Psychology

Introduction:

Simply put Psychology is the science of behaviour and experience. It involves the objective study of what people do and why. Psychology is a Science subject that also involves developing essay writing skills.

The world of Psychology is varied and interesting. It is a broad subject which swings from considering things such as how memory works on the one hand, to how childhood experiences influence our personalities on the other hand. Are we, for example, products of nature (our genes) or nurture (the environment we grow up in)? Are we free or determined? And what does it mean to be free anyway?

Facilities/resources:

The department has a dedicated teaching room in the Sixth Form centre. The department is therefore situated in pleasant surroundings and the subject is delivered in a modern tutorial room equipped with a data projector and a suite of student PCs for research-based learning.

What we do:

The department seeks to cultivate a love of learning whilst also developing the skills needed by students for success at University.

Given the nature of the subject as a Science practical experimental work is undertaken during the course which builds confidence in designing and running small scale studies. As a rigorous academic subject that constantly debates the scientific validity of research, students learn to evaluate theory in light of evidence. Research Methods are therefore at the very heart of the subject as is an awareness of the nature and limitations of Science. Given that in any topic studied there are often competing theories to discuss essay work, and the ability to argue coherently in a sustained critical commentary, is essential. To support this, students will learn how to deploy the kind of revision note techniques needed for success at University.

Given that Psychology is primarily the study of behaviour in all its wonderful complexity its influence can be found in all walks of life. Many students have enjoyed the greater understanding of themselves and the social world gained through their Psychology studies and gone on to study a great variety of degrees such as Art, History, Business Studies, Economics, Languages, Mathematics, Theology and Philosophy at University.

The department has also seen students continue their study of Psychology at, for example, the Universities of Bangor, Birmingham, Bristol, Coventry, Durham, Goldsmiths (London), Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool, Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, Reading, Sheffield, Southampton, Sussex, York and Warwick.

Other students have chosen a combined or related course to Psychology to pursue at University. Some examples of these are: Law & Psychology (Greenwich), Early Childhood Studies (Warwick), Criminology & Social Policy (Loughborough), Languages & Psychology (Sheffield), Speech Sciences (University College, London), Animal Behaviour (John Moores, Liverpool), Sport and Exercise Science (Bath), Social & Political Sciences (Clare College, Cambridge).

Given that the study of Psychology involves investigating both how the brain works and psychopathology (mental illness) students wishing to pursue a Biology based career or train for Medicine have found the discipline a strong asset. Such students have gone on to study degrees in Biology, Biochemistry, Clinical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Molecular Biology, Forensic Science and Pharmacy. Psychology students have also gone on to study Medicine at, for example, Keele, Liverpool and Leicester Universities.

Staff:

Head of Psychology:  Mr P Manning

Reading Suggestions

For an introduction to the subject and its diversity, we suggest you might dip into several of the books listed below. Those marked with a star are lighter reading, those marked with a * symbol are harder but VERY rewarding:

  • Thomas Blass, The Man who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram, ISBN: 978 0-465-00807-0
  • Antonio Damasio, Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain, ISBN: 978-0099498025
  • Cordelia Fine, A Mind of its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceive, ISBN: 1-84046-678-2
  • Cordelia Fine, Delusions of Gender:The Real Science Behind Sex Differences, ISBN: 978-184831220-3
  • Ben Goldacre, Bad Science, ISBN: 978-0-00-728487-0
  • Mary Midgley, The Solitary Self: Darwin and the Selfish Gene, ISBN: 978-1844652532
  • Geoff Rolls, Classic Case Studies in Psychology, ISBN: 0-340-88692-7
  • Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, ISBN: 0-330-29491-1
  • Matthew Syed, Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice, ISBN: 978-0007350544
  • Lauren Slater, Opening Skinner’s Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century, ISBN: 0-7475-6860-x
  • Richard Wiseman, 59 Seconds: Think a little, Change a lot, ISBN: 978-0-330-51160-5
  • Richard Wiseman, Quirkology, ISBN: 978-0-330-44811-6
  • Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: How Good People Turn Bad, ISBN: 978-1846041037

​Happy reading!

Extra-Curricular

The Psychology Department is glad to host the weekly meeting of the school Medical Society in its teaching base.

The department contributes to gifted and talented programmes which are delivered to students in Years 7 to 11. Within year seven students study a session on ‘How the Mind Works’ focusing on aspects of visual processing and memory. Through a series of fun and practical activities a greater appreciation as to why some methods of revising work better than others is gained. A link to the power point that supports this session can be here.

Enterprise Week

The Psychology department also contributes to a week long themed activity undertaken by the whole of Year 8. During Enterprise week the year group are split into teams and have to design a board game. Learning to think and address some of the problems and processes a business goes through is an exciting challenge. To help support this the Psychology department delivers a talk on TEAMWORK. Click here to view the PREZI presentation. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do supporting the students to give of their best.

Contact

If you have any questions please contact Mr Manning by emailing: manningp@khviii.net

Trips

During the Autumn Term, the department takes Year 12 students to Warwick University for an inspiring day exploring ‘The Power of the Mind’. Topics explored cover: Dance and the Brain; Why do we Laugh; Anxiety in the Brain; The Psychology of a Magician; What is Concentration?

During Year 13 students will take an educational Trip to Twycross Zoo. This provides an opportunity to explore, through lectures and tasks, links between animal and human behaviour. How much evolutionary theory can be used to explain human behaviour will be a key issue throughout the day.

In This Section:

Latest News