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Psychology

It’s not brain surgery, but it’s close.

Found in Group 3 of the IB hexagon, and offered at both Standard and Higher Level, Psychology is one of the most challenging subjects you’ll find at this level. With new concepts, terms and methods to blow your mind, this is not for the faint-hearted. Get to grips with ganglia, flirt with phrenology and consider cognition. If it’s part of the human condition, we’ll try to uncover it, but don’t opt for Psychology and expect to learn how to analyse others by reading their minds or their body language; you’ll come out of it with more questions than answers.

The course is divided into 3 areas:

Approaches to understanding behaviour (SL and HL)

Biological

  • How is our brain connected to our behaviour?
  • What can brain scans really tell us?

Cognitive

  • How does memory work?
  • How do our thoughts and brains work together?

Sociocultural

  • Why do we do what others want us to do?
  • What effect does culture have on our behaviour?

Options (SL – one, HL - two)

Abnormal Psychology (SL and HL)

  • What does it mean to be ‘normal’?
  • How should we treat the mentally ill?

Human Relationships (HL only)

  • Why do we help others?
  • What attracts us to others?
  • Where does violence come from and how can we reduce it?

Research Methodology (SL – introduction, HL – assessed through a separate exam)

  • Ethics
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Conducting your own research

Aims:

Among the aims of the Psychology course are to:

  • Conduct and interpret psychological research;
  • Ensure that ethical practices are implemented in psychological inquiry;
  • Develop an understanding of social, biological and cultural influences on behaviour.
  • Psychology also meets the aims of the IB within Bexley Grammar School, notably the development of internationalism. Psychology will show how human behaviour is influenced by cultural and environmental variations, as well as genetics. We can only understand different behaviour within the context of the society being studied and we should celebrate this diversity.

Assessment

External:

SL - 2 x written papers (3 hours)

HL - 3 x written papers (5 hours)

Internal: An experimental study (approx 30 hours)

Subject Requirements

Students must achieve the school’s entry requirements for the Sixth Form. The high level of written assessment and Science content means students should have at least a grade 6 in English Language and in Double Science. Please note that having a GCSE in Psychology is not required to study IB Psychology.