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1. Overview of the exam In the summer you will be taking 2 exams; Psychological Investigations (G541), lasting 1 hour and Core Studies (G542), lasting 2 hours. The…
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  • 1. Overview of the exam In the summer you will be taking 2 exams; Psychological Investigations (G541), lasting 1 hour and Core Studies (G542), lasting 2 hours. The investigations paper is worth 30% of your AS and the Core Studies paper is worth 70% of your AS. You will be getting to know 15 core studies in great detail including; • Who conducted them (the Psychologists name) • What they wanted to find out (the aim of the study) • Why they wanted to investigate it (the rationale) • How they went about it (the method/procedure) • Who took part in it (the participants) • What they found (the results) • What it means (the conclusions) • So what? (the implications) In addition to this you will be able to evaluate all of these studies i.e. discuss their good and bad points and back it up with evidence. There is a separate document listing all the issues and another document (a very useful document) that tells you what each issue has to do with each of the studies. The list of issues is included in this folder and the other one is uploaded to the relevant block on the VLE e.g. you will find the one with the cognitive studies uploaded to the cognitive block. You will also understand the background and context in which each of these studies was conducted. The 15 studies are comprised of 3 studies from each of 5 approaches; Cognitive, Developmental, Individual Differences, Social and Physiological. Core Studies This paper is divided into 3 sections; A, B & C. Section A There are 15 questions on this paper and you will answer ALL of them. The eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted that this correlates exactly with the number of studies that you will be learning. That means there is one question on each study. The good news is that they are short answer questions worth either 2 or 4 marks out of a total of 60 TIP: Use the marks scheme. If the question has 4 marks awarded to it that means you must say 4 things. There are no free marks on this paper. Section B There is one question here with 5 parts (a-f). You must answer all parts. You will be given a choice from 2 studies and write about only one of them. This tests your knowledge in detail as well as your ability to evaluate the methodology and ability to apply your understanding of alternative methods. Parts a, b and c should be descriptive. Make sure you answer the question and be guided by the number of marks for each question for how much you should write. Part d should be an evaluation question. You should structure your answer using:
  • 2. Point: Your point should be general to all psychology, properly explained, not just stated. Example: Your example should be specific to your chosen study and explained in terms of the point made. Comment: Your comment should extend your point i.e. show the examiner how much you really know. Explain any and all terminology!!! Part e is your chance to have a bit of fun making changes to the original study. It is separated into 2 parts, with 4 marks for each. Although this is cleverly disguised as one question for 8 marks. Do not be fooled! Suggestion: You must give plenty of detail about your suggestion. Tell them Who, What, Where, Why. Implications: The changes you make will have some effect on your study/procedure. Will it make it more reliable, valid, ecologically valid? Will it increase the demand characteristics, be unethical or more generalisable? If so, explain the terms and why these effects would happen. Part f) is the real differentiator. There are 8 hard-earned marks here for describing the results. To get full marks you need to explain what the results mean as well as give detail i.e. numbers. Your grammar and spelling must also be spot on. There are 36 marks in total for this section. Again, you should look to the marks awarded for each part for guidance on how much to write. Section C You have a choice from 2 questions. Answer only one of them. This section examines your understanding of the different approaches and perspectives. There are 4 parts; a, b, c&d a) Straightforward 2 mark question. b) 4 marks for a description of something. Use Point Example Comment but as it’s for 4 marks you must give detail and explain the terminology, which must be used c) This will be an evaluative question, 3 marks for each side of the debate making a total of 6 marks. Again, use Point Example Comment and EXPLAIN EVERYTHING. d) Same as c but with 4 paragraphs, probably giving 2 advantages and 2 disadvantages. Even if they don’t specify two of each a balanced argument requires just that. Tip: Answer the question. Please. Psychological Investigations You will gain experience of using 4 methods of Psychological research, of which you will be examined on 3. The research will typically be conducted as a class and you will not be tested on your research but on the methodology. The methods will be: • Experiment (measure of difference)
  • 3. o Independent measures v Repeated measures o Independent variable and Dependent variable o Hypothesis writing o Findings v Conclusions • Observation o Point sampling & Event sampling o Ethical considerations o Reliability • Correlation o Visual presentation of results (graphs) o Interpretation of data o Suitable alternatives • Self-report o Design o Open v Closed questions o Ratings scales o Validity NB: the issues indicated above are not restricted to that particular method and it is not an exhaustive list. In the exam you will need to answer questions on the methodology of an existing piece of research as well as suggest the most appropriate method for a new piece of research. You will also be expected to be able to analyse data from a piece of research given to you in the exam. There are 3 sections of 3 questions each. You will answer all 9 questions.
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