Psychology

SPECIFIC ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

General entry requirement for advanced level applies to this subject.

CONTENT OF COURSE

Year 1
Social Influenc
e - this topic focuses on why people obey authority and also why people confirm within social situations.  We also study how and why people stand out from the crowd and are able to resist pressures to confirm or obey.
Memory - studying models of how the long term and short term memory works.  Also studying how police conduct interviews and look at eyewitness testimony so that they get reliable evidence.
Attachment - studying how children get attached to those who care for them.  How these arrangements are studied and problems in attachment in children who had had no change to form attachments; for example children brought up in Romanian orphanages.
Biopsychology - the nervous system and hormones in determining behaviour, the fight or flight response including the role of adrenaline, the function in the brain and recovery of the brain after trauma, ways of studying the brain and biological rhythms and sleep.
Approaches in psychology - the fundamental approaches in psychology eg. cognitive, behavioural and biological.  This includes how our biology influences our behaviour eg. fight or flight mechanisms.
Psychopathology - studying what the above approaches claim causes phobias, OCD and depression and what therapies they offer to treat them.
Research methods - looking at research methods and reporting and also designing our own research into a variety of interesting psychological topics.

Year 2
Aggression - biological factors which make people more aggressive including genetics.  Evolutionary factors for human aggression.  Social learning theory applied to aggression including deindividuation.  Institutional aggression including a prison study.  Media influences on aggression including the role of computer games.
Schizophrenia - classification of schizophrenia. Positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, drug therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy and family therapy.
Cognition and development - Piaget, Vygotsky and Baillargeon. The development of social cognition: theory of mind, including theory of mind as an explanation for autism.

EXAMINATIONS AND ASSESSMENTS Papers 1, 2 and 3 are written examinations of 120 minutes each, worth 33.3% respectively of the final A level marks.
SKILLS, LINKS AND PROGRESSION

Psychology is the study of mind and behaviour and bridges the gap between the academic study of the social sciences and the natural sciences.  Psychology links well with science especially biology and also maths, history, English, philosophy and ethics and PE.  Psychology is a social science with cutting edge research that can be applied to issues we see in everyday life, such as psychological disorders, memory and aggression.  A background in psychology can be useful for careers in psychology (eg. clinical, educational, occupational, sports, forensic and criminal), medicine, law, police, social work, teaching, physiotherapy and nursing


Teaching Staff
Mrs J Wilson, BA, BSc, MA, PGCE (Head of Psychology)
Mr D Troman, BSc, PGCE
Mr W Tyson, BSc