Bonus Point Opportunities

Students in our class can earn up to 12 bonus points across the quarter watching videos from among those listed below. For most topics, there will be at least one bonus point opportunity.

Requirements for earning bonus points:

  • submit a typed summary/response to whatever the event is, e.g., film, presentation, TED talk, etc. The summary/response must be substantial. A few word opinion is insufficient.
  • at the top, include specific information about the event. For example, if it is a TED talk, include the speaker’s name and the title of the talk. If it is a film, include the complete name of the film and the publishing company
  • the summary/response for an event must be turned in to me no later than the day before the exam which covers the topic related to the event.
  • Note: You will receive credit for your summary ONLY if you include the name of the movie or the name of the speaker and title of talk in your write up, particularly ones that you found on your own. Keep in mind that TED is not the speaker.

If you are so inclined, you can help me add to my list by looking up some on, for example, memory, brain issues, logic. Run them by me. If they seem very relevant, I’ll add them to the list of options.

Facilitated Communication/Autism

Science vs. Pseudoscience

Research methods

Biological basis of behavior




  • When this TED talk took place, Sam Berns was a Junior at Foxboro High School in Foxboro, Massachusetts, where he has achieved highest honors and was a percussion section leader in the high school marching band. He also achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. Sam was diagnosed with Progeria, a rare, rapid aging disease, at the age of 2. He is featured in the HBO documentary Life According to Sam. Watch this video if you need some pick-me-up advice:   And here is a link to his obituary:
  • Matt Long talks of his recovery after a horrific bicycle accident. I’m including it as a bonus point opportunity because I find his talk helpful in putting life stresses in perspective. When I find myself complaining about how much grading I have, I remind myself, “At least I didn’t have a bus run over me today!” He’s a great speaker and is very inspiring. At the end of the quarter, when you are ready to give up, this guy can help you suck up and keep going: (17:16, 1.5 pts)
  • In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated. Our world prizes extroverts — but Susan Cain makes a case for the quiet and contemplative. (19:04, 1.5 pts)
  • Ben Ambridge: 10 Myths About Psychology Debunked (14:55, 1.5 pts)
  • Ruby Wax (Comedian talking about mental illness) (8 min, 1 pt)

Interviews with well-known researchers: