A dvanced P lacement Psychology
Class Syllabus 2015-16

Mrs. McDonald
Room 127
[email protected]
518-686-7321 Ext. 1127
Website - HFCS Website - Faculty List

Textbook :
Myers' Psychology for AP
Second Edition; 2014 Worth Publishing
Strive for Five Workbook
On line Resources :
Myers' ebook - online version of textbook
Companion Site for Myers' - survey tools, explorations of various topics, flash cards, podcasts, video clips and animations are available by chapter


Course Description:
AP Psychology is a challenging course that is equivalent to a college course and can possibly earn students a college credit by scoring well on the AP Exam in May. It is a course designed "to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of 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 sub fields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice" (Advanced Placement Course Description in Psychology). Solid reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote considerable time to homework and study, are necessary to succeed.

Course Objectives:
1. Students will prepare to excel on the AP Psychology Exam.
2. Students will develop their critical thinking and writing skills.
3. Students will be able to define key terms and use them correctly in their daily lives.
4. Students will learn the core concepts and theories of psychology.
5. Students will learn how psychologists think-learning how critical analysis is applied and used in everyday life.

Grading Policy:
Grades will be based on a percentage out of a possible 100%. Exams will be given at the end of each unit and will consist of multiple-choice and free response questions (simulating the AP Exam). Other assignments given to students may include class presentations, group projects, short writing assignments, and papers. These assignments vary with the unit being covered. Quizzes will be administered periodically and without notice as students are expected to study the course material every night.

Unit Tests - 50%
Projects - 15%
Quizzes and FRQ's - 15%
Notes - 10%
Homework - 10%

Plagiarism/Cheating:
Academic integrity is of paramount importance. Actions have consequences!
Cut and Paste is considered plagiarism! Always cite your sources.
It is okay to ask someone for their reasoning and methods, but it is not okay to copy their work.
Any cheating that occurs is a zero on the assignment.

Summer Assignment :
Students are required to read a psychology related book from a prescribed list and write an original paper on how it relates to the field of psychology. They will also read three out of seven articles assigned and will need to analyze the article and complete guided review questions.

Course Outline

Unit 1 and 2 - History, Approaches and Research Methods
Module 1 - Psychology's History
Module 2 - Psychology's Big Issues and Approaches
Module 3 - Careers in Psychology
Module 4 - The Need for Psychological Science
Module 5 - The Scientific Method and Description
Module 6 - Correlation and Experimentation
Module 7 - Statistical Reasoning in Everyday Life
Module 8 - Frequently Asked Questions about Psychology

Textbook - Page 1-74 September 8-28

Essential Questions:
What defines psychology as a field of study?
How did structuralism and functionalism differ, and who were the important people in those early fields?
What were the basic ideas and who were the important people behind the early approaches known as Gestalt, psychoanalysis and behaviorism?
What are the basic ideas behind the seven modern perspectives, as well as the important contributions of Skinner, Maslow, and Rogers?
How does a psychiatrist differ from a psychologist, and what are the other types of professionals who work in the various ideas of psychology?
Why is psychology considered a science, and what are the steps in using the scientific method?
How are naturalistic and laboratory settings used to describe behavior, and what are some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with these settings?
How are case studies and surveys used to describe behavior, and what are some drawbacks to each of these methods?
How are operational definitions, independent and dependent variables, experimental and control groups, and random assignment used in designing an experiment?
Why are the placebo and the experimenter effects problematic for an experiment, and how can single-blind