Intro Psych T-shirts: Part 2

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Last week I wrote about how it is I came to wear psychology-related t-shirts to my Intro Psych classes. That post included nine t-shirts. [Read that post.] This week I have ten to share.


VisionChildish Side of the Moon

This is a pretty straight-forward illustration of how white is the presence of all wavelengths of light. And the Pink Floyd fans in your class will enjoy the reference.

Sleep - Big Fan.png

SleepBig Fan

I hammer pretty hard the importance of sleep. Too many students think that staying up all night studying is a good idea, and I present the landslide of evidence that says it’s not. In case they miss my message, perhaps due to sleep deprivation, this t-shirt drives home the point.

Counting sheep.png

SleepCounting Sheep

If I’m feeling more whimsical, I will go with this shirt depicting counting sheep – on a calculator, on “fingers,” on an abacus.

Id and superego.png

Psychoanalysis – Devil and angel bunnies

If you talk about the id, ego, and superego, this shirt is a must. Wear a shirt over top, like a denim shirt or a light fleece. As you describe the conflict between the id and the superego, if you’re lucky, a student will say something like, “Oh! Like the devil and angel on your shoulders!” That’s your cue to remove your outer layer, revealing the devil and angel bunnies on your shoulders.

Science of the Lambs.pngResearch methodsScience of the Lambs

When introducing research methods in Intro, I sometimes talk about how people think that what determines what is a science and what is not are the apparatuses that are used. “If there are flasks and Bunsen burners, then it is science.” If class time allows, I ask students to consider that question: What makes a science a science? This makes for a nice think (on your own for a minute or two), pair (talk with the person next to you for a minute or two), share (ask for volunteers to share their responses) activity.



When covering the Big Five personality traits, I use this shirt to come out as an introvert. The best metaphor I have heard for introversion and extraversion says that which way you lean is determined by what recharges your batteries most of the time. If your batteries recharge when you are with people, you are more extraverted. If your batteries recharge when you are alone, you are more introverted (see this blog post for example). The message in this shirt is “back off; I’m recharging.”

Can anybody hear me.png

SensationHello? Can anybody hear me?

I use this shirt to introduce the idea that sound and color only exist in our brains. Sound waves and light waves exist outside of us, but what we describe as sound and what we describe as color don’t. They are sensations created by our brains, a conversion of those waves into something we can experience.

Donkey Kong.pngDevelopmentDonkey Kong and Mario 

This shirt’s a nod to the gamers in your class. If you’d like to use this shirt for discussion, ask students questions like:

Given that Mario is walking, how old would you guess he is? [2-ish]

What reflex is Donkey Kong exhibiting with the baby bottle? [grasping]

Years later, do you expect them to remember this event? Why? [nope, infantile amnesia]

You can also reprise this shirt for the social psych chapter.

What are some ways in which Donkey Kong and Mario could work to resolve their conflict? [e.g., superordinate goals].


Optimism, pessimism, etc glasses.pngOptimism/pessimismWhich glass are you?

When covering optimists and pessimists, this shirt provides an opportunity to introduce students to some other -ists, such as utopists and surrealists. Be prepared to explain some of these; students will ask.


Final exam dayPencils

Since students are required to bring a Number 2 pencil to take the final exam, this handy shirt depicts pencil numbers 1 through 12.

About the Author
Sue Frantz has taught psychology since 1992. She has served on several APA boards and committees, and was proud to serve the members of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology as their 2018 president. In 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the APA award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at a Two-Year College or Campus. She received in 2016 the highest award for the teaching of psychology--the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award. She presents nationally and internationally on the topics of educational technology and the pedagogy of psychology. She is co-author with Doug Bernstein and Steve Chew of Teaching Psychology: A Step-by-Step Guide, 3rd ed. and is co-author with Charles Stangor on Introduction to Psychology, 4.0.