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Approved: the new 2008 Spec and Zimbardo’s not invited!

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Looking at the OCR site this morning I was pleased to see that the new 2008 specification for Psychology has finally been approved. The biggest shock of it all is that Zimbardo has been dropped and replaced by Reicher & Haslam (2006) Rethinking the psychology of tyranny [full text available here].

Other changes to the AS are that Gardner & Gardner has been replaced with Savage-Rumbaugh. Other than that it’s very similar to the draft proposal with Maguire, Griffiths and the more recent Baron-Cohen study being brought through.

I’m just reading through the specs now so expect a more in-depth post about the changes (and I will have to hunt down even more studies). Plenty to keep you going for the moment though over at the OCR site.

Update: added link to the full text R&H study.

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5 Responses to “Approved: the new 2008 Spec and Zimbardo’s not invited!”

  1. psychstudent September 24, 2007 at 7:06 pm #

    I can’t believe that they’ve kicked Zimbardo. That was the greatest study in the first year.
    — Rich

  2. Ali October 2, 2007 at 9:50 pm #

    Just had a look at the new spec. I used to teach education and organisations but the education option looks immense! Do they do one or two options? I am very tired and can’t make sense of the wording – ‘Candidates are required to answer two questions from any two options.
    Candidates should address the questions in relation to their chosen option.’ It says option (singluar) at the end so ???? If they have to do 2 then I’m afraid I will be going to AQA ;(

  3. Mark October 7, 2007 at 10:59 am #

    I do have a concern and it does look a bit confusing at first but I don’t think that the content is too heavy

    Here goes.

    There are four options, i.e. health, forensic (crime), sport and education and the student has to answer four questions in total and these must be from two options – e.g. two from health and two from forensic.

    In other words, the teacher chooses two options to teach from the four and the student has to answer two questions from each of the options – four in total. (Each question is marked out of 25 and therefore the maximum mark is 100)

    Each option has four topics – for example, health is broken down into healthy living, stress, dysfunctional behaviour and disorders.

    Each topic has three sub topics. For example, healthy living is broken down into Theories of health belief, Methods of health promotion and supporting evidence and Features of adherence to medical regimes and supporting evidence.

    There are 12 subtopics and each subtopic is divided into 3. For example, Methods of health promotion and supporting evidence is divided into media campaign, legislation and fear arousal.

    Therefore, 36 possible questions can be asked. Or if you like, 36 studies/theories/evidence to learn for each of the two areas.

    My concern is with inconsistencies between the specialist areas and the mistakes on the actual specifications and specimen papers.

  4. Thomas Taylor November 23, 2007 at 2:41 pm #

    May I point out that in Zimbardo’s recent book, Lucifer Effect, he very effectively criticises Reicher & Haslam. Frankly, this is one very big step to just teaching “What happened on Big Brother last night?” This is appalling and, if I taught OCR, I think I’d flip out. In fact, I am flipping out just because this is possible at all.

    I can’t help but wonder how universities will cope with students who’ve been taught this at A-Level, and earnestly want to continue calling dull TV programmes ‘experiments’.

  5. Jamie November 24, 2007 at 10:49 am #

    You do have a point there Thomas. In OCR’s defense it seems that in the new specification we will be focusing greatly on the background and context of studies so Zimbardo will still form a big part of the understanding required.

    It does seem that more-and-more so we are seeing TV companies replicating psychological studies in the modern day and we could be moving into a very dubious area.

    Thanks for your comments.

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