Content Syllabus


Course Version 1.0

Course Length: One semester

Course Description: Psychology is the study of the human mind and human behavior. This one-semester course covers topics such as history, research, biopsychology, sensation and perception, consciousness, learning, memory, intelligence, personality, psychopathology and therapy. Coursework integrates multicultural approaches and themes to make psychology meaningful to students of diverse backgrounds. 

Prerequisite Skills and Knowledge: None; students should have a high school reading level.

Course Outline:


Introduction to the History and Scope of Psychology

The History and Scope of Psychology

Topic 1: Early Theories and Religion

Topic 2: Contemporary Psychology

Topic 3: Careers in Psychology

The Scientific Method & Research Designs

Topic 1: Scientific Method

Topic 2: Descriptive Designs

Topic 3: Analysis: Correlation


Topic 1: Variables

Statistical Reasoning

Topic 1: Statistical Reasoning

Topic 2: Statistical Analyses

Topic 3: Ethics of Research

Neuroscience and Behavior

Neurons and Neural Impulses

Topic 1: What is Biopsychology?

Topic 2: Anatomy of a Neuron

Topic 3: Neural Impulses

Neural Communication and Neurotransmitters

Topic 1: Communication between Neurons

Topic 2: Neurotransmitters

The Nervous System

Topic 1: Peripheral Nervous System

Topic 2: Central Nervous System

The Cerebral Cortex

Topic 1: Two Hemispheres

Topic 2: Language Functions

Brain Lateralization

Topic 1: Brain Lateralization

Sensation and Perception

Introduction to Sensation & Perception

Topic 1: What are Sensation and Perception?

Topic 2: Types of Processing

Topic 3: Psychophysics


Topic 1: Structure of the Eye

Topic 2: Visual Processing


Topic 1: Structure of the Ear

Topic 2: Human Response to Sound

Topic 3: Theories of Pitch Perception

The Other Senses

Topic 1: Touch, Pain and Kinesthesis

Topic 2: Taste and Smell

States of Consciousness

Waking Consciousness and the Unconscious

Topic 1: Consciousness

Topic 2: Conscious Awareness



Topic 1: Circadian Rhythms

Topic 2: 90-Minute Cycles

Topic 3: Sleep Disorders

Dreams and Daydreams

Topic 1: Daydreams and Fantasies

Topic 2: Sleeping Dreams

Altered States of Consciousness

Topic 1: Hypnosis

Topic 2: Meditation, Drumming, Deep Breathing

Drugs and Consciousness

Topic 1: Psychoactive Drugs


Classical Conditioning

Topic 1: Classical Conditioning

Classical Conditioning 2

Topic 1: Extinction and Spontaneous Recovery

Topic 2: Stimulus Generalization and Stimulus Discrimination

Operant Conditioning

Topic 1: Operant Conditioning

Topic 2: Reinforcement

Topic 3: Punishment

Topic 4: Consequences

Classical vs. Operant Conditioning

Topic 1: Reinforcement Schedules

Observational Learning

Topic 1: Prosocial Behavior

Topic 2: Aggression





Human Memory: Getting the Information In

Topic 1: Remembering Process

Topic 2: How Psychologists Study Memory

How Do We Store Information?

Topic 1: Sensory and Short-Term Memory

Topic 2: Long-Term Memory

Topic 3: Amnesia

How Do We Retrieve Information?

Topic 1: Recall and Recognition

Topic 2: Re-Learning

Topic 3: Contextual Influence


Topic 1: Encoding Failure, Storage Decay, Retrieval Failure

Topic 2: Proactive Interference

Topic 3: Motivated Forgetting

Improving Your Memory

Topic 1: Memory Construction

Topic 2: Eyewitness Testimony

Topic 3: Applying Memory



What is Intelligence?

Topic 1: Theories of Intelligence

Topic 2: Emotional Intelligence

Assessing Intelligence

Topic 1: Modern Tests of Intelligence

Topic 2: What are Intelligence Tests Used For?

The Extremes of Intelligence

Topic 1: Mental Retardation

Topic 2: Giftedness


Psychoanalytic Perspective

Topic 1: Structure of Personality

Topic 2: Defense Mechanisms

Topic 3: Process of Personality Development

Topic 4: Psychoanalytic Assessment

The Humanistic Perspective

Topic 1: Humanistic Theories


Topic 1: Personality Traits

Topic 2: Five-Factor Model of Personality

Topic 3: Person-Situation Controversy

The Social-Cognitive Perspective

Topic 1: Reciprocal Determinism

Topic 2: Structure of Personality

Topic 3: Causal Attributions about Success and Failure

The Self and the Modern Unconscious

Topic 1: Self-esteem

Topic 2: Self-schema

Topic 3: Culture and the Self

Psychological Disorders

Introduction to Psychological Disorders

Topic 1: Models of Psychological Disorders

Topic 2: Classification of Disorders

Topic 3: Labeling and Stigma

Anxiety Disorders

Topic 1: Anxiety Categories

Topic 2: Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Topic 3: Panic Disorder

Topic 4: Specific Phobia

Topic 5: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Topic 6: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Topic 7: How Common are Anxiety Disorders?


Topic 1: Mood Disorders

Topic 2: Theories of Depression

Topic 3: Types of Depression

Topic 4: Suicide

Topic 5: How Common are Mood Disorders?


Topic 1: Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Topic 2: Treatments

Personality Disorders

Topic 1: Cluster A, Cluster B and Cluster C

Topic 2: Treatment


Introduction to Therapy

Topic 1: Therapy as a Process

Topic 2: Psychoanalysis

Topic 3: Humanistic Therapies

Behavioral and Cognitive Techniques

Topic 1: Behavioral Therapy

Topic 2: Cognitive Therapy

Group and Family Therapies

Topic 1: Group Therapies

Topic 2: Family Therapies

Biomedical Therapies

Topic 1: Drug Therapies

Topic 2: Antipsychotic Drugs

Topic 3: Antianxiety Drugs

Topic 4: Antidepression Drugs

Alternative Therapies

Topic 1: Dietary Supplements

State Standards Check:

The standards for my curriculum are located at:

This course meets state standards.


No specific state standards cover this course.

This course meets additional standards as follows:

Course Textbook/Materials:

Psychology, 9th Edition, by David G. Myers, 2010, Worth Publishers, this text is provided by the Montana Digital Academy

Syllabus Completed By: Brian Greenwood

Date: August 2010