• AP  Psychology- Mrs Wegrzyn 

    AP exam Tuesday, May 9,2024 


    Course Description: The Advanced Placement 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 Advanced Placement Psychology course will offer students the opportunities to learn about the explorations and discoveries made by psychologists over the past century. Students will get the chance to assess some of the differing approaches adopted by psychologists, including biological, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic, and sociocultural perspectives. 

    Students will also learn the basic skills of psychology research and develop critical thinking skills. The Advanced Placement Psychology course aims to provide students with a learning experience equivalent to that of most college introductory psychology courses. This course will prepare students to successfully conquer the AP Psychology Exam. 


    Textbook: Myers, David G. Myers’ Psychology for AP, 3rd Edition, New York, Worth, 2018

    Supplementary Materials:  Academic journals, case studies, online media, and other resources used for topic enrichment.


    AP Support & Resources: AP Classroom:

    • Unit Guides

    • Personal Progress Checks

    • Progress Dashboard

    • AP question Bank


    Grading Policy: In this class, assignments are broken down in the following two categories: 

    ● Tasks & Assessments (exams and formative activities) = 85% 

    ● Practice (vocabulary and reading notes) = 15% 


    Assessment Practices: For each unit, students must complete these regular assignments to the instructor’s satisfaction:

     ● Unit Exams - These exams are modeled after the AP Exam, with timed 30+ multiple-choice questions (answer choices A-E) and one FRQ Unit exams will be cumulative, with a focus on the current unit of content. Unit Exams will be counted as summative assessments and are not able to be reassessed.

     ● Application Projects / Presentations – Students can expect to be assigned projects and presentations (group and individual) during this course. These summative projects and presentations will be assessed through rubrics for content, grammar, organization, structure, and creativity. 

    Vocabulary Quizzes - These are scheduled at least once a week. These will be counted as formative assessments. 

    Unit Work ~ (See Monthly calendar for Due dates)

    • o Unit Vocabulary - Each unit will have a set of vocabulary words and Hall of Fame. Students are expected to define these vocabulary concepts in their own words using the AP Psychology Vocabulary Template. 

    • Unit Reading Notes – Students will be expected to complete reading notes for each unit’s modules per the class guidelines. These reading notes are crucial to learning the content in order to be successful on the AP Psychology exam and in this class. 

    • Personal Progress Checks- Research shows that testing your own knowledge helps with retention and retrieval. Students are required to complete a Personal Progress Check (PPC) on AP Classroom with each unit (THESE WILL NOT BE GRADED IT IS FOR STUDENTS USE ONLY BUT WILL HELP STUDENTS IDENTIFY STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES)

    AP Psychology Course Outline

    Unit 1: Scientific Foundations of Psychology (10 - 14%)

     Textbook Modules: 1 – 8  (APPROXIMATELY 15 SCHOOL DAYS)

     Introducing Psychology

    1.1 Research Methods in Psychology 

    1.2 The Experimental Method 

    1.3 Selecting a Research Method 

    1.4 Statistical Analysis in Psychology

    1.5 Ethical Guidelines in Psychology 

    Learning Targets:

    ● Identify the research contributions of major historical figures in psychology. 

    ● Describe and compare different theoretical approaches in explaining behavior. 

    ● Distinguish the different domains of psychology. 

    ● Differentiate types of research with regard to purpose, strengths, and weaknesses.

    ● Identify independent, dependent, confounding, and control variables in experimental designs. 

    ● Describe how research design drives the reasonable conclusions that can be drawn. 

    ● Distinguish between random assignment of participants to conditions in experiments and random selection of participants, primarily in correlational studies and surveys. 

    ● Predict the validity of behavioral explanations based on the quality of research design. 

    ● Apply basic descriptive statistical concepts, including interpreting and constructing graphs and calculating simple descriptive statistics.

    ● Distinguish the purposes of descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. 

    ● Identify how ethical issues inform and constrain research practices. 

    ● Describe how ethical and legal guidelines protect research participants and promote sound ethical practice. 

    Course activities/projects: (1)Naturalistic Observation Stranger Project,  (2) a human timeline of developments in the field of psychology. 


    Unit 2: Biological Bases of Behavior (8 – 10%) 

    Textbook Modules: 9 - 15 & 22 - 25 ( 18 SCHOOL DAYS) 

    2.1 Interaction of Heredity & Environment 

    2.2 The Endocrine System 

    2.3 Overview of the Nervous System & the Neuron 

    2.4 Neural Firing 

    2.5 Influence of Drugs on Neural Firing 

    2.6 The Brain 

    2.7 Tools for Examining Brain Structure & Function 

    2.8 The Adaptable Brain 

    2.9 Sleep and Dreaming

    Learning Targets:

    ● Identify key research contributions of scientists in the area of heredity and environment. 

    ● Predict how traits and behavior can be selected for their adaptive value. 

    ● Discuss the effect of the endocrine system on behavior. 

    ● Describe the nervous system and its subdivisions and functions. 

    ● Identify basic processes and systems in the biological bases of behavior, including parts of the neuron. 

    ● Identify the basic process of transmission of a signal between neurons. 

    ● Discuss the influence of drugs on neurotransmitters. 

    ● Describe the nervous system and its subdivisions and functions in the brain. 

    ● Identify the contributions of key researchers to the study of the brain. 

    ● Recount historic and contemporary research strategies and technologies that support research. 

    ● Discuss the role of neuroplasticity in traumatic brain injury. 

    ● Describe various states of consciousness and their impact on behavior. 

    ● Identify the major psychoactive drug categories and classify specific drugs, including their psychological and physiological effects. 

    ● Discuss drug dependence, addiction, tolerance, and withdrawal. 

    ● Discuss aspects of sleep and dreaming. 

    Course activities/projects:  Zombies – (1)Nature vs. Nurture PBL,  (2)3D neuron, (3) brain model and functions


    Unit 3: Sensation and Perception (6 – 8%) 

    Textbook Modules: 16 – 21 (3 weeks) Fall break is November 9-12 Students will have work to complete during this break

    3.1 Principles of Sensation 

    3.2 Principles of Perception 

    3.3 Visual Anatomy 

    3.4 Visual Perception 

    3.5 Auditory Sensation & Perception 

    3.6 Chemical Senses 

    3.7 Body Senses

    Learning Targets: 

    ● Describe general principles of organizing and integrating sensation to promote stable awareness of the external world. 

    ● Discuss basic principles of sensory transduction, including absolute threshold, difference threshold, signal detection, and sensory adaptation. 

    ● Identify the research contributions of major historical figures in sensation and perception. 

    ● Discuss how experience and culture can influence perceptual processes. 

    ● Explain the role of top-down processing in producing vulnerability to illusion. 

    ● Describe sensory processes of vision, hearing, taste, and smell as well as touch and pain, to include the specific nature of energy transduction, relevant anatomical structures, and specialized pathways in the brain for each of the senses. 

    Course activities/projects: (1) sensory super hero,  (2) alternative end: investigating another organism senses (3) Test your Senses experiment (4) fun with bubbles

    END OF MP1


    Unit 4: Learning (7 – 9%) 

    Textbook Modules: 26 – 30 (2 weeks)

     4.1 Introduction to Learning 

    4.2 Classical Conditioning 

    4.3 Operant Conditioning 

    4.4 Social & Cognitive Factors in Learning 

    Learning Targets: 

    ● Identify the contributions of key researchers in the psychology of learning. 

    ● Describe the essential characteristics of insight learning, latent learning, and social learning. 

    ● Apply learning principles to explain emotional learning, taste aversion, superstitious behavior, and learning helplessness. 

    ● Describe basic classical conditioning phenomena. 

    ● Predict the effects of operant conditioning and how the practice, schedules of reinforcement, and motivation will influence quality of learning. 

    ● Distinguish general differences between principles of classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and observational learning. 

    Course activities/projects: (1)Multiple Apply & Practice Assignments (2) shaping behavior project (3) Train a parent (classical vs Operant)

    Unit 5: Cognitive Psychology (13 – 17%) 

    Textbook Modules: 31 – 36 & 60 - 64 (6 weeks:) Winter Break is December 25- January ,  students will have some work to do during this break

     5.1 Introduction to Memory

     5.2 Encoding 

    5.3 Storing 

    5.4 Retrieving 

    5.5 Forgetting and Memory Distortion 

    5.6 Biological Bases of Memory

     5.7 Introduction to Thinking & Problem Solving 

    5.8 Biases and Errors in Thinking 

    5.9 Introduction to Intelligence 

    5.10 Psychometric Principles & Intelligence Testing 

    5.11 Components of Language & Language Acquisition 

    Learning Targets:

    ● Compare and contrast various cognitive processes. 

    ● Describe and differentiate psychological and physiological systems of memory. 

    ● Identify the contributions of key researchers in cognitive psychology. 

    ● Outline the principles that underlie construction and encoding of memories, effective storage of memory, and strategies for retrieving memory, memory improvement, and typical memory errors. 

    ● Describe and differentiate psychological and physiological systems of short- and long-term memory. 

    ● Identify problem-solving strategies as well as factors that influence their effectiveness and create bias of errors in thinking. 

    ● List the characteristics of creative thought and creative thinkers. 

    ● Define intelligence and list characteristics of how psychologists measure intelligence. 

    ● Discuss how culture influences the definition of intelligence. 

    ● Compare and contrast historic and contemporary theories of intelligence. 

    ● Explain how psychologists design tests, including standardization strategies and other techniques to establish reliability and validity.

     ● Interpret the meaning of scores in terms of the normal curve. 

    ● Describe relevant labels related to intelligence testing. 

    ● Synthesize how biological, cognitive, and cultural factors converge to facilitate acquisition, development, and use of language.

     Course activities/projects:  (1)Memory Experiment Project (2)one pager on topic of choice (3)Memory activity 


    Unit 6: Developmental Psychology (7 – 9%) 

    Textbook Modules: 45 – 54 (3 weeks:)

    6.1 The Lifespan & Physical Development in Childhood 

    6.2 Social Development in Childhood 

    6.3 Cognitive Development in Childhood 

    6.4 Adolescent Development 

    6.5 Adulthood & Aging 

    6.6 Moral Development 

    6.7 Gender & Sexual Orientation

     Learning Targets:

    ● Explain the process of conception and gestation, including factors that influence successful prenatal development. 

    ● Discuss the interaction of nature and nurture, specifically on physical, social, cognitive, and moral development. 

    ● Discuss maturation of motor skills.

    ● Explain how parenting styles influence development. 

    ● Explain the maturation of cognitive abilities, such as Piaget’s stages and information process. 

    ● Discuss maturational challenges in adolescence, including family conflicts. 

    ● Predict the physical and cognitive changes that emerge through the lifespan, including steps that are taken to maximize function. 

    ● Describe how sex and gender influence socialization and other aspects of development. 

    Course activities/projects: (1)Gender stereotyping , (2) Confirmation Bias: A class activity adapted from Wason’s 2-4-6 Hypothesis Rule Discovery Task, (3) Connecting to the Big picture

    Unit 7: Motivation, Emotion, & Personality (11 – 15%)

     Textbook Modules: 37 – 44 & 55 - 59 (4 weeks:)

    7.1 Theories of Motivation 

    7.2 Specific Topics in Motivation 

    7.3 Theories of Emotion 

    7.4 Stress & Coping 

    7.5 Introduction to Personality

    7.6 Psychoanalytic Theories of Personality 

    7.7 Behaviorism & Social Cognitive Theories of Personality 

    7.8 Humanistic Theories of Personality 

    7.9 Trait Theories of Personality

    7.10 Measuring Personality 

    Learning Targets: 

    ● Identify and apply basic motivational concepts to understand the behavior of humans and other animals. 

    ● Compare and contrast motivational theories, including the strengths and weaknesses of each. 

    ● Describe classic research findings in specific motivations, as well as the biological underpinnings of motivation. 

    ● Compare and contrast major theories of emotion. 

    ● Describe how cultural influences shape emotional expression, including variations in body language. 

    ● Discuss theories of stress and the effects of stress on psychological and physical well-being. 

    ● Describe and compare research methods that psychologists use to investigate personality. 

    ● Compare and contrast the psychoanalytic, behaviorist, social cognitive, humanistic, and trait theories of personality with one another. 

    ● Identify frequently used assessment strategies, and evaluate relative test quality based on reliability and validity of the instruments. 

    Course activities/projects: (1) Theories Baseball Cards, (2) Motivational Meme or Video activity (3)Island of personality (3) personality application project


    Unit 8: Clinical Psychology (12 – 16%) 

    Textbook Modules: 65 – 73 & 25 (2 weeks:)

    8.1 Introduction to Psychological Disorders 

    8.2 Psychological Perspectives & Etiology of Disorders 

    8.3 Neurodevelopmental & Schizophrenic Spectrum Disorders 

    8.4 Bipolar, Depressive, Anxiety, & Obsessive-Compulsive & Related Disorders 

    8.5 Trauma & Stressor-Related, Dissociative, & Somatic Symptom & Related Disorders 

    8.6 Feeding & Eating, Substance & Addictive, & Personality Disorders 

    8.7 Introduction to Treatment of Psychological Disorders 

    8.8 Psychological Perspectives & Treatment of Disorders 

    8.9 Treatment of Disorders from the Biological Perspective 

    8.10 Evaluating Strengths, Weaknesses, & Empirical Support for Treatments of Disorders

     Learning Targets: 

    ● Recognize the use of the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association as the primary reference for making diagnostic judgements. 

    ● Describe contemporary and historical conceptions of what constitutes psychological disorders. 

    ● Discuss the intersection between psychology and the legal system. 

    ● Evaluate the strengths and limitations of various approaches to explaining psychological disorders. 

    ● Discuss the major diagnostic categories including neurodevelopment and schizophrenia spectrum disorders, bipolar, depressive, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders, trauma, dissociative, and somatic symptom disorders, as well as feeding and eating disorders, personality and addiction disorders. 

    ● Describe major treatment orientations used in theory and how those orientations influence therapeutic planning. 

    ● Summarize effectiveness of specific treatments used to address specific problems. 

    ● Compare and contrast different treatment methods. 

    Course activities/projects: (1) Diagnose Me! (2) Diagnosis Nemo (3) Gallery walk of major disorders

    Unit 9: Social Psychology (8 – 10%) 

    Textbook Modules: 74 – 80 (2 weeks:) Spring Break April 7-16 -student will be given their AP review packets

     9.1 Attribution Theory & Person Perception 

    9.2 Attitude Formation & Attitude Change 

    9.3 Conformity, Compliance, & Obedience 

    9.4 Group Influences on Behavior & Mental Processes 

    9.5 Bias, Prejudice, & Discrimination 

    9.6 Altruism & Aggression 

    9.7 Interpersonal Attraction 

    Learning Targets: 

    ● Apply attribution theory to explain motives. 

    ● Articulate the impact of social and cultural categories on self-concept and relations with others. 

    ● Anticipate the impact of self-fulfilling prophecy on behavior. 

    ● Discuss attitude formation and change, including persuasion strategies and cognitive dissonance. 

    ● Explain how individuals respond to expectations of others, including groupthink, conformity, and obedience to authority. 

    ● Describe the structure and function of different kinds of group behavior. 

    ● Predict the impact of the presence of others on individual behavior. 

    ● Describe processes that contribute to differential treatment of group members. 

    ● Describe the variables that contribute to altruism and aggression, as well as attraction. 

    Course activities/projects: (1) Social Psych Experiment Comparison Project (2) Powers of social influence

    AP Exam Review (about 2 weeks before the start of AP exams starting) 

    AP EXAM- May 9, 2024

Last Modified on September 1, 2023