Psychology of Adjustment: Teaching OurStudents to Become More PsychologicallyLiterateElizabeth Yost HammerXavier Universit...
Starting points. . . psychology is second only to basic English   composition as the most frequently taken course by   col...
Example: Which Factors PredictHappiness?
Which Factors PredictHappiness? Income            Physical Attractiveness Education         Race Social class      Ethn...
Which Factors PredictHappiness? Zero or low (< +.30) Income         Physical Attractiveness Education      Race Social...
Which Factors Really PredictHappiness?   Moderate           (+ .30 - + .50) Marriage           Recreational Number of...
Positive Predictors   Individual Circumstance      Individual differences Being employed               Ability to expr...
Negative Predictors   Individual    Circumstance Divorced          Unemployed Widowed           Disabled
Goals for this Talk   Defining Psychological Literacy and its importance    to education in psychology   Defining Adjust...
Psychological Literacy
Defining PsychologicalLiteracy   Coined by Thomas McGovern and    colleagues (2010)   A way to synthesize scholarship on...
Defining PsychologicalLiteracy   Linked to liberal education, a key skill    similar to writing, ethics, math,    informa...
Defining PsychologicalLiteracy Psychological vocabulary Value intellectual challenges requiring  psychological reasoning...
Defining PsychologicalLiteracy Ethical behavior Recognize and respect diversity Use and evaluate information  technolog...
Implications   A psychologically literate person should do (or be    able to do) these things as a result of his or her  ...
Psychologically LiterateCitizens Goal: For students to use their  knowledge of psychological science  for problem-solving...
Psychologically LiterateCitizens   Keeping in mind very important points:    (1) Despite the popularity of the psychology...
Principles for Quality UndergraduateEducation in Psychology (APA 2011)   Students are responsible for    monitoring and e...
Quality Principle 1   1. Students should know how to learn.   2. Students should assume increasing    responsibility for...
Quality Principle 1   3. Students should take advantage of the    rich diversity that exists in educational    institutio...
Quality Principles   For more detail, go to:    http://www.apa.org/education/undergr    ad/principles.aspx
Whither PsychologicalLiteracy?   To some extent, psychological literacy    is like calculus—great to learn, but of    lit...
Psychology of Adjustment
Adjustment   Refers to the psychological processes    through which human beings cope    with the demands, challenges, an...
Adjustment   Psychology of Adjustment covers    some topics associated with    Introductory Psychology (e.g.,    personal...
Adjustment—navigating modernlife effectively—focuses on   Stress and coping          Interpersonal                      ...
Adjustment   Similar to Psychological Literacy, the    psychology of adjustment applies empirical    knowledge towards ma...
Adjustment   Peaked as a course in the 70s (Lux &    Daniel, 1978)   Still among the 30 most popular    courses in the p...
Why Teach Adjustmentissues?   (1) Can be very useful      (3) Great venue for    in demonstrating the         stimulatin...
Why Adjustment Now(Again)?On the One Hand:              On the Other:   Economic hardship         Students are seeking ...
Adjustment & Psychological Literacy:        Connection and Comparison Learning to apply      Learning to apply  psycholo...
Adjustment & Psychological Literacy:        Connection and Comparison   Personal               Educational   Self-help ...
   Adjustment can be construed to be a    form of psychological literacy, one    linked to adapting to daily life.
Adjustment and PsychologicalLiteracyOUR STUDENTS:CHARACTERISTICS ANDNEEDS
   What are we—and they—up against    where adjustment is concerned?
Consider:   Arum & Roska’s (2011) Academically    Adrift   Assessed critical thinking, complex    reasoning, and writing...
Consider (Arum & Roska, 2011):Related key factors Selectivity of institution Socioeconomic background of family   On av...
Consider (Arum & Roska, 2011):   A break point for Arum & Roska    involves reading and writing (i.e., more    is better)...
Consider (Arum & Roska, 2011): Many students lack purpose or  direction (Damon, 2008) Sociologists describe them as  ―mo...
Consider (Arum & Roska,2011):   Time use in 7-day week (168 hrs) Attending class/lab         9% Studying               ...
Other Data   Higher Education Research Institute    (HERI) and the Cooperative    Institutional Research Program (CIRP)  ...
First Year Students Fall 2010   Self-rated emotional health is at the lowest point    since HERI began asking the questio...
First Year Students Fall 2010   At the same time emotional health is declining, self-    rated academic ability and the d...
First Year Students Fall 2010   As high school seniors, 29.1%    reported being frequently    ―overwhelmed by all I had t...
First Year Students Fall 2010   6.6% felt depressed ―frequently‖ in the    past year.   9.7% expect to seek personal    ...
First Year Students Fall 2010   53.9% ―frequently‖ or ―occasionally‖ failed    to complete homework on time.   Yet 66.4%...
Other Factors Helicopter parents Technology of entertainment The freedom college represents Financial aid pressures L...
Issue   How can an understanding of    psychological literacy be brought to    bear on students’ psychological    adjustm...
Teaching Activities
Psychological Literacy and Adjustment   Faculty should craft activities and    exercises in introductory, intermediate,  ...
Where? AP Psychology or HS Psychology Introductory Psychology Psychology of Adjustment (surprise!) Service Learning Or...
How? As writing/reflection exercises As critical thinking exercises (e.g.,  debunking popular psychological  myths; Lill...
Activities and Exercises   Stress Diary – at same time, record    day’s emotional tone and track time,    place, and natu...
Activities and Exercises   In Class Coping Strategies –    Pennebaker’s work on the benefits of    writing about stressfu...
Activities and Exercises   Time Management    ◦ Controlling one’s Internet trolling and TV      watching by documenting t...
Activities and Exercises   Book Critique/Review – Have    students review key assertions from a    self-help or popular p...
Activities and Exercises Self-Modification Project – a staple  of the adjustment course; students  create a behavior modi...
Activities and Exercises   Explore Vocational Interests and    Career Planning – how can    psychological literacy be put...
Activities and Exercises   Campus Problem Solving – Have    entire class identify common problem    on campus (HS or coll...
Activities and Exercises   Other Examples?    Chat question
Student Learning Outcomes   Students should be able to define and describe the    concept of psychological literacy (and ...
The Future?   Promoting a psychologically literate    citizenry   A curriculum designed to promote    psychological lite...
Coda Undergraduate psychology is as a pipeline to a psychologically literate public as well as to graduate study in psycho...
Questions?
Contact: eyhammer@xula.edudunn@moravian.eduTHANK YOU
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Cengage Learning Webinar, Psychology of Adjustment: Teaching Our Students to Become More Psychologically Literate

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During this April 2013 presentation with psychology instructors Dana Dunn and Elizabeth Hammer as they explore ways that teaching about adjustment can promote psychological literacy among students.

Hammer and Dunn will be covering:
• Predictive factors for happiness
• Defining Psychological Literacy and its importance to education in psychology.
• Defining Adjustment, its scope and relevance for contemporary psychology education.
• Identifying connections between these topics and the characteristics of today's students.
• Presenting ways to teach adjustment topics that promote psychological literacy.

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Cengage Learning Webinar, Psychology of Adjustment: Teaching Our Students to Become More Psychologically Literate

  1. 1. Psychology of Adjustment: Teaching OurStudents to Become More PsychologicallyLiterateElizabeth Yost HammerXavier University of LouisianaDana S. DunnMoravian College
  2. 2. Starting points. . . psychology is second only to basic English composition as the most frequently taken course by college graduates, and our potential to affect our future citizenry is enormous. -- Cynthia BelarHappiness comes from . . . Some curious adjustment to life. -- Hugh Walpole
  3. 3. Example: Which Factors PredictHappiness?
  4. 4. Which Factors PredictHappiness? Income Physical Attractiveness Education Race Social class Ethnicity Intelligence Having Children Age Climate Gender Teaching poll
  5. 5. Which Factors PredictHappiness? Zero or low (< +.30) Income Physical Attractiveness Education Race Social class Ethnicity Intelligence Having Children Age Climate Gender
  6. 6. Which Factors Really PredictHappiness? Moderate  (+ .30 - + .50) Marriage  Recreational Number of close activities friends  Physical health Religiosity
  7. 7. Positive Predictors Individual Circumstance  Individual differences Being employed  Ability to express Frequency of gratitude sexual intercourse  Being optimistic Frequency of  Self-esteem positive affect
  8. 8. Negative Predictors Individual Circumstance Divorced  Unemployed Widowed  Disabled
  9. 9. Goals for this Talk Defining Psychological Literacy and its importance to education in psychology Defining Adjustment, its scope and relevance for contemporary psychology education. Identifying connections between these topics and the characteristics of today’s students. Presenting ways to teach adjustment topics that promote psychological literacy.
  10. 10. Psychological Literacy
  11. 11. Defining PsychologicalLiteracy Coined by Thomas McGovern and colleagues (2010) A way to synthesize scholarship on teaching and learning in psychology Focus on discipline-based learning outcomes in US, Australia, and Europe
  12. 12. Defining PsychologicalLiteracy Linked to liberal education, a key skill similar to writing, ethics, math, information literacy, technological literacy, scientific literacy, and critical thinking Defining quality for the over 90,000 psychology majors graduating every year
  13. 13. Defining PsychologicalLiteracy Psychological vocabulary Value intellectual challenges requiring psychological reasoning Amiable skepticism Application of psychological principles to improve personal, social, community connections
  14. 14. Defining PsychologicalLiteracy Ethical behavior Recognize and respect diversity Use and evaluate information technology Engage different audiences using different modes Reflect on self and others’ thinking and behavior using psychological theory
  15. 15. Implications A psychologically literate person should do (or be able to do) these things as a result of his or her education in the discipline. Even brief exposure should be beneficial (Introductory psychology in high school or college) Prolonged exposure (as a psychology major) is better still Of course, assessment studies of both will be helpful.
  16. 16. Psychologically LiterateCitizens Goal: For students to use their knowledge of psychological science for problem-solving where: Self Others ◦ Family ◦ Workplace ◦ Community ◦ Chat Question
  17. 17. Psychologically LiterateCitizens Keeping in mind very important points: (1) Despite the popularity of the psychology in high school, most college bound students do not major in psychology. (2) Despite the popularity of psychology as a college major, most majors do not pursue graduate study in psychology. (3) Students choose the major out of interest and a belief that it will teach them skills for entering and succeeding in work and daily life.
  18. 18. Principles for Quality UndergraduateEducation in Psychology (APA 2011) Students are responsible for monitoring and enhancing their own learning.
  19. 19. Quality Principle 1 1. Students should know how to learn. 2. Students should assume increasing responsibility for their own learning.
  20. 20. Quality Principle 1 3. Students should take advantage of the rich diversity that exists in educational institutions and learn from individuals who are different from them. 4. Students are responsible for seeking academic advice (e.g., courses, major, general education) and for career planning (realistic and tailored to talents, aspirations, and life situations).
  21. 21. Quality Principles For more detail, go to: http://www.apa.org/education/undergr ad/principles.aspx
  22. 22. Whither PsychologicalLiteracy? To some extent, psychological literacy is like calculus—great to learn, but of little use unless opportunities to apply it exist. Where and how can students learn to apply psychological knowledge?
  23. 23. Psychology of Adjustment
  24. 24. Adjustment Refers to the psychological processes through which human beings cope with the demands, challenges, and frustrations of everyday life (Dunn, Hammer, & Weiten, 2011)
  25. 25. Adjustment Psychology of Adjustment covers some topics associated with Introductory Psychology (e.g., personality, social psychology, gender, abnormal psychology)
  26. 26. Adjustment—navigating modernlife effectively—focuses on Stress and coping  Interpersonal communication Friendship and love  Sexuality Marriage and intimacy  Careers and work Physical health  Mental health Study skills  Time management
  27. 27. Adjustment Similar to Psychological Literacy, the psychology of adjustment applies empirical knowledge towards making sense of experience and taking beneficial action. Where Psychological Literacy is often other-focused, Adjustment is primarily self-focused.
  28. 28. Adjustment Peaked as a course in the 70s (Lux & Daniel, 1978) Still among the 30 most popular courses in the psychology curriculum (Perlman & McCann, 1999) Decline is ironic given psychology’s desire to emphasize discipline’s practical relevance (Klatzky, 2009; Zimbardo, 2004)
  29. 29. Why Teach Adjustmentissues? (1) Can be very useful  (3) Great venue for in demonstrating the stimulating self- nature and value of reflection and self- the scientific method understanding. to students (i.e., a ―hook‖).  (4) Well-suited for fostering self- (2) Provides excellent improvement opportunities for (motivation as well as debunking myths behavior change). related to psychology while enhancing critical thinking. Teaching poll
  30. 30. Why Adjustment Now(Again)?On the One Hand:  On the Other: Economic hardship  Students are seeking continues direction Concerns about an  Research clearly uncertain future are shows that salient happiness/well-being Concerns about is not based in money career, jobs, or material goods (all employment post- else being equal) college  Work/career must be Emerging adulthood more than monetary
  31. 31. Adjustment & Psychological Literacy: Connection and Comparison Learning to apply  Learning to apply psychological psychological theory and theory and research to one’s research to own life improve self, other, Acquisition and and community refinement of  Acquisition and various life skills refinement of Requires critical various of thinking psychological skills  Requires critical thinking
  32. 32. Adjustment & Psychological Literacy: Connection and Comparison Personal  Educational Self-help focused  Self as well as other focused Course-based  Curriculum-based
  33. 33.  Adjustment can be construed to be a form of psychological literacy, one linked to adapting to daily life.
  34. 34. Adjustment and PsychologicalLiteracyOUR STUDENTS:CHARACTERISTICS ANDNEEDS
  35. 35.  What are we—and they—up against where adjustment is concerned?
  36. 36. Consider: Arum & Roska’s (2011) Academically Adrift Assessed critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing at start of freshmen year and end of sophomore year (instrument: Collegiate Learning Assessment). 3 semesters of college do not improve these skills much (on average, .18 SD,
  37. 37. Consider (Arum & Roska, 2011):Related key factors Selectivity of institution Socioeconomic background of family On average, 12 hours per week out of class studying (35% of sample reported less than 5 hours per week)
  38. 38. Consider (Arum & Roska, 2011): A break point for Arum & Roska involves reading and writing (i.e., more is better): Students scored higher on the CLA when they had a course where they (a) read more than 40 pages per week and (b) wrote more than 20 pages over the semester. At time 2 on the CLA, only 42% reported a class the previous semester meeting both criteria. Some good news: Both are more likely to be found in humanities/social sciences classes than others (e.g., business, engineering/computer science)
  39. 39. Consider (Arum & Roska, 2011): Many students lack purpose or direction (Damon, 2008) Sociologists describe them as ―motivated but directionless‖ 65% in Arum & Roska’s sample have on or off-campus jobs
  40. 40. Consider (Arum & Roska,2011): Time use in 7-day week (168 hrs) Attending class/lab 9% Studying 7% Work/volunteer/clubs 9% Sleep (estimated) 24% Socializing/recreation 51% Teaching Poll
  41. 41. Other Data Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) and the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) at UCLA The American National Freshman: National Norms Fall 2010 Normed data based upon 201,818 first-time, full- time students at 279 four-year colleges
  42. 42. First Year Students Fall 2010 Self-rated emotional health is at the lowest point since HERI began asking the question in 1985 Those who indicated ―Highest 10%‖ or ―Above Average‖ accounted for only 51.9% of respondents - 48.1% were average or below. Lower ratings on emotional health linked with frequent reports of depression in high school, less likely they think they will be satisfied in college.
  43. 43. First Year Students Fall 2010 At the same time emotional health is declining, self- rated academic ability and the drive to achieve are rising. These data are expectation based—the students complete the HERI survey prior to college matriculation. The pressure to succeed, a cloudy economy, and declining emotional health point to the adjustment challenges students currently face.
  44. 44. First Year Students Fall 2010 As high school seniors, 29.1% reported being frequently ―overwhelmed by all I had to do‖ Men – 17.6% Women – 38.8%
  45. 45. First Year Students Fall 2010 6.6% felt depressed ―frequently‖ in the past year. 9.7% expect to seek personal counseling during college, an all time high since the question was first asked in 1971.
  46. 46. First Year Students Fall 2010 53.9% ―frequently‖ or ―occasionally‖ failed to complete homework on time. Yet 66.4% predict there is a ―very good chance‖ they will ―make at least a B average.‖ 48.4% predict there is a ―very good chance‖ they will ―get a job to help pay for college expenses.‖
  47. 47. Other Factors Helicopter parents Technology of entertainment The freedom college represents Financial aid pressures Less resiliency for coping with daily life (e.g., roommate issues, time management) Struggles with college-level work Chat Question
  48. 48. Issue How can an understanding of psychological literacy be brought to bear on students’ psychological adjustment?
  49. 49. Teaching Activities
  50. 50. Psychological Literacy and Adjustment Faculty should craft activities and exercises in introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses that promote use of psychological literacy toward matters of adjustment. Capitalize on students’ self-interest and self-focus.
  51. 51. Where? AP Psychology or HS Psychology Introductory Psychology Psychology of Adjustment (surprise!) Service Learning Oriented psychology courses Applied courses Capstone courses (where skills learned earlier can be integrated toward some topic or project)
  52. 52. How? As writing/reflection exercises As critical thinking exercises (e.g., debunking popular psychological myths; Lillienfeld et al.) As a self-improvement or self- modification project
  53. 53. Activities and Exercises Stress Diary – at same time, record day’s emotional tone and track time, place, and nature of stressors. Patterns across time may identify flash points and suggest coping responses.
  54. 54. Activities and Exercises In Class Coping Strategies – Pennebaker’s work on the benefits of writing about stressful events. Instructors can adapt instructions from studies and have students take time during class to write, perhaps linking practice to emotion-focused coping (e.g., Pennebaker, Colder, & Sharpe, 1990).
  55. 55. Activities and Exercises Time Management ◦ Controlling one’s Internet trolling and TV watching by documenting time on these versus other activities. ◦ Keeping track of lost time during normal week and identifying ways to combat the problem.
  56. 56. Activities and Exercises Book Critique/Review – Have students review key assertions from a self-help or popular psychology book in light of theory and data from the discipline.
  57. 57. Activities and Exercises Self-Modification Project – a staple of the adjustment course; students create a behavior modification project from start to finish. Topics – studying, smoking, dieting, exercise, nervous habits, alcohol, assertive behavior
  58. 58. Activities and Exercises Explore Vocational Interests and Career Planning – how can psychological literacy be put to work to identify employment options?
  59. 59. Activities and Exercises Campus Problem Solving – Have entire class identify common problem on campus (HS or college) and formulate ways to address it using psychological theory and data; perhaps create an intervention or draft a report to administration; alternatively, work with community group to address problem.
  60. 60. Activities and Exercises Other Examples? Chat question
  61. 61. Student Learning Outcomes Students should be able to define and describe the concept of psychological literacy (and not in a fuzzy way, as they are likely to define ―liberal education‖). Adjustment should be recognized as an ongoing concern across one’s life (although it may seem most relevant in the 18 to 30 age range).
  62. 62. The Future? Promoting a psychologically literate citizenry A curriculum designed to promote psychological literacy should equip students with the intellectual tools necessary to becoming ―socially responsible problem solvers‖ (McGovern et al., 2010, p. 20).
  63. 63. Coda Undergraduate psychology is as a pipeline to a psychologically literate public as well as to graduate study in psychology. Indeed, the skills in critical thinking, communication, information and technological literacy, and scientific reasoning promoted in psychology are essential to an educated citizenry and useful in many careers other than psychology. So is an understanding of psychology’s topics that are fundamental to everyday life, such as conflict resolution, parenting, learning, decision-making, discrimination, emotions and behavior change in areas as diverse as health habits, safety and environmental protection. -- Cynthia Belar
  64. 64. Questions?
  65. 65. Contact: eyhammer@xula.edudunn@moravian.eduTHANK YOU

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