Psychology in Action

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Ask each student to find a partner. Tell Partner "A" (one-half the class) to shut their eyes while you write the phrases "flying a kite" on the board. Tell the other half of the class (Partner "B") to remember the phrase, and then erase the board. Ask the "blindfolded" students (Partner "A") to open their eyes. Read the following passage: A newspaper is better than a magazine. A seashore is a better place than the street. It takes some skill, but it is easy to learn. Even young children can enjoy it. Once successful, complications are minimal. Birds seldom get too close. Rain, however, soaks in very fast. Too many people doing the same thing can also cause problems. One needs lots of room. If there are no complications it can be very peaceful. A rock will serve as an anchor. If things break loose from it, however, you will get no second chance. Ask all students to write down everything they can remember about the passage--reminding Partner B not to tell Partner A what you wrote on the board. Have the partners share what they wrote. There will be more detail in Partner B's responses. After disclosing what you wrote on the board, ask Partner As to explain why it was so difficult. Use their responses to point out the advantages of context and encoding . Since Partner B had access to the "secret words," the details in the passage made sense (they were "in context") and easily encoded. Explain that the Surveying and Questioning steps of the SQ4R method are important because they provide context for the chapter material and ensure encoding. Instructor’s Resource Guide Chapter 7            Page   226
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If time allows, have partners reverse roles and write on the board 1. christening a ship 2. a broken parachute Erase the board, have the "blindfolded" partners open their eyes, and read 1. The voyage wasn't delayed because the bottle shattered. 2. The haystack was important because the cloth ripped. Repeat the process described above--this time Partner A will have access to the "secret words" that simulate the Survey and Question stages of the SQ4R method. Source: Klein, M. (1981). Context and memory. In L. T. Benjamin and K. D. Lowman (Eds.), Activities handbook for the teaching of psychology , p. 83. Washington, D.C. : American Psychological Association. Active Learning Activity 7.3 - Rubber Pencil Tell the class members they can use sensory memory to "turn a pen or pencil to rubber." Encourage them to find a partner. Have one student watch while the other holds his or her pencil in front of the viewer. Tell this student to grasp the pencil or pen with his or her thumb and forefinger about a third of the way from the end. Hold the pen or pencil horizontal to the viewer. Move it slowly up and down. The viewer will see what appears to be a blurred image of a "rubber pencil." This occurs because sensory memory briefly holds a trace of the various positions that the pencil occupies as it moves.
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