Psychology (Y12-13)


Psychology can be defined as the science of human behaviour. The aim of the subject is to critically study aspects of people’s behaviour and experience. The insight we provide can help improve the lives of individuals and society in general. A fascinating part of Psychology is an exploration of individual differences. People might appear to be basically the same yet there are so many things that make us unique.

In Psychology we study the differences such as considering why is it that some people suffer from stress and mental illness? Why do some people fear snakes and spiders whilst others do not? Psychology looks at questions like these in the study of the human mind and behaviour. It is a science with cutting edge research that has real world applications to wide ranging issues in everyday such as happiness and the social problem of violence and aggression.

In Psychology we study our experiences from different angles. A key part to this is the idea of ‘the mind’. This is something intangible that exists within our brain. From a biological perspective we will analyse the unseen process of enzymes, chemicals and electric current moving within the structure of our neural networks dictates why we feel, think and behave the way we do. We also explore the cognitive processes which determine who we are. Psychologists have developed a rich understanding of how memory is organized and how forgetting occurs. We examine just how trustworthy our recall is and consider how this can impact on eyewitness accounts given in legal cases.

A final perspective psychologists consider is the social dimension of our lives. We usually interact with many other people every day. In Psychology we study the different type of relationships people have and consider behaviour in this context. We look at things like what attracts people to each-other and why relationship break down.

Throughout your study you will examine the scientific processes. This means you will learn about the challenge of producing a study which is both objective and unbiased as well as respecting ethical obligations to participants. You will also carry out research yourself.

Psychology is an exciting and relevant subject which equips you to understand individual and groups processes, biological aspects of behaviour and the nature of scientific research. It can give you precious insight into aspects your own life and research is used to make improvements in society. It is a subject which complements both science and humanities subjects and students tend to be very pleased with their decision to choose this subject.

Year 12/13 IB

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Term 1a Term 1b Term 2a Term 2b Term 3a Term 3b
Year 12 Experimental Research in Psychology Experimental Design
Sampling Procedures
Evaluation of Research Methods
Cognitive Level of Analysis schema Theory; models of memory; the question of reliability in cognitive processes(eye-witness testimony); technology in investigating cognitive processes Sociolocultural Level of Analysis how culture affects cognitive processes (video games)
HL Qualitative Research Theory & Practice: differences with quantitative research; evaluation of qualitative methods; generalizing findings; ethics; sampling; bias; credit-worthiness; reflexivity. Interviews, Observations, Case Studies Evaluation of different types Setting up the method; data analysis Project
Year 13 Biological Level of Analysis effects of biological processes; Psychology of Human Relationships Social Responsibility: altrusim/pro-social behaviour; theories; studies into cross cultural differences; bystander behaviour Inter-personal relationships: basis of attraction; communication in relationships; culture in relationships; ending of relationships.
Violence: sociocultural explanations; reduction; effects
HL Option 2:
Abnormal Psychology
Anxiety Disorders & Affective Disorders: appplying biological, cognitive & sociocultural approaches; concepts & diagnosis; symptoms & prevalence; etiologies
Abnormal Psychology
Cultural & gender variations; treatments - biomedical, individual & group; eclectic approach to treatments; relationship between etiology and therapeutic approaches