APS-David Myers Distinguished Lecture on the Science and Craft of Teaching Psychological Science

Towards a More Equitable Classroom: Contending With Bias and Oppression in Teaching and Learning
Corinne A. Moss-Racusin

Higher education strives to provide meritocratic opportunities for people of all backgrounds to pursue their academic and intellectual goals. However, research suggests that biases can undermine the fair treatment and evaluation of both teachers and instructors. Moss-Racusin drew upon evidence-based strategies and extensive personal experience to discuss how academic communities can cultivate socially-just learning environments.

Do Study Groups Help? Learning From the Sciences of Learning and Memory
Suparna Rajaram

Study groups are popular among students. But does this learning tool boost performance? Research on cognition shows that the answer is anything but straightforward. This talk suggests that understanding how the principles of learning and memory operate in group settings can help reduce cognitive costs while increasing cognitive benefits that arise when we learn and remember with others.

Don’t SoTL for Less: Researching Teaching and Learning for a Post Pandemic World
Regan A.R. Gurung

Research on teaching and learning takes many forms and is conducted by many. In the 30 years since the phrase Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) was coined, it has undergone many changes and goes by different names. This session will provide a contemporary picture of SoTL from within the psychological sciences, give an overview of a process model to guide SoTL, and review significant challenges for the practice and directions for the future. The particular importance of SoTL in preparing for the new normal of a post-pandemic higher education environment will be highlighted.

Leading Students Toward Contribution to Society
Carol S. Dweck

How can we use the teaching of psychological science to encourage contributions to society? Dweck describes how her undergraduate course, while teaching content and methods, supports students a) to move away from competition and toward contribution, b) to do unusual and courageous things to become the person who will make their contribution, and c) to prepare for the inevitable struggles they will face on their path.

Improving the Use of Psychological Science in K-12 Education
Daniel T. Willingham

How well-informed are American teachers about principles of psychology relevant to classrooms? Relevant data are scarce, but discouraging. Yet teacher-licensing exams require that teachers demonstrate knowledge of relevant topics such as learning and child development. This talk will suggest that the core problem is that teachers are taught this content as though they were future researchers, not future practitioners.

Reflections on What I’ve Learned From Walking (or Running) a Step With Students (N=9)
Michelle R. “Mikki” Hebl

In this talk, Mikki Hebl presents some very brief portions of the bios of nine of her students. Within these bios are themes of humor, sadness, joy, marathon running, and a passion for psychology and research. It is Hebl’s hope that audiences will see their own students in her students, take away lessons, and affirm that they too appreciate the steps that they get to take with college students.

Teaching the Values of Psychological Science
Kelly McGonigal

One of the most widely studied psychological interventions is values affirmation: identifying what matters to you and thinking about how you express this in everyday life. This talk explores how identifying your values as a psychologist, scientist, and educator can improve your teaching, enhance your well-being, and deepen professional satisfaction.

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.

Debunking Pseudoneuroscience
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

Measuring Magnitude
Linda Bartoshuk

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
Ed Diener

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 on Teaching Psychological Science Through Writing
David Myers

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.