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Psychology A Level

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Unit 1 – Introductory topics in Psychology

In this unit you will learn about 4 different topics – attachment, psychopathology, social influence and memory. Attachment looks into the reasons why infants attach to a caregiver and the negative effects that can arise if attachment does not occur. You will explore the main theories of attachment and also a variety of studies in this field including animal and human studies that investigate cross-cultural differences in attachment and the impact that your childhood attachment can have on your adult relationships. Psychopathology investigates different treatments and theories that are used to explain the causes for phobias, depression and OCD. This topic will cover a range of behaviourist, biological and cognitive elements.  Social influence looks at the reasons why we obey and conform and the explanations for why certain people resist these pressures. You will also learn about how people conform to different social roles as demonstrated by Zimbardo’s prison study. Finally, you will learn about how your memory works and the different aspects of the human memory. You will also learn about how memory is affected by certain factors such as anxiety and the impacts this can have on eye witness testimony and how we can use our understanding of the human memory to help improve police interviews.


Unit 2 – Psychology in context

In this unit you will learn about – approaches in psychology, biopsychology and research methods. In the approaches topic you will learn about the different fields of study within psychology such as the behaviourist approach, social learning theory, cognitive approach and biological theory and many others. This topic will provide you will an understanding of the main theories that shape everything we learn about during the A Level course. In biopsychology you will investigate how your brain works, the different lobes and cortexes of the brain and how these all communicate. You will learn the different techniques used to investigate the brain and how changes in our environment can impact our circadian rhythms. In research methods you will learn about how we conduct scientific studies in psychology and you will learn not only to design your own studies but also to critically evaluate studies that have been conducted.


Unit 3 – Issues and options in Psychology

In this unit you will learn about – gender, schizophrenia, aggression and issues and debates. In the gender topic you will learn about the different theories for why we feel masculine or feminine and whether it is a result of nature or nurture? You will also learn about the current explanations for atypical gender development and why some individuals experience a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity. In schizophrenia you will you learn about the symptoms and possible causes of schizophrenia – is it a result of genetics or a dysfunctional family? You will also investigate the different treatments currently used to treat the disorder. In aggression you will study the explanations for why humans display aggressive behaviour and the causes of institutional aggression in the context of prisons. You will also investigate the influences of the media on aggression, focusing on research into the effects of computer games.



AQA Psychology for A Level Yr 1 & AS Student Book: 2nd Ed

ISBN: 978-1-912820-42-9


The recommended exam board endorsed revision guide is:

AQA Psychology for A Level Yr 1 & AS Revision Guide: 2nd Ed

ISBN: 978-1-912820-43-6


Sample papers

Introductory topics in Psychology (2 hours)

Psychology in context (2 hours)

Issues and options in Psychology (2 hours)