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Psychology OCR GCSE: #7 Social Influence

Paper #2 Applications in Psychology


Comprehensive coverage of  the specification, including:


  • The functions, features and benefits of sleep: healthy brain; physical repair; emotional stability; stages of the sleep cycle and when dreaming occurs; the role of the pineal gland and melatonin
  • The causes of sleep disorders: sleep onset and sleep maintenance insomnia
  • Endogenous pacemakers; and exogenous zeitgebers; and their role in sleep.

Theories/Explanations: The Nature of Dreaming /The Freudian Theory of Dreaming /The Activation Synthesis Theory of Dreaming


KEY STUDY: The Freudian Theory of Dreaming Research Study – Freud (1918): Dream analysis study of    ‘The Wolfman’.

  • The Activation Synthesis Theory of Dreaming:
  • The role of REM sleep • the function and actions of the brain during sleep, including the limbic system • activity of neurons in the pons during sleep • the process of synthesis as a function of the cerebral cortex • criticisms of the theory including the reductionism/holism debate.

The Activation Synthesis Theory of Dreaming Research Study Differences in actions and functions of the brain when dreaming and when awake –

KEY STUDY: Williams et al. (1992): Study into Bizarreness in Dreams and Fantasies: Implications for the Activation Synthesis Hypothesis.

Application Development of treatments for insomnia

  • Features of insomnia, the role of the nervous system and its management through relaxation techniques and the role of the physical environment in insomnia and its treatment through improved sleep hygiene
  • The impact of neurological damage to the hypothalamus on sleep.


Consists of a PPT display (81 slides) giving clear and full coverage of the module.

 The presentation has links to online resources (only for educational use), class exercises and think about tasks.

Complete coverage of the whole module, just ‘pick up and go’… suitable for both new and experienced teachers

Copying this resource for sharing or personal profit, is against copyright.


The experienced author:

 Andy McCarthy CPsychol is a Chartered Psychologist, experienced teacher, lecturer, and publisher.

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Last Update: 9th April 2021
Released: 9th April 2021