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Ms. Ervin Social Studies/Science Room 110A firstname.lastname@example.org AP Psychology Course Syllabus (SUBJECT TO CHANGE ANYTIME AT MY DISCRETION) COURSE DESCRIPTION The Advance Placement Psychology course is designed to introduce scholars 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. REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS Text- Zimbardo, P, (2007). Psychology: AP Edition (Provided by the school) ADDITIONAL RESOURCE American Psychological Association (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (66th ed.). Washington, D.C.: Author. COURSE GOALS The Advance Placement Psychology course aims to provide the scholars with a learning experience equivalent to that obtained in most college introductory psychology courses. In addition, this course will aim to enhance knowledge, skills, and attitudes that apply to our own lives. Please understand from the get-go that you are the person of utmost importance in the learning process. Acting as a college scholar, you are expected to seek, find, and internalize knowledge on your own. You must be the main agent in the educational process. My job is to facilitate your drive and accomplishment by structuring learning situations and selecting learning tools to help you attain your goals which should be as follows: To earn a successful score on the Advance Placement Psychology Exam (3 or higher, but I would aim higher) To enrichment of your life through the acquisition of psychological knowledge, and enjoyment of the course To show both the unity and the diversity of psychology’s subject matter To illuminate the process of research and its intimate link to application To make the text challenging to think about and easy to learn COURSE OUTLINE I. History and Approaches The historical introduction helps scholars gain an understanding of the principal approaches to psychology: behavioral, biological, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic, evolutionary/sociobiological, and sociocultural. II. Research Methods The scientific nature of psychology is made clear through coverage of the scientific method focusing on the following methods: experimentation, naturalistic observation, surveys, case studies and descriptive, correlational research. All of these methods will be evaluated in terms of their advantages and disadvantages, including sampling bias, the placebo effect, the possible distortion or bias of data. Additionally, the question of ethics in research will be addressed in terms of human and animal subjects; with a focus on the APA Ethical Guidelines for Research and specific case studies. III. Biological Bases of Behavior Students need to understand the relationship between biology and behavior. Students study the brain as a key part of the body’s nervous system, paying particular attention to the anatomical and functional relationships among the central, somatic, and autonomic nervous systems. IV. Sensation and Perception The study of sensation and perception begins with the concept of threshold. Students learn about the measurement of absolute and difference thresholds and the physical, physiological, and psychological variables affecting measurements. Coverage includes anatomy and function of the eye and ear, color theories of vision, audition, perceptual acuity, sensory adaptation, and sensory disorders such as deafness and color blindness. Of major importance is the role played by experience and culture in perception and the way in which perception can be improved by learning. V. States of Consciousness Students are introduced to research information on different states of consciousness, ranging from normal occurrences in people’s everyday lives to those that are markedly different from the experience of most people. The study of variations in consciousness frequently includes an examination of hypnosis, meditation, and daydreaming, as well as a discussion of the effects on consciousness of such drugs as narcotics, depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens. VI. Learning This section of the course introduces students to the differences between learned and unlearned behavior. It covers the basic learning processes of classical conditioning and operant conditioning and makes clear their similarities and differences. Students learn about the basic phenomena of learning, such as acquisition, extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization, discrimination, and higher-order conditioning. They study the effects of reinforcement and punishment in different, specific learning paradigms: reinforcement and omission training, behavior modification, and active and passive avoidance. VII. Cognition Cognitive psychology is concerned with the process involved in the transformation, reduction, elaboration, storage, recovery, and use of sensory input. Cognition includes the different kinds of knowledge and types of processing. Psychological views of different modes of thinking, including concept formation are also considered. VIII. Motivation and Emotion In studying motivation, students learn about the forces that influence the strength and direction of behavior including homeostasis. The concepts of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are also examined. The study of emotion centers on the complex interactions between cognition and physiological mechanisms that are associated with feelings of love, hate, fear, and jealousy. IX. Development Psychology Students will examine from a life-span perspective the major dimensions in which development takes place and the role gender plays within each dimension. These dimensions are physical, cognitive, social and moral. Students will learn about the different theories of development, for example, those of Erik Erikson, Carol Gilligan, Lawrence Kohlberg, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky. X. Personality In this section of the course, students come to understand the major theories and approaches to personality: psychoanalytic/psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive, trait, and behaviorist. In the process, they learn about the background and thought of some of the major contributors to the domain of personality, such as Alfred Adler, Gordon Allport, Albert Bandura, Raymond Cattell, Hans Eysenck, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Walter Mischel, and Carl Rogers. XI. Testing and Individual Differences This section of the course deals with the assessment of human differences in aptitudes, intelligence, interests and personality. It details the various types of tests used to assess these traits and the methods by which the tests are constructed. It describes the measures obtained from tests and the process of standardizing these measures. XII. Abnormal Psychology Students will discuss the definition and diagnosis of abnormal behavior. Criteria that identify behavior as abnormal could be statistical comparisons, sociological norms, or adaptive behavior. Specific attention will be given to etiology and diagnostic criteria for the following disorders: mood, personality, dissociative, somatoform, anxiety, organic, and psychotic. XIII. Treatment of Psychological Disorders Students are introduced to the treatment of psychological disorders through an overview of the approaches used by therapists of different treatment orientations. Behavioral, humanistic, psychoanalytical/psychodynamic, Gestalt, cognitive-behavioral, and pharmacological approaches to treatment are discussed. Therapy may be administered on a one-on-one basis or within the context of a group. Students are exposed to prevention and intervention techniques offered at the community level. Such services include educational programs, crisis intervention, and counseling. XIV. Social Psychology Students first learn how the structure and function of a given group may affect the behavior of the group as a unit or the behavior of the individual group member. Students then learn the basic concepts of social cognition. Students will also be exposed to classic studies dealing with the concepts of conformity, compliance, and obedience and learn how findings in the laboratory can help explain situations in everyday life. GRADING POLICY A = 90–100 B = 80–89 C = 70–79 D = 60–69 F = 0–59 Assignments All assignments are due on the date specified, unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor. Chapter Tests After each textbook chapter, a chapter exam will be given. The format will be multiple- choice and free-response, depending upon the chapter content. They will follow the format of the AP Psychology Exam. o There are no make-up exams given. o Please note: if you arrive more than 10 minutes late for an exam, after someone has already completed his/her exam, you will not be allowed to take the exam. Papers The number of papers per quarter will vary, as will the length, duration and depth of the papers. Any papers submitted late will receive a 10% deduction per day late. No papers will be accepted after the course deadline. Readings A reading schedule for the textbook is available on the class website. You are responsible for keeping pace with this schedule. Because of unforeseen circumstances there may be instances in which certain topics may not be fully covered through lectures, notes or class assignments this DOES NOT indicate you are not responsible for the assigned reading. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have completed all the reading, whether or not you directly instructed to do so. There is a nightly reading assignment based on your syllabus. Attendance Policy A student accumulating 10 or more unexcused class absences in an annual course or five or more unexcused absences in a semester course will be subject to the withholding of a final credit. Review the Curriculum Bulletin for more information. DISABILITY ASSISTANCE Students with a documented disability may contact Office of Special Education (SpEd) at ext. 2369, to arrange for academic accommodations. ACADEMIC HONESTY All students are deemed by the schools district to understand that if they are found responsible for academic misconduct, they will be subject to the Academic Misconduct procedures and sanctions, as outlined in the Student Handbook Cheating: Cheating is a form of academic misconduct that involves the unauthorized use of books, notes, aids or assistance from another person with respect to exams/assignments. ANY STUDENT CAUGHT CHEATING WILL AUTOMATICALLY FAIL THE COURSE AND FURTHER DISCIPLINARY ACTION MAY BE TAKEN. – ANY STUDENT WHO AIDS/ABETS THE CHEATING STUDENT WILL ALSO BE PENALIZED Plagiarism: Plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct that involves presenting the words, beliefs, opinions, facts, data, hypotheses, information of others as your own. ANY STUDENT CAUGHT PLAGIARIZING WILL AUTOMATICALLY FAIL THE COURSE AND FURTHER DISCIPLINARY ACTION MAY BE TAKEN OTHER COURSE POLICES Grade of incomplete An Incomplete is not an option except in extremely rare circumstances, and must be approved by the instructor. It is not an option if you are failing the course. Withdraw A student may withdraw from the class prior to the midpoint of the semester, but you are only guaranteed a grade of "W" if you are passing the course. Class expectations It is expected that students will read the textbook thoroughly. There is not enough time in the lecture to cover everything discussed in the book; lectures will be used to highlight important topics and go into more depth on difficult concepts, as well as having discussions, watching video clips, etc. Lectures will also cover some material not covered directly in the book. The exams will have questions from all course material, which includes the entire assigned textbook, all lecture, articles read, films, guest speakers, etc. It will be VERY difficult to get an acceptable grade in the class without attending class and reading the textbook. Professional behavior Professional behaviors are expected, including demonstrating courtesy and respect for the instructor and for other students during class. This includes turning off cell phones, not reading the newspaper or texting or facebooking during class, etc. I will ask you to turn off your laptop if your laptop use is distracting other students. All academic work must meet the standards contained in "A Culture of Honesty" (available online). Students are responsible for informing themselves about those standards before performing any academic work. Cheating on exams will not be tolerated. The minimum penalty for being found guilty of violating the academic honesty policy will be a grade of "0" on the affected exam with no opportunity for makeup; further penalties could include a note on your transcript, failing the class, or expulsion from the university. Decisions about grades Decisions about grades are made carefully, and are final at the end of the semester. Please do not contact the instructor about a grade change unless there has been a clerical error which you can document. Requests to change final grades are a waste of your time as well as mine. I do not give "extra credit" or makeup assignments at the end of the semester. Also, please note that any disputes about grades from earlier in the course must be resolved before final exam period. Once we arrive in the final exam period, your grade from earlier in the semester is set. COURSE CALENDAR Semester 1 Quarter 1: (9-10 weeks) Chapter 1: The Evolution of Psychology (pages 1-33) •From Speculation to Science: How Psychology Developed •Psychology Today: Vigorous and Diversified •Putting it in Perspective: Seven Key Themes Chapter 2: The Research Enterprise in Psychology •Scientific Approach •Experimental Research •Descriptive/Correlation Research •Statistics •Ethics: Do the Ends Justify the Means? Chapter 3: Biological Bases of Behavior •Nervous System •The Brain •The Brain and Behavior •Heredity and Behavior •Evolutionary Bases of Behavior Chapter 4: Sensation & Perception • Psychophysics: Concepts and Issues • The "Five" Senses • Other Senses Semester 1 Quarter 2: (9-10 weeks) Chapter 5: Variations in Consciousness • Nature of Consciousness • Biological Rhythms • Sleep, Dreams, and Hypnosis • Altered States of Consciousness Chapter 6: Learning • Classical Conditioning • Operant Conditioning • Changing Directions in the Study of Conditioning • Observational Learning Chapter 7: Memory • Encoding • Storage • Retrieval • Forgetting • Physiology of Memory • Multiple Memory Systems Semester 2 Quarter 3: (9-10 weeks) Chapter 11: Intelligence & Psychological Testing • Key Concepts in Psychological Testing • The Evolution of Intelligence Testing • Heredity and Environmental Influences on Intelligence • New Directions in the Assessment and Study of Intelligence Chapter 8: Motivation & Emotion • Motivational Theories and Concepts • Motivation of Hunger and Eating • Sexual Motivation and Behavior • Affiliation and Achievement • Elements of Emotion/Theories of Emotion Chapter 9: Human Development • Prenatal Development • Childhood • The Transition of Adolescence • The Expanse of Adulthood Chapter 10: Personality • The Nature of Personality • Psychodynamic/Behavioral Perspectives • Humanistic/Biological Perspectives Contemporary Empirical Approaches • Culture and Personality Semester 2 Quarter 4: (9-10 weeks) Chapter 13: Stress, Coping, and Health (COMBINED WITH CH. 8) • Nature of Stress • Types of Stress • Responding to Stress • Effects of Stress • Factors Moderating the Impact of Stress • Health-Impairing Behavior/ Reactions to Illness Chapter 12: Psychological Disorders • Abnormal Behavior • Anxiety/Somatoform/Dissociative Disorders • Mood/Schizophrenic/Personality Disorders • Psychological Disorders and the Law • Culture and Pathology Chapter 13: Treatment of Psychological Disorders • Elements of Treatment Process • Therapies • Current Trends and Issues in Treatment • Institutional Treatment in Transition Chapter 14: Social Behavior • Person Perception: Forming Impressions of Others • Attribution Process • Close Relationships: Liking and Loving • Attitudes • Conformity and Obedience • Behavior in Groups Review for AP Exam ***AP EXAM Tuesday, May 7th 2012*** STUDY TIPS Start studying now! Commit to putting in the necessary time to remember information from the course! There is a direct relationship between the amount of time you spend learning material and the length of time you remember it. The general rule of thumb is 2 hours out of class for every hour in class (YES - carrying a full load is like a full-time job!). It will take you at least 2 hours to read each module - block out that time in your schedule. An ideal situation is to review your notes and do some reading/studying shortly after each class period while class is fresh in your mind. Space your study sessions All night cram sessions are one of the least effective ways to learn or memorize new material. Repeated spaced practices (e.g. reviewing a little every class day) allow you to mentally process and incorporate the information into memory. It's a basic fact about the way human memory works. Students who take the distributed practice approach to learning retain significantly more information than students who use cramming. Can you imagine if the Panthers tried to win after a single cram practice just before the game? Or a band tried to perform after only a single cram practice? Read material BEFORE we cover it in class Another function of human memory is that we tend to remember things much easier when we have some sort of mental framework to guide us. That's exactly what reading the material ahead of time does; it gives you that all important mental framework so that when the professor mentions the concept, you already have a place to "hang" the information. Find a place to study where you can concentrate Problems in absorbing new information arise when distracting thoughts, background noise, televisions, stereos, and friends sidetrack your attention. I recommend the library. BEWARE So much of psych sounds familiar that it is very tempting to think you are grasping it all just by passively listening in lecture. This is not enough to actually learn and be able to use the material in the course. You must be an active, involved learner and really work with the text and lecture notes to get a good grade. Test yourself Before I test you -can you answer all the questions in our book or on the website without difficulty? If you take the online practice test and only get 60% right, there is a pretty good chance you'll only get ~60% on our test too! The study aids you actually produce yourself (flashcards, outlines, concept maps) are extremely important to your learning.
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