One of my favorite sources for examples of psychological concepts are comic strips. Some of them get worked into lectures, others show up on exams, and sometimes I’ll offer them for a couple points extra credit, especially for new comics that harken back to content covered earlier in the course.
Here are some May 14, 2017 comic strips that may be worth adding to your stable of examples.
The Betty comic strip gives us a wonderful example of change blindness. Junior, Betty’s son, is dinking around on his phone while explaining his generation’s amazing ability to multitask. During his explanation, Betty calls in her husband to take her place. When Junior’s attention is returned to his parent, he sees his dad and is completely unaware that he had replaced his mom.
In Frank and Ernest Frank has a young person working out on his farm. The young person, upon hearing “crop,” thinks cropping photos instead of crops that are planted. For someone who spends a lot of time in the digital world instead of a farming world, that person would be primed to interpret “crop” as photo manipulation.
Frazz gives us commentary on the positive reinforcement provided by smartphones. Pick up your smartphone to get a jolt of pleasure in some form – text messages, phone calls, games, social media updates. Caulfield, the boy in the strip, says that his dad “calls them dopamine pumps.” (If you want to dive deeper into smartphone use, I wrote a post on stress and smartphones a few months ago.)
Bonus comic strip. My favorite classical conditioning comic strip comes from Lio (November 14, 2009). A monster replaces Pavlov’s dogs, “Monsta Treats” replace meat powder, and the sound of a ripping bag replaces the tone.
Do you have any favorite comic strips that illustrate psychological concepts?