Balwearie High School

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What is Psychology? 

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and how it dictates and influences our behaviour, from communication and memory to thought and emotion. 

It's about understanding what makes people tick and how this understanding can help us address many of the problems and issues in society today. 

As a science, psychology is dedicated to the study of human behaviour - and the thoughts, feelings, and motivations behind it - through observation, measurement, and testing, in order to form conclusions that are based on sound scientific methodology. 

Why is Psychology Important? 

Psychology impacts on many parts of our lives.  People seek the help and support of psychologists for all sorts of problems, and psychologists employ their knowledge and expertise to help in many areas of society, such as: 

  • coping with bereavement 
  • dealing with trauma 
  • understanding and dealing with psychosis and schizophrenia 
  • preventing and overcoming depression, stress, and anxiety 
  • speeding up recovery from brain injury 
  • helping to stop or prevent bullying 
  • improving performance both at school and in the workplace 
  • assisting the police, courts, and prison services in the operation of their duties 
  • analysing and improving athletic performance 

What you can do with Psychology? 
Studying psychology equips you with a range of skills and opens up opportunities with a variety of employers.  Careers directly linked to psychology include: 

  • Clinical psychologist 
  • Counselling psychologist 
  • Educational psychologist 
  • Forensic psychologist 
  • Sport and exercise psychologist 

There are many other careers where psychology plays an important role, such as: 

  • Marketing and advertising 
  • Social Work 
  • Emergency Services 
  • Careers Advice  
  • Teaching and Education 
  • Human Resources…and many more. 

Purpose and aims of the course

Psychology is a research-based subject, and it provides the opportunity for candidates to develop an understanding of the research process and how it is used. 

Candidates will develop: 

  • knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts, theories and terminology 
  • the ability to use thinking skills when explaining and applying knowledge and understanding of psychology 
  • awareness of the role of research evidence in explaining human behaviour 
  • basic investigation skills to select, organise and interpret information 
  • awareness of ethical and scientific standards in psychological research 
  • basic communication and numeracy skills in psychology 

Brief Course Description :

Unit 1: Individual Behaviour 

  • Sleep & Dreams – We explore the purposes of sleep, according to different psychological approaches and explore the relevance and meaning of dreams. 
  • Personality – We consider different theories of personality, including Freud. We explore the use of personality tests and their effectiveness. 

Unit 2: Research Methods

We will explore how Psychologists undertake experiments and explore the ethics behind particular experiments. Pupils will undertake their own experiments and research, which will strengthen their knowledge and understanding of concepts within the course. 

Unit 3: Social Behaviour 

  • Conformity – We will explore explanations of conformity, including informational and normative social influence, and consider why we comply with society. We will also consider individual and cultural factors when considering why we behave how we do. 
  • Non-Verbal Communication – We study the purposes of body language, and whether our use and understandings of body language is learned or a result of biological factors.