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Social Studies, Grade 9 - 12, Psychology, 2004

1.) Discuss the origin of psychology relative to the fields of philosophy and natural science.

•  Describing early psychological and biological inquiries that led to contemporary approaches and methods of experimentation
Example: inquiries of Aristotle, John Locke, Wilhelm Wundt, Charles Darwin, William James, and G. Stanley Hall

•  Comparing current biological, behavioral, cognitive, and sociocultural perspectives
Examples: discussing how each perspective explains aggression or appetite, describing limitations of each perspective in assessing human behavior

•  Identifying major subfields and career opportunities related to psychology
2.) Describe research strategies used by psychologists to explore the mind and behavior.

Examples: identifying and describing independent and dependent variables, identifying confounding variables, describing control and experimental groups

•  Designing an experiment in which all elements are identified
•  Explaining characteristics of surveys, naturalistic observations, case studies, longitudinal studies, and cross-sectional studies
•  Describing the use of descriptive statistics in evaluating research
Examples: calculation of the mean, median, and mode from a set of data; correlational analysis

3.) Explain how research and technology have provided methods for analyzing the brain and behavior.

Examples: use of computerized axial tomography (CAT), positron-emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and the electroencephalogram (EEG) to provide information on the brain; identification of the neuron as the basis for neural communication; identification of the electrochemical process in neural communication

•  Discussing the role of neurotransmitters in behavior
•  Comparing the effect of drugs and toxins on the brain and neurotransmitters
Example: effect of curare and caffeine on acetylcholine receptors

•  Describing how heredity influences behavior
Examples: differentiating between deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), chromosomes, and genes; identifying effects of chromosomal abnormalities

•  Describing effects of the environment on increased survival rate
4.) Describe the influence of environmental variables, motivation, experience, and expectations on perception.

•  Explaining the role of sensory systems in human behavior
•  Describing the role of Gestalt principles and concepts in perception
Examples: continuity, proximity, similarity

•  Comparing attention needed for demanding and simple tasks
5.) Identify common sources of stress.

•  Identifying approach-approach, approach-avoidance, and avoidance-avoidance conflicts
•  Describing possible physiological and psychological reactions to stress
Examples: physiological—fight-or-flight response, general adaptation syndrome (GAS), immune system reactions; psychological—impairment of psychological functioning, sharpening of thought processes

•  Identifying positive and negative strategies for coping with stress
6.) Describe the roles of culture, gender, age, ethnicity, and religion on physical, cognitive, and social development across the life span.

•  Discussing physical, cognitive, and social changes in prenatal, infant, child, and adolescent development
•  Describing the role of the caregiver in promoting child development
•  Outlining the stage theories of Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson, Sigmund Freud, Carol Gilligan, and Lawrence Kohlberg
•  Describing the impact of technology on the developmental process
Example: describing effects of media violence

7.) Describe the impact of memory on human behavior, including the role of imagery in encoding, the importance of retrieval cues, and difficulties created by reconstructive memory processes.

•  Distinguishing between surface and deep processing
•  Identifying problems related to incomplete retrieval
•  Comparing processes of short- and long-term memory
•  Identifying strategies used for improving memory
Examples: mnemonic devices, schemas

8.) Identify significant contributors and contributions to current understanding of the process of learning.

Example: contributors—Ivan Pavlov, Edward Thorndike, Burrhus Frederic (B. F.) Skinner, John B. Watson

•  Identifying biological limitations on learning
•  Describing cultural and environmental constraints on learning opportunities
•  Discussing effects of conditioned response
9.) Describe the interrelationship and importance of thought and language on human behavior.

Examples: describing steps involved in the problem-solving process, describing current theories of language acquisition, tracing physiological language development

•  Identifying mental images and verbal symbols as elements that comprise thought
•  Discussing the effect of culture on language acquisition
•  Identifying basic units of language
Examples: phonemes, morphemes

10.) Compare various states of consciousness evident in human behavior.

Examples: comparing nonrapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, comparing theories explaining why people sleep

•  Comparing theories about the use and meaning of dreams
•  Characterizing major categories of psychoactive drugs and their effects
•  Exploring possible uses for hypnosis
Examples: memory recovery, pain control, psychotherapy

11.) Describe the role of motivation and emotion in human behavior.

•  Describing situational cues that cause emotions such as fear, anger, curiosity, and anxiety
•  Identifying theories that explain motivational processes
Examples: expectancy value, Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs

•  Discussing the role of biological and cultural factors in the development of motives
•  Describing theories of emotion and cognitive theories
•  Describing universal aspects of emotion
12.) Describe methods of assessing individual differences.

•  Describing how personality and intelligence may be influenced by differences in heredity and environment
•  Linking intelligence to cognitive skills and strategies
•  Describing theories of intelligence including Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, Robert Sternberg's triarchic theory, and the traditional psychometric theory
•  Describing limitations of using conventional intelligence tests to predict performance based on capability
13.) Explain the role of personality development in human behavior.

Example: explaining how emotional stability or extroversion is used to describe personality

•  Identifying environmental influences on personality development
•  Describing characteristics of psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, and trait approaches to describing human behavior
•  Identifying important contributors and their theories of personality
Examples: Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Karen Horney

•  Distinguishing between objective and projective techniques in personality assessment
14.) Describe major psychological disorders and their treatments.

•  Identifying patterns of behavior that distinguish normal from abnormal behavior
Examples: cultural context, societal labels, neurobiological imbalances

•  Describing abnormal behavior in terms of observable or reportable symptoms that can be classified as nonpsychotic or psychotic
•  Describing biological, psychological, and sociocultural approaches to explaining mental illness
15.) Identify underlying social influences that shape human behavior.

Example: influence of bias and discrimination

•  Identifying the role of social schemas in perception
•  Identifying methods of changing attitudes
Example: persuasive advertising

•  Describing effects of the presence of others on individual behavior
Examples: encouraging social facilitation, creating the "bystander effect"

•  Describing biomedical, psychoanalytical, and social-learning explanations for aggression
Examples: Sigmund Freud's theory of aggressive instinct, effects of testosterone and other hormones on aggression, effects of modeled aggression on behavior

•  Describing internal and external attributes and their effects on human behavior
Example: effects of actor-observer bias

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