Year 13 — Psychology

Term 1: Relationships

Relationships is a topic in psychology which examines evolutionary explanations for partner preference, the factors that affect the initiation, maintenance and breakdown of romantic relationships, virtual relationships and parasocial relationships.


Sexual selection

An evolutionary explanation for partner preference, suggesting that attributes beneficial to survival and which increase reproductive success (so are adaptive) are passed on through genes. Therefore, human reproductive behaviour, includi


The difference between male and female sex cells. For females, they have a finite supply of eggs, only one of which is released each month, meaning it requires much more effort to produce the sex cells (gametes) than males. Males produce large

Intra-sexual selection:

Refers to strategies one sex uses to be the one that is ‘selected’ by the other sex. This is the preferred strategy of males- the winner of the ‘competition’ between males gets to mate with a female.


This refers to the revealing of personal information to a partner, for instance likes and dislikes, hopes and fears, deepest thoughts and feelings. This can strengthen the romantic ‘bond’ between partners.

Social penetration theory:

Altman and Taylor (1973) suggested that over time, couples reveal more and more information about themselves. The revealing of sensitive information from one partner encourages the other to respond.

The halo effect:

physically attractive people were rated highly on characteristics such as kindness, strength, sociability and other positive traits. Therefore, people who are attractive physically are more likely to be treat positively.

matching hypothesis

people choose romantic partners of a roughly equivalent level of attractiveness to themselves. This involves being able to make an accurate judgement about their own attractiveness level

intersexual selection

strategies one sex uses to select a partner from the opposite sex. This tends to be the strategy females use, as there is a greater investment required to produce an egg, and (historically) females would invest greater time and commitment in offspring.

Absorption-addiction model

The suggestion is that people form parasocial relationships when real relationships are unpleasant or absent. People may follow a celebritry to escape from reality, gain a sense of personal identity or achieve a sense of fulfilment.

Social exchange theory

An economic theory of romantic relationships. Many psychologists believe that the key to maintaining a relationship is that it is mutually beneficial.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

the student will grasp key concepts to understand how relationships are formed, maintained and broken down. they will be able to use these theories in their own lives and relationships while analysing and comparing the psychological research that supports them.

Create a supportive community:

Learning is supportive in a way that is extremely relatable to students and their class mates. they will draw on each others experiences, compare and learn the subjectivity and general law of relationships formation,

Term 2: Forensic psychology

Students will learn crime, punishment and the psychological theories and research explaining the behavioural and cognitive basis of criminal behaviour. Students will consider the following topics: Custodial sentences and recidivism Behaviour modification and anger management Restorative Justice.


custodial sentencing

There are four main aims of custodial sentencing: incapacitation, rehabilitation, retribution and deterence. This is imprisonment.

differential association theory

Explanation of how individuals learn to become offenders. If individual experiences repeated attitudes that are positively associated with crime, rather than negatively (in terms of punishment), then they are more likely to engage in crime.

Eysenck's criminal personality

theory of criminal personality suggests that personality is biologically based and that personality traits include dimensions of extraversion and neuroticism that can be measured using a personality questionnaire.

Genetic Explanations: Offending

Genetic explanations propose that offending behaviour is inherited as one or more genes predispose people to commit crimes. The evidence comes from family studies (which have shown that certain types of crime run in the family) and twin studies.

levels of moral reasoning

ays that people think about and perceive right or wrong. Kohlberg’s theory of moral reasoning has been applied to many areas, including crime. It is a theory that looks at the ways in which individuals grow in their understanding of moral decision-making.

offender profiling

set of investigative techniques used by the police to try to identify perpetrators of serious crime. It involves working out the characteristics of an offender by examining the characteristics of the crime scene and the crime itself.

Official statistics

Official statistics on crime are collected by the government annually and have been produced by the Home Office (in England and Wales) since 1805. They are now published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and hold information on crime surveys.

ways of measuring crime

There are three main ways that forensic psychologists measure crime: official statistics, victim surveys and offender surveys.


Recidivism is where a person re-offends, even after receiving some form of punishment. This is a concern for society, as it has implications for the aims of custodial sentencing and suggests that current treatment programmes in prison .

Restorative Justice Programmes

aim to help rebuild relationships between the offender, the victim, their family and the community at large. Such programmes attempt to improve the experience for the victim, as well as encouraging the offender to take responsibility for their crime.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

understanding crime and criminal behaviour leads to becoming a better civilian in society.

Create a supportive community:

knowledge about the criminal justice system and the punishments of crime develops knowledge of wider society and laws.

Term 3: Schizophrenia

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.



A severe mental illness where contact with reality and insight are impaired

Classification of Mental Disord

The process of organising symptoms into categories based on which symptoms cluster together in sufferers

Positive Symptoms

Atypical symptoms experienced in addition to normal experiences. They include hallucinations and delusions


A positive symptom. They are sensory experiences of stimuli that either have no basis in reality or are distorted perceptions of things that are there


A positive symptom. They involve beliefs that have no basis in reality

Negative Symptoms

Atypical experiences that represent the loss of a usual experience

Speech Poverty

A negative symptom. It involves reduced frequency and quality of speech


The occurrence of two illness or conditions together, where the two conditions are frequently diagnosed together, it call into question the validity of classifying the disorders separately

Symptom Overlap

Occurs when two or more conditions share symptoms. This can call into question the validity of classifying the disorders separately


Genes consist of DNA strands. DNA produce instructions for general physical features of an organisms, and also specific physical features. These may impact psychological features. Genes are inherited

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

Helps them to really examine the importance and impact of serious mental health disorders. It will develop analytical skills and peak their interest in mental health careers.

Create a supportive community:

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily functioning, and can be disabling. People with schizophrenia require lifelong treatment; Students knowing this can understand why people may behave abnormally and that they need treatment.

Term 4: Issues and debates

Students will consider the following topics: Psychodynamic approach Psychosexual changes Humanistic psychology Maslow's 'Hierachy of Need' A comparison of approaches Free will versus Determinism Science and causality Holism and reductionism Interactionism Idiographic versus nomothetic Idiographic approach Once sitting an assessment, students will then move on to consider an evolutionary approach, sexual selection, Buss and sexual strategies, self-disclosure and matching hypothesis.



Any underlying characteristics of human beings that is capable of being applied to all, despite differences in experience and upbringing

Gender Bias

When considering human behaviour, bias is a tendency to treat one individual or group in a different way. In terms of gender, research or theories may offer a view that does not represent male or female behaviour


When normal behaviour is judged to a male standard

Alpha Bias

Theories that suggest there are real differences between men and women, these typically undervalue women

culture bias

Refers to a tendency to ignore cultural differences and interpret all phenomena through the "lens" of their own culture


The view that an individuals behaviour is shaped or controlled by external or internal forces rather than an individual's will to do something

Nature-nurture debate

Concerned with the extent to which aspects of behaviour are a product of inherited or acquired characteristics

Psychic Determinism

Behaviour is caused by unconscious conflicts that we cannot control

Beta Bias

Theories that ignore or minimize the differences between the sexes

Cultural redativsm

The idea that norms and values can only be meaningful and understood within specific social and cultural contexts

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

The student will be able to make synoptic links with their other units. They will gain deep understanding and ability to evaluate the bigger picture in linking evaluation to wider real life applications of theory, as well as the philosophical knowledge of the basis and nature of what makes a theory valid in its argument.

Create a supportive community:

It ensures and strengthens their essay writing skills.

Term 5: Research methods & Revision

Students will be expected to:

demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts, theories, research studies, research methods and ethical issues in relation to the specified Paper 2 content

apply psychological knowledge and understanding of the specified Paper 2 content in a range of contexts

analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological concepts, theories, research studies and research methods in relation to the specified Paper 2 content.


  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

Create a supportive community: