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Sensation Seeking Lesson Plan

Melinda Bell

January 31, 2008

Period 5

Rm. 316


Course: AP Psychology

Unit: Motivation and Emotion

Lesson Length: 1 day

Lesson Topic: Sensation Seeking as a perspective of homeostasis


Background of the Class: This is an AP course with 30 students in the class. Most of the students are very bright and actively participate in group discussions, but there are a few who struggle with an AP level course and either do not participate or are disruptions.


Indicator: Students will identify homeostatic mechanisms



    1. Students will complete, analyze, and discuss Zuckerman’s Survey on Sensation in order to ascertain its effect on motivation.


Lesson Background: We have previously defined and discussed motivation on a general level.  



  • Zuckerman Test, “Sensation Seeking Scale”
  • Vocabulary overhead


Instructional Procedure:


Warm-Up/Drill: (7 mins.)

1.      Students will define sensation seeking, and rate their sensation seeking on a scale from 1-10

a.       We will create a class definition of sensation seeking

b.      We will discuss their reasons for their number


Lesson: (25 mins)

  1. We will define homeostatic mechanisms and identify a variety of examples
  2. Students will take the Marvin Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scale
    1. 72 questions
    2. When students are finished they will record their results
  3. As a class we will analyze their findings
    1. Define the scoring scale
    2. Discuss accuracy
  4. Class discussion about Zuckerman and his test
    1. Discuss how scores might change
    2. Identify the behaviors that high sensation seeking people might indulge in

Closing Activities (5 mins)

1.      Students will revisit their original sensation seeking score (self given)

2.      Discuss how close their score was to the test score

3.      Time permitting: students will write an exit slip on several key points of the class discussion.



Formative Assessment:

  1. Class Participation


Summative Assessment:

  1. Unit assessment upon completion of the Unit


Subsequent Class Activities: After the completion of this lesson, students will continue to focus on motivation and emotion.