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1 Outline and analyse the nature of psychology as a topic for study.
For this section you will discuss the scientific nature of psychology including: objectivity,
reliability and validity. You can make reference to how psychology has evolved from a soft to a
hard science. You will include how developments in bioscience such as brain imaging, and
genetics, have contributed to our understanding of human behaviour.
2.1. Outline the various approaches to psychology and 2.2 Analyse and evaluate the key concepts
of at least three of the major psychological perspectives
Psychology has evolved over time partially because of technological advances but also because
of our use of scientific research methods. This has led to different branches (often called
approaches) to develop over time. The four approaches we will be looking at are:
Psychodynamic, Cognitive, Biological, and Learning approaches. As new approaches came
along, the older ones remained and hence we have different ways of looking at behaviour. For
instance, we can look at mental illness from a cognitive approach (how different mental illnesses
cause people to think differently) or a biological approach (what brain areas/chemicals are
causing the symptoms). Assessment criterion 2.1. is asking you to outline all four of these. Some
of the ways you can outline them are to discuss their assumptions, what type of things they are
used for, and what type of methods do they use.
Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses and there is no single approach that can explain
everything. Some approaches are more suited to explain a particular mental health issue.
Assessment criterion 2.2. Asks you to analyse (go into detail) and evaluate (pros and cons) for
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