• Psychology


    Mr. Abe Mikell         Planning Block: 11:51 – 1:42

    E-Mail: smikell@augusta.k12.va.us             School Phone (540) 886-8500


    COURSE Description:

    Psychology is the scientific study of behavior that is tested through scientific research. In this course, we will look at five domains of psychology: The Methods and History Domain, The Biopsychological Domain, The Developmental Domain, The Cognitive Domain, and Variations in Group and Individual Behavior. Within each domain, we will explore several units of study to further our understanding of how and why we behave the way we do.


    National Standards for High SchooL Psychology (2005)

    1. Methods Domain
    1. Introduction and Research Methods: After this unit, students will demonstrate knowledge of the
    1. Contemporary perspectives used by psychologists to understand behavior and mental processes in context
    2. Major subfields and career opportunities that comprise psychology
    3. Research strategies used by psychologists to explore behavior and mental processes
    4. Purpose and basic concepts of statistics
    5. Ethical issues in research with human and other animals that are important to psychologists
    6. Development of psychology as an empirical science
    1. Biopsychological Domain
    1. Biological Bases of Behavior: After this unit, students will demonstrate knowledge of
    1. The Structure and function of the neuron
    2. The Organization of the nervous system
    3. The Hierarchical organization of the structure and function of the brain
    4. Technologies and clinical methods for studying the brain
    5. The Structure and function of the endocrine system
    6. How heredity interacts with the environment to influence behavior
    7. How psychological mechanisms are influenced by evolution
    1. Sensation and Perception: After this unit, students will demonstrate knowledge of the
          1. Basic concepts explaining the capabilities and limitations of sensory processes
          2. Interaction of the person and the environment in determining perception
          3. Nature of attention
    1. Motivation and Emotion: After this unit, students will demonstrate knowledge of the
    1. Motivational concepts
    2. Role of biology and learning in motivation and emotion
    3. Major theories of motivation
    4. Interaction of biological and cultural factors in emotions and motivations
    5. Role of values and expectancies in determining choice and strength of motivation
    6. Physiological, affective, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of emotions and the interactions among
    7. these aspects
    8. Effects of motivation and emotion on perception, cognition, and behavior
    1. Stress, Coping, and Health: After this unit, students will demonstrate knowledge of the
    1. Sources of stress
    2. Physiological reactions to stress
    3. Psychological reactions to stress
    4. Cognitive and behavioral strategies for dealing with stress and promoting health
    1. Developmental Domain
    1. Life Span Development: After this unit, students will demonstrate knowledge of the
    1. Development as a lifelong process
    2. Research techniques used to gather data on the developmental process
    3. Theories of development
    4. Issues surrounding the developmental process (nature/nurture, continuity/discontinuity, stability/instability, critical periods)
    1. Personality and Assessment: After this unit, students will demonstrate knowledge of
          1. How to distinguish between personality and personality constructs
          2. Personality approaches and theories
          3. Assessment tools used in personality
    1. Cognitive Domain
    1. Learning: After this unit, students will demonstrate knowledge of the
          1. Characteristics of learning
          2. Principles of classical conditioning
          3. Principles of operant conditioning
          4. Components of cognitive learning
          5. Roles of biology and culture in determining learning
    1. Memory: After this unit, students will demonstrate knowledge of
          1. Encoding, or getting information into memory
          2. Sensory, working or short-term, and long-term memory systems
          3. Retrieval, or getting information out of memory
          4. Biological bases of memory
          5. Methods for improving memory
          6. Memory constructions
    1. Thinking and Language: After this unit, students will demonstrate knowledge of
          1. Basic elements comprising thought
          2. Strategies and obstacles involved in problem solving and decision-making
          3. Structural features of language
          4. Theories and developmental stages of language acquisition
          5. Links between thinking and language
    1. States of Consciousness: After this unit, students will demonstrate knowledge of the
          1. Nature of consciousness
          2. Characteristics of sleep and theories that explain why we sleep
          3. Theories used to explain and interpret dreams
          4. Basic phenomena and uses of hypnosis
          5. Categories of psychoactive drugs and their effects
    1. Individual Differences: After this unit, students will demonstrate knowledge of the
          1. Concepts related to measurement of individual differences
          2. Influence and interaction of heredity and environment on individual differences
          3. Nature of intelligence
          4. Nature of intelligence testing
    1. Variations in Individual and Group Behavior Domain
    1. Psychological Disorders: After this unit, students will demonstrate knowledge of the
          1. Characteristics and origins of abnormal behavior
          2. Methods used in exploring abnormal behavior
          3. Major categories of abnormal behavior
          4. Impact of mental disorders
    1. Treatment of Psychological Disorders: After this unit, students will demonstrate knowledge of the
          1. Prominent methods used to treat individuals with disorders
          2. Types of practitioners who implement treatment
          3. Legal and ethical challenges involved in delivery of treatment
    1. Social and Cultural Dimensions of Behavior: After this unit, students will demonstrate knowledge of
          1. Social judgment and attitudes
          2. Social and cultural categories
          3. Social influence and relationships

    Text and Materials:

    Understanding Pyschology, Glencoe, 2003.

    Supplemental maps, readings and videos to be utilized throughout the semester


    Methods of Instruction:

    Lectures outlining significant topics and concepts of Psychology

    Peer presentation of topics

    Team Work on in class assignments

    Use of audio-visual materials



    Materials Needed:

    Binder or Folder used to hold Psychology materials only.

    Single Subject spiral bound notebook used to take notes.

    Methods of EvaluAtion:

    Tests: 100 pts each and 100 to 200 points per marking period

    Quizzes: <100 pts each and approximately 3 – 4  per marking period

    Homework/Classwork: 20 to 50 pts each and approximately 100 per marking period

    PROJECTS & Mini Projects: 50 to 200 points each and at least 200 points per marking period

    EXTRA CREDIT ASSIGNMENTS: Up to 10 extra points can be earned by doing extra work each marking period. The extra credit cannot be used to push your grade above a 100.

    Article Summary: You can earn up to 5 extra credit points by reading an article on psychology and writing a 1 page typed summary of the article. You should also bring a copy of this article in along with your summary. This may be done no more than twice each marking period.

    Classroom supplies: You can also earn up to 5 extra credit points by bringing in classroom supplies such as paper towels, tissues, dry erase markers, etc. This may be done no more than twice each marking period.


    Note:  Point value for homework and quizzes will vary with the length and difficulty of the assignment. Marking Period grades will be determined by totaling the number of points and dividing that number by the number of possible points. All percentages will be rounded up at .5 %. Semester grades will be determined with each marking period counting 26.6% and the semester exam counting 20% of the semester grade.



    A+ = 98-100 B+ = 88-89 C+ = 78-79 D+ = 68-69         F = 0-59

    A = 92-97 B = 82-87 C = 72-77 D = 62-67

    A- = 90-91 B- = 80-81 C- = 70-71 D- = 60-61

    Class Expectations:

    It is expected that all students will follow the following requirements:

    Interactive Journal:

    This semester, you will be keeping most of your work in an Interactive Geography Journal, IGJ. The IGJ will be your place to take notes and show me that you understand what we are learning.

    What is the Interactive Student Notebook (ISN)?
    The Interactive Geography Journal is a portfolio of the student's work in this class. The majority of the classwork is done in the IGJ.

    What is the purpose of the Interactive Student Notebook?
    The purpose of the journal is to enable the students to become creative, independent thinkers and writers. Interactive journals will be used for class notes as well as for other activities where the students will be asked to express their own ideas and process information presented in this class.

    How should the ISN be organized?
    The journal should be organized into a Left Side and a Right Side.

    What goes on the right side of the journal?
    The right side of the journal is for class and reading notes. As you take notes, structure them so that key ideas are clear and supported by examples from either Mr. Mikell, class discussions, or reading assignments.

    What goes on the left side of the ISN?
    The left side of the journal will be used for a variety of different activities. This side should be the place where all of the student's creative and artistic inklings come bursting forth. Left side activities will ask you to demonstrate your understanding of new ideas.

    How do I get a good grade on the ISN?

    You earn an A on the journal, by having all assignments completed on the left and right hand side. The tasks on the left hand side should show me that you have a mastery of the concepts we are discussing.

    LAte work Policy:

    All work is to be turned in at the beginning of the period the day that it is due.

    If you do not turn in the assignment on the due date, your work will be marked as MISSING in the grade book and count as a ZERO. You will then be given a late work deadline. If you do not turn in the work by the deadline, then you will keep the ZERO on the assignment.

    Absentee policy:

    If you are absent from school, it is your responsibility to get your make up work. At the beginning of class, you should ask one of your teammates for the previous day’s assignment. If any handouts were given, you should pick them up from the crate in the back of the room. You will then have 3 days to make up your assignments.

    Behavior policy:

      1. Treat yourself, others, and property with respect in your actions and in your language.
      2. Be on time, prepared with necessary materials for the day’s work, and ready to begin when the tardy bell rings.
      3. Listen carefully to and follow instructions the first time they are given.
      4. Participate in the creation of a positive learning environment by respecting the right of all students to learn.
      5. Abide by the SDHS Honor Code and Dress Code at all times.
Last Modified on August 4, 2017