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VCE Psychology Unit 1: Unit 1

Area of Study 3: Student-directed research investigation

Unit 1: How are behaviour and mental processes shaped?

Human development involves changes in thoughts, feelings and behaviours. In this unit, students investigate the structure and functioning of the human brain and the role it plays in the overall functioning of the human nervous system. Students explore brain plasticity and the influence that brain damage may have on a person’s psychological functioning. They consider the complex nature of psychological development, including situations where psychological development may not occur as expected. Students examine the contribution that classical and contemporary studies have made to an understanding of the human brain and its functions, and to the development of different psychological models and theories used to predict and explain the development of thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

Introducing Psychology

Free Will & Determinism

Do we have choices in life or is our behaviour determined? Recent advances in neuroscience have thrown new light on this long running issue. Here we look at, and reconstruct, Libet?s seminal experiment with Professor Patrick Haggard of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Situational Theory

While most Psychologists look to explain behaviour in terms of factors within individuals, others focus more on situations, and one of these is Philip Zimbardo. Here Zimbardo uses extracts from his infamous Stanford Prison Study and abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib to illustrate this view.

Ethical Issues in Psychology

Here we introduce students to the idea of ethics, the ethical regulation of Psychology and how it works in practice.

Psychologists don't just owe a duty of care to the participants of their research, they also have a duty to produce creative and socially useful research, and sometimes these obligations come into conflict. From this basis, an ethical case can be made even for research commonly seen as unethical?. Students are given a case study and asked to discuss the ethical issues.

The Library is open 8.00 to 4.00 Mon-Thurs, 8.00 to 3.30 Fri. We also have a selection of games available to play during recess and lunch. Only games from the Library are to be played.