Social in the Classroom

Main -> In the Classroom: Social

"Parable of the Polygons": A Story of How Harmless Choices Can Make a Harmful World

This is a segregation simulation based on Nobel Prize Winner, Thomas Schelling. This is based on Schelling's (1971) Dynamic Models of Segregation, and later Clark's (1991) paper, A Test of the Schelling Segregation Model


Conformity Demonstration (courtesy of Joseph Swope via PSYCHTEACHER listserv 9/10/13) 

Either wait for or construct a situation where a student leaves the room for a few minutes.  While he is outside of the classroom, instruct the other students to stand up when the student returns and sits in his seat.  As soon as the returning student sits down in his seat, he will see his classmates immediately rise.  For added effect, have the classmates rise with their notebooks and continue with the lecture.  Chances are the student will stand.  A less dramatic but a more sure-fire result is to have the students already standing when the student returns.  If class continues and the lecture proceeds with the rest of the class ignoring him, the returning student will go back to his seat, continue standing, blend in and remain standing.  Note, if the class is aware that the lesson is on conformity, the student might be wise to the gag.


The "Guess Who?" Game (The Costs of Racial "Color Blindness") (courtesy of Ali O'Malley via Twitter 7/18/13)

A class could be instructed to play “Guess Who?” with the prompts on the video. The second half of the video includes a summary of study results and reference to a recently published article.


Social Knowledge: The Game

This smartphone app (Android or iPhone) offers a statement on social psychological research every day, with elaborate explanations (and the references!) the day after and feedback on whether the person was correct or not. This game could be a weekly icebreaker, source of fun/friendly competition, and/or way for Social Psychology students to stay connected to course material outside of class.


An Active Learning Lesson to Teach Obedience, Conformity, and Social Roles.

If you are looking for a good active learning lesson to teach fundamental social psychology concepts, this is it.

Bleske-Rechek, A. L. (2001). Obedience, conformity, and social roles: Active learning in a large introductory psychology class. Teaching of Psychology, 28 (4), 160-262.


Teaching Psychology for Sustainability: Social

Looking to incorporate environmental issues into your courses? Check out these "lecture discussion topics; class activities; multimedia resources; suggested readings for students..."


“This Is a Public Service Announcement”: Evaluating and Redesigning Campaigns to Teach Attitudes and Persuasion (ToP, 2009, Vol 4)


Break Up Before College: Should You Stay With Your High School Sweetheart? (Huffington Post, 8/1/2012)

Students are often very interested in relationships and how to make them last. This column on breaking up before going off to college is likely to hit home and encourage discussion. However, the column provides only anecdotal evidence and suggestions. While the topic may serve as a springboard into discussion, it may also help students think about what types of empirical evidence should support the suggestions and claims in the column. Also, students could be instructed to craft their own correlational and experimental research studies to test some of the topics in the column.