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AP Psychology at LHS

Course Description

“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 subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.” (The College Board)  Additional focus in this course will be placed on essay writing, scientific research, critical thinking, and writing in the APA style.

AP students must have a willingness to accept the challenge of a rigorous academic curriculum.  This course is designed to mirror an entry-level college course and may lead to college credit or advanced standing in college.  This is a weighted class.


Topic Outline

These are the major content areas covered by the AP Psychology Exam, as well as the corresponding units in our textbook.

I. History and Approaches (Myers Unit 1)

A. Logic, Philosophy, and History of Science

B. Approaches:

1. Biological

2. Behavioral

3. Cognitive

4. Humanistic

5. Psychodynamic

6. Sociocultural

7. Evolutionary/Sociobiological

II. Research Methods (Myers Unit 2)

A. Experimental, Correlational, and Clinical Research:

1. Correlational (e.g., observational, survey, clinical)

2. Experimental

B. Statistics:

1. Descriptive

2. Inferential

C. Ethics in Research

III. Biological Bases of Behavior (Myers Unit 3)

A. Physiological Techniques (e.g., imaging, surgical)

B. Neuroanatomy

C. Functional Organization of Nervous System

D. Neural Transmission

E. Endocrine System

F. Genetics

IV. Sensation and Perception (Myers Unit 4)

A. Thresholds

B. Sensory Mechanisms

C. Sensory Adaptation

D. Attention

E. Perceptual Processes

V. States of Consciousness (Myers Unit 5)

A. Sleep and Dreaming

B. Hypnosis

C. Psychoactive Drug Effects

VI. Learning (Myers, Chapter 6)

A. Classical Conditioning

B. Operant Conditioning

C. Cognitive Processes in Learning

D. Biological Factors

E. Social Learning

VII. Cognition (Myers Unit 7)

A. Memory

B. Language

C. Thinking

D. Problem Solving and Creativity

VIII. Motivation and Emotion (Myers Unit 8)

A. Biological Bases

B. Theories of Motivation

C. Hunger, Thirst, Sex, and Pain

D. Social Motives

5. Theories of Emotion

F. Stress

IX. Developmental Psychology (Myers Unit 9)

A. Life-Span Approach

B. Research Methods (e.g., longitudinal, cross-sectional)

C. Heredity-Environment Issues

D. Developmental Theories

E. Dimensions of Development:

1. Physical

2. Cognitive

3. Social

4. Moral

F. Sex Roles, Sex Differences

X. Personality (Myers Unit 10)

A. Personality Theories and Approaches

B. Assessment Techniques

C. Self-concept, Self-esteem

D. Growth and Adjustment

XI. Testing and Individual Differences (Myers Unit 11)

A. Standardization and Norms

B. Reliability and Validity

C. Types of Tests

D. Ethics and Standards in Testing

E. Intelligence

F. Heredity/Environment and Intelligence

G. Human Diversity

XII. Abnormal Psychology (Myers Unit 12)

A. Definitions of Abnormality

B. Theories of Psychopathology

C. Diagnosis of Psychopathology

D. Anxiety Disorders

E. Somatoform Disorders

F. Mood Disorders

G. Schizophrenic Disorders

H. Organic Disorders

I. Personality Disorders

J. Dissociative Disorders

XIII. Treatment of Psychological Disorders (Myers Unit 13)

A. Treatment Approaches:

1. Insight Therapies: Psychodynamic/Humanistic Approaches

2. Behavioral Approaches

3. Cognitive Approaches

4. Biological Approaches (psychopharmacology/psychosurgery)

B. Modes of Therapy (e.g., individual, group)

C. Community and Preventive Approaches

XIV. Social Psychology (Myers Unit 14)

A. Group Dynamics

B. Attribution Processes

C. Interpersonal Perception

D. Conformity, Compliance, Obedience

E. Attitudes and Attitude Change

F. Organizational Behavior

G. Aggression/Antisocial Behavior


Summative Assessments

Unit Tests

  • Tests will be a combination of multiple-choice, short answer and essay questions.

Midterm Exam

  • The midterm exam will be developed to mirror the format of the AP Psychology Exam.

Final Exam

  • The final exam will be developed to mirror the format of the AP Psychology Exam.

Formative Assessments


  • Quizzes will be a combination of multiple-choice and short answer questions.

Reaction Papers and Reflective Writing

  • Writing will include reflections on articles, class discussions, personal experiences, current issues, and class activities.

Class Discussion and Activities

  • Students will study psychology in current issues.  They will also participate in individual and group projects.

Internet Research

  • Students will learn how to think critically about information they find on the Internet.  They will also learn how to find peer-reviewed psychological literature on the Internet.


  • There will be numerous projects throughout the year, providing students with opportunities for in-depth study of a variety of topics.

Feedback and Goal Setting

  • Students will be expected to be actively involved in assessing their own learning.   I will meet with students periodically to discuss their progress and goals.