Psychology: Now and the Future Introductory Seminar Week 1 DrChan Kai Qin
About me… Preferred Kai Qin (“Kai Chin”) Equally acceptable Sir Teacher Dr Chan
Note • I still do not have my LearnJCU access yet. Temporary solution • Find all materials online here: teachingpsychology.weebly.com • Contact me via: email@example.com
What we will uncover • What are some of the ways to conceptualize the future of psychology? • What will the future of psychology be like? • What will YOUR future in this course be like?
An orientation to the course How to think about the course
One way to think about the course You are the prophet. You are the fortune teller. You are the time traveller.
The history of wrong predictions • IT experts: The Y2K bug would crash all computer systems • Thomas Malthus: The world would run out of food • https://www.businessinsider.sg/predictions-of-nostradamus-2011-12/?r=US&IR=T
What makes a good prediction? • Imagination • Sensitivity to societal developments • Reasoned evidence • Humility
What makes a bad prediction? • Vague: Something that explains everything explains nothing • Heard of the Barnum effect? • Arrogance (opp. Humility): Predictions can be wrong.
Technological changes Activity: Small group discussion • List some of the technological advancements that have altered human psychology • Are these alterations for good? • Why did these outcomes happen? • What were the social-political forces? • What were the sci-tech forces?
My list: Major science-tech developments • Science separated from philosophy (1700) • Darwin’s natural selection (1850s) [gap] 1970s • Birth of psychophysics 1900s • Intelligence testing movement (WWI, WWII) • Birth of various empirical branches of psychology 1930s to 1970s • fMRI, EEG, PET: 1980s
Ideological changes Activity: Small group discussion • List some of the ideological changes that have altered human psychology (Note: “Ideological” ≠ “Idea”) • Are these alterations for good? • Why did these outcomes happen?
My list: Major ideological shifts • Copernicus/Galileo vs. Church: Man as centre vs. peripheral • Democracy vs. Communism vs. Authoritarianism • Regulation vs. deregulation vs. paternalistic libertarianism • Secularism vs. religious state
Things that impact psychology’s development or application • State of science and technology [just discussed] • Ideology shifts and social-political climate [just discussed] • Changing demographics
A universal future? No… • Inter-national differences: The development of psychology is uneven across the world. • Intra-national differences: The development of psychology is uneven within the same country (esp. a large country)
So what? • As you speculate about the future, ask yourself: Whose future?
Why should I care? The big picture: why does it matter?
Why should you care about the course? • You need a job This course expands your horizons beyond “traditional” job opportunities in social services, marketing, and HR.
Why should you care about the course? 2. You will change jobs: Be future-ready An average person will change 12 jobs in his/her lifetime… …and 10 of them have not been invented yet Example: MS Excel & accountancy ≡ R/Python & big data https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/07/14/85-of-jobs-that-will-exist-in-2030-haven-t-been-invented-yet-d_a_23030098/
Why should you care about the course? 3. You want to be THE psych major employers should hire How does JCU’s programme compare with NUS, NTU, SMU? This course arms you with unique knowledge vis-à-vis other psych majors
Why should you care about the course? 4. You want to take the path less taken Do you know psychologists are working to solve problems such as… • Ending the Israel-Palestinian conflict? • Addressing social disparities in education? • Getting people to pay fines? • Reducing speeding
Why should you care about the course? 5. The impacts are real and you care about them Examples • Internet Increase use of transactive memory = Google makes you more stupid? • SPSS (1980s) • Students have poorer understanding of statistics? Sparrow et al. (2011). Google effects on memory: Cognitive consequences of having information at our fingertips. Science.
What is the state of psychology now? Jo wales seminar critiques
Jocelyn Wales Seminar Critiques • The Jo Wales Seminar Series celebrates the professional and personal contribution of the late Dr Jocelyn “Jo” Wales to the Department of Psychology at James Cook University and, in particular, her central role in establishing its clinical psychology program. You are required to critique two seminar presentations of your choice. This is not a passive description of the presentation but, rather, a critical evaluation. A critical evaluation is not an attempt to disparage an area or an approach but, rather, is an attempt to thoroughly assess and explore contentions and findings. Source for further literature in your exploration of the topic to ensure that your critique is comprehensive and informative. This process should broaden your understanding of the topic and allow for a greater depth of analysis. Links to the seminar recordings are available on LearnJCU
Past Jo Wales Seminars Prof Matthew Rockloff Gambling Benefits and Harms: Who has the fun and who pays the price? Abstract: Gambling has recreational benefits, but also costs to people’s financial and mental wellbeing. A unique application of the World Health Organization’s (WHOs) Burden of Diseases (BoD) framework allowed for a quantification of the harms of gambling in the state of Victoria. This research provides unique insights into the absolute scale of gambling problems; ranking it as a public health problem of similar magnitude to alcohol abuse disorder. Moreover, it reveals that the overall burden of problems is paradoxically concentrated among the many people suffering from relatively less severe gambling problems, rather than from the ranks of so-called “problem gamblers”. Further data using the BoD framework calculated the recreational benefits of gambling for comparison against the costed harms. The results show that the net benefits of gambling may exceed the costs, mainly due to the large number of people who enjoy gambling with few or no attendant harms. The ethical, methodological and philosophical implications of the research are discussed.
Past Jo Wales Seminars Prof Nikos Chatzisarantis Same But Different: Comparative Modes of Thinking are Implicated in the Construction of Perceptions of Autonomy Support. Abstract: An implicit assumption behind tenets of self-determination theory is that perceptions of autonomy support are function of absolute modes of information processing. In this presentation, I examine whether comparative modes of thinking are implicated in the construction of perceptions of autonomy support. I present a series of experimental and field studies demonstrating that participants employ comparative modes of information processing in evaluating receipt of small, but not large, amounts of autonomy support. In addition, I show that autonomy supportive contexts are optimal when individuals choose comparisons with others who receive a large amount of support that is also similar to the amount of support to the amount of support they receive in a context. Findings shed new light upon the processes underpinning construction of perceptions related to autonomy support and lay the foundations of a Maximisation model that postulates that it is possible to further maximising effects of autonomy supportive contexts on happiness and psychological well-being by distributing autonomy support in an equal ways across individuals in group settings.
Past Jo Wales Seminars Prof Neil Drew All I hear is white noise: Knowledge exchange in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Abstract: In the information age we are exposed to an overwhelming amount of information. It is literally beyond that capacity of anyone to stay abreast of developments in their field of endeavour. In this presentation using the HealthInfoNet as an example I will explore issues related to effective knowledge exchange in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. In particular I will focus on effective knowledge exchange to enhance the critical health literacy of the natural helpers in community – those who are naturally turned to in times of crisis and need to support their community. They are an under recognised, under resourced and overburdened defacto health workforce. Communicating research findings to diverse audiences represents a challenge to university researchers who may struggle to present their findings effectively to those outside academic settings using traditional academic outputs such as refereed papers and conference presentations.
Past Jo Wales Seminars A/Prof Tom Denson Experiments in Anger Regulation in Undergraduate Students Abstract: Unregulated anger is a serious social problem in Australia and elsewhere. People who are often angry are at risk for suffering health problems, especially cardiovascular issues. Angry people are at risk of aggressive behaviour as most violent behaviour is preceded by a heated argument. These findings suggest that helping people control anger will have benefits for angry individuals and society at large. People often think of anger as an automatic emotional response to being treated unfairly or being devalued by others. As such, people often find anger difficult to control. It is true that anger reactions are aroused quickly, but anger can be controlled. In several of our experiments, I will discuss brief interventions that can help people control their anger (i.e., cognitive reappraisal and distraction) and another intervention – angry rumination – which can amplify or sustain anger. Suppressing angry feelings does not seem to help in anger regulation. I will also make some evidence-based suggestions for how people can better regulate anger in their own lives.
Past Jo Wales Seminars A/Prof Erica Frydenberg Coping: The Challenge of Resilience Abstract: Resilience is the magic bullet that everyone wants to acquire – our teachers want to put it into the curriculum, our legislators want to transform the country, our corporates want their staff to be the best they can be against all odds. Parents want their children to be resilient as much as they themselves want to be resilient against the challenges of 21st Century parenting. Additionally, our insurers want us to be resilient against disasters and natural hazards of our environment. This presentation addresses how best to meet those challenges through coping. Our search over the past three decades has focused on the best way to provide the core skills for life, to children, adolescents and adults, and how that is best achieved through the contemporary theories of coping. Coping has the potential of explaining a process that leads to an outcome of resilience. It has the ability to integrate a range of theories and methodologies that have the capacity to explicate how development is shaped by individuals’ capacities to deal with the stresses, adversities and hassles of daily life in ways that contribute to resilience. This presentation will focus on how coping provides the building blocks for resilience and wellbeing, what we have learned from three decades of research and how best to develop the tools for resilience in children, adolescents and adults.
What is the state of psychology transiting towards? Student-led seminar
Student-led Group Seminar: Who’s doing what? • You are the professor for the day. • Work in groups to research and lead a seminar based on one of the specified advanced topics • You are responsible for developing a topic and leading a seminar discussion • Work collaboratively, but also demonstrate leadership by facilitating and moderating discussion on the topic of choice. Everyone must present. Health disparities Prolonging vitality Forensic futures Climate change Diverse environments Social connectedness The end of psychology
Doing your research • The articles on LearnJCU are meant to start your engines • You should go beyond those articles. • Aim for mastery of the area
How much details to include? • The challenge is in deciding exactly • Too much and it becomes confusing • Too little and you may be accused of not being sufficiently rigorous or of concealing important information
What am I looking out for? • See Grading Rubric. • Other tips: Seek to communicate, not to impress: • Passion in delivery • Mastery of content area • Respect your classmates’ opinions (goes both ways) • I will upload a presentation tips PPT once I get access to LearnJCU. • You have to lead the discussion. Generate 3 discussion points that can sustain 90 mins: • 15-20 mins: Present content • 45 mins: Discussion points (≈ 1 point per 15 mins) • Rest: Instructor will wrap up, give inputs, etc.
How to generate good discussion questions? • Layering technique: Generate a broad-enough question that has a few directions (i.e., sub-questions) your classmates can discuss • Do not reveal your layers. • Prepare nudges: Nudge people into thinking about particular “answers” • Controversial questions (must have relevance to psychology) • Mind-boggling questions • Pay attention to how you phrase questions: Anything with a simple Yes-No answer is a dead-ended Q
Tips on guiding discussion sessions • Move around each group. Help your classmates shape their thoughts. • Inject insights as they discuss • Probe them, push them, challenge them (politely) • Many models of leading discussions, for example: • Think-pair-share vs. small groups vs. individual • Integrated vs. separated presentation-discussion
Optional • Prepare more than 3 questions (sub-questions) – we narrow down your questions and strategize together • Discuss with me your questions beforehand, preferably during office hours • Discuss how you are going to lead the discussion
What do I not want to see? • No reading from script. In fact, do not carry a script. • No passive presenters. Do not just present for 15-20 mins and that’s it. Help your classmates to learn. The more they learn, they better your scores are. The focus is on your classmates’ learning, not on impressing me.
What is the state of psychology in the future? Infographic assignment
Futures Scenario Infographic Each group must prepare either one of two types of infographic: • conceptual and exploratory; or • data-driven and exploratory Your infographic should outline a potential consequence of disruptive technologies/ideologies/ideas to human behaviour and/or psychological practice, and how this particular consequence might alter life as we know it. Obviously, there is scope to consider either utopian or dystopian possibilities but either way, the infographic content must be based on current research and either authoritative speculation or from big data, and should come across as plausible. It must be about PSYCHOLOGY
Some examples • In the following slides, you will see some examples of infographics. • Many are not about psychology, but they give you a sense of what an infographic is.
My advice • Start early: Designing a good infographic takes many weeks, not just after the last student-led seminar.