Psychology

Acting Head of Department:  Miss C Russell

Psychology is the study of the thought processes and behaviour of humans and other animals in their interaction with the environment. 

AS Psychology allows students to develop skills in understanding the process and function of research in the academic domain.  Students will learn about the fundamental principles of Psychology from behaviourism, psychodynamic theories through to the more recent neurological studies of human behaviour.  They will look at cognitive processes involved in memory, the psychological and physical effects of stress, and basic principles of attachment theory as well as classical research by Milgram and Asch of behaviour in groups.

A2 Psychology is a more in-depth analysis of different facets of our behaviour, such as Aggression, Eating Behaviour, Attraction and Relationships, Mental Illness and Addiction.  Students will investigate and analyse biological, social, cognitive and psychodynamic explanations of each of these concepts and further develop their critical skills in evaluating both research and theory.

Why study it?

Psychology is interesting

What makes us think, feel, behave?  How do we learn?  Following brain damage how well can a person perform?  Is a baby a ‘blank slate’ upon which life experience writes?

Psychology is challenging

Can autism be treated?  Does studying the brain function of stroke or Parkinson’s Disease patients provide us with answers that can be of use to healthy individuals?  Can children be taught to eat - and ENJOY - fruit and vegetables?

Psychology is useful

Imagine if we knew enough about the way humans work to be able to intervene and reduce problems such as mental illness, drug addiction, child abuse, disruptive behaviour, unhealthy lifestyles, depression in patients or carers.

Psychology is insightful

Remember that you are learning about human behaviour and you are a human too!  This means that you will begin to understand and think abstractly about your own behaviour and motivations and will begin to interpret the behaviour of people in your life in a more meaningful way.

Psychology is fun!

More than in any other subject Psychology offers the chance to try out and test the theories that you will be learning – you will see them every day all around you, in school, on TV, in your homes.  You will learn aspects of human behaviour which may seem unbelievable to you at first and you will be able to take part in and create your own psychological experiments.