APS-David Myers Distinguished Lecture on the Science and Craft of Teaching Psychological Science
The Sense of Style: Writing and Teaching in the 21st Century
Steven A. Pinker
Let’s face it: Most academics are terrible communicators. Why do the world’s most cerebral people find it so hard to convey their ideas? And how can we learn to do better? I suggest that the sciences of mind and language can provide guidance. Thoughtful writers and teachers should begin with a clear idealization of the simulated scenario in which they are communicating with their audience. And they must overcome The Curse of Knowledge: the inability to imagine what it’s like not to know what they do know.
Why Pseudoscience Belongs in the Psychology Classroom
Scott O. Lilienfeld
Lilienfeld underscores the value of presenting pseudoscience in the psychology classroom. Using a wealth of examples, he explains how this approach can help students appreciate both the distinctions between well-supported and poorly supported claims as well as the essential role of scientific thinking as a safeguard against human error.
Multitasking in the Automobile
David L. Strayer
Multi-tasking has become ubiquitous behind the wheel of an automobile, all too often with unfortunate consequences. In fact, one-third of all fatalities on the highway are caused by distracted drivers. This talk will review the research on driver distraction, how this work can be used to facilitate instruction on the basic mechanisms of attention, and how it has been used to help shape public policy.
Carol A. Tavris
For decades, psychology teachers have worried about getting psychobabble out of their students’ heads and good psychological science in. Now we have another challenge: getting students to think critically about neurosexism, pseudoneuroscience, and other forms of biobunk. I’ll try to show why this effort is crucial in a biomedical age marked by reductionism and corruption as well as by amazing scientific advances.
Who Do We Blame for Bad Behavior?
Douglas A. Bernstein
Classmates may not like him or her, but the teacher always appreciates the “teacher’s pet” — that one favorite student who pays attention, take notes diligently, and participates enthusiastically. Then there is the “slacker,” a teacher’s worst nightmare — the one who shows up to class a half-hour late, smacking gum loudly, cell in one hand, and music blaring loudly from an iPod. Who raised this kid? read more
Psychology and Education
Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr.
Psychologists should take charge of efforts to reform the failing American education system. That was the bold proposal at the heart of the APS David Myers Distinguished Lecture on the Science and Craft of Teaching Psychological Science delivered by APS Fellow and Charter Member Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr., Texas A&M University, at the APS 22nd Annual Convention. read more
In an effort to categorize our sensory experiences, we use various adjectives, like “strong,” “sweet,” or “hot.” Take, for example, a woman who has just given birth. She describes her pain as “very strong.” She may also describe a cup of tea as “very strong” later that day. We know that she does not mean to suggest that the flavor of the tea was the same intensity as her pain. What she is really saying is that among all of the pain that she has experienced, childbirth was very strong, and among all of the tea she has had, that particular cup was very strong. read more
Serious Research on Happiness
In the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the pursuit of happiness is protected as a fundamental human right, up there with life and liberty. But exactly what is happiness? How do you get and keep it? Why do some people always seem to be happy and some are never happy? Psychological scientists have uncovered some answers and along the way have even examined whether and why happiness matters. read more
David Myers, Hope College, was prevailed upon to deliver the inaugural APS Lecture on Teaching Psychology at the APS 18th Annual Convention. His address, “Teaching Psychological Science Through Writing,” focused on the sharing of psychological knowledge through forms of writing (“printed squiggles,” as he called them). A prolific author, Myers described writing as a powerful medium that is a form of agency and a way to effect change.