Have students critique measures

Measures to be critiqued could include projective tests, tests in magazines and books, lie detectors, self-monitoring tests, student evaluation forms, SATs, or IQ tests.

Useful resources include

Briggs, S. R. & Cheek, J. M. (1988). On the nature of self- monitoring:

Problems with assessment, problems with validity. Journal of

Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 663-678.

Gould, S. J. (1981). The mismeasure of man. New York: Norton.

Lykken, D. T. (1981). A tremor in the blood: Uses and abuses of the

lie detector. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Robinson, J. P., Shaver, P. R., & Wrightsman, L. S. (1991).

Measures of personality and social psychological

attitudes. New York: Academic Press.

Sternberg, R. J. (1986). Intelligence applied. New York: Harcourt Brace.

Sources of measures on the web

You could even have students evaluate the "stressometer." You or your students can download the free Android app from here , buy a card from here (the card itself costs less than a dollar) or just show them a picture of the stress-o-meter card (see below). It is interesting that the same card is sold as a "stress card," "mood card," and "love card." The card responds to  body temperature which is claimed to reflect mood.


Alternatively, you could discuss the interesting case of Duncan MacDougall's (1907) attempt to measure the weight of the soul. As you can see from this 30-second video, MacDougall concluded that the soul weighed 23 grams. His study raises several issues:

To learn more about MacDougall's study, you can consult critiques of that study from

The reference for the original article is

MacDougall, D. (1907). Hypothesis concerning soul substance together with experimental evidence of the existence of such substance.

         American Medicine, 2(4), 240-243.


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