AP Psychology

Mrs. Mitchell's Class @ GAVS

Development Unit

There is a new Adobe session posted that pertains to DEVELOPMENT! It would benefit you for the upcoming unit to listen and submit a summary for exam extra credit! Check it out!
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As a class, we had ALMOST 100% of students submit their work on time for the 9/29 benchmark! This is out of 50 students...#APpsychGoals

I'm impressed! Please keep up the great work!

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What are we learning about?!?

The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major sub-fields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practices. It is expected that students taking this course will take the AP Psychology exam in May 2016. As is expected, this course is taught at a college level. The major differences between a college and high school course include the amount of reading, the level of critical thinking, the “in-depth” level of content comprehension, and the type of course requirements expected of students. Specific to course requirements, in addition to traditional examinations, students taking this class are expected to read the text and other assigned readings; take quizzes/exams and complete assignments on the assigned readings; and participate actively in all class discussions and activities.

Topics Discussed in Class

Scope, History, and Methodology

· Historical Schools: Functionalism vs. Structuralism

· Modern Approaches: Psychodynamic, Behaviorist, Cognitive, Humanistic, Evolutionary, Neuroscience

· Nature of Scientific Inquiry: Sources of bias and error

· Research Methods: Introspection, observation, survey, psychological testing, controlled experiments

· Statistics: Central tendency, variance, significance, animal subjects


· Historical Background and Philosophy of Racial Behaviorism

· Classical Conditioning: Pavlov, Watson, applications, biological critique, cognitivist challenge

· Operant Conditioning: Thorndike, Skinner, Bandura, behavior modification, biological critique, cognitivist challenge


· Neuron: Neuronal and synaptic transmission, psychopharmacology, drug abuse

· Brain: Research methodology, neuroanatomy, brain development and aging, hemispheric specialization

· Nervous System: Structural and functional organization

· Endocrine System

· Genetics and Heritability

Sensation and Perception

· Psychophysics: Thresholds( absolute, difference, Weber’s constants) signal detection theory

· Sensory Organs and Transduction: Visual( including color vision and feature detection), auditory, olfactory, gustatory, proprioceptive (including kinesthetic and vestibular)

· Perception: Attention, processing, illusions ( Gestalt psychology), and camouflage

Developmental Psychology

· Methodology: Longitudinal and cross-sectional studies

· Nature vs. Nurture ( maturation versus learning)

· Influential Theories: Piaget and cognitive development, Freud and psychosocial development, Kohlberg and moral development, and gender differentiation

· Infancy, Childhood, Adolescence, and Adulthood

Intelligence and Psychological Testing

· Psychological Testing: Methodology, norms, reliability, validity

· Intelligence: Defining intelligence, history of intelligence and aptitude testing, nature-nurture issues.

Consciousness, Memory, and Language

· States of consciousness: Waking, sleep and dreaming, hypnosis, altered states

· Memory: Information processing, storage, retrieval

· Accuracy of Memory: Loftus and Schacter

· Cognition: Problem solving and heuristics

· Language: Skinner and Chomsky

Motivation and Emotions

· Motivational concepts: Instincts, drives, optimal arousal, Maslow’s hierarchy,

· Hunger and Eating Disorders

· Sexuality and Sexual Orientation

· Achievement Motivation: intrinsic versus extrinsic motivators

· Physiology of Emotion: Fear, anger, happiness

· Expression of Emotion: Darwin and Ekman

· Theories of Emotion: James-Lange, Cannon-Bard, Schacter-Singer


· Psychodynamic Perspective: Freud, Jung, Adler

· Trait Perspective: Allport, factor analysis and the five-factor model, assessment( Myers-Briggs, MMPI )

· Humanistic Perspective,: Maslow and Rogers

· Social-Cognitive Perspective: Bandura and Seligman

Stress and Health

· Stress as a Concept: Selye

· Stress and Health

· Adjustment

Abnormal Psychology

· Approaches to Abnormality: The Rosenhan study, historical approaches( deviance), the medical model, the biopsychosocial model

· Classifying Disorders: Evolution of the DSM

· Major Categories of Disorders: Anxiety disorders, dissociative disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders

· Major Approaches to Psychotherapy: Psychoanalysis, behavioristic, humanistic, cognitive, group pharmacological

· Does Therapy Work?

Social Psychology

· Attitudes and Behavior: Fundamental attribution error, roles, Festinger and cognitive dissonance

· Group influence: Asch and conformity, Milgram and obedience, facilitation and loafing, Janis and groupthink

· Prejudice and Scapegoating

· Altruism