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Spring '09 AP psychology reading/assignment schedule

Please follow this schedule of reading and assignments; any corrections or additions will be changed here. You will not receive another hard copy in the classroom.


Classroom topics and reading guide

AP Psychology Spring 09


Th -- 22

Class Introduction/Paperwork/Expectations for the course


F - 23

Topic: Mapping it out – what are the most important events/controversies/fields in psychology?

Objectives: To create a timeline of important psychological moments as well as delineate the different fields of contemporary psychology

Activities: Students will work in small groups to create wall-size outlines of psychology’s roots, its perspectives, its subfields within one class period. Outlines will be posted outside class.




VII. Cognition – Memory


M – 26

Topic: Short term vs. Long term memory

Objectives: To identify the aspects of the Atkinson and Shiffrin model of memory as they apply to students’ personal study habits

Activities: Students identify aspects of the multi-store model as they apply to studying information, focusing on interference, maintenance and elaborative rehearsal, etc.


T – 27

Quiz: Short and long-term memory

Topic: How do we remember best?

Objectives: To differentiate between different types of long-term memory/To identify certain techniques to increase retention/Discuss the differences between recall and recognition

Activities: Students will use an array of mnemonics to remember information for later recall.


W – 28

Topic: Retrieval of Memories

Objectives: To determine the different ways the human brain is able to retrieve information from LT storage and the relationship between encoding and retrieval

Activities: Students will work in teams to determine the difference between different types of memories, encoding/retrieval strategies and state and context dependent memories.


Th - 29

Topic: Why do we forget? Do we really remember all that we think we do?

Objectives: To apply Ebbinghaus and the spacing effect to students’ personal study habits/To critique the controversial findings of Liz Loftus.

Activity/Research topic: Replicate Ebbinghaus and Loftus studies in class

Study for Test

F – 30

Test – Memory and forgetting


Pg 19-24



I. History and Approaches

II. Research Methods

XI. Brief introduction to testing/individual differences


M – 2

Topic: The importance of scientific research in psychology

Objective: To identify potential biases and confounding variables that can misrepresent an intended psychological study.

Activities: Students will identify examples of biases and variables that are apparent in classroom examples.


T - 3

Topic: Non-Experimental Research in Psychology

Objective: To understand the importance of the scientific method and control methods to further the scientific aspects of psychology/Identify when to use different qualitative methods such as longitudinal and cross-sectional studies, verbal protocols, naturalistic and laboratory observation, surveys, etc.

Activities: Using actual examples, evaluate the pro and cons of each type of qualitative measure.

Ethics handout/36-39

W - 4

Topic: Research ethics/experiments

Objective: To identify the APA guidelines for ethical human as well as animal research/To identify the purpose of experimental and control groups, independent and dependant variables.

Activities: Analyze Milgram’s obedience study and Watson’s Little Albert study from the APA guideline standpoint/Create mini-studies where the experimental group, control group, dependant and independent variables are identified.

30-35; 39-44

Th - 5

Quiz: Research Methods

Topic: Research statistics

Objective: To differentiate between different types of research statistical measures (mean, median, mode, standard deviation) and how to use these to identify trends and results in psychological research.

Activities: Provide students with data groups with which they will find measures of central tendency and standard deviation/Apply these findings to discuss standard bell curves and positive/negative skews/Discuss the implications of skewed data

Study for Test

F - 6

Test – Research and Statistical Design





III. Biological Basis


M – 9

Topics: Neurons, polarization and transmission

Objectives: To understand the polarizing and depolarization aspects of neurology/To replicate the all-or-none law and depolarization

Activities: Students will use their arms to correctly identify the major parts of a neuron/Students will create a human neuron chain and mimic sodium transfers to send along the information/Teacher will use the flushing of a urinal to depict the all-or-none action potential


T – 10

Topic: Neurotransmitters; how drugs affect your mind

Objectives: To correctly identify inhibitory and excitatory neurons/To associate neurotransmitters correctly with ailments such as Parkinson’s Disease, Depression, etc./To identify the functions of reuptake and absorption from the synaptic cleft

Activities: Students will have to match up correct neurotransmitters


W – 11



Th -12

Quiz: All things Neural

Objective: To identify the CNS and peripheral NS and technologies used to measure; sympathetic/parasympathetic relationship esp. as it applies to Fight-or-Flight response; afferent v. efferent nerves; somatic v. autonomic systems

Activities: Students will correctly identify which of the preceding systems are active in a series of teacher-provided examples


F - 13

Topic: The lobes and their functions

Objective: To discern the different functions of the areas of the cerebrum; to relate function to location, esp. with the somatosensory and motor cortexes; discussion of Broca and Wernecke’s areas and language.

Activities: The teacher will guide study using website: http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/index_d.html

Students will replicate Penfield’s study with flash animation at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/mind/probe.html


65-67; 70-74

M - 16

Topic: Limbic and Endocrine systems

Objectives: To draw the relationship between psychological and physiological reactions to situations in the limbic and endocrine systems

Activities: After lecture, students will design thinking maps that tie together the inner workings of cognitive processing, reaction and physiological response to Fight-or-Flight examples provided by the teacher.


T - 17

Quiz: Brain parts

Topic: Split brain and Plasticity

Objectives: To analyze the works of Roger Sperry and M. Gazzaniga in split brain studies/Understand the brains ability to create new neural pathways through plasticity and relate it to the timing of growth and development

Activities: Students will complete the split brain simulation at: http://nobelprize.org/educational_games/medicine/split-brain/index.html

Teacher will read a brief article about hemispherectomies and a class discussion will follow.




W - 18

Activity: Students will create a brain powerpoint. This project will tie together all topics discussed in the unit. Students will have to label and identity key parts of the nervous system as well as provide illustrations/clip art that show the function of those areas.

Objective: For students to synthesize the unit information and apply it to everyday function



Th - 19

Workday – Brain powerpoint

Study for Test

F - 20

Test: Brain and Nervous system

New material: Label the eye and ear




IV. Sensation and Perception


M – 23

Topic: Seeing and hearing – how we do each

Objective: To introduce the concept of transduction and the physical characteristics of sight and hearing that make it possible/To identify problems that can occur (such as colorblind and conductive deafness); To understand depth cues and retinal disparity.

Activities: Students will correctly label and identify the functions of parts such as, but not limited to: retina, cones, rods, pupil, lens, tympanic membrane, cochlea, etc. Students will also view illustrations of different theories of light absorption such as the trichromatic theory. Students will view a short clip of Gibson’s visual cliff study for depth perception


T – 24

Topic: The other “four” senses

Objective: To identify the functions of taste, touch/pain, smell and vestibular senses as well as the major components needed for them to work correctly (topics include gate theory, pressure stimulation, taste buds, olfactory nerve, semicircular canals and vertigo)

Activities: Students will understand flavor by taste testing an apple v. a potato with their noses closed; Students will read an article explaining how endorphins and adrenaline can affect pain perception.


W – 25

Topic: Gestalt rules and other perception influences

Objective: To identify the major Gestalt rules and apply those rules to everyday examples

Activities: Students will create objects with characteristics of close, proximity, figure-ground, continuity, etc., for other students to correctly identify; The teacher will use illusions to explain the difference between senses and perception, such as Ponzo, Ames, and apparent motion simulations at: http://epsych.msstate.edu/descriptive/Vision/motile/apparentMotion/index.html


Th – 26


Topic: Signal detection, thresholds, constancy and monocular cues in art

Objective: To discuss perceptional differences using theories such as Weber’s Law, JND, signal detection, etc; To analyze the use of monocular cues in art to give the illusion of depth

Activities: Students will view sidewalk chalk galleries from artist in New York and apply monocular cues and constancy rules that create the effect of three-dimensionality.

Study for Test

F - 27

Sensation/Perception Test





VI. Learning

XIII. Abnormal Treatments (behavioral conditioning options)


M – 2

Topic: Classical conditioning

Objective: To correctly identify all aspects of Pavlovian conditioning, including timing of stimuli in associations, in his initial saliva studies as well as in Watson’s Little Albert study/ To identify applications of CC through systematic desensitization (SD) and aversion therapy (AT).

Activities: Students will complete (as a class) the simulation from PsychSim Ch. 8 at website: http://www.worthpublishers.com/myers5e/content/psychsim/


326-330; 336-339

T – 3

Topic: Operant conditioning

Objective: To correctly identify the essentials needed to sucessfully use Skinner’s operant conditioning techniques, positive and negative reinforcement, primary and secondary reinforcers and the importance of the Law of Effect (Thorndike).

Activities: tudents will complete the PsychSim Ch. 8 simulation at website: http://www.worthpublishers.com/myers5e/content/psychsim/


W – 4

Quiz: Classical and Operant conditioning

Topic: Schedules of Operant Conditioning Reinforcement

Objective: To understand the importance of schedules to maximize desired behavior in an operant conditioning setting.

Activities: Students will brainstorm examples in the American retail world where fixed ratio, variable ratio, fixed interval, and variable interval schedules affect total number of sales.


333-335; 341-346/623-626

Th - 5

Topic: Cognitive learning/ Tolman and Bandura

Objective: To compare and contrast the behavioral movement to the behavioral cognitive movement began by Edward Tolman and Albert Bandura; to successfully identify aspects of latent learning and vicarious learning/observational learning.

Activities: Students will identify aspects of social programs for at risk students that utilize concepts such as shaping and modeling for success.

Study for Test

F – 6

Learning Test

609-612; 469-474



VIII. Motivation v. Emotion

XI. Testing/Individual differences (IQ testing)

XIII. Treament of Psychological disorders (client-based therapy)


M – 9

Topic: Humanism – Reflection of personality and motivation

Objective: To identify self actualization as the motivating force in motivation and behavior according to Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow; to critique the theories of Rogerian self congruency and Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs as motivating factors as well as personality development stimuli

Activities: Students will apply each Humanistic theory to determine the reasons why people join either socially acceptable or anti-social membership (club v. gang for instance).


T – 10

Topic: Eating/Hunger/Eating disorders

Objective: To use homeostatis, instinct, drive reduction, lipostatic and glucostatic theories as well as the ventromedial and lateral hypothalamus to explain our motivation to begin or cease eating; To analyze the aspects of a person’s cognitive beliefs, behaviors and environment that lead to eating disorders.

Activities: Students will work in small groups to apply the Rogerian concepts of client-centered therapy to establish therapy options for someone with anorexia or bulimia.


W – 11

Topic: Achievement and underachievement

Objective: To analyze the claims of the book, “The Bell Curve” as it applies to the gap in achievement scores in public schools and IQ scores; To assess the importance of sociocultural influences on academic achievement; to identify intrinsic v. extrinsic motivators

Activities: Students will read excerpts from the controversial “The Bell Curve” text as well as an online article from Dr. John Ogbu (http://www.racematters.org/whyareblackstudentslagging.htm) and analyze the sociocultural factors – as well as the educational issues – that possibly create the “achievement” gap.


Th – 12

Topic: Emotions – why do we have them?

Objective: To assess the importance of sequence in differentiating between peripheral theories of emotional response (James-Lange/Darwin’s Facial Feedback) and cognitive response (Canon-Bard, Schachter-Singer).

Activities: Students will identify universal emotional responses from different cultures; once identified, students will evaluate which school of emotional response they feel is most accurate

Study for Test

F – 13

TEST – Motivation/Emotion




IX. Developmental Psychology



Topic: Newborn and prenatal development

Objective: To identify key periods of development before, during and after pregnancy as it pertains to physical and motor development

Activities: Students will identify key developmental milestones and potential hazards at each.

102-04; 154-163

M – 16

Topic: Temperament and attachment

Objective: To assess the validity of three attachment theories/Parenting styles (Harlow/Lorenz/Ainsworth) and results of secure v. insecure attachments/Compare and contrast Authoritative, Authoritarian and Permissive parenting styles

Activities: Students will view a slide presentation depicting crucial moments in the observational studies of all three theorists; students will revisit parenting styles from a previous unit and determine their roles in attachment development


T – 17

QUIZ – Early development

Topic: Jean Piaget cognitive development

Objective: To identify the four stages of Piaget’s cognitive development and the role schema, assimilation and accommodation play at each stage.

Activities: Begin Piaget toy slideshow project. Students will cover topics such as conservation, object permanence, symbols, egocentrism, imagination, abstract thought through toys found in retail stores nationwide. Due Monday, March 23rd!


W – 18

Topic: Kohlberg’s moral development

Objective: To understand the motivating factors at each of Kohlberg’s three levels of moral judgment and analyze the critiques of Kohlberg’s theories according to Carol Gilligan.

Activities: Students will have a group discussion to determine which stage they are at personally, based on Kohlberg’s classic Heinz Dilemma activity as well as Gilligan’s ideas.


Th - 19

Topic: Erikson’s psychosocial development

Objective: To correctly identify the aspects of Erikson’s eight stages of social development, the conflicts that arise at each, and to identify which of these stages a person currently resides.

Activities: Students will interview three people outside class from varying age ranges and determine which stage and which aspect of the level’s conflict that each person is currently experiencing. Due April 6

110-113; 126-33

F – 20

QUIZ – Moral and Social development

Topic: Gender roles/Relationships

Objective: Compare and contrast theories against the Social Cognitive Theory in terms of young people learning gender roles. (Including, but not limited to: social role theory, evolutionary theory and gender schemas)

Activities: Students will watch a series of commercials targeted at preadolescent children on Saturday mornings and identify gender roles displayed in these advertisements.


M – 23


Topic: Development of our self

Objective: To understand the influences, natural and environmental, which shape the self.

Activities: Students will create wall organizers to consider the influence of culture, parents, peers and media influences on the development of the self

Study for Test

T - 24

Developmental Test




X. Personality

XI. Testing and Individual Differences (personality assessments)

XIII. Treatment of Psychological Disorders (Insight therapies)


W – 25

Topic: Freudian Personality Theories

Objective: To identify the critical aspects of Freud’s unconscious theories (id, ego, superego), psychosexual stages and ego defense mechanisms.

Activities: Half the room will design skits depicting the struggles between the id and superego. The other half with use the ego defense mechanisms to create skits. Tomorrow, the students will try to determine what role or what mechanism is being displayed.


Th - 26


Topic: Neo-Freudians (Adler, Jung, Horney, A.Freud)

Objective: To compare and contrast the Neo-Freudian theories to the original personality theories of Freud.

 Activities: Assignment : Jungian archetypes in the Disney movie of your choice. Choose 10 Jungian archetypes and identify which character(s) or settings fulfill those roles in the Disney movie of their choice. DUE 4/13!


F – 27 through F – 4/3


Homework website: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

Complete and come to class w/ results

Finish up Erikson Papers!/602-608


M – 6


Topic: Projective Tests and Psychoanalytical Therapy options

Objective: To differentiate between subjective and objective testing, which will begin in the next lesson.

Activities: Students will work in small groups to psychoanalyze responses to TAT, projective and free association tasks.


T – 7

Topic: History of Trait based psychological theories/Evaluation of theories

Objective: To trace the development of Allport’s initial trait idea to the current five-factor trait today. To assess the importance of factor analysis in Cattell and Eysenck’s challenges to psychodynamic theory.

Activities: Students will use complete a comparison/contrast matrix to determine the similarities and differences of each theory.


W -8

Topic: Using Twins to understand genetic influences on personality (and intelligence!)

Objective: To identify the key aspects of twin studies that isolate genetic influence from environmental influence

Activities: Students will analyze the “Jim Twins” and try to determine the natural and nurturing effects on personality development.

Study for Test!

Th – 9

Psychoanalysis/Personality Test




F - 10

No School – Good Friday




VII. Cognitive – Intelligence, Thinking and Language

XI. Testing and Individual Differences (Intelligence/Diagnostic Labeling)


M – 13

Topic: How we learn/multiple intelligences

Objective: To compare and contrast Spearman’s two-factor IQ standards with those of Gardner (multi-intelligence) and Sternberg (triarchial intelligence).

Activities: Students will write a lesson plan in a particular course of study (assigned by teacher) and incorporate at least two learning styles of Gardner as well as the practical aspect of Sternberg’s theory.

439-449; 452-54

T – 14

 Topic: Psychometrics – the individual, testing and diagnostics

Objective: To differentiate between  the Weschler and Binet IQ tests; to evaluate the distribution of IQ scores and the implications of diagnostic labeling; to analyze the impact of testing information in society

Activities: Students will complete written Binet sample test questions and observe classmates as WISC-III tests are administered – students will then analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each test.


W – 15

Topic: How do we think?

Objective: To analyze studies such as Kohler’s Chimp Insight experiment and identify the different concepts that shape our ability to think and problem solve (examples: prototype, divergent v. convergent, heuristics, functional fixedness, etc.)



Th – 16

Topic: Metacognition

Objective: To correctly identify thought patterns and problem solving steps used to correctly solve riddles, puzzles and games.

Activities: Students will play puzzle solving online games at (specific ones chosen by the instructor) in pairs. One person will record the verbal protocol of his/her partner as they go through the stages and then rotate. Then, they will identify concepts identified from the current and previous day’s lesson in the protocols.





F - 17

Topic: Language acquisition

Objectives: To identify key concepts in language acquisition, such as phoneme, morpheme, syntax, grammar, surface v. deep structure, critical periods; To contrast the theories of Chomsky and Whorf while focusing on nature v. nurture differences.

Activities: Monkey article (Copyright 1995 The New York Times Company / The New York Times / June 6, 1995, Tuesday, Late Edition – Final Edition “Chimp Talk Debate: Is It Really Language?” and discussion

418-420; 425-28

M - 20

Topic: Continue Language lesson/Review Cognitive information

Study for Test

T – 21

TEST: Intelligence, Thinking, Language




X. Social Psychology


W - 22


Topic: Prejudice and Aggression

Objective: To identify concepts in social psychology that affect the behavior/thoughts of an individual in terms of prejudice, discrimination, racism and aggressive behavior it may create.

Activities: Students will watch the “Racism Experiment” video and discuss

723-30; 764-767

T – 23

Topic: Continue discussion of social terms/application as they apply to social facilitation, group polarization, Janis’ Groupthink, altruism, self-serving bias and fundamental attribution error.

Objective: To determine the role of groups and gatherings and how they influence individual behavior/decision making

Activities: Students will look at “cults” in American History and see how these concepts apply.


F – 24

Topic: Milgram and Obedience

Objective: To assess the validity, ethics and implications  of Stanley obedience study

Activities: Students will watch a video of Milgram’s study and then have a group discussion


M – 20

Topic: Zimbardo and Asch – Social Roles and Conformity

Objectives: To identify aspects of Zimbardo and Asch’s studies in real life

Activities: Students will replicate Asch’s line study with volunteers from neighboring classrooms/Students will watch clips from Zimbardo’s prison study


T – 21

Topic: Attraction and Relationships

Objective: To analyze what brings people together in relationships; factors that keep them from staying together

Activities: Students will outline the “perfect mate” and then see which psychological concepts fit their expectations.


W - 22


TEST: Social Psychology





XII. Abnormal Psychology

XIII. Treatment of Psychological Disorders (medicinal and cognitive options)


Th - 23

Topic: Historical and current diagnoses of psychological disorders

Objective: To trace the path of psychological treatment and diagnosis of abnormalities from the days of “The Witches’ Hammer” to the DSM-IV-R

Activities: Students will be read case studies from the DSM and categorize symptoms in the correct Axis (1-4) and then estimate a GAFS score based on the descriptions.

649-655; 712

F – 24

Topic: Anxiety disorders

Objective: To identify the symptoms, environmental factors, biological explanation and treatment options (benzodiazapines) for general anxiety disorder, phobias and OCD.

Activities: Students will watch interviews and interventions with actual anxiety patients at: www.learner.org in the series, “The World of Abnormal Psychology” series.

658-668; 713-717

M - 27

Topic: Mood disorders

Objective: To identify the symptoms, environmental factors, biological explanation and treatment options for major depression (MAO inhibitors, Tricyclics, SSRI), bipolar (Lithium bicarbonate), and seasonal affective disorder (Light therapy).

Activities: Students will watch interviews and interventions with actual depression and bipolar patients at: www.learner.org in the series, “The World of Abnormal Psychology” series.

669-676; 711-712


T – 28

QUIZ: Abnormal/anxiety/mood

Topic: Schizophrenia

Objective: To identify the symptoms, environmental factors, biological explanation and treatment options for paranoid, catatonic and disorganized schizophrenia/ To analyze the advantages and disadvantages of typical and atypical neuroleptics as treatment options for schizophrenics.

Activities: Students will watch interviews and interventions with actual schizophrenic patients at: www.learner.org in the series, “The World of Abnormal Psychology” series

677-682; Handout on personality disorders; 656-657

W – 29

Topic: Personality disorders/Dissociative and Somatoform

Objective: To identify the characteristics of specific personality disorders, such as histrionic, borderline, OCD, antisocial, narcissistic, avoidance, dependant, schizoid, and schizotypal disorders; To identify and assess the validity of somatic and dissociative disorders/To apply Insight, behavioral, social cognitive and client-centered therapies to the current study of abnormal behaviors.

Activities: Students will create skits in groups of three. Students will draw three personality disorders from a hat and act out the characteristics of the three if each met the other two on the street. The audience will attempt to determine which disorders are being represented in the skits.


Th – 30

Topic: The Cognitive Therapies vs. other therapies discussed through the year

Objective: To assess the success of Ellis’ Rational-Emotive Therapy and Beck’s Cognitive Therapy to treat disorders as well as psychoanalytic, humanistic, behavioral ones

Activities: Students will create scales for success with the previous lesson’s four therapies and the two from today for anxiety, mood disorders, personality disorders and schizophrenia. Then, students will evaluate which therapy would be the most effective for each of the disorder types.



F – 1

TEST: Abnormal Psychology/Therapies

271-279; 285-89


AP Topics covered in this section:

Health and Stress

V. States of Consciousness


M – 4

Topic: Sleeping and Dreaming

Objective: To analyze the different interpretations of dreams ranging from Freud’s initial publication to more modern theories such as the activation-synthesis theory; To correctly identify the sleep stages, spindles, and activity at each stage of NREM and REM sleep.

Activities: Complete the sleep lab in Chapter 7 of PsychSim at the website: http://www.worthpublishers.com/myers5e/content/psychsim/

279-285; 290-293

T – 5

Topic: Sleep Disorders and Hypnosis

Objective: To identify characteristics of sleep disorders ranging from sleep apnea, night terrors, narcolepsy, etc.; To evaluate the effectiveness/suggestibility of analgesic and posthypnotic therapies. 

Activities: Debate: Does Hypnosis really work?


W – 6

Topic: Neurological effects of drug use

Objective: To create informative, creative presentations which outline the neurological effects, behavioral changes and therapy choices for the following drug groups: stimulants, opiates, hallucinogens, depressants, marijuana, and “rave drugs”.

Activities: Group workday


Th – 7

Topic: How our bodies deal with stress

Objective: To identify cognitive, genetic and environmental inflences that affect stress levels in individuals.

Activity: In groups, students will identify how the fight-or-flight biological response compares to Hans Seyles’ GAS model and the Cannon-Bard model for physiological and emotional response to environmental stressors.


F - 8

Test – Consciousness/Drugs/Stress/Coping



Continue Work on Drug Groups after the examination period



Students will also watch videos pertaining to topics covered this year after exam period


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