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Psychology A level

Exam Board: AQA

What is the A level about?

Psychology is the ‘scientific study of the mind and behaviour’, and the A Level offers an introduction to ‘core’ areas of the discipline.

  • Social Psychology focuses on the social interactions people have with each other. We function fully as people in the company of, and with the help of, others.  Amongst other issues, this course explains why we conform and why we are likely to obey authority figures.
  • Cognitive Psychology looks at how we perceive and interpret the world around us. Cognitive psychologists are interested in ‘thinking’ and are therefore concerned with internal mental processes, and how those processes are involved in the development of behaviours such as perception and intelligence. One of the most important topics is memory.
  • Developmental Psychology considers how people develop and change from before they are born, throughout their lives. At A Level, the focus is on the development of an infant’s attachment to a primary care giver, and the problems that occur when this does not happen. Psychologists interested in Psychopathology study the causes of mental disorders, such as OCD, Phobias and Schizophrenia. If we can understand what causes these disorders, then we can hopefully develop ways of treating them, so psychopathologists are also interested in therapies.
  • Biological Psychology looks at the role of evolutionary forces and genetics in behaviour. It investigates how the nervous system and hormones work, how the brain functions, and how changes in these can affect behaviour. Psychology explores why we behave the way we do. It helps us to understand the human mind and gives us insight into the motives behind our actions.   
     

Through the work psychologists do we have gained a greater understanding of how the mind functions. Because of this, we’re able to identify and build awareness around mental disorders. By better understanding disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), we can help people overcome the challenges they bring. Psychology can help explain why people react differently in the same scenario. As well as explains why certain people are more prone to developing mental disorders. The insight you’ll gain from your A Level psychology can help you better understand the people around you. As a result, this will make you more compassionate and give you real-life skills to apply in everyday situations. So, if you’re interested in building key psychological knowledge then A Level Psychology is a solid choice.