• AP Psychology Syllabus



    Myers, D. A. (2018). Myers’ psychology for AP (3rd ed.). Worth.

    Supplementary Materials

    Academic journals, case studies, online media, and other resources used for topic enrichment.

    AP Support & Resources: AP Classroom

    By completing a simple activation process at the start of the school year, students will receive access to a robust set of resources. 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
    Personal Progress Checks Progress Dashboard
    AP Question Bank

    Student Practice

    Throughout each unit, Topic Questions will be provided to help students check their understanding. The Topic Questions are especially useful for confirming understanding of difficult or foundational topics before moving on to new content or skills that build upon prior topics. Topic Questions can be assigned before, during, or after a lesson, and as in-class work or homework. Students will get rationales for each Topic Question that will help them understand why an answer is correct or incorrect, and their results will reveal misunderstandings to help them target the content and skills needed for additional practice.

    At the end of each unit or at key points within a unit, Personal Progress Checks will be provided in class or as homework assignments in AP Classroom. Students will get a personal report with feedback on every topic, skill, and question that they can use to chart their progress, and their results will come with rationales that explain every question’s answer. One to two class periods are set aside to re-teach skills based on the results of the Personal Progress Checks


    There are several requirements that all AP classes have in common: high expectations of the students, a high level of rigor, and the expectation that students will engage in self- learning outside the classroom. There are many topics on the AP Exam in May. We will learn a great deal in class with rigorous learning activities. However, as in college, it will be necessary for all students to complete work and research topics at home that we may not discuss in class.


    Psychology is a course that includes a number of sensitive topics that you may feel uncomfortable talking or hearing about in class. I will discuss with you the nature of the movies and documentaries I am going to show you so that you can decide if you are comfortable with the topic. I may send home permission slips for a signature from your parent or guardian if I feel that a documentary I plan to show may be of a particularly powerful nature.


    For each unit, students must complete these regular assignments to the instructor’s satisfaction:

    Vocabulary notecards (Definition, Example, Picture) Reading questions (from the text and other sources) Demonstration and case study analyses
    Free Response Questions

    Personal Progress Checks
    Each unit will require the completion of vocabulary notecards, reading questions, and


    • ▪  Vocabulary- from a list of terms and commonly used psychological vocabulary, the student is expected to not only define the term, but also create an example and choose a visual representation of the term (can be physical or electronic).

    • ▪  FRQs (Free Response Questions)- each topic will be accompanied by a free response question. As the topic is learned, the student will be prepared to answer the question fully and critically.

    • ▪  Reading Questions- Reading is a large part of this class. Students are required to read the text and other supplemental readings, and they must answer questions on the readings.

    • ▪  Personal Progress Checks- Research shows that testing your own knowledge helps with retention and retrieval. Students are required to complete a Personal Progress Check (PPC) on AP Classroom with each unit.


    Traditional assessments include unit tests, research papers, and exams. Tests and exams will model the format of the AP Psychology Exam, with a combination of multiple- choice and free-response essays. Other assessments consist of psychology simulations, experiments, class presentations, collaborative/individual research projects, and online activities, such as assessments on AP Classroom.

    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.

    1.Concept Understanding – Students will define, explain, and apply concepts, behavior, theories, and perspectives.

    a. Activity: Students will create developmentally appropriate toys for each of Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development and explain how they will help the child accomplish the stage’s main task. (Skill 1)

    b.Activity: Students will watch the movie Mockingbird Don’t Sing and debate the concept of the “critical period” within language acquisition. (Skill 1)

    2.Data Analysis – Students will analyze and interpret quantitative data.

    a.Activity: Students will look at current health data from Centre County, identify the most concerning issues within the data, and present solutions on how to help improve the problem in the community. (Skill 2)

    b.Activity: Students will be given the opportunity to analyze a normal curve as it relates to modern intelligence testing (e.g., WAIS and WISC). Students will be given the opportunity to interpret the normal curve with respect to mean, standard deviation, and percentiles for the given intelligence test data. (Skill 2)

    3.Scientific Investigation – Students will analyze psychological research studies.

    a. Activity: Students will formulate a hypothesis about social loafing or social facilitation. They will then gather data. Students will compare their results with published research studies of the same topic and analyze the results of these studies as they compare to their results. (Skill 3)

    b.Activity: Students will analyze research from the developmental theorists (Piaget, Erikson, etc.) and consider the methodology, results, ethics, and criticisms. (Skill 3)



    Unit 1: Scientific Foundations of Psychology 10%–14%


    1. 1.1  Introducing Psychology - Skill 1.C

    2. 1.2  Research Methods in Psychology - Skill Category 3.0

    3. 1.3  The Experimental Method - Skill Category 3.0

    4. 1.4  Selecting a Research Method - Skill Category 3.0

    5. 1.5  Statistical Analysis in Psychology - Skill Category 2.0

    6. 1.6  Ethical Guidelines in

    Psychology - Skill 1.A Unit 1 MCQ

    Personal Progress Check
    Unit 1 FRQ Personal Progress Check

    Unit 2: Biological Bases of Behavior Topics:


    2.1 Interaction of Heredity and Environment - Skill 1.B

    1. 2.2  The Endocrine System - Skill 1.A

    2. 2.3  Overview of the Nervous System and the Neuron - Skill 1.A

    3. 2.4  Neural Firing - Skill 1.A

    2.5 Influence of Drugs on Neural Firing - Skill 1.A
    2.6 The Brain - Skill 1.A
    2.7Tools for Examining Brain Structure and Function - Skill Category 2.0

    1. 2.8  The Adaptable Brain - Skill 1.A

    2. 2.9  Sleeping and

    Dreaming - Skill 1.A Unit 2 MCQ Personal Progress

    Unit 2 FRQ Personal Progress Check

    Unit 3: Sensation and Perception



    1.1 Principles of Sensation - Skill 1.A 1.2 Principles of Perception - Skill 1.B 1.3 Visual Anatomy - Skill 1.A
    1.4 Visual Perception - Skill 1.B

    1.5 Auditory Sensation and Perception - Skill 1.B 1.6 Chemical Senses - Skill Category 3.0
    1.7 Body Senses - Skill 1.A

    Unit 3 MCQ Personal Progress Check Unit 3 FRQ Personal Progress Check

    Unit 4: Learning Topics:

    4.1 Introduction to Learning - Skill 1.B

    1. 4.2  Classical Conditioning - Skill 1.B

    2. 4.3  Operant Conditioning - Skill 1.B

    3. 4.4  Social and Cognitive Factors

    in Learning - Skill 1.B Unit 4 MCQ

    Personal Progress Check
    Unit 4 FRQ Personal Progress Check


    Unit 5: Cognitive Psychology Topics:


    5.1 Introduction to Memory - Skill 1.A
    5.2Encoding - Skill 1.B
    5.3Storing - Skill 1.B
    5.4Retrieving - Skill 1.B
    5.5Forgetting and Memory Distortion - Skill 1.B 5.6Biological Bases of Memory - Skill 1.A
    5.7Introduction to Thinking and Problem Solving - Skill 1.A 5.8 Biases and Errors in Thinking - Skill 1.B 5.9Introduction to Intelligence - Skill 1.C

    1. 5.10  Psychometric Principles and Intelligence Testing - Skill Category 3.0

    2. 5.11  Components of Language and Language

    Acquisition - Skill 1.C Unit 5 MCQ Personal Progress

    Unit 5 FRQ Personal Progress Check

    Unit 6: Developmental Psychology Topics:


    6.1 The Lifespan and Physical Development in Childhood - Skill Category 3.0

    1. 6.2  Social Development in Childhood - Skill 1.C

    2. 6.3  Cognitive Development in Childhood - Skill 1.C

    3. 6.4  Adolescent Development - Skill 1.B

    6.5Adulthood and Aging - Skill 1.C

    1. 6.6  Moral Development - Skill Category 3.0

    2. 6.7  Gender and Sexual

    Orientation - Skill 1.A Unit 6 MCQ

    Personal Progress Check
    Unit 6 FRQ Personal Progress Check

    Unit 7: Motivation, Emotion, and Personality 11%–15% Topics:

    7.1 Theories of Motivation - Skill Category 3.0

    7.2 Specific Topics in Motivation - Skill 1.A

    7.3Theories of Emotion - Skill 1.C

    7.4Stress and Coping - Skill 1.A
    7.5Introduction to Personality - Skill Category 3.0
    7.6Psychoanalytic Theories of Personality - Skill 1.C
    7.7 Behaviorism and Social Cognitive Theories of Personality - Skill 1.C 7.8Humanistic Theories of Personality - Skill 1.C
    7.9Trait Theories of Personality - Skill 1.C

    7.10 Measuring Personality - Skill 1.C

    Unit 7 MCQ Personal Progress Check Unit 7 FRQ Personal Progress Check

    Unit 8: Clinical Psychology 12%–16% Topics:

    8.1Introduction to Psychological Disorders - Skill 1.A

    1. 8.2  Psychological Perspectives and Etiology of Disorders - Skill 1.C

    2. 8.3  Neurodevelopmental and Schizophrenic Spectrum Disorders - Skill 1.B

    3. 8.4  Bipolar, Depressive, Anxiety, and Obsessive-Compulsive

    and Related Disorders - Skill 1.B

    8.5 Trauma- and Stressor-Related, Dissociative, and Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders - Skill 1.B

    8.6 Feeding, Eating, Substance and Addictive, and Personality Disorders - Skill 1.B 8.7Introduction to Treatment of Psychological Disorders - Skill 1.A


    8.9 8.10

    Unit 8 MCQ Personal Progress Check Unit 8 FRQ Personal Progress Check

    Unit 9: Social Psychology Topics:

    Psychological Perspectives and Treatment of Disorders - Skill 1.C

    Treatment of Disorders from the Biological Perspective - Skill Category 3.0

    Evaluating Strengths, Weaknesses, and Empirical Support for Treatments of Disorders - Skill Category 3.0

    9.1 Attribution Theory and Person Perception - Skill 1.C

    1. 9.2  Attitude Formation and Attitude Change - Skill Category 3.0

    2. 9.3  Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience - Skill Category 3.0

    9.4 Group Influences on Behavior and Mental Processes - Skill 1.B 9.5Bias, Prejudice, and Discrimination - Skill 1.B

    1. 9.6  Altruism and Aggression - Skill 1.B

    2. 9.7  Interpersonal

    Attraction - Skill 1.B Unit 9

    MCQ Personal Progress Check
    Unit 9 FRQ Personal Progress Check


Last Modified on January 25, 2023