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You will observe population, topography, GIS, mapping, and economy in an entirely different light. You should find yourself fascinated with the methods used to keep track of our current world.

Cognitive Psychology

On-Line for Summer 2020

Teacher: Michael Munson


Cognitive Psychology: The Science of Thinking

Instructor: Michael Munson


Summer 2020

Course begins Monday, July 6, 2020 and ends on Friday, August 14, 2020


Course Description

This course is designed to give students a deep understanding of how human thought processes (cognition) influence our behaviors, emotional experiences, achievements, and sense of well-being. Students will be introduced to the science of cognitive psychology and learn how cognitive science can enhance everyday life.

There is no prerequisite for this course beyond an interest in understanding how the way thinking (which we usually take for granted) exerts a powerful influence on our daily experiences. This influence ranges through our perceptions, expectations, emotional states, judgments, relationships and more. Whether or not students are currently interested in taking AP Psychology in the future, they will be after taking this course. Content is focused on developing student ability to recognize productive vs unproductive habits of thinking based on scientific research. This ability allows very meaningful application to everyday life and will be demonstrated in the final project video created by small groups. Interested students are encouraged to enroll. There is no application required for this course.

Essential Question For This Course: How do cognitive processes influence our daily lives?

This question is used throughout the course and is the topic of the final project on which students will collaborate in small groups. This question will be addressed in each unit of study as they apply the content and concepts they are learning.

Course Format

The course is  primarily asynchronous with a live video conference via Zoom each Monday (time will be determined before the class begins). Live sessions will be approximately one hour and student attendance is required. Assignments will be posted at the beginning of each week and explained during the live class meeting. Daily reminders of assignments will be sent Tuesday through Friday via email or the Remand app.  

Technology Requirements

Units of Study

Unit 1: Development of Cognitive Psychology presents a survey of the development and principles of cognitive psychology and how these principles relate to emotions, well-being, and fulfillment of potential. (2 weeks) Unit Question: What is cognitive science?

Essential Content:

Psychology and Cognition

Cognitive theories

Expression of  “Self”


Unit 2: Thinking focuses on habits of thinking, problem solving, and both positive and negative, of habitual thought patterns and how these influence day-to-day experience. (2 weeks) Unit Question: How can cognitive science help us avoid mistakes in thinking?

Essential Content:

Thinking processes and habits

Systems of thought

Problem Solving

Results of thinking


Unit 3: Cognition and Emotion brings us to the intersection of cognitive science and emotional experience positive psychology and how an understanding of concepts such as attributional style, mindset, grit, and emotional intelligence can foster resilience when facing setbacks, trend people toward more positive emotional experiences, and promote achievement and sense of well-being. (2 weeks) Unit Question: What science-based strategies can promote positive emotions and achievement? 

Essential Content:

Explanatory Style



Emotional Intelligence


Assignment Policy and Workload:

Students will have 6-8 hours of classwork per week and are expected to complete and submit all assignments on the specific date they are assigned. Extensions are allowed when I am notified in advance of the need for more time. Extensions are also allowed in cases of illness or emergency.

Course Tuition: $300.00

Academic Credit: ½ credit is awarded upon successful completion of this course

Enrollment Limit: 25 students

Grade level Recommendation: Students entering grades 9-12 in the 2020-21 school year

Course Texts and Resources: Will be provided by Mr. Munson as separate pdf documents or incorporated directly into assignments on Schoology.


Course Grading 

Weekly Assignments: (Approximately 35% of final grade)

Multiple-Choice Quizzes: (Approximately 35% of final grade)

Multiple choice questions will ask students to:

Final Project: (Approximately 30% of final grade) 

Final project video presentation requirements:

         influences our day-to-day lives? 

Instructor Qualifications: Mr. Munson has taught multiple Advanced Placement courses since 1992. His syllabi are AP Audit approved by the College Board in AP United States Government and Politics, AP European History, AP World History, AP United States History and AP Psychology. He teaches AP Psychology every year and a rotating schedule of these other AP courses online from home in Pennsylvania. Over the years his AP students have performed remarkably well as indicated by a collective  mean score of 4.07 on AP exams. He is a licensed 7-12 Social Studies teacher in Pennsylvania and Minnesota with BA degrees in history and secondary education from Bemidji State University with over 70 graduate credits in teaching history and psychology. He was AP Psychology Exam Reader 1999-2006, an AP Psychology Table Leader 2007-2015, and a member of the AP Psychology Test Development Committee 2012-2015.

Outside of teaching he spends joyful time with his wife, four daughters and two granddaughters. He also spends much time reading, exercising, and wandering outdoors.


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