Another Year 12 Update – Exam Format

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Click here for Year 12 Downloadable Handouts Page

The information below is reproduced directly from the VCAA website and describes the setting out of the Unit 3 exam. You can read this in more detail at this link.

Format of Exam

Don't forget that you need to write within the lines on the Unit 3 Exam.
Don't forget that you need to write within the lines on the Unit 3 Exam.

Each examination will be presented in a question and answer book and will consist of three compulsory sections: Section A, Section B and Section C.

Section A will consist of 45 multiple-choice questions worth 1 mark each.

Section B will consist of short answer questions. Students will be required to provide answers to Section B within the spaces allocated in the examination paper. The number of lines provided after each question, together with the number of marks allocated, will indicate the appropriate length of the response. Section B will be worth 30–35 marks.

Section C will consist of one question. This question may require students to comment on experimental design or write up the results of a case study/experiment or to write an extended response in response to a question or case study or experiment. This question will be worth 10–15 marks.

Questions in the examination will not be organised according to areas of study.

In all of Sections A, B and C, questions may be asked which cover individual areas of study and/or which cover more than one area of study as well as research methodologies and ethical principles.

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A Year 12 Update – Try not to forget…

Theoretically, repressed memories are difficult to bring into normal waking consciousness. The concept of repression is based upon Freud's theory. According to Freud, repression is an ego defence mechanism which protects us from anxiety by consigning distressing memories to the unconscious mind.
Theoretically, repressed memories are difficult to bring into normal waking consciousness. The concept of repression is based upon Freud's theory of the psyche. According to Freud, repression is an ego defence mechanism which protects us from anxiety by consigning distressing memories to the unconscious mind.

Year 12 students should be working on the SAC that is due next Wednesday 25 May.

The documentation relating to the SAC may be downloaded from the Year 12 Downloadable Handouts page. The results of Ms Green’s class’s research activity have also been uploaded (and will be given out in class tomorrow as well). Don’t forget to supply the password.

The powerpoint on Theories of Forgetting may also be downloaded on that page.

An extra exam preparation class will be run after school on Thursday tomorrow, as in the last two weeks. Please go to 217.

By the way, the details of the Unit 3 exam, which looms dangerously close, are available at this link. You can download a file of sample questions and general expectations.

http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/vcaa/vce/studies/psychology/psych-samp.pdf

Finally, if you would like to check your memory for basic definitions and terms used in the course, try the flashcard quiz below:

By the way, if you would like to put your revision in your pocket, you can also download flashcards from this site to your chosen gadget, provided that it supports this kind of application. The App I use is called Flashcards and is available through i-Tunes.

Memory flashcard episodic memory

If you have an Apple gadget, you can download these memory flashcards to your device. Neat way to revise on the run.
If you have an Apple gadget, you can download these memory flashcards to your device. Neat way to revise on the run.

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New password

rat on box
I'd like a password for some of those mazes I have to run...

We have put a password on the Year 12 Downloadable Handouts page, just to ensure that no personal details or pictures are obtainable on the internet. If you wish to download a handout, the password is the timetable initials of the two year twelve psychology teachers, in alphabetical order and lower case. No spaces.

You are welcome to download the PowerPoint on Models of Memory we have been using in class. If you have a device that allows it, you may be able to view it on your phone or other gadget, as well as on your computer. It is in PDF form and can be printed out with four slides or more to a page, if you wish.

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A new science of the mind – lectures by Eric Kandel

Note: Click here to download the Student Work Outline for Memory

“I know what it’s like to be dead.”

– Clive Wearing, a man who suffers from devastating memory dysfunction.

Hmong woman
This old woman in Vietnam holds in her memory the details of a long life: personal memories, facts and names, and also the memories of how to do things - such as how to weave and how to ride a bike. Her ability to retrieve such memories and to create new ones allows her to form her own individual stream of consciousness and consequently an ongoing sense of her identity. And this skill, as Kandel showed, depends upon the activity in the synapses of her brain. He was able to trace the neural basis of memories. He found out that when we learn new things and commit them to memory, our brains change. If we learn something in a lasting way, or create a new long-term memory, our brains will be different afterwards. Even at this woman's age, her brain is creating new connections whenever she learns something new - a name, a technique, a piece of information or even a new way of donning her scarf.

Photo: Hmong woman by Mimi_K, flickr.com


Clive Wearing’s terrible words illustrate the link between the first area of study and the second in Unit 3 Psychology.

It is our ability to create and retrieve memories that allows us to experience what William James called the “stream of consciousness”. This awareness of our ongoing identity, which connects our personal past with our present, despite the physical changes of our existence, despite our moments of forgetfulness, despite altered states of consciousness including dreaming and sleeping, is central to the experience of being both human and alive.

Clive Wearing knows that he has lost something crucial to human life, because he can no longer form new memories. His horrifying loss is one of the case studies referred to by Eric Kandel in the lectures described below. Wearing’s consciousness is purely in the present. Even though he can play the piano with phenomenal skill, he cannot recall having done so a minute or two later. He can no longer connect his past with his present.

Kandel closes this series of lectures by referring to five principles that his lifework allows him to enunciate with the authority of a great scientist:

1. Mind and brain are inseparable.

2. Each mental function of the brain is carried out by separate neural circuits in different regions of the brain.

3. All neural circuits are made up of the same class of signalling units: nerve cells and their synapses.

4. The synapse serves a double function: it is the point of communication between nerve cells, and the site of memory storage.

5. The synapse is also a target for disease in both neurological and psychiatric disorders.

The videos below have been embedded from research.org’s channel on Youtube and provide the first and the last lectures in the four-lecture series. You may prefer to go to the website link below, where you can find links to all four lectures in the series, as presented by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The website link is:

http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/neuroscience/lectures.html

Another option is to download these lectures to your i-pod via i-Tunes. That way you can listen to Kandel and go for a walk as well! To do this, go to the link below and navigate to Podcasts 13 and 16, the neuroscience lectures, number 1 and number 4:

http://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/hhmis-holiday-lectures-on/id214106297?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

These videos will introduce you to the brilliant mind and fascinating discoveries of Kandel, who, through his studies of the Aplysia slug, was able to uncover what happens to neurons in the brain when we learn something new and commit that new knowledge to memory. Though they are in greater depth than you will require for the exam, watching the videos will provide you with an overview of the whole topic of human memory.

The first six videos below are all part of one lecture by Kandel on the history of memory research. These videos are a superb introduction to the topic. Part 1 mainly introduces Kandel; Parts 2-6 form the majority of his lecture. He is a very clear speaker who uses many examples that you will find aid your comprehension:

Part 2 considers the painful life of Clive Wearing and the research into which parts of the brain are involved in memory:

Part 3 touches on the work of Broca and Wernicke, thus providing excellent revision for your studies in first term.

Part 4 of Kandel’s video discusses the development of electrical stimulation of the brain and its use to identify parts of the brain that are involved in specific mental activities, such as facial recognition, sensation in specific parts of the body and memory.

Part 5 continues to consider the question of the localisation of memory within the brain. In this video Kandel describes the importance of the hippocampus in allowing short-term memories to be converted into long-term memories. In particular he discusses the ground-breaking research into the life and brain of HM, now known as Henry Molaison.

In Part 6 Kandel refers to the experiences of Henry Molaison and Clive Wearing, who both tragically suffered terrible memory deficiencies as a result of hippocampus damage. Clive Wearing describes his experience thus: “I know what it’s like to be dead.” Drawing on these two case studies, Kandel explains which kinds of memory are affected by hippocampus damage and which are not.

In the much longer video below, Kandel describes in some depth the studies with slugs and mice that underpin research into the physiological basis of memory. Once again, the depth of this lecture is much greater than you will need for your assessment, but watching the video will provide you with Kandel’s highly lucid explanation of his Nobel Prize winning research.

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Holiday homework for Year 12 students

Just as I expected. They expect me to work even when I'm on holiday. It's a rat's life.
I knew it. They expect me to work even when I'm on holiday. It's a rat's life.

Details of homework to be done: See post below or DOWNLOAD HERE

In case you missed any of the handouts on the last two frenetic days of term, you can download them here:

♦A blank concept map of the Atkinson-Shriffrin Model of Memory for you to fill in:

DOWNLOAD HERE

♦A blank concept map of Craik and Lockhart’s Levels of Processing Model (see handout)

♦A blank concept map of Baddeley-Hitch’s Model of Working Memory:

DOWNLOAD HERE

♦Question and answer sheet on the four theories of forgetting: retrieval failure, motivated forgetting, interference theory and decay theory:

DOWNLOAD HERE

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Flashcard quiz on memory for Year 12 Psychology

Dear Year 12 students,

The flashcards below may help you to learn many of the terms you’ll need for the next area of study. You might also find that by going to the site itself, http://www.quizlet.com, you can make up your own sets of flashcards, download them to your i-Pod or i-Phone or simply read them on-line. They can also be printed out or used to generate simple tests.

The more you rehearse, the longer you’ll remember. Of course, if you rehearse meaningfully, you’ll have more chance of the information becoming firmly fixed in your long-term memory, so that you can retrieve it with ease all your life long.

Or at least in the exam.

Kind regards and happy holidays from Ms Ind, Ms Bottrell and Ms Green.

PS Don’t forget to do your holiday homework (download here), which will be handed out later this week:
♦A concept map of the Atkinson-Shriffrin Multi-Store Model of Memory DOWNLOAD HERE
♦A concept map of Craik and Lockhart’s Levels of Processing Model (see handout)
♦A concept map of Baddeley  andHitch’s Model of Working Memory DOWNLOAD HERE
♦Question and answer sheet on the four theories of forgetting: retrieval failure, motivated forgetting, interference theory and decay theory DOWNLOAD HERE

◊OUCH.

If you would like to put your revision in your pocket, you can also download flashcards from this site to your chosen gadget, provided that it supports this kind of application. The App I use is called Flashcards and is available through i-Tunes.

Memory flashcard episodic memory

If you have an Apple gadget, you can download these memory flashcards to your device. Neat way to revise on the run.
If you have an Apple gadget, you can download these memory flashcards to your device. Neat way to revise on the run.

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Flashcard quiz for Year 11 Psychology

You can download a list of topics for the test on Thursday 10 March at this link.
The little quiz below allows you to read through the definitions that you will need to know for the test. If you click on “Study these flash cards” at the bottom of the box, you will be able to generate a little multiple choice test for yourselves, or other kinds of tests.
You can also click on the link to the Quizlet website (bottom left) if you would like to register and create your own sets of cards. This is recommended for the rest of this year and for year twelve students as well.

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Psych Conference News, February 2011

Tawny in the day time
Stay alert and keep up with the latest news from the VCAA, which is available on this blog at the link below.

At the conference on Friday we soaked up as much information as possible and did our best to bankrupt our small faculty by ordering mounds of books. We hope to add as many useful resources to this blog as we can. For instance, there is now a brief account of the main points made about the Unit 3 and 4 exams – rules, expectations and latest information. Click below to read this information, which will be updated as often as possible. There is a link on this page to the sample questions that have been supplied for the Unit 3 exam as well. These can be downloaded and should be pored over by every Year 12 student.

Snippet

Photo: Tawny in the Daytime by Mimi_K at flickr.com

http://psychologyrats.edublogs.org/tips-for-study-and-life/teacher-and-student-information-about-psychology-assessment/

We are also gradually adding links to recommended internet resources, such as the video below of the story of Clive Wearing, a man whose memory is so badly impaired that he can only retain information for between 7 and 30 seconds. That includes the conversation he is presently engaged in. Yet he can still play the piano. This would involve procedural memory, which is clearly less prone to amnesia than personal and factual memories.

Kind regards,

Ms Bottrell, Ms Ind, Ms Simkin and Ms Green

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Human frailties and human strengths…

Welcome to our psychology blog…from Ms Bottrell, Ms Ind and Ms Green

The story of a psychology teacher who unwittingly caused one of her students considerable distress...
The story of a psychology teacher who unwittingly caused one of her students considerable psychological distress...

A traumatic but illustrative story:

A couple of years ago I took over a Year 11 class from Ms Ind. Naturally I was nervous, because I felt so uncertain that I would be able to maintain her high standard of teaching. It turned out that I was right to doubt myself. In my very first class, as I tried to interest my students in information about the nervous system, there was a crisis. One of my students suddenly became very pale and looked as though he was about to faint.

I knew my teaching was bad, but where had I gone wrong?

This simple story illustrates many of the topics of psychology.

The experience is deeply etched in my episodic memory. I shall never forget it, possibly because it caused me so much anxiety at the time.

My nervousness was probably associated with physiological arousal. In other words, several physiological measures would have indicated that I was in a state of high alertness; I was probably sweating and my heart was racing. Such symptoms can be useful in a crisis, but can also be counterproductive in everyday life.

The student nearly sank into an altered state of consciousness. Hmm, I daresay I provoke such a state in my students quite often, but usually it’s brought on by boredom rather than stories about brain surgery.

As you can see from the account above, the study of psychology is filled with human stories and with the precise psychological terms that can be used to describe them. The more you connect the experiences of everyday life with the language of psychology, the better you will cope with this subject and the more you will enjoy it.

We hope you will enjoy looking at the resources on this blog. We will be adding to them as often as possible. If you find resources on the web that are useful, let us know, so that we can add a link to those too. If you would like to ask a question or answer another student’s question, or simply make a comment, go ahead. Over time, this blog could become like an online bulletin board. There will also be opportunities to download handouts that you have missed.

By the way, the student who became so pale in my story above thankfully regained normal waking consciousness. My new class forgave me for my clumsy teaching and I gained new self-esteem from the experience.

Phew.rat pic 3

Kind regards and best wishes for your psychology studies,

Ms Green

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