AP PSYCHOLOGY COURSE OVERVIEW/OBJECTIVES
This is a year- long course in psychology that prepares students for the AP psychology exam.
The purpose of AP Psychology is to introduce students to the empirical, systematic and scientific approach of the study of the mental processes and behavior of human beings and other animals. The course is designed to increase student knowledge of the scientific method and its specific application toward the analysis of individual categories of human development and behavior. Students will be exposed to psychological terminology, theories, principles and phenomenon associated with each of the many subfields within psychology while expanding awareness that behavior is a culmination of diverse and complex catalysts that combine to create specific actions and reactions. Students also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.
1. This year long course in Psychology will prepare students for the AP Psychology exam.
2. Students will become aware of the genesis of the field and science of psychology.
3. Students will study the major core concepts and theories of psychology.
4. Students will recognize the difference between hypothetical and theoretical perspectives as they become efficient in the application of the Scientific Method to the study of human behavior and animal behavior.
5. Students will continually explore the fundamental question embedded in the study of behavioral science known as the “nature versus nurture” controversy.
6. Students will clearly recognize the difference between 4 basic theoretical orientations in the study of psychology: Behavioral , Humanistic, Biological, Psychoanalytical.
7. Students will improve their own meta-cognitive processes and in doing so will better understand their own thoughts, feelings, actions, reactions, emotions and motivations.
8. Students will develop critical thinking skills.
· Three ring binder
· Three ring binder dividers
· Writing implements
· Philosophical objectives shaping psychological thought.
· The strengths and limitations of applying theories to explain behavior.
· Differentiation of the domains within psychology.
· The details regarding the use of the scientific method.
· Types of research including experiments, correlational studies, survey research, naturalistic observations and case studies.
· Basic principles of research design.
· Interpretation of graphs that exhibit the results of experiments.
· Ethical requirements and guidelines in research and research design.
· All basic processes and systems in the biological bases of behavior.
· Sensory processes and basic principles of sensory transduction.
· Various states of consciousness and their impact on behavior.
· Comparison of the major psychoactive drug categories.
· General differences between principles of learning including classical conditioning, operant conditioning and observational learning.
· Differentiation between psychological and physiological systems of memory
· Biological, cognitive and cultural factors that converge to facilitate acquisition, development and use of language.
· Basic motivational concepts to understand behavior of humans and other animals.
· Biological underpinnings of motivation including needs, drives and homeostasis.
· The interaction of nature and nurture including cultural variations, in the determination of behavior.
· The development and maturation of all human processes.
· The major theories and approaches in explaining personality.
· The various perspectives and influences on the definition of intelligence.
· Appropriate testing practices particularly in relation to culture fair tests.
· Contemporary and historical conceptions of what constitutes psychological disorders.
· The strengths and limitations of various approaches to explaining psychological disorders.
· The central characteristics of psychotherapeutic intervention.
· The major treatment orientations used in therapy.
· The catalyst, structure and function of different types of social behavior.