Hartstone Why Teach Psychology
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  • Welcome to this talk. I expect that there is a mixture of first time teachers of psychology as well as some old hands. I wanted to begin by telling you about about myself and then about what I plan to talk about today. I began work as a teacher in 1972. My last year was 1991. 20 years. Retrained as a psychologist. Never lost my interest in the possibilities of teaching psychology at high school level. Psychology is very interesting and personally rewarding career, though not better paid than teaching.
  • Many students will want to know about the possibilities of working as a psychologist. So I am addressing that first. But most of the thousands of students who study P will not work as psychologists. Nevertheless they can gain from studying psychology. So I want to talk briefly about how P is positioned in SACE. And about how P is structured as a SACE subject. As a psychologist I do not tend to address old childhood concerns, but rather to look at the knowledge and skills people need in the present to change their behaviour and thinking to build better lives. So I have great enthusiasm for teaching the basics of mental health self care to all, as well as the benefits of learning more in depth about the sorts of central life concern addressed in SACE P.
  • First some facts and figures about psychology as a career in Australia. 16,500 psychologists are members of the Australian Psychological Society. 11% are students. 74% are women. As well there are another 400+ psychologists registered to work in SA but not members of the Aust Psych Society. 67% women averaging 43 years old 33% men averaging 52 years old. So women are an increasing majority in Aust Psychology.
  • Academic Psychologists conduct research and teach in universities. Forensic Psychologists work with police, the law and legal processes, and in correctional services Clinical Psychologists diagnose, treat   and prevent a wide range of mental and physical health issues. Organisational Psychologists specialise in the areas of work, human resource management, training and development, and market research and advertising. Counselling Psychologists help individuals and groups with personal wellbeing, relationships, work, recreation, health and crisis management. Community Psychologists help people achieve their goals in areas such as welfare and community projects. Health Psychologists promote the prevention and treatment of illness and may work within the health care system Clinical Neuropsychologists assess and manage individuals with brain impairments. Educational and Developmental Psychologists provide children and adults with assessment, intervention and counselling services for learning and developmental issues across the life span. Sport Psychologists help people involved in sport and exercise maximise their performance, enjoyment and participation.
  • It is a fair commitment to study Psychology to the levels required for a career. First year psychology is a very popular subject at all of the 3 universities. By Honours level there are probably 100 -120 places in SA. The TER required for a course that offers the 4 th year is in the high 90s. About 30 to 40 places for clinical psychology masters total. About another 30 to 40 places for other specialty areas: Organisational, Forensic, Health, New area of military psychology Any questions?
  • I came across this Internet quiz. Here are the first 5 quiz items……
  • I cannot tell you how I scored on it. Nor how it was scored. But it is pretty transparent. And also pretty nasty in my opinion. It used to be teen magazines. But now the internet is the way teens look for information and for ways of understanding who they are. There are so many levels that I could critique the validity and integrity of this quiz that I expect I would bore you at great length. But I am concerned also about the attitudinal shaping that is implicit in such exercises, regardless of the score or outcome. What do you think? Is this really what people and our students access?
  • Is this really what people and our students access? Here is a linked site. Here are the topics offered on this site. Here are the most frequently viewed and searched links….
  • Some of thisin encouraging. Healthy meals for example (Is this driven by wanting to balance protein, vitamins etc? or by body image concerns?)
  • So I guess I am hinting at 3 questions about the real world. I have these questions in the back of my thoughts during this talk. I recognise that I have picked a vivid example. But there are innumerable little instances of attitudes and behaviours that are not for the better good of an individual or of the group, or society. And the teenage years are years when developmentally people are building patterns and habits of connection, making their own self image, developing self confidence and shaping their futures.
  • Here is the background to how SACE conceptualises learning for real life in secondary schools. You probably know it well???!.
  • While P straddles the humanities and sciences SACE conceptualises P as a science. Here’s how.
  • So there is an argument for P as a science and many students welcome the opportunity to study this more humanistic and personally relevant science. It is the personally relevant aspects of P that make it attractive to many students, but which also entail some particular difficulties in teaching P.
  • It is the personally relevant aspects of P that make it attractive to many students, but which also entail some particular difficulties in teaching P. More about this later… Literacy and numeracy are both considered important in the real world.
  • I won’t read this out to you, but you have a copy in the paperwork.
  • I won’t read this out to you, but you have a copy in the paperwork. But as far as being relevant to our students, I do not think they study Pyshcology to gain Literacy and Numeracy skills. in a nutshell…
  • What is attractive to many students who study P at secondary or tertiary levels is its relevance for their personal development.
  • This is my summary of how SACE Psychology can be relevant to personal development in the real world.
  • The combination of personal relevance, discussion of behaviour and attitudes and the developmental stage of adolescents does mean that teaching P, like the clinical practice of P and research into P is associated with strong ethical concerns.
  • In Real World Psychology, that is the practice of Psychology as a profession Ethics are a serious and comprehensive matter. The Aust Psych Soc Code of ethics is 32 pages long. All members must endorse it. There are 3 main areas. The first group will be recognisable to experienced teachers of psychology as relevant to the teaching context.
  • The second group appear more administrative but also impact on teaching psychology. The matter of competence, Record keeping Professional responsibility Delegation of tasks Psychological assessments And Research ethics
  • Personal and professional integrity extends beyond non-exploitation to prompt responsibility for the far reaching consequences of what is done or is not done. Also the same as a teacher?...
  • A recent TIME magazine cited the statistic that 20% of current divorce cases in US courts cited evidence gleaned from Facebook. People release information that may later embarrass or compromise them.
  • The teacher of Psychology at all levels has a responsibility to do what can be done to protect their students. This means some element of “saving them from themselves”. Adolescence is unfortunately a time when teasing and bullying are rife. I have clients who cite bullying and teasing in their teenage years as a very traumatic time which shaped their poor self image and low self esteem into their 30s, 40s, and older. In addition teenage years are those when people form their self image in relation to peers. They are at their most sensitive. The frontal lobes are not yet fully myelinated to give the protection or amelioration of logic. But the limbic system, the emotional part f the brain is sensitised by hormones, increasing responsibilities and expectations. And bombarded by more insistant media pressures to be sexy, thin, strong, a rebel, an achiever……. Teasing and bullying may occur, but NOT IN MY CLASSROOM. NOR OUTSIDE THE DOOR EITHER!
  • Confidentiality is fiercely guarded in Professional Psychology. At times it feels hampering and fine degrees of decision making can surround it. For teachers also this is a strict priority.
  • Imitative behaviours are well documented. Even for extreme behaviours like suicide attempts, homicides (school killings in US), Regrettable but true. Even Media respect this and refrain from reporting many suicides and extreme behaviours for fear of the imitative responses. What age do you think that body dissatisfaction has been identified in Australian girls? 6 Wanting to be slimmer. A colleague of mine with interest in research and treatment of body size dissatisfaction found that treatment is not so simple. The classroom program that resulted in lessened body dissatisfaction at 13 was ineffective at age of 15. It just refreshed the issue. Tricky stuff.
  • In addition to this advice to teachers students need to be reminded of their ethical responsibilites and warned about the hazards of enthusiastic endorsement of psychological symptoms.
  • And to extend these concepts a little further out into the real world, I would like to refer to Daniel Siegel, a P researcher in California who has focused on the biological level of brain functioning and the basic process level of how the mind uses the brain to create itself. His work is about identifying what makes a Healthy mind.
  • This probably looks familiar to you. While I do not draw up such a table in my clinical work this 4 level assessment is important to understand psychological problems and disorders as well as in designing and implementing treatments. The SACE curriculum statement fleshes out these 4 levels of interpretation in relation to examples. For example…
  • Interpersonal aggression: In working with an angry client I will consider: Biological: The role of adrenaline in Fight or Flight responses Basic processes: How people react to these biologically driven “instinctive” responses. How early life experiences , critical events and recent circumstances have played a part in shaping an individual’s usual responses, for example to criticism, or to threat, or to insult, or to being dismissed or ignored. And at a socio cultural level how this has become supported or maintained and problematic in the person’s life in their social roles, eg in relation to work, study, peer group, family..
  • At a biological level identifying biological processes and reactions can involve pain, fear, unpleasantness caused by the research itself. For example taking a blood sample to determine the level of adrenaline in an angry person not only involves discomfort, possible danger to the person with the needle, influencing adrenaline levels due to the fear and pain of being injected. Can it be done another way? What are the ethics of labelling people? How do our personal cultural biases influence how we identify issues to research, interpret results, or understand the distress or unhappiness of those from different cultures, or even from different families?
  • It might be possible to use the four levels of interpretation, integrate them and make an informed response. However this question usually encompasses more than an appeal for an identification.
  • I wonder how many teachers have experienced this sort of appeal for help? Identifying and labelling is tricky but planning interventions has an extra level of complexity. Which level to focus on first for instance… And how to integrate the levels of interventions. I want to extend further into the real world to consider the work of Dan Siegel on personal development for well being.
  • I think that being aware of our own processes, and of our own awareness, are abilities that can be fostered, even prompted by learning P. .
  • These capacities are developed via abilities that further develop the Healthy Mind’s capacities.
  • An outline of the subjects offered at Stage 1…. The Introduction to Psychology is specified at Stage 1 and Stage 2. Within this area we hope students learn to become critical thinkers in relation to psychological, and other, information. To distinguish between: what has an evidence base and what does not. As well as how large an effect size is involved, what are the exceptions and what sometimes are the processes that are significant.
  • And in Stage 2 again. I am more familiar with Stage 2 because of my involvement with Penny Spencer in Psychology For South Australia Stage 2. My particular interest areas were Learning Personality and the Healthy Minds chapters The structure of these content areas is interpreted and presented in keeping with the 4 levels of P interpretation.
  • So how does the P teacher make SACE Psychology relevant to these abilities?
  • What we hope our students Learn from SACE Psychology. I have 2 examples from “real World” life and real world Psychology for us to consider
  • Here are some background questions. Any opinions? An investigation was done by Australian researchers recently into the effect of drinking alcohol to relieve feelings of sadness.
  • Here is what they did… Selecting participants…
  • Setting up the study…
  • The investigation intervention…. What do we expect from our real world observation, experience and knowledge?
  • Let’s examine the data… You will notice a final row in the table. This measured how intoxicated subjects perceived themselves to be.
  • Not only was there no difference in mood change between alcohol drinkers and Placebo drinkers. They both reported equivalent levels of intoxication. NB: for the statistics buffs I have given means and standard deviations, but not the full statistical values and probabilities but you can look it up if you are interested. There were significant ethical concerns in this study. What do you expect?
  • There were significant ethical concerns in this study. What do you expect?
  • So here were the conclusions. And the relevance for the real world 20 per cent of males and 17 per cent of females aged 14-17 years were classified as regular weekly drinkers one-third of 14-17 year olds had put themselves at risk of alcohol-related harm in the past 12 months on at least one occasion, and this is similar to the overall population rate of 34.4 per cent (AIHW 2002). For both men and women aged 14 and over, about 9% consistently drank in excess of guidelines for harm from the chronic effects of alcohol
  • My second example, just very briefly, concerns mental health literacy and attitudes towards those who suffer from mental disorders. Here is the study. Here is what they did…..
  • Attitudes and therefore behaviours can be shaped and influenced.
  • Thank you

Hartstone Why Teach Psychology Hartstone Why Teach Psychology Presentation Transcript

  • How does SACE Psychology relate to the real world? Margaret Hartstone Discipline Senior Clinical Psychologist Northern Mental Health, CNAHS Jan 2010
  • Why Teach Psychology?
    • Overview:
    • Psychology as a career
    • Psychology’s place in SACE
    • The Structure of SACE Psychology
    • Why students might benefit from learning more about Psychology
  • Psychology as a career
    • In SA there are 720 members of the SA branch of the Australian Psychological Society (+ some non-members).
    • In SA there are over 250 members of the College of Clinical Psychologists (able to provide Medicare rebated services).
  • Psychology as a career
    • Academic Researcher and/or teacher
    • Practising psychologist “specialties”
      • Forensic
      • Clinical
      • Organisational
      • Counselling
      • Community
      • Health
      • Neuropsychologist
      • Educational and Developmental
      • Sport
  • Psychology as a career
    • A career as a psychologist in Australia requires 6 or 7 years of study:
    • 3 years undergraduate study with at least a major in psychology;
    • 4 th year (Honours level) in psychology;
    • EITHER:
      • Academic stream = Ph D 3+ years
      • Clinical = 2 or 3 years post graduate specialist study
  • What is the “real world” like?
    • Internet quiz open to US residents aged 13 and over. http://www.quizrocket.com/how-sexy-are-you
    • 1. Let's get right down to the fun stuff! What's in your underwear drawer?
      • Some naughty and some nice stuff.
      • Lace, leather, push-up bras, sexy stuff.
      • Cotton panties and super comfy bras.
    • 2. What's your kissing technique like?
    • A light approach and a strong finish
    • Lip biting and sexy tongue flicking
    • I usually just respond back to his kiss
    • 3. When do you feel MOST sexy?
    • When I'm wearing sexy panties underneath my everyday clothes.
    • When I'm showered with affection.
    • All the time. I know how sexy I am.
    • 4. Which TV character do you swear is based on YOU in real life?
      • Rachel (Friends)-sexy in that friendly, yet seductive way
      • Pam (The Office)-sexy in that girl next door way.
      • Samantha (Sex in the City)-sexy in that, "You're damn right I'll sleep with you" way.
    • 5. Different things are sexy for girls and guys, so your quiz results depend on your gender. What's your gender?
      • I exude male sexiness.
      • Curvy, sexy, and all woman.
      • Call me The Ladies Man.
      • Guys aren't sexy. Girls like ME are sexy!
  • http://quiz.ivillage.com/uk_relationships/tests/happy.htm topics Sex Family & Friends Divorce Marriage Couples Single & Dating Community Understanding Men tools & quizzes Guy Decoder Orgasmatron Perfect sex positions Is he cheating on you? The iVillage sex shop Free love reading Your love forecast Instant win games All tools and quizzes hot stuff Tone It Challenge WAG matcher game Plan a dirty weekend Fab Christmas gift deals Sex on the first date Are you a hot date? Divorce: England rules! Sex problems solved Are you good in bed? Photo galleries Win shopping vouchers
  • http://quiz.ivillage.com/uk_relationships/tests/happy.htm Most Viewed Horoscopes Competitions Cool baby names Healthy Recipes Celebrity Baby Match Alcohol Calorie Tool Pregnancy Child Development Sex positions Virtual makeover Most Searched sexual positions work from home slimming world diet healthy meals sex positions weightwatchers race for life ovulation diets
    • What constitutes the “real world” of our students?
    • Is the study of Psychology different from this?
    • Can the study of SACE Psychology relate or connect to the “real world”?
  • Psychology’s place in SACE
    • SACE is designed to enable students to:
    • develop the capabilities to participate successfully in a changing world;
    • plan and engage in a range of learning experiences;
    • build their knowledge, skills, and understanding;
    • gain credit for their learning achievements against performance standards.
  • Psychology’s place in SACE
    • Psychology straddles the sciences and the humanities …
    • SACE Psychology is considered a science:
      • “ Psychology is based on evidence gathered as a result of planned investigations, following the principles of scientific method.” SSABSA
      • Psychology provides experience in planning and undertaking evidence-based procedures (observation, experimentation, and evaluation).
      • Psychology provides opportunities to develop skills in analytical and critical thinking.
  • Psychology’s place in SACE: Building knowledge, skills, and understanding in Psychology
    • “ the skills learned through the study of psychology are parallel to those learned in other science subjects:
      • how to be a critical consumer of information;
      • how to identify psychological processes at work in everyday experiences;
      • how to apply knowledge to real-world situations;
      • how to investigate psychological issues; and
      • how to be an effective communicator.” (SSABSA)
  • Psychology’s place in SACE: Building knowledge, skills, and understanding in Psychology
      • Psychology uses the systematic study of behaviour to describe and explain elements of what is universal in human experience, as well as elements of individual and cultural diversity.
      • Studying Psychology provides a structure within which students can develop a better understanding of themselves, others and their social contexts.
      • Studying Psychology is about relating to the “real world” of our students’ experience.
  • Numeracy in Psychology
    • Students have opportunities to develop specific numeracy skills through their learning in Psychology. These skills enable students to:
    • process raw data into summary tables
    • display data using tables and graphs
    • demonstrate an understanding of the measures of central tendency
    • appreciate the information conveyed in standard deviations
    • interpret data
    • critically evaluate findings in light of the data presented
    • predict trends/outcomes from the data collected
    • analyse data in order to supply evidence for or against given proposals.
  • Literacy skills in Psychology
    • Students have opportunities to develop specific literacy skills through their learning in Psychology. These skills enable students to:
    • communicate within and beyond the psychology community, using the terminology and conventions of psychology
    • select and use text types appropriate for different audiences and purposes
    • locate, sort, and summarise psychological texts
    • critically evaluate psychology as it is represented in research, the media, and popular contexts
    • complete a content analysis of qualitative data.
  • Building knowledge, skills, and understanding in Psychology
    • Relevance
    • Psychology also addresses the ways in which behaviour can be changed in the real world.
    • Psychology offers ways of intervening to advance the well-being of individuals, groups, and societies in the real world.
  • Personal Development in Psychology
    • Growing capacity / personal development in the real world
    • (for example):
    • understanding health and well-being through psychology;
    • understanding the behaviours of self and others, and being sensitive to differences;
    • understanding and applying persistence, reflective thinking, and self-evaluation through the study of psychology;
    • making decisions about personal futures on the basis of an understanding of psychology and its relevance in the real world.
  • Building knowledge, skills, and understanding in Psychology
    • Ethics
    • However, acquiring knowledge, skills and understanding that promote behavioural change also holds the possibility of potential real world harm:
      • During the process of acquisition
      • Using the acquired skills.
    • The ethics of research and intervention are therefore an integral aspect of psychology. (“ Primum non nocere” or “First do no harm.”)
  • “ Real world” Psychology: “Real world” Ethical issues
    • Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics
    • General Principle A: Respect for the rights and dignity of people and peoples
      • A.1. Justice
      • A.2. Respect
      • A.3. Informed consent
      • A.4. Privacy
      • A.5. Confidentiality
      • A.6. Release of information to clients
      • A.7. Collection of client information from associated parties
  • “ Real world” Psychology: “Real world” Ethical issues
    • Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics
    • General Principle B: Propriety
      • B.1. Competence
      • B.2. Record keeping
      • B.3. Professional responsibility
      • B.4. Provision of psychological services at the request of a third party
      • B.5. Provision of psychological services to multiple clients
      • B.6. Delegation of professional tasks
      • B.7. Use of interpreters
      • B.8. Collaborating with others for the benefit of clients
      • B.9. Accepting clients of other professionals
      • B.10. Suspension of psychological services
      • B.11. Termination of psychological services
      • B.12. Conflicting demands
      • B.13. Psychological assessments
      • B.14. Research
  • “ Real world” Psychology: “Real world” Ethical issues
    • Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics
    • General Principle C: Integrity
      • C.1. Reputable behaviour
      • C.2. Communication
      • C.3. Conflict of interest
      • C.4. Non-exploitation
      • C.5. Authorship
      • C.6. Financial arrangements
      • C.7. Ethics investigations and concerns
  • Psychology Teachers: Real world Ethical issues
    • Being a Teacher
    • Teachers are accustomed to situations requiring sensitivity in dealing with the personal circumstances of different students.
    • Teachers are accustomed to maintaining the confidentiality of information and showing respect for the individual differences between students in their classes.
  • Psychology Teachers: Real world Ethical issues
    • Professional Roles
    • Teachers of Psychology may be approached with requests for psychological services.
      • Making clear to classes the limits of the teacher’s role.
    • Teachers need to be aware that they are likely to be used as a mental health resource.
      • Teachers should know their own strengths and limitations in this role.
      • Teachers make themselves familiar with local mental health resources and ways to access these.
  • Psychology Teachers: Real world Ethical issues
    • Disclosure and Discomfort
    • Teachers should create a classroom climate that does not encourage disclosure of highly sensitive information.
    • Plan to avoid situations in which student discomfort might arise.
    • Not all such situations can be foreseen so teachers should advise students about classroom activities in advance.
    • Any student who is concerned that a particular activity might cause personal discomfort has the right to decline to participate in the exercise without giving any reason. Such students should be provided with a relevant alternative activity.
    • Teachers should aim to create a class climate that allows students to feel free to withdraw from activities at any time without fear of reprisals or consequences.
  • Psychology Teachers: Real world Ethical issues
    • Confidentiality
    • Any personal information disclosed in class exercises must remain confidential. Teachers should insist on impeccable standards of confidentiality from their students.
    • Information about other people that is used in class discussions or in student work must not allow any individual to be identified.
    • The ethical considerations that apply to psychological investigations must be applied to class exercises.
  • Psychology Teachers: Real world Ethical issues
    • Content issues
    • Introducing information about suicide and eating disorders into this topic.
      • Imitative behaviour by students can be triggered by exposure to information on these subjects.
      • Eating disorders are driven by body size dissatisfaction.
      • Teachers are encouraged to use alternative examples of psychological disorders.
    • Those without experience in teaching Psychology are strongly advised to follow the recommendations provided in the support materials on the SACE Board website ( www.saceboard.sa.edu.au).
  • 3 Caveats for students: A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing
    • Students should be reminded that the information provided in this topic does not equip them to make diagnoses or to provide counselling or therapy.
    • Studying topics such as this can raise deeply personal questions. Students need to be given information about the services that are available to them and the means by which they can access these.
    • The phenomenon of ‘medical student syndrome’ refers to students coming to believe that they suffer from almost all the disorders with which they are made familiar. Why?
      • Because the symptoms of disorders usually overlap with experiences that are universal to the human condition, e.g. feelings of sadness.
  • Why Teach Psychology
    • SACE subject
    • SACE science
    • Social relevance
    • Personal relevance
      • Provides knowledge,
      • provides structure,
      • models integration of understanding
      • to inform commitment and action.
  • Four levels of explanation: Level of explanation Biological focuses on the biological and chemical processes underlying behaviour. Basic Processes focuses on the psychological processes that are universal (or at least very widespread) across humans. Individual differences focuses on individual differences in behaviour. Socio-cultural focuses on the influence that other people exert on behaviour by studying behaviour in social and cultural contexts.
  • Four levels of explanation: “real world” behaviour Level of explanation Example: Interpersonal Aggression Biological might focus on the role of neurochemistry or activity in specific brain areas. Basic Processes might focus on the cognitions and emotions that commonly precede it Individual differences might focus on different levels of aggression displayed by persons with different types of personalities. Socio-cultural might focus on the role played by onlookers or on different levels or types of interpersonal aggression displayed in different cultures.
  • Four levels of explanation: ethics Level of explanation Research and practice ethics Biological consider the ethics of using data collection techniques that may cause physical discomfort (taking blood samples, attaching EEG electrodes) Basic Processes quantitative research methods yield group statistics for behaviour under different conditions; consider the implications of “normality” Individual differences consider the ethics of labelling individuals (for example, intellectually gifted, an introvert) and possibly creating self-fulfilling prophecies Socio-cultural consider the cultural and social biases of investigators in interpreting data, which may be quantitative or qualitative
  • Psychology’s relevance to the real world: “Do I have depression?” Biological Basic Processes Individual differences Socio-cultural
  • Psychology’s relevance to the real world: “Do I have depression? How do I fix it?” Biological Basic Processes Individual differences Socio-cultural
  • Towards a healthy mind…
    • Dan Siegel suggests that a healthy mind has acquired:
      • an ability to be aware of its own processes
      • an ability to integrate various levels
      • an ability to approach rather than avoid
      • an ability to be aware of its awareness
      • Daniel J. Siegel. (2007) The mindful brain : reflection and attunement in the cultivation of well-being. NY:Norton
  • Towards a healthy mind…
    • Dan Siegel suggests that a healthy mind has 9 capacities:
      • influence body states (brain stem activity)
      • connect with others (e.g. make eye contact)
      • balance emotions
      • extinguish fear
      • pause before acting and then decide
      • “ insight”
      • “ empathy”
      • “ morality” – ‘the better good’ - even when alone
      • integration of multi-level mind processes
  • SACE Psychology
    • These 8 topics are offered in Stage 1:
    • Introduction to Psychology (compulsory topic)
    • Social Behaviour
    • Intelligence
    • Cognition
    • Brain and Behaviour
    • Human Psychological Development
    • Emotion
    • Negotiated Topic
  • SACE Psychology
    • The following six topics are offered in Stage 2:
    • Introduction to Psychology (compulsory topic)
    • Social Cognition
    • Learning
    • Personality
    • Psychobiology of Altered States of Awareness
    • Healthy Minds.
    • The role of the teacher of psychology is to present, structure and reinforce the acquisition of these abilities:
      • an ability to be aware of one’s own processes,
      • an ability to integrate various levels,
      • an ability to approach rather than avoid,
      • an ability to be aware of one’s awareness.
    • The student who wants to acquire competence in Psychology needs to:
      • understand the structure,
      • how to recognise the “levels” and
      • how to integrate the “levels”.
    • The person wanting to use Psychology to help manage personal problems benefits from multi-level understanding and integration.
    • The SACE Psychology classroom can teach multi-level understanding and integration in relation to psychological issues.
  • Making the study of Psychology relevant to the real world: an example
    • “ Alcohol”
    • Why do people drink alcohol?
    • How is alcohol marketed to young people?
    • What is the “real world” attitude to alcohol as a way of changing sad feelings?
  • Research investigation: Alcohol to reduce feelings of sadness
    • Method:
    • Advertised for participants to explore how alcohol helps people cope with sadness.
    • Participants screened to select those who acknowledged using alcohol to cope with feelings of sadness.
    • 50 subjects recruited from 206 who were screened. (27 women)
  • Research investigation: Alcohol to reduce feelings of sadness
    • Method:
    • Random allocation to Alcohol consumption or Placebo consumption.
    • No significant difference between the groups for age, gender, marital status or occupation.
    • Measures of visual analogue scales for mood and intoxication.
    • Men given 3.5 standard drinks; women given 2.0 standard drinks.
  • Research investigation: Alcohol to reduce feelings of sadness
    • Method:
    • Mood scale administered.
    • Seen individually and sad mood induced over 20 minutes.
    • Mood scale administered.
    • Drinks consumed within 20 minutes, then sit quietly for another 20 minutes.
    • Mood scale repeated.
    • What do we expect?
    • Results:
    Alcohol Group Placebo Group BDI (depression scale) 10.2 +/- 5.4 9.9 +/- 5.4 MOOD scale 1 Before drinking 12.0 +/- 10.4 14.4 +/- 10.0 MOOD scale 2 After induction, before drinking 60.4 +/- 17.4 64.4 +/- 16.9 MOOD scale3 20 mins after drinking 8.0 +/- 10.5 8.2 +/- 6.6
    • Results:
    Alcohol Group Placebo Group BDI (depression scale) 10.2 +/- 5.4 9.9 +/- 5.4 MOOD scale 1 Before drinking 12.0 +/- 10.4 14.4 +/- 10.0 MOOD scale 2 After induction, before drinking 60.4 +/- 17.4 64.4 +/- 16.9 MOOD scale3 20 mins after drinking 8.0 +/- 10.5 8.2 +/- 6.6 Intoxication rating 44.8 +/- 12.3 42.0 +/- 14.4
  • Alcohol versus placebo drinks in reducing feelings of sadness: Pilot study Sitharthan et al. (2009). Australian Psychologist . 44:4.
    • Ethical concerns:
    • Participant selection
      • Exclude alcohol dependent subjects, pregnant or lactating women, non-drinkers, those taking particular medications, clinically depressed, later stage of menstrual cycle.
    • Expectation of alcohol consumption. Could it be left ambiguous?
    • Debriefing afterwards.
    • Alcohol consumers wait another 2 hours, then breathalysed.
    • Taxis home for all.
  • Alcohol versus placebo drinks in reducing feelings of sadness: Pilot study Sitharthan et al. (2009). Australian Psychologist . 44:4.
    • Discussion:
    • The aim of this study was to examine the effect of alcohol on sad affect.
    • It was not the alcohol consumption, per se, but the expectation that reduces sad affect.
    • Participants in the placebo group reported feeling just as intoxicated as those who consumed alcohol.
    • Bandura (1999) suggested that expectations play a major role in the maintenance of substance misuse.
  • Making the study of Psychology relevant to the real world: an example
    • “ Influences on young people's stigmatising attitudes towards peers with mental disorders: national survey of young Australians and their parents.”
    • Anthony Jorm and AnneMarie Wright. (2008) The British Journal of Psychiatry 192: 144-149.
    • Method:
    • A national telephone survey was carried out with 3746 people aged 12–25 years and 2005 co-resident parents.
    • Stigmatising attitudes were assessed in relation to four vignettes (depression, depression with alcohol misuse, social phobia and psychosis).
    • Results:
    • Stigma was found to have multiple components labelled
      • `social distance',
      • `dangerous/unpredictable',
      • `weak not sick',
      • `stigma perceived in others' and
      • `reluctance to disclose'.
    • Exposure to mental disorders and help-seeking in oneself or others was associated with lower scores on some components of stigma. Young people's attitudes showed specific associations with those of parents. Exposure to campaigns was associated with reductions in beliefs that the person is `weak not sick'.
    • Conclusion:
    • Personal experiences, parental attitudes and campaigns all affect stigmatising attitudes.
    • Teaching Psychology can impact on real world attitudes and behaviour.
    • Teaching Psychology gives students relevant understanding and skills for living a better life in the real world.