WEB SITES FOR TEACHERS OF PSYCHOLOGY


BY
Mark Sandilands

Note: This page was originally created in the mid to late 1990s. Some of the statements reflect this (e.g., "Psychology Professors who have just learned how to surf the web," "absence of places to choose"). I have left these statements in for amusement and for the sake of history. Interestingly the reference to Google below was absent from the original--at that time Alta Vista was the most popular search engine if you can believe it. I have replace Alta Vista (which still exists) with Google and have updated the links and some of the information. I hope it's now accurate. I thank Julia Thomas for prompting me to do this.

Psychology professors who have just learned how to surf the web and decide to see what's out there to aid their teaching will be first faced with an overwhelming abundance of places to choose. Many novice websurfers use the all-purpose search engine, Google to perform searches, probably because it's so blazingly fast. Psychologists know that any behaviour that is reinforced (rewarded) immediately tends to become a dominant behaviour in that setting and Google certainly reinforces immediately. What is provided however is a pile of chaff and a small amount of wheat. A submission of "teaching psychology" (with the quotation marks--otherwise you'll get any page with teaching or psychology) to Google produces over 180,000 "hits." Many of the first few (they are listed in order of accuracy of match to the search request) are from the titles of books on psychology of Google. This is because of the way Google performs its searches. Alternative search engines such as Alta Vista or Yahoo , will produce slightly different results, but the number will also be high.

Here then are some that I've found to be useful, both as resources for teaching and as URLs to pass on to students.

The American Psychological Association is the largest organization of psychologists in the world and, although technically a national organization just as is the Canadian Psychological Association , or the British Psychological Society, it boasts many foreign affiliated members. APA has many divisions, all of which are accessible from its home page, but one of them, Division Two, is devoted to the Teaching of Psychology.

Division Two's home page is very helpful, with some good pointers to resources on the teaching of psychology.

These are sorted into categories, such as General Psychology Hyperlinks, Psychology History Hyperlinks, Psychology Department Hyperlinks (listing only a few of them--hundreds of psychology departments around the world have links), and links to subfields such as, Clinical Psychology, Counseling, and Psychopathology; Educational, School, and Teaching; Behavior Analysis; Developmental Psychology; Industrial and Organizational Psychology; Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Science; Neuropsychology and Biopsychology; Perception; Psychology of Religion; Social Psychology; Specific Clinical Condition Hyperlinks (such as Sleep Medicine Home Page, one of the best!); Psychometric Hyperlinks; Research Hyperlinks; Software; and lists of Listservers and Mailing Lists. Some of the links are dead (an ubiquitous problem on the net), and others are slow because of someone's need to put too much graphics up.

A fascinating link was Auditory Research Laboratory at McGill by Norma Welch, a truly eclectic person! Here one can engage (or have one's students engage) in actual auditory experiments. In the future, more of this kind of website is certain to appear.

A site that teachers of psychology really should pass on to their students is the APA Research Style Crib Sheet. Russ Dewey provided a wonderful resource here for both faculty members and students since we all have uncertainties about APA format. (It's been updated by Bill Scott.) The Crib Sheet is an HTML document that you could download and keep on the computer you use for writing papers, in the event that you can't afford the $25 or so that the paper manual costs. Russ offers it freely as long as its introductory paragraph is included.
Russ's Psych Web page is also a very rich source of URLs for psychology teachers and students.

A short mention of another general purpose site should also be made. It's The Athabasca University's Psychology Resources page. Athabasca University focusses on distance education and all of its students are off campus. As such it relies much more on the internet than other universities and the page reflects that focus. Check it out.

A suggestion from afar came from Julia. She suggests a psychology degree and resource guide, with links to research tools, writing guides, journals, book lists, etc.

Lastly, is the PSYCH WEB ARCHIVE (not to be confused with Russ Dewey's page of almost the same name mentioned above). It has connections to: Psych Depts, People; Articles, Abstracts, and References; Software; A Social, Environmental, and Health Psychology Index; Libraries, Journals, and Databases; Gopher Resources; and Statistics Resources. This public non-commercial site shows links to psychology related resources available on the Internet (World Wide Web and Gopher). The links listed here are mostly focusing on social psychology issues, but take also other psychological topics in consideration (e.g. clinical psychology). The Psychology Web Archive (PWA) is written and maintained by Karsten Schwarz who is a graduate psychology student at Psychologisches Institut der Universitat Zurich.

To send me email: sandilands@uleth.ca

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