AS Level Psychology · AQA (reformed)

Dates Available 
Week 1: Monday 26 - Friday 30 April
Week 2: Monday 2 - Friday 6 April
Week 3: Monday 9 - Friday 13 April

AQA (A) 7181

Length of Course
20 hours

9am to 1pm daily

This course covers the two compulsory units of the AS course: Paper 1 (Introductory Topics in Psychology) and Paper 2 (Psychology in Context).

The course will cover the following:

Paper 1 

Social Influence

Types of conformity; Conformity to social roles as investigated by Zimbardo; Explanations for obedience; Dispositional explanation for obedience; the Authoritarian Personality

Explanations of resistance to social influence, including social support and locus of control

Minority influence including reference to consistency, commitment and flexibility

The role of social influence processes in social change


The multi-store model of memory: sensory register, short-term memory and long-term memory

Features of each store: coding, capacity and duration

Types of long-term memory

The working memory model

Explanations for forgetting: proactive and retroactive interference and retrieval failure due to absence of cues

Factors affecting the accuracy of eyewitness testimony

Improving the accuracy of eyewitness testimony, including the use of the cognitive interview


Caregiver-infant interactions in humans; Stages of attachment identified by Schaffer; Multiple attachments and the role of the father

Animal studies of attachment: Lorenz and Harlow

Explanations of attachment

Ainsworth’s ‘Strange Situation’, types of attachment

Bowlby’s theory of maternal deprivation, Romanian orphan studies

The influence of early attachment on childhood and adult relationships, including the role of an internal working model

Paper 2

Psychology in Context

Approaches in Psychology

Learning approaches
The behaviourist approach
The cognitive approach, the emergence of cognitive neuroscience
The biological approach

The divisions of the nervous system
The structure and function of sensory, relay and motor neurons, the process of synaptic transmission, including reference to neurotransmitters, excitation and inhibition
The function of the endocrine system: glands and hormones
The fight or flight response including the role of adrenaline

Definitions of abnormality
The behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of phobias, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
The behavioural approach to explaining and treating phobias
The biological approach to explaining and treating OCD

Research Method
Experimental method, types of experiment, laboratory and field experiments; natural and quasi experiments
Observational techniques
Self-report techniques
Scientific processes
Pilot studies and the aims of piloting
Experimental designs
Observational design
Questionnaire construction, including use of open and closed questions; design of interviews
Demand characteristics and investigator effects
The role of peer review in the scientific process

The implications of psychological research for the economy

Data handling and analysis
Quantitative and qualitative data
Primary and secondary data, including meta-analysis
Descriptive statistics
Presentation and display of quantitative data
Introduction to statistical testing

 N.B. We will be focusing on AQA specification A (not B).