This group activity works in a regular psychology class and AP. It will allow students to take a more in depth look at the motivations behind why people join cults to enhance their understanding of conformity, obedience, and group dynamics.
The teacher will do a conformity activity with the students as a warmup and discuss the reasons why the students played along. Then there is a PowerPoint lecture with notes on cults and forms of control that cult leaders employ. The students will then be broken up into small groups to research a specific cult’s background, control techniques, and other interesting facts about them to present to the class in the form of a jigsaw or whole class presentation.
• For AP Psychology- this is a really fun activity to do after the AP exam.
• For regular psychology, it is best to be used during the social psychology unit.
• Cult graphic organizer
• Cult information links
• Editable PowerPoint to introduce the group activity and give background information.
• Photocopies of the graphic organizer
• Handouts of the information or laptops for the students to access the information links.