How well did you or your student do on the Psychology A-Level May/June 2024? -PAPER 3 (Model Answers)

Section A  

Answer all questions in this section  
Read the examples in Table 1 then answer Questions 01 and 02  

Table 1 

Angie is a psychologist who believes that phobias are affected by unconscious forces 

Bibi is a psychologist who believes that phobias are best treated holistically. 

Carlo is a psychologist who believes that phobias are influenced by both nature and nurture.  

Dalia is a psychologist who believes that phobias can be explained in terms of conditioning theory.  

Emma is a psychologist who believes that phobias can be reduced on the levels of cells and chemicals.  

 

01 Which Psychologist believes in interactionism? (1 mark)  

Model Answer 

Carlo  

 

02 Which psychologist believes in environmental reductionism? (1 mark)  

Model Answer 

Dalia  

03 What is meant by ethnocentrism in psychology? (2 mark)  

Model Answer 

Ethnocentrism in psychology refers to the tendency to view one's own culture as the standard and to judge other cultures by those standards, often leading to biased interpretations and conclusions. It can result in a lack of understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity and the misrepresentation of behaviours and practices of other cultures. 

04 Outline two limitations of ethnocentrism. (4 marks)  

Model Answer 

Two limitations of ethnocentrism are that it can lead to cultural bias, where psychological theories and practices are wrongly generalised to all cultures, ignoring important cultural differences. This can result in the misinterpretation of behaviours and potentially ineffective or harmful interventions.  

Additionally, ethnocentrism can perpetuate stereotypes and reinforce social inequalities, as it tends to devalue or misrepresent the experiences and perspectives of other cultures. This hinders the development of a comprehensive and inclusive understanding of human behaviour. 

 

05 Maria is a successful gymnast. Her mother was also an athlete and encouraged Maria throughout her childhood, taking her to practice sessions before school from the age of 5 years.  

Maria is being interviewed about her success as a gymnast. In the interview she says, ‘I don’t know if i am like my mum or not. Wherever it came from, I always had a strong motivation to succeed. Maybe I didn’t really have much choice. I was destined to be a gymnast.  

Discuss determinism in psychology. Refer to Maria in your answer. (16 marks)  

Model Answer 

Determinism in psychology is the belief that all behaviour is caused by preceding factors and is thus predictable. This perspective suggests that human actions are not the result of free will but rather the consequence of various internal and external influences. Biological determinism suggests that genetic and physiological factors are the primary determinants of behaviour, implying that traits and behaviours are inherited and shaped by biological processes. Environmental determinism, on the other hand, emphasises the role of external influences such as upbringing, social environment, and cultural context in shaping behaviour, suggesting that individuals are moulded by their surroundings and experiences. 

In the case of Maria, both biological and environmental determinism can be seen at play. Her mother, a former athlete, may have passed on genetic traits that contribute to Maria's physical abilities and motivation, aligning with biological determinism. Additionally, her mother's encouragement and the structured practice sessions from a young age represent environmental determinism, as these factors likely played a significant role in shaping Maria's path and success as a gymnast. Maria's statement in the interview reflects a deterministic view, acknowledging both innate qualities ("I always had a strong motivation to succeed") and the influence of her environment ("taking her to practice sessions before school"). Her sense of being "destined to be a gymnast" suggests the interaction of biological and environmental determinants in shaping her athletic career. 

The interplay between free will and determinism is crucial for a more complete understanding of human behaviour, as illustrated by Maria's journey as a successful gymnast. While free will emphasises personal agency and the capacity for independent choice, determinism highlights the significant role of genetic, environmental, and unconscious factors in shaping behaviour. Maria's case shows how her mother’s genetic legacy and early encouragement (deterministic factors) influenced her athletic success, yet her own motivation and drive could also played a key role.  

It is therefore impractical to consider one without the other, as this can lead to an incomplete picture. Ignoring determinism might result in overlooking crucial influences like Maria's structured practice sessions, while disregarding free will could diminish the importance of her personal determination. Integrating both perspectives enriches our comprehension by recognising the complex interactions between individual choices and determining factors. This balanced approach not only enhances theoretical understanding but also informs more effective and comprehensive psychological interventions, acknowledging the role of both autonomy and external and internal influences in shaping behaviour. 

Understanding the relationship between free will and determinism has significant real-world applications, particularly in fields like mental health, education, and criminal justice. For instance, recognising deterministic factors such as genetics and environment can help mental health professionals develop more tailored and effective treatment plans. In education, acknowledging the influence of both innate abilities and external support can lead to more personalised learning strategies that foster student success. In the criminal justice system, balancing the understanding of free will with determinism can inform fairer sentencing and rehabilitation approaches, recognising the role of socioeconomic and psychological factors in criminal behaviour. Maria’s case exemplifies how early environmental influences and personal motivation collectively contribute to her success, demonstrating the importance of considering both elements. By applying this integrated perspective, practitioners across various domains can create more holistic and effective interventions, ultimately leading to better outcomes for individuals and society. 

 

 

Section B 

Relationships or Gender or Cognition and development  
Choose one topic from Section B. Answer all questions on the topic you choose.  

 

Topic: Relationships  

 

06 A psychologist studies the effects of using different social media platforms. There were 60 participants. The psychologist assigned the first 30 people on the alphabetical list of participants to Group 1 and assigned the remaining 30 people to Group 2.  

The psychologist asked participants in Group 1 to use a new social media platform over the course of a month. This platform promotes greater self-disclosure.  

The psychologist asked participants in Group 2, the control group, to use a different new social media platform over the course of a month. The platform does not promote self-disclosure.  

One way of improving this study would be to use random allocation. Explain how random allocation could have been carried out. (3 marks)  

 

07 At the end of the month, the psychologist calculated the median number of ‘social media friends’ for participants in each group. The results are shown in the following table.  

 

Table 2 Median number of ‘social media friends’ for Group 1 and Group 2  

 

 

Group 1 

(platform promoting greater self-disclosure)  

Group 2 

(platform not promoting greater self-disclosure) 

Median number of ‘social media friends’  

71 

42 

 

 

What conclusion could the psychologist make from the results in Table 2? Justify your answer. (2 marks)  

Model Answer  

The psychologist could conclude that participants in Group 1, using the platform promoting greater self-disclosure, had a significantly higher median number of social media friends (71) compared to Group 2 (42), suggesting that the platform's promotion of self-disclosure likely contributes to increased social connectivity among users. 

 

08 After conducting the study, the psychologist wrote up a psychological report.  

Which section of the psychological report should include information about how the participants were allocated to the two groups? (1 mark)  

Model Answer 

The Method section of the psychological report should include information about how the participants were allocated to the two groups. 

 

09 Suggest two examples of self-disclosure that might have occurred in the social media communications of the participants in the study. (2 marks)  

Model Answer 

Examples of self-disclosure in the social media communications of the participants might include sharing personal experiences or feelings, such as discussing challenges they face or expressing their emotions openly.  

Another example could be revealing personal opinions or beliefs on various topics, providing insights into their thoughts and values. 

 

10 Discuss the matching hypothesis (8 marks)  

Model Answer 

The matching hypothesis suggests that individuals are more likely to form romantic relationships with others who are similar in terms of physical attractiveness. This hypothesis proposes that people tend to pair up with partners who are on a similar level of attractiveness, believing it leads to more successful and satisfying relationships. Research supporting the matching hypothesis indicates that individuals are more inclined to pursue relationships with partners who are comparable in attractiveness, although other factors such as personality and interests also play a role. 

When discussing this theory, Taylor et al. (2011) challenge the matching hypothesis in attraction, suggesting that initial attraction may not hinge on similarity in physical attractiveness between partners. Their study of online dating patterns found no evidence supporting the notion that daters' decisions were guided by the similarity of their own and potential partners' physical attractiveness. Instead, they observed an overall preference for attractive partners, indicating individuals may aim for partners perceived as more desirable than themselves. This challenges the assumption that matching in physical attractiveness is a crucial factor in initial attraction, highlighting a potential weakness in the matching hypothesis. 

As well as this, Meltzer et al. (2014) delve into the implications of sex differences in the importance of physical attractiveness for long-term relationship satisfaction. They suggest that if physical attractiveness plays a stronger role in men's satisfaction than in women's, women may face increased pressure to maintain their physical appearance for relationship success. However, Pasch and Bradbury (1998) note that both men and women desire partners who exhibit supportive, trustworthy, and warm qualities, which contribute significantly to relationship satisfaction. This indicates again that physical attractiveness alone like highlighted previously is not the sole predictor of relationship satisfaction for men, highlighting the importance of other factors in fostering fulfilling relationships. 

 

 

11 Outline and evaluate the role of sexual selection in human reproductive behaviour. (8 marks)  

Model Answer  

Sexual selection influences human reproductive behaviour by driving the evolution of traits that increase an individual's likelihood of mating and passing on their genes. Intrasexual selection involves competition within one sex for access to mates, such as males competing with each other for female attention. Intersexual selection involves mate choice, where individuals of one sex choose mates based on specific traits, such as females selecting mates with desirable characteristics like resources or genetic quality. These processes shape mating strategies and behaviours, ultimately influencing human reproductive success. 

Biological determinism, underpinned by evolutionary theories, suggests that human reproductive behaviour is largely shaped by innate biological factors. Within this framework, sexual selection plays a prominent role in guiding mating strategies and behaviours. Intrasexual competition, where individuals of the same sex compete for access to mates, reflects evolutionary pressures to secure reproductive opportunities. For instance, in many mammalian species, males often engage in aggressive behaviours to establish dominance and secure mating opportunities with females. Additionally, intersexual selection, where individuals of one sex choose mates based on specific traits, underscores the importance of mate choice in reproductive success. This perspective highlights the adaptive significance of certain behaviours and traits in enhancing an individual's reproductive fitness, aligning with the principles of natural selection. 

Biological determinism offers valuable insights into the evolutionary origins of human reproductive behaviour, particularly through the lens of sexual selection theory. Understanding how innate biological factors drive mating strategies and behaviours sheds light on the adaptive significance of certain traits and behaviours in enhancing reproductive success. For instance, insights from intrasexual competition and intersexual selection help elucidate the mechanisms underlying mate choice and reproductive strategies across species. However, while biological determinism provides a foundational framework, it may oversimplify the complex interplay between biology and socio-cultural influences on reproductive behaviour. By acknowledging the limitations of a solely biological perspective, researchers can better appreciate the nuanced dynamics of human mating systems, thus enriching our understanding of reproductive behaviour. 

Conversely, social sensitivity challenges the reductionist tendencies of biological determinism by highlighting the socio-cultural dimensions that shape human reproductive behaviour. By considering factors such as societal norms, cultural values, and gender roles, researchers gain a deeper understanding of the contextual influences on mate selection criteria and reproductive strategies. This broader perspective not only enriches our understanding of human mating patterns but also underscores the importance of cultural variability in shaping reproductive behaviour. However, while social sensitivity offers valuable insights, it may also face challenges in generalising findings across diverse cultural contexts. Nonetheless, by integrating socio-cultural perspectives with biological determinism, researchers can gain a more holistic understanding of human reproductive behaviour, thus advancing knowledge in this area. 

 

 

Topic: Gender  

 

12 A psychologist studied the effects of sex-role stereotyping in the media. There were 60 participants. The psychologist assigned the first 30 people on the alphabetical list of participants to Group 1 and assigned the remaining 30 people to Group 2. 

The psychologist asked participants in Group 1 to watch a list of sex-role stereotyped TV programmes over the course of a month.  

The psychologist asked participants in Group 2, the control group, to watch a list of TV programmes which did not show sex-role stereotyping over the course of a month.  

One way of improving this study would be to use random allocation. Explain how random allocation could have been carried out. (3 marks)  

Model Answer  

To improve the study, random allocation could have been implemented by assigning participants to groups using a random number generator or by putting all 60 names in a hat. The researcher would then pick out a name and allocate to group 1, then another name then allocate to group 2 and keep doing this until there are an equal number in both groups ( 30 each) This method ensures that each participant has an equal chance of being assigned to either Group 1 or Group 2, minimising potential bias. 

 

13 To analyse the results, the psychologist calculated the median sex-role stereotyping score in a questionnaire for participants in each group at the end of the month. A high score in the questionnaire means a participant shows higher sex-role stereotypes attitudes. The results are shown in the following table.  

 

Table 3 Median sex-role stereotyping score in a questionnaire for Group 1 and Group 2 

 

 

 

Group 1 

(sex-role stereotyped TV programmes)  

Group 2 

(non-sex-role stereotyped TV programmes) 

Median sex-role stereotyping score in the questionnaire (out of 100)  

71 

42 

 

 

What conclusion could the psychologist make from the results in Table 3? Justify your answer. (2 marks)  

Model Answer  

The psychologist could conclude that participants exposed to sex-role stereotyped TV programmes (Group 1) exhibited higher median sex-role stereotyping scores (71 out of 100) compared to those exposed to non-stereotyped programmes (Group 2, with a median score of 42). This suggests that exposure to sex-role stereotyped media may contribute to the internalisation of stereotypical attitudes towards gender roles, as evidenced by the significant difference in scores between the two groups. 

 

14 After conducting the study, the psychologist wrote up a psychological report.  

Which section of the psychological report should include information about how the participants were allocated to the two groups? (1 mark)  

Model Answer  

The Method section of the psychological report should include information about how the participants were allocated to the two groups. 

 

15 Suggest two examples of sex-role stereotyped behaviour that might have occurred in the TV programmes watched by Group 1. (2 marks)  

Model Answer  

Examples of sex-role stereotyped behaviour in TV programmes watched by Group 1 may include portraying men as assertive and dominant while depicting women as nurturing and submissive, or showing male characters engaging in traditionally masculine activities like sports or leadership roles while female characters are portrayed in domestic settings or as objects of desire. 

 

16 Discuss the role of identification in the development of gender (8 marks)  

Model Answer  

Identification plays a crucial role in the development of gender by influencing individuals to adopt the behaviours, attitudes, and values associated with their perceived gender identity. Through identification with same-gender role models, such as parents, peers, or media figures, individuals internalise societal norms and expectations related to gender roles. This process of identification shapes their sense of self and guides their behaviours, contributing to the formation and maintenance of gender identities. 

Differences in the notion of identification between social learning theorists (SLT) and psychodynamic theorists highlight contrasting perspectives on the significance of same-sex parental figures in gender development. According to Freudian theory, the same-sex parent holds paramount importance in the process of identification, shaping the child's gender identity through unconscious mechanisms such as identification with the parent's traits and behaviours. In contrast, social learning theorists suggest that influences on identification can be much more varied, encompassing a broader range of social agents and environmental factors beyond familial relationships. While Freudian theory underscores the significance of early familial dynamics, SLT offers a more flexible understanding of identification, recognising the diverse array of influences that contribute to the formation of gender identity. This disparity underscores the complexity of gender development and invites further exploration into the multifaceted processes that shape individuals' understanding of gender roles and identities. 

 

 

17 Outline and evaluate psychological research into androgyny. (8 marks)  

Model Answer  

Psychological research into androgyny focuses on the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI), developed by Sandra Bem as a measure of androgyny. Participants rate themselves on 60 characteristics, including 20 masculine, 20 feminine, and 20 neutral traits, on a 7-point scale. The BSRI assesses individuals on two dimensions: masculinity-femininity and androgynous-undifferentiated, with androgyny associated with psychological well-being, higher self-esteem, and better relationships, according to Bem. 

Bem's research provides valuable support for the concepts of masculine and feminine traits, as well as androgyny. By measuring 561 males and 356 female students using the BSRI questionnaire, Bem found that most males were associated with masculine stereotypes, while most females were associated with feminine stereotypes, indicating distinct masculine and feminine personality traits and validating the BSRI. Additionally, Bem's study revealed that a significant proportion of individuals, 34% of males and 27% of females, were classified as androgynous, suggesting a substantial number of individuals exhibit a high and balanced level of both masculine and feminine traits. This evidence enhances our understanding by demonstrating the validity of the BSRI concepts and highlighting the prevalence of androgynous traits in the population, contributing to a more nuanced understanding of gender identity and behaviour. 

One potential counterargument to Bem's research is the critique of the BSRI's measurement of gender traits. Critics argue that the BSRI relies heavily on traditional gender stereotypes and may not accurately capture the full spectrum of gender identity and expression. Additionally, the binary classification of traits as either masculine or feminine may oversimplify the complexity of human behaviour and fail to account for individual variation and cultural differences in gender roles. This limitation challenges the validity of the BSRI in assessing gender identity and raises questions about its applicability in diverse populations. 

 

Topic: Cognition and development  

 

18 A psychologist studied the effects of using familiar play materials in a conservation experiment. There were 60 participants, all six years old. The psychologist assigned the first 30 children on the alphabetical list of participants to Group 1 and assigned the remaining 30 children to Group 2.  

Participants in Group 1 carried out 10 conservation tasks using familiar play materials.  

Participants in Group 2, the control group, carried out 10 conservation tasks using unfamiliar play materials.  

For each participant, the psychologist recorded the number of conservation tasks solved correctly.  

One way of improving this study would be to use random allocation. Explain how random allocation could have been carried out. (3 marks)  

 

19 To analyse the results, the psychologist calculated the median conservation score for the participants in each group. The results are shown in the following table.  

 

Table 4 Median conservation scores for Group 1 and Group 2  

 

 

Group 1 

(familiar play materials)  

Group 2 

(unfamiliar play materials) 

Median conservation score  

9 

2 

 

 

What conclusion could the psychologist make from the results in Table 4? Justify your answer. (2 marks)  

Model Answer  

The psychologist could conclude that participants in Group 1, who used familiar play materials, achieved a significantly higher median conservation score (9) compared to those in Group 2 (2), indicating that familiarity with materials enhances performance in conservation tasks, supporting the hypothesis. 

 

 

20 After conducting the study, the psychologist wrote up a psychological report.  

Which section of the psychological report should include information about how the participants were allocated to the two groups? (1 mark)  

Model Answer  

The Method section of the psychological report should include information about how the participants were allocated to the two groups. 

 

21 Briefly suggest two examples of a conservation task that the psychologist might have used in the study. (2 marks)  

Model Answer  

Two examples of conservation tasks that the psychologist might have used could include asking children to compare the volume of water in two identical containers of different shapes or comparing the length of two identical ropes before and after one is stretched. 

 

22 Discuss the role of the mirror neuron system in social cognition. (8 marks)  

Model Answer  

The mirror neuron system plays a crucial role in social cognition by enabling individuals to understand the actions, intentions, and emotions of others. Brain cells known as mirror neurons are activated both when performing an action and when observing someone else perform the same action, fostering empathy and facilitating social understanding. Studies using scanning techniques have identified brain regions rich in mirror neurons, such as the pars opercularis, and suggest that dysfunction in this system may contribute to deficits in social cognition observed in conditions like Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), where individuals show reduced activity in mirror neuron-associated brain areas. 

Research employing brain scans provides valuable insights into the brain regions associated with mirror neurons, such as the pars opercularis, illuminating the neural mechanisms underlying social cognition. However, a limitation arises as brain scans do not directly measure activity in specific cells, prompting questions about the direct evidence supporting the existence of mirror neurons in humans. This absence of direct evidence has led researchers like Hickok (2009) to question the significance of mirror neurons in social cognition, highlighting the need for further investigation to elucidate their role with greater precision. 

Furthermore, while the mirror neuron system is proposed to have shaped human evolution by facilitating social understanding, its exact contribution remains a subject of debate. While some argue that mirror neurons have enabled humans to navigate complex social environments, others suggest that their role may be more intricate or context-dependent. Additionally, the link between mirror neuron dysfunction and conditions like Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) underscores the potential clinical relevance of understanding the mirror neuron system. However, the precise nature of this relationship and its implications for therapeutic interventions require further exploration, indicating avenues for future research to bridge the gap between basic neuroscience and clinical applications. 

 

23 Outline and evaluate Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development (8 marks)  

Model Answer  

Vygotsky's theory of cognitive development emphasises the role of sociocultural factors in shaping cognitive growth. He proposed the concept of the zone of proximal development (ZPD), which refers to the gap between a learner's current level of ability and their potential level with the assistance of a more knowledgeable other. Vygotsky argued that learning occurs through social interaction and collaboration, where more knowledgeable individuals scaffold the learner's understanding, leading to higher cognitive functioning. 

Vygotsky's theory of cognitive development offers valuable insights into the influence of sociocultural factors on learning and development. By emphasising the role of social interaction and collaboration in the zone of proximal development (ZPD), Vygotsky highlights the importance of peer and adult guidance in facilitating cognitive growth. However, one limitation of Vygotsky's theory is its relative neglect of individual differences and biological factors in cognitive development, as it primarily focuses on the influence of social and cultural contexts. Additionally, some critics argue that the concept of the ZPD lacks empirical support and may be difficult to operationalise in practice. Nonetheless, Vygotsky's emphasis on the social nature of learning has had a significant impact on educational practices, fostering collaborative and interactive approaches that acknowledge the importance of social context in cognitive development. 

 

 

Section C  

Schizophrenia or Eating behaviour or Stress  
Choose one topic from Section C. Answer all questions on the topic you choose.  

 

Topic: Schizophrenia  

 

24 Studies into the effectiveness of drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia sometimes combine the results of a number of different studies.  

Suggest one of the following techniques as an appropriate way to combine the results of different studies. (1 mark)  

 

Write the correct letter in your answer book.  

A Content analysis 

B Correlational analysis 

C Meta-analysis 

D Thematic analysis  

 

Model Answer  

C  

25 Which one of the following explains how typical antipsychotics work in the treatment of schizophrenia? (1 mark)  

Write the correct letter in your answer book.  

 

A They block dopamine receptor sites 

B They block dopamine receptor sites and prevent the re-uptake of dopamine 

C They increase the number of dopamine receptor sites  

D They prevent the re-uptake of dopamine  

 

Model Answer  

A  

 

26 Outline one limitation of the use of drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia (2 marks)  

Model Answer  

One limitation of the use of drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia is that they may have significant side effects, ranging from metabolic issues to movement disorders, which can impact the patient's quality of life and treatment adherence. Additionally, while medication can alleviate symptoms for many individuals, it often does not address the underlying causes or provide a complete solution to the complex nature of schizophrenia. 

27 Using an example of each, explain the difference between positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. (4 marks)  

Model Answer  

Positive symptoms of schizophrenia involve the presence of abnormal behaviors or experiences not typically seen in healthy individuals, such as hallucinations, delusions, or disorganized speech. For example, a person experiencing auditory hallucinations hearing voices not present in reality. Negative symptoms, on the other hand, involve the absence or reduction of normal behaviors or experiences, such as diminished emotional expression, social withdrawal, or lack of motivation. For instance, a person exhibiting negative symptoms may show a lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities or have difficulty maintaining relationships. 

 

28 Jade has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Her parents tell her they care about her but also complain that she is too dependent. They watch Jade closely, criticising her behaviour, and often argue about how they should treat her. Jade says her mother makes her feel uncomfortable and unloved, almost as if she was a stranger. 

Discuss family dysfunction as an explanation for schizophrenia. Refer to Jade in your answer (16 marks)  

Model Answer  

Family dysfunction as an explanation for schizophrenia revolves around the premise that dysfunctional family dynamics, particularly during childhood, contribute to the development of the disorder. The concept of the "schizophrenogenic mother" suggests that a cold, rejecting, and controlling maternal figure creates a tense and secretive family environment, fostering distrust and ultimately leading to paranoid delusions characteristic of schizophrenia. Similarly, the double-bind theory posits that inconsistent communication patterns within the family, where the child is trapped between conflicting messages and punished for perceived errors, can result in disorganised thinking and paranoid delusions. 

In this scenario, Jade's experience aligns with the expressed emotion theory, where high levels of criticism, hostility, and emotional over-involvement from her parents contribute to her stress and potential relapses in schizophrenia. The criticism and close monitoring from her parents may exacerbate Jade's feelings of paranoia and discomfort, reflecting the impact of family dynamics on the manifestation of symptoms. Her perception of her mother as cold and rejecting resonates with the concept of the "schizophrenogenic mother," suggesting a potential link between her family environment and the development of paranoid delusions or feelings of alienation. 

While Jade's experience in the scenario aligns with the expressed emotion theory and the concept of the "schizophrenogenic mother," it's crucial to acknowledge the weak evidence supporting these family-based explanations. The reliance on clinical observations rather than robust empirical research has historically led to unjust parent-blaming, causing additional trauma for families already grappling with the challenges of schizophrenia. The shift towards community care in the 1980s, which often involved more inclusive approaches to family involvement in treatment, may have contributed to the decline of theories like the schizophrenogenic mother and double-bind theory. 

However, despite their limitations, exploring these theories helps enrich our understanding of the complex interplay between family dynamics and the manifestation of schizophrenia symptoms, highlighting the need for more sophisticated and evidence-based approaches in research and clinical practice. 

 

 

Topic: Eating behaviour  

 

29 Studies into the effectiveness of drugs in the treatment of conditions such as eating disorders sometimes combine the results of a number of different studies.  

Suggest one of the following techniques as an appropriate way to combine the results of different studies. (1 mark)  

Write the correct letter in your answer book.  

 

A Content analysis 

B Correlational analysis 

C Meta-analysis 

D Thematic analysis 

Model Answer   

C  

 

30 Which one of the following statements is TRUE? (1 mark)  

Write the correct letter in your answer book  

 

A Ghrelin is released from fat cells.  

B Ghrelin travels to the hypothalamus before eating 

C Leptin is secreted from the wall of the stomach 

D Leptin levels increase before eating.  

 

Model Answer  

C 

 

31 Outline one limitation of neural explanations for anorexia nervosa. (2 marks)  

Model Answer 

One limitation of neural explanations for anorexia nervosa is their failure to fully account for the complex interplay of social, cultural, and psychological factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of the disorder. While neural factors may play a role, focusing solely on them overlooks the significant influence of environmental and individual experiences in shaping eating behaviors and body image perceptions. 

 

 

32 Using an example of each, explain the difference between neophobia and taste aversion. (4 marks)  

Model Answer  

Neophobia refers to the fear or reluctance to try new foods, often stemming from an innate instinct to avoid potentially harmful substances. For instance, a child might exhibit neophobia when presented with a new vegetable at dinner and refusing to try it due to its unfamiliarity. On the other hand, taste aversion is a learned association between the taste of a particular food and negative consequences, such as illness. An example of taste aversion would be if someone ate sushi for the first time and then became violently ill afterward, leading them to develop an aversion to sushi specifically. 

 

33 Zack has been diagnosed with an eating disorder. His parents tell him constantly how much they care about him and how they will always be together. Zack rarely goes out, except for going to school, and his mother watches him very closely. The family have a strict routine which Zack resents, but he does not complain or argue. Zack sometimes wishes he could have fun like other boys at school. 

Discuss family systems theory as an explanation for anorexia nervosa. Refer to Zack in your answer. [16 marks] 

Model Answer  

Family systems theory posits that anorexia nervosa (AN) emerges from dysfunctional family dynamics, particularly focusing on the mother-daughter relationship due to the higher prevalence of AN among females. Within these dysfunctional interactions, AN may develop as a means to alleviate family tensions by diverting attention to the individual with AN. Enmeshment within the family, where individuality is suppressed, can contribute to the onset of AN, especially in adolescents seeking autonomy and self-identity. AN is seen as a struggle for autonomy and control, with disturbances in these areas manifesting as body image distortions, misperceptions of internal states, and a profound sense of ineffectiveness, with weight loss serving as a visible marker of independence and self-control. 

In this scenario, Zack's family exhibits enmeshed dynamics, with his parents overly involved in his life and fostering dependency rather than autonomy. Zack's limited social interactions and strict routine suggest a lack of opportunity for independent decision-making or exploration outside the family unit. His desire to experience more freedom and enjoyment, coupled with a reluctance to express dissent, aligns with the notion that his eating disorder may serve as a means of asserting control or seeking identity within an overly controlling family environment, reflecting key aspects of family systems theory. 

The research conducted by Strauss & Ryan (1987), which employed questionnaires to assess autonomy levels in individuals with and without anorexia nervosa (AN), provides empirical support for the assertions of family systems theory regarding dysfunctional family dynamics and diminished autonomy among those with AN. By comparing the autonomy levels between the two groups, the study offers quantitative evidence of the relationship between AN and impaired autonomy, reinforcing the theory's premise. However, the reliance on questionnaires may limit the depth of understanding of the complex familial dynamics contributing to AN. Additionally, Bruch's (1991) argument that AN represents an attempt by individuals to assert autonomy and control over their bodies provides a complementary perspective, highlighting the nuanced motivations behind AN within the familial context. Bruch's qualitative insights enrich the understanding of AN beyond mere measurement, offering a more holistic view of the disorder's underlying dynamics. 

 

Topic: Stress  

 

34 Studies into the effectiveness of drug therapy in the treatment of stress sometimes combine the results of a number of different studies.  

Suggest one of the following techniques as an appropriate way to combine the results of different studies. ( 1 mark)  

 

Write the correct letter in your answer book.  

 

A Content analysis 

B Correlational analysis 

C Meta-analysis  

D Thematic analysis  

 

Model Answer  

C  

 

35 Which one of the following is TRUE of the sympathomedullary pathway?  

Write the correct letter in your answer book. (1 mark)  

A Action of the pathway involves the release of adrenaline only.  

B Action of the pathway involves the release of both adrenaline and noradrenaline 

C Action of the pathway involves the release of neither adrenaline nor noradrenaline  

D Action of the pathway involves the release of noradrenaline only.  

Model Answer  

B 

 

36 Outline one limitation of the use of drug therapy in the treatment of stress. (2 marks)  

Model Answer  

One limitation of drug therapy in treating stress is the potential for dependency or tolerance to the medication, leading to the need for increased dosages or the risk of withdrawal symptoms upon cessation, which may not address the underlying causes of stress and could result in long-term reliance on medication. 

 

37 Using an example of each, explain the difference between instrumental support and emotional support. (4 marks)  

Model Answer  

Instrumental support involves tangible assistance or resources provided to someone in need, such as offering financial aid or helping with practical tasks. An example of instrumental support would be driving a friend to a doctor's appointment or helping them move to a new house. In contrast, emotional support focuses on providing empathy, understanding, and comfort to someone experiencing distress or hardship, without necessarily providing tangible assistance. For instance, offering a listening ear or offering words of encouragement during a difficult time represents emotional support. 

 

38 Keira goes to Dr Bib because she feels anxious, cries a lot and has not slept properly for weeks. Sometimes she feels her heart pounding and thinks she will faint. She always seems to have a sore throat. Keira tells the doctor about all the problems in her life; she is a long-term carer for an elderly relative and has recently been upset by difficulties at work. Dr Bib thinks Keira is suffering from stress. He takes her blood pressure and also takes a blood sample. 

 

Discuss the role of stress in illness. Refer to Keira in your answer. (16 marks)  

Model Answer  

Stress plays a significant role in illness, with short-term stressors triggering the release of adrenaline, which is associated with cardiovascular disorders. Conversely, long-term stressors stimulate the production of cortisol, which has been linked to immunosuppression, compromising the body's ability to fight off viruses and bacteria. This prolonged exposure to cortisol weakens the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections and illnesses. 

In this scenario, Keira's symptoms, including anxiety, insomnia, physical sensations like heart palpitations, and a persistent sore throat, indicate potential manifestations of stress-related illness. The combination of emotional distress, sleep disturbances, and physical symptoms aligns with the impact of chronic stress on both mental and physical health. Dr. Bib's decision to assess Keira's blood pressure and take a blood sample suggests a comprehensive evaluation to rule out other potential medical conditions while recognizing the likelihood of stress as a significant contributing factor to her symptoms. 

Research by Kiecolt-Glaser and colleagues, which looked at people caring for relatives with dementia, found that chronic stress can slow down wound healing. This connects with Keira's situation because she cares for an elderly relative and experiences symptoms like anxiety and difficulty sleeping. This research shows how stress can weaken the immune system and make people more likely to get sick. 

However, some studies suggest that small amounts of stress might actually boost the immune system by triggering a beneficial response known as "stress inoculation." This response involves the body's natural defense mechanisms becoming more robust in anticipation of potential threats, resulting in improved immune function. Understanding this relationship between stress and health is crucial for developing effective strategies to cope with stress while maintaining overall well-being. By recognizing that not all stress is inherently harmful and that moderate levels of stress can sometimes have positive effects on the body, individuals can better navigate stressful situations and cultivate resilience. This insight underscores the importance of adopting holistic approaches to stress management that consider both the detrimental and potentially beneficial aspects of stress on health. 

 

 

Section D  

Aggression or Forensic psychology or Addiction 
Choose one topic from Section D. Answer all questions on the topic you choose.  

 

Topic: Aggression  

 

39 In psychological reporting it is usual to present book references in an accepted format. 

The reference below includes some, but not all, of the necessary pieces of information. The pieces of information included here are the author's surname and initial, and the title of the book. 

Reference: Lorenz, K. On Aggression. 

Three further pieces of information are missing from the reference. What are they? (3 marks) 

 

Model Answer  

The missing pieces of information from the reference are the publication year, the publisher, and the place of publication. 

 

40 A prison officer investigating institutional aggression has devised a questionnaire for prisoners to complete. The questionnaire consists of a series of statements about prison life and the prisoners have to indicate how much they agree with each statement. 

One statement in the questionnaire is 'The noise in the prison is unpleasant'. The response options in the questionnaire are 'Agree' and 'Disagree'. 

Suggest how the response options in the questionnaire could be modified to better assess how much prisoners agree with the statement. (2 marks)  

Model Answer  

To enhance the assessment of agreement with the statement "The noise in the prison is unpleasant," the response options could be expanded to include a wider range of choices, such as "Strongly Agree," "Agree," "Neutral," "Disagree," and "Strongly Disagree," offering a more detailed understanding of prisoners' perceptions of prison noise. 

 

41 What is meant by an innate releasing mechanism? (3 marks)  

Model Answer  

An innate releasing mechanism refers to a neural or physiological mechanism that triggers a specific behavior in response to a particular stimulus. It's an inherent part of an organism's biology, often involved in instinctual behaviors, where the presence of a specific stimulus automatically activates a predetermined response without the need for learning or conscious decision-making. 

 

42 Angel is often aggressive at school. At playtime, she pushes other children off the play equipment and snatches toys away from them. In the dinner queue, she pushes other children out of the way. At home, she sees her two older sisters fighting and listens to her mum yelling at the neighbours. When the sisters all play outside, they race around with their hoods up, hitting other children and shouting at them. 

 

Discuss one or more social psychological explanations for aggression. Refer to Angel in  

your answer. (16 marks)  

Model Answer  

Social learning theory suggests that aggression can be learned through observation and imitation of aggressive behaviors modeled by others, such as parents, peers, or media figures. According to this theory, individuals are more likely to engage in aggression if they perceive it as rewarded or if they lack alternative, non-aggressive strategies for achieving their goals. Reinforcement and punishment play crucial roles in shaping aggressive behavior, as individuals are more likely to repeat behaviors that result in positive outcomes or avoid those that lead to negative consequences, thereby perpetuating or inhibiting aggressive tendencies. 

In this scenario, Angel's aggressive behavior at school and home can be understood through the lens of social learning theory. Witnessing her older sisters engage in fighting and hearing her mother's confrontations with neighbors likely serves as models for aggressive behavior, reinforcing its perceived effectiveness. Additionally, the lack of alternative conflict resolution strategies demonstrated in her environment may contribute to her reliance on aggression to assert dominance or resolve conflicts, as evidenced by her pushing, snatching, and engaging in physical altercations during playtime and outdoor activities. 

Bandura's Bobo doll experiment provides supporting evidence for the social learning theory, as it demonstrated that children exposed to aggressive models were more likely to imitate the observed behaviours. This study enhances our understanding of Angel's aggressive behaviour in the scenario by illustrating how exposure to aggressive models, such as her older sisters and possibly media influences, can shape her own aggressive tendencies. Moreover, Bandura's research highlights the importance of environmental factors, such as family dynamics and social interactions, in influencing behaviour, offering insights into the role of observational learning in the development of aggression. However, it's crucial to acknowledge that while the experiment provides valuable experimental evidence, real-world behaviours like Angel's are influenced by a multitude of complex factors beyond simple observation, including individual differences, cognitive processes, and social context, which may not be fully captured in laboratory settings. 

Furthermore, some suggest that individual differences, such as temperament and genetic predispositions, may moderate the extent to which individuals imitate observed aggressive behaviours. Therefore, while Bandura's study offers valuable insights into the social learning process, we must be cautious not to oversimplify the development of aggression and recognise the multifaceted nature of human behaviour, which is influenced by a variety of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. 

 

Topic: Forensic psychology  

 

43 In psychological reporting it is usual to present book references in an accepted format. 

The reference below includes some, but not all, of the necessary pieces of information. The pieces of information included here are the author's surname and initials, and the title of the book. 

Reference: Eysenck, H.J. The Measurement of Personality.  

Three further pieces of information are missing from the reference. What are they? (3 marks) 

Model Answer  

The missing pieces of information from the reference are the publication year, the publisher, and the place of publication. 

 

44 A police trainer investigating offender profiling has devised a questionnaire for police officers to complete. The questionnaire consists of a series of statements about offender profiling and the police officers have to indicate how much they agree with each statement. 

One statement in the questionnaire is 'Offender profiling can be helpful in solving crime'. The response options in the questionnaire are 'Agree' and 'Disagree'. 

Suggest how the response options in the questionnaire could be modified to better assess how much the police officers agree with the statement. (2 marks)  

Model Answer  

To better assess the extent to which police officers agree with the statement "Offender profiling can be helpful in solving crime," the response options could be modified to include a range of choices, such as "Strongly Agree," "Agree," "Neutral," "Disagree," and "Strongly Disagree," providing a more nuanced understanding of their perceptions regarding the effectiveness of offender profiling in crime resolution. 

 

45 Outline Eysenck's theory of the criminal personality. (3 marks)  

Model Answer  

Eysenck's theory of the criminal personality suggests that certain individuals are predisposed to criminal behaviour due to their biological makeup, specifically their levels of extraversion and neuroticism. According to Eysenck, individuals who are high in extraversion,  neuroticism and psychoticism are more likely to engage in antisocial and impulsive behaviours, making them prone to criminal activity. 

 

46 Vera has a bad temper and has been in and out of prison many times. She is currently in prison for assault. The prison governor is keen to rehabilitate prisoners like Vera. Prison officers manage Vera's temper through a system of rewards for good behaviour. To help with long-term reform, they try to give her strategies for managing her own behaviour in the outside world; Vera attends regular therapy classes and writes about situations when she has lost her temper. 

 

Discuss one or more ways of dealing with offending. Refer to Vera in your answer. (16 marks)  

Model Answer  

One way of dealing with offending behavior is through anger management cognitive therapy, which involves three stages. Firstly, cognitive preparation involves identifying and understanding the underlying causes of anger. Secondly, cognitive restructuring helps individuals develop new ways of thinking about and responding to anger triggers. Lastly, cognitive appraisal focuses on applying new skills acquired through therapy, such as relaxation techniques or using mantras, in real-life situations through role-play exercises, allowing individuals to practice and integrate these skills into their daily lives. 

In line with the anger management programme, Vera's rehabilitation in prison involves a focus on understanding and managing her temper. Prison officers implement a system of rewards for her good behaviour, providing positive reinforcement for maintaining control. Additionally, Vera attends regular therapy sessions where she learns strategies for managing her behaviour, such as relaxation techniques and cognitive restructuring. By reflecting on past instances of losing her temper and writing about them, Vera gains insight into her triggers and develops skills to cope with anger in the outside world, contributing to her long-term reform and reducing the likelihood of recidivism. 

The implementation of an anger management intervention, as evidenced in Vera's case, offers potential long-term beneficial effects. By providing strategies for managing anger and rewarding positive behaviours, such interventions equip individuals like Vera with transferable skills that can enhance their quality of life beyond the prison setting. However, the effectiveness of these interventions in facilitating lasting behavioural change depends on various factors, including the individual's commitment to practicing and applying these skills outside of structured therapy sessions, as well as the availability of ongoing support systems post-release. 

 While anger management programmes offer valuable tools for addressing immediate behavioural issues, their ability to sustain long-term positive outcomes hinges on comprehensive support networks and continued reinforcement of learned skills in real-world settings. Therefore, while these interventions hold promise in reducing recidivism and improving overall well-being, their effectiveness in the long term necessitates a holistic approach that addresses both individual and systemic factors contributing to criminal behaviour. 

The success of interventions like anger management programmes hinges on the expertise and guidance of trained personnel. Skilled professionals, such as therapists or counsellors, play a crucial role in facilitating effective treatment by providing tailored strategies, monitoring progress, and offering support throughout the rehabilitation process. Additionally, trained personnel are equipped to address the complex underlying issues contributing to anger and criminal behaviour, ensuring that interventions are delivered in a safe and therapeutic manner. Therefore, investing in trained personnel is essential to maximising the impact of interventions and fostering long-term positive outcomes for individuals like Vera. 

 

Topic: Addiction  

 

47 In psychological reporting it is usual to present book references in an accepted format. 

The reference below includes some, but not all, of the necessary pieces of information, The pieces of information included here are the author's surname and initials, and the title of the book. 

Reference: Eysenck, H.J. The Measurement of Personality. 

Three further pieces of information are missing from the reference. What are they? (3 marks) 

Model Answer  

The missing pieces of information from the reference are the publication year, the publisher, and the place of publication. 

 

48 A social worker investigating nicotine addiction has devised a questionnaire for smokers to complete. The questionnaire consists of a series of statements about smoking, and smokers have to indicate how much they agree with each statement. 

One statement in the questionnaire is 'Holding a cigarette makes me feel calm'. The response options in the questionnaire are 'Agree' and 'Disagree'. 

Suggest how the response options in the questionnaire could be modified to better assess how much smokers agree with the statement. (2 marks)  

Model Answer  

To better assess smokers' agreement with the statement "Holding a cigarette makes me feel calm," the response options could be expanded to include a wider range of choices such as "Strongly Agree," "Agree," "Neutral," "Disagree," and "Strongly Disagree," providing a more detailed understanding of their perceptions regarding the calming effects of smoking. 

 

49 Outline Prochaska's model of behaviour change. (3 marks)  

Model Answer  

Prochaska's model of behaviour change, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, suggests that individuals progress through different stages when altering their behaviour. These stages include precontemplation (not yet considering change), contemplation (thinking about change), preparation (preparing for change), action (actively changing behaviour), and maintenance (sustaining changed behaviour). The model recognises that relapse is common and individuals may cycle through the stages multiple times before achieving lasting behaviour change. 

 

50 Asa plays internet poker when he is alone in the evening, losing large sums of money. Sometimes he goes to casinos for the extra thrill of being around other gamblers. He talks about all the times he has won and how skilled he is at placing bets. If people point out that he could lose, Asa just ignores them. 

Asa goes to a therapist for help with problem gambling. The therapist focuses on changing how Asa thinks about gambling and making the casino much less attractive. 

Discuss one or more ways of reducing addiction. Refer to Asa in your answer. (16 marks) 

 

Model Answer  

Behavioural interventions for reducing addiction include techniques grounded in behavioural psychology, which directly target observable behaviours. Contingency Management rewards desirable behaviours, such as clean drug tests, while Exposure Therapy desensitises individuals to triggers. Aversion Therapy associates addictive behaviours with discomfort, making them less appealing. Combining these behavioural interventions can lead to comprehensive and lasting changes in reducing addiction. 

In addressing Asa's problem gambling, the therapist may employ behavioural interventions tailored to modify his gambling behaviour directly. Contingency Management could involve rewarding Asa for refraining from gambling or for achieving small milestones in curbing his habit, while also implementing consequences for relapses. Exposure Therapy may involve gradually exposing Asa to the negative consequences of his gambling behaviour, such as financial losses or strained relationships, to lessen the allure of casinos and internet poker. By combining these behavioural interventions, the therapist aims to facilitate lasting changes in Asa's gambling behaviour and mitigate the harmful effects of his addiction. 

Behavioural intervention therapies offer adaptability to tailor treatment to individual circumstances, making them versatile tools in addressing a wide range of substance and behavioural addictions. In the scenario of Asa's problem gambling, the therapist's focus on changing Asa's thoughts about gambling and reducing the allure of casinos demonstrates the flexibility of behavioural interventions to suit specific addictive behaviours. This adaptability is a strength as it allows therapists to address the unique needs and challenges of each individual, potentially increasing the effectiveness of treatment by targeting specific behavioural patterns and triggers. By customising interventions to suit individual circumstances, behavioural therapies can offer a more personalised and comprehensive approach to addiction treatment. 

However, while behavioural intervention therapies offer adaptability, their effectiveness can be contingent upon factors such as the individual's motivation, readiness for change, and the severity of their addiction. In some cases, individuals may require additional support or interventions beyond behavioural techniques to address underlying psychological issues or to overcome deeply ingrained patterns of behaviour. Additionally, the success of behavioural interventions may be limited if external factors, such as social or environmental influences, continue to reinforce addictive behaviours despite therapeutic efforts. Therefore, while behavioural interventions are helpful in many situations, their effectiveness may vary depending on the complexity and context of the addiction being addressed. 

 

 

END OF QUESTIONS   

 

 

 

 

 

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