Summer Assignment

Advanced Placement Psychology

Summer Assignment 2019-20


In place of a single book you will be accessing and responding to two articles and two lectures relevant to contemporary psychology.   Our first few days will be spent discussing the ideas and research present in these resources.  For each article/lecture you are to submit a two page response, addressing the questions that follow.  The websites and questions are listed below.


A. Pinker, Stephen. The Mystery of Consciousness,8816,1580394,00.html


Provide a synopsis of the article.  How has our understanding of consciousness changed in recent years?  What intriguing questions remain?   Do Pinker's musings affect your view of “consciousness” in any way?  Research the author of this article and briefly identify his areas of academic focus and intellectual accomplishment.


B. Lehrer, Jonah. Don’t


Describe Walter Mischel’s Marshmallow experiment. How has his early research become the basis of longitudinal research on delayed gratification?   Describe Mischel’s cross-cultural research and more famous findings in the area of personality and situational influence.


C. Ramachandran, V.S.  TedTalks, On Your Mind


What three disorders/phenomena does Ramachandran use to discuss the functioning of the human brain and mind?  What is his overarching point?  Who is V.S. Ramachandran (if interested, consult the 2009 New Yorker article on his contributions to the field of psychology)


D. Gilbert, Dan. TedTalks, Why Are We Happy?


What is Gilbert proposing?  What are his several of his interesting research findings in the area of human happiness?  Describe his distinctions between natural and synthetic happiness   What are Gilbert’s academic and intellectual bona fides?  (You may also watch and respond to the facial expression piece on Mrs. Melton's website).



Due Date  Your written synopses are due the end of the first week of school.  Your first exam the next week will include concepts and terminology considered in these pieces.