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AP Psychology


AP Psychology


Dr. Florencia Maldia

Email address

Grade Level

11 or 12

Course Overview

    AP Psychology is a college level class the purpose of which is 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 with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice (College Board).”

The central question addressed in AP Psychology is: “how do psychologists think?” The psychologist David Myers wrote that to think as a psychologist, one must learn to “restrain intuition with critical thinking, judgmentalism with compassion, and illusion with understanding.” (Sternberg, 1997). Whether students choose to pursue a career related to psychology or one in some entirely different field, this habit of mind will be of great value.

For students to have an understanding of human behavior in light of the different theories propounded to explain them, and to form a personal opinion on those theories but to develop their own way of understanding behavior both their own and that of others.

The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings.

Course Outline

1st Quarter:

Prologue: The Story of Psychology

  • a. What is Psychology? Psychological Roots, Psychological Science is

  • b.  Psychological Science Develops

  • c. Contemporary Psychology

Chapter One: Thinking Critically With Psychological Science

  • a. The Need for Psychological Science

  • b. How Do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions?

  • c. Statistical Reasoning in Everyday Life

Chapter Two: The Biology of Mind

  • a. Biology, Behavior, and Mind

  • b. Neural Communication

  • c. The Nervous System

  • d. The Endocrine System

  • e. The Brain

Chapter Three: Consciousness and the Two-Track Mind

  • a. Brain States and Consciousness

  • b. Sleep and Dreams

  • c. Hypnosis

  • d. Drugs and Consciousness

3rd Quarter:

Chapter Eight: Memory

  • a. Studying Memory

  • b. Memory Models

  • c. Building Memories

  • d. Memory Storage

  • e. Retrieval: Getting Information Out

  • f. Forgetting

  • g. Memory Construction Errors

  • h. Improving Memory

Chapter Nine: Thinking and Language

  • a. Thinking

  • b. Language

  • c. Thinking and Language

Chapter Ten: Intelligence

  • a. What is Intelligence?

  • b. Assessing Intelligence

  • c. The Dynamics of Intelligence

  • d. Genetic and Environmental Influences on Intelligences

Chapter Eleven: Motivation and Work

  • a. Motivation and Work

  • b. Hunger

  • c. Sexual Motivation

  • d. The Need to Belong

  • e. Motivation at Work

2nd Quarter:

Chapter Four: Nature, Nurture, and Human Diversity

  • a. Behavior Genetics: Predicting Individual Differences

  • b. Evolutionary Psychology. Understanding Human Nature

  • c. How Does Experience Influence Development?

  • d. Cultural Influences

  • e. Gender Development

  • f. Reflections on Nature and Nurture

Chapter Five: Developing Through the Lifespan

  • a. Developmental Psychology's Major Issues b. Prenatal Development and the Newborn

  • c. Infancy and Childhood

  • d. Adolescence

  • e. Adulthood

Chapter Six: Sensation and Perception

  • a. Basic Principles of Sensation and Perception

  • b. Vision

  • c. Hearing

  • d. The Other Senses

Chapter Seven: Learning

  • a. How Do We Learn?

  • b. Classical Conditioning

  • c. Operant Conditioning

  • d. Biology, Cognition, and Learning

  • e. Learning by Observation

4th Quarter:

Chapter Twelve: Emotion, Stress, and Health

  • a. Cognition and Emotion

  • b. Embodied Emotion

  • c. Expressed Emotion

  • d. Experienced Emotion

  • e. Stress and Health

  • f. Promoting Health

Chapter Thirteen: Personality

  • a. Psychodynamic Theories

  • b. Humanistic Theories

  • c. Trait Theories

  • d. Social-Cognitive Theories

  • e. Exploring the Self

Chapter Fourteen: Social Psychology

  • a. Social Thinking

  • b. Social Influence

  • c. Social Relations

Chapter Fifteen: Psychological Disorder

  • a. Perspectives on Psychological Disorders

  • b. Anxiety Disorders, OCD, and PTSD

  • c. Mood Disorders

  • d. Schizophrenia

  • e. Other Disorder

  • f. Rate of Psychological Disorders

Chapter Sixteen: Therapy

  • a. Treating Psychological Disorders

  • b. The Psychological Therapies

  • c. Evaluating Psychotherapies

  • d. The Biomedical Therapies

  • e. Preventing Psychological Disorders