Course Outline: The course runs in concert with the description provided by AP College Board.
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. 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.
III. 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.
· Gender Development.
IV. Developing Through the Life Span (10 days-2 weeks)
· Prenatal Development and the Newborn
· Conception to the Competent Newborn
· Infancy and Childhood
· Social, Cognitive, Physical and Emotional Changes
V. Sensation and Perception (2 weeks)
· Sensory Adaptation
· Touch, Taste, and Smell
· Selective Attention
· Perceptual Illusions
· Perceptual Organization including: form, depth, motion, & constancy
· Perceptual Interpretation including sensory deprivation, adaptation, and perceptual sets
VI. States of Consciousness (1week to 10 days)
· Sleep and Dreaming
· Psychoactive Drug Effects
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)
- 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)
XI. Personality (1 week)
· Personality Theories and Approaches
· Assessment Techniques
· 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
XIV. Social Psychology (1 week to 10 days)
· Group Dynamics
· Attribution Process
· Interpersonal Perception
· Conformity, Compliance, Obedience
· Attitudes and Attitude Change
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.