Griffin's AP Psych.

Griffin's AP Psych.


Instructor: Mr. Griffin
Course: AP Psychology
Room 208
Phone:  264-4400 ex.2008




Text: Myers, David. Psychology for AP 2e

Textbook Website:
This site contains valuable study tools to assist you in your reading. Included are flashcards, quizzes, crosswords and simulations that will help you learn the material. We will be using this site for some assignments and I strongly recommend you use this site to help yourself study.YOU MUST BE ABLE TO LOG ONTO THIS SITE. Click the "Sign me up as a student" link and enter the information requested.

Various films, research articles, and supplementary materials will be used

Outside reading, including research articles, fiction, and nonfiction will be required. A reading list and/or handouts will be provided.

Supplies: 3 ring binder; notebook paper; a folder for handouts; 3x5 cards for flashcards (the kind on the spiral ring work well); and pencils & pens


The AP program is designed to provide high school students with in-depth coverage of subject material. Students are expected to master the knowledge and skills equivalent to those of students in an introductory college level psychology course. The objective of this course is to provide students with the material necessary to successfully complete the AP exam.

The most important concept to understand is that this course is a college level course. It is designed to replace Introduction to Psychology in a student’s freshman year of college. Students who chose this course should do so with the understanding that only self-motivated, dedicated, serious students will be successful. Unlike an AP course in literature, which deals mainly with skills the students must master to discuss an unknown piece of literature (difficult for other reasons), this class deals with content, content, content. In order to master that content, students must be self-directed and intrinsically motivated to succeed.  While it will vary for some students, you can expect to spend an average of 8-10 hours outside of class per week preparing for this class.

Course Objectives

COURSE OBJECTIVES: In addition to the course objectives listed below by the APA (American Psychological Association), my main objective in teaching this course is to prepare students to score at least a 3 on the AP Exam offered by the College Board noon, Monday, May 5, 2014. As listed in the APA High School Program: Statement on the Curriculum for the High School Psychology Course, the course objectives are listed below. 1. Students should [read will for should] study the major core concepts and theories of psychology. They should be able to define key terms and to use these terms in their everyday vocabulary. Students should be able to compare and contrast major theories in psychology. It is impossible to cover all the material in class, therefore it is imperative that you keep up with your reading and assignments in order to be prepared for each test. 2. Students should learn the basic skills of psychological research. They should be able to devise simple research projects, interpret and generalize from results, and evaluate the general validity of research reports. 3. Students should be able to apply psychological concepts to their own lives. They should be able to recognize psychological principles when they are encountered in everyday situations. 4. Students should develop critical thinking skills. They should become aware of the danger of blindly accepting or rejecting any psychological theory without careful, objective evaluation. 5. Students should build their reading, writing, and discussion skills. 6. Students should learn about the ethical standards governing the work of psychologists. They should maintain high ethical standards and sensitivity in applying the principles of psychology to themselves, other peoples, and other organisms.


Your final grade will be calculated as follows:

Test points are given a weight of 4, quiz points are given a weight of 3, class is given a weight of 2 and homework is given a weight of 1. your grade is based on total number of points. 

A  = 90-100 B  = 80-89 C  = 70-79 D  = 60-69 F  = 59 or less

Course curriculum

Course Curriculum
The following course of study was designed to surpass the expectations of the state guidelines and objectives as well as meet the more stringent requirements of the AP program.

Unit and % on AP

1: Foundations of Psychology (2-4%)
- Logic, Philosophy and the history of Psychology as a science.
- The seven major approaches to psychology: biological, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic, sociocultural, and evolutionary/sociobiological

2: Research Methodology (6-8%)
- Definition of Psychology
- Experimental, correlational, and clinical research
- Statistics (measuring research data): descriptive and inferential
- Ethics

3: Biological/Physiological Basis of Behavior. (8-10%)
- The nervous system: study of, structure, functions, and affects on behavior.
- The brain: study of, structure, functions, affects on behavior.
- The endocrine system: study of, structure, functions, affects on behavior.
- Genetics
- Nature v. Nurture

4: Developmental Psychology (7-9%)
- Life span approach
- Research methods
- Nature v. nurture
- Dimensions of development:
+ physical, cognitive, social and
moral development
- Developmental theories
- Gender, sex roles and sex differences

5: Sensation and Perception (7-9%)
- Thresholds.
- Sensory mechanisms.
- Sensory adaptation.
- Perceptual processes.
- Perceptual development.
- Functions of perception.

6: States of Consciousness (2-4%)
- Aspects of consciousness.
- Sleep and dreaming
- Psychotropic Drugs
- Hypnosis

7: Learning (7-9%)
- Classical conditioning.
- Operant conditioning.
- Perspectives on learning.
- Biological factors
- Cognitive processes in learning.
- Social learning.

8: Cognition  (8-10%)
- Memory
+ short term + long term
- Thought
- Language
- Problem solving and creativity

9: Intelligence and Testing  (5-7%)
- Testing
+ standardization and norms
+ reliability and validity
+ types of tests
+ Ethics and standards in testing
- Intelligence
+ theories of…
+ nature v. nurture debate
+ diversity

10: Motivation and Emotion (7-9%)
- Biological bases
- Theories of…
- Basic motives:
+ Survival
+ Hunger / thirst
+ Development of and sexuality
+ Pain
+ Maternal
+ Curiosity
+ Social
- Emotion.
+ Theories of emotion
- Stress

11: Personality (6-8%)
- Theories and approaches to personality.
- Assessment techniques
- Development: childhood through adulthood.
+ self-concept, self-esteem
+ growth and adjustment

12: Abnormal Psychology (7-9%)
- Definition.
- Theories of psychopathology.
- Diagnosis of psychopathology.
+ anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenic disorders,
organic disorders, personality disorders and
dissociative disorders

13: Treatment of psychological disorders. (5-7%)
- Approaches:
+ insight therapies (psychodynamic/humanism)
+ behavioral + cognitive + biological (psychopharmacology/ psychosurgery
- Modes of Therapy.
+ i.e. individual, group
- Community and Preventative Approaches

14: Social Psychology (7-9%)
- Group Dynamics
- Attribution processes
- Interpersonal perception
- Conformity, compliance, obedience
- Attitudes and change in…
- Aggression and anti-social behavior
- Organizational behavior (see unit 15)

15: I/O Psychology (Industrial/Organizational) Supplemental 2-4%

Author: Timothy Griffin
Last modified: 12/15/2020 11:19 AM (EDT)