Welcome to Psychology
Psychology is the scientific study of people: how they think, act, react, and interact. It is concerned with all aspects of human behaviour, as well as the thoughts, feelings, and motivations behind behaviours. Some possible areas of study include stress, memory, sleep, intelligence, language, psychopathology, conformity, prejudice, and relationships. However, as psychology is concerned with all human behaviour, the list of possible areas for study is by no means restricted to those mentioned above. Psychology is in everything.
A qualification in psychology can provide learners with the opportunity to purposefully learn about and engage in the skills necessary to carry out their own research project. Research is at the heart of psychology as a discipline and therefore, any and all research carried out has a place in driving forward our knowledge of human behaviour.
However, psychology is found implicitly in all subjects across Larbert High School which means that the formal study of Higher Psychology allows learners the opportunity to connect their learning to daily life – whether that is through a greater understanding of how we learn or simply being more aware of the psychology behind our social relationships.
Teachers of Psychology
Senior Phase - Higher Psychology
The Higher Psychology course enables learners to evaluate and apply theories to show an understanding of individual human behaviour in topics such as Sleep and Dreams and Memory. Higher Psychology also provides learners with the opportunity to investigate and analyse how interaction with other people shapes our social behaviour. Learners also develop their ability to objectively analyse psychological data to infer possible relationships between behaviours displayed in human beings.
Unit 1 – Individual Behaviour: Sleep and Dreams
Unit 2 – Social Behaviour: Conformity and Obedience
Assignment – Research Report
Unit 1 – 40 marks
Unit 2 – 40 marks
Assignment – 40 marks
Unit 1 and Unit 2 are assessed during the SQA exam diet as a formal examination.
The Assignment is completed during class time over several weeks and months and is packaged and sent to SQA for external marking.
Pyschology in Focus
Generally, we consider our ‘memory’ to have failed us or ‘not what it used to be’ when we have forgotten something. This is what cognitive
psychologists would call ‘errors of omission’ – when we try and remember something, but we can’t. But when we remember something,
how can we be sure that we remember is an accurate reflection of the events that actually happened?
Our brain is not a video camera that can record all events in full. This means that the information we retrieve from our memory and use when recounting events is often different fragments of the event, pieced together using ‘gap fills’. These ‘gap fills’ stem from our logic and
general knowledge and essentially tell you what you what must have happened, even if you can’t remember it happening.
When recounting an event for the first time, we may be aware that these ‘gap fills’ are things that we can’t remember but are sure must have happened because it makes the most logical sense. However, the more we retell a story of an event, the more these gap fills become distorted. We begin to find it harder and harder to distinguish what was present in the original memory that you actually remembered and what was added in later to make the story make more sense.
Types of Misremembering
Humans have a tendency for knowledge, beliefs, and feelings to distort how we remember certain events in our life and can also affect our current and future judgements and memory of events. Consistency Bias – The inaccurate belief that our attitudes towards situations remain stable over time (Markus, 1986).
Misattribution is where some form of memory is present in our minds but it is misattributed to an incorrect time, place, or person. There are three types of misattribution:
A person may remember correctly an item or fact from a past event but misattribute the fact to an incorrect source e.g. saying that you saw a friend in one context when you actually saw them in a different one (Read, 1994). This becomes problematic when eyewitness testimony is used during a criminal trial. More information on eyewitness testimony and misremembering - http://nobaproject.com/modules/eyewitness-testimony-and-memory-biases
Absence of Subjective Experience
People misattribute ideas to their own imagination, when they are actually retrieving it from a past experience (Schacter, 1987). For example – when we read a passage and try to rewrite it in our own words, only to find we have written almost the exact same thing as the original passage.
When people recall or recognise events that never happened e.g. false memories