Holiday-Themed Top Ten

We are all about connecting learning to life at UW-Green Bay, so we want to help you make the most of the holiday. We may be just a little late for this year, but if things didn’t go quite as you had planned this February 14th, start planning now for next year. Here are the Top Ten Ways that Behaviorism Can Improve Your Valentine’s Day.

10. That heart-shaped boxes of chocolates will have greater value if you deprive your partner of food for awhile first. 

9. Because they are not observable behaviors, love and happiness are unimportant. Explain to your partner that this is why he or she did not get a gift this year.

8. Token economies have shown great success in all sorts of settings, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t work in relationships. Don’t just give chocolates. Give tokens for positive behaviors that can be traded for chocolates. 

7. If you go out to dinner, try ordering “fixed interval scallops” as a joke. Your partner will be enamored by the clever behaviorism pun.  

6. To increase the speed of your partner’s lip-puckering, try ringing a bell each time you give him or her a kiss.

5.  Not only is saying “I love you” a bit of a cliché, it’s also meaningless in terms of behaviorism. Try saying something like, “Spending time with you has led to a sharp increase in smiling and laughing, as well as a significant decrease in frowning and crying.” Some sort of visual aid (a chart or graph depicting the change) might help drive the point home.  

4. Remember, punishment is the least effective way to change behavior. Try negative reinforcement instead. Make an aversive noise until your partner does what you want him or her to do.

3. Cards, chocolates, and flowers have little value as reinforcement. If you give a gift, make it cash.   

2. Since variable-ratio reinforcement schedules are best, flip a coin to determine if you will give your partner a gift this year. This should increase positive relationship behaviors in him or her.

1. If you actually tried any of these yourself this year, make sure to check out next month’s Top Ten Ways to get a New Partner Now that You’ve Screwed Up Valentine’s Day.

Top Ten Best Facebook Posts from the First Day of Class

We at The Pink Flamingo know that the first day of class is full of excitement, anxiety, frustration, and wonder (at least we HOPE there’s some excitement and wonder).  What better place to capture all those emotions than Facebook.  That’s why we asked The Pink Flamingo IT Specialist to hack into the famed social networking site to bring us the very best status updates from students and faculty members on that first day. 

Don’t worry, the names have been changed to protect your confidentiality.  In fact, if you can tell us what the fake names all have in common, you might just earn yourself a little fortune and glory (by “fortune,” we mean a candy bar of your choosing and by “glory,” we mean that you will be prominently featured in the next issue of The Pink Flamingo; click here to submit your guesses.

10. Donald Grant cannot find a parking place.
9. Tatiana Romanova hopes this is the year she gets a class where there are no tests, no presentations, and little homework.
8. Dr. Rosa Klebb hopes this is the year she has students who want to take tests, do presentations, and do homework.
7. Victor Kronsteen regrets scheduling all his classes for the same day and worries about blowing his food budget on five hour energy drinks.
6. Donald Grant STILL cannot find a parking place.
5. Dr. Zora wonders if her students know that she is far more nervous than they are.
4. Major Boothroyd doesn’t think the laws of physics will allow him to get from Wood Hall to MAC Hall in the time allotted between classes.
3. Donald Grant found a parking place!!!…but missed class.
2. Captain Nash was appalled to learn that his Monday night class will still be in session during Monday night Packer games and plans on contacting Chancellor Harden regarding this atrocity.
1. Kerim Bey wants to know why his professors are making Facebook jokes.  Don’t they know that Facebook hasn’t been cool since they started using it?

Top Ten Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

With final projects looming, concern about upcoming registration, and the knowledge that exams are about one month away, this is the time of year when students tell us they might not be getting enough sleep.  We asked our resident not-enough-sleep expert and new Dad, Dr. Martin, for some signs that you might not be getting enough sleep. 

10. You’re not even trying to be discrete as you fall asleep in class.

9. You ore more prome to typos wehn writting than usuall. 

8. I had a good one for number 8 but I can’t remember what it was…

7. Oh yeah, I remember, memory problems.

6. You’re learning to enjoy the company of those in your sleep-deprivation-induced hallucinations.

5. Those late night infomercial products are really starting to look good.  Have you seen the H2O Mop?  That frickin’ thing will clean up anything!!!

4. You tried to enroll yourself in a study on the effectiveness of Madafinil, the military’s new “wakefulness promoting agent.” 

3. The coffee vender knows more about you than your parents.

2. Your professors’ jokes, including this Top Ten List, actually seem funny.

1. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The Top 10: Explanations for Not Making it to The Super Bowl

Well, the Super Bowl has come and gone (Congratulations, New Orleans!), but you probably noticed there wasn’t any NFC North representation in the big game. Drs. Martin and Vespia had a friendly argument about whether the Top 10 list this month should make fun of the Packers or the Vikings. The compromise? Dr. Vespia would get 5 chances to mock the Vikings, and Dr. Martin would have his 5 opportunities to pick on the Packers. Who won? You decide.

The Top 5 Reasons the Vikings Didn’t Make it to the Super Bowl  

5. As psychologists, we all know that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, and well, if you’ve never won a Super Bowl in the past, chances are…

4. Coaches and players watched hours of film of the Saints in preparation for the game but forgot to review the most critical piece of tape: overtime of the January 2008 Packers-Giants playoff game.

3. Given their fumble record, Viking players have apparently not yet learned that one must actually hold on to the football in order to score points.

2. Unfortunately, playoff games aren’t held in September prior to the Vikings’ traditional late-season choke. 

1. Dr. Martin insisted when he moved to Green Bay that our quarterback was aging, over-rated, and prone to throwing interceptions. Perhaps he was right, after all.

The Top 5 Reasons the Packers Didn’t Make it to the Super Bowl

5. Turns out that Favre guy they got rid of was actually pretty decent. 

4. Ted Thompson foolishly included language in the offensive linemen’s contracts stipulating that they only need to play full speed on even downs.  

3. No one could have anticipated this, but the teams with losing records they beat all season weren’t as good as the teams they would face in the playoffs. 

2. NFL rules (along with the United Nations Committee on Biomedical Ethics) dictate that Charles Woodson cannot be cloned.

1. The Packers defense, ranked number 2 in the NLF, played just like that…number 2.

Top Ten List: The Top 10 Reasons There Will Be No Top Ten List This Month

10. We were instructed by the department chair to get back to job fundamentals: teaching, research, and…I don’t know, we weren’t really listening, but top tens weren’t on the list. 

9. New editor’s contract has a strict no top ten list clause.

8. Our new faculty member, Brett Favre, was going to write it… but then he changed his mind and retired again.

7. We were tired of hearing Letterman whine about how we stole his idea. 

6. The Pink Flamingo Task Force for The Writing of Top Ten Lists and Other Items of Comedic Value (PFTFFTWOTTLAOIOCV, for short) took furlough this week. 

5. Two years worth of student hate mail is finally starting to take its toll on our confidence.

4. We spent all week trying to understand the Packers’ new defense (is it a 3-4 or 4-3?) and ran out of time (hey, at least we didn’t throw four interceptions this week).

3. Budget cuts mean that department newsletter editors are no longer paid per joke. 

2. We settled for a top nine instead.

Top Ten List: Your Instructors’ Favorite Exam Questions

We know that you’re all feeling a bit stressed in the homestretch of the Spring semester. Papers, exams, group project – the “to-do” list seems endless. The PF is here to help! We’ve compiled a list of instructors’ Top 10 favorite exam questions so you can get a head start of your studying. Enjoy!  


10. What is the meaning of life? Answer the question and give 10 specific examples from historical psychology experiments to support your response.

9. What did I say on the third day of the semester about 15 minutes into my lecture? Be specific.

8.  Design a study to test the hypothesis that all psychological phenomena are measureable. Make sure to label and operationally define your independent and dependent variables.

7. Explain what a “phenomenological theory lacking empirical support” is in three words or less.

6. Create a detailed diagram that pictorially depicts the relationship among memory, Freud, and cognitive dissonance.

5. Write an essay that says exactly what I want you to say in perfect grammar without me having to tell you the question.

4. What is human development? You have 2 minutes to provide a complete answer including citations, and you cannot use the words “human” or “development.”

3. How many words were there in Chapter 7 of your textbook? If you can list word 371, you will receive one point of extra credit.

2. Which of the following is the best answer to this multiple-choice question?




a. and b.

a. and b. or c.

a. or b., but not c.

a. and c., but only b. when the test is read with 3-D glasses

c. and b., but not a., except on alternate Tuesdays with a full moon.


And…your instructors’ #1 favorite exam question:


1. Repeat back every word I’ve said in the last 14 weeks. Make sure there are no spelling errors!


Top Ten Reasons We Know Spring Is Coming…Really

Even if it was -5 degrees last week and Jimmy the Groundhog predicted another six weeks of winter, we want you to know that spring is indeed on its way. Thus, here are the top ten reasons we know spring is coming.

10.  History is the best predictor of the future and, as far as we can remember, there was a spring last year.

9.  The temperature has gone up about 35 degrees since last week alone. At that rate, it will be about 240 degrees outside by mid-March.

8. New cases of the flu on campus are down, but new cases of senioritis among the May graduates are up, a sure sign of spring.

7. There’s so much dirt on the snow banks at this point that even though you haven’t seen it in months, you can almost remember what the ground looks like.

6. Your lame newsletter editors have created another Top 10 list about the weather, and that only happens every spring and fall – not in the winter!

5.  Dr. Martin only slipped on the ice three times on his walk in from the parking lot this morning. That is well below his winter average of six times per walk.   

4.  Brett Favre is planning on making his annual decision about retirement in the next couple of weeks.  That only happens in the spring…or summer…or sometimes in the fall…but never in the middle of winter.

3. The crews are hard at work on Highway 172, and you know what they say – there are only two seasons in Wisconsin: winter and road construction. If it’s road construction, then it can’t be winter, right?

2. It feels like the air conditioning has been turned on in the MAC Hall classrooms, so maybe it’s not almost spring…maybe we’re already heading to summer.

And, the #1 reason we know spring is coming…

1.  Spring break is only 768 hours away (not that we’re counting).

Top 10 List: The Top 10 Strategies for Getting Through the Last 5 Weeks of the Semester

It may or may not be hard for you to believe this, but there are only five weeks left in the semester (actually, at press time there were four and a half, but who’s counting?). We know this is a tough time for you with exams, papers, and projects all coming together and keeping you very busy. We’ve been pretty busy ourselves – so busy, in fact, that we didn’t have time for a full top ten list. Instead, we actually bring you the top eight strategies for getting through the last five weeks of the semester. 

8. Channel your inner Freud and see if denial works for you – The semester is over in 5 weeks? How can that be – it hasn’t even started yet! Was I supposed to be going to class all this time?

7. Remember your learning theory and try applying a fixed interval reinforcement schedule to shape your professors’ behavior. If Skinner could get a pigeon to play the piano, surely you can convince your professors to cancel all final papers and projects.

6. Practice unconditional positive regard. Just keep repeating to yourself: No matter how much homework they give me, no matter how angry I get at their test questions, or how miserable they make my life, I still value my professors as human beings…and should probably bring them candy.

5. Stop reading this newsletter!  You are wasting valuable space in your long-term memory that could be used for storing information you will need to get through the rest of the semester and help you as you take those pesky final ex…whoops, too late.

4. Remember, it’s all about cognitive appraisal.  Just repeat after us: I love exams and papers and registering for classes and homework and presentations and group projects…oh, forget it.  It’s never going to work.  What was Aaron Beck thinking? 

3. Combine what you know about child development and Freud and try using regression. You know, like this: I’m sorry – I don’t have time to read this stupid Top 10 list or work on the term paper that’s due next week. I’m too busy watching Scooby-Doo and playing with my toys. What’s a semester anyway?

2. Keep eating that Halloween candy.  The energy burst from all the sugar should help you get through the next week with no problems (you may want to double check with Dr. Gurung, our Health Psychologist, on this one). 

1. Ultimately, identifying the best strategy for getting through the last five weeks of the semester is an empirical question that can best be answered by a series of controlled studies.  Honors project anyone???

Top Ten Reasons This Semester Will Be the Best One Yet

We know you’ve missed it. We know your summer wasn’t the same without it. How did you survive three months without a PF Top Ten list? Well, here it is, our Top Ten Reasons this Semester Will Be the Best One Yet.

10.  Temperature increases associated with global warming mean that, very soon, pink flamingos could be indigenous to Green Bay. 

9.  Two years ago we started with a paper newsletter. Last year we moved it on-line. This year…virtual reality (coming soon). 

8.  Finally, we’ll be able to pay attention to something other than Brett Favre and the Packers like…Brett Favre and the Jets.

7.  High gas prices will make it impossible for faculty to leave campus. In other words, office hours 24-7.

6.  Election year means less TV-watching to avoid the glut of political commercials. As a result, all students will now do their reading and get it done before class!

5.  New Pink Flamingo Press Office guarantees free bowling all the time for anyone who can find it.

4.  Late-night Olympic watching provided perfect training for surviving on less sleep. Term paper all-nighters now won’t be a problem.

3.  Presidential campaign season offers a conversation ice-breaker we can all identify with: “Let’s talk about the geopolitical ramifications of outsourcing major portions of our infrastructure, as well as the potential impact of proposed fiscal policies on the global economy in an uncertain financial market.”

2. New 14-week calendar and class schedule means an extra 5 or 10 minutes of listening to the dulcet tones of your professors lecturing to you – what could be better?!

1. Now that the newsletter editors aren’t anonymous anymore, you know who to insult when you don’t like the Top 10 list.

The Pink Flamingo’s Top 10 Signs that Spring Has Arrived

Ah, Wisconsin in April – the mud, the brown grass, the snow flurries – who could ask for more delightful signs of Spring? We could! However, since we can’t really expect blooming flowers or balmy temperatures right now, The Pink Flamingo brings you a funny (we hope) Top 10 list to point out the ways you can tell that Spring really has arrived here on campus in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

10. It’s still 30 degrees outside, but now you are wearing flip flops and shorts instead of boots and sweaters.

9. When you see cars triple-parked in the Sports Center lot, it’s because their drivers were late to class, not because the parking lot lines were completely covered by snow and ice.

8. There is now officially more salt on your dinner at night than there is on the outside of your car.

7. Nobody is excited about the idea of a “snow day” anymore.

6. The Packers have released their 2008 schedule, and you’re already thinking about training camp and the celebration you’ll have for the season-opening victory over the Minnesota Vikings on September 8th.

5. With registration approaching, you are now worrying about the classes you won’t get into next Fall instead of the classes you didn’t get into this Spring.

4. Your professors have stopped pretending there’s enough time left to finish the whole syllabus by the end of the semester.

3. You’ve stopped pretending there’s enough time left to keep up with this silly blog and still finish all of your assigned readings by the end of the semester. (So…you’re going to read the blog, right?)

2. When you say you can’t make it to class because the roads are too bad, it’s because of all the pot holes, not the snow and ice.

1. There are actually live birds on campus again – not just those stupid plastic flamingos outside your professors’ offices.

A Chilling Top 10 List

We were feeling overworked this month so we farmed out the responsibility of our Top Ten list to a group of students.  What did they come up with?  Well, we present you the Top 10 Reasons the Cold Weather is Negatively Affecting Our Learning.

10.  For some reason, Human Development and Psychology seem less important when you can’t feel your extremities.

9. Forget trying to get to campus, I can’t even take on-line classes without my computer freezing up.

8. The sound of our teeth chattering makes it hard to hear the instructor.

7. I can’t figure out how to deal with “freezing cold” as a confounding variable in my Experimental Psychology project.

6. It’s hard to take notes in mittens. 

5. The numbing of my frontal lobe has decreased my capacity for critical thought. 

4. I would have come to school, but the news reported that UW-Green Bay’s campus was closed.  Was that a delusion or a hallucination? 

3. I am fairly sure I learned in Health Psych that I am not supposed to go outside when it’s this cold. 

2. I have been busy trying to transfer to the Universities of South Florida and Miami and can’t focus on my classes. 

1. I had to waste the “my car wouldn’t start” excuse on a time when my car really wouldn’t start.

Top Eleven Best Things about Being a Human Development or Psychology Student

With the Hollywood writers on strike, the Letterman staff might have even more time on their hands to sue us for borrowing their standby, “The Top 10 List,” so we didn’t know how we’d manage to make this issue funny. The creative minds behind the PF came up with a brilliant and radically different solution: The Top 11 List. We figure with the need for writers right now, we’re sure to be snatched up by The Daily Show any day, so enjoy our Top 11 Best Things about Being a Human Development or Psychology Student while you can!

11.  Little need to worry about setting up off-shore bank accounts or the horrible stress that comes with being rich.

10.  Choosing courses is easy – just take the one that’s still available when you register. 

9.  Knowing the difference between the preoperational stage and concrete operational stage of development will make you the life of the party this Thanksgiving. 

8.  You’re more able to console your friends if the Packers ever lose again. 

7.  600 fellow majors and minors pretty much guarantees you’ll make friends.  

6.  Interesting faculty behavior (e.g., decorating plastic flamingos) provides endless opportunities to apply what you’ve learned in Abnormal Psychology.

5.  Background in statistics makes you better able to calculate the odds of graduating in four years.

4.  Two little words: “APA Style.”

3.  Keenly able to differentiate between actual psychology and reverse psychology. 

2.  Can explain to your friends exactly why is not a reliable and valid measure of teacher quality.

1.  The Pink Flamingo…duh.