What is it and why should I do it?
Psychology is the study of the human brain and behaviour. The subject spans everything from the micro (neurons) to the macro (society). It doesn't matter if you don't know anything about Psychology before you choose to study it because the course will give you an introduction to the human mind. In a nutshell, Psychology is an intersection between philosophy and science. We cover lots of topics including the following:
- Social psychology - when and why do we conform, how and why do our attitudes change and when and why do we help others?
- Cognitive psychology - how does our memory, vision and thinking actually work?
- Neuropsychology - what are thoughts made of and what happens when our brain is injured?
- Developmental psychology - how do we mature and develop across the lifespan?
Throughout the year, we examine how different studies have contributed to our understanding of the human mind and human behaviour, and research methods are another core part of the course.
What will I do in class?
Classes are interactive with lots of discussion. We examine case studies and key experiments, and often watch and analyse YouTube clips. We also do practical experiments (a brain dissection and eye dissection). You will also undertake your own research on a topic of your choice. In semester 2, you will conduct research in groups and collect and analyse your own data. We also go on various excursions throughout the year which help to deepen your understanding of the concepts we cover in class.
How much homework will I have?
Usually, consolidation questions are set after each class (about 30 minutes worth of homework per class). There is also an expectation that you create summaries in your own time outside of class. You will also need to prepare for SACs (create your own revision summaries, flashcards and notes).
How do I satisfactorily complete the unit?
The SACs are quite frequent in Psychology to prepare you well for the pace of study in Year 12. There is a test per topic (multiple choice and short answer) as well as various SACs. As an overview, there are about four tests per semester and then there are various other assessments throughout the term (a scientific poster, an oral presentation about mental illness, a brain poster, a research report, a practical investigation). There is also an exam at the end of each semester.