The aim of Psychology is to understand and predict human behaviour.

This is achieved by exploring psychological evidence which can support or refute psychological theories.

Psychology is a well-established subject at Sevenoaks School, and has grown considerably in recent years with a significant number continuing the subject at university. We offer both IB Standard and Higher Level courses. The nature of the course is sophisticated in that it aims to teach students how to analyse psychological concepts from three different levels of analysis.

The sociocultural approach looks at the influence of social interactions and cultural experiences on behaviour; the cognitive approach contrastingly looks inside the mind at how mental processes such as perception and memory affect behaviour; the biological approach then investigates the physiological and genetic basis of behaviours such as intelligence.

Students not only explore normal behaviour, but also investigate what happens when the mind becomes disordered, with emphasis on understanding the origins of disorders such as depression and bulimia and how they can be successfully treated.

The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.

C G Jung

There is also special emphasis on human relationships, where we investigate factors affecting altruistic behaviour and violence, using a range of research studies across many cultures. This option also investigates factors influencing the formation of relationships and why some relationships break down.

Students design and carry out their own psychological experiment which can include topics such as visual perception, memory and eyewitness testimony.

The department prides itself on the use of technology to support teaching and learning, with all students having online access to a dedicated IB Psychology website with a wealth of resources and a large number of psychology videos.