differ from a psychological disorder?
How do the medical model and the biopsychosocial approach differ in the explanation of psychological disorders?
How is the DSM-5 organized?
What are the five more commonly known anxiety disorders?
What are somatoform disorders? Give some examples.
What are some of the root causes of dissociative identity disorder?
How does major depressive disorder differ from bipolar or manic depressive disorder?
How are dysthymia or dysthymic disorder and seasonal affective disorder similar?
What are some of the symptoms of schizophrenia?
What are the typical characteristics of personality disorders?
Research recent understandings about autism by viewing Wendy Chung’s or Ami Klin’s TED talk on autism on YouTube.com. What are some of the characteristics and diagnosis strategies of the spectrum of disorders?
CHAPTER 17. TREATMENT OF ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR
One of the best ways to review this unit, combined with the unit on abnormal behavior, is through the use of a game called Hedbanz. The game in its original format requires players to select a card with the name of an item on it, without looking at it. The card is slid into a holder on a headband, which the player wears. The player then has to ask questions of the others to get information before guessing what’s on the card. Try making up your own cards with the names of disorders, therapies, etc. Play the game until you are sure you know the material expertly.
Approaches to psychotherapy differ in the degree to which the client or patient is directed by the therapist. Compare the level of directiveness for the following therapies: psychoanalysis, client-centered therapy, and behavior therapy.
Create an action plan to help a client who is fearful of heights, using systematic desensitization.
How does aversive therapy work?
Do you have any annoying or bad habits? Think of a bad habit you would like to break or a good one you would prefer to develop. Reflect on the habit. What is it? Why do you want to break or acquire it?
How would a therapist help you with your goal for each of the following therapy perspectives: behavioral, cognitive, biological, sociocultural?
For each of the following cases, identify the disorder and therapeutic approach you would use to treat the person:
A) While driving home from her parents’ house, Tina fell asleep and crashed her car. Her best friend, a passenger in the car, died in the crash. Although doctors can find nothing medically wrong, Tina has been paralyzed in the right arm, the one with which she was steering the car.
B) No matter what he is doing, David is always a little nervous. There is no apparent reason for the tension, which appears to occur even while on vacations and weekends.
C) Tammy goes through periods of time when she feels as if she is on top of the world and everything is coming her way. She frequently spends her entire paycheck at the shopping mall and engages in promiscuous behaviors. At other times, Tammy feels so tired and down that she doesn’t even want to get out of bed.
Identify the type of education and training necessary for each of the following types of therapists. What type of therapy might they be involved in? Counselor, clinical social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist.
Define lobotomy. When, if ever, would it be used?
CHAPTER 18. SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Spend a day living a life of nonconformity. For an entire day, try to live each minute in a way that is as uninfluenced by conformity as possible. Avoid pressures to dress in a particular way, fit in with a group, or go along with others in order to be accepted. In other words, live for a day that is truly you, while not judging others or infringing on their rights and choices. Try to be thorough in your endeavor—from the minute you wake to the minute you fall asleep. On the following day, write about your experience. How did you determine what nonconformity would look like? What are the psychological benefits and risks of living authentically?
Give an example of a time when you witnessed or were yourself guilty of fundamental attribution error.
Research Phil Zimbardo’s study on how role-playing affects attitudes. There are a number of superb videos that highlight his Stanford Prison Experiment that can be rented or obtained on YouTube. Discuss the results of the experiment and why it had to be cut short.
Have you ever heard the expression “Fake it until you make it”? Why do actions affect attitudes?
Give examples of studies that show how social influence affects behavior.
Give an example of social facilitation.
How does social loafing differ from deindividuation?
What are the social causes of prejudice?