• Course Outline:  AP/College Board changed their sequencing of this course this year (2019 - 2020) and so have we (GV Psych teachers). This portion of the webpage, as of 8/28, is still a work in progress but it gives you a better idea of where we're going in the weeks and months to follow.

    I.             Scope, History, and Methodology         (2 weeks)

    ·         Historical Schools: Functionalism vs. Structuralism.

    ·         Modern Approaches: Psychoanalytic, Behavioral, Cognitive, Humanistic, Neurobiological, and Socio-Cultural.

    ·         Nature of Scientific Inquiry: Sources of bias and error.

    ·         Research Methods and design: Introspection, observation, survey, psychological testing, experimentation, and interview.

    ·         Ethics in Research: Human participants, animal subjects.


    II.       Social Psychology                (1 week to 10 days)

    • Group Dynamics
    • Attribution Process
    • Interpersonal Perception
    • Conformity, Compliance, Obedience
    • Attitudes and Attitude Change 


    III.      Neuroscience and Behavior       (10 Days-2 weeks)

    • Neural Communication: Neurons, Neurotransmitters, Nervous Systems Peripheral, Central, Sympathetic).
    • The Brain: Lobes, Divisions, Systems, Structures, Geography, Workings/Interactions.

                Nature, Nurture, and Human Diversity (1 week)

    ·         Behavior and Genetics.

    ·         Studies of Twins (Identical and Fraternal).

    ·         Adoption Studies.

    ·         Temperament Studies.

    ·         Evolutionary Psychology: Natural Selection, human sexuality.

    ·         Parenting and Peers.

    ·         Culture.

    ·         Gender Development.

                    Sensation and Perception           (2 weeks)

    • Thresholds
    • Sensory Adaptation
    • Vision
    • Hearing
    • Touch, Taste, and Smell
    • Selective Attention
    • Perceptual Illusions
    • Perceptual Organization including: form, depth, motion, & constancy
    • Perceptual Interpretation including sensory deprivation, adaptation, and perceptual sets
    • ESP 


                      States of Consciousness            (1week to 10 days)

    • Sleep and Dreaming
    • Hypnosis
    • Psychoactive Drug Effects


    IV.       Developing Through the Life Span       (10 days-2 weeks)

    ·         Prenatal Development and the Newborn

    ·         Conception to the Competent Newborn

    ·         Infancy and Childhood

    ·         Adolescence

    ·         Adulthood

    ·         Social, Cognitive, Physical and Emotional Changes


    VII.      Learning and Memory                   (2 weeks-3weeks)


    ·         Classical Conditioning

    ·         Operant Conditioning

    ·         Cognitive Processes in Learning

    ·         Biological Factors

    ·         Social Learning (Observational Learning)

    ·         Memory- encoding, storage, retention, retrieval


    VIII.     Thinking and Intelligence            (2 weeks)

          • Language
          • Thinking
          • Problem Solving and Creativity


    IX.        Motivation and Emotion             (2 weeks-3weeks)

    ·         Biological Bases

    ·         Theories of Motivation

    ·         Hunger, Thirst, Sex, and Pain

    ·         Social Motives

    ·         Theories of Emotion

    X. Stress and Health                                 (1 week)

    ·         Stress


    XI. Personality                     (1 week)

    ·         Personality Theories and Approaches

    ·         Assessment Techniques

    ·         Self-concept/Self-esteem

    ·         Growth and Adjustment


    XII. Abnormal Psychology and Psychological Disorders (2 weeks)


    ·         Definitions of Abnormality

    ·         Theories of Psychopathology

    ·         Diagnosis of Psychopathology

    ·         Anxiety Disorders

    ·         Somatoform Disorders

    ·         Mood Disorders

    ·         Schizophrenic Disorders

    ·         Organic Disorders

    ·         Personality Disorders

    ·         Dissociative Disorders


    XIII. Treatment and Therapy       (2 weeks)

    ·         Treatment Approaches

    ·         Modes of Therapy (e.g., individual, group)

    ·         Community and Preventive Approaches


    Tips for student success in the course:

    • Take class notes and date them EVERYDAY!
    • read AND learn to read effectively

    Ø  ”talk to the text” with articles and handouts

    Ø  take notes when you read

    Ø  preview chapter reading

    Ø  don’t ignore visuals (pictures, charts, diagrams)

    • The AP Exam is heavy on vocabulary – learn it and be able to use it and apply it accurately and precisely!
    • Get a partner (or partners) to study with and exchange notes with when you or they are out of class.
    • Get a review book – Barron’s, Princeton Review, Crash Course, 5 Steps to a 5, AP Psychology from Sun and Moon books.


    Good luck, have fun, study well, and (hopefully) you will come through this whole thing with a better working knowledge of the field of Psychology and a more empathetic understanding of the human condition.