What is it that makes each person unique, or to put it another way what makes each individual different? This strand addresses these questions by considering how we think of and interact with others, our enduring individual characteristics. In doing so we will also ask what are the limits of normal human experience and behaviour, and what are the causes of, and potential therapies for mental illness?
Like other strands, the Social, Personality & Abnormal Psychology strand runs through Years 1 and 2. In year 1, Social, Personality & Abnormal Psychology runs through the Autumn and Spring terms and extends into the Summer term. Autumn and Spring terms are each divided into two four week teaching blocks, each normally the responsibility of a different member of the strand's teaching team, an additional four week teaching block occupies the first weeks of the Summer Term. In year 2, the strand runs through both Autumn and Spring terms only. Exams occur each year at the beginning of the Spring term and at the end of the Summer term.
Topics covered in Year 1 include the self, structure and origins of personality, personality assessment and test construction, eating and anxiety disorders.
In Year 2 we begin by examining how social behaviour, including how our personalities modify our responses to everyday situations. This contrasts with a subsequent examination of how everyday situations modify our thoughts and actions. Finally, we look in detail at interpersonal communication – does this close analysis give away subtle clues to our inner thoughts and feelings? Topics covered include test construction, personality assessment, nonverbal communication, social psychology of language, group processes and intergroup relations.
These are two of the most useful textbooks for this strand:
Hogg, M. A., & Vaughan, G. M., (2011) Social Psychology (6th ed.). Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education Limited.
Kring, Ann M (2013). Abnormal Psychology (12th ed.). Chichester; Wiley.