AT Psychology Course Syllabus


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    AT Psychology Course Syllabus


    "The purpose of psychology is to give us a completely different idea of the things we know best."


    -Paul Valery (1871-1945) French Poet

    1. Course Description


    Welcome to AT Psychology! This is a college level introduction to psychology course. The goal of this course is to give you a solid foundation in the classical subjects of psychology, mold you into a consumer of psychological research and most important to get you excited about psychology! We will be using a variety of sources and methods from analyzing peer reviewed journals to creating original research studies.  This course will focus on the methods, theories and research within psychology.



    We will also be listening to podcasts. If you have a smartphone, please download a podcast app. For example, iPhones have Podcast already.  


    1. Expectations and Skills


    As with any college-level course, it is not the goal to cover the textbook in class; rather we will try to expand on the ideas presented in the textbook through discussion, supplemental readings, case studies, activities, demonstrations, etc.  That does not mean that you are not responsible for what is assigned in the textbook. In some ways it means that you are more responsible for the material you read since it might not be reviewed in class.  


    The expectation is that you will come to each class with the readings not only completed but understanding them, ready to discuss, with prepared analytical/critical thinking questions that go beyond content summary.


    1. Curriculum Approach

    Introductory psychology courses can be taught in many different ways from segmented units on individual topics to more application based approaches. Our class will lean towards the latter. Instead of doing contained units on memory and learning, these psychological concepts will show up a few times in our year where it applies to the larger theme/concept that we are examining.


    1. Skills

    The course is designed to develop your skills in the following areas:

    1. statistical analysis and interpretation
    2. sampling
    3. research design, implementation, and evaluation
    4. critical thinking
    5. writing (learning the APA format for papers and bibliographies)


    1. Assessments

    There are a variety of ways you will be assessed this year.  The primary methods are:

    1. reading quizzes
    2. unit tests
    3. research papers and projects
    4. analytical reflections
    5. creative papers and projects
    6. research evaluations
    7. class participation (class participation goes beyond raising your hand to answer questions, it includes asking questions, actively listening, working collaboratively when called for and most of all being open minded and respectful of people and ideas discussed during this course. You get out of the class what you put in!)


    III. Course Outline

    Below is a rough outline of possible topics, please note both topics and order are subject to change.

    For each unit, we will start with textbook readings to give you the basic knowledge and vocabulary necessary to engage the material in greater depth. To accomplish the latter, we will rely on a variety of assignments – supplemental readings from professional journals, outside books (both fiction and nonfiction), individual and group research projects, in-class activities and discussions, and original research, just to name a few.


    I. Introduction to Psychology as a Science

    1. History & Perspectives
    2. Methods
    3. Statistics
    4. Ethics

    II.Political Psychology-Midterm Elections

    1. Thinking and Language
    2. Persuasion
    3. Attitudes & Behavior
    4. Memory
    5. Polling, Statistics

    III. Neuropsychology

    1. Neurons
    2. Brain
    3. Application

    IV. Social Psychology

    1. Group Dynamics
    2. Cults
    3. Stereotypes & Prejudice

    V. Political Violence

    1. Thinking/Cognition
    2. Identity

    VI. TBD

    1. Possible Topics: Memory, Learning, Sensation and Perception, Development, etc.

    VII: Final

    1. Orignial Research Study & Complete Journal Article
    1. Grading Procedure

    Each assignment will have a point value; you will know the value of each assignment when it is assigned.  At the end of the quarter your total number of points will be divided by the possible number of points and that will be your grade.  For example, if you could earn 500 points in the quarter and you earned 475 your grade would be a 95 = A. (Earned points/ Total points) x 100   


    There will be a penalty for late assignments.


    1. Contact Information

    Office: 1N1

    Classroom: 1N2

    Email: fplunkett@scarsdaleschools.org



    Please make an appointment and come to my office to discuss any questions. My schedule is posted on my office and classroom doors. In addition, you may contact me but please keep in mind that I will try to get back to you in a timely manner but I cannot guarantee an immediate response.