2021 - 2022
Your Tour guide: Mr. Titus
What is this class?
Psychology is the scientific study of human behavior.
But aren’t people a little more complicated than lab rats and chemistry experiments?
No. You’d be surprised how much of human behavior is very predictable if you know a little about how people work.
But isn’t it just common sense?
No. People do some things that seem to defy common sense (when was the last time you did something stupid?). Psychology uses scientific research and experimentation to describe, understand, predict, and explain human behavior. For example, did you know that the more eyewitnesses see you commit a crime, the less likely you are to go to prison?
But what do you talk about?
That’s where it gets tricky. There is lots to talk about, but only one semester to do it. We can break it down into different categories, be sure we cover the basics, then pick what else we work on. Here are the choices:
Category 1: Methods
History and Approaches: How did psychology start? What are the different theories about why people do the things they do?
Research Methods: How is psychology different from other explanations of behavior? How do we investigate humans in a scientific way?
Category 2: Biology
Biology and Behavior: How do the nervous system and brain work? What’s a neurotransmitter?
Sensation and Perception: How do our senses work? What changes how we interpret what we see, hear, feel, taste, and touch?
Category 3: Cognition
Learning Theory: How do rewards and punishments control our behavior? How can dog spit help us take over the world?
States of Consciousness: How does sleep work? What are dreams for? Is hypnosis real?
Memory: How do we bring in, store, and find new information?
Intelligence and Testing: What is intelligence? How do we measure it?
Category 4: Development
Development: How do humans grow and change physically, mentally, socially, and morally over their lives?
Personality: How do we become who we are? How and why do we measure personalities?
Category 5: Society and Culture
Social Psychology: How does the situation we are in change how we behave? Do we make mistakes judging others?
Abnormal Psychology: What are some really messed up psychological disorders?
Therapy: How do we help people with psychological disorders? (must select abnormal psychology first).
Units listed in bold are required. We will add the other units as time and student interest take us.
Formative Assignments: 40%
Summative Assignments: 60%
- You will have a weekly “In Real Life” assignment. It asks you to apply class material to a real situation.