Suggested Alternative Assessments
History and Approaches
- Prescientific psychology
- Psychological science develops
- Schools of thought
- Psychology’s subfields
- Scientific method
- Statistical reasoning
- Central tendency
- What is psychology and what makes it a science?
- How do the schools of psychology compliment each other?
- How do researchers study behavior?
- What does a correlation prove?
- Why are descriptive statistics important?
- Is it ethical to experiment on animals?
- Is it ethical to deceive participants?
· Discuss early psychologists’ effort to understand the structures of the mind
· Analyze the different perspectives from which psychologists examine behavior and mental process
· Describe the relationship between psychological theories and scientific research
· Identify the basic elements of an experiment
· Explain why correlational research fails to prove cause- and-effect
· Describe the three measures of central tendency
· Write a biography of one of the important contributors to psychology
· Analyze and summarize primary documents from psychology’s beginnings
· Write a research paper using an experimental method and APA guidelines
· Write an essay discussing ethical guidelines and Milgram’s obedience study
Biological Bases of Behavior
- Neural communication
- Nervous system
- Central nervous system
Sensation and Perception
- Body position and movement
- Selective attention
- Perceptional organization
- Perceptual interpretation
- Are the brain and the mind different?
- How do the structures of the brain control behavior and mental processes?
- How does the brain recover after an accident?
- How does brain damage affect functioning?
- How is information gained from the environment?
- How do the five sense function?
- How do cues in the environment help perception?
- How does experience affect perception?
- Can we always trust our senses and perception?
· Describe how nerve cells communicate
· Describe the functions of the brainstem, thalamus, cerebellum, and limbic system
· Discuss the capacity of the brain to reorganize following illness or injury
· Discuss the impact of evolutionary history on genetically predisposed behavior tendencies
· Contrast the process of sensation and perception
· Describe the effects of noise on hearing and behavior
· Analyze the nature of sensory interaction
· Describe Gestalt psychology
· Describe perceptual constancies and their influence on illusions
· Analyze the role of nature and nurture in perception
· Explain the importance of context and experience in perception
· Silhouette with a view activity
· Essay on the capacity for reorganization of the brain after accident or injury
· Group project and oral presentation on one of the five senses
· Create an optical illusion based on perceptual constancies and environmental cues
States of Consciousness
Drugs and consciousness
- Waking consciousness
- Sleep and dreams
- Rhythm of sleep
- Sleep disorders
Near death experiences
- Dependence and addiction
- Psychoactive drugs
- Prenatal development
- Infancy and childhood
- Social development
- Why do we dream?
- Is hypnosis valid and effective?
- How do drugs affect mental processing and everyday functioning?
- What is addiction?
- Do people really “see the light at the end of the tunnel” in near death experiences?
- Are we products of nature or nurture?
- Are gender differences a product of genetics or society?
- How are the elderly viewed and valued?
· Contrast conscious and subconscious information processing
· Describe the cyclical nature and possible functions of sleep
· Identify the physiological and psychological effects of drugs
· Discuss the impact of physical maturation on infants’ memory and motor skills
· Describe Piaget’s view of how the mind develops
· Summarize current views regarding continuity versus stages and stability versus change
· Research report on meditation and its effectiveness
· Presentation on grant proposal for studying an altered state
· Interview a child and write a research report
· Analyze responses to death at various ages
- Psychoanalytic perspective
- Humanistic perspective
- Trait perspective
- Social-Cognitive perspective
- The Self
- The unconscious mind
- Classical conditioning
- Operant conditioning
- Punishment v. rewards
- Are personalities constant over time or do they change with each new experience?
- Do personality tests really assess personality?
- What are the differences between classical and operant conditioning?
- Is punishment effective in deterring unwanted behavior?
- Do rewards influence behavior?
· Describe Freud’s view of personality structure in terms of the Id, Ego, and Superego
· Analyze the contributions of Neo-Freudians
· Describe the humanistic perspective
· Discuss research regarding the consistency of behavior over time and across situations
· Explain the difference between classical and operant conditioning
· Identify the different types of reinforcers and schedules of reinforcement
· Discuss the importance of cognitive processes to behavior
· Myers-Briggs personality test
· Personality analysis paper, analyzing a friend, famous person, or cartoon figure
· “A day in the life”, identifying the types of conditioning and learning throughout the day
- Information processing
- Sensory, short-term, long-term memory
- Forgetting and amnesia
- Repressed and recovered memory
Thinking and Language
- Solving problems
- Making decisions
- Language structure
- Language development
- Animal thinking and language
- Multiple intelligence
- Is memory accurate?
- How is information stored and retrieved?
- What is the physiology behind forgetting?
- Can forgotten memories be recovered?
- Are repressed memories valid?
- How are decisions made?
- How much do emotions interfere with decisions?
- Is there one form of intelligence?
- Can creativity be assessed through a test?
· Describe memory in terms of information processing and distinguish among sensory, short-term, and long-term memory
· Analyze the implications presented when viewing memory as reconstructive
· Discuss how are beliefs distort logical reasoning
· Describe the structure of language
· Analyze the nature/nurture debate in terms of language acquisition
· Discuss whether intelligence should be considered a general mental ability or many specific abilities
· Essay debating the validity of repressed and recovered memories
· Essay debating that repressed and recovered memories are not valid
· Research court cases with eye-witness testimony as the main evidence report on the prevalence and verdict
· Research emotional intelligence and present to class
Testing & Individual Differences
Extremes of intelligence
- Defining and classifying
- Anxiety disorders
- Mood disorders
- Personality disorders
- Are intelligence tests culturally biased?
- What accounts for the group differences in intelligence scores?
- Can intelligence be faked?
- What is “normal” or “abnormal”?
- What is the most common disorder?
- How does society view the mentally ill?
· Discuss whether intelligence tests are culturally biased
· Describe group differences in intelligence tests
· Discuss the stability of intelligence scores
· Identify the criteria for judging whether behavior is psychologically disordered
· Describe the aims of the DSM-IV
· Describe the prevalence and symptoms of various disorders and the timing of their onset
· Design an intelligence test, avoiding cultural bias and testing for all types of intelligence
· Case study conference
· Create a patient file with diagnosis and history
Treatment of Psychological Disorders
- Biomedical therapies
- Drugs, surgery electro convulsive
Motivation and Emotion
- Instincts and evolutionary psychology
- Drives and incentives
- Hierarchy of motives
- Theories of emotion
- Nonverbal communication
- Is there one type of treatment that works best for most disorders?
- Why do therapists use an eclectic approach when treating patients?
- How important are emotions to our sense of self?
- What causes fear?
- Do emotions serve a purpose or do they just get in the way?
- How does society influence expressing emotions?
- What motivates people to succeed?
· Discuss the rationale and benefits of group therapy
· Describe the commonalities and differences among the psychotherapies
· Identify the common forms of drug therapy
· Define motivation and identify several theories of motivated behavior
· Describe Maslow’s hierarchy of motives
· Discuss psychological and cultural influences on hunger and sex
· Identify the three components of emotion
· Describe the relationship between physiological states and specifics emotions
· Case conference with each type of treatment and therapy presented by “therapists”
· Design an ad campaign to motivate customers and play on their emotions
· Design a guidebook for a company, utilizing knowledge about motivation and emotion, to produce the most productive and happiest employees
- Attitudes and actions
- Conformity and obedience
- Social relations
- How do attitudes influence actions?
- Why is conformity valued so highly in society?
- Why are people attracted to each other?
- Do opposites really attract?
· Identify the conditions under which attitudes have a strong impact on actions
· Explain the foot-in-the-door phenomenon
· Discuss the results of experiments on conformity
· Discuss how group interaction can facilitate group polarization and groupthink
· Create and administer a survey about social attitudes
Review for AP Exam
· Analyze an aspect of psychology using proper research methods and experimentation
· Create a psychology game to test knowledge of all areas of psychology