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Course Name: Psychology
Exam Board: AQA

Course Specification

What will you study?

Psychology is the scientific study of the brain, the mind and behaviour.

Paper 1 Introductory topics in Psychology
Social influence
  • Types of conformity
  • Explanations for obedience & Explanations of resistance to social influence and minority influence
  • The role of social influence processes in social change.
  • Models of memory
  • Explanations for forgetting
  • Factors affecting the accuracy of eyewitness testimony
  • Caregiver-infant interactions in humans, stages of attachment, multiple attachments
  • Animal studies of attachment, Explanations and Types of attachment & cultural variations
  • Bowlby’s theory of maternal deprivation. Romanian orphan studies
  • The influence of early attachment on childhood and adult relationships
  • Definitions of abnormality, deviation from ideal mental health.
  • The behavioural approach to explaining and treating phobias
  • The cognitive approach to explaining and treating depression
  • The biological approach to explaining and treating OCD
Paper 2 Psychology in context
Approaches in Psychology

Origins of Psychology & the basic assumptions of the following approaches: Learning approaches, the cognitive approach, the biological approach, the psychodynamic approach, the humanistic approach and a comparison of approaches.

  • The divisions of the nervous system.
  • The structure and function of neurons. The process of synaptic transmission
  • The function of the endocrine system: glands and hormones.
  • The fight or flight response including the role of adrenaline.
  • Localisation of function in the brain and hemispheric lateralisation/split brain research. Plasticity and functional recovery of the brain after trauma. Ways of studying the brain: scanning techniques
  • Biological rhythms: circadian, infradian and ultradian and sleep
Research methods and scientific processes

You will need to use your knowledge of these skills and apply them to the topics learnt.

Experimental method and types of experiment, Observational techniques and types of observation Self-report techniques, Correlations, Content analysis, Case studies,what’s involved in designing and conducting research

Data handling and analysis & inferential testing


Paper 3 Issues and options in Psychology
Issues and debates in Psychology

Gender and culture in Psychology – universality and bias. Free will and determinism, the nature-nurture debate, Holism and reductionism, Idiographic and nomothetic approaches to psychological investigation. Ethics of research.

  • Factors affecting attraction
  • Theories of romantic relationships
  • Virtual relationships in social media
  • Parasocial relationships  
  • The diagnosis and classification of SZ
  • Biological and Psychological explanations for SZ
  • Biological and Psychological therapies for SZ
  • The interactionist approach to SZ
Forensic Psychology
  • Problems in defining and measuring crime
  • Offender profiling
  • Biological, Social & Psychological explanations of offending behaviour
  • Dealing with offending behaviour and therapy