Before I get started in AP Psychology I need to know that....
My teacher was a schmoolie in high school!!!
I discovered I was an schmoolie in high school. I started dating my first girlfriend in the spring of my sophomore year.
Here is a photo of her from high school (yeah right). Well it looks just like her!!!!
Everything was going great. She was pretty, she loved me and since she was more popular than I was, I looked cool dating her. Then came winter break of my junior year. I went to Florida to visit the grandparents (like half of you still do). While hanging out in the old age community, I met this 16 year old girl from Maryland and I ended up cheating on my girlfriend. I told her as soon as I got back to New York. She proceeded to break up with me, date a guy I REALLY did not like (he looked like a horse) and make out with him in front of me every chance she got. I stopped going to classes, wrote a lot of bad poetry and truly believed my life was over. We got back together two months later and dated until I cheated on her again my freshman year of college.
Halfway through college, between fraternity parties, I began to ask myself some substantial questions. Why did I cheat on her in Florida? Why did I tell her? Why did she date the horse guy? Why did I feel like I was going to die without her? If she meant so much to me, why did I cheat on her again in college? Were we all just schmoolies?
When my mother couldn't answer these questions, I did the next best thing; I took my first psychology class.
Hoping to satisfy their curiosity about people and to remedy their own woes, millions turn to “psychology.” They watch Dr. Phil, listen to talk-radio counseling, read articles on psychic powers, attend stop-smoking hypnosis seminars, and absorb self-help books on the meaning of dreams, the path to ecstatic love, the roots of personal happiness.
Others, intrigued by claims of psychological truth, wonder: Do mothers and infants bond in the first hours after birth? Should we trust childhood sexual abuse memories that get “recovered” in adulthood? Are first-born children more driven to achieve? Does handwriting offer clues to personality? Do my dreams really mean anything?
Why take AP Psychology?
See which one works for you.....
For those of you that complain about the $70 exam fee, just know on average a student saves $2800 per AP exam passed.
The exams are scored on a scale 1 through 5.
If you want to know what scores your college of
interest accepts just
What in the blazes is "Psychology"?
Just so that you feel you have learned something so far I am going to tell you what the modern definition of psychology is and how it came about. A really long time ago (1870's) a scientist with a cool name, William Wundt, opened up the first psychological laboratory in Germany. Wundt spent his time measuring how fast you responded to stimuli (like how fast you will fall asleep when math class starts). Wundt believed that psychology was a study of what goes on inside of our minds or as he called it our "mental processes". In the early 1900's an American psychologist came along named John Watson. Watson did not care what went on inside of your head, but rather he was concerned with the behavior that you exhibited. You cannot observe a sensation, a feeling, or a thought, but you can observe and record people’s behavior as they respond to different situations.
My son Caleb chooses to ram his head into adult crotches when he becomes upset. Wundt would focus on Caleb's feeling of anger, while Watson would only focus on the crotch destroying behavior. Melding together Wundt and Watson's concepts we have our definition; Psychology is the science of mental processes and behavior. Let’s unpack this definition. Behavior is anything an organism does—any action we can observe and record. Yelling, smiling, blinking, sweating, talking, and questionnaire marking are all observable behaviors. Mental processes are the internal subjective experiences we infer from behavior—sensations, perceptions, dreams, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings.
Whatever Mr. Kaplan, this all sound good, but how am I going to learn this stuff?
One thing I detest about living in New York is the lack of buffets. Sure, we have some of the finest restaurants in the world with twelve dollar appetizers and napkins that I would pay to sleep on. But every now and then, I just want to shell out eight bucks, put the old feed bag on and pretend I am the life size version of Hungry Hungry Hippo (the green Hippo was always my favorite). Recently I found the New York version of the eight dollar buffet, except for the fact that it was thirty eight dollars and required reservations. Whenever I take my family to this hybrid eatery located at the Rye Town Hilton on Sunday mornings only, I am somehow transformed into mutant buffet Nazi. I figure if I am spending thirty eight bucks a pop, my wife, myself and my three children better try every damn thing the Hilton buffet has to offer. My oldest son Sam hates hash browns; TOO BAD EAT IT!!!! My wife, Kathy, is allergic to eggs; TOO BAD EAT IT!!!! My youngest son Harris has no teeth and cannot yet chew on bacon; TOO BAD EAT IT!!! I worship Belgium waffles with strawberries, whip cream and maple syrup but refuse to eat more than three because lox (smoked salmon to non-New Yorkers) is more expensive per pound and I have this warped notion that if I eat fifty dollars worth of food than I get the better of the posh Hilton buffet. By the end of every meal I am force feeding myself caviar (smelly fish eggs to the normal person) with a smug look on my face as I imagine the waiter staff is thinking "damn, he got the best of us!!!".
What does this have to do with psychology? Well not much, I just wanted to explain why I have been gaining weight. Seriously, the course you are about to spend the next nine months on, Advanced Placement Psychology, is a lot like my experiences at the Rye Town Hilton' s buffet. We will be covering scores of different topics in Psychology (about one a week until May) touching on every main area there is. The good news is that if you despise a particular topic, the pain will not last long (like eating fish eggs). The bad news is that if you fancy (don't you just love that word) an area (like those scrumptious Belgium waffles), you will be forced to move on to the next hurdle in this sprint to the AP Exam. That is the nature of AP Psychology which is modeled after the typical Introduction to Psychology class you would take at any college from Yale University to Omaha College. Every psychology course after the introductory class is simply a more in depth look at a topic you briefly covered in the introductory course. For example, we will spend two weeks learning about psychological disorders, but when you get your butts to college you have the option of taking a semester long class covering those same disorders in more depth. If you actual were able to follow the last few sentences and understand the buffet analogy, this course will be a breeze.
The Buffet of AP Psychology
Every buffet, from the Rye Town Hilton to the Chinese food buffet at the Palisades Mall to the lunch buffet at Pizza Hut, all have two components; the type of food served and the type of person eating the food.
For example, at the lunch buffet at Pizza Hut you have Cheese Lovers pizza, Pepperoni Lovers Pizza, Sausage Lovers Pizza and the ultimate Meat Lovers Pizza. Now the type of person eating the food also makes a difference. I might think the Meat Lovers Pizza is ecstasy on a crust while a vegetarian might look at it as death on pizza doe. So we all have different perspectives on the food at the buffet. AP psychology is no different than the buffet.
The pizzas in AP Psychology are topics like Memory, Sleep, Hypnosis, Drugs, Motivation, Personality, Attraction and a whole bunch more. There are different schools in psychology that look at these topics differently. Just as I love the Meat Lovers Pizza and the vegetarian thinks it putrid, different people in psychology view the topics of psychology in their own ways. These different perspectives are REALLY important and they are known as.......
The Schools of Psychology
For those of you who are not familiar with Stewie, he is a brilliant baby who is obsessed with killing his mother (man, that sounds bad). Each one of the 7 schools in psychology would view Stewie's behavior differently.
Finally, if these schools don't make much sense to you, that's OK. All long as you have the basic ideas that there are different ways of looking at the same issues in psychology, I promise you will be fine.