1. Gestalt Therapy
Gestalt psychology is typically introduced to students in terms of its various principles and examples in everyday life. Few students realize, however, that Gestalt principles are also used therapeutically. The link below contains several exercises based on the work of Gestalt Psychotherapy founder, Fritz Perls. Students can go through each of the 11 exercises as explained on the website to understand, firsthand, how the whole is often more significant than the sum of its parts.
2. Practicing Introspection
The goal of this exercise is for students to understand introspection by following Titchener’ own techniques. Have students download Titchener’s 1901 lab manual, Experimental Psychology: A Manual of Laboratory Practice (link is below) and ask them to select an experiment to perform. Have them use Titchener’s student manual guidelines to document their experience.
One experiment that is not only interesting but also easy to reproduce in small groups or individually is the experiment on afterimages. Briefly, students are to focus on an image known to produce an afterimage (see link below) and to record their experience in a lab manual. You may choose to vary the experiment to include not only different stimuli but also how long one focuses on the stimuli.
3. Information Processing
The goal of this exercise is to help students understand the information processing model. Begin by showing students the 30-second video clip below. Tell them that their job is to watch carefully because after they watch the clip they will have to summarize it well enough so someone who has not seen it will understand its content and story. After they watch the clip, give them a few minutes to write their narrative of its content. Then, ask the students “How did you study the video?” “How did you determine what information you attended to?” “What strategy did you use to ensure you remembered it well enough to write about it?” Next, ask the students the following questions: What color was the motor boat in the video? How many people were in the canoe? Who was the last person to fall off the raft? Chances are, less if any, students will answer these questions correctly. Now present them with Figure 1.2 (the information processing model) and talk about how much of the sensory details did not make it past the sensory register, and that only the gist of the video made it to a long-term memory store.