Below, please find the list of Phobias we discussed in class. This list of approximately 500 Phobias is by no means comprehensive, but it should illustrate to you that, since they are all learned, the types of Phobias are endless.
Over the past 100 years, American football has grown from a little known sport played on ivy league campuses, to a multi-billion dollar industry with thousands of employees. The NFL is one of the largest employers in the nation, and carries with it a terrible secret that has only recently come to light. Concussions. And the picture is far worse than you ever imagined.
CLICK HERE to watch an important PBS documentary entitled "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis." In it, doctors, former sports reporters, and former NFL players, and the wives of former players dicuss the toll the sport has taken on the health and safety of thousands of young men, sending many to an early grave. Until recently the NFL has taken great pains, and spent millions in payoffs and lawyer fees, in an attempt to deny and/or conver up just how bad the problem is.
Here's hoping the scientific information will continue to be discussed so that measures can be taken to at least make the sport less dangerous for those who choose to play it.
As mentioned in class, the word "transgender" is an umbrella term that covers any individual who expresses (through behavior, mode of dress, etc.) the opposite sex from the one assigned by biology. This includes transsexuals, who are different from the other transgender categories in that the sex they were assigned by nature is the wrong one. In other words, their "brain sex" is truly who they are, while their bodies represent an incorrect assignment by nature.
Some transsexual men and women choose surgery to alter their bodies in ways that match their true gender, while others don't (for various reasons). As a society, it is our ethical responsibility to learn the proper terminology, to accept trans men and women for who they really are, and I think, to fight for equal protection and respect under the law.
To learn more about my friend, guitarist Marissa Martinez, (pic to right) CLICK HERE.
CLICK HERE to read about the lack of legal protections for people in the Trans Community.
CLICK HERE to learn what you can do to help end discrimination against trans men and women.
And click the link below to download a one-page description to learn how to speak of, and to, trans people with the proper terminology.
As discussed in class, you will be writing a Course Paper for credit. Below is a basic description of what I’m looking for.We will discuss these in class with each other at some point so that everyone can learn about each other’s projects, experiences, successes, failures, etc.
For millions of people, the pennacle of charity and selflessness can be found in the life of an Albanian nun named Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, more commonly known as Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
In the 1980s, an investigation by author Christopher Hitchens revealed a more complex woman behind this myth. From a dubius beginning with stories of "miracles" that could more appropriately be attributed to Kodak film, to financial donations from financial scam artists, and the sad truth that Mother Teresa's mission was never about relieving suffering, but instead was a concerted effort to fight against the use of contraception and access to abortion (as well as building more convents full of nuns to convert people to Catholicism), Hitchens' story is as both illuminating and shocking.
Click the video below to watch a short documentary from the BBC that summarizes Hitchens' writings on the subject.
Use the link below to download the instructions for creating your online survey using Survey Gorilla. We will discuss the final product, grading, etc. as we go. Keep in mind that this is a work in progress, so bear with me.
I see plenty of horrible blog posts and news reports about people rejecting their children after they come out as LGBT, and far too often such people use their religious beliefs to justify his most "ungodly" of actions.
So imagine my surprise (and joy) when someone sent me THIS ARTICLE today about a North Carolina pastor who wrote a blog post about what he would do if one of his children grew up to be gay or Trans! How very refreshing it was...and how very typical that he's suffering a huge backlash, even by some in his own congregation. Think about this for a moment. This guy wrote a blog post about LOVING and ACCEPTING his own children, and he got hatred and vitriol for it...by his own congregation! We live in a very disappointing world...but people like Pastor Pavlovitz keep me encouraged that it's getting better all the time.
I'm happy to report that Operation Bumblebee (San Jose) was a rousing success. Several of us to took part have written up articles about the experience, and some are already taking part in podcast interviews to spread the word. In addition to tricking self-described psychic Chip Coffey into connecting with our fake dead relatives, we also hoped to spark skeptical activism in our community. When you have a moment, click the link below to read (or listen to) my take on the evening. It was an emotionally exhausting experience, but very gratifying, nonetheless.
CLICK HERE to read a report of the evening's events (also available in audio format on that page). We have some interest from several major publications and a TV show, and I'll keep you posted about those as they develop.
NEW POLICY: Students who bring a laptop to class to take notes may no longer sit in the back row. It has become obvious that some are doing this to avoid allowing other students to look over their shoulder and see that they are using their computers for things other than taking notes.
Although most of you still rely upon the tried-and-true method of taking notes by hand (a method that research shows to be superior for retention and deep processing), some opt for bringing a laptop to class instead.
I have no policy against the use of laptops, and leave it to each student to decide the best method for him or her to use. I do, however, reserve the right to request that students respect me enough to use their computer for note taking only. An 18-year career in teaching, combined with several advanced degrees in the Behavior Sciences, gives me a better-than-average capacity to recognize when students are not actually taking notes. Lack of eye contact for prolonged periods, occasional smirks or untimely laughter while looking at their screens, or a general non-responsiveness during times in my lecture that other students are reacting, are just a few of the cues that tell me a student is instant messaging, checking her/his Facebook account, or even watching videos (I caught one student watching Netflix in class with the subtitles turned on, and couldn't help wondering why the hell she even bothered to come to class!).
So please take note (pun intended). If you choose to bring and use a laptop in my class, use it to take notes not to childishly "get away with" doing something else.
Thank you for your cooperation, and I'll see you in class.
The primary goal in this assignment is to "provoke" your classmates to learn, process, and utilize the material in the chapter. You may do this by numerous methods of your own choosing, including lecture, in-class assignments, formal or informal quizzing, memorization exercises, handouts, etc. Whatever method(s) you choose will be up to you as individuals and as a group. I choose this "Collaborative Learning" format because 1) you are adult students who do not need to be spoon-fed the material, and 2) my experience is that it is more entertaining and effective than a straight lecture format.
News reports were released recently announcing a landmark settlement in yet another case involving the parents of a child diagnosed with Autism claiming their daughter's condition was brought on by vaccinations. Regardless of the complete lack of any evidence of such a link, the U.S. government made the unfortunate decision to save money on legal costs by paying a settlement to the family.
Although other parents of children with Autism are hailing the case as proof that officials are hiding information from us, the fact is that the child in the case has a rare (less than 1 in 4000 births) mitochondrial abnormality that makes her hypersensitive to fever, infection, and physical stress. Very few children with Autism have this condition.
The article below explains quite well the general pattern in Autism diagnosis, and serves as an example of the kind of damage that can occur when people misinterpret the patterns they see in the research being reported.
Concerned parents are often the most difficult opponents since they are (understandably) forceful, but also engender sympathy in the minds of others. But what if they're wrong, as in this case? These authors have decided that TRUTH is more important than wrongheaded compassion, so they're speaking out. What they're saying could, in fact, save lives.
Some of the most dedicated and underappreciated parents on the planet are those whose children have been diagnosed with Autism, a pervasive spectrum disorder that presents varying degrees of cognitive, emotional, and developmental problems beginning in childhood.Although Autism is not likely to have a single cause, scientists are hard at work trying to determine its etiology.As yet, very little is known. Working to uncover more information about what might contribute to its prevalence is important, as are the development of effective therapies to help autistic children and their parents deal with the struggles of daily life.
In the past several years, an increasingly vocal minority of well meaning parents has begun focusing attention on, of all things, childhood vaccinations, creating a classic (albeit intractable) Correlation vs. Causation scenario that threatens the lives of literally millions of children in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
As you already know, your Course Paper is to be constructed using peer-reviewed journal articles only as your scientific source material. To that end, please use the Ohlone Library's databases to find these. Click the link below to open this blog post and follow the instructions:
British pop singer Katie Melua got a tongue-in-cheek scolding back in 2005 when science writer Simon Singh wrote THIS ARTICLE about her song "Nine Million Bicycles." Watch the video below to see/hear the original lyrics, and then the re-written/re-recorded version of the song after Katie, somewhat red-faced at her lyrical errors, attempted to correct herself.
Many of you laughed when I mentioned the Flat Earth Society in class (and it is, indeed, laughable). But believe me, I'm not kidding. There are litereally thousands of otherwise normal, everyday folks around the world who believe that our planet is flat.
This view of the world is ancient, and derives from staggering ignorance. Even Christopher Columbus knew that the world was a sphere (regardless of the children's tale that says otherwise). To find people who believed this, you'd have to go back much further than the 1400s. In fact, it was the Greek philosopher Pythagoras who first proposed a spherical Earth in the 6th century (the 500s)!
CLICK HERE to read a report about the Flat Earthers and their ridiculous beliefs. Then, consider what other beliefs people hold (homophobia, Creationism, sexism, anti-GMO, racial superiority, vaccine denial), as well as any that you yourself may hold that aren't supported by the facts.
James Randi's reputation as a magician and escape artist is a matter of world renown. Although he occasionally still performs small feats, most of his current efforts involve his work as a tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Utilizing a keen scientific mind, Randi - as he prefers to be called - examines claims of paranormal powers and activities all over the world.
In 1996, Randi founded the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF) which offers a prize of $1 million for anyone who can, UNDER SCIENTIFIC CONDITIONS, demonstrate supernatural or paranormal abilities or phenomena. Although none of the professionals we see on television have taken him up on the challenge, hundreds of others have applied over the years. Needless to say, the prize remains unclaimed...and I think we all have a good idea why.
If you would like to watch the entire video Secrets of the Psychics, CLICK HERE (it's in 6 parts).
To watch a video introduction to Randi and his work, click the image below.
And if you'd like to get a feel for who James Randi is as a person, please watch teh trailer for the upcoming documentary "An Honest Liar," which chronicles his life and career.
Please download and complete the Student Data Sheet below, then bring it to class next time we meet.
You can insert a picture of yourself and then print it out on the sheet, or just staple a picture to the sheet if that's easier. Please make sure it's one that allows me to recognize you (no big sun glasses, artistic turns of the head, etc.). I'm using these to get to know my students by name and face, in the hope that the information will help me adjust my teaching to students' needs and backgrounds.
I have included the document below in two different file types, due to complaints from students who do not yet have Microsoft Office 2010.
Please use the links below to download and save your syllabus. We will be reading and discussing it on the first day of class. Some of you might like to take a look at it ahead of time, and/or bring a copy to class with you.
As there are five of them, you must be careful to download the correct syllabus. The one for your class will be different from the ones for my other classes.
P.S. For PC users viewing with Internet Explorer, simply RIGHT CLICK on the link and choose "Save Target As" to download the document to your desktop. For PC users viewing with Firefox, LEFT CLICK on the link and a pop-up box should open. (I have no knowledge of how to save using a Mac.)
Information about required textbooks for your classes is available in the Ohlone College Bookstore on campus, with classes organized in the store by department, instructor, and course. Just ask any of the floor staff to help you find the section marked "Psychology," and find the book(s) with my name on the tag. To assist you, however, I have included the information below.
If a book is available in e-book format, that's fine. I don't usually require their use in class, and if I do, there are usually enough students with a book that can share.
Nota bene: It doesn't much matter to me how you get these books (in the campus bookstore, online, through a friend, etc.), but I cannot hold lectures or tests because you're still awaiting your book's arrival.
As many of you may know, we have a thriving Psychology Club here at Ohlone College. One of the most visible and active clubs on campus, the Psychology Club regularly hosts guest speakers, organizes off-campus field trips, has regular fund raisers, and engages in regular discussions related to the field of psychology.
Our meetings are held every Wednesday, from 3:15- 4:15 pm.
We meet in Room 7107 (in the new Student Services Building).
Please join our Facebook page (see sidebar on this blog) for more info and updates.