AP Psychology Academic Year

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1 AP Psychology Academic Year Course Description: The College Board Advanced Placement Program describes Advanced Placement Psychology as a course that is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals (Psychology Course Description, May 2006/07). In addition to this description, I feel that the AP Psychology Program at Henry Ford II High School has been designed to provide students with the information and skills necessary to be successful in a challenging curriculum by teaching critical thinking skills, and to prepare students for the demands of college level courses. This will be done by challenging what students know about their own mental capacities and perceptions of the world. Course Objective: The course objective is to present each and every student with the learning opportunity and the informational material that can be compared to an introductory college Psychology course at most universities and colleges. My goal is that each student not only come out of this class with a greater understanding of Psychology as a course, but how to understand its interconnection to all aspects of human life. In all areas of study, our goal will be to focus on ethics in research methods that are common place in psychological science and practice. Required Text: David Myers, Psychology (New York: Worth, 2003) Teacher will provide supplemental reading for each unit Support material provided by the College Board Course Evaluation: 75% - 77% C + 94% - 100% A 72% - 74% C 88% - 91% A - 68% - 71% C- 85% - 87% B + 62% - 67% D + 82% - 84% B 58% - 61% D - 78% - 81% B - 57% and below F Homework: Homework will be a regular occurrence in AP Psychology. Over half of all assignments will be reading assignments. Each reading assignment must be completed in a timely manner, due to the fact that each week there is the possibility of either a test or a quiz.

2 Free-Response Questions: In order to prepare for the AP Psychology test, there will be free-response essay questions on a bi-weekly basis. This is to familiarize students with the type and format of essays on the AP Psychology Test. Tests: Each topic covered in class (see course schedule) will have a corresponding test. The tests will be comprehensive and include all of the class lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and the required reading. Tests will be multiple choice and free response. All class tests will follow the AP Psychology Exam format. Quizzes: Quizzes will be an integral part of this course. They will appear on a regular basis, and students should expect a quiz on any given day. This makes the assigned nightly reading valuable to not only the understanding of Psychology, but students overall academic success. Late Assignments: NO LATE ASSIGNMETS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Students are responsible for completing all of the assigned course work by the assigned due date. Attendance: Regular attendance is crucial to success in this course. Each class period will be a collection of lecture, experiments, discussion, and demonstrations. A student who misses class will be allowed to make up all missed work in a timely fashion. One extra day will be given for each absent day. A student who misses a day before a quiz or test will be required to take the quiz/test on the scheduled day. Extra Credit: Do not expect extra credit, but occasionally I will offer small amounts of extra credit for various assignments or academic research. Extra credit is only an option for those students who have no missing work, and it is not available in the last two weeks of a marking period. Further information on extra credit will be discussed later in the course. Additional Time: Each Thursday we will be meeting in my room after school to have a review session. The session will be a review of the weekly material, the assigned readings, and for test prep. This will be completely voluntary, but students are encouraged to attend. Times will vary depending on the week, but students should expect the session to last about an hour. Course Outline: (Schedule) (Units 1-12)

3 This list only outlines major units of study. During the course we will use this as a guideline for more developed discussion and thought. We will spend approximately 1-2 weeks with each unit. 1. Scope, History, and Research Methods (1 week) Historical schools and philosophy Modern approaches Biological, Behavioral, Cognitive, Humanistic, Psychodynamic, Sociocultural, Evolutionary, Sociobiological Research methods Experimental, correlation, clinical research Methods of research Statistics Differential and inferential Ethics guidelines in research 2. Biological Bases of Behavior (2 weeks) Neuroanatomy Division of Nervous System and organization Neurons Brain communication Brain development Endocrine System Genetics 3. Sensation and Perception (1-1.5 weeks) Sensation Sensory organs (eye and ear) Thresholds (Absolute and Difference) Adaptation Perception Attention Processing Illusions Gestalt Principals 4. States of Consciousness (1 week) Sleep and dreaming Sleep disorders Psychoactive drugs and effects 5. Learning (1 week) Conditioning Classical Operant Cognitive Learning Observational Learning 6. Memory (1 week)

4 Encoding, storage and retrieval Forgetting, recall and recognition Short and long term memory 7. Cognition (2-weeks) Problem solving Algorithms Heuristics Impediments Intelligence Defining Testing History Theories Multiple Intelligences Language Language and cognition Language acquisition Creativity 8. Motivation and Emotion (1 week) Theories of motivation Maslow s Hierarchy of Needs Stress Biological impact of motivation Hunger, thirst, pain, sex Theories of emotion Physiology of emotion 9. Developmental Psychology (1-1.5 weeks) Influential theories of development Piaget, Freud, Kohlberg, Erikson Sex roles Nature v. Nurture Stages of development Infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood 10. Social Psychology (1 week) Attitudes and behavior (antisocial behavior) Group influence Social perception Attribution process Evolutionary perspective Stereotypes Conformity and obedience Behavior in groups Decision making

5 11. Personality (1.5 weeks) The nature of personality Defining and assessment Personality perspectives Psychodynamic, Behavioral, Humanistic, Biological, Contemporary Empirical approach Self-concept and self-esteem Culture and personality 12. Abnormal Psychology (1.5 weeks) Approaches to abnormal psychology Definitions and theories Diagnosis Disorders Anxiety, mood, organic, personality, dissociative, somatoform Treatment Treatment approaches Modes of therapy AP Psychology Unit 5: Learning

6 Unit Outline Student Responsibility: Students will be given a unit outline at the beginning of each unit. Students are expected to use each outline as a template for each chapter in the text, and as a study guide to correspond with lecture notes and class demonstrations. Each unit outline is not a complete list of every vocabulary term from the unit, but a starting point. Students should add information to each outline as we complete each unit. 1. Classical Conditioning Pavlov s Experiment (demonstration) - Cognitive processes - Biological predispositions Applications of Classical Conditioning - Conditioned fears - Emotional responses - Physiological responses Basic terminology and procedures - Acquisition - Extinction and spontaneous recovery - High-order conditioning - Unconditioned stimulus, conditioned stimulus, conditioned response, elicited, trial Watson and Classical Conditioning - Stimulus generalization 2. Operant Conditioning Thorndike - Law of Effect - Stimulus discrimination Skinner s Demonstration - Reinforcement Basic terminology and procedures - Operant Chamber (Skinner Box)

7 - Reinforcement contingencies - Cumulative recorder - Shaping - Acquisition - Extinction and resistance Reinforcement schedules - Continuous - Intermittent - Ratio schedules/interval schedules Positive/Negative Reinforcement - Escape learning - Avoidance learning Punishment 3. Learning by Observation Bandura - Attention - Retention - Reproduction - Motivation Controversy 4. Cognitive Learning Latent Learning - Cognitive maps AP Psychology Unit 5: Learning Formal Assessment

8 Student Responsibility: Write a response to the question. A valid response needs more than just listing the correct terminology; however, make sure you include all necessary terminology to support you answers. Question #1 You have been given the opportunity to be a part of a research team that is studying the possibility of impacting the behaviors of children who wet the bed. Your research task is to develop a method which will stop the action of wetting the bed using the principles of learning. You must give your research team leaders your initial information on the stopping the action, using both classical conditioning and operant conditioning. After comprising the correct models for both types of conditioning, you must decide on, and defend, your position on which model of learning is the best to stop the children s action of wetting the bed. Each model must show an explanation of the following items. Classical Conditioning Operant Conditioning Conditioned fears Positive and negative reinforcement Emotional responses Punishment Spontaneous recovery Stimulus control Generalization Schedules of reinforcement Extinction (ratio/intervals) 2 nd Spontaneous recovery Escape/Avoidance learning Stimulus discrimination AP Psychology Unit 5: Learning

9 Topic: Observational & Social Learning Independent reading and assessment Student Responsibility: Your first homework assignment for unit 5 is to read Kurt Vonnegut s story Harrison Bergeron. You will be given a copy of the story and will be required to answer the following questions. Harrison Bergeron was first published in October 1961 in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Questions: 1. What effect does the elimination of advantages, differences and competition have on the concept of observational or social learning? Make sure that you include the role of the model in your answer. 2. Take what you know about observational/social learning and answer what Bandura s perspective would be on the elimination of advantages, differences and competition? 3. Vonnegut describes a world without basic human tendencies. How did the establishment of the removal of human tendencies relate to the evolutional perspective on learning? How could observational and social learning still take place with the lack of human tendencies? Assignment Criteria: Please type your responses. Use your text for additional information on observational and social learning. A valid response needs more than just listing the correct terminology; however, make sure you include all necessary terminology to support your answers.

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