A Level Psychology
Examination Board: AQA
What is memory and how does it work? Why are some people more easily influenced by their peers than others? Do we have control over our own behaviour? Psychology is often defined as ‘the science of mind and behaviour’ – it is a fascinating discipline, which investigates what makes ‘people tick’ and can offer students an insight into why they think and act in certain ways.
UNIT 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology
- Social Influence – explanations for conformity and obedience.
- Memory – models of memory and explanations of forgetting. Eye-witness testimony
- Attachment – explanations of attachment and the influence of early attachment on childhood and adult relationships
- Psychopathology - definitions of abnormality. Approaches to - and treatments of - mental disorders, such as Phobias, Depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
UNIT 2: Psychology in Context
- Approaches in Psychology – cognitive, biological, humanistic and learning approaches.
- Biopsychology – ways of studying the brain
- Research methods – different types of research methods e.g. experiments and observations
UNIT 3: Issues and Options in Psychology
Students study three topics, each of which comprises of three areas of study. Students study one of these three areas in each unit. Optional topics may vary in accordance with staff specialisms. An example of these topics would be;
- Relationships - Factors affecting attraction in romantic relationships. Theories of romantic relationships. Virtual relationships in social media
- Eating Behaviour - Explanations for food preferences. Biological and psychological explanations for anorexia nervosa and obesity. Explanations for the success and failure of dieting
- Aggression – Biological and social psychological explanations of human aggression. Media influences on aggression, including the effects of computer games
- Schizophrenia – The classification of schizophrenia, treatments and diagnosis of the disorder
Each unit outlined is assessed by three two hour written examinations. Each paper is worth a third of the overall mark. Each paper has a combination of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions. An ability to use mathematical skills to analyse experiments forms part of the assessment.
Psychology is considered an art, science and social science when applying to university, which opens up a number of opportunities and broadens the choice of careers available. In addition to the wide range of careers in Psychology and the mental health services, other careers include: teaching; personnel and human resources; caring professions; banking, commerce and industry; career guidance and counselling; public relations; advertising and marketing.