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AP® Psychology - Course 4

How Behavior Works

Steven J. Barnes

This psychology course is all about how behavior works. You will learn the theories of motivation, hunger, eating, the obesity epidemic, and sexual behavior. We will also examine theories of emotion and observe how developmental psychologists study phenomena across a lifespan.

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This psychology course is all about how behavior works. You will learn the theories of motivation, hunger, eating, the obesity epidemic, and sexual behavior. We will also examine theories of emotion and observe how developmental psychologists study phenomena across a lifespan.

We will explore cognitive development, the history of intelligence and testing, and the relationship between creativity and mental illness. The course concludes with in-depth coverage of the fields of personality psychology and social psychology.

This course includes video-based lectures and demonstrations, interviews with real research psychologists and a plethora of practice questions to help prepare you for that AP® Psychology exam.

This is the fourth in a six-course AP® Psychology sequence designed to prepare you for the AP® Psychology exam.

Additional Courses:

AP® Psychology - Course 1: What is Psychology

AP® Psychology - Course 2: How the Brain Works

AP® Psychology - Course 3: How the Mind Works

AP® Psychology - Course 5: Health and Behavior

AP® Psychology - Course 6: Exam Preparation & Review

What's inside

Learning objectives

  • Theories of motivation and several motivated behaviors, such as hunger and eating and sexual behavior
  • Theories of emotion, the expression of emotion and the physiological bases of emotion
  • Developmental psychology, including coverage of emotional development, cognitive development, motor development, and personality development
  • Psychological testing and the history of intelligence testing, as well as creativity and the relationship between mental illness and creativity
  • The fields of personality psychology and social psychology

Good to know

Know what's good
, what to watch for
, and possible dealbreakers
Examines emotion, which is a core aspect of the human experience, and a primary element of psychology
Explores theories of motivation as they apply to hunger, eating behavior, and sexual behavior
Develops foundational concepts in Developmental Psychology, including emotional, cognitive, motor, and personality development
Teaches the history of intelligence testing, which is a valuable tool for understanding human intelligence
Delves into personality psychology and social psychology, providing a solid understanding of the core branches in psychology
Taught by Steven J. Barnes, an experienced instructor in the field of psychology

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Career center

Learners who complete AP® Psychology - Course 4: How Behavior Works will develop knowledge and skills that may be useful to these careers:
Educational Psychologist
Educational Psychologists work with students, teachers, and administrators to help improve educational outcomes. This course covers many of the topics that Educational Psychologists need to know about, including theories of cognitive development and developmental psychology. This course may be useful for someone who wants to get into this career field because it provides a foundation in the theories and research methods used in educational psychology.
Clinical Psychologist
Clinical Psychologists work with people of all ages to help them with a variety of mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and personality disorders. This course covers many of the topics that Clinical Psychologists need to know about, including theories of personality psychology and social psychology. This course may be useful for someone who wants to get into this career field because it provides a foundation in the theories and research methods used in clinical psychology.
Cognitive Psychologist
Cognitive Psychologists study the mental processes involved in thinking, learning, and memory. This course covers many of the topics that Cognitive Psychologists need to know about, including theories of cognitive development and developmental psychology. This course may be useful for someone who wants to get into this career field because it provides a foundation in the theories and research methods used in cognitive psychology.
Social Psychologist
Social Psychologists study the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of people in social situations. This course covers many of the topics that Social Psychologists need to know about, including theories of social psychology and the relationship between mental illness and creativity. This course may be useful for someone who wants to get into this career field because it provides a foundation in the theories and research methods used in social psychology.
Personality Psychologist
Personality Psychologists study the unique characteristics of individuals, including their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This course covers many of the topics that Personality Psychologists need to know about, including theories of personality psychology and the relationship between mental illness and creativity. This course may be useful for someone who wants to get into this career field because it provides a foundation in the theories and research methods used in personality psychology.
Behavioral Psychologist
Behavioral Psychologists study the relationship between behavior and the environment. This course covers many of the topics that Behavioral Psychologists need to know about, including theories of motivation and behavior. This course may be useful for someone who wants to get into this career field because it provides a foundation in the theories and research methods used in behavioral psychology.
Neuropsychologist
Neuropsychologists study the relationship between the brain and behavior. This course covers many of the topics that Neuropsychologists need to know about, including theories of the brain and the relationship between mental illness and creativity. This course may be useful for someone who wants to get into this career field because it provides a foundation in the theories and research methods used in neuropsychology.
Developmental Neuroscientist
Developmental Neuroscientists study the development of the brain and nervous system. This course covers many of the topics that Developmental Neuroscientists need to know about, including theories of emotional development and cognitive development. This course may be useful for someone who wants to get into this career field because it provides a foundation in the theories and research methods used in developmental neuroscience.
Health Psychologist
Health Psychologists work with people to help them improve their health and well-being. This course covers many of the topics that Health Psychologists need to know about, including theories of motivation and emotion. This course may be useful for someone who wants to get into this career field because it provides a foundation in the theories and research methods used in health psychology.
School Psychologist
School Psychologists work with children and adolescents in a school setting to help them with a variety of academic, social, and emotional issues. This course covers many of the topics that School Psychologists need to know about, including theories of cognitive development and developmental psychology. This course may be useful for someone who wants to get into this career field because it provides a foundation in the theories and research methods used in school psychology.
Child Psychologist
Child Psychologists work with children and adolescents to help them with a variety of mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems. This course covers many of the topics that Child Psychologists need to know about, including theories of cognitive development and developmental psychology. This course may be useful for someone who wants to get into this career field because it provides a foundation in the theories and research methods used in child psychology.
Forensic Psychologist
Forensic Psychologists work with the legal system to help with a variety of issues, such as assessing criminal defendants, providing expert testimony, and developing treatment plans for offenders. This course covers many of the topics that Forensic Psychologists need to know about, including theories of personality psychology and social psychology. This course may be useful for someone who wants to get into this career field because it provides a foundation in the theories and research methods used in forensic psychology.
Counseling Psychologist
Counseling Psychologists work with people of all ages to help them with a variety of mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and relationship problems. This course covers many of the topics that Counseling Psychologists need to know about, including theories of emotion and developmental psychology. This course may be useful for someone who wants to get into this career field because it provides a foundation in the theories and research methods used in counseling psychology.
Industrial-Organizational Psychologist
Industrial-Organizational Psychologists work with businesses and organizations to help improve employee productivity, satisfaction, and safety. This course covers many of the topics that Industrial-Organizational Psychologists need to know about, including theories of motivation and social psychology. This course may be useful for someone who wants to get into this career field because it provides a foundation in the theories and research methods used in industrial-organizational psychology.
Developmental Psychologist
Developmental Psychologists conduct research on a variety of topics related to human development, including cognitive, emotional, and social development. This course covers many of these topics, including theories of cognitive development and developmental psychology. This course may be useful for someone who wants to get into this career field because it provides a foundation in the theories and research methods used in developmental psychology.

Reading list

We've selected 13 books that we think will supplement your learning. Use these to develop background knowledge, enrich your coursework, and gain a deeper understanding of the topics covered in AP® Psychology - Course 4: How Behavior Works.
This comprehensive handbook brings together leading scholars in the field of creativity to provide a state-of-the-art overview of current research and theory.
This comprehensive textbook provides an in-depth examination of hunger and eating in humans, exploring the interaction between physiological and psychological factors influencing eating behavior and obesity.
Provides a comprehensive overview of the field of developmental psychology, covering topics such as emotional development, cognitive development, motor development, and personality development.
This widely-used textbook provides a comprehensive overview of personality psychology, covering the major theories, research methods, and assessment tools used in the field.
This engaging and accessible book provides a concise overview of social psychology, exploring the fascinating ways in which social forces shape our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
This ambitious and wide-ranging book provides a sweeping overview of human history, from the origins of our species to the present day.
Provides a comprehensive overview of the field of personality psychology, covering topics such as the different theories of personality, the assessment of personality, and the development of personality over time.
This controversial but well-researched book challenges the prevailing view of mental illness and its treatment, arguing for a more holistic and person-centered approach.
This entertaining and informative book examines the psychological mechanisms that lead us to rationalize our own mistakes and biases, even when confronted with evidence to the contrary.
Provides a comprehensive overview of the field of intelligence, covering topics such as the history of intelligence testing, the nature of creativity, and the relationship between mental illness and creativity.
This gripping account of the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment explores the psychological factors that can lead ordinary people to engage in acts of cruelty and violence.

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