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Teaching Activities for a History of Psychology Course David Zehr Plymouth State University.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching Activities for a History of Psychology Course David Zehr Plymouth State University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching Activities for a History of Psychology Course David Zehr Plymouth State University

2 First Day of Class

3 I dare say none of you can think…

4 I dare say none of you can write…

5 If you learn anything in this class…

6 It will be how to think and how to write…

7 You are having a final exam in two weeks.

8 You will all flunk it. Your job…

9 Is to flunk it admirably.

10 Second Day of Class








18 "Normal children often pass through stages of passionate cruelty, laziness, lying and thievery.''

19 I loved your paper about Ebbinghaus, Kulpe, and Brentano—one psychologist and two imposters!

20 1879 1913 Structuralism Columbia/Chicago 1892

21 And that’s what I’d do with a dozen healthy infants!


23 The Course at Plymouth State Upper level (juniors/seniors) Required for all psychology majors Enrollment/semester: 16-36

24 Course Goals EngagementWritingCollaborationRelevance

25 Day 1: Passing Notes




29 Fancher, R. E. (1987). Henry Goddard and the Kallikak family photographs: “Conscious skulduggery” or Whig history? American Psychologist, 42, 585-590.

30 Presentism


32 Writing

33 Weekly in-class writing assignments Two-three questions to choose from Open note/open book

34 How would a Kuhnian explain the following two statements: –Kulpe’s psychology: the revolution that never was –Gestalt psychology: the revolution that failed

35 John Dewey never did a single experiment worth remembering. How could one therefore argue he’s more important to psychology’s history than the experimentalist, Edward Titchener?


37 Active Learning Exercises

38 Speed Dating and Applied Psychology He’s nice, but I bet those thoughts aren’t imageless Every cell I have is yours, individually and collectively

39 Turn-ons: eugenics, statistics, fingerprinting

40 Think not my confession of admiration to be a false one.

41 If you have a high IQ, I’d like a chance to speak with you.

42 You should be efficient, mechanically inclined, and fond of postage stamps.

43 Mental testers measure up


45 I love you guys!

46 Skinner Chomsky

47 Would You Hire This Candidate?

48 Fostering Class Discussion


50 Great Hero of Legend

51 Tyrannosaurus: A dinosaur whose time has passed

52 “…the most stupendous intellectual confidence trick of the 20 th century” (P. Medawar)

53 Research Projects

54 Team based Content analysis Formal research reports


56 Where’s Harry? “If you had never heard of Harry Harlow before you opened this book…if you wonder how a psychologist…can seem so invisible only twenty years after his death…”


58 Feeblemindedness in America Tracing the usage of a descriptive label


60 The Myers-Briggs and Academic Psychology “The indicator has also been embraced by academia (at least outside of psychology departments).”

61 Dependent measures Collecting/interpreting data Writing in the discipline



64 “in the end, the only sure criterion is to have fun. And I have had fun.”

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