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Standard #1: History & Approaches and Research Methods
Unit 1 (pages 2-15), Unit 2 (pages 19-46)
Learning Targets:
a. Define psychology and trace its historical development.
b. Compare and contrast the seven major psychological
c. Identify basic and applied research subfields of psychology.
d. Explain the need for psychological science.
e. Identify basic elements of an experiment (variables, groups,
sampling, population, etc.).
f. Compare and contrast research methods (case, survey,
naturalistic observation).
g. Explain positive and negative correlations and why they
cannot predict cause-effect.
h. Describe the three measures of central tendency and
measures of variation.
i. Discuss the ethics of animal and human research.
Standard #2: Biological Basis of Behavior
Unit 3 (pages 51-110)
Learning Targets:
a. Describe the structure of a neuron and explain neural
b. Describe neural communication and discuss the impact of
c. Classify and explain major divisions of the nervous system.
d. Describe the functions of the brain structures (thalamus,
cerebellum, limbic system, etc.).
e. Identify the four lobes of the cerebral cortex and their
f. Discuss the association areas of the cortex.
g. Explain brain lateralization and the split-brain studies as well
as neuroplasticity.
h. Describe the nature of the endocrine system and its
interaction with the nervous system.
i. Explain the key concepts of evolutionary psychology.
Standard #3: Sensation and Perception
Unit 4 (pages 115-169)
Learning Targets:
a. Contrast the processes of sensation and perception.
b. Distinguish between absolute and difference thresholds.
c. Identify the structures of the eye and explain their
function in vision.
d. Assess the different theories of color vision.
e. Explain the monocular and binocular cues used in depth
f. Classify theories of form and motion perception.
g. Identify the structures of the outer ear and explain their
function in audition.
h. Explain the chemical senses of olfaction and gustation
and how they interrelate.
i. Identify the specialized cells in pressure, pain, and
temperature sensation.
j. Compare kinesthesis to the vestibular sense.
k. Explain the influence of attention and context on sensation
and perception.
l. Evaluate claims of different types of extrasensory perception
Standard #4: States of Consciousness
Unit 5 (pages 175-210)
Learning Targets:
a. Define the different levels of consciousness and theories of
b. Describe the cyclical nature and possible functions of sleep.
c. Compare differences between NREM and REM sleep.
d. Identify the major sleep disorders.
e. Discuss the content and possible functions of dreams.
f. Discuss hypnosis, noting the behavior of hypnotized people
and claims regarding its uses.
g. Discuss the nature of drug dependence.
h. Describe the physiological and psychological effects of
depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens.
Standard #5: Learning & Memory
Unit 6 (pages 215-249), Unit 7a (pages 255-294)
Learning Targets:
a. Explain the process of classical conditioning and its
components (Pavlov’s experiments).
b. Describe the process and elements of operant conditioning
(Skinner’s experiments).
c. Describe the process of observational learning (Bandura’s
d. Discuss the biological and cognitive factors in learning.
e. Describe memory in terms of information processing, and
distinguish among sensory memory,
short-term memory, and long-term memory.
f. Distinguish between automatic and effortful processing.
g. Explain the encoding process (including imagery,
organization, etc.)
h. Distinguish between implicit and explicit memory.
i. Describe the importance of retrieval cues.
j. Discuss the effects of interference and motivated forgetting
on retrieval.
k. Describe the evidence for the constructive nature of memory.
Standard #6: Thinking & Language
Unit 7b (pages 298-322)
Learning Targets:
a. Explain the physiological structures involved in language.
b. Describe the components of language (phonemes,
morphemes, and grammar).
c. Identify the stages of language development.
d. Assess the theories of linguistic relativity.
e. Classify the kinds of thinking.
f. Explain the strategies and obstacles to problem solving.
g. Demonstrate an understanding of reasoning and logic.
h. Evaluate the elements of creativity.
Standard #7: Motivation and Emotion
Unit 8 (pages 327-406)
Learning Targets:
a. Compare the early theories to contemporary views on
b. Discuss the theories of hunger and hunger regulation.
c. Define achievement motivation, including intrinsic and
extrinsic motivation.
d. Identify the three theories of emotion (James-Lange,
Cannon-Bard, Schachter-Singer).
e. Describe the physiological changes that occur during
emotional arousal.
f. Explain how emotions are measured and studied.
g. Describe the biological response to stress.
Standard #8: Developmental Psychology
Unit 9 (pages 411-473)
Learning Targets:
a. Discuss the course of prenatal development.
b. Explain changes in physical, cognitive, and social
development throughout the lifespan according to
Piaget, Vygotsky, Erikson, Kohlberg, and Gilligan.
c. Differentiate between continuous and discrete models
of development.
d. Discuss the effect of body contact, familiarity, and
styles of parenting on children’s temperament and
e. Describe the early development of self-concept.
Explain the influences on gender identity development.
g. Discuss the effects of age on cognitive abilities.
h. Distinguish between cross-sectional and longitudinal
i. Evaluate the debate on nature and nurture.
Standard #9: Personality
Unit 10 (pages 479-518)
Learning Targets:
a. Describe the psychodynamic theory of personality in terms
of the interactions of the id, ego, and superego.
b. Identify defense mechanisms and how they protect the
individual from anxiety.
c. Compare Freud’s theory to neo-Freudian theories.
d. Discuss the humanistic perspective on personality.
e. Trace the formation of the trait theory of personality and the
methodologies used.
f. Explain the role of biology in personality.
g. Explain the uses of different projective and objective
personality tests.
h. Compare and contrast the different theories of personality.
Standard #10: Intelligence
Unit 11 (pages 523-556)
Learning Targets:
a. List and explain the historical concepts of intelligence and
intelligence testing.
b. Describe the importance and types of validity and reliability.
c. Evaluate the different contemporary approaches to
d. Identify the factors that influence intelligence.
e. Summarize research on the nature/nurture debate concerning
f. Discuss the two extremes of the normal distribution of
g. Examine whether intelligence tests are culturally biased.
Standard #11: Abnormal Psychology
Unit 12 (pages 561-600), Unit 13 (pages 605-638)
Learning Targets:
a. Differentiate and explain the various approaches to
b. Understand the aims of the DSM-IV and discuss the
potential dangers of diagnostic labels.
c. Describe each category of disorders and the explanations for
the cause from each perspective.
d. Apply the five main approaches to psychotherapy to the
different classifications of disorders.
e. Explain the strengths and weaknesses of each model of
f. Discuss eclectic approaches to psychotherapy.
g. Identify the common forms of drug therapy and the use of
electroconvulsive therapy.
h. Examine ethical issues of treating individuals with disorders.
Standard #12: Social Psychology
Unit 14 (pages 643-692)
Learning Targets:
a. Explain the relationship between attitudes and behaviors and
how we form and change attitudes.
b. List and describe attributional heuristics and biases.
c. Assess the different theories of attraction and love.
d. Explain the concepts of obedience and conformity through
the research of Asch and Milgram.
e. Discuss how group interaction can facilitate group
polarization and groupthink.
f. Describe the social, emotional, and cognitive factors that
contribute to the persistence of cultural, ethnic, and gender
prejudice and discrimination.
g. Discuss the issues related to aggression.
h. Identify the factors that may facilitate or inhibit
i. Trace the development of prosocial and antisocial behaviors.
j. Discuss the power of the situation versus the power of the
k. Identify the factors in group conflict and principles of
conflict resolution.