Year 11 — Psychology

Term 1: Research Methods

Students should develop and understanding of the methodological and mathematical concepts of psychological research.

End of Term assessments. Homework and research projects. Final exam


A precise, measurable and testable statement about the relationship between the (independent and dependent) variables that are being investigated.

Independent variable (IV)

The thing that is varied or changed by a researcher to see if affects the DV.

Inter-observer reliability

The extent to which the record sheets of two or more people carrying out an observation, match one another.


An investigative method where data is collected by directly asking questions of an individual or group. Interviews can vary in their degree of structure.

Laboratory experiment

An experiment that is carried out in an unnatural, controlled environment.


The average of a group of numbers, calculated by adding up all the numbers, then dividing by how many numbers there are.


The middle number of a group of numbers, taken as the average of the two middle numbers when there is an even amount of numbers.

Negative correlation

An inverse relationship between two variables – when one variable decreases, the other increases.

Normal distribution

A symmetrical arrangement of data in which the majority of values are grouped in the centre and the rest taper off towards each end, forming a bell-shaped curve.

Observation study

An investigative method where researchers collect data about people's behaviour by watching them and recording what they see.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

Will be able to describe, apply and evaluate the ethical issues in psychological research. grasp ability to describe, apply and evaluate the use of methodological decisions.

Create a supportive community:

To grasp why and how we research in psychology and the importance of it. for example, mental health, learning and crime. They will be able to learn that in order to change beliefs and issues in society, we must first gain knowledge by researching that topic and the specific scientific method of obtaining important findings.

Term 2: Language, thought and communication

Piaget’s theory: language depends on thought. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: thinking depends on language. Variation in recall of events and recognition of colours, eg in Native American cultures.

End of Term assessments. Homework and research projects. Final exam


Sending or receiving information between people (or animals).


Moods or feelings that an individual experiences.


A system of communication used by a specific group of people, unique to humans.

Language areas (of the brain)

An area of the cerebral cortex involved with language. Includes Wernicke's area in the temporal lobe and Broca's area in the frontal lobe.


Abilities or characteristics gained through experience.

Localised function

Different areas of the brain that are responsible for specific behaviors or functions.

Open posture

Adopting a position in which the arms are not folded across the body and legs are not crossed. May indicate being relaxed or being in agreement.


A mental framework we have of what we already know and believe about the world around us. These frameworks are based on previous information and experiences, helping us to organise and understand new information that we receive.

Piaget’s theory

Piaget’s work was important as it helped us understand how humans develop cognitively and he believed this cognitive development also led to the growth of language.

sensorimotor stage

babies are still discovering what their bodies can do, including the ability to make sounds. Babies then learn to copy the sounds they hear other people making.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

Gaining knowledge about the possible relationship between language and thought and grasping understanding on the effect of language and thought on our view of the world leads to enhancing interpersonal and communication skills.

Create a supportive community:

High level communication skills leads to better socialisation.

Term 3: Brain and neuro-psychology

The divisions of the human nervous system: central and peripheral (somatic and autonomic), basic functions of these divisions. The autonomic nervous system and the fight or flight response. The James-Lange theory of emotion.

End of Term assessments. Homework and research projects. Final exam

Cognitive neuroscience:

how the structure and function of the brain relate to behaviour and cognition.

Synaptic transmission

Messages are passed from one neuron to another by sending neurotransmitters across the synaptic gap so that they can be picked up by the receptors on the next neuron.

Visual area (of the brain)

(Also known as the primary visual cortex or V1). An area of the occipital lobe involved with vision.

Autonomic nervous system (ANS)

A system of nerve fibres running throughout the body which are responsible for autonomic functions. They connect the senses and the internal organs with the central nervous system.

CT scan

Computerised Tomography image: a machine scans the body or the brain using a series of X-rays and then creates a detailed 3D image.


A brain chemical that is released across the synaptic cleft by one neuron, and picked up by the next neuron. Can cause excitation or inhibition.

Occipital lobe

One of the four major lobes of the cerebral cortex, the occipital lobe is at the back of the brain and is where visual information is processed.

Parietal lobe

One of the four major lobes of the cerebral cortex, the parietal lobe is at the top of the brain and is responsible for integrating information from other areas to form complex behaviours.

Peripheral nervous system (PNS)

A system of nerve fibres that connects and relays information between the central nervous system and the rest of the body. It is made up of the SNS and the ANS.

Relay neuron

A nerve cell that passes messages within the CNS.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

Create a supportive community:

Term 4: Psychological problems

Characteristics of mental health, eg positive engagement with society, effective coping with challenges.

Cultural variations in beliefs about mental health problems.

Increased challenges of modern living, eg isolation.

Increased recognition of the nature of mental health problems and lessening of social stigma.

End of term assessments and Final exams.


A common emotional reaction which involves feeling sorrow in response to an unpleasant, hurtful or unhappy experience or memory.


When an individual's physical or psychological characteristics are able to change in order to fit different situations and environments. Being adaptive increases that individual's chances of survival and successful reproduction.

Antisocial behaviour

Acting in ways that are socially unacceptable.

Aversion therapy

A treatment to help people stop undesirable behaviours (eg substance abuse). The person experiences some form of discomfort when carrying out the undesirable behaviour. This results in the behaviour becoming associated with the discomfort

British Psychological Society (

The ethical guidelines that cover the work of all practising and research psychologists. Produced by the British Psychological Society in its Code of Ethics and Conduct (2006) and Code of Human Research Ethic

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CB

A treatment that helps people to manage their problems and emotions encouraging them to change the way they think and behave.

Cultural variation

Different communities of people will have differences in customs, beliefs and behaviours.


Actions taken to improve a physical or psychological disorder.

Mental health problems

Diagnosable conditions that affect an individual's thoughts, feelings and behaviours, making them less able to cope and function in everyday life and society.

Self-management programmes

Educational programmes in addition to regular treatment and disease-specific education that are aimed at supporting and empowering people so that they can take responsibility for their own wellbeing.

Substance abuse

Using a substance in a way that is harmful or dangerous, often the result of consistent use or misuse.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

How the incidence of significant mental health problems changes over time

Create a supportive community:

Effects of significant mental health problems on individuals and society

Term 5: Revision and Exams

Preparation for year 11 final exams

2 Exam papers

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

Create a supportive community: