IntroPsych News

March 25 , 2011

IntroPsych News provides periodic announcements, course updates, and additional teaching resources for introductory psychology instructors at the University of Alabama.

Experimental psychologist: Beginning students often think of our field as consisting solely of psychotherapy. Laurie Santos is an experimental psychologist at Yale University who studies the evolutionary roots of economic behavior. Here's a 2-minute video in which she explains her work. It's from the "Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers" on the PBS NOVA site. You can find further details about her work in the most recent APS Observer: Monkey business.

Online course/instructor evaluations: Online evaluations are available to students April 16-May 1. Students can access them through myBama. I urge you to collect some type of narrative feedback from students as well.

Final day activity: We instructors devote considerble thought to how we begin the semester, but we give very little attention to the final day of class. Here's a brief activity intended to get students to reflect on the semester. I have students complete it without names. In smaller classes students post (with tape) their responses around the classroom and we spend time informally milling about and reading them. In larger classes students pass their replies to me and I read a sample aloud.

Mirror neurons: Here is a nice summary of what we know, presented in an accessible format: Reflections on mirror neurons. From the March 2011 edition of the APS Observer.

Final exam policies:

A Brave New World has arrived: For a description of the learning environment that is quickly becoming the norm on large campuses, check out Tomorrow's college. From the Chronicle of Higher Eduaction.

Additional resources: Remember that there are several resources on the Teaching of Psychology course website. Resources for New Instructors contains information on assisting students and on teaching. The Multimedia Library is a compilation of videos, demos, and websites. You can find these resources by going to the Teaching of Psychology course website ( and clicking on the desired link in the left margin.

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