JessD3333
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#1
Hi there!

I know I have posted about A-level choices before but now I am stuck between History and Psychology A-levels.

My other A-levels will be French, Spanish and Music

Even though I enjoy history, I think I will enjoy psychology more but I am nervous that because I already have music, having 2 softer subjects instead of a respectable one won't enable me to get into oxford for french and spanish which is my dream uni course.


will doing psychology limit my future? Is it worth doing history because it is essay-based and it goes better with my other A-levels and is more respectable or should I do what I enjoy more? Also if you do the subjects and you could tell me what they are like that would also be really helpful
Last edited by JessD3333; 4 weeks ago
0
reply
Compost
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#2
Report 4 weeks ago
#2
There's no need to do 4 but if you do Psychology would be absolutely fine.
0
reply
thegeek888
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#3
Report 4 weeks ago
#3
Oxford's prospectus recommends: English Language, Maths, a science or any other language. You are already doing 2 languages, so you should do Psychology as it's a science. History is a heavy weight subject and very respected but you could also prove your mathematical ability by taking Psychology.

Take a look at the entry requirements:

https://www.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxf...ments.WEB_.pdf

https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/unde...irements-table
1
reply
Compost
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#4
Report 4 weeks ago
#4
(Original post by thegeek888)
Oxford's prospectus recommends: English Language, Maths, a science or any other language. You are already doing 2 languages, so you should do Psychology as it's a science. History is a heavy weight subject and very respected but you could also prove your mathematical ability by taking Psychology.

Take a look at the entry requirements:

https://www.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxf...ments.WEB_.pdf

https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/unde...irements-table
The OP said she wanted to get into Oxford to read modern languages, not Psychology.
0
reply
JessD3333
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#5
(Original post by Compost)
There's no need to do 4 but if you do Psychology would be absolutely fine.
thanks for your help
0
reply
JessD3333
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#6
(Original post by thegeek888)
Oxford's prospectus recommends: English Language, Maths, a science or any other language. You are already doing 2 languages, so you should do Psychology as it's a science. History is a heavy weight subject and very respected but you could also prove your mathematical ability by taking Psychology.

Take a look at the entry requirements:

https://www.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxf...ments.WEB_.pdf

https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/unde...irements-table
Thank you! Modern languages only require the language itself so that's why I am unsure on what else to take
0
reply
PetitePanda
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#7
Report 4 weeks ago
#7
History and Psychology are not soft subjects. If they want specific subjects, they will state it like Trinity college does for facilitating subjects in Cambridge but there's isn't one for Oxford and your options are respectable. No doing psychology wont limit you. Psychology is essay based. Both are respectable so do what you enjoy more. I do History A level and I only recommend it to you if the topics you will be learning interesting.
1
reply
JessD3333
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#8
(Original post by PetitePanda)
History and Psychology are not soft subjects. If they want specific subjects, they will state it like Trinity college does for facilitating subjects in Cambridge but there's isn't one for Oxford and your options are respectable. No doing psychology wont limit you. Psychology is essay based. Both are respectable so do what you enjoy more. I do History A level and I only recommend it to you if the topics you will be learning interesting.
Thank you very much, I feel like I should just do what I enjoy more
0
reply
thegeek888
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#9
Report 4 weeks ago
#9
(Original post by JessD3333)
Thank you! Modern languages only require the language itself so that's why I am unsure on what else to take
Jess, have you seen the Psychology specification? There is a huge section devoted to Research Methods, and they're easy marks to gain if you revise well. The topics of Psychology are very interesting too. But it depends also on your teacher and how good he or she is at teaching Psychology.

4.1.1 Social influence
• Types of conformity: internalisation, identification and compliance. Explanations for
conformity: informational social influence and normative social influence, and variables
affecting conformity including group size, unanimity and task difficulty as investigated by
Asch.
• Conformity to social roles as investigated by Zimbardo.
• Explanations for obedience: agentic state and legitimacy of authority, and situational
variables affecting obedience including proximity and location, as investigated by Milgram,
and uniform. Dispositional explanation for obedience: the Authoritarian Personality.
• Explanations of resistance to social influence, including social support and locus of control.
• Minority influence including reference to consistency, commitment and flexibility.
• The role of social influence processes in social change.

4.1.2 Memory
• The multi-store model of memory: sensory register, short-term memory and long-term
memory. Features of each store: coding, capacity and duration.
• Types of long-term memory: episodic, semantic, procedural.
• The working memory model: central executive, phonological loop, visuo-spatial sketchpad
and episodic buffer. Features of the model: coding and capacity
• Explanations for forgetting: proactive and retroactive interference and retrieval failure due to
absence of cues.
• Factors affecting the accuracy of eyewitness testimony: misleading information, including
leading questions and post-event discussion; anxiety.
• Improving the accuracy of eyewitness testimony, including the use of the cognitive interview.

4.1.3 Attachment
• Caregiver-infant interactions in humans: reciprocity and interactional synchrony. Stages of
attachment identified by Schaffer. Multiple attachments and the role of the father.
• Animal studies of attachment: Lorenz and Harlow.
• Explanations of attachment: learning theory and Bowlby’s monotropic theory. The concepts
of a critical period and an internal working model.
• Ainsworth’s ‘Strange Situation’. Types of attachment: secure, insecure-avoidant and
insecure-resistant. Cultural variations in attachment, including van Ijzendoorn.
• Bowlby’s theory of maternal deprivation. Romanian orphan studies: effects of
institutionalisation.
• The influence of early attachment on childhood and adult relationships, including the role of
an internal working model.

4.1.4 Psychopathology
• Definitions of abnormality, including deviation from social norms, failure to function
adequately, statistical infrequency and deviation from ideal mental health.
• The behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of phobias, depression and
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
• The behavioural approach to explaining and treating phobias: the two-process model,
including classical and operant conditioning; systematic desensitisation, including relaxation
and use of hierarchy; flooding.
• The cognitive approach to explaining and treating depression: Beck’s negative triad and
Ellis’s ABC model; cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), including challenging irrational
thoughts.
• The biological approach to explaining and treating OCD: genetic and neural explanations;
drug therapy.


4.2.1 Approaches in Psychology

Origins of Psychology: Wundt, introspection and the emergence of Psychology as a science.
The basic assumptions of the following approaches:
• Learning approaches: i) the behaviourist approach, including classical conditioning and
Pavlov’s research, operant conditioning, types of reinforcement and Skinner’s research; ii)
social learning theory including imitation, identification, modelling, vicarious reinforcement,
the role of mediational processes and Bandura’s research.
• The cognitive approach: the study of internal mental processes, the role of schema, the use
of theoretical and computer models to explain and make inferences about mental processes.
The emergence of cognitive neuroscience.
• The biological approach: the influence of genes, biological structures and neurochemistry on
behaviour. Genotype and phenotype, genetic basis of behaviour, evolution and behaviour.
• The psychodynamic approach: the role of the unconscious, the structure of personality, that
is Id, Ego and Superego, defence mechanisms including repression, denial and
displacement, psychosexual stages.
• Humanistic Psychology: free will, self-actualisation and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, focus
on the self, congruence, the role of conditions of worth. The influence on counselling
Psychology.
• Comparison of approaches.

4.2.2 Biopsychology
• The divisions of the nervous system: central and peripheral (somatic and autonomic).
• The structure and function of sensory, relay and motor neurons. The process of synaptic
transmission, including reference to neurotransmitters, excitation and inhibition.
• The function of the endocrine system: glands and hormones.
• The fight or flight response including the role of adrenaline.
• Localisation of function in the brain and hemispheric lateralisation: motor, somatosensory,
visual, auditory and language centres; Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, split brain research.
Plasticity and functional recovery of the brain after trauma.
• Ways of studying the brain: scanning techniques, including functional magnetic resonance
imaging (fMRI); electroencephalogram (EEGs) and event-related potentials (ERPs); postmortem examinations.
• Biological rhythms: circadian, infradian and ultradian and the difference between these
rhythms. The effect of endogenous pacemakers and exogenous zeitgebers on the sleep/
wake cycle.

4.2.3 Research methods
Students should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following research methods,
scientific processes and techniques of data handling and analysis, be familiar with their use and be
aware of their strengths and limitations.
• Experimental method. Types of experiment, laboratory and field experiments; natural and
quasi-experiments.
• Observational techniques. Types of observation: naturalistic and controlled observation;
covert and overt observation; participant and non-participant observation.
• Self-report techniques. Questionnaires; interviews, structured and unstructured.
• Correlations. Analysis of the relationship between co-variables. The difference between
correlations and experiments.
• Content analysis.
• Case studies.
4.2.3.1 Scientific processes
• Aims: stating aims, the difference between aims and hypotheses.
• Hypotheses: directional and non-directional.
• Sampling: the difference between population and sample; sampling techniques including:
random, systematic, stratified, opportunity and volunteer; implications of sampling
techniques, including bias and generalisation.
• Pilot studies and the aims of piloting.
• Experimental designs: repeated measures, independent groups, matched pairs.
• Observational design: behavioural categories; event sampling; time sampling.
• Questionnaire construction, including use of open and closed questions; design of interviews.
• Variables: manipulation and control of variables, including independent, dependent,
extraneous, confounding; operationalisation of variables.
• Control: random allocation and counterbalancing, randomisation and standardisation.
• Demand characteristics and investigator effects.
• Ethics, including the role of the British Psychological Society’s code of ethics; ethical issues
in the design and conduct of psychological studies; dealing with ethical issues in research.
• The role of peer review in the scientific process.
• The implications of psychological research for the economy.
• Reliability across all methods of investigation. Ways of assessing reliability: test-retest and
inter-observer; improving reliability.
• Types of validity across all methods of investigation: face validity, concurrent validity,
ecological validity and temporal validity. Assessment of validity. Improving validity.
• Features of science: objectivity and the empirical method; replicability and falsifiability; theory
construction and hypothesis testing; paradigms and paradigm shifts.
• Reporting psychological investigations. Sections of a scientific report: abstract, introduction,
method, results, discussion and referencing.
4.2.3.2 Data handling and analysis
• Quantitative and qualitative data; the distinction between qualitative and quantitative data
collection techniques.
• Primary and secondary data, including meta-analysis.
• Descriptive statistics: measures of central tendency – mean, median, mode; calculation of
mean, median and mode; measures of dispersion; range and standard deviation; calculation
of range; calculation of percentages; positive, negative and zero correlations.
20 Visit aqa.org.uk/7182 for the most up-to-date specification, resources, support and administration
• Presentation and display of quantitative data: graphs, tables, scattergrams, bar charts,
histograms.
• Distributions: normal and skewed distributions; characteristics of normal and skewed
distributions.
• Analysis and interpretation of correlation, including correlation coefficients.
• Levels of measurement: nominal, ordinal and interval.
• Content analysis and coding. Thematic analysis.
4.2.3.3 Inferential testing
Students should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of inferential testing and be familiar
with the use of inferential tests.
• Introduction to statistical testing; the sign test. When to use the sign test; calculation of the
sign test.
• Probability and significance: use of statistical tables and critical values in interpretation of
significance; Type I and Type II errors.
• Factors affecting the choice of statistical test, including level of measurement and
experimental design. When to use the following tests: Spearman’s rho, Pearson’s r,
Wilcoxon, Mann-Whitney, related t-test, unrelated t-test and Chi-Squared test.
0
reply
JessD3333
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#10
(Original post by thegeek888)
Jess, have you seen the Psychology specification? There is a huge section devoted to Research Methods, and they're easy marks to gain if you revise well. The topics of Psychology are very interesting too. But it depends also on your teacher and how good he or she is at teaching Psychology.

4.1.1 Social influence
• Types of conformity: internalisation, identification and compliance. Explanations for
conformity: informational social influence and normative social influence, and variables
affecting conformity including group size, unanimity and task difficulty as investigated by
Asch.
• Conformity to social roles as investigated by Zimbardo.
• Explanations for obedience: agentic state and legitimacy of authority, and situational
variables affecting obedience including proximity and location, as investigated by Milgram,
and uniform. Dispositional explanation for obedience: the Authoritarian Personality.
• Explanations of resistance to social influence, including social support and locus of control.
• Minority influence including reference to consistency, commitment and flexibility.
• The role of social influence processes in social change.

4.1.2 Memory
• The multi-store model of memory: sensory register, short-term memory and long-term
memory. Features of each store: coding, capacity and duration.
• Types of long-term memory: episodic, semantic, procedural.
• The working memory model: central executive, phonological loop, visuo-spatial sketchpad
and episodic buffer. Features of the model: coding and capacity
• Explanations for forgetting: proactive and retroactive interference and retrieval failure due to
absence of cues.
• Factors affecting the accuracy of eyewitness testimony: misleading information, including
leading questions and post-event discussion; anxiety.
• Improving the accuracy of eyewitness testimony, including the use of the cognitive interview.

4.1.3 Attachment
• Caregiver-infant interactions in humans: reciprocity and interactional synchrony. Stages of
attachment identified by Schaffer. Multiple attachments and the role of the father.
• Animal studies of attachment: Lorenz and Harlow.
• Explanations of attachment: learning theory and Bowlby’s monotropic theory. The concepts
of a critical period and an internal working model.
• Ainsworth’s ‘Strange Situation’. Types of attachment: secure, insecure-avoidant and
insecure-resistant. Cultural variations in attachment, including van Ijzendoorn.
• Bowlby’s theory of maternal deprivation. Romanian orphan studies: effects of
institutionalisation.
• The influence of early attachment on childhood and adult relationships, including the role of
an internal working model.

4.1.4 Psychopathology
• Definitions of abnormality, including deviation from social norms, failure to function
adequately, statistical infrequency and deviation from ideal mental health.
• The behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of phobias, depression and
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
• The behavioural approach to explaining and treating phobias: the two-process model,
including classical and operant conditioning; systematic desensitisation, including relaxation
and use of hierarchy; flooding.
• The cognitive approach to explaining and treating depression: Beck’s negative triad and
Ellis’s ABC model; cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), including challenging irrational
thoughts.
• The biological approach to explaining and treating OCD: genetic and neural explanations;
drug therapy.


4.2.1 Approaches in Psychology

Origins of Psychology: Wundt, introspection and the emergence of Psychology as a science.
The basic assumptions of the following approaches:
• Learning approaches: i) the behaviourist approach, including classical conditioning and
Pavlov’s research, operant conditioning, types of reinforcement and Skinner’s research; ii)
social learning theory including imitation, identification, modelling, vicarious reinforcement,
the role of mediational processes and Bandura’s research.
• The cognitive approach: the study of internal mental processes, the role of schema, the use
of theoretical and computer models to explain and make inferences about mental processes.
The emergence of cognitive neuroscience.
• The biological approach: the influence of genes, biological structures and neurochemistry on
behaviour. Genotype and phenotype, genetic basis of behaviour, evolution and behaviour.
• The psychodynamic approach: the role of the unconscious, the structure of personality, that
is Id, Ego and Superego, defence mechanisms including repression, denial and
displacement, psychosexual stages.
• Humanistic Psychology: free will, self-actualisation and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, focus
on the self, congruence, the role of conditions of worth. The influence on counselling
Psychology.
• Comparison of approaches.

4.2.2 Biopsychology
• The divisions of the nervous system: central and peripheral (somatic and autonomic).
• The structure and function of sensory, relay and motor neurons. The process of synaptic
transmission, including reference to neurotransmitters, excitation and inhibition.
• The function of the endocrine system: glands and hormones.
• The fight or flight response including the role of adrenaline.
• Localisation of function in the brain and hemispheric lateralisation: motor, somatosensory,
visual, auditory and language centres; Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, split brain research.
Plasticity and functional recovery of the brain after trauma.
• Ways of studying the brain: scanning techniques, including functional magnetic resonance
imaging (fMRI); electroencephalogram (EEGs) and event-related potentials (ERPs); postmortem examinations.
• Biological rhythms: circadian, infradian and ultradian and the difference between these
rhythms. The effect of endogenous pacemakers and exogenous zeitgebers on the sleep/
wake cycle.

4.2.3 Research methods
Students should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following research methods,
scientific processes and techniques of data handling and analysis, be familiar with their use and be
aware of their strengths and limitations.
• Experimental method. Types of experiment, laboratory and field experiments; natural and
quasi-experiments.
• Observational techniques. Types of observation: naturalistic and controlled observation;
covert and overt observation; participant and non-participant observation.
• Self-report techniques. Questionnaires; interviews, structured and unstructured.
• Correlations. Analysis of the relationship between co-variables. The difference between
correlations and experiments.
• Content analysis.
• Case studies.
4.2.3.1 Scientific processes
• Aims: stating aims, the difference between aims and hypotheses.
• Hypotheses: directional and non-directional.
• Sampling: the difference between population and sample; sampling techniques including:
random, systematic, stratified, opportunity and volunteer; implications of sampling
techniques, including bias and generalisation.
• Pilot studies and the aims of piloting.
• Experimental designs: repeated measures, independent groups, matched pairs.
• Observational design: behavioural categories; event sampling; time sampling.
• Questionnaire construction, including use of open and closed questions; design of interviews.
• Variables: manipulation and control of variables, including independent, dependent,
extraneous, confounding; operationalisation of variables.
• Control: random allocation and counterbalancing, randomisation and standardisation.
• Demand characteristics and investigator effects.
• Ethics, including the role of the British Psychological Society’s code of ethics; ethical issues
in the design and conduct of psychological studies; dealing with ethical issues in research.
• The role of peer review in the scientific process.
• The implications of psychological research for the economy.
• Reliability across all methods of investigation. Ways of assessing reliability: test-retest and
inter-observer; improving reliability.
• Types of validity across all methods of investigation: face validity, concurrent validity,
ecological validity and temporal validity. Assessment of validity. Improving validity.
• Features of science: objectivity and the empirical method; replicability and falsifiability; theory
construction and hypothesis testing; paradigms and paradigm shifts.
• Reporting psychological investigations. Sections of a scientific report: abstract, introduction,
method, results, discussion and referencing.
4.2.3.2 Data handling and analysis
• Quantitative and qualitative data; the distinction between qualitative and quantitative data
collection techniques.
• Primary and secondary data, including meta-analysis.
• Descriptive statistics: measures of central tendency – mean, median, mode; calculation of
mean, median and mode; measures of dispersion; range and standard deviation; calculation
of range; calculation of percentages; positive, negative and zero correlations.
20 Visit aqa.org.uk/7182 for the most up-to-date specification, resources, support and administration
• Presentation and display of quantitative data: graphs, tables, scattergrams, bar charts,
histograms.
• Distributions: normal and skewed distributions; characteristics of normal and skewed
distributions.
• Analysis and interpretation of correlation, including correlation coefficients.
• Levels of measurement: nominal, ordinal and interval.
• Content analysis and coding. Thematic analysis.
4.2.3.3 Inferential testing
Students should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of inferential testing and be familiar
with the use of inferential tests.
• Introduction to statistical testing; the sign test. When to use the sign test; calculation of the
sign test.
• Probability and significance: use of statistical tables and critical values in interpretation of
significance; Type I and Type II errors.
• Factors affecting the choice of statistical test, including level of measurement and
experimental design. When to use the following tests: Spearman’s rho, Pearson’s r,
Wilcoxon, Mann-Whitney, related t-test, unrelated t-test and Chi-Squared test.
Oh my gosh thank you so much! I will give it a read
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

What factors are most important to you when considering a university in Clearing?

How well the uni/course ranks (7)
17.95%
Location (7)
17.95%
How effective their covid-19 policies are (1)
2.56%
What courses they offer (8)
20.51%
Course content (7)
17.95%
Social life options (4)
10.26%
Accommodation options (3)
7.69%
Something else (let us know in the thread!) (2)
5.13%

Watched Threads

View All