The AS-Level course is approached through fifteen case-studies and covers five approaches to Psychology. These areas, and the relevant case-studies, are outlined below:
This area of Psychology deals with the processes of the mind - in particular, the roles of memory, language and perception.
- Loftus and Palmer
"Do you see what I see?"
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
"Are you making a monkey of me?"
In this area, psychologists study how children learn and what is necessary for so-called 'normal' development.
- Samuel and Bryant
"Square pegs in round holes"
- Bandura and Ross
"Do you do what I do?"
"Are you scared of horses?"
Physiological Psychology is concerned with linking brain activity and behaviour; sleep and dreaming, emotion and brain hemisphere connection are areas studied.
- Dement and Kleitman
"Do you R.E.M or do you just ZZZZZZ...?"
"Are two minds better than one?"
"Follow that taxi....!"
This area deals with human interaction - in particular, obedience, conformity, helping behaviour and prejudice.
"Are you a good boy?"
- Reicher and Haslam
"Do you do as you are told?"
"Would you walk on by?"
Psychology of Individual Differences
We are all different and this area of psychology seeks to explore why. Intelligence testing, racial self-identification, abnormality and mental health issues are features of this area.
"Put your money where...."
"Can you prove that you are not mad?"
- Thigpen and Cleckley
"Who am I today?"
As part of the AS-Level syllabus, students are required to carry out four short practical investigations in order to develop critical thinking and to see how psychological research is performed. The AS-Level course is assessed by written examination; one paper devoted to the core studies as outlined above, and a second paper focuses on psychological investigations.
The A2-Level content builds on the work of the AS-Level units and focuses mainly on the ways psychology has been applied. Students study two areas...
- Psychology of Education
- Sport and Exercise Psychology
Students will sit a written examination on both these applied areas. In addition, practical work requires the candidate to expand on the skills developed during the AS-Level course.
The course allows for a variety of activities, with plenty of scope for individual development as well as developing a greater understanding of how we think and interact with the world around us.