Hellesdon High School

Psychology Year 13

Year 13 AQA A-Level Psychology (7182) Topic(s) Key content to be learned Assessment
Autumn Term 

Research Methods





















































Review of Y12 Data handling and analysis. Features of Science: Falsification; Paradigm; Paradigm Shift. The role of peer review in the scientific process. Reporting psychological investigations. Knowledge and understanding of inferential testing and be familiar with the use of inferential tests. Introduction to statistical testing; the sign test. When to use the sign test; calculation of the sign test. Probability and significance: use of statistical tables and critical values in interpretation of significance; Type I and Type II errors. Factors affecting the choice of statistical test, including level of measurement and experimental design. When to use the following tests: Spearman’s rho, Pearson’s r, Wilcoxon, Mann-Whitney, related t-test, unrelated t-test and Chi-Squared test. Reporting psychological investigations. Sections of a scientific report: abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion and referencing.


Sex and gender. Sex-role stereotypes. Androgyny and measuring androgyny including the Bem Sex Role Inventory. The role of chromosomes and hormones (testosterone, oestrogen and oxytocin) in sex and gender. Atypical sex chromosome patterns: Klinefelter’s syndrome and Turner’s syndrome. Cognitive explanations of gender development, Kohlberg’s theory, gender identity, gender stability and gender constancy; gender schema theory. Psychodynamic explanation of gender development, Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, Oedipus complex; Electra complex; identification and internalisation. Social learning theory as applied to gender development. The influence of culture and media on gender roles. Atypical gender development: gender dysphoria; biological and social explanations for gender dysphoria.


Definitions of abnormality, including deviation from social norms, failure to function adequately, statistical infrequency and deviation from ideal mental health. The behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of phobias, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The behavioural approach to explaining and treating phobias: the two-process model, including classical and operant conditioning; systematic desensitisation, including relaxation and use of hierarchy; flooding. The cognitive approach to explaining and treating depression: Beck’s negative triad and Ellis’s ABC model; cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), including challenging irrational thoughts. The biological approach to explaining and treating OCD: genetic and neural explanations; drug therapy.


Classification of schizophrenia. Positive symptoms of schizophrenia, including hallucinations and delusions. Negative symptoms of schizophrenia, including speech poverty and avolition. Reliability and validity in diagnosis and classification of schizophrenia, including reference to co-morbidity, culture and gender bias and symptom overlap. Biological explanations for schizophrenia: genetics and neural correlates, including the dopamine hypothesis. Psychological explanations for schizophrenia: family dysfunction and cognitive explanations, including dysfunctional thought processing.

















In Class Assessments

Spring Term






























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; the diathesis-stress model.

Neural and hormonal mechanisms in aggression, including the roles of the limbic system, serotonin and testosterone. Genetic factors in aggression, including the MAOA gene. The ethological explanation of aggression, including reference to innate releasing mechanisms and fixed action patterns. Evolutionary explanations of human aggression. Social psychological explanations of human aggression, including the frustration-aggression hypothesis, social learning theory as applied to human aggression, and de-individuation. Institutional aggression in the context of prisons: dispositional and situational explanations. Media influences on aggression, including the effects of computer games. The role of desensitisation, disinhibition and cognitive priming.


The divisions of the nervous system: central and peripheral (somatic and autonomic). 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. 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: scanning techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); electroencephalogram (EEGs) and event-related potentials (ERPs); post-mortem examinations. 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.
















In Class Assessment

Summer Term

Research Methods




Issues and Debates







All Units

Implications of Psychology to the Economy


Comparison of Approaches


Gender and culture in Psychology – universality and bias. Gender bias including androcentrism and alpha and beta bias; cultural bias, including ethnocentrism and cultural relativism. Ethical implications of research studies and theory, including reference to social sensitivity. Holism and reductionism: levels of explanation in Psychology. Biological reductionism and environmental (stimulus-response) reductionism.








A-Level External Exams