Pacing

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The APA encourages introductory psychology instructors to teach the foundations of psychology and to choose at least one topic to cover in depth within each of the five domains of biological psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social and personality psychology, and mental and physical health (see “Strengthening Introductory Psychology: A New Model for Teaching the Introductory Course” and “Strengthening the Common Core of the Introductory Psychology Course“). As this introductory course is large and comprehensive, we do NOT recommend teaching all 16 modules in one semester.

Some of the smaller modules that could potentially be combined with other modules include:

  • Module 4: State of Consciousness
  • Module 6: Thinking and Intelligence
  • Module 7: Memory
  • Module 16: Stress, Lifestyle, and Health

The largest modules, which may take even more than one week, include:

  • Module 9: Lifespan Development
  • Module 10: Social Psychology
  • Module 14: Psychological Disorders

The order of the modules may also be rearranged to suit personal preferences. Some like to teach Personality next to Psychological Foundations at the beginning of the course, then jump into Psychological Research and Social Psychology. You can adjust the order of the modules inside your LMS.

Below is a reference table for potential module organization in courses of various lengths.

16 Weeks 14 Weeks 12 Weeks 12-14 Weeks 8 Weeks
All modules covered (not recommended) Possibly includes all modules, or combines select modules from cognitive psychology and social/personality psychology Excludes states of consciousness and select modules from cognitive psychology and social/personality psychology Devote 2 weeks to each of the main psychological domains Focuses on 1 or 2 modules in each domain
Week 1 Psychological Foundations Psychological Foundations Psychological Foundations Psychological Foundations Psychological Foundations AND Psychological Research
Week 2 Psychological Research Psychological Research Psychological Research Psychological Research Biopsychology
Week 3 Biopsychology Biopsychology Biopsychology Domain 1: Biological Psychology Sensation and Perception OR Thinking and Intelligence OR Memory
Week 4 State of Consciousness State of Consciousness Sensation and Perception Domain 1: Biological Psychology Learning
Week 5 Sensation and Perception Sensation and Perception Thinking and Intelligence OR Memory Domain 2: Cognitive Psychology Lifespan Development
Week 6 Thinking and Intelligence Thinking and Intelligence AND/OR Memory Learning Domain 2: Cognitive Psychology Social Psychology
Week 7 Memory Learning Lifespan Development Domain 3: Developmental Psychology Psychological Disorders
Week 8 Learning Lifespan Development Social Psychology Domain 3: Developmental Psychology Therapy and Treatment
Week 9 Lifespan Development Social Psychology Personality OR Emotion and Motivation OR Industrial-Organizational Psychology Domain 4: Social and Personality Psychology
Week 10 Social Psychology Personality Psychological Disorders Domain 4: Social and Personality Psychology
Week 11 Personality Emotion and Motivation AND/OR Industrial-Organizational Psychology Therapy and Treatment Domain 5: Mental and Physical Health
Week 12 Emotion and Motivation Psychological Disorders Stress, Lifestyle, and Health Domain 5: Mental and Physical Health
Week 13 Industrial-Organizational Psychology Therapy and Treatment
Week 14 Psychological Disorders Stress, Lifestyle, and Health
Week 15 Therapy and Treatment
Week 16 Stress, Lifestyle, and Health