Psychology

Psychology is the use of scientific principles to study the mind and behaviour. It is concerned with all aspects of behaviour and with the thoughts, feelings and motivations underlying that behaviour. It is both a thriving academic discipline and a vital professional practice. We are all interested in what makes people tick and how this understanding can help solve major problems in society. Psychologists study human behaviour by observing, measuring and testing, then arriving at conclusions that are rooted in sound scientific methodology. Psychologists help people with all sorts of problems, working with them to bring about change for the better. It is a popular subject amongst students at both GCSE and A-level covering a wide range of topics, from Abnormal Psychology to Memory.

GCSE Psychology is a 3 Year course starting in Year 9 and examined at the end of Year 11. Students sit two papers.

KS4 (GCSE):

What is Psychology?

At the beginning of year 9 we cover an introduction to Psychology as students are new to the subject.

Research Methods:

Students learn about the different methods psychologists use to investigate the mind and behaviour. They critically examine these in terms of their strengths and weaknesses.

Unit 1 – Perception and Dreaming

  • How do we see?
  • What are illusions?
  • How do schemas affect our perception?
  • Why is eyewitness memory unreliable?
  • Is dreaming meaningful?
  • What are sleep disorders?

Unit 2 = Aggression, Phobias and Criminal Psychology:

  • The role of the brain, hormones and role models in aggression
  • Do TV and video games make us aggressive?
  • Why do we have phobias?
  • How can we cure a phobia?
  • Are criminals born or made?
  • Nature Vs nurture

A Level Psychology is a two year course; at the end of the course students will sit three exams each worth 33% of the final grade. We follow the AQA A-Level specification.

KS5 (A level):

Paper 1 - Social Influence, Memory, Attachment, Psychopathology:

  • Why do people conform or obey?
  • Why do some individuals remain independent or rebel?
  • How do people remember things in the short term and long term?
  •  What causes us to forget?
  • Why is it important for an attachment to form between a caregiver and infant?
  • How do we form attachments?
  • How do we define, explain and treat abnormality?

Paper 2 - Approaches in Psychology, Biopsychology, Research Methods

  • How do the learning, cognitive, biological and psychodynamic approaches explain human behaviour?
  • How do psychologists study the brain?
  • How do psychologists conduct research? What methods do they use?

Paper 3Issues and Debates, Gender, Schizophrenia, Aggression

  • The importance of nature, nurture, gender, culture and free will
  • Sensitivity and bias in psychological research
  • What role do chromosomes and hormones play in sex and gender?
  • What influence do culture and media have on gender roles?
  • How do psychologists define, explain and treat schizophrenia?
  • Biological and social explanations of aggression
  • Why does aggression occur in prisons?

Full information available on the AQA website :

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/psychology/as-and-a-level/psychology-7181-7182

Teachers of Psychology:

Miss K Kooner: koonerk@ashlawn.org.uk
Mrs E Wheller: whellere@ashlawn.org.uk
Mrs A Gold: golda@ashlawn.org.uk