We are writing this column just as the weather turns colder at the beginning of the holiday season. By the time you read this column (ask your professors about "publication lag") the holidays will be over, and we are too late to pro-vide assistance for this year. Nevertheless, we've had a wonderful holiday idea, and we trust that you will save this column in a safe place and use it for your next round of holiday gift buying.
Here's what happened: A few weeks ago we opened our e-mail to find a Psi Chi chapter officer at a southern university asking us if we would allow her to use some of our international symbols (Eye on Psi Chi, Fall 1999) on T-shirts that the chapter was producing. The student said all the right things ("I really liked your column"), so naturally we agreed to the request--the only stipulation being that the chapter would provide free T-shirts just for ourselves and the 745 members of our immediate families.
This request, coming around the holidays as it did, made us seriously rethink the columns we've written over the years. We also thought about the spirit of the season: commercialism! So here's the deal: by next year at this time we will be SELLING our columns, and a full line of products derived from them, as gift items!
We're starting with our international symbols for various specialties in psychology: We will print them on coasters, new Rorschach cards, MMPI forms, billing forms, blue books, etc. These items (with appropriate cost savings for bulk purchases) will be sold at the APA and Psi Chi booths at conventions. Apartments and dorm rooms will be remodeled with wallpaper featuring a selection of these symbols, thus providing educational value while hiding that damage from last month's party. The well-dressed psychology major will never again venture out to the library (we thought of stopping this sentence here) without an outfit featuring these symbols. And what faculty member would dare show up in the office unless the door announced to all visitors the nature of his or her specialty?
But there's more! We went back and looked through our vast archives of columns (it took 4 minutes), and we've already begun designing a full range of gifts for the discerning psychology major.
Our column on Humor-Impaired Personality Disorder (Psi Chi Newsletter, Spring 1996) can be lots of fun at psychology parties: Give it to people and see how long it takes them to realize it's a joke! And wouldn't you be doing your friends, roommates, teachers, etc. a big favor by suggesting that they seek treatment for this insufferable disorder? Gift wrap it, leave it around, and they'll get the message!
But the disorders don't stop there! Our Internet addiction column (Eye on Psi Chi, Fall 1997) would also make a good gift. We'll even make the column available on the Web! In fact, we've already designed an entirely new DSM that you can look up at our conveniently-named website: www.productsfromonthelightsidebyjoeandmitchineachissueofeyeonpsichi.com. (We were lucky this domain name wasn't already taken!)
And why not treat yourself to our new, deluxe edition of MAN-U-MATIC, our automated guide to APA style (Psi Chi Newsletter, Summer 1996)? Our new version will be updated, Y2K compliant, user-friendly, and so reasonably priced that you'll still be able to afford most of your tuition. This new version of MAN-U-MATIC will now help you write up full studies after you enter as little as two variables and one F value. Publishable papers will fly out of your printer, you will be granted tenure before graduate school, and you can retire early. (If sales do well, we'll retire early, too.)
We're going to put all our sage advice into a book: The Complete Guide to Taking Tests, Applying to Graduate School, Getting a Job, Presenting Papers, Doing Research, and Being an All-Around Great Person. This book will be available at stores from coast to coast (that is, from the west coast of Evansville to the east coast of Evansville) by next fall. You'll learn all kinds of amazing things, like the correct way to deflect questions at graduate school interviews with comebacks like, "I know why you asked that," or "I know where you live." In no time, you'll have that admissions committee inviting you to stay for clinical rounds!
We've written a lot about the history of psychology, including our look at the real stories behind classic experiments (Eye on Psi Chi, Winter 1999) and the development of APA Style from Moses to the present (Psi Chi Newsletter, Spring 1995). We were thinking about producing a series of videos entitled, "World's Funniest Psychology Studies," but there were only three of them. . . . So instead, we're going to produce a video series entitled, "World's Craziest Psychology Studies: The Rest of the Story." Watch our videos, and see how Little Albert fought back, how he hounded Watson for months, and how he wound up being the one who suggested to Hugh Hefner the idea for Playboy Bunnies. Watch how Milgram was thrown out of his Yale office for failing to pay his enormous electric bills. Watch the coverage of the harassment suit brought by subjects of Ebbinghaus when he tried to switch from three-letter words to four-letter words. And watch how Albert Bandura was seriously injured one afternoon when he was ambushed by a group of rampaging Bobo dolls.
If this is not enough to cover all your holiday needs, we've even written a column on gift-giving (Eye on Psi Chi, Fall 1998) that we will sell to you so you can make these difficult decisions. So how 'bout it? After the seconds, even minutes, of laughter we've provided for you over the years, it's about time that we see a nickel or two from this, right? Isn't that what the holidays are all about?
When you're ready to request any of these columns or products, please write your request on a big piece of money and send it to us. Remember, all these products have the Official Seal of Approval of OTLS (On the Light Side). So you don't forget, order before midnight tomorrow!
Winter 2000 issue of Eye on Psi Chi (Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 52-53), published by Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology (Chattanooga, TN). Copyright, 2000, Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology. All rights reserved.