The quiz below will help you get a feel for the variety, the words and the human stories in psychology. Every now and then I hope to nip back to Learningapps.org, where I concocted the quiz, and add a question, another story or an extra comment. In this way the quiz will continue to develop, just like your knowledge and understanding of psychology.
There are a few simple questions in the quiz about research methods, as well as on topics such as memory, visual perception and the pioneers of psychology. You’ll learn just or much (indeed, perhaps more) by getting the questions wrong, because there are many explanations of both right and wrong answers.
I actually like the idea of learning by getting answers wrong. When Piaget talked with children, he focused on the reasoning behind their wrong answers; that’s how he came by many of his deepest insights.
There’s something to be said for getting something wrong and having to think it through. We really should allow ourselves to get things wrong more often. Except in exams, of course.
PS Sophia and Mikaela designed the visual stimulus below, which illustrates the ideas of the Gestalt psychologists. It can be perceived in various ways, depending on which part of the stimulus you focus on; if you focus on the star, that becomes the figure; if you focus on the storm, the star becomes the ground.
Perhaps your dominant perception could even show whether you’re naturally optimistic or naturally pessimistic – but to ascertain that would of course require systematic empirical research.
In any case, the Gestaltists are famous for having identified the principles by which we organize the visual world. The figure-ground principle was a central idea of theirs. Thank you, Mikaela and Sophia!