ch16

Psychology in Action

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Instructor's Resource Guide                               Chapter 16                                             Page  250
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Once some of the major social norms are listed (private property, sexual privacy, respect for the rights of others) have students examine how the constraining power of these social standards are operating in their lives, how they are like invisible fences that most members of the group respond to. Brain-Based Learning Activity 16.3 - Exposing the Fundamental Attribution Error Line up six chairs one behind the next all facing forward. Ask for volunteers to come to each chair bringing a pen and an empty notepad to write on. Once the students sit down they can only see their own pad and the back of the person sitting in front of them To the student in the first seat only you give or show a simple but multi angled design. An example would be the outline of a six-pointed star or a simple spider web or a cloverleaf freeway exchange. Don't use just a simple circle or rectangle. That would be too easy. Be very firm with these instructions: The student must instruct the rest of the volunteers on how to move their pens so they re-create the figure s/he is viewing. The student cannot use the name of the design but may only say move the pen left, right, up, down, and in a curve or a straight line. It will usually take only a few minutes for the leader to finish their instructions. Encourage the rest of the class that has observed this demonstration to come up to look at the model and then at the various drawings made by the other volunteers. Usually most of them look quite different from the "original". Then ask the class why the performance was so unimpressive. Many explanations will be offered. Even if you have just discussed the Fundamental Attribution Error in class, very few of the explanations will focus on the power of the situation that did not allow for: face to face contact, anyone to see each other's work; and, the leader to refer to well known drawing symbols by name. After you point out this pattern have the students look back on their comments and consider what prevented them from noticing this "obvious" factor? Instructor's Resource Guide                               Chapter 16                                             Page  251
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C ritical T hinking Critical Thinking Exercise 16.1 - Developing Self-Understanding: Exploring the Processes of Attitude Formation Critical thinking requires self-understanding and awareness that our most important attitudes are developed from specific learning experiences and the influence of important people in our lives.
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