Curriculum information of Carey Baptist Grammar School

Carey Website | Contacts | Sitemap | Home

  pathways logo    



  Carey Donvale | Junior School Kew | Middle School | Senior School | Co-curricular
Year 10 | IB | VCE | Learning Areas | Other Curriculum | Student Development |

VCE Science

Psychology Unit 2: How Do External Factors Influence Behaviour and Mental Processes?


Students are advised to complete Psychology Unit 1 before undertaking Psychology Unit 2.

Course Description

Students investigate how perception of stimuli enables a person to interact with the world around them and how perception can be distorted. They evaluate the role social cognitions plays in a person’s attitudes, self-perception and relationships with others. Factors and contexts that affect the behaviour of individuals and groups are investigated. Classical and contemporary research linked to these topics are examined.  Students will complete a practical investigation into internal or external influences on behaviour and may draw on content from Unit 1 and Unit 2.

Areas of Study

What Influences a Person’s Perception of the World?

Human perception of internal and external stimuli is influenced by a variety of biological, psychological and social factors.  Students explore two aspects of human perception – vision and taste – and analyse the relationship between sensation and perception of stimuli.  They consider how biopsychosocial factors can influence perception and explore circumstances where perceptual distortions of vision and taste may occur.

How are People Influenced to Behave in Particular Ways?

Social cognition and behaviour influence the way people view themselves and the way they relate to others.  Students explore the interplay of biopsychosocial factors that shape the behaviour of groups and individuals and consider how these factors can explain the cause and dynamics of these behaviours. Topics investigated include attitude formation, prejudice, discrimination, helping and bullying.  Classical and contemporary research linked to these topics are examined.

Student-Directed Practical Investigation

Students design and conduct a practical investigation related to external influences on behaviour.  This requires the student to develop a question, plan a course of action to answer the question, undertake and investigation to collect the appropriate primary qualitative and/or quantitative data, organise and interpret the data and read a conclusion in response to the question.  The investigation relates to knowledge and skills developed in Areas of Study 1 and/or 2 and is undertaken by the student using either quantitative or qualitative methods, including experiments, surveys, questionnaires, observational studies and/or rating scales.


Assessment Tasks
(school-assessed coursework)
Compare the sensations and perceptions of vision and taste, and analyse factors that may lead to the occurrence of perceptual distortions.

Tasks are selected by the teacher from the following:

  • A report of a practical activity involving the collection of primary data.
  • A research investigation involving the collection of secondary data.
  • A logbook of practical activities.
  • Analysis of data/results including generalisations/conclusions.
  • Media analysis/response.
  • Problem solving involving psychological concepts, skills and/or issues.
  • A test comprising multiple choice and/or short answer and/or extended response.
  • A reflective learning journal/blog related to selected activities or in response to an issue.


Identify factors that influence individuals to behave in specific ways, and analyse ways in which others can influence individuals to behave differently.
Be able to design and undertake a practical investigation related to external influences on behaviour and draw conclusions based on evidence from collected data.

Overall Final Assessment

End of Semester Examination – 1.5 hours.

Information can be obtained from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Victoria, Australia: