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ERIC Number: EJ920092
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0965-948X
Explaining the Popularity of Psychology at A-Level
Walker, Kevin
Psychology Teaching Review, v16 n2 p45-53 2010
The sustained rise in popularity of psychology both at degree and A-level in the UK over the last two decades is a remarkable event, not only because it is indicative of wider cultural changes but because it is understudied by psychologists themselves and not predicted by curriculum planners. The aim of this article is to offer a theoretical context for this phenomenon in the hope of stimulating discussion and research. It is argued that the consumerisation of education in the UK from the 1980s onward coupled with an individualistic culture in which student choice is promoted contributes to an educational environment which focuses on the personal. Also the nature of adolescent identity in western societies and the pressure within the UK education system for career decisions to be made at 16 both serve to create a situation where the promise of the "study of one's self" (as psychology is often perceived by those who have yet to study it) becomes a popular option. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
British Psychological Society, Division for Teachers & Researchers in Psychology. St Andrews House, 48 Princess Road East, Leicester, LE1 7DR, UK. Tel: +44-1162-529551; Fax: +44-1162-271314; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom