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Psychology A Level at Ralph Allen School

Course description

Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology. One 2 hour exam
in June (includes at least one essay).
Social influence
• Types of conformity and explanations for conformity.
• Explanations for obedience.
• Explanations of resistance to social influence.
• Minority influence. Role of social influence in social change.

Memory
• Models of memory. | Types of long-term memory.
• Explanations for forgetting.
• Factors affecting the accuracy of eyewitness testimony.
• Improving the accuracy of eyewitness testimony,

Attachment
• Caregiver-infant interactions in humans:
• Stages of attachment and multiple attachments.
• Animal studies of attachment.
• Explanations of attachment | Types of attachment.
• Cultural variations in attachment.
• Effects of institutionalisation.
• Influence of early attachment on childhood/adult relationships.

Psychopathology
• Definitions of abnormality.
• Characteristics of phobias, depression and OCD.
• Explanations & treatments of phobias, OCD and depression.

Paper 2: Psychology in Context. One 2 hour exam in June
(includes as least one essay).
Approaches in psychology
• Origins of psychology | Comparison of approaches
• Learning - different approaches.

Biopsychology
• The nervous system.
• Localisation of function in the brain & hemispheric lateralisation.
• Split brain research.
• Plasticity and functional recovery of the brain after trauma.
• Ways of studying the brain.
• Biological rhythms.

Research Methods
Methods, experimental designs. | Data analysis and presentation. | Inferential testing.

Paper 3: Issues & Options in Psychology. One 2 hour exam in
June (includes at least one essay).
Issues and debates in psychology
• Gender and culture in psychology.
• Free will and determinism.
• The nature-nurture debate.
• Holism and reductionism.
• Idiographic & nomothetic approaches to investigation.
• Ethical implications of research studies and theory, including reference to social sensitivity.

Gender
• Sex and gender.
• Atypical sex chromosome patterns.
• Psychological explanations of gender development.
• Atypical gender development.

Eating behaviour
• Explanations for food preferences.
• Neural and hormonal mechanisms involved in the control of eating behaviour
• Biological & Psychological explanations for anorexia nervosa.
• Biological explanations for obesity, including genetic and neural explanations.
• Psychological explanations for obesity

Aggression
• Neural and hormonal mechanisms in aggression.
• The ethological explanation of aggression.
• Evolutionary explanations of human aggression.
• Social psychological explanations of human aggression.
• Institutional aggression in the context of prisons.
• Media influences including the effects of computer games.

Entry requirements

4 GCSE’s Grade 9-6 (or equivalent) including grade 5 or above in Science, Maths and English.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ralph Allen School directly.

Last updated date: 30 January 2018

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