The Psychology (semester) course broadly investigates the behavioral and mental processes of human beings. The
course emphasizes multiple theories and current research for students to critically evaluate the practices and
sub-fields within psychology. Students learn to define, apply and use key terms as well as principles of psychology in
their own lives. Topics include ethics, study methodologies, human development, abnormal behavior, feelings and
emotions, personality, intelligence, altered states of awareness, sleep and dreams, biological basis for behavior,
learning and memory, development and individual differences, and psychological disorders. Course Note: This course
fulfills the Social Studies Elective (.5) requirement.This course provides students the opportunity to explore psychology as the scientific study of mental
processes and behavior. Areas of study include the scientific method, development, cognition,
personality, assessment and mental health, and the socio-cultural and biological bases of behavior.
Upon completion of Psychology, students should be able to:
- Study the major concepts and theories of psychology
- Be able to define and use key terms of psychology
- Understand and be able to demonstrate research, and also be able to interpret and evaluate the validity of the research.
- Develop critical thinking skills to evaluate the vast amount of “psychology” that is presented in everyday literature.
- Be able to apply psychological principles to their own lives
- Understand the many areas of psychology as both areas of study and possible career options
- Build on their reading, writing, evaluation and discussion skills
- Learn about the ethical standards that govern psychological research
Course Outline and Instructional Activities:
I. Psychological Perspectives and Methods of Inquiry
Psychological knowledge is based on scientific methodology, the systematic, empirically-based investigation of
phenomena through observations and measurements. Psychologists use scientific methods to establish
knowledge and explain phenomena, and employ a variety of methods to observe and measure behavior.
Students will demonstrate a basic understanding of the scientific methods that are at the core of
Students will investigate human behavior from biological, cognitive, behavioral, and sociocultural
Students will discuss theories, methodologies, and empirical findings necessary to plan, conduct, and
especially interpret research results.
Students will adhere to and consider the impact of American Psychological Association and federal
guidelines for the ethical treatment of human and nonhuman research participants.
Students will explain how the validity and reliability of observations and measurements relate to data
Students will collect and analyze data designed to answer a psychological question using basic descriptive
and inferential statistics.
Students will explore multicultural and global perspectives that recognize how diversity is important to
explaining human behavior.
II. Influences on Thoughts and Behavior
have long considered the extent to which human behavior is malleable and the degree to which it
varies between people and populations. Psychologists examine genetic predispositions to behavioral patterns,
but human behavior is also influenced by the environment. Research has shown that biological, psychological,
and socio-cultural factors play important roles in shaping the way we see and react to the world around us.
Students will explain the complexities of human thought and behavior, as well as the factors related to
the individual differences among people.
Students will describe biological, psychological, and socio-cultural factors that influence individuals’
cognition, perception, and behavior.
Students will explain the interaction of biology and experience (i.e., nature and nurture) and its influence
Students will identify the role psychological science can play in helping us understand differences in
individual cognitive and physical abilities.
Students will explain how social, cultural, gender, and economic factors influence behavior
and human interactions in societies around the world.
III. Critical Thinking: Themes, Sources, and Evidence
Psychological inquiry is based on a variety of sources and materials that are read and analyzed. The study of
psychology brings together common themes that include ethics, diversity, scientific attitudes, and skills (e.g.,
critical thinking, problem solving). Informed by these themes and supported by sources, psychologists make
evidence-based conclusions which in turn can lead to further questions and answers.
Students will explain common themes across the field of psychological science, including ethical issues,
diversity, developmental issues, and concerns about health and well-being.
Students will use information from different psychological sources to generate research questions.
Students will use existing evidence and formulate conclusions about psychological phenomena.
Students will use critical thinking skills to become better consumers of psychological knowledge.
Students will acknowledge the inter-connectedness of knowledge in the discipline of psychology.
IV. Applications of Psychological Knowledge
Psychological knowledge can be useful in addressing a wide array of issues, from individual to global levels. In
order to understand behavior and mental processes, psychologists apply their psychological knowledge to the
world around them. Psychological knowledge directly relates to everyday and civic life, and its application can
benefit society and improve people’s lives.
Students will apply psychological knowledge to their daily lives.
Students will apply the major theoretical approaches in psychology to educational, emotional, political,
ethical, motivational, organizational, personal, and social issues.
Students will suggest psychologically based ethical solutions to actual problems including, but not limited
to, those encountered in education, business and industry, and the environment.
Students will discuss ways in which the applications of psychological science can address domestic and
Students will use psychological knowledge to promote healthy lifestyle choices.
Students will apply psychological knowledge to civic engagement.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Approaches to Psychology
Chapter 2 Psychological Research Methods and Statistics
Chapter 3 Infancy and Childhood
Chapter 4 Adolescence
Chapter 5 Adulthood and Old Age
Chapter 6 Body and Behavior
Chapter 7 Altered States of Consciousness
Chapter 8 Sensation and Perception
Chapter 9 Learning: Principles and Applications
Chapter 10 Memory and Thought
Chapter 11 Thinking and Language
Chapter 12 Motivation and Emotion
Chapter 13 Psychological Testing
Chapter 14 Theories of Personality
Chapter 15 Stress and Health
Chapter 16 Psychological Disorders
Chapter 17 Therapy and Change
Chapter 18 Individual Interactions
Chapter 19 Group Interaction
Chapter 20 Attitudes and Social Influence
Chapter 21 Psychology: Present and Future
Opening: Standards / Objectives -
Work Session: Assignment / Monitoring -
Closing: Clarification / Mastery -
Daily = 50% - Classwork & Homework
Test = 50% - Subject to change on special projects.
Lang. Arts Grade 11 Course: Expect at least one hour of homework for each class period.