Psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. It is a multifaceted discipline and includes sub-fields of study such as human development, sports, health, clinical, social behaviour and cognitive processes.

Psychology is really a new science, with most advances happening over the past 150 years or so. However, its origins can be traced back to Ancient Greece, 400 -500 years BC when the emphasis was a philosophical one. Philosophers used to discuss many topics now studied by modern psychology, such as memory, free will and attraction.

Because Psychology is a science, it attempts to investigate the causes of behaviour using systematic and objective procedures for observation, measurement and analysis, backed up by theoretical interpretations, generalizations, explanations and predictions.

A Level Psychology (Edexcel) 

Foundations in Psychology (paper 1) 

This unit introduces the Social, Cognitive, Biological and Learning approaches in Psychology. It will include areas such as obedience and prejudice, memory and forgetting, structure of the brain, role of genes and theories of learning.

Applications of Psychology (paper 2)

This focuses on application of Psychology in the areas of Child and Clinical Psychology.

Psychological Skills (paper 3) 

This covers issues and debates such as ‘Is Psychology a Science?’ and ‘Understanding the role of both nature and nurture in Psychology’.

In all papers/areas of study there is a focus on research methods and synoptic skills through which students will develop an understanding of how to use theories and evidence from many areas of psychology and apply them to the issues.

Quotations can provide us with insight into understanding ourselves, inspiration for how to achieve greater personal fulfilment, and pointers for achieving our goals:

"Education survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten" B.F. Skinner (1904-1990).

The authors of great quotes often have dual interests.  Like Pavlov and James, B.F. Skinner dabbled in areas outside of his own discipline. Skinner developed a philosophy of education that he expressed in his book "Walden Two." According to Skinner, you can build a society entirely on the basis of positive reinforcement. In this quote about education, Skinner expresses the sentiment that resonates with all teachers.  We can teach you the specifics of our subject matter, but we hope, on a larger scale, to inspire you to seek continued enlightenment: a love of learning for the sake of learning.

"I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have" Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

If you didn't know that Lincoln authored this quote, you might think that another Abraham-namely Abraham Maslow-was its author. According to Maslow's self-actualization theory, we strive to achieve our inner potential which may or may not result in success. The "light we have" is our unique ability to become the best we can be.

"Don't become a mere recorder of facts, but try to penetrate the mystery of their origin" Ivan Pavlov   (1849-1936)

Nobel-prize winning physiologist Pavlov was certainly someone who penetrated the mysteries of behaviour and this quote captures the essence of the scientific method. Whether or not you're a scientist, looking beneath the surface is excellent advice. Understand the "mysteries" going on around you, can help you keep your brain and mind in top condition.

Mrs Ammy Davies-Potter (Head of Department)