HST540: AP Psychology

This list is representative of the materials provided or used in this course. Keep in mind that the actual materials used may vary, depending on the school in which you are enrolled, and whether you are taking the course as Independent Study.

For a complete list of the materials to be used in this course by your enrolled student, please visit MyInfo. All lists are subject to change at any time.

Scope & Sequence : Scope & Sequence documents describe what is covered in a course (the scope) and also the order in which topics are covered (the sequence). These documents list instructional objectives and skills to be mastered. K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

Course Overview

This course is the equivalent of an introductory college-level course. Students receive an overview of current psychological research methods and theories. They explore the therapies used by professional counselors and clinical psychologists, and examine the reasons for normal human reactions: how people learn and think, the process of human development and human aggression, altruism, intimacy, and self-reflection. They study core psychological concepts, such as the brain and sensory functions, and learn to gauge human reactions, gather information, and form meaningful syntheses. Students prepare for the AP Exam and for further studies in psychology and life sciences.

back to top

Course Length

One Semester

back to top


Success in SCI204: Honors Biology, or equivalent, and teacher/school counselor recommendation

back to top

Course Outline

Unit 1: History and Perspectives of Psychology

Students trace the historical roots of psychology, and identify several of its pioneers and the major perspectives and fields in psychology today. They look at the components of a psychology experiment, ethical concerns, statistical inferences, and the difference between causation and correlation.

  • History and Perspectives of Psychology
  • Research Methods
  • Basic Statistics

Unit 2: Perception and Consciousness

Students look at interconnected biological systems that direct human behavior, influence thought, and ultimately make people who they are. They explore the mysteries of the human brain, including how the brain works and how it perceives. Students explore the brain asleep and awake, the role of sleep and dreaming, and the use of hypnosis. They delve into the concept of consciousness and examine how drugs affect the nervous system.

  • The Nervous and Endocrine Systems
  • Genetic Influences
  • Sensation and Perception
  • Consciousness

Unit 3: Thinking and Feeling

Students examine the ways people learn, remember, think, communicate, and forget. They look at how people experience and express emotion, and how they cope with stress. Students look at creativity, memorization, and motivation.

  • Classical and Operant Conditioning
  • Cognitive and Social Approaches to Learning
  • Memory
  • Cognition Problem Solving and Creativity
  • Language
  • Motivation and Emotions
  • Stress Health and Coping

Unit 4: Development Testing and Individual Differences

Students examine the human journey from conception to death, learning the factors that influence physical, cognitive, social, and moral development. Students look at the impact of genetics and environment on behavior, whether development is a gradual and continuous process or a discontinuous sequence of stages, and whether an individual's personality remains stable or changes throughout life. Students will learn the four major perspectives on personality: trait perspective, humanistic approach, social-cognitive approach, and Freud's psychoanalytic theory.

  • Studying Child Development
  • Major Theories of Human Development
  • Personality
  • Testing and Individual Differences

Unit 5: Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology

Students look at the major categories of mental illness and their symptoms, as well as treatment techniques from psychoanalytic dream analysis and free association to behaviorism systematic desensitization and aversion therapy. They learn about social psychology, including how people form attitudes, what causes or promotes attraction, and aggressive behavior.

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Treatments
  • Attitudes and Social-Cognitive Theories
  • Groups and Intergroup Relations

Unit 6: Course Review and Exam

Students review what they have learned and take the final exam.

  • Review
  • Exam
back to top

Lesson Scheduling

back to top

K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

  • Course Overview (as seen above)
  • Course Outline
  • Lesson Time and Scheduling