Mr. Kushner
2014-2015 Syllabus
Contact Information
[email protected]
Website: (class homepage)
Course Goals and Description
AP Psychology is a full-year course designed to provide students with a broad overview of the diverse field of
psychology and prepare students for the AP Psychology Exam on MONDAY MAY 4, 2015. In order to
achieve these goals, the majority of class time will be devoted to lectures, discussions, and extensive review
sessions. However, time will also be allocated for demonstrations, experiments, and class activities; the content
of which may or may not be covered in the text. Active participation in these activities will help clarify certain
areas of study and should add to everyone’s enjoyment of the class.
Course Expectations:
1. We learn from each other: This course is not one in which you will play a passive role. Instead,
you are expected to take an active part in your own learning and that of the class as well. In the AP
classroom, discussion and demonstrations will dominate over lectures so that we can learn from each
other. Each of you brings something special to the course, something special that our team needs if
we are to be successful. Come each day ready to contribute.
2. Knowledge for application’s sake: In AP Psychology there is a considerable amount of content you
must master. However, you must do more than memorize information provided by myself or other
sources. You will be asked to apply this information to real life situations via class discussions or
through concisely written free response questions.
3. Psychologists read: As AP students, you will be expected to do a considerable amount of daily
reading in the text. You must show evidence of daily preparation by participating in class
discussions, asking critical questions, making text-to-world connections, and bringing a rough draft
of your concept map to each class.
4. Active note taking: The amount of material distributed in this course is substantially higher than in
a regular class. Each period you are expected to take notes on our class activities and discussions. As
you will need access to this material in order to study for the unit exams and the AP exam, you must
have a 1) notebook, 2) folder, and 3) 3-ring binder (separate into 14 different sections).
Core Goals: Change how you view the world and make you a better student
1. Mastery of Psychology’s core concepts. – Through elaborative rehearsal and the development of
hierarchical schemas, you will master Psychology’s most important concepts.
2. The ability to apply Psychology to your life – Application does not stop once you leave the
classroom. The concepts we study shape our existence. This class will make you constantly look for
psychological applications in your life.
3. The ability to think like a psychologist - to “restrain intuition with critical thinking, judgmentalism
with compassion, and illusion with understanding.” (Sternberg, 1997).
Mr. Kushner
4. Literacy in the 21st century skills you need for success in today’s world. – At Bremen/Hillcrest
High School we don’t just teach you content, we teach you how to use that content. At the end of
this course you’ll be able to
a. Read real psychological research
b. Write about psychology for your peers and for the general public
c. Use databases and the internet to research new psychological studies
d. Use problem solving techniques to solve your real world problems
e. Use technology to create websites and leverage the power of social media
f. Collaborate in a professional learning community through Team Psych
g. Orally present and debate a complex argument based on psychological research
Course Materials:
Coon, D., &Mitterer, J. O. (2010). Introduction to psychology, gateways to mind and
behavior. (12 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub Co
Weseley, A. J., & McEntarffer, R. (2014). Barron’s AP Psychology, 6th ed., Hauppauge, NY:
Barrons Educational Series Inc.
1. Unit Exams - At the end of each unit you will take a unit exam consisting of AP-style multiple
choice questions, and Free Response Questions (FRQ) taken exclusively from past AP exams.
2. Unit Projects – For the majority of the units, you will be asked to apply the content area to your life.
While they will take many forms, from designing a research study to keeping your own sleep/dream
journal, they will necessitate the internalization of course content.
3. Team Psych - This assignment signifies your collaboration and classroom citizenship grades. You
must be an active member of this class.
4. Daily assignments – Actor/director Woody Allen once said, “80% of success is just showing up.”
Excessive absences will undoubtedly hurt your final grade and will just leave you feeling lost.
5. Case Studies – Throughout the year, you will be asked to read about and summarize/critique the
most famous research studies conducted in the field of psychology. These are not easy reads so we
will work together to closely examine the texts.
6. Argumentative discourse – Questions asked in psychology are not like one’s posed in mathematics
– that is, there are often multiple answers to psychologies most compelling questions (e.g. “Why do
people lie?” “What makes people happy?”). Consequently, you will be improving your
argumentative reading and writing skills throughout the year. Remember, “debate is combat, but
your weapons are words” – The Great Debaters
Classroom Policy
Students must:
 follow all rules and procedures in the student/parent handbook
 not cause distractions to either the instructor or to other students; these include the following: passing
notes, sleeping, eating, packing up books before the bell rings, screaming across the room, talking without
being called upon, throwing paper, feet or head resting on the tables…etc.
 turn off and put away all electronics (cell phones/MP3 players)
 be respectful of other students and their opinions
 come to class ON TIME with ALL required student materials
 come to class with a positive attitude and be ready to learn
Mr. Kushner
***ALL students are expected to attend each class and to be on time. Absenteeism is a prominent
cause of failure and dropout.
***Tardiness by a student interferes with the learning process of the entire class far more than an
absence because the entire class is distracted and interrupted by a late arrival. Tardiness is defined
as not being in your assigned seat when the bell rings.
Students that do not adhere to the classroom policies will face the following measures:
1st issued a warning which will be documented
2nd conference with me and a phone call home to a parent/guardian
3rd detention, parent phone call, and a meeting with the school counselor
4th dean’s referral
5th Severe clause: immediate referral to the dean’s office and a possible suspension, or even a
removal from the class
Make-up Work/ Late Work Policy
 All work must be turned in on time. IF YOU ARE ABSENT, YOU ARE RESONSIBLE FOR
GETTING THE ASSIGNMENTS THAT YOU MISSED. Two school days for each day of excused
absence will be allowed for the completion of make-up work.
***Students are responsible for contacting me ahead of time if they know that they will be absent on the
day a project is due or an exam has been scheduled. If you are in a group project, make sure everyone in
the group has the assignment in case you are absent on the day of presenting. NOTE: If you are absent
the day of an exam, I may give you a different test than the one given in class that day. If you are absent
the day you are presenting a project, you will lose significant points unless you spoke with me in
**Each semester you will receive two late passes. If
you happen to forget or lose an assignment on the day
it’s due, one can be turned in the next day and you
will still receive full credit. If, however, you still have
them at the end of the semester, they can be turned in
for 10 pts extra credit each. ***Note: Late passes are
intended for daily assignments or homework, NOT for
projects or exams.
Academic Integrity
 The very nature of education requires that students adhere to accepted standards of academic integrity;
these may be found in the Student Handbook. Among the violations of academic integrity listed and
defined are: cheating, plagiarism, abuse of academic materials, and academic dishonesty.
 Academic dishonesty will result in a zero for the assignment, and possibly a suspension or removal from
the class
Mr. Kushner
AP Psychology: Course Units
I. History and Approaches (2–4%)
1. Logic, Philosophy, and History of
2. Approaches:
1. Biological
2. Behavioral
3. Cognitive
4. Humanistic
5. Psychodynamic
6. Sociocultural
7. Evolutionary/Sociobiological
IV. States of Consciousness (2–4%)
1. Sleep and Dreaming
2. Hypnosis
3. Psychoactive Drug Effects
V. Sensation and Perception (6–8%)
Sensory Mechanisms
Sensory Adaptation
Perceptual Processes
II. Research Methods (8-10%)
1. Experimental, Correlational, and
Clinical Research:
1. Correlational
(e.g., observational,
survey, clinical)
2. Experimental
2. Statistics:
1. Descriptive
2. Inferential
3. Ethics in Research
III. Biological Bases of Behavior
1. Physiological Techniques
(e.g., imaging, surgical)
2. Neuroanatomy
3. Functional Organization of Nervous
4. Neural Transmission
5. Endocrine System
6. Genetics
VI. Learning (7–9%)
Classical Conditioning
Operant Conditioning
Cognitive Processes in Learning
Biological Factors
Social Learning
VII. Cognition (8–10%)
Problem Solving and Creativity
VIII. Motivation and Emotion
Biological Bases
Theories of Motivation
Hunger, Thirst, Sex, and Pain
Social Motives
Mr. Kushner
5. Theories of Emotion
6. Stress
XII. Abnormal Psychology (7–9%)
IX. Developmental Psychology
1. Life-Span Approach
2. Research Methods
(e.g., longitudinal, cross-sectional)
3. Heredity-Environment Issues
4. Developmental Theories
5. Dimensions of Development:
1. Physical
2. Cognitive
3. Social
4. Moral
6. Sex Roles, Sex Differences
X. Personality (5–7%)
1. Personality Theories and
2. Assessment Techniques
3. Self-concept, Self-esteem
4. Growth and Adjustment
XI. Testing and Individual
Differences (5–7%)
Standardization and Norms
Reliability and Validity
Types of Tests
Ethics and Standards in Testing
Heredity/Environment and
7. Human Diversity
1. Definitions of Abnormality
2. Theories of Psychopathology
3. Diagnosis of Psychopathology
4. Anxiety Disorders
5. Somatoform Disorders
6. Mood Disorders
7. Schizophrenic Disorders
8. Organic Disorders
9. Personality Disorders
10. Dissociative Disorders
XIII. Treatment of Psychological
Disorders (5–7%)
1. Treatment Approaches:
1. Insight Therapies:
2. Behavioral Approaches
3. Cognitive Approaches
4. Biological Approaches
2. Modes of Therapy (e.g., individual,
3. Community and Preventive
XIV. Social Psychology (8–10%)
Group Dynamics
Attribution Processes
Interpersonal Perception
Conformity, Compliance, Obedience
Attitudes and Attitude Change
Organizational Behavior
Aggression/Antisocial Behavior
Mr. Kushner
“Team Psych” Project
TEAM PSYCH is a year-long project. However, you will get evaluated at the end of each quarter (4X).
The purpose of the assignment is to create a sense of community in the classroom, where each person
has a specific role and contributes to the learning process. You are now an active citizen of this class.
Listed below are examples of different tasks you can undertake. Feel free to make up your own
assignment, just check with me before you start it. You must have a defined role in this class. At the
end of each quarter, you will turn in a summary of what you learned, how you actively participated in
class (provide examples), and how you helped your fellow classmates. If at any point during the quarter
you would like to change tasks, you must notify me first.
1st quarter due date: Thursday October 16, 2014
2nd quarter due date: Monday December 15, 2014
3rd quarter due date: Wednesday March 11, 2015
4th quarter due date: Wednesday May 6, 2015
Like YouTube browsing? Find and post a minimum of 6 YouTube videos related to the topic we are
currently studying and write a 5-10 sentence summary of the video and how it relates to psychology.
Upload your video clips and written summaries on Schoology. Uploading videos must occur
throughout the quarter; that is, don’t wait until the last week to upload all 6 videos. Accordingly, you
cannot post more than two YouTube videos each week.
Creative genius? This is not my classroom - it is our classroom. Pick a bulletin board or a wall and
make it USEFUL for the class. Post pictures, articles, art…etc. that relates to psychology. You must
post a minimum of 10 items on your “area” throughout the quarter.
Like reading online? Visit and read a minimum of 3 articles. Link the article to
Schoology and write a 2-3-page (typed, 12 pt. font, double-spaced) summary of the article, and explain
how it connects to what we are learning in class. You cannot post more than one article each week.
Like writing blogs? Write 3 blog posts (1-page minimum) about interesting psychology topics and
link it to your personal Schoology homepage. Write a message on Schoology to your fellow classmates
to come read your blog. You cannot post more than one blog per week.
Good at making study guides? Create at least 2 study guides and share them with the class before a
quiz/exam. They must be turned in at least 3 days before a quiz/exam. Your study guide should be a
minimum of 15 questions, consisting of multiple-choice, True/False, and fill-in-the-blank.
Journalist in the making? Write a 3-4 page article (typed, 12 pt. font, double-spaced) about AP
Psychology and submit it to the Bremen/Hillcrest newspaper or an online source (e.g. Huffington Post
Teen Blogs). Your article should connect what we are learning in the course to a broader societal theme
(e.g. adolescence, happiness, media/technology). Before submitting the article for publication, send to
me for editing/revisions.
Like movies? Watch a movie and connect the characters and/or storyline to psychology topics. Write a
3-4 page (typed, 12 pt. font, double-spaced) summary and analysis. The first page should be a summary
of the movie. The rest of the paper should explore the characters/storyline through a psychological lens.
Like novels? Read a fiction book and connect the characters and/or storyline to psychology topics.
Write a 3-4 page (typed, 12 pt. font, double-spaced) summary and analysis. The first page should be a
summary of the book. The rest of the paper should explore the characters/storyline through a
psychological lens.
Artist in the making? Create a drawing or collage (minimum of 15 images) to help students visualize
the content learned in class. Your drawing/collage should be created on a regular size poster board.
Builder? Construct a replica of an experiment or research topic we are currently learning.
Mr. Kushner
Like researching? Form a small research group (maximum of 4 students) and conduct field research
that ties into our class content. Write a 3-5 page (typed, 12 pt. font, double-spaced) psychology research
paper (abstract, background info, methods, data analysis, conclusions).
Musically gifted? Write song lyrics about a psychology topic we are learning. Your lyrics should be to
a melody/song that already exists. You may work with up to 3 people. And yes, you must sing/perform
the song in class.
Class leader? Post at least 5 class summaries on our Schoology homepage page to help absent
students see what they missed learning that particular day. Your class summaries should be 5-10
sentences, highlighting vocabulary/topics we covered, assignments Mr. Kushner assigned, and any
other important notes.
Future teacher? Co-teach with me for one class period. Notify me at least 2 weeks before you would
like to teach. Learn some of the keywords and concepts ahead of time and we will design a lesson plan
Mr. Kushner
Test Correction Format
For each unit exam, you can earn back some of the points you missed. You will earn ½ point for
each question corrected as long as you follow the format below correctly. You will have one
week from the day we take the test to make as many corrections as you would like.
Step 1: Read over the question, underline key words and identify the concept being tested. For
Sigmund Freud was the founder of which of the following perspectives in psychology?
A. Biological perspective
B. Behavioral perspective
C. Cognitive perspective
D. Psychoanalytic perspective
E. Humanistic perspective
Concept Tested: The concept tested is the major perspectives in psychology.
Step 2: Using your textbook/Barron’s test prep book, write down the page number on which
the concept can be found and define the concept or explain the main idea.
(p.13) Psychoanalysis is a perspective which Freud developed that emphasized the
unconscious mind as the source of our thoughts and behaviors.
Step 3: Explain why the answer you gave was incorrect.
I chose B, Behavioral Perspective. While behaviorism was developed around the same
time as psychoanalysis, it was developed by John B. Watson who believed the mind was
a “black box” and since we could not see inside, we should not study it. Instead we
should only study observable behavior.
Step 4: Give the correct answer.
D. Psychoanalytic perspective is the correct answer
You will use your own paper for this. Write your answers in a neat and organized way. You may
want to set up columns similar to the ones I have below. Yours will need more space for the
definition and explanation sections.
Concept Tested
Page # in Book/
Definition of Concept
Explanation of Wrong
Answer Selected
Correct Answer
Mr. Kushner
Teacher-Student Classroom Contract
I, __________________________________, have read the AP Psychology 2014-2015
Syllabus for Mr. Kushner’s Classroom. I understand what is expected of me and I will
abide by the guidelines. I understand that failure to follow these rules will obstruct in my
learning and could result in a detention, phone call to a parent/guardian, referral, or
(Student Signature)
(Parent/Guardian Signature)
Parent/Guardian Phone Number:______________________________________
Parent/Guardian Email Address:______________________________________
This year I am using an online service called REMIND-101 that allows me to stay in
touch with parents. If you would like notifications sent to you via text message about
your child’s upcoming assignments (e.g. exams, homework, projects…etc.), please
enter the confirmation code:
Send a text to: 224-301-2260
In the message box, type: @c4927
Please list any comments or questions you may have:
***Bringing this contract back is your first assignment (10 points). You need to
have it signed and returned by Wednesday, August 20th***

2014-2015 AP Psychology Syllabus - Bremen High School District 228