INCLUDES
Course framework
Instructional
section
Sample exam
questions
AP
®
Psychology
COURSE AND EXAM DESCRIPTION
Effective
Fall 2020
AP COURSE AND EXAM DESCRIPTIONS ARE UPDATED PERIODICALLY
Please visit AP Central (apcentral.collegeboard.org) to determine whether
a more recent course and exam description is available.
Eective
Fall 2020
AP
®
Psychology
COURSE AND EXAM DESCRIPTION
About College Board
College Board is a mission-driven not-for-prot organization that connects
students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, College Board
was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership
association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions
and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year,
CollegeBoard helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful
transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and
college success—including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement® Program.
Theorganization also serves the education community through research and
advocacy on behalf of students, educators, and schools.
For further information, visit collegeboard.org.
AP Equity and Access Policy
College Board strongly encourages educators to make equitable access a guiding
principle for their AP programs by giving all willing and academically prepared
students the opportunity to participate in AP. We encourage the elimination
of barriers that restrict access to AP for students from ethnic, racial, and
socioeconomic groups that have been traditionally underrepresented. Schools
should make every eort to ensure their AP classes reect the diversity of their
student population. College Board also believes that all students should have
access to academically challenging coursework before they enroll in AP classes,
which can prepare them for AP success. It is only through a commitment to
equitable preparation and access that true equity and excellence can be achieved.
Designers: Sonny Mui and Bill Tully
© 2020 College Board. College Board, Advanced Placement, AP, AP Central, and the acorn logo are
registered trademarks of College Board. All other products and services may be trademarks of their
respective owners.
Visit College Board on the web: collegeboard.org.
Contents
v Acknowledgments
1 About AP
4 AP Resources and Supports
6 Instructional Model
7 About the AP Psychology Course
7 College Course Equivalent
7 Prerequisites
COURSE FRAMEWORK
11 Introduction
13 Course Framework Components
15 Course Skills
17 Course Content
19 Course at a Glance
23 Unit Guides
25 Using the Unit Guides
27 UNIT 1: Scientic Foundations of Psychology
41 UNIT 2: Biological Bases of Behavior
55 UNIT 3: Sensation and Perception
67 UNIT 4: Learning
77 UNIT 5: Cognitive Psychology
95 UNIT 6: Developmental Psychology
107 UNIT 7: Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
123 UNIT 8: Clinical Psychology
139 UNIT 9: Social Psychology
INSTRUCTIONAL APPROACHES
153 Selecting and Using Course Materials
154 Instructional Strategies
157 Developing Course Skills
EXAM INFORMATION
165 Exam Overview
169 Sample Exam Questions
SCORING GUIDELINES
175 Question 1: Concept Application
179 Question 2: Research Design
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Acknowledgments
College Board would like to acknowledge the following committee
members, consultants, and reviewers for their assistance with and
commitment to the development of this course. All individuals and their
aliations were current at the time of contribution.
Doug Bernstein, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Jason DeLucco, St. Mary’s Ryken High School, Leonardtown, MD
Hollie Drake, Overland High School, Aurora, CO
Nancy Fenton, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL
Adam Goodie, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Michael Hamilton, Hopkinton High School, Hopkinton, MA
Sandy Hoerner, Hempstead High School, Dubuque, IA
Paula Hylton, Cannon School, Concord, NC
Kristin Whitlock, Davis High School, Kaysville, UT
College Board Sta
Sara Hunter, Associate Director, AP Curricular Publications
Claire Lorenz, Senior Director, AP Instructional Design and
PD Resource Development
Daniel McDonough, Senior Director, AP Content Integration
Catherine E. Walsh, Director, AP Psychology Content Development
Audra Brown Ward, Director, AP Instructional Design and
PD Resource Development
SPECIAL THANKS Christopher Budano and John R. Williamson
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vAP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
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About AP
College Board’s Advanced Placement® Program (AP®)
enables willing and academically prepared students
to pursue college-level studies—with the opportunity
to earn college credit, advanced placement, or
both—while still in high school. Through AP courses
in 38 subjects, each culminating in a challenging
exam, students learn to think critically, construct solid
arguments, and see many sides of an issue—skills
that prepare them for college and beyond. Taking
APcourses demonstrates to college admission ocers
that students have sought the most challenging
curriculum available to them, and research indicates
that students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam
typically experience greater academic success in
college and are more likely to earn a college degree
than non-AP students. Each AP teacher’s syllabus
is evaluated and approved by faculty from some of
the nation’s leading colleges and universities, and
AP Exams are developed and scored by college faculty
and experienced AP teachers. Most four-year colleges
and universities in the United States grant credit,
advanced placement, or both on the basis of successful
AP Exam scores—more than 3,300 institutions
worldwide annually receive AP scores.
AP Course Development
In an ongoing eort to maintain alignment with best
practices in college-level learning, AP courses and
exams emphasize challenging, research-based
curricula aligned with higher education expectations.
Individual teachers are responsible for designing their
own curriculum for AP courses, selecting appropriate
college-level readings, assignments, and resources.
This course and exam description presents the content
and skills that are the focus of the corresponding
college course and that appear on the AP Exam. It also
organizes the content and skills into a series of units
that represent a sequence found in widely adopted
college textbooks and that many AP teachers have
told us they follow in order to focus their instruction.
The intention of this publication is to respect teachers’
time and expertise by providing a roadmap that they
can modify and adapt to their local priorities and
preferences. Moreover, by organizing the AP course
content and skills into units, the AP Program is able
to provide teachers and students with free formative
assessments—Personal Progress Checks—that
teachers can assign throughout the year to measure
student progress as they acquire content knowledge
and develop skills.
Enrolling Students:
Equity and Access
College Board strongly encourages educators to
make equitable access a guiding principle for their
AP programs by giving all willing and academically
prepared students the opportunity to participate
in AP. We encourage the elimination of barriers
that restrict access to AP for students from ethnic,
racial, and socioeconomic groups that have been
traditionally underserved. College Board also believes
that all students should have access to academically
challenging coursework before they enroll in AP classes,
which can prepare them for AP success. It is only
through a commitment to equitable preparation and
access that true equity and excellence can be achieved.
Oering AP Courses:
The AP Course Audit
The AP Program unequivocally supports the principle
that each school implements its own curriculum that will
enable students to develop the content understandings
and skills described in the course framework.
While the unit sequence represented in this publication
is optional, the AP Program does have a short list of
curricular and resource requirements that must be
fullled before a school can label a course “Advanced
Placement” or AP.” Schools wishing to oer APcourses
must participate in the AP Course Audit, a process
through which AP teachers’ course materials are
reviewed by college faculty. The AP Course Audit
was created to provide teachers and administrators
with clear guidelines on curricular and resource
requirements for AP courses and to help colleges and
universities validate courses marked “AP” on students’
transcripts. This process ensures that AP teachers’
courses meet or exceed the curricular and resource
expectations that college and secondary school faculty
have established for college-level courses.
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1AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
The AP Course Audit form is submitted by the
APteacher and the school principal (or designated
administrator) to conrm awareness and understanding
of the curricular and resource requirements. A syllabus
or course outline, detailing how course requirements
are met, is submitted by the AP teacher for review by
college faculty.
Please visit collegeboard.org/apcourseaudit for more
information to support the preparation and submission
of materials for the AP Course Audit.
How the AP Program
Is Developed
The scope of content for an AP course and exam is
derived from an analysis of hundreds of syllabi and
course oerings of colleges and universities. Using
this research and data, a committee of college faculty
and expert AP teachers work within the scope of
the corresponding college course to articulate what
students should know and be able to do upon the
completion of the AP course. The resulting course
framework is the heart of this course and exam
description and serves as a blueprint of the content and
skills that can appear on an AP Exam.
The AP Test Development Committees are responsible
for developing each AP Exam, ensuring the exam
questions are aligned to the course framework. The
AP Exam development process is a multiyear endeavor;
all AP Exams undergo extensive review, revision,
piloting, and analysis to ensure that questions are
accurate, fair, and valid, and that there is an appropriate
spread of diculty across the questions.
Committee members are selected to represent a variety
of perspectives and institutions (public and private,
small and large schools and colleges), and a range of
gender, racial/ethnic, and regional groups. A list of each
subject’s current AP Test Development Committee
members is available on apcentral.collegeboard.org.
Throughout AP course and exam development,
College Board gathers feedback from various
stakeholders in both secondary schools and higher
education institutions. This feedback is carefully
considered to ensure that AP courses and exams are
able to provide students with a college-level learning
experience and the opportunity to demonstrate their
qualications for advanced placement or college credit.
How AP Exams Are Scored
The exam scoring process, like the course and exam
development process, relies on the expertise of both
AP teachers and college faculty. While multiple-choice
questions are scored by machine, the free-response
questions and through-course performance
assessments, as applicable, are scored by thousands
of college faculty and expert AP teachers. Most are
scored at the annual AP Reading, while a small portion
is scored online. All AP Readers are thoroughly trained,
and their work is monitored throughout the Reading
for fairness and consistency. In each subject, a highly
respected college faculty member serves as Chief
Faculty Consultant and, with the help of AP Readers
in leadership positions, maintains the accuracy of
the scoring standards. Scores on the free-response
questions and performance assessments are weighted
and combined with the results of the computer-scored
multiple-choice questions, and this raw score is
converted into a composite AP score on a 1–5 scale.
AP Exams are not norm-referenced or graded on a curve.
Instead, they are criterion-referenced, which means that
every student who meets the criteria for an AP score of
2, 3, 4, or 5 will receive that score, no matter how many
students that is. The criteria for the number of points a
student must earn on the AP Exam to receive scores of 3,
4, or 5—the scores that research consistently validates
for credit and placement purposes—include:
§ The number of points successful college students
earn when their professors administer AP Exam
questions to them.
§ The number of points researchers have found
to be predictive that an AP student will succeed
when placed into a subsequent, higher-level
college course.
§ Achievement-level descriptions formulated by
college faculty who review each AP Exam question.
Using and Interpreting AP Scores
The extensive work done by college faculty and
AP teachers in the development of the course and
exam and throughout the scoring process ensures
that AP Exam scores accurately represent students’
achievement in the equivalent college course. Frequent
and regular research studies establish the validity of
AP scores as follows:
AP Score
Credit
Recommendation
College Grade
Equivalent
5
Extremely well qualied A
4
Well qualied A-, B+, B
3
Qualied B-, C+, C
2
Possibly qualied n/a
1
No recommendation n/a
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2AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
While colleges and universities are responsible for
setting their own credit and placement policies, most
private colleges and universities award credit and/
or advanced placement for AP scores of 3 or higher.
Additionally, most states in the U.S. have adopted
statewide credit policies that ensure college credit
for scores of 3 or higher at public colleges and
universities. To conrm a specic college’s AP credit/
placement policy, a search engine is available at
apstudent.org/creditpolicies.
BECOMING AN AP READER
Each June, thousands of AP teachers and college
faculty members from around the world gather for
seven days in multiple locations to evaluate and
score the free-response sections of the AP Exams.
Ninety-eight percent of surveyed educators who took
part in the AP Reading say it was a positive experience.
There are many reasons to consider becoming an
AP Reader, including opportunities to:
§ Bring positive changes to the classroom:
Surveys show that the vast majority of
returning AP Readers—both high school and
college educators—make improvements to the way
they teach or score because of their experience at
the AP Reading.
§ Gain in-depth understanding of AP Exam and
AP scoring standards: AP Readers gain exposure
to the quality and depth of the responses from the
entire pool of AP Exam takers, and thus are better
able to assess their students’ work in the classroom.
§ Receive compensation: AP Readers are
compensated for their work during the Reading.
Expenses, lodging, and meals are covered for
Readers who travel.
§ Score from home: AP Readers have online
distributed scoring opportunities for certain subjects.
Check collegeboard.org/apreading for details.
§ Earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs):
AP Readers earn professional development hours
and CEUs that can be applied to PD requirements
by states, districts, and schools.
How to Apply
Visit collegeboard.org/apreading for eligibility
requirements and to start the application process.
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3AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
AP Resources
and Supports
By completing a simple activation process at the start of the school year, teachers and
students receive access to a robust set of classroom resources.
AP Classroom
AP Classroom is a dedicated online platform designed to support teachers and students
throughout their AP experience. The platform provides a variety of powerful resources and
tools to provide yearlong support to teachers and enable students to receive meaningful
feedback on their progress.
UNIT GUIDES
Appearing in this publication and on AP Classroom, these planning guides outline all required
course content and skills, organized into commonly taught units. Each unit guide suggests a
sequence and pacing of content, scaolds skill instruction across units, organizes content
into topics, and provides tips on taking the AP Exam.
PERSONAL PROGRESS CHECKS
Formative AP questions for every unit provide feedback to students on the areas where they
need to focus. Available online, Personal Progress Checks measure knowledge and skills
through multiple-choice questions with rationales to explain correct and incorrect answers,
and free-response questions with scoring information. Because the Personal Progress
Checks are formative, the results of these assessments cannot be used to evaluate teacher
eectiveness or assign letter grades to students, and any such misuses are grounds for losing
school authorization to oer AP courses.*
PROGRESS DASHBOARD
This dashboard allows teachers to review class and individual student progress
throughout the year. Teachers can view class trends and see where students struggle with
content and skills that will be assessed on the AP Exam. Students can view their own progress
over time to improve their performance before the AP Exam.
AP QUESTION BANK
This online library of real AP Exam questions provides teachers with secure questions to use
in their classrooms. Teachers can nd questions indexed by course topics and skills, create
customized tests, and assign them online or on paper. These tests enable students to practice
and get feedback on each question.
*To report misuses, please call, 877-274-6474 (International: +1-212-632-1781).
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4AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Digital Activation
In order to teach an AP class and make sure students are registered to take the AP Exam,
teachers must rst complete the digital activation process. Digital activation gives students
and teachers access to resources and gathers students’ exam registration information online,
eliminating most of the answer sheet bubbling that has added to testing time and fatigue.
AP teachers and students begin by signing in to My AP and completing a simple activation
process at the start of the school year, which provides access to all AP resources, including
AP Classroom.
To complete digital activation:
§ Teachers and students sign in to or create their College Board accounts.
§ Teachers conrm that they have added the course they teach to their AP Course Audit
account and have had it approved by their school’s administrator.
§ Teachers or AP Coordinators, depending on who the school has decided is responsible,
set up class sections so students can access AP resources and have exams ordered on
their behalf.
§ Students join class sections with a join code provided by their teacher or AP Coordinator.
§ Students will be asked for additional registration information upon joining their rst class
section, which eliminates the need for extensive answer sheet bubbling on exam day.
While the digital activation process takes a short time for teachers, students, and
AP Coordinators to complete, overall, it helps save time and provides the following
additional benets:
§ Access to AP resources and supports: Teachers have access to resources specically
designed to support instruction and provide feedback to students throughout the school
year as soon as activation is complete.
§ Streamlined exam ordering: AP Coordinators can create exam orders from the same
online class rosters that enable students to access resources. The coordinator reviews,
updates, and submits this information as the school’s exam order in the fall.
§ Student registration labels: For each student included in an exam order, schools will
receive a set of personalized AP ID registration labels, which replaces the AP student pack.
The AP ID connects a student’s exam materials with the registration information they
provided during digital activation, eliminating the need for pre-administration sessions and
reducing time spent bubbling on exam day.
§ Targeted Instructional Planning Reports: AP teachers will get Instructional Planning
Reports (IPRs) that include data on each of their class sections automatically rather than
relying on special codes optionally bubbled in on exam day.
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5AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Instructional
Model
Integrating AP resources throughout the course can help students develop skills and
conceptual understandings. The instructional model outlined below shows possible ways to
incorporate AP resources into the classroom.
Plan
Teachers may consider the following approaches as they plan their instruction before
teaching each unit.
§ Review the overview at the start of each unit guide to identify essential questions,
conceptual understandings, and skills for each unit.
§ Use the Unit at a Glance table to identify related topics that build toward a common
understanding and then plan appropriate pacing for students.
§ Identify useful strategies in the Instructional Approaches section to help teach the
concepts and skills.
Teach
When teaching, supporting resources could be used to build students’ conceptual
understanding and their mastery of skills.
§ Use the topic pages in the unit guides to identify the required content.
§ Integrate the content with a skill, considering any appropriate scaolding.
§ Employ any of the instructional strategies previously identied.
§ Use the available resources on the topic pages to bring a variety of assets into the
classroom.
Assess
Teachers can measure student understanding of the content and skills covered in the unit and
provide actionable feedback to students.
§ At the end of each unit, use AP Classroom to assign students the online Personal
Progress Checks, as homework or as an in-class task.
§ Provide question-level feedback to students through answer rationales; provide unit- and
skill-level feedback using the progress dashboard.
§ Create additional practice opportunities using the AP Question Bank and assign them
through AP Classroom.
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6AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
About the
AP Psychology Course
The AP Psychology course introduces students to the systematic and scientic study of
human behavior and mental processes. While considering the psychologists and studies
that have shaped the eld, students explore and apply psychological theories, key concepts,
and phenomena associated with such topics as the biological bases of behavior, sensation
and perception, learning and cognition, motivation, developmental psychology, testing
and individual dierences, treatments of psychological disorders, and social psychology.
Throughout the course, students employ psychological research methods, including
ethical considerations, as they use the scientic method, evaluate claims and evidence, and
eectively communicate ideas.
College Course Equivalent
The AP Psychology course is designed to be the equivalent of the Introduction to Psychology
course usually taken during the rst college year.
Prerequisites
There are no prerequisites for AP Psychology. Students should be able to read a college-level
textbook and write grammatically correct, complete sentences.
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7AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
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Course
Framework
AP PSYCHOLOGY
Introduction
The AP Psychology framework was adapted from the 2014 AP Psychology
Course and Exam Description. The framework is organized into units to
support teaching and learning. The focus of the framework is to provide the
student with a learning experience that supports mastery of introductory
psychology content.
The inclusion of material in the framework is not intended as an endorsement by the College Board or ETS of the
content, ideas, or values expressed in the material. The material has been selected by experienced high school,
college, and university instructors of psychology who have served as members of the AP Psychology Development
Committee. In their judgment, the material presented in the framework reects the content of a typical introductory
college course in psychology.
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11AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
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Course Framework
Components
Overview
This course framework provides a clear and detailed description of the course
requirements necessary for student success. The framework species what
students should know, be able to do, and understand to qualify for college credit
or placement.
The course framework includes
two essential components:
1
COURSE SKILLS
The course skills are central to the study and practice of psychology.
Students should develop and apply the described skills on a regular basis
over the span of the course.
2
COURSE CONTENT
The course content is organized into units of study that provide a
suggested sequence for the course. These units comprise the content
and skills that colleges and universities typically expect students to
master to qualify for college credit and/or placement.
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13AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
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AP PSYCHOLOGY
Course
Skills
The AP Psychology skills describe what a student should be able to do while
exploring course concepts. The table that follows presents the skills that
students should develop during the AP Psychology course. These skills
form the basis of tasks on the AP Exam.
The unit guides later in this publication provide teachers with one way to integrate
the skills in the course content with sucient repetition to prepare students to
transfer those skills when taking the AP Exam. Course content may be paired with a
variety of skills on the AP Exam.
More detailed information about teaching the course skills can be found in the
Instructional Approaches section of this publication.
1
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15AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
AP Psychology Skills
Skill Category 1 Skill Category 2 Skill Category 3
Concept Understanding
1
Data Analysis
2
Scientic Investigation
3
Dene, explain, and apply concepts, behavior,
theories, and perspectives.
Analyze and interpret quantitative data. Analyze psychological research studies.
1.A
 Dene and/or apply concepts.
1.B
 Explain behavior in authentic context.
1.C
 Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
SKILLS
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16AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
AP PSYCHOLOGY
Course
Content
The course framework provides a clear and detailed description of the course
requirements necessary for student success. The framework species what
students must know, be able to do, and understand, with a focus on ideas that
encompass core principles, theories, and processes of the discipline. The
framework also encourages instruction that prepares students for advanced
coursework in the eld of psychology at the undergraduate level.
UNITS
The nine units in AP Psychology and their weighting on the multiple-choice section
of the AP Exam are listed on the following page.
Pacing recommendations at the unit level and on the Course at a Glance provide
suggestions for how to teach the required course content and administer the
Personal Progress Checks. The suggested class periods are based on a schedule
in which the class meets ve days a week for 45 minutes each day. While these
recommendations have been made to aid planning, teachers should of course
adjust pacing based on the needs of their students, alternate schedules (e.g., block
scheduling), or their school’s academic calendar.
TOPICS
Each unit is broken down into teachable segments called topics. The topic pages
(starting on page 32) contain the required content for each topic.
2
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17AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Units Exam Weighting
Unit 1: Scientic Foundations of Psychology
10–14%
Unit 2: Biological Bases of Behavior
8–10%
Unit 3: Sensation and Perception
6–8%
Unit 4: Learning
7–9%
Unit 5: Cognitive Psychology
13–17%
Unit 6: Developmental Psychology
7–9%
Unit 7: Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
11–15%
Unit 8: Clinical Psychology
12–16%
Unit 9: Social Psychology
8–10%
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18AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Course at
a Glance
Plan
The Course at a Glance provides
a useful visual organization of
the AP Psychology curricular
components, including:
§ Sequence of units, along
with approximate weighting
and suggested pacing.
Please note, pacing is based
on 45-minute class periods,
meeting ve days each week
for a full academic year.
§ Progression of topics within
each unit.
§ Course skills across units.
Teach
SKILL CATEGORIES
Concept Understanding
Data Analysis
Scientic Investigation
Assess
Assign the Personal Progress
Checks—either as homework
or in class—for each unit.
Each Personal Progress Check
contains formative multiple-
choice and free-response
questions. The feedback from
the Personal Progress Checks
shows students the areas where
they need to focus.
1
2
3
Personal Progress Check 1
Multiple-choice: ~15 questions
Free-response: 2 questions
§ Research Design (partial)
§ Research Design (partial)
Personal Progress Check 2
Multiple-choice: ~25 questions
Free-response: 2 questions
§ Concept Application (partial)
§ Concept Application (partial)
Scientic
Foundations of
Psychology
1
1.1 Introducing Psychology
3
1.2 Research Methods
in Psychology
3
1.3 Dening Psychological
Science: The
Experimental Method
3
1.4 Selecting a Research
Method
2
1.5 Statistical Analysis
in Psychology
1
1.6 Ethical Guidelines
in Psychology
UNIT
1
Biological Bases
of Behavior
UNIT
2
1
2.1 Interaction of Heredity
and Environment
1
2.2 The Endocrine System
1
2.3 Overview of the
Nervous System and
the Neuron
1
2.4 Neural Firing
1
2.5 Inuence of Drugs on
Neural Firing
1
2.6 The Brain
2
2.7 Tools for Examining
Brain Structure
and Function
1
2.8 The Adaptable Brain
1
2.9 Sleep and Dreaming
NOTE: Partial versions of the free-response questions are provided to prepare students for
more complex, full questions that they will encounter on the AP Exam.
~13–14
Class
Periods 10–14
%
AP Exam
Weighting ~1112
Class
Periods 8–10
%
AP Exam
Weighting
19
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19
Personal Progress Check 3
Multiple-choice: ~20 questions
Free-response: 1 question
§ Concept Application
Personal Progress Check 4
Multiple-choice: ~10 questions
Free-response: 1 question
§ Research Design
Personal Progress Check 5
Multiple-choice: ~30 questions
Free-response: 1 question
§ Concept Application
Learning
UNIT
4
1
4.1 Introduction to
Learning
1
4.2 Classical Conditioning
1
4.3 Operant Conditioning
1
4.4 Social and Cognitive
Factors in Learning
Cognitive
Psychology
UNIT
5
1
5.1 Introduction to Memory
1
5.2 Encoding
1
5.3 Storing
1
5.4 Retrieving
1
5.5 Forgetting and
Memory Distortion
1
5.6 Biological Bases
of Memory
1
5.7 Introduction to
Thinking and
Problem Solving
1
5.8 Biases and Errors
in Thinking
1
5.9 Introduction to
Intelligence
3
5.10 Psychometric
Principles and
Intelligence Testing
1
5.11 Components of
Language and
Language Acquisition
Sensation and
Perception
UNIT
3
1
3.1 Principles of Sensation
1
3.2 Principles of
Perception
1
3.3 Visual Anatomy
1
3.4 Visual Perception
1
3.5 Auditory Sensation
and Perception
3
3.6 Chemical Senses
1
3.7 Body Senses
~1112
Class
Periods 6–8
%
AP Exam
Weighting ~9–10
Class
Periods 7–9
%
AP Exam
Weighting ~1718
Class
Periods 13–17
%
AP Exam
Weighting
© 2020 College Board
V.1
|
20
Personal Progress Check 7
Multiple-choice: ~30 questions
Free-response: 1 question
§ Research Design
Personal Progress Check 6
Multiple-choice: ~20 questions
Free-response: 1 question
§ Research Design
Personal Progress Check 8
Multiple-choice: ~30 questions
Free-response: 1 question
§ Research Design
Motivation,
Emotion, and
Personality
UNIT
7
3
7.1 Theories of Motivation
1
7.2 Specic Topics
in Motivation
1
7.3 Theories of Emotion
1
7.4 Stress and Coping
3
7.5 Introduction to
Personality
1
7.6 Psychoanalytic
Theories of Personality
1
7.7 Behaviorism and
Social Cognitive
Theories of Personality
1
7.8 Humanistic Theories
of Personality
1
7.9 Trait Theories
of Personality
1
7.10 Measuring Personality
v
Developmental
Psychology
UNIT
6
3
6.1 The Lifespan and
Physical Development
in Childhood
1
6.2 Social Development
in Childhood
1
6.3 Cognitive Development
in Childhood
1
6.4 Adolescent
Development
1
6.5 Adulthood and Aging
3
6.6 Moral Development
1
6.7 Gender and Sexual
Orientation
Clinical
Psychology
UNIT
8
1
8.1 Introduction to
Psychological Disorders
1
8.2 Psychological
Perspectives and
Etiology of Disorders
1
8.3 Neurodevelopmental
and Schizophrenic
Spectrum Disorders
1
8.4 Bipolar, Depressive,
Anxiety, and
Obsessive-Compulsive
and Related Disorders
1
8.5 Trauma- and Stressor-
Related, Dissociative,
and Somatic Symptom
and Related Disorders
1
8.6 Feeding and Eating,
Substance and
Addictive, and
Personality Disorders
1
8.7 Introduction to
Treatment of
Psychological Disorders
1
8.8 Psychological
Perspectives and
Treatment of Disorders
3
8.9 Treatment of Disorders
from the Biological
Perspective
3
8.10 Evaluating Strengths,
Weaknesses, and
Empirical Support for
Treatments of Disorders
~9–10
Class
Periods 7–9
%
AP Exam
Weighting
~1617
Class
Periods 11–15
%
AP Exam
Weighting ~1718
Class
Periods 12–16
%
AP Exam
Weighting
21
© 2020 College Board
V.1
|
21
Personal Progress Check 9
Multiple-choice: ~20 questions
Free-response: 1 question
§ Concept Application
Social
Psychology
UNIT
9
1
9.1 Attribution Theory and
Person Perception
3
9.2 Attitude Formation and
Attitude Change
3
9.3 Conformity,
Compliance, and
Obedience
1
9.4 Group Inuences on
Behavior and Mental
Processes
1
9.5 Bias, Prejudice, and
Discrimination
1
9.6 Altruism and
Aggression
1
9.7 Interpersonal
Attraction
~1011
Class
Periods 8–10
%
AP Exam
Weighting
© 2020 College Board
V.1
|
22
AP PSYCHOLOGY
Unit
Guides
Introduction
Designed with extensive input from the community of AP Psychology
educators, the unit guides oer teachers helpful guidance in building
students’ skills and knowledge. The suggested sequence was identied
through a thorough analysis of the syllabi of highly eective AP teachers
and the organization of typical college textbooks.
This unit structure respects new AP teachers’ time by providing one
possible sequence they can adopt or modify rather than having to
build from scratch. An additional benet is that these units enable the
AP Program to provide interested teachers with formative assessments—
the Personal Progress Checks—that they can assign their students at
the end of each unit to gauge progress toward success on the AP Exam.
However, experienced AP teachers who are satised with their current
course organization and exam results should feel no pressure to adopt
these units, which comprise an optional sequence for this course.
23
Return to Table of Contents
© 2020 College Board
Course Framework V.1
|
23AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
THIS PAGE IS INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK.
Scientic Foundations of Psychology
UNIT
1
UNIT AT A GLANCE
Topic Suggested Skill
Class Periods
~13 –14 CL ASS PERIODS
1.1 Introducing Psychology
1.C
Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
1.2 Research Methods
in Psychology
3
Analyze psychological research studies.
1.3 The Experimental Method
3
Analyze psychological research studies.
1.4 Selecting a Research Method
3
Analyze psychological research studies.
1.5 Statistical Analysis
in Psychology
2
Analyze and interpret quantitative data.
1.6 Ethical Guidelines
in Psychology
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
Go to AP Classroom to assign the Personal Progress Check for Unit 1.
Review the results in class to identify and address any student misunderstandings.
30
|
 Course Framework V.1 AP Psychology Course and Exam Description
The Unit at a Glance table shows the topics and suggested
skills. The class periods column has been left blank so that
teachers can customize the time they spend on each topic.
The suggested skill for each topic shows one way to link the
content in that topic to a specic AP Psychology skill. The
questions on the Personal Progress Checks are based on this
pairing. However, AP Exam questions can pair the content with
any of the skills.
UNIT
1
~13 –14 CLASS PERIODS10–14
%
  AP EX AM WEIGHTING
Building Course Skills
1.A
1.C
2
3
Many theories, schools of thought, and
perspectives exist in the eld of psychology.
This course surveys and applies those
ideas, training students to identify the major
theories and perspectives. Within the major
elds of psychology, appropriate research
methodology is crucial to produce reliable
and valid results and avoid bias. In this unit,
students are introduced to research methods
and designs that will help them learn how to
avoid ethical misconduct and design aws.
Students will learn to dierentiate between
research designs, identify the advantages and
disadvantages of each, and determine why
one research method should be used over
another. Students will also learn which research
methods and modes of questioning are
appropriate for dierent elds of psychology
as well as how to use appropriate descriptive
statistics when presenting their data.
Preparing for the AP Exam
This course requires students to use their
knowledge in a variety of real-world scenarios.
Students should have opportunities to
practice applying psychological concepts
in their explanations. The AP Exam includes
two seven-point free-response questions:
one that relates to content understanding
and application and another that relates to
the understanding of research method and
design and/or data and statistical analysis.
Unit 1 provides foundational knowledge
about the eld of psychology and introduces
students to the research methods associated
with various theories, schools of thought, and
perspectives. From the start, students can
begin to answer research method questions.
Students often struggle with knowing which
types of research questions can be studied
with which methods. Students also struggle
with graphic representations of data, in part
because they often confuse the independent
with the dependent variable. Teachers can
give students opportunities to practice
constructing graphs, emphasizing the correct
placement of the variables on the axes.
Students also struggle with using statistics,
particularly statistical signicance—they
might describe correlational research rather
than statistical signicance or use the term
“condence interval” without connecting it
back to the data. Without further explanation,
exam graders cannot conrm a student’s
understanding of statistical signicance.
Scientific Foundations
of Psychology
Developing Understanding
Psychology is the scientic study of behavior and mental processes. This course examines
the history of psychology and psychological theories, contemporary perspectives on
psychology, and how psychological research is conducted. As scientists, psychologists
collect data and make observations about the ways in which humans and animals behave
and think in order to understand behavior and mental processes. Psychologists use a variety
of research methods and designs to conduct their research. These tools help them develop
psychological theories about behavior and mental processes. To ensure that their results
are valid and reliable, psychologists’ research must adhere to strict ethical and procedural
guidelines. Historical research is the foundation of the eld of psychology and has become
the basis for the many subelds within psychology that exist today.
ESSENTIAL
QUESTIONS
§ How does the
methodology of the
research aect the
outcome of a study?
§ How do ethical
guidelines impact
psychological research?
AP Psychology Course and Exam Description Course Framework V.1
|
29
UNIT OPENERS
Developing Understanding provides an overview that
contextualizes and situates the key content of the unit within the
scope of the course.
The essential questions are thought-provoking questions that
motivate students and inspire inquiry.
Building Course Skills describes specic aspects of the skills
that are appropriate to focus on in that unit.
Preparing for the AP Exam provides helpful tips and common
student misunderstandings identied from prior exam data.
Using the Unit Guides
Return to Table of Contents
© 2020 College Board
Course Framework V.1
|
25AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Using the Unit Guides
Scientic Foundations of Psychology
UNIT
1
SAMPLE INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES
The sample activities on this page are optional and are oered to provide possible ways to
incorporate various instructional approaches into the classroom. Teachers do not need to use
these activities or instructional approaches and are free to alter or edit them. The examples
below were developed in partnership with teachers from the AP community to share ways
that they approach teaching some of the topics in this unit. Please refer to the Instructional
Approaches section beginning on p. 151 for more examples of activities and strategies.
Activity Topic Sample Activity
1
1.1 Quickwrite
On the rst day of class, facilitate the “Slippery Snakes” activity, which can be found
online. Give all students ratings sheets with instructions at the top. There should be two
dierent sheets with dierent instructions. Give half of the students the sheet with one set
of instructions and the other half the sheet with the other instructions; students must be
unaware that there are dierent instructions. Then read a series of 20 sentences while the
students process the information according to the instructions they are given. Students
then mark their rating sheets, which are scored at the end of the activity. This provides an
introduction to the dierence between the levels of processing.
2
1.2 Misconception Check
Give students a research problem and have them design a controlled experiment to answer
the question. Students should include the hypothesis, methods, and data collection
method. They should identify how they will analyze the results of the study.
3
1.5 One-Minute Essay
Give students a data table or graph from a research study. Ask them to identify specic
data points and then describe the data. They should then describe patterns and trends in
the data. The students can calculate the mean and identify the median and mode. Students
should then describe a psychological principle, process, concept, theory, or perspective
illustrated by the data.
Unit Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the unit.
Course Framework V.1
|
31AP Psychology Course and Exam Description
The Sample Instructional Activities includes optional
activities that can help tie together the content and skill of
a particular topic. The unit planning notes oers space for
teachers to take notes on the unit.
Scientic Foundations of Psychology
UNIT
1
LEARNING TARGET
1.F
Dierentiate types
of research with regard
to purpose, strengths,
and weaknesses.
EXAMPLES
1.F.1
Research method: experiments
1.F.2
Research method: correlational studies
1.F.3
Research method: survey research
1.F.4
Research method: naturalistic observations
1.F.5
Research method: case studies
1.F.6
Research method: longitudinal studies
1.F.7
Research method: cross-sectional studies
1.G
Discuss the value of reliance
on operational denitions
and measurement in
behavioral research.
TOPIC 1.2
Research Methods
in Psychology
SUGGESTED SKILL
Scientific
Investigation
3
Analyze psychological
research studies.
AVAILABLE RESOURCE
§ Classroom Resource >
Teaching Statistics and
Research Methodology
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
Course Framework V.1
|
35AP Psychology Course and Exam Description
TOPIC PAGES
Learning targets dene what a student needs to be able to do with
content knowledge in order to progress toward understanding.
The suggested skill oers a possible skill to pair with the topic.
Examples include the required content related to each
learning target.
Where possible, available resources are listed that might help
address a particular topic in the classroom.
The topic planning notes oers space for teachers to take
notes on the individual topic.
Return to Table of Contents
© 2020 College Board
Course Framework V.1
|
26AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
~13–14
CLASS PERIODS
10–14
%
AP EXAM WEIGHTING
AP PSYCHOLOGY
UNIT
Scientific
Foundations
of Psychology
1
27
Return to Table of Contents
© 2020 College Board
Course Framework V.1
|
27AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Remember to go to AP Classroom
to assign students the online
Personal Progress Check for
this unit.
Whether assigned as homework or
completed in class, the Personal
Progress Check provides each
student with immediate feedback
related to this unit’s topics and skills.
Personal Progress Check 1
Multiple-choice: ~15 questions
Free-response: 2 questions
§ Research Design (partial)
§ Research Design (partial)
Return to Table of Contents
© 2020 College Board
Course Framework V.1
|
28AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
1
~1314 CLASS PERIODS1014
%
  AP EXAM WEIGHTING
Building Course Skills
1.A
1.C
2
3
Many theories, schools of thought, and
perspectives exist in the eld of psychology.
This course surveys and applies those
ideas, training students to identify the major
theories and perspectives. Within the major
elds of psychology, appropriate research
methodology is crucial to produce reliable
and valid results and avoid bias. In this unit,
students are introduced to research methods
and designs that will help them learn how to
avoid ethical misconduct and design aws.
Students will learn to dierentiate between
research designs, identify the advantages and
disadvantages of each, and determine why
one research method should be used over
another. Students will also learn which research
methods and modes of questioning are
appropriate for dierent elds of psychology
as well as how to use appropriate descriptive
statistics when presenting their data.
Preparing for the AP Exam
This course requires students to use their
knowledge in a variety of real-world scenarios.
Students should have opportunities to
practice applying psychological concepts
in their explanations. The AP Exam includes
two seven-point free-response questions:
one that relates to content understanding
and application and another that relates to
the understanding of research method and
design and/or data and statistical analysis.
Unit 1 provides foundational knowledge
about the eld of psychology and introduces
students to the research methods associated
with various theories, schools of thought, and
perspectives. From the start, students can
begin to answer research method questions.
Students often struggle with knowing which
types of research questions can be studied
with which methods. Students also struggle
with graphic representations of data, in part
because they often confuse the independent
with the dependent variable. Teachers can
give students opportunities to practice
constructing graphs, emphasizing the correct
placement of the variables on the axes.
Students also struggle with using statistics,
particularly statistical signicance—they
might describe correlational research rather
than statistical signicance or use the term
condence interval” without connecting it
back to the data. Without further explanation,
exam graders cannot conrm a student’s
understanding of statistical signicance.
Scientific Foundations
of Psychology
Developing Understanding
Psychology is the scientic study of behavior and mental processes. This course examines
the history of psychology and psychological theories, contemporary perspectives on
psychology, and how psychological research is conducted. As scientists, psychologists
collect data and make observations about the ways in which humans and animals behave
and think in order to understand behavior and mental processes. Psychologists use a variety
of research methods and designs to conduct their research. These tools help them develop
psychological theories about behavior and mental processes. To ensure that their results
are valid and reliable, psychologists’ research must adhere to strict ethical and procedural
guidelines. Historical research is the foundation of the eld of psychology and has become
the basis for the many subelds within psychology that exist today.
ESSENTIAL
QUESTIONS
§ How does the
methodology of the
research aect the
outcome of a study?
§ How do ethical
guidelines impact
psychological research?
Return to Table of Contents
© 2020 College Board
Course Framework V.1
|
29AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
1
Scientic Foundations of Psychology
UNIT AT A GLANCE
Topic Suggested Skill
Class Periods
~13–14 CLASS PERIODS
1.1 Introducing Psychology
1.C
Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
1.2 Research Methods
in Psychology
3
Analyze psychological research studies.
1.3 Dening Psychological
Science: The Experimental
Method
3
Analyze psychological research studies.
1.4 Selecting a Research Method
3
Analyze psychological research studies.
1.5 Statistical Analysis
in Psychology
2
Analyze and interpret quantitative data.
1.6 Ethical Guidelines
in Psychology
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
Go to AP Classroom to assign the Personal Progress Check for Unit 1.
Review the results in class to identify and address any student misunderstandings.
Return to Table of Contents
© 2020 College Board
Course Framework V.1
|
30AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Scientic Foundations of Psychology
UNIT
1
SAMPLE INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES
The sample activities on this page are optional and are oered to provide possible ways to
incorporate various instructional approaches into the classroom. Teachers do not need to use
these activities or instructional approaches and are free to alter or edit them. The examples
below were developed in partnership with teachers from the AP community to share ways
that they approach teaching some of the topics in this unit. Please refer to the Instructional
Approaches section beginning on p. 151 for more examples of activities and strategies.
Activity Topic Sample Activity
1
1.1 Quickwrite
On the rst day of class, facilitate the “Slippery Snakes” activity, which can be found
online. Give all students ratings sheets with instructions at the top. There should be two
dierent sheets with dierent instructions. Give half of the students the sheet with one set
of instructions and the other half the sheet with the other instructions; students must be
unaware that there are dierent instructions. Then read a series of 20 sentences while the
students process the information according to the instructions they are given. Students
then mark their rating sheets, which are scored at the end of the activity. This provides an
introduction to the dierence between the levels of processing.
2
1.2 Misconception Check
Give students a research problem and have them design a controlled experiment to answer
the question. Students should include the hypothesis, methods, and data collection
method. They should identify how they will analyze the results of the study.
3
1.5 One-Minute Essay
Give students a data table or graph from a research study. Ask them to identify specic
data points and then describe the data. They should then describe patterns and trends in
the data. The students can calculate the mean and identify the median and mode. Students
should then describe a psychological principle, process, concept, theory, or perspective
illustrated by the data.
Unit Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the unit.
Return to Table of Contents
© 2020 College Board
Course Framework V.1
|
31AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
1
Scientic Foundations of Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
1.A
Recognize how philosophical
and physiological
perspectives shaped
the development of
psychological thought.
EXAMPLES
1.B.1
Mary Whiton Calkins, major historical gure
in psychology
1.B.2
Charles Darwin, major historical gure
in psychology
1.B.3
Dorothea Dix, major historical gure
in psychology
1.B.4
Sigmund Freud, major historical gure
in psychology
1.B.5
G. Stanley Hall, major historical gure
in psychology
1.B.6
William James, major historical gure
in psychology
1.B.7
Ivan Pavlov, major historical gure in psychology
1.B.8
Jean Piaget, major historical gure in psychology
1.B.9
Carl Rogers, major historical gure in psychology
1.B.10
B. F. Skinner, major historical gure in psychology
1.B
Identify the research
contributions of major
historical gures
in psychology.
TOPIC 1.1
Introducing
Psychology
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.C
Apply theories
and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
continued on next page
Return to Table of Contents
© 2020 College Board
Course Framework V.1
|
32AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
1
Scientic Foundations of Psychology
continued on next page
LEARNING TARGET
1.B
Identify the research
contributions of major
historical gures
in psychology.
EXAMPLES
1.B.11
Margaret Floy Washburn, major historical gure
in psychology
1.B.12
John B. Watson, major historical gure
in psychology
1.B.13
Wilhelm Wundt, major historical gure
in psychology
1.C.1
Structuralism
1.C.2
Functionalism
1.C.3
Early Behaviorism
1.C.4
Gestalt
1.C.5
Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic
1.C.6
Humanistic
1.C.7
Evolutionary approach
1.C.8
Biological approach
1.C.9
Cognitive approach
1.C.10
Biopsychosocial approaches
1.C.11
Sociocultural
1.C
Describe and compare
dierent theoretical
approaches in
explaining behavior.
1.D
Recognize the strengths
and limitations of applying
theories to explain behavior.
Return to Table of Contents
© 2020 College Board
Course Framework V.1
|
33AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
1
Scientic Foundations of Psychology
EXAMPLES
1.E.1
Biological domain
1.E.2
Clinical domain
1.E.3
Cognitive domain
1.E.4
Counseling domain
1.E.5
Developmental domain
1.E.6
Educational domain
1.E.7
Experimental domain
1.E.8
Industrial–organizational domain
1.E.9
Personality domain
1.E.10
Psychometric domain
1.E.11
Social domain
1.E.12
Positive domain
LEARNING TARGET
1.E
Distinguish the dierent
domains of psychology.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
Return to Table of Contents
© 2020 College Board
Course Framework V.1
|
34AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
1
Scientic Foundations of Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
1.F
Dierentiate types
of research with regard
to purpose, strengths,
and weaknesses.
EXAMPLES
1.F.1
Research method: experiments
1.F.2
Research method: correlational studies
1.F.3
Research method: survey research
1.F.4
Research method: naturalistic observations
1.F.5
Research method: case studies
1.F.6
Research method: longitudinal studies
1.F.7
Research method: cross-sectional studies
1.G
Discuss the value of reliance
on operational denitions
and measurement in
behavioral research.
TOPIC 1.2
Research Methods
in Psychology
SUGGESTED SKILL
Scientific
Investigation
3
Analyze psychological
research studies.
AVAILABLE RESOURCE
§ Classroom Resource >
Teaching Statistics and
Research Methodology
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
Return to Table of Contents
© 2020 College Board
Course Framework V.1
|
35AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
1
Scientic Foundations of Psychology
SUGGESTED SKILL
Scientific
Investigation
3
Analyze psychological
research studies.
AVAILABLE RESOURCE
§ Classroom Resource >
Teaching Statistics and
Research Methodology
TOPIC 1.3
Dening Psychological
Science: The
Experimental Method
1.J
Distinguish between random
assignment of participants
to conditions in experiments
and random selection
of participants, primarily
in correlational studies
and surveys.
LEARNING TARGET
1.H
Identify independent,
dependent, confounding,
and control variables in
experimental designs.
EXAMPLES
1.I.1
Experiments are useful for determining cause
and eect.
1.I.2
The use of experimental controls reduces
alternative explanations.
1.I.3
Random assignment is needed to demonstrate
cause and eect.
1.I.4
Correlational research can indicate if there
is a relationship or association between two
variables but cannot demonstrate cause
and eect.
1.I
Describe how research
design drives the reasonable
conclusions that can be drawn.
Return to Table of Contents
© 2020 College Board
Course Framework V.1
|
36AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
1
Scientic Foundations of Psychology
SUGGESTED SKILL
Scientific
Investigation
3
Analyze psychological
research studies.
LEARNING TARGET
1.K
Predict the validity
of behavioral explanations
based on the quality of
research design.
EXAMPLES
1.K.1
Confounding variables limit condence in
research conclusions.
TOPIC 1.4
Selecting a
Research Method
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
Return to Table of Contents
© 2020 College Board
Course Framework V.1
|
37AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
1
Scientic Foundations of Psychology
SUGGESTED SKILL
Data Analysis
2
Analyze and interpret
quantitative data.
AVAILABLE RESOURCE
§ Classroom Resource >
Teaching Statistics and
Research Methodology
TOPIC 1.5
Statistical Analysis
in Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
1.L
Apply basic descriptive
statistical concepts, including
interpreting and constructing
graphs and calculating simple
descriptive statistics.
EXAMPLES
1.L.1
Measures of central tendency
1.L.2
Variation (range, standard deviation)
1.L.3
Correlation coecient
1.L.4
Frequency distribution (normal, bimodal,
positive skew, negative skew)
1.M
Distinguish the purposes of
descriptive statistics and
inferential statistics.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
Return to Table of Contents
© 2020 College Board
Course Framework V.1
|
38AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
1
Scientic Foundations of Psychology
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or
apply concepts.
TOPIC 1.6
Ethical Guidelines
in Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
1.N
Identify how ethical issues
inform and constrain
research practices.
EXAMPLES
1.O.1
Those provided by the American Psychological
Association
1.O.2
Federal regulations
1.O.3
Local Institutional Review Board (IRB)
1.O.4
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
(IACUC)
1.O
Describe how ethical and
legal guidelines protect
research participants
and promote sound
ethical practice.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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39AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
THIS PAGE IS INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK.
~11–12
CLASS PERIODS
8–10
%
AP EXAM WEIGHTING
AP PSYCHOLOGY
UNIT
Biological
Bases of
Behavior
2
41
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41AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Remember to go to AP Classroom
to assign students the online
Personal Progress Check for
this unit.
Whether assigned as homework or
completed in class, the Personal
Progress Check provides each
student with immediate feedback
related to this unit’s topics and skills.
Personal Progress Check 2
Multiple-choice: ~25 questions
Free-response: 2 questions
§ Concept Application (partial)
§ Concept Application (partial)
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42AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
2
~1112 CLASS PERIODS
8–10
%
  AP EXAM WEIGHTING
Building Course Skills
1.A
1.B
2
Unit 2 focuses on blending knowledge about
physiological processes and psychology
to provide better explanations of behavior
and mental processes. This course teaches
students how biological and anatomical
structures play an active role in an individual’s
mental and behavioral development.
To demonstrate an understanding of these
biological bases of psychology, students
should describe the concept or apply it to
a scenario.
As students learn to describe this blended
physiological and psychological knowledge,
they should be able to apply it to behavior
and mental processes in other elds
of psychology (e.g., memory, learning,
development, and social psychology). This
approach will help students understand
how psychological theories, schools of
thought, and perspectives were developed.
Students will also continue to build on their
understanding of the appropriate use of
research methods and designs from Unit 1.
Preparing for the AP Exam
Students often struggle with knowing
which neurotransmitters function with
which biological processes and how those
functions relate to behavior and mental
processes. Teachers can give students
opportunities to map the neurotransmitter
pathways and describe outcomes in both
successful and disrupted transmission.
Students will also benet from many
opportunities to connect psychological
processes to an individual’s physiology.
They often struggle to make accurate and
complete connections between anatomy
and physiology as it relates to behavior
and mental processes. If a question asks
students to give an explanation, they would
need to provide an answer in terms of
evidence and/or reasoning.
Biological Bases
of Behavior
Developing Understanding
The structures of human biological systems and their functions inuence our behavior
and mental processes. Some psychologists study behaviors and mental processes from
a biological perspective. This includes an examination of the inuence that the interaction
between human biology and our environment has on behavior and mental processes. This
is a recurring topic throughout the course that will be used to explain many psychological
phenomena. The biological perspective also provides insight into the causes of and
treatments for psychological disorders. There is a complex interaction between a person’s
biology and their behavior and mental processes. Heredity and environment play a role,
as do variations in a person’s consciousness.
ESSENTIAL
QUESTIONS
§ How can biology
inuence our
behavior and
mental processes?
§ What happens
when a particular
neurotransmitter is
absent from the body?
§ How do biological and
environmental factors
interact to inuence
our behaviors and
mental processes?
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43AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
2
Biological Bases of Behavior
UNIT AT A GLANCE
Topic Suggested Skill
Class Periods
~1112 CLASS PERIODS
2.1 Interaction of Heredity
and Environment
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
2.2 The Endocrine System
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
2.3 Overview of the Nervous
System and the Neuron
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
2.4 Neural Firing
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
2.5 Inuence of Drugs on
Neural Firing
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
2.6 The Brain
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
2.7 Tools for Examining Brain
Structure and Function
2
Analyze and interpret quantitative data.
2.8 The Adaptable Brain
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
2.9 Sleep and Dreaming
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
Go to AP Classroom to assign the Personal Progress Check for Unit 2.
Review the results in class to identify and address any student misunderstandings.
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44AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Biological Bases of Behavior
UNIT
2
SAMPLE INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES
The sample activities on this page are optional and are oered to provide possible ways to
incorporate various instructional approaches into the classroom. Teachers do not need to use
these activities or instructional approaches and are free to alter or edit them. The examples
below were developed in partnership with teachers from the AP community to share ways
that they approach teaching some of the topics in this unit. Please refer to the Instructional
Approaches section beginning on p. 151 for more examples of activities and strategies.
Activity Topic Sample Activity
1
2.1 Construct an Argument
Have students read the article “Are You a Natural?” from the book 40 Studies that Changed
AP Psychology. Then have them write an abstract of the article that includes the research
question, methodology, and conclusions. Lead the class in a discussion about the
interaction of nature and nurture.
2
2.2 Fishbowl
Provide students with various scenarios of physiological changes in the body related to the
endocrine system. Students should read the scenario, identify the hormone, and explain
why the change is occurring. At the end of the unit, or after Topic 2.3, have students
compare and contrast neurotransmitters and hormones.
3
2.3 Manipulatives
Give students sheets of butcher paper. Have them draw two neurons and label their
parts. Then have them model an action potential traveling through the two neurons using
everyday materials such as tennis balls or ping pong balls. Add variety by having students
model what happens in response to dierent neurons.
4
2.6 Manipulatives
Have student pairs create a model of the brain by tracing each other’s heads on a piece
of paper. On each drawing, they should draw and color in the parts of the brain. Then have
them dene each part and explain its function.
5
2.9 Think-Pair-Share
Begin by having students watch the TED talk “Why Do We Sleep?” Have students maintain
a written or electronic sleep log for one to two weeks. Afterward, have them calculate
their data and discuss any dreams they recorded. Follow up by giving them dream
scenarios with an explanation from each dream theory. Students can then write a letter to
the school administration about why school start times should be later for teens.
Unit Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the unit.
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45AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
2
Biological Bases of Behavior
TOPIC 2.1
Interaction of Heredity
and Environment
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior
in authentic context.
LEARNING TARGET
2.A
Discuss psychology’s
abiding interest in how
heredity, environment, and
evolution work together to
shape behavior.
EXAMPLES
2.B.1
Contributions of Charles Darwin, a key scientist
in the area of heredity and environment
2.B
Identify key research
contributions of scientists
in the area of heredity
and environment.
2.C
Predict how traits and
behavior can be selected for
their adaptive value.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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46AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
2
Biological Bases of Behavior
LEARNING TARGET
2.D
Discuss the eect of
the endocrine system
on behavior.
TOPIC 2.2
The Endocrine System
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or
apply concepts.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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47AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
2
Biological Bases of Behavior
EXAMPLES
2.E.1
Central and peripheral nervous systems
LEARNING TARGET
2.E
Describe the nervous
system and its subdivisions
and functions.
2.F
Identify basic processes and
systems in the biological
bases of behavior, including
parts of the neuron.
TOPIC 2.3
Overview of the
Nervous System
and the Neuron
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or
apply concepts.
AVAILABLE RESOURCE
§ Classroom Resource >
The Brain, the Nervous
System, and Behavior
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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48AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
2
Biological Bases of Behavior
LEARNING TARGET
2.G
Identify basic process of
transmission of a signal
between neurons.
TOPIC 2.4
Neural Firing
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or
apply concepts.
AVAILABLE RESOURCE
§ Classroom Resource >
The Brain, the Nervous
System, and Behavior
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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|
49AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
2
Biological Bases of Behavior
TOPIC 2.5
Inuence of Drugs
on Neural Firing
LEARNING TARGET
2.H
Discuss the inuence of
drugs on neurotransmitters.
EXAMPLES
2.H.1
Reuptake mechanisms
2.H.2
Agonists
2.H.3
Antagonists
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or
apply concepts.
AVAILABLE RESOURCE
§ Classroom Resource >
The Brain, the Nervous
System, and Behavior
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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50AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
2
Biological Bases of Behavior
TOPIC 2.6
The Brain
LEARNING TARGET
2.I
Describe the nervous system
and its subdivisions and
functions in the brain.
EXAMPLES
2.I.1
Major brain regions
2.I.2
Lobes
2.I.3
Cortical areas
2.I.4
Brain lateralization and hemispheric specialization
2.J.1
Contributions of Paul Broca
2.J.2
Contributions of Carl Wernicke
2.J
Identify the contributions of
key researchers to the study
of the brain.
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or
apply concepts.
AVAILABLE RESOURCE
§ Classroom Resource >
The Brain, the Nervous
System, and Behavior
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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51AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
2
Biological Bases of Behavior
SUGGESTED SKILL
Data Analysis
2
Analyze and interpret
quantitative data.
AVAILABLE RESOURCE
§ Classroom Resource >
The Brain, the Nervous
System, and Behavior
TOPIC 2.7
Tools for Examining
Brain Structure
and Function
EXAMPLES
2.K.1
Research tool: case studies
2.K.2
Research tool: split-brain research
2.K.3
Research tool: imaging techniques
2.K.4
Research tool: lesioning
2.K.5
Research tool: autopsy
LEARNING TARGET
2.K
Recount historic and
contemporary research
strategies and technologies
that support research.
2.L.1
Contributions of Roger Sperry
2.L
Identify the contributions
of key researchers to the
development of tools for
examining the brain.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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52AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
2
Biological Bases of Behavior
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or
apply concepts.
TOPIC 2.8
The Adaptable Brain
LEARNING TARGET
2.M
Discuss the role of
neuroplasticity in traumatic
brain injury.
EXAMPLES
2.P.1
Depressants
2.P.2
Stimulants
2.P.3
Hallucinogens
2.R.1
Contributions of William James, major gure in
consciousness research
2.R.2
Contributions of Sigmund Freud, major gure in
consciousness research
2.N.1
Contributions of Michael Gazzaniga
2.N
Identify the contributions of
key researchers to the study
of neuroplasticity.
2.O
Describe various states of
consciousness and their
impact on behavior.
2.P
Identify the major
psychoactive drug categories
and classify specic drugs,
including their psychological
and physiological eects.
2Q
Discuss drug dependence,
addiction, tolerance,
and withdrawal.
2.R
Identify the contributions
of major gures in
consciousness research.
AVAILABLE RESOURCE
§ Classroom Resource >
The Brain, the Nervous
System, and Behavior
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53AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
2
Biological Bases of Behavior
TOPIC 2.9
Sleeping and
Dreaming
LEARNING TARGET
2.S
Discuss aspects of sleep
and dreaming.
EXAMPLES
2.S.1
Neural and behavioral characteristics of the
stages of the sleep cycle
2.S.2
Theories of sleep and dreaming
2.S.4
Symptoms and treatments of sleep disorders
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or
apply concepts.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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54AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
~11–12
CLASS PERIODS
6–8
%
AP EXAM WEIGHTING
AP PSYCHOLOGY
UNIT
Sensation and
Perception
3
55
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Course Framework V.1
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55AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Remember to go to AP Classroom
to assign students the online
Personal Progress Check for
this unit.
Whether assigned as homework or
completed in class, the Personal
Progress Check provides each
student with immediate feedback
related to this unit’s topics and skills.
Personal Progress Check 3
Multiple-choice: ~20 questions
Free-response: 1 question
§ Concept Application
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56AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
3
UNIT
3
~1112 CLASS PERIODS6–8
%
  AP EXAM WEIGHTING
Building Course Skills
1.A
1.B
1.C
3
Unit 3 builds on the biological foundation
of psychology established in the previous
unit. This progress toward understanding
the brain, sensory organs, and central
nervous system highlights the physiological
processes involved in an individual’s
perception of their surroundings. Students
should be able to describe examples
of anatomical structures, physiological
processes, and psychological concepts
related to sensation and perception.
Understanding the eects of sensation
and perception on behavior and mental
processes builds on what students learned
in Unit 1 about psychological theories and
perspectives, particularly their strengths and
weaknesses. Students will also increase their
understanding of scientic investigation,
furthering their understanding of the
physiological process of energy transduction
as it relates to chemical senses.
Preparing for the AP Exam
Much like Unit 2, the content of this unit
requires students to make connections
between physiology and psychology. For
example, students may be asked to relate
a person’s receipt of information in their
environment with their perception of that
information. Students tend to provide an
inadequate amount of detail to demonstrate
understanding in response to questions
related to anatomy. For example, an
inadequate response about the role of the
cerebellum would be, “It helps you move.”
This is not enough information, because
the parietal lobe also aids in movement.
The response, “It helps you coordinate your
movement,” indicates deeper knowledge.
In some cases, when a familiar word appears
in a free-response question, students tend to
give a denition of the word as their response
when more is needed to earn the point.
Sensation and
Perception
Developing Understanding
Psychologists study sensation and perception to explain how and why externally gathered
sensations and perceptions impact behaviors and mental processes. Using input from
several anatomical structures, the sensations we perceive process and interpret information
about the environment around us and our place within it. This results in perceptions that
inuence how we think and behave. In this way, sensation and perception provide a bridge
between the biological and cognitive perspectives, oering aspects of both for explaining
how we think and behave.
ESSENTIAL
QUESTIONS
§ How do we process the
information we receive
from our environments?
§ How does our
interpretation of
the information we
receive from the
environment inuence
our behaviors and
mental processes?
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57AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
3
Sensation and Perception
UNIT AT A GLANCE
Topic Suggested Skill
Class Periods
~1112 CLASS PERIODS
3.1Principles of Sensation
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
3.2 Principles of Perception
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
3.3 Visual Anatomy
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
3.4 Visual Perception
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
3.5 Auditory Sensation and
Perception
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
3.6Chemical Senses
3
Analyze psychological research studies.
3.7 Body Senses
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
Go to AP Classroom to assign the Personal Progress Check for Unit 3.
Review the results in class to identify and address any student misunderstandings.
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Course Framework V.1
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58AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Sensation and Perception
UNIT
3
SAMPLE INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES
The sample activities on this page are optional and are oered to provide possible ways to
incorporate various instructional approaches into the classroom. Teachers do not need to use
these activities or instructional approaches and are free to alter or edit them. The examples
below were developed in partnership with teachers from the AP community to share ways
that they approach teaching some of the topics in this unit. Please refer to the Instructional
Approaches section beginning on p. 151 for more examples of activities and strategies.
Activity Topic Sample Activity
1
3.1 Think-Pair-Share
Ask students, “If you had to give up one of your senses, which one would you be willing to
live without?” Have them explain their answer. Then ask, “If you could only keep one of your
senses, which one would you choose?” Have them explain their answer.
2
3.3 Misconception Check
Have students draw and label a diagram of the eye, noting the functions of the labeled
structures. Emphasis should be placed on the rods and cones. Students can do a blind-
spot test and a test for visual acuity.
3
3.6 Graph and Switch
Give each pair of students 10 jellybeans. Have each partner take a turn tasting ve
jellybeans with eyes closed and nose plugged. Have the other partner record whether or
not the subject correctly identied the avor in each of the ve trials. Collect the class data
and graph the results on the board to be analyzed. Without the olfactory sense and sight,
most individuals cannot accurately identify avors. Have students explain how this relates
to sensory interaction.
Unit Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the unit.
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59AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
3
Sensation and Perception
TOPIC 3.1
Principles of Sensation
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or apply
concepts.
LEARNING TARGET
3.A
Describe general principles
of organizing and integrating
sensation to promote
stable awareness of the
external world.
EXAMPLES
3.A.1
Gestalt principles
3.A.2
Depth perception
3.A.3
Top-down processing
3.A.4
Bottom-up processing
3.B
Discuss basic principles
of sensory transduction,
including absolute threshold,
dierence threshold,
signal detection, and
sensory adaptation.
3.C.1
Contributions of Gustav Fechner
3.C.2
Contributions of David Hubel
3.C.3
Contributions of Ernst Weber
3.C.4
Contributions of Torsten Wiesel
3.C
Identify the research
contributions of major
historical gures in sensation
and perception.
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60AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
3
Sensation and Perception
TOPIC 3.2
Principles of
Perception
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
3.E
Discuss the role of attention
in behavior.
LEARNING TARGET
3.D
Discuss how experience
and culture can inuence
perceptual processes.
EXAMPLES
3.D.1
Perceptual set
3.D.2
Context eects
3.D.3
Schema
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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61AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
3
Sensation and Perception
TOPIC 3.3
Visual Anatomy
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or apply
concepts.
LEARNING TARGET
3.F
Describe the vision process,
including the specic nature
of energy transduction,
relevant anatomical
structures, and specialized
pathways in the brain for
each of the senses.
EXAMPLES
3.F.1
Vision process
3.F.2
Concepts related to visual perception
3.F.3
Theories of color vision
3.G.1
Visual and hearing impairments
3.G.2
Synesthesia
3.G
Explain common sensory
conditions.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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62AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
3
Sensation and Perception
TOPIC 3.4
Visual Perception
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
LEARNING TARGET
3.H
Explain the role of top-down
processing in producing
vulnerability to illusion.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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63AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
3
Sensation and Perception
TOPIC 3.5
Auditory Sensation
and Perception
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
LEARNING TARGET
3.I
Describe the hearing
process, including the
specic nature of energy
transduction, relevant
anatomical structures, and
specialized pathways in the
brain for each of the senses.
EXAMPLES
3.I.1
Hearing process
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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64AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
3
Sensation and Perception
TOPIC 3.6
Chemical Senses
SUGGESTED SKILL
Scientic
Investigation
3
Analyze psychological
research studies.
LEARNING TARGET
3.J
Describe taste and
smell processes, including
the specic nature of energy
transduction, relevant
anatomical structures, and
specialized pathways in the
brain for each of the senses.
EXAMPLES
3.J.1
Taste
3.J.2
Smell
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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65AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
3
Sensation and Perception
TOPIC 3.7
Body Senses
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or apply
concepts.
LEARNING TARGET
3.K
Describe sensory processes,
including the specic nature
of energy transduction,
relevant anatomical
structures, and specialized
pathways in the brain for
each of the body senses.
EXAMPLES
3.K.1
Body sense: touch
3.K.2
Body sense: pain
3.K.3
Body sense: vestibular
3.K.4
Body sense: kinesthesis
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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66AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
~9–10
CLASS PERIODS
7–9
%
AP EXAM WEIGHTING
AP PSYCHOLOGY
UNIT
Learning
4
67
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67AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Remember to go to AP Classroom
to assign students the online
Personal Progress Check for
this unit.
Whether assigned as homework or
completed in class, the Personal
Progress Check provides each
student with immediate feedback
related to this unit’s topics and skills.
Personal Progress Check 4
Multiple-choice: ~10 questions
Free-response: 1 question
§ Research Design
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68AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
4
UNIT
4
~910 CLASS PERIODS
7–9
%
  AP EXAM WEIGHTING
Building Course Skills
1.B
This unit integrates knowledge about
physiological processes and psychological
concepts from Units 2 and 3 within the
context of learning processes. Major
learning theories are introduced, as well
as the experiments that were conducted
to rene these theories. This increased
understanding of research methods and
design, rst introduced in Unit 1, will reinforce
the importance of valid and reliable research
methods. This is a great place in the course
to introduce case studies as a research
method. This unit also gives students the
opportunity to move from an understanding
of the major theories to the research that
was conducted to rene them and then to
the data analysis involved in explaining the
psychological phenomena.
Preparing for the AP Exam
Classical and operant conditioning are
learning methods that help explain behavior
and mental processes. While these theories
share many common attributes and involve
similar processes, they are dierent, and
they explain behavior and mental processes
dierently. Teachers can model these theories
with examples that are accessible and
interesting to help students recognize the
dierences and better understand how
each theory explains behavior and mental
processes. On the AP Exam, students often
confuse classical and operant conditioning
and describe the incorrect one. Students
should be able to describe the principles of
classical and/or operant conditioning and
explain how they function to alter behavior
and mental processes.
Learning
Developing Understanding
Some psychologists focus their study on how humans and other animals learn and how some
experiences can lead to changes in behavior and mental processes. Because the process
of learning requires both physiological and psychological processes to work together, the
two preceding units provide the foundation for this unit. Many psychologists who study learning
focus on observable behaviors and how those behaviors can be changed or reinforced. Other
learning psychologists study how the individual’s observations of other peoples’ behaviors
inuence changes in that individual’s mental processes and resulting behaviors.
ESSENTIAL
QUESTIONS
§ How do we learn?
§ How do our experiences
inuence our behaviors
and mental processes?
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69AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
4
Learning
UNIT AT A GLANCE
Topic Suggested Skill
Class Periods
~910 CLASS PERIODS
4.1 Introduction to Learning
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
4.2 Classical Conditioning
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
4.3 Operant Conditioning
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
4.4 Social and Cognitive Factors
in Learning
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
Go to AP Classroom to assign the Personal Progress Check for Unit 4.
Review the results in class to identify and address any student misunderstandings.
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70AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Learning
UNIT
4
SAMPLE INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES
The sample activities on this page are optional and are oered to provide possible ways to
incorporate various instructional approaches into the classroom. Teachers do not need to use
these activities or instructional approaches and are free to alter or edit them. The examples
below were developed in partnership with teachers from the AP community to share ways
that they approach teaching some of the topics in this unit. Please refer to the Instructional
Approaches section beginning on p. 151 for more examples of activities and strategies.
Activity Topic Sample Activity
1
4.1 Misconception Check
Provide students with a list of behaviors and ask them to write down which behaviors
are examples of learning. Provide a mini-lecture on learning, including the denition and the
dierent types of learning. At the end of the lesson, read the list of behaviors again and ask
students to identify which behaviors are examples of learning. Compare answers from the
beginning of class and clarify misconceptions.
2
4.2 Ask the Expert (or Students as Experts)
Have students create their own (appropriate) skit to demonstrate their understanding of
classical conditioning. Required elements include neutral stimulus, unconditioned stimulus,
unconditioned response, conditioned stimulus, and conditioned response. Students can
perform their skits live in class or record them and upload them to YouTube.
3
4.3 Construct an Argument
Provide students with a list of scenarios that include examples of classical and operant
conditioning. Have students identify the type of learning (classical or operant). If it is
classical, have them identify the UCS, UCR, NS, CS, and CR. If it is operant, have them
determine if the scenario is punishment or reinforcement (positive or negative).
4
4.4 Index Card Summaries/Questions
Bonobos, closely related to humans, exhibit the capacity to share with members of their
troop. Have students read articles with research ndings on bonobos. Then have them
develop research questions that could be asked based on ndings in the articles.
These questions should be relevant to the eld of social and cognitive development
and related to learning.
Unit Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the unit.
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71AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
4
Learning
TOPIC 4.1
Introduction to
Learning
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
LEARNING TARGET
4.A
Identify the contributions
of key researchers in the
psychology of learning.
EXAMPLES
4.A.1
Contributions of Albert Bandura, key
researcher to the psychology of learning
4.A.2
Contributions of Ivan Pavlov, key researcher in
the psychology of learning
4.A.3
Contributions of Robert Rescorla, key
researcher in the psychology of learning
4.A.4
Contributions of B. F. Skinner, key researcher in
the psychology of learning
4.A.5
Contributions of Edward Thorndike, key
researcher in the psychology of learning
4.A.6
Contributions of Edward Tolman, key
researcher in the psychology of learning
4.A.7
Contributions of John B. Watson, key
researcher in the psychology of learning
4.A.8
Contributions of John Garcia, key researcher in
the psychology of learning
4.B
Interpret graphs that exhibit
the results of learning
experiments.
continued on next page
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72AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
4
Learning
LEARNING TARGET
4.C
Describe the essential
characteristics of insight
learning, latent learning, and
social learning.
4.D
Apply learning principles to
explain emotional learning,
taste aversion, superstitious
behavior, and learned
helplessness.
4.E
Provide examples of how
biological constraints create
learning predispositions.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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73AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
4
Learning
TOPIC 4.2
Classical Conditioning
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
LEARNING TARGET
4.F
Describe basic classical
conditioning phenomena.
EXAMPLES
4.F.1
Acquisition
4.F.2
Extinction
4.F.3
Spontaneous recovery
4.F.4
Generalization
4.F.5
Stimulus discrimination
4.F.6
Higher-order learning
4.F.7
Unconditioned stimulus
4.F.8
Unconditioned response
4.F.9
Neutral/conditioned stimulus
4.F.10
Conditioned response
4.G.1
Contingencies
4.G
Distinguish general
dierences between
principles of classical
conditioning, operant
conditioning, and
observational learning.
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74AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
4
Learning
TOPIC 4.3
Operant Conditioning
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
LEARNING TARGET
4.H
Predict the eects of operant
conditioning.
EXAMPLES
4.H.1
Positive reinforcement
4.H.2
Negative reinforcement
4.H.3
Positive punishment
4.H.4
Negative punishment
4.I
Predict how practice,
schedules of reinforcement,
other aspects of
reinforcement, and
motivation will inuence
quality of learning.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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75AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
4
Learning
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
TOPIC 4.4
Social and Cognitive
Factors in Learning
LEARNING TARGET
4.J
Suggest how behavior
modication, biofeedback,
coping strategies, and
self-control can be used to
address behavioral problems.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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76AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
~1718
CLASS PERIODS
1317
%
AP EXAM WEIGHTING
AP PSYCHOLOGY
UNIT
Cognitive
Psychology
5
77
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77AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Remember to go to AP Classroom
to assign students the online
Personal Progress Check for
this unit.
Whether assigned as homework or
completed in class, the Personal
Progress Check provides each
student with immediate feedback
related to this unit’s topics and skills.
Personal Progress Check 5
Multiple-choice: ~30 questions
Free-response: 1 question
§ Concept Application
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78AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
5
~1718 CLASS PERIODS1317
%
  AP EXAM WEIGHTING
Building Course Skills
1.A
1.B
1.C
3
Cognition, which covers both memory
processes and individual dierences
in intelligence, plays a major role in the
eld of psychology today. Building on
the anatomical structures and biological
processes learned in Units 2 and 3, this
unit emphasizes the memory processes of
encoding, storing, and retrieving information
from the brain. Students are moving beyond
denitional understanding of psychological
concepts and perspectives and are now
reasoning systematically.
Students should be able to connect the
in-depth presentation of the cognitive
perspective to other psychological
perspectives introduced in Units 1 and 2.
They will also continue their analysis and
interpretation of quantitative data in relation
to cognitive research, building understanding
of why particular research methods are
used for specic types of data collection.
Preparing for the AP Exam
Students tend to have diculty articulating
ideas about thinking and problem solving.
They will often state an accurate idea about
cognition but fail to expand on the idea
enough to earn full credit for the answer.
Students should be able to demonstrate
knowledge of the similarities and dierences
in short-term and procedural memory and
the factors that aect each to achieve
success on the AP Exam. Students should
also be able to explain how the elements of
memory contribute to a person’s behavior.
The ability to demonstrate an understanding
of how information is encoded, stored, and
retrieved in memory is also crucial. Students
should be able to describe the acquisition
of language, the factors that facilitate it, and
its use in communicating ideas. Additionally,
they may have to answer questions
about normal curves as well as about
positive and negative correlation.
Cognitive Psychology
Developing Understanding
In this unit, knowledge surrounding sensation, perception, and learning provides the
foundation for an understanding of cognition. Cognitive psychologists focus their research
on the complex nature of the brain, particularly the areas of memory processes and
intelligence and the inuence of mental processes on behavior. Understanding how this
information is gathered and processed gives insight into how we make sense of and perceive
the world. Some cognitive psychologists attempt to answer how and why cognitive processes
fail despite (or because of) the complexity of our biological structures. Teachers can oer
students opportunities to provide their own explanations for these phenomena. Other
psychologists study intelligence and the reasons for individual dierences. This cognitive
perspective oers one way to understand how our thinking impacts our behavior, which
can in turn provide insight into psychological disorders and their treatment.
ESSENTIAL
QUESTIONS
§ What roles do memory
and thinking play in
our behaviors?
§ What is intelligence and
how can we study it to
understand it?
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79AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
5
Cognitive Psychology
UNIT AT A GLANCE
Topic Suggested Skill
Class Periods
~1718 CLASS PERIODS
5.1 Introduction to Memory
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
5.2 Encoding
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
5.3 Storing
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
5.4 Retrieving
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
5.5 Forgetting and
Memory Distortion
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
5.6 Biological Bases of Memory
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
5.7 Introduction to Thinking and
Problem Solving
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
5.8 Biases and Errors in Thinking
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
5.9 Introduction to Intelligence
1.C
Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
5.10 Psychometric Principles and
Intelligence Testing
3
Analyze psychological research studies.
5.11 Components of Language
and Language Acquisition
1.C
Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
Go to AP Classroom to assign the Personal Progress Check for Unit 5.
Review the results in class to identify and address any student misunderstandings.
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80AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Cognitive Psychology
UNIT
5
SAMPLE INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES
The sample activities on this page are optional and are oered to provide possible ways to
incorporate various instructional approaches into the classroom. Teachers do not need to use
these activities or instructional approaches and are free to alter or edit them. The examples
below were developed in partnership with teachers from the AP community to share ways
that they approach teaching some of the topics in this unit. Please refer to the Instructional
Approaches section beginning on p. 151 for more examples of activities and strategies.
Activity Topic Sample Activity
1
5.1 Ask the Expert (or Students as Experts)
Assign students as “experts” on types of memory. Students should then rotate through
stations in groups, with the experts ensuring that all other students understand the type of
memory that they are responsible for teaching. Then have students repeat the experiment
on the Sperling eect.
2
5.2 Quickwrite
Read a series of ve numbers aloud and then have students recall the set of numbers from
memory. Repeat the exercise, increasing the amount of numbers each time until you reach 12.
3
5.3 Think-Pair-Share
Have students try to recall the names of the seven dwarfs in Snow White. Then show them
a list that includes the dwarfs, among other similar names, and ask them to pick out the
correct names.
4
5.4 Index Card Summaries/Questions
Have students draw the face side of a penny from memory with as much detail as possible.
Then have them read excerpts from the book Moonwalking with Einstein, by Joshua Foer.
Ask students to summarize the methods Foer describes to help memory and then discuss
the ways they remember information.
5
5.5 One-Minute Essay
Review Loftus’s study on the misinformation eect as it pertains to car accidents. Have
students reect on the validity of eyewitness testimony and the misconception of how
it is used in criminal justice trials. Review other related eyewitness studies, such as the
weapons-focus eect and the other-race eect. Have them review studies that support
the weapons-focus eect as well as others that don’t. Have students examine the
problems associated with wrongful convictions based on eyewitness testimony.
Unit Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the unit.
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81AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
5
Cognitive Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
5.A
Compare and contrast
various cognitive processes.
5.B
Describe and dierentiate
psychological and
physiological systems
of memory.
EXAMPLES
5.A.1
Eortful versus automatic processing
5.A.2
Deep versus shallow processing
5.A.3
Selective versus divided attention
5.A.4
Metacognition
5.B.1
Short-term memory
5.B.2
Implicit memory (procedural)
5.B.3
Long-term memory
5.B.4
Sensory memory (echoic, iconic)
5.B.5
Prospective memory
5.B.6
Explicit memory (semantic, episodic)
5.B.7
Physiological systems
TOPIC 5.1
Introduction
to Memory
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or apply
concepts.
AVAILABLE RESOURCE
§ Classroom Resource >
Cognition and
Language
continued on next page
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82AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
5
Cognitive Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
5.C
Identify the contributions
of key researchers in
cognitive psychology.
EXAMPLES
5.C.1
Contributions of Noam Chomsky
5.C.2
Contributions of Hermann Ebbinghaus
5.C.3
Contributions of Wolfgang Köhler
5.C.4
Contributions of Elizabeth Loftus
5.C.5
Contributions of George A. Miller
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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83AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
5
Cognitive Psychology
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
TOPIC 5.2
Encoding
LEARNING TARGET
5.D
Outline the principles that
underlie construction and
encoding of memories.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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84AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
5
Cognitive Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
5.E
Outline the principles that
underlie eective storage
of memories.
TOPIC 5.3
Storing
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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85AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
5
Cognitive Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
5.F
Describe strategies for
retrieving memories.
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
TOPIC 5.4
Retrieving
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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86AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
5
Cognitive Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
5.G
Describe strategies for
memory improvement and
typical memory errors.
TOPIC 5.5
Forgetting and
Memory Distortion
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
AVAILABLE RESOURCE
§ Classroom Resource >
Cognition and
Language
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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87AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
5
Cognitive Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
5.H
Describe and dierentiate
psychological
and physiological
systems of short- and
long-term memory.
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or apply
concepts.
AVAILABLE RESOURCE
§ Classroom Resource >
Cognition and
Language
TOPIC 5.6
Biological Bases
for Memory
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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88AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
5
Cognitive Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
5.I
Identify problem-solving
strategies as well as
factors that inuence their
eectiveness.
5.J
List the characteristics
of creative thought and
creative thinkers.
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or apply
concepts.
TOPIC 5.7
Introduction to
Thinking and
Problem Solving
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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89AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
5
Cognitive Psychology
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
TOPIC 5.8
Biases and Errors
in Thinking
LEARNING TARGET
5.K
Identify problem-solving
strategies as well as factors
that create bias and errors
in thinking.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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90AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
5
Cognitive Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
5.L
Dene intelligence and
list characteristics of how
psychologists measure
intelligence.
5.M
Discuss how culture
inuences the denition of
intelligence.
5.N
Compare and contrast
historic and contemporary
theories of intelligence.
EXAMPLES
5.L.1
Abstract versus verbal measures
5.L.2
Speed of processing
5.L.3
Fluid intelligence
5.L.4
Crystallized intelligence
5.L.5
Flynn eect
5.L.6
Stereotype threat
5.L.7
Savant syndrome
5.N.1
Charles Spearman, intelligence theorist
5.N.2
Howard Gardner, intelligence theorist
5.N.3
Robert Sternberg, intelligence theorist
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.C
Apply theories and
perspectives in
authentic contexts.
TOPIC 5.9
Introduction to
Intelligence
continued on next page
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91AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
5
Cognitive Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
5.O
Identify the contributions
of key researchers in
intelligence research
and testing.
EXAMPLES
5.O.1
Contributions of Alfred Binet, key researcher
in intelligence
5.O.2
Contributions of Francis Galton, key researcher
in intelligence
5.O.3
Contributions of Howard Gardner, key
researcher in intelligence
5.O.4
Contributions of Charles Spearman, key
researcher in intelligence
5.O.5
Contributions of Robert Sternberg, key
researcher in intelligence
5.O.6
Contributions of Lewis Terman, key researcher
in intelligence
5.O.7
Contributions of David Wechsler, key
researcher in intelligence
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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92AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
5
Cognitive Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
5.P
Explain how psychologists
design tests, including
standardization strategies and
other techniques to establish
reliability and validity.
EXAMPLES
5.Q
Interpret the meaning of
scores in terms of the
normal curve.
5.R
Describe relevant labels
related to intelligence testing.
5.R.1
Gifted
5.R.2
Intellectual disability
SUGGESTED SKILL
Scientific
Investigation
3
Analyze psychological
research studies.
TOPIC 5.10
Psychometric
Principles and
Intelligence Testing
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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93AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
5
Cognitive Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
5.S
Synthesize how biological,
cognitive, and cultural
factors converge to facilitate
acquisition, development,
and use of language.
5.T
Debate the appropriate
testing practices, particularly
in relation to culture-fair
test uses.
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.C
Apply theories and
perspectives in
authentic contexts.
AVAILABLE RESOURCE
§ Classroom Resource >
Cognition and
Language
TOPIC 5.11
Components of
Language and
Language Acquisition
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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94AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
~9–10
CLASS PERIODS
7–9
%
AP EXAM WEIGHTING
AP PSYCHOLOGY
UNIT
Developmental
Psychology
6
95
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95AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Remember to go to AP Classroom
to assign students the online
Personal Progress Check for
this unit.
Whether assigned as homework or
completed in class, the Personal
Progress Check provides each
student with immediate feedback
related to this unit’s topics and skills.
Personal Progress Check 6
Multiple-choice: ~20 questions
Free-response: 1 question
§ Research Design
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96AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
6
UNIT
6
~910 CLASS PERIODS
7–9
%
  AP EXAM WEIGHTING
Building Course Skills
1.A
1.B
1.C
3
Building on knowledge from earlier units,
students will pull together aspects of
physiological, cognitive, psychological,
and moral development to understand how
behavior and mental processes change over
the course of a person’s life. This includes
the role of adolescent development and the
decline of adults as they age.
Students will reinforce biological, cognitive,
and cultural perspectives studied in earlier
units while discussing theories of stage
development and continuous development.
Students are also introduced to cross-
sectional research and longitudinal research
designs, which build on the research
methods learned in Unit 1. Students will
further their understanding of analyzing and
interpreting data through these new research
designs and in relation to the specic context
of developmental psychology.
Preparing for the AP Exam
Students should be able to explain physical,
intellectual, social, and moral development,
along with the development of personality,
in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
Additionally, they should be able to explain the
comparison between stages of development.
A common student error on the AP Exam
is failure to provide specic outcomes
about how life experience helps or hinders
development. Students should provide a
thorough explanation of the relationship
between life experience and development
within the given scenario. Students tend to
discuss the stages of development but fail to
expand on the concepts to show mastery. It is
important to a student’s success on the exam
that they write complete thoughts with cogent,
accurate information. Teachers can provide
students with opportunities to write about
development at each stage of life in real-world
contexts. Students will also answer questions
related to research methods, including validity,
ethics, and correct method of study. They
may be asked about experimental design and
should be prepared to answer questions such
as What are the aws in a research study?
Would this design pass IRB? What is the
appropriate method for a research question?
Developmental
Psychology
Developing Understanding
Developmental psychology encompasses the study of the behavior of organisms from
conception to death. In this unit, students will learn to examine the processes that contribute to
behavioral change throughout a person’s life. The major areas of emphasis in the course include
prenatal development, motor development, socialization, cognitive development, adolescence,
and adulthood. Developmental psychologists seek to understand how changes in our biology
and social situations over a lifespan inuence our behaviors and mental processes. Development
can be studied from several dierent perspectives, including biological or cognitive
perspectives. Developmental psychologists may focus on one or more developmental periods
or the entire course of a lifespan, using cross-sectional and longitudinal research methods.
ESSENTIAL
QUESTIONS
§ How do we perceive and
understand ourselves?
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97AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
6
Developmental Psychology
UNIT AT A GLANCE
Topic Suggested Skill
Class Periods
~910 CLASS PERIODS
6.1 The Lifespan and Physical
Development in Childhood
3
Analyze psychological research studies.
6.2 Social Development
in Childhood
1.C
Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
6.3 Cognitive Development
in Childhood
1.C
Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
6.4 Adolescent Development
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
6.5 Adulthood and Aging
1.C
Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
6.6 Moral Development
3
Analyze psychological research studies.
6.7 Gender and Sexual Orientation
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
Go to AP Classroom to assign the Personal Progress Check for Unit 6.
Review the results in class to identify and address any student misunderstandings.
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98AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Developmental Psychology
UNIT
6
SAMPLE INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES
The sample activities on this page are optional and are oered to provide possible ways to
incorporate various instructional approaches into the classroom. Teachers do not need to use
these activities or instructional approaches and are free to alter or edit them. The examples
below were developed in partnership with teachers from the AP community to share ways
that they approach teaching some of the topics in this unit. Please refer to the Instructional
Approaches section beginning on p. 151 for more examples of activities and strategies.
Activity Topic Sample Activity
1
6.3 Debate
Have students complete the activity Piaget Meets Santa, which can be found online.
Have them read the given statements and then match them with the appropriate
developmental stage.
2
6.6 Misconception Check
Ask students to predict if a scientic method could test whether babies as young as
three months old can tell right from wrong or have morals. Have them watch the segment
“The Baby Lab” from 60 Minutes and then ask them to identify the research method
and evaluate the ethics of the experiment. Students can then summarize the results of
the study and debate whether babies are born with morality using evidence (or the lack
thereof) from the study.
3
6.7 Quickwrite
Provide students with a published gender roles experiment and then ask them to identify
the research method and evaluate the ethics of the experiment. Have students summarize
the results of the study and then design a study that can be conducted as a follow-up.
Unit Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the unit.
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99AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
6
Developmental Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
6.A
Explain the process of
conception and gestation,
including factors that
inuence successful
pre-natal development.
6.B
Discuss the interaction
of nature and nurture
(including cultural variations),
specically physical
development, in the
determination of behavior.
6.C
Discuss maturation of
motor skills.
EXAMPLES
6.A.1
Nutrition
6.A.2
Illness
6.A.3
Substance abuse
6.A.4
Teratogens
TOPIC 6.1
The Lifespan and
Physical Development
in Childhood
SUGGESTED SKILL
Scientific
Investigation
3
Analyze psychological
research studies.
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100AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
6
Developmental Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
6.D
Describe the inuence of
temperament and other
social factors on attachment
and appropriate socialization.
EXAMPLES
TOPIC 6.2
Social Development
in Childhood
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.C
Apply theories and
perspectives in
authentic contexts.
6.E
Identify the contributions
of major researchers in
developmental psychology
in the area of social
development in childhood.
6.F
Discuss the interaction of
nature and nurture (including
cultural variations), specically
social development, in the
determination of behavior.
6.G
Explain how parenting styles
inuence development.
6.E.1
Contributions of Albert Bandura, key researcher
in the area of social development in childhood
6.E.2
Contributions of Diana Baumrind, key researcher
in the area of social development in childhood
6.E.3
Contributions of Konrad Lorenz, key researcher
in the area of social development in childhood
6.E.4
Contributions of Harry Harlow, key researcher
in the area of social development in childhood
6.E.5
Contributions of Mary Ainsworth, key researcher
in the area of social development in childhood
6.E.6
Contributions of Sigmund Freud, key researcher
in the area of social development in childhood
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101AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
6
Developmental Psychology
TOPIC 6.3
Cognitive Development
in Childhood
LEARNING TARGET
6.H
Explain the maturation of
cognitive abilities (Piaget’s
stages, Information process).
6.I
Identify the contributions of
major researchers in the area
of cognitive development
in childhood.
EXAMPLES
6.I.1
Contributions of Lev Vygotsky, key researcher
in the area of cognitive development
in childhood
6.I.2
Contributions of Jean Piaget, key researcher in
the area of cognitive development in childhood
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.C
Apply theories and
perspectives in
authentic contexts.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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102AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
6
Developmental Psychology
TOPIC 6.4
Adolescent
Development
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
LEARNING TARGET
6.J
Discuss maturational
challenges in adolescence,
including related
family conicts.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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103AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
6
Developmental Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
6.K
Characterize the development
of decisions related to
intimacy as people mature.
6.L
Predict the physical and
cognitive changes that
emerge through the lifespan,
including steps that can be
taken to maximize function.
6.M
Identify the contributions of
key researchers in the area of
adulthood and aging.
EXAMPLES
6.M.1
Contributions of Erik Erikson, key researcher in
the area of lifespan development
TOPIC 6.5
Adulthood and Aging
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.C
Apply theories and
perspectives in
authentic contexts.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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104AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
6
Developmental Psychology
TOPIC 6.6
Moral Development
SUGGESTED SKILL
Scientific
Investigation
3
Analyze psychological
research studies.
LEARNING TARGET
6.N
Identify the contributions of
major researchers in the area
of moral development.
6.O
Compare and contrast models
of moral development.
EXAMPLES
6.N.1
Contributions of Carol Gilligan
6.N.2
Contributions of Lawrence Kohlberg
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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105AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
6
Developmental Psychology
LEARNING TARGET
6.P
Describe how sex and gender
inuence socialization
and other aspects
of development.
TOPIC 6.7
Gender and
Sexual Orientation
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or
apply concepts.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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106AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
AP PSYCHOLOGY
UNIT
Motivation,
Emotion, and
Personality
~1617
CLASS PERIODS
1115
%
AP EXAM WEIGHTING
7
107
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107AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Remember to go to AP Classroom
to assign students the online
Personal Progress Check for
this unit.
Whether assigned as homework or
completed in class, the Personal
Progress Check provides each
student with immediate feedback
related to this unit’s topics and skills.
Personal Progress Check 7
Multiple-choice: ~30 questions
Free-response: 1 question
§ Research Design
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108AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
7
ESSENTIAL
QUESTIONS
§ What motivates us to
think and act the way
we do?
§ Why do some people
respond to stress
in a healthier way
than others?
§ Why don’t psychologists
agree?
Building Course Skills
1.A
1.C
2
3
Individual dierences in various aspects
of personality, motivation, and emotion are
the focus of this unit. Students should be
comfortable with identifying and explaining
how biological structures and physiological
processes help explain behavior or mental
processes in relation to motivation, emotion,
and personality. In addition, students will gain
experience evaluating the strengths and
weaknesses of psychological theories
and perspectives relating to motivation
and emotion.
Students should be able to identify theories
and perspectives about personality, describe
their strengths and weaknesses, and explain
how they apply to behavior and mental
processes. While learning about the dierent
ways personality can be measured, students
will calculate the appropriate statistic for a
given data set. Students should also be able
to explain how data illustrates the dierent
theories of motivation, emotion, stress,
and personality.
Preparing for the AP Exam
Students often confuse what it means
to be panicked versus stressed.
Teachers can provide students with case
studies and/or real-world opportunities that
will help them understand what it means
to be stressed and how bodies respond
to stress, as opposed to being panicked.
Students should be able to compare the
psychological and physiological responses
to stress and panic.
Students may struggle with accurately
discussing concepts related to personality.
A common mistake is to describe temporary
aspects of a personality trait rather than
personality characteristics. This can be
addressed by providing students with
multiple opportunities throughout the course
to write about personality, ensuring that
they are using terminology correctly and
appropriately. Questions about research
methodology and ethical research design in
regard to this unit’s content will most likely
appear on the exam.
Motivation, Emotion,
and Personality
Developing Understanding
Psychologists use theory to categorize and explain dierent personalities. These explanations
have been inuenced by the various branches of psychology. Some psychologists study what
motivates us and/or our emotional responses to experiences to understand our individual
dierences. Other psychologists seek to understand personality, including why dierent
personalities exist, how they are developed, and if and how they change. Originating from
the psychodynamic perspective, the study of personality involves consideration of behavior
and mental processes and how they interact to produce an individual’s personality. A full
explanation of personality also involves incorporating humanistic and social-cognitive
perspectives from earlier units.
~16 17 CLASS PERIODS1115
%
  AP EXAM WEIGHTING
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109AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
7
Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
UNIT AT A GLANCE
Topic Suggested Skill
Class Periods
~16 –17 CLASS PERIODS
7.1 Theories of Motivation
3
Analyze psychological research studies.
7.2 Specic Topics in Motivation
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
7.3 Theories of Emotion
1.C
Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
7.4 Stress and Coping
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
7.5 Introduction to Personality
3
Analyze psychological research studies.
7.6 Psychoanalytic Theories
of Personality
1.C
Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
7.7 Behaviorism and Social
Cognitive Theories
of Personality
1.C
Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
7.8 Humanistic Theories
of Personality
1.C
Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
7.9 Trait Theories of Personality
1.C
Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
7.10 Measuring Personality
1.C
Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
Go to AP Classroom to assign the Personal Progress Check for Unit 7.
Review the results in class to identify and address any student misunderstandings.
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110AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
UNIT
7
SAMPLE INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES
The sample activities on this page are optional and are oered to provide possible ways to
incorporate various instructional approaches into the classroom. Teachers do not need to use
these activities or instructional approaches and are free to alter or edit them. The examples
below were developed in partnership with teachers from the AP community to share ways
that they approach teaching some of the topics in this unit. Please refer to the Instructional
Approaches section beginning on p. 151 for more examples of activities and strategies.
Activity Topic Sample Activity
1
7.1 Debate
Provide students with a range of behaviors and have them debate which motivation theory
best explains each behavior and why (for example, running a marathon would not be well
explained by drive-reduction theory).
2
7.3 Think-Pair-Share
Have students watch the well-known clip “These pretzels are making me thirsty” from the
show Seinfeld (S3E11). In small groups, have them discuss how facial expressions and
intonation convey emotion. Provide them with other scenarios and have them discuss how
dierent theorists would explain the emotions conveyed in each scenario.
3
7.5
Jigsaw
Select a ctional character familiar to your students. Have them discuss that character’s
personality in terms of the dierent psychological perspectives. Then divide students
into groups and have each group select their own character and repeat the discussion.
Students can then share with the class or you can use the jigsaw strategy.
Unit Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the unit.
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111AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
7
Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
7.C.1
Motivation system: eating
7.C.2
Motivation system: sex
7.C.3
Motivation system: social
7.C
Describe classic
research ndings in
specic motivations.
7.B.1
Drive reduction theory
7.B.2
Arousal theory (including the Yerkes-Dodson law)
7.B.3
Evolutionary theory of motivation
7.B.4
Maslow’s theory
7.B.5
Cognitive dissonance theory
LEARNING TARGET
7.A
Identify and apply basic
motivational concepts to
understand the behavior of
humans and other animals.
EXAMPLES
7.A.1
Instincts
7.A.2
Incentives
7.A.3
Intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation
7.A.4
Overjustication eect
7.A.5
Self-ecacy
7.A.6
Achievement motivation
7.B
Compare and contrast
motivational theories,
including the strengths and
weaknesses of each.
TOPIC 7.1
Theories of Motivation
SUGGESTED SKILL
Scientific
Investigation
3
Analyze psychological
research studies.
continued on next page
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112AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
7
Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
LEARNING TARGET
7.D
Identify contributions of
key researchers in the
psychological eld of
motivation and emotion.
EXAMPLES
7.D.1
Contributions of William James, key researcher
in the psychology of motivation and emotion
7.D.2
Contributions of Alfred Kinsey, key researcher
in the psychology of motivation and emotion
7.D.3
Contributions of Abraham Maslow, key
researcher in the psychology of motivation
and emotion
7.D.4
Contributions of Stanley Schachter, key
researcher in the psychology of motivation
and emotion
7.D.5
Contributions of Hans Selye, key researcher in
the psychology of motivation and emotion
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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113AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
7
Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
TOPIC 7.2
Specific Topics
in Motivation
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or apply
concepts.
LEARNING TARGET
7.E
Discuss the biological
underpinnings of motivation,
including needs, drives,
and homeostasis.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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114AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
7
Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
TOPIC 7.3
Theories of Emotion
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.C
Apply theories and
perspectives in
authentic contexts.
7.G
Describe how cultural
inuences shape emotional
expression, including
variations in body language.
LEARNING TARGET
7.F
Compare and contrast major
theories of emotion.
EXAMPLES
7.F.1
James–Lange Theory
7.F.2
Cannon–Bard Theory
7.F.3
Schachter two-factor theory
7.F.4
Evolutionary theories (primary emotions)
7.F.5
Richard Lazarus’s appraisal theory
7.F.6
Joseph LeDoux’s theory
7.F.7
Paul Ekman’s research on cross-cultural
displays of emotion
7.F.8
Facial feedback hypothesis
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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115AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
7
Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
TOPIC 7.4
Stress and Coping
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or apply
concepts.
LEARNING TARGET
7.H
Discuss theories of stress
and the eects of stress
on psychological and
physical well-being.
EXAMPLES
7.H.1
General adaptation theory
7.H.2
Stress-related illnesses
7.H.3
Lewin’s motivational conicts theory
7.H.4
Unhealthy behaviors
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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116AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
7
Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
LEARNING TARGET
7.I
Describe and compare
research methods that
psychologists use to
investigate personality.
7.J
Identify the contributions
of major researchers in
personality theory.
EXAMPLES
7.I.1
Research method to investigate personality:
case studies
7.I.2
Research method to investigate personality:
surveys
7.I.3
Research method to investigate personality:
personalities inventories
7.J.1
Contributions of Alfred Adler, key researcher in
personality theory
7.J.2
Contributions of Albert Bandura, key
researcher in personality theory
7.J.3
Contributions of Paul Costa and Robert
McCrae, key researchers in personality theory
7.J.4
Contributions of Sigmund Freud, key
researcher in personality theory
7.J.5
Contributions of Carl Jung, key researcher in
personality theory
7.J.6
Contributions of Abraham Maslow, key
researcher in personality theory
7.J.7
Contributions of Carl Rogers, key researcher in
personality theory
TOPIC 7.5
Introduction to
Personality
SUGGESTED SKILL
Scientific
Investigation
3
Analyze psychological
research studies.
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117AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
7
Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
TOPIC 7.6
Psychoanalytic
Theories of Personality
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.C
Apply theories and
perspectives in
authentic contexts.
LEARNING TARGET
7.K
Compare and contrast the
psychoanalytic theories
of personality with other
theories of personality.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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118AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
7
Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
TOPIC 7.7
Behaviorism and
Social Cognitive
Theories of Personality
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.C
Apply theories and
perspectives in
authentic contexts.
LEARNING TARGET
7.L
Compare and contrast
the
behaviorist and social
cognitive theories of
personality with other
theories of personality.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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119AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
7
Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
LEARNING TARGET
7.M
Compare and contrast
humanistic theories of
personality with other
theories of personality.
7.N
Speculate how cultural
context can facilitate or
constrain personality
development, especially as it
relates to self-concept.
EXAMPLES
7.N.2
Collectivistic versus individualistic cultures
TOPIC 7.8
Humanistic Theories
of Personality
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.C
Apply theories and
perspectives in
authentic contexts.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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120AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
7
Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
LEARNING TARGET
7.O
Compare and contrast trait
theories of personality with
other theories of personality.
TOPIC 7.9
Trait Theories of
Personality
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.C
Apply theories and
perspectives in
authentic contexts.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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121AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
7
Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
LEARNING TARGET
7.P
Identify frequently used
assessment strategies, and
evaluate relative test quality
based on reliability and
validity of the instruments.
EXAMPLES
7.P.1
Personality inventory
7.P.2
Projective tests
TOPIC 7.10
Measuring Personality
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.C
Apply theories and
perspectives in
authentic contexts.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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122AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
~1718
CLASS PERIODS
12–16
%
AP EXAM WEIGHTING
AP PSYCHOLOGY
UNIT
Clinical
Psychology
8
123
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123AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Remember to go to AP Classroom
to assign students the online
Personal Progress Check for
this unit.
Whether assigned as homework or
completed in class, the Personal
Progress Check provides each
student with immediate feedback
related to this unit’s topics and skills.
Personal Progress Check 8
Multiple-choice: ~30 questions
Free-response: 1 question
§ Research Design
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124AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
8
UNIT
8
~1718 CLASS PERIODS12–16
%
  AP EXAM WEIGHTING
Building Course Skills
1.A
1.B
1.C
3
This unit provides students with the
opportunity to evaluate many of the
psychological concepts, theories, and
perspectives they learned about in earlier
units through the lens of psychological
disorders and their treatments. Students
will learn how to evaluate biological,
psychological, and sociocultural theories
in relation to abnormality. They will be
introduced to a survey of psychological
disorders and dive deeper into some of the
more common disorders and their treatment.
Students will conduct valid research, identify
ethical aws, and use appropriate data and
data collection processes.
Preparing for the AP Exam
Students often have diculty using key
terms and phrases correctly to answer
questions posed as scenarios. Teachers
can provide students with opportunities to
work with scenarios related to psychological
disorders. Students will benet from
examples of real-world situations in which
particular disorders may be exacerbated
or subdued. Students should be able to give
the general characteristics and common
treatments of the disorder. They should
also be able to evaluate the strengths and
weaknesses of each treatment and explain
why it is deemed appropriate.
Students often have diculty articulating
which psychological perspectives are
associated with which treatments. When
the scenarios involve a certain type of
research, students should be expected to
dene the method and write accurately
about validity, ethics, and outcome. Students
may encounter questions about research
methodology in clinical trials on the exam.
They should be able answer questions
about the ethics of a research plan, correct
modality, and research design.
Clinical Psychology
Developing Understanding
Psychologists who study psychological disorders, along with practitioners who treat
disorders, often utilize a particular theoretical perspective. Each perspective attempts to
explain the origin of a disorder and/or determine the best method for treatment. These
explanations and treatments build on the history, theories, and perspectives introduced in
the rst two units as well as on cognitive psychology in particular. Through observing behavior
and engaging in discussion that illuminates a client’s thought process, psychologists gather
information and draw conclusions. For some psychologists, a single perspective cannot fully
explain a disorder. This leads them to more integrated perspectives to understand and treat
psychological disorders.
ESSENTIAL
QUESTIONS
§ Why is psychological
perspective necessary
in the treatment of
disorders?
§ How are psychological
disorders treated?
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125AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
8
Clinical Psychology
UNIT AT A GLANCE
Topic Suggested Skill
Class Periods
~1718 CLASS PERIODS
8.1 Introduction to
Psychological Disorders
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
8.2 Psychological Perspectives
and Etiology of Disorders
1.C
Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
8.3 Neurodevelopmental
and Schizophrenic
Spectrum Disorders
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
8.4 Bipolar, Depressive, Anxiety,
and Obsessive-Compulsive
and Related Disorders
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
8.5 Trauma- and Stressor-
Related, Dissociative, and
Somatic Symptom and
Related Disorders
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
8.6 Feeding and Eating,
Substance and Addictive, and
Personality Disorders
1.B
Explain behavior in authentic context.
8.7 Introduction to Treatment of
Psychological Disorders
1.A
Dene and/or apply concepts.
8.8 Psychological Perspectives
and Treatment of Disorders
1.C
Apply theories and perspectives in
authentic contexts.
8.9 Treatment of Disorders from
the Biological Perspective
3
Analyze psychological research studies.
8.10 Evaluating Strengths,
Weaknesses, and Empirical
Support for Treatments
of Disorders
3
Analyze psychological research studies.
Go to AP Classroom to assign the Personal Progress Check for Unit 8.
Review the results in class to identify and address any student misunderstandings.
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126AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
Clinical Psychology
UNIT
8
SAMPLE INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES
The sample activities on this page are optional and are oered to provide possible ways to
incorporate various instructional approaches into the classroom. Teachers do not need to use
these activities or instructional approaches and are free to alter or edit them. The examples
below were developed in partnership with teachers from the AP community to share ways
that they approach teaching some of the topics in this unit. Please refer to the Instructional
Approaches section beginning on p. 151 for more examples of activities and strategies.
Activity Topic Sample Activity
1
8.2 Jigsaw
For each mental illness studied in class, students should explain the illness using
dierent perspectives. Divide students into groups to study a particular illness from all
perspectives. Then have students switch groups to discuss all illnesses and share the
dierent perspectives for each. Alternately, divide students into groups to study one
perspective for each disease and then rearrange the groups so that all perspectives
are represented in each group. Have students share with each other their assigned
perspective for each illness.
2
8.8 Construct an Argument
Use scenarios to allow students to discriminate between therapeutic approaches:
psychoanalysis, behavior therapy, humanistic therapy, and cognitive therapy.
3
8.10 Debate
Have students debate the criticisms, strengths and weaknesses, and eectiveness of
therapies for mental illness.
Unit Planning Notes
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127AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
8
Clinical Psychology
TOPIC 8.1
Introduction to
Psychological
Disorders
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or apply
concepts.
LEARNING TARGET
8.A
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 judgments.
EXAMPLES
8.B
Describe contemporary
and historical conceptions
of what constitutes
psychological disorders.
8.C.1
Condentiality
8.C.2
Insanity defense
8.C
Discuss the intersection
between psychology and the
legal system.
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128AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
8
Clinical Psychology
TOPIC 8.2
Psychological
Perspectives and
Etiology of Disorders
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.C
Apply theories and
perspectives in
authentic contexts.
LEARNING TARGET
8.D
Evaluate the strengths
and limitations of various
approaches to explaining
psychological disorders.
EXAMPLES
8.E.1
The Rosenhan Study
8.E
Identify the positive and
negative consequences of
diagnostic labels.
Topic Planning Notes
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129AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
8
Clinical Psychology
TOPIC 8.3
Neurodevelopmental
and Schizophrenic
Spectrum Disorders
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
LEARNING TARGET
8.F
Discuss the major diagnostic
categories, including
neurodevelopmental
disorders, neurocognitive
disorders, schizophrenia
spectrum, and other
psychotic disorders, and their
corresponding symptoms.
Topic Planning Notes
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130AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
8
Clinical Psychology
TOPIC 8.4
Bipolar, Depressive,
Anxiety, and
Obsessive-Compulsive
and Related Disorders
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
LEARNING TARGET
8.G
Discuss the major diagnostic
categories, including
anxiety disorders, bipolar
and related disorders,
depressive disorders,
obsessive-compulsive and
related disorders, and their
corresponding symptoms.
Topic Planning Notes
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131AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
8
Clinical Psychology
TOPIC 8.5
Trauma- and Stressor-
Related, Dissociative,
and Somatic Symptom
and Related Disorders
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
LEARNING TARGET
8.H
Discuss the major diagnostic
categories, including
dissociative disorders,
somatic symptom and
related disorders, and
trauma- and stressor-
related disorders and their
corresponding symptoms.
Topic Planning Notes
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132AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
8
Clinical Psychology
TOPIC 8.6
Feeding and Eating,
Substance and
Addictive, and
Personality Disorders
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.B
Explain behavior in
authentic context.
LEARNING TARGET
8.I
Discuss the major diagnostic
categories, including feeding
and eating disorders,
personality disorders, and their
corresponding symptoms.
Topic Planning Notes
Use the space below to plan your approach to the topic.
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133AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
8
Clinical Psychology
TOPIC 8.7
Introduction to
Treatment of
Psychological Disorders
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.A
Define and/or apply
concepts.
LEARNING TARGET
8.J
Describe the central
characteristics of
psychotherapeutic
intervention.
EXAMPLES
8.K.1
Contributions of Aaron Beck, major gure in
psychological treatment
8.K.2
Contributions of Albert Ellis, major gure in
psychological treatment
8.K.3
Contributions of Sigmund Freud, major gure in
psychological treatment
8.K.4
Contributions of Mary Cover Jones, major
gure in psychological treatment
8.K.5
Contributions of Carl Rogers, major gure in
psychological treatment
8.K.6
Contributions of B. F. Skinner, major gure in
psychological treatment
8.K.7
Contributions of Joseph Wolpe, major gure in
psychological treatment
8.K
Identify the contributions of
major gures in psychological
treatment.
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134AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
8
Clinical Psychology
TOPIC 8.8
Psychological
Perspectives and
Treatment of Disorders
SUGGESTED SKILL
Concept
Understanding
1.C
Apply theories and
perspectives in
authentic contexts.
LEARNING TARGET
8.L
Describe major treatment
orientations used in therapy
and how those orientations
inuence therapeutic planning.
EXAMPLES
8.L.1
Treatment orientation: behavioral
8.L.2
Treatment orientation: cognitive
8.L.3
Treatment orientation: humanistic
8.L.4
Treatment orientation: psychodynamic
8.L.5
Treatment orientation: cognitive-behavioral
8.L.6
Treatment orientation: sociocultural
8.M
Summarize eectiveness of
specic treatments used to
address specic problems.
8.N
Discuss how cultural and
ethnic context inuence
choice and success of
treatment (e.g., factors that
lead to premature termination
of treatment).
8.O
Describe prevention
strategies that build resilience
and promote competence.
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Course Framework V.1
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135AP PsychologyCourse and Exam Description
UNIT
8
Clinical Psychology
TOPIC 8.9
Treatment of Disorders
from the Biological
Perspective
SUGGESTED SKILL
Scientific
Investigation
3
Analyze psychological
research studies.
LEARNING TARGET
8.P
Summarize eectiveness of
specic treatments used to
address specic pro