WHAT IS THE COURSE CONTENT AND HOW WILL I BE EXAMINED? In Psychology there are 3 examined units; each lasts 2 hours and account for one third of the A-level qualification. YEAR 12 Social Influence: Students learn about how people influence the behaviour of others. Topics include: explanations for conformity, conformity to social roles, explanations for obedience, resisting obedience and conformity, the role of social influence processes in social change. Memory: Students learn different theories about memory and forgetting. Students will also learn about the real-life area of eye-witness testimony and how factors such as misleading information can reduce accuracy of recall. Attachment: Students learn about how relationships in early childhood impact on development later in life. Topics include: the role of the father, animal studies of attachment, cultural variations in attachment, effects of institutionalisation, Romanian orphan studies. Psychopathology: Psychopathology is the study of psychological disorders. Within this topic students learn about how different psychologists explain and treat obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias and depression, as well as the difficulty with defining mental illness. Approaches: Students learn about the different psychological perspectives including: the biological approach, the cognitive approach, the behaviourist approach, the humanistic approach and Freud’s psychodynamic approach.
YEAR 13 Biopsychology: Students learn about how the physiology of the body affects the mind and behaviour. Topics include: the divisions of the nervous system, the structure and function of neurons, the function of the endocrine system, the fight or flight response, circadian rhythms. Issues and Debates: Students learn about the key arguments that psychologists have about the causes of behaviour, for example: nature vs nurture, freewill vs determinism, holism vs reductionism. Gender: Students learn different perspectives exploring exploring what makes males and females behave differently. For example: hormones and chromosomes, Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, the influence of the media, and causes of atypical gender dysphoria. Stress: Students learn about the effect of stress on an individual’s physical and psychological well-being. Topics include: the physiology of stress, the role of stress in illness, managing stress. Addiction: Students learn explanations of and treatment for addictive behaviour. Topics include: the biological explanation of nicotine addiction, the cognitive theory of gambling, biological and psychological treatments for addiction.
YEAR 1 AND 2 RESEARCH METHODS Research Methods is a fundamental part of A Level Psychology and is taught across both years of the course. Within this topic students learn how to conduct and evaluate their own psychological research, and use statistical tests to analyse data. Methods include: experiments, observations, questionnaires and interviews.
“WE ARE WHAT WE ARE BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN WHAT WE HAVE BEEN…”
ST NICHOLAS EXTRA:
Drop-in sessions are offered by the department continuously throughout the year, especially to support those who may require extra help with their mathematical and research method skills as part of the course.