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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​VCE Psychology 2016—2021 Study Design amendments

In response to queries from VCE Psychology teachers, the VCE Psychology Study Design has been updated with the amendments to key knowledge indicated below.

The published VCE Psychology Study Design (amended June 2017) includes these amendments.

1. Unit 3, Area of Study 1

Page 24: Nervous system functioning
The term 'dopamine' has replaced the term 'GABA'.

Key knowledge dot point 5

  • the ​effects of chronic changes to the functioning of the nervous system due to interference to neurotransmitter function, illustrated by the role of dopamine in Parkinson’s disease.

Note: For the purposes of the 2017 VCE Psychology examination, both gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) and dopamine will be accepted in relation to Parkinson's disease

2. Unit 3, Area of Study 2​

Page 26: Process of memory
The spelling of 'Shiffrin' has been corrected and a comma has been added.

Key knowledge dot point 1

  • the multi-store model of memory (Atkinson-Shiffrin) with reference to the function, capacity and duration of sensory, short-term and long-term memory

​​3. Unit 4, Area of Study 1

Page 29: Effects of sleep disturbances and possible treatments
A comma has been added.

Key knowledge dot point 2​

  • the effects of partial sleep deprivation (inadequate sleep either in quantity or quality) on a person’s affective (amplified emotional responses), behavioural and cognitive functioning

​​4. Unit 4, Area of Study 1

Page 29: Effects of sleep disturbances and possible treatments
The examples of 'narcolepsy' as a dyssomnia and 'sleep apnoea' as a parasomnia have been removed.

Key knowledge dot point 3​

  • ​the distinction between dyssomnias (including sleep-onset insomnia) and parasomnias (including sleep walking) with reference to the effects on a person’s sleep-wake cycle

​5. Unit 4, Area of Study 2

Page 30: Application of a biopsychosocial approach, as a scientific model, to explain specific phobia
The term 'antagonists' has been replaced with 'agonists'. ​

Key knowledge dot point 3

  • evidence-based interventions and their use for specific phobia with reference to: the use of short-acting anti-anxiety benzodiazepine agents (gamma-amino butyric acid [GABA] agonists) in the management of phobic anxiety and relaxation techniques including breathing retraining and exercise (biological); the use of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and systematic desensitisation as psychotherapeutic treatments of phobia (psychological); psychoeducation for families/supporters with reference to challenging unrealistic or anxious thoughts and not encouraging avoidance behaviours (social)​​​