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Revision Guide – Psychology

SUBJECT: Psychology
Paper 1:
1 hour 45 minutes.
98 marks.
55% of qualification.
Paper 2:
1 hour 20 minutes.
79 marks.
45% of qualification
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED: 2 x black pens, Calculator, Ruler, Pencil, Rubber, Highlighters


Paper 1:
All questions must be answered
The paper consists of 6 sections.
The first five sections cover the topics of;

  • Development
  • Memory
  • The Brain and Neuropsychology
  • Social Influence
  • Psychological Problems: Addiction and Depression

The sixth section consists of two essay style questions covering issues and debates within psychology

Paper 2:
Students must answer all questions in Section A
Students must then answer all questions from 2 topics in section B.

  • Section A: Research Methods
  • Section B: Sleep and Dreaming and Criminal Psychology

The questions will be a combination of multiple choice, short answer and essay style questions.

Paper 1 in detail:


  • Development of the brain
  • Piaget’s theory and its role in education and in the development of intelligence
  • Dweck’s mindset theory
  • Willingham’s theory of learning and development
  • Key Studies: Piaget and Inhelder (1956) and Gunderson et al. (2013)
  • Understanding Morality


  • Structure of memory processes
  • Short term and long term memory
  • Amnesia
  • Reconstructive memory and Schemas
  • The Multistore Model of Memory
  • Key Studies: Bartlett (1932) and Peterson and Peterson (1959)
  • Reductionism and Holism


  • The structure and function of the brain
  • Brain lateralisation
  • Neurons and Synapses
  • Neurological damage
  • Keys Studies: Damasio et al. (1994) and Sperry (1968)
  • How has psychology changed over time


  • Obedience
  • Conformity
  • Deindividuation
  • Bystander effect
  • Majority influence
  • Authority
  • Behaviour of crowds
  • Blind obedience
  • Key Studies: Piliavin et al. (1969) and Haney, Banks and Zimbardo (1973)
  • Social and Cultural issues in psychology


  • Symptoms and Features of addiction and depression
  • How mental illness has changed over time
  • The influence of genes
  • The cognitive theory of depression
  • The learning theory of addiction
  • The use of CBT
  • The use of drug treatment
  • Key Studies: Caspi et al. (2003) and Young (2007)
  • The Nature Nurture debate

Paper 2 in detail:


  • Variables (independent, dependent and extraneous)
  • Controlling extraneous variables
  • Hypotheses (Experimental, alternative and null)
  • Methods of sampling
  • Experimental designs (independent measures, repeated measures and matched pairs)
  • Qualitative and Quantitative data
  • Ethics in psychological research
  • Research methods (lab experiments, field experiments, natural experiments, interview, questionnaire, observation, case study and correlation)
  • Decimal and standard form
  • Measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode)
  • Calculations (ratio, fractions, percentages, range, normal distribution)
  • Represent data (graphs)
  • Interpret data
  • Primary and secondary data


  • Functions, features and benefits of sleep
  • Internal and external influences on sleep
  • Symptoms and explanations of sleep disorders: insomnia and narcolepsy
  • Freudian theory of dreaming
  • Hobson and McCarley 1977 – Activation Synthesis
  • Key Studies: Freud (1909) and Siffre (1975)


  • Learning theories as an explanation of criminality
  • Biological explanations as a theory of criminality
  • Effects of punishment on recidivism
  • Treatments to rehabilitate and reduce offending
  • Key Studies: Bandura, Ross and Ross (1961) and Charlton et al (2000)

Revision Tips

Psychology GCSE Revision Guide for Edexcel Paperback – 20 Dec 2018
by Ali Abbas
If you’re studying for a GCSE in Psychology you’ll need a revision guide that tells you everything you need to know. This accessible and interactive book covers all compulsory and all optional topics on the GCSE Edexcel Psychology syllabus introduced in 2017, including development, memory, psychological problems, brain and neuropsychology, social influence and research methods. It summarises the specification material clearly and attractively, enabling you to easily digest and retain the information ready for your exams

Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Psychology Student Book Paperback – 12 May 2017
by Christine Brain (Author), Karren Smith (Author), Ms Anna Cave (Author)
Specifically designed to support you with the Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Psychology course and assessments.
Provides contemporary and engaging examples that students can relate to such as ‘why we forget things’ and what can affect our memory’.
‘Psychology in Action’ features show how theories apply to everyday life. Helps students to build practical skills and apply knowledge with features such as ‘Apply It’, ‘Try It’ and ‘Develop It’.
Includes a dedicated chapter on research methods and provides maths tips throughout. Includes ‘preparing for your exams’ sections at the end of each topic plus lots of practice and guidance throughout, with a focus on the extended writing questions.

Download a printable version here

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