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    After 11 pages, not sure I can add that much except to say that it definitely isn't a soft subject. It's my easiest subject, sure, but then my other subjects are Maths, Physics and Further Maths.

    I think they're trying to make it more scientific as well- when they changed the spec for it a couple of years ago they brought in this whole 'Psychology as a science' element to the mark scheme, where you get ~1/3 of the marks in each 25 mark essay you have to write for writing using a line of argument and elaborating on the implications of studies along with issues & debates within topics.

    In terms of the memory v. understanding argument, you could argue that for the majority of subjects you don't need understanding- if you can replicate what you've seen someone do in a past paper or practice question, you're still going to get the marks.

    The only thing I'd say which makes Psychology a bit easier than some of the more traditional subjects is the AS paper format which was pretty simplistic.
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    (Original post by LemonPi)
    That is... kind of... neuroscience, though, isn't it? I'd say psychology is scientific, but not a science. And I wouldn't say it's as 'academic' as a science. In my first year at uni studying neuroscience, I took an optional unit in psychology and I have to say, apart from looking at a few pictures of neurones near the end, it wasn't much 'science' and was poles apart from my other lectures. It was by far the easiest unit I have done at university. But having said that, I don't do easy units anyway, and I do very much respect psychology and do really like it and am interested in it. But there is a distinction between psychology and neuroscience. If you was science of the brain, you want neuroscience, really.
    Neuroscience is great, for example, it's ability to identify modularity in localisation of function is fantastic, but it would be misguided to believe that as a discipline it can exist without any help from psychology. Before you can specify brain regions in specific tasks, you need to know what you’re looking for. And to do this you need psychological theories first. Therefore psychology drives neuroscience, not the other way around. You need to know what your looking for in psychology before you go poking at the brain for such answers.
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    (Original post by justiceisjust)
    Candidates are required to memorise a lot of relevant information and be able to apply the criteria correctly. Candidates are required to learn many Psychological studies, which sometimes include great amounts of details and have to learn criticisms for each topic. How is this easy?
    It's not easy, but memorising information just does not challenge your logical or critical thinking skills very much. As you put it, even the "criticisms" you learn by heart! - you don't develop your own. You are not required to think on your feet in exams. For some people the focus on memorisation makes it a harder subject, for some people it makes it a lot easier.

    I think Psychology (and Biology) are not "soft" A-Levels (and they are anyway not at degree level), but they could be made more conceptual (and a lot more fun). For example, instead of being required to regurgitate information, one could put more focus on scientific method (developing and testing hypotheses) and data analysis. Applying what you have memorised from case studies to new and non-intuitive situations.
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    (Original post by Noodlzzz)
    Neuroscience is great, for example, it's ability to identify modularity in localisation of function is fantastic
    Good luck doing even that without basic psychological paradigms.

    How do you define the function? This is where neuroscientists come running to psychology to design their fMRI experiment for them.
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    (Original post by llys)
    For example, instead of being required to regurgitate information, one could put more focus on scientific method (developing and testing hypotheses) and data analysis. Applying what you have memorised from case studies to new and non-intuitive situations.
    ...that's exactly what the exam consists of.
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    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    Good luck doing even that without basic psychological paradigms.

    How do you define the function? This is where neuroscientists come running to psychology to design their fMRI experiment for them.
    Exactly what I was arguing, psychology drives neuroscience not the other way around.
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    I take psychology as my 'fun' subject in our equivalent of A-levels. I would definitely say that it's the subject that I have to do the most work for, but I enjoy it, which is precisely why I took it.

    There are just so many concepts that you have to memorize that it's not funny. I don't see how it could ever be seen as a 'soft' subject. Essay writing, investigations, data analysis... the list goes on and on.

    ... It's like calling Biology a soft subject.
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    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    Good luck solving consciousness, memory, attention, vision etc etc etc etc without the cognitive sciences. Pure cellular neuroscience will not be able to solve these problems. You need computational and cognitive neuroscience which in turn needs cognitive psychology (e.g. behavioural models and theories, established experimental paradigms etc).

    Good luck pinning which field cognitive neuroscience belongs to. As you are someone studying neuroscience, I'm rather disappointed to see this post.
    I never meant that neuroscience is completely standing on its own without psychology at all O_o.

    My point was that there can be distinctions drawn between what's more psychology and what's neuroscience. There's a reason why they're two different degrees. And there's a reason why if you want to go into research studying cures and treatment for Alzheimer's/Parkinson's etc., you need a neuroscience degree (or similar), not a psychology degree.

    Not everything I learn is 'cellular neuroscience'. Some stuff in my lectures could be found in a psychology lecture. But on the whole, when it comes to considering whether psychology is a science, I would say that the most 'scientific' parts of psychology I would recognise as being more neuroscience.
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    (Original post by connor ellis)
    Scientists take it as a joke.
    I'm afraid you are wrong there, it is considered as serious as biology - maybe not at A-level but after degree level at the right uni.
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    (Original post by Noodlzzz)
    Neuroscience is great, for example, it's ability to identify modularity in localisation of function is fantastic, but it would be misguided to believe that as a discipline it can exist without any help from psychology. Before you can specify brain regions in specific tasks, you need to know what you’re looking for. And to do this you need psychological theories first. Therefore psychology drives neuroscience, not the other way around. You need to know what your looking for in psychology before you go poking at the brain for such answers.
    Uhuh, yeah that's what I mean . I'd just recognise the most sciencey parts of psychology to be neuroscience. Other parts of psychology I have learned are just not the same. Due to the distinction at degree level, I wouldn't consider psychology as a science the way a medical science is. I hope that's clearer.
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    Well said! I get quite angry when people say Psychology is a soft subject - obviously it doesn't compare to, say, Physics, but it's still quite difficult. You should only be allowed to call it soft if you've done it and got an A.

    Also my friend does Psychology and has an offer from Oxford, so. :cool:
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    (Original post by LemonPi)
    Uhuh, yeah that's what I mean . I'd just recognise the most sciencey parts of psychology to be neuroscience. Other parts of psychology I have learned are just not the same. Due to the distinction at degree level, I wouldn't consider psychology as a science the way a medical science is. I hope that's clearer.
    I agree with you that that the most 'sciency' parts are cognitive neuroscience, neuropsychology yada yada. But once you disown some parts of psychology that it really shouldn't be associated to, it is in every sense a science.
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    haha psych A2 was without doubt my easiest subject.
    Sat in on a friends psych lectures at uni and they...watch videos
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    (Original post by veggie4life)
    haha psych A2 was without doubt my easiest subject.
    Sat in on a friends psych lectures at uni and they...watch videos
    Probably because you're...at nottingham
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    I am currently in my third year at university studying psychology, and let me tell you it is most definitely NOT a soft subject. I find the suggestion humorous! It depends what level you are at and where you study it but I am currently at a university with a very good reputation in the psychology department. Half of the course is cognitive neuroscience, visual perception (pure science) and physiology.

    What makes it harder than a lot of subjects (at a later stage anyway) is that usually people specialise in a specific area i.e. science subjects or arts subjects. With psychology I am required to understand neuroscience whilst comparing theories whilst writing huge essays with really good English! In addition, in my course it is essential that I study statistics as a separate subject (i.e. I attend the same classes and sit the same exams as those taking maths and statistics).

    What I always find funny as well is that often the people who say it is easy fail it. It is as easy as you want to make it, but don't expect to get a decent mark in that case.
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    (Original post by goodboy4444)
    History??
    History is about analysis, application and interpretation. NOT simply memorising a load of facts. If you did that in an A Level History exam you'd get an E.
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    psychology being regarded a soft subject could be to do with the fact that the only people at my school who took it were the thickies?
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    (Original post by jjackson18624)
    Threads like these tend to get hi-jacked by the following types of people, with no facts to back up what they are saying, and so we see a 'going back and forth' effect :teehee: :

    1) young people who take culturally thought of 'hard' a-levels, but suck at them, so rip on 'soft' subjects to make themselves feel better.

    2) An A-level student like the above, but just plain ignorant.

    3) People who are studying at science at a <top 20 uni, are ignorant & lazy and will never become a 'respected scientist' themselves and need a reason to feel important.

    C'mon now people, this website is meant to represent the views of intelligent students. Don't behave like ignorant buffoons, back up what your saying with facts please.
    I suppose I don't necessarily disagree with you completely, but I do find it interesting that you ask us to find facts whilst making very broad, baseless, and unsupported generalisations in the first half of your post.

    Ignoring that, these are the reasons why I believe A-Level Psychology is not a 'hard science', anywhere close to on a par with the more traditional sciences.
    That said, and as you can see from my other posts in this topic, I do not hold the same, low opinion of Psychology at a higher level. We are talking about A-Level.

    1)
    It is recognised by Cambridge University under the group of "A-levels of More Limited Suitability ".
    Moveover, it is listed as "Psychology (Arts)"
    It is not listed as being suitable for STEM (Sci. Tech. Eng. Maths) subjects.
    The only subjects "Generally Suitable Science A-levels" are the 2 maths' and the 3 'hard' sciences.
    Source

    2)
    The people at my school who do Psychology are all the lazy, less intelligent people.
    I suppose this isn't a verifiable source, so you will just have to take my word for it, but it also appears to be the same at many other schools and colleges from what I have read in this topic.

    I don't claim to be an expert on the matter, I don't even do Psychology.
    All I can say is that the general consensus from universities and my own school is that it simply isn't a hard science, or even a science at all, at A-Level.
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    (Original post by Fat-Love)
    hmm if you're talking about A-level then let me put it this way.

    Let's take you're average further maths class and and your average psychology class. Now make them switch places so they're learning the other subject. i.e. further maths students learning psychology and psychology students learning further maths. I'd place my money on the further maths students getting an A in psychology more often than the psychology student getting an A in further maths.

    Now this doesn't mean neccessarily it's a soft subject. Further maths would generally be considered more difficult (to be fair this is the same when comparing it to most other subjects save physics or chemistry) but I believe this 'softness' of A level psychology is heavily exaggerated. It's still reasonably challening compared to similar 'respectable' subjects such as history or english.
    your logic is flawed :facepalm:

    f.maths requires a level maths knowledge, and it's probable that the psychology students don't even do a level maths, so they're screwed. Whereas psychology just requires memory and no previous knowledge of the subject. So of course the switched f.maths class stands a better chance than the switched psychology class
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    (Original post by maturestudy)
    Would you mind linking the paper that question is from? I was just going through the AQA marking scheme (2010) and was unable to find any examples of stating the subject's name being awarded a mark.
    I cant remember sorry, its an older paper perhaps 08 or 09.. i did this paper as a mock and i remember because this was the only mark i dropped.
 
 
 

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