A Level Psychology · AQA (reformed)

Dates Available
Week 1: Monday 3 - Friday 7 April
Week 2: Monday 10 - Friday 14 April
Week 3: Monday 17 - Friday 21 April

Board
All Boards

Length of Course
40 hours

Times
9am to 6pm daily

Paper 2

Approaches in Psychology

The psychodynamic approach: the role of the unconscious, the structure of personality, that is ID, ego and superego, defence mechanisms including repression, denial and displacement, psychosexual stages.

• Humanistic psychology: free will, self-actualisation and Maslow’s hierarchy
of needs, focus on the self, congruence, the role of conditions of worth.
The influence on counselling psychology.
• Comparison of approaches.

Biopsychology

Localisation of function in the brain and hemispheric lateralisation: motor, somatosensory, visual, auditory and language centres; Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, split brain research. Plasticity and functional recovery of the brain after trauma.

• Ways of studying the brain.
• Biological rhythms: circadian, infradian and ultradian and the difference between these rhythms. The effect of endogenous pacemakers and exogenous zeitgebers on the sleep/wake cycle.

Paper 3

Issues and Debates in Psychology

• Gender and culture in psychology – universality and bias. Gender bias including androcentrism and alpha and beta bias; cultural bias, including ethnocentrism and cultural relativism.
• Free will and determinism: hard determinism and soft determinism; biological, environmental and psychic determinism. The scientific emphasis on causal explanations.
• The nature-nurture debate.
• Holism and reductionism: levels of explanation in psychology. Biological reductionism and environmental (stimulus-response) reductionism.
• Idiographic and nomothetic approaches to psychological investigation.
• Ethical implications of research studies and theory, including reference to social sensitivity.

Relationships

• The evolutionary explanations for partner preferences, including the relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour.
• Factors affecting attraction in romantic relationships.
• Theories of romantic relationships: social exchange theory, equity theory and Rusbult’s investment model of commitment, satisfaction, comparison with alternatives and investment. Duck’s phase model of relationship breakdown.
• Virtual relationships in social media: self-disclosure in virtual relationships; effects of absence of gating on the nature of virtual relationships.
• Parasocial relationships.
• The nature-nurture debate.
• Holism and reductionism: levels of explanation in psychology. Biological reductionism and environmental (stimulus-response) reductionism.
• Idiographic and nomothetic approaches to psychological investigation.
• Ethical implications of research studies and theory, including reference to social sensitivity.

Schizophrenia

• Classification of schizophrenia.
• Biological explanations for schizophrenia: genetics, the dopamine hypothesis and neural correlates.
• Psychological explanations for schizophrenia: family dysfunction and
cognitive explanations, including dysfunctional thought processing.
• Drug therapy: typical and atypical antipsychotics.
• Cognitive behaviour therapy and family therapy as used in the treatment of schizophrenia. Token economies as used in the management of schizophrenia.
• The importance of an interactionist approach in explaining and treating schizophrenia.

4.3.9 Forensic Psychology

• Problems in defining crime. Ways of measuring crime, including official statistics, victim surveys and offender surveys.
• Offender profiling.
• Biological explanations of offending behaviour: an historical approach (atavistic form); genetics and neural explanations.
• Psychological explanations of offending behaviour: Eysenck’s theory of the criminal personality; cognitive explanations; psychodynamic explanations.
• Dealing with offending behaviour: the aims of custodial sentencing and the psychological effects of custodial sentencing. Recidivism. Behaviour modification in custody. Anger management and restorative justice programmes.

We will only be covering these topics for paper 3.