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1. Version 1General Certificate of Education (A-level)January 2012Psychology A PSYA4(Specification 2180)Unit 4: Psychopathology, Psychology in Actionand Research Methods…
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  • 1. Version 1General Certificate of Education (A-level)January 2012Psychology A PSYA4(Specification 2180)Unit 4: Psychopathology, Psychology in Actionand Research Methods Final Mark Scheme
  • 2. Mark schemes are prepared by the Principal Examiner and considered, together with the relevantquestions, by a panel of subject teachers. This mark scheme includes any amendments made at thestandardisation events which all examiners participate in and is the scheme which was used by themin this examination. The standardisation process ensures that the mark scheme covers thecandidates’ responses to questions and that every examiner understands and applies it in the samecorrect way. As preparation for standardisation each examiner analyses a number of candidates’scripts: alternative answers not already covered by the mark scheme are discussed and legislated for.If, after the standardisation process, examiners encounter unusual answers which have not beenraised they are required to refer these to the Principal Examiner.It must be stressed that a mark scheme is a working document, in many cases further developed andexpanded on the basis of candidates’ reactions to a particular paper. Assumptions about future markschemes on the basis of one year’s document should be avoided; whilst the guiding principles ofassessment remain constant, details will change, depending on the content of a particular examinationpaper.Further copies of this Mark Scheme are available from: aqa.org.ukCopyright © 2012 AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved.CopyrightAQA retains the copyright on all its publications. However, registered centres for AQA are permitted to copy material from thisbooklet for their own internal use, with the following important exception: AQA cannot give permission to centres to photocopyany material that is acknowledged to a third party even for internal use within the centre.Set and published by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance.The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (company number 3644723) and a registeredcharity (registered charity number 1073334).Registered address: AQA, Devas Street, Manchester M15 6EX.
  • 3. Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Psychology A – PSYA4 – January 2012 Section A PsychopathologyTopic: SchizophreniaQuestion 01AO1 = 8 marksAO1 credit is awarded for description of issues concerned with classification and diagnosis ofschizophrenia, most of which are related in some way to reliability and validity. Some issuesare specifically relevant to schizophrenia eg the range of symptoms / sub-types ofschizophrenia and the difficulty of distinguishing between them. Other issues surroundingthe classification and diagnosis of mental disorders in general can receive credit as long asthey are made relevant to schizophrenia.For AO1 credit candidates need to identify some of these issues. For example:  The reliability of the major classification systems (ICD and DSM)  The lack of homogeneity in schizophrenic symptoms  Symptom overlap and the inclusion of mixed disorder categories (schizo - affective disorder ) by classification systems  The problem of co-morbidity with depression  The availability of other diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia eg Schneider criteria  Cultural differences in symptom presentation  The lack of objective tests for schizophrenia  The difficulty of being able to predict outcome or response to treatment  The question of whether schizophrenia is a mental disorder at all or a form of political control (Szasz)Examiners should be mindful of a depth/breadth trade-off – candidates can describe a fewissues in detail or more issues in less detail. There is considerable overlap between theissues of classification and diagnosis so partial performance criteria do not apply.Candidates who simply offer lists of signs and symptoms of schizophrenia or who describeclassification systems are not addressing the issues surrounding diagnosis and classification.Such material is rudimentary. 3
  • 4. Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Psychology A – PSYA4 – January 2012AO1 Mark bands8 - 7 marks SoundKnowledge and understanding are accurate and well detailed.A good range of relevant material has been selected.There is substantial evidence of breadth and depth.Organisation and structure of the answer are coherent.6 - 5 marks ReasonableKnowledge and understanding are generally accurate and reasonably detailed.A range of relevant material has been selected.There is evidence of breadth and/or depth.Organisation and structure of the answer are reasonably coherent.4 - 3 marks BasicKnowledge and understanding are basic/relatively superficial.A restricted range of material has been presented.Organisation and structure of the answer are basic.2 - 1 mark RudimentaryKnowledge and understanding are rudimentary and may be muddled and/or inaccurate.The material presented may be very brief or largely irrelevant.Lacks organisation and structure.0 marksNo creditworthy material.AO2/AO3 = 16 marksCandidates achieve AO2/AO3 credit by evaluating and offering commentary on the issuesthey have identified for example considering the consequences arising from the issue. Theymay discuss advantages of using classification systems in relation to effective treatmentprogrammes and support and / or problems associated with classification and diagnosis. Forexample, diagnosis might lead to labelling and stigmatisation (Scheff 1966) causing long-term problems of getting/keeping employment and leading to a self fulfilling prophecy.AO2/AO3 Mark bands commentary16 - 13 marks EffectiveCommentary demonstrates sound analysis, understanding and interpretation. The answer iswell focused and shows coherent elaboration and/or a clear line of argument. Ideas are wellstructured and expressed clearly and fluently. Consistently effective use of psychologicalterminology. Appropriate use of grammar, punctuation and spelling.12 - 9 marks Reasonable Commentary demonstrates reasonable analysis, understanding. The answer is generallyfocused and shows reasonable elaboration. Most ideas are appropriately structured andexpressed clearly. Appropriate use of psychological terminology. Minor errors of grammar,punctuation and spelling occasionally compromise meaning.8 - 5 marks BasicCommentary demonstrates basic, superficial understanding. The answer is sometimesfocused and shows some evidence of elaboration. Expression of ideas lacks clarity. Limiteduse of psychological terminology. Errors of grammar, punctuation and spelling are intrusive.4 - 1 marks RudimentaryCommentary is rudimentary demonstrating a very limited understanding. The answer isweak, muddled and incomplete. Material is not used effectively and may be mainlyirrelevant. Deficiency in expression of ideas results in confusion and ambiguity. The answerlacks structure often merely a series of unconnected assertions. Errors of grammar,punctuation and spelling are frequent and intrusive.0 marksNo creditworthy material is presented. 4
  • 5. Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Psychology A – PSYA4 – January 2012Topic: DepressionQuestion 02AO1 = 8 marksAO1 credit is awarded for outlines of two psychological explanations of depression. Theseare likely to be drawn from different models but two explanations based on the same model(eg two cognitive explanations) would receive credit.The main psychological explanations of depression are:  Cognitive – Beck (1967) cognitive distortions, the cognitive triad, overgeneralization and magnification of significance of events  Cognitive - behavioural - Abramson (1978) maladaptive attribution style, self blaming and hopelessness as a result of failure  Behavioural – Lewinsohn (1974) lack of positive reinforcement leading to social withdrawal, self perpetuating cycle  Socio-cultural – Brown and Harris (1989) stressful life events as a trigger  Psychodynamic – importance of unconscious forces and early experience in oral stage. Loss leading to anger which is turned inwards and the introjections of hostility, loss and dependencyLearned helplessness (Seligman 1975) may be presented as a behavioural or cognitiveexplanation or as part of a combined cognitive-behavioural explanation. These approachesare creditworthy.The two explanations need not be exactly equally weighted for top band marks but thereshould be a reasonable balance if candidates are to access the top band.If candidates only offer one explanation then partial performance criteria apply. Where morethan two explanations are presented, the best two should be credited. A number ofexplanations explicitly presented as an approach can be credited as one explanation.AO1 Mark bands8 - 7 marks SoundKnowledge and understanding are accurate and well detailed.A good range of relevant material has been selected.There is substantial evidence of breadth and depth.Organisation and structure of the answer are coherent.6 - 5 marks ReasonableKnowledge and understanding are generally accurate and reasonably detailed.A range of relevant material has been selected.There is evidence of breadth and/or depth.Organisation and structure of the answer are reasonably coherent.Partial performance is sound, accurate and well detailed. Maximum 6 marks.4 - 3 marks BasicKnowledge and understanding are basic/relatively superficial.A restricted range of material has been presented.Organisation and structure of the answer are basic.Partial performance is reasonable and generally accurate.2 - 1 mark RudimentaryKnowledge and understanding are rudimentary and may be muddled and/or inaccurate.The material presented may be very brief or largely irrelevant.Lacks organisation and structure.Partial performance is basic.0 marksNo creditworthy material. 5
  • 6. Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Psychology A – PSYA4 – January 2012Question 03AO2/AO3 = 16 marksCandidates achieve AO2/AO3 credit by evaluating psychological explanations of depression.This is likely to focus on the explanations given in 02 but could focus on psychologicalexplanations in general.Potential material includes:  Consideration of research evidence that supports or challenges an explanation  Issues specific to each explanation eg the cognitive explanation is better at explaining the maintenance of the disorder rather than the initial cause; limited evidence for the psychodynamic concepts such as introjection of hostility; legitimacy of Seligman’s evidence in relation to human depression  Debate about the relative importance of different causal factors  The usefulness of a combined approach to explaining depression  Relevant debates such as nature/ nurture, reductionism and determinismAlthough the question is concerned with explanations, the effectiveness of therapies could beused as a means of evaluation. Consideration of biological explanations of depression canreceive credit when used as sustained critical commentary on psychological explanations.Because evaluation can be generic to explanations, partial performance criteria do not apply.AO2/AO3 Mark bands evaluation16 - 13 marks EffectiveEvaluation demonstrates sound analysis, understanding and interpretation. The answer iswell focused and shows coherent elaboration and/or a clear line or argument. Ideas are wellstructured and expressed clearly and fluently. Consistently effective use of psychologicalterminology. Appropriate use of grammar, punctuation and spelling.12 - 9 marks ReasonableEvaluation demonstrates reasonable analysis, understanding. The answer is generallyfocused and shows reasonable elaboration. Most ideas are appropriately structured andexpressed clearly. Appropriate use of psychological terminology. Minor errors of grammar,punctuation and spelling occasionally compromise meaning.8 - 5 marks BasicEvaluation demonstrates basic, superficial understanding. The answer is sometimes focusedand shows some evidence of elaboration. Expression of ideas lacks clarity. Limited use ofpsychological terminology. Errors of grammar, punctuation and spelling are intrusive.4 - 1 marks RudimentaryEvaluation is rudimentary demonstrating a very limited understanding. The answer is weak,muddled and incomplete. Material is not used effectively and may be mainly irrelevant.Deficiency in expression of ideas results in confusion and ambiguity. The answer lacksstructure often merely a series of unconnected assertions. Errors of grammar, punctuationand spelling are frequent and intrusive.0 marksNo creditworthy material is presented 6
  • 7. Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Psychology A – PSYA4 – January 2012Topic: Phobic DisordersQuestion 04AO1 = 8 marksAO1 credit is awarded for outlines of two or more therapies which must be explicitly relatedto phobic disorders. Candidates may use any combination of psychological and/or biologicaltherapies and can use two or more from the same category.Some common therapies for phobic disorders include:  Biological therapies - drug treatments include anti-anxiety drugs (benzodiazepines) which enhance activity of GABA reducing CNS activity; antidepressants which increase serotonin activity; beta blockers (reserpine) which mediate the effects of adrenalin and noradrenalin. Psychosurgery (capsulotomy) can also gain credit.  Behavioural therapies – systematic desensitisation (Wolpe 1958) based on counter-conditioning: involves relaxation techniques, establishment of a hierarchy of fears and graded exposure: may be carried out in vivo or in vitro. Exposure therapy (flooding) and modelling are also creditworthy  Cognitive-behavioural therapies – RET (Ellis 1957) involves challenging irrational beliefs through confrontation and dispute; Meichenbaum’s SIT (1977) involves the use of positive self-statements to eradicate faulty internal dialogue; Davey (1999) involves downplaying fears by threat devaluation, denial and cognitive disengagementOther therapies (eg psychoanalytic therapy) should be credited as long as they are related tophobic disorders.Appropriate therapies which are not explicitly related to phobias (for example astraightforward description of psychoanalysis) would receive a rudimentary mark.The outlines need not be exactly equally weighted for top band marks although there shouldbe reasonable balance if candidates are to access the top band.If only one therapy is offered, partial performance criteria apply.AO1 Mark bands8 - 7 marks SoundKnowledge and understanding are accurate and well detailed.A good range of relevant material has been selected.There is substantial evidence of breadth and depth.Organisation and structure of the answer are coherent.6 - 5 marks ReasonableKnowledge and understanding are generally accurate and reasonably detailed.A range of relevant material has been selected.There is evidence of breadth and/or depth.Organisation and structure of the answer are reasonably coherent.Partial performance is sound, accurate and well detailed. Maximum 6 marks.4 - 3 marks BasicKnowledge and understanding are basic/relatively superficial.A restricted range of material has been presented.Organisation and structure of the answer are basic.Partial performance is reasonable and generally accurate.2 - 1 mark RudimentaryKnowledge and understanding are rudimentary and may be muddled and/or inaccurate.The material presented may be very brief or largely irrelevant.Lacks organisation and structure.Partial performance is basic.0 marksNo creditworthy material 7
  • 8. Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Psychology A – PSYA4 – January 2012AO2/AO3 = 16 marksCandidates achieve AO2/AO3 credit by evaluating two or more therapies for phobicdisorders.Relevant material includes:  Discussion of outcomes studies eg Wolitzky-Taylor (2008) meta-analysis of 33 studies found behaviour therapies most effective: Davidson (1993) found BZs more effective than placebos for social phobia  Effectiveness of therapy - how to measure effectiveness, use of control groups, criteria for success, duration of treatment, short-term v long-term outcomes, confounding variables including placebo effect  Appropriateness of therapy - side effects (particularly in relation to drug therapies) additional enhancements offered by some therapies eg cognitive therapy might lead to an increase in personal effectiveness and increase in self-esteem; role of the patient eg drugs therapy renders patient passive whereas patient takes an active role in cognitive therapy and has some control; financial constraints: ethical issues.Candidates may also evaluate methodological issues associated with outcomes researchsuch as sampling and generalisation. To receive a mark above basic, the implications for thetherapy must be made explicit.Partial performance is unlikely for AO2/AO3 as many evaluation points are likely to berelevant to more than one therapy (eg biological therapies in general). However, partialperformance criteria will apply if candidates have outlined and evaluated one therapy only.AO2/AO3 Mark bands evaluation16 - 13 marks EffectiveEvaluation demonstrates sound analysis, understanding and interpretation. The answer iswell focused and shows coherent elaboration and/or a clear line or argument. Ideas are wellstructured and expressed clearly and fluently. Consistently effective use of psychologicalterminology. Appropriate use of grammar, punctuation and spelling.12 - 9 marks ReasonableEvaluation demonstrates reasonable analysis, understanding. The answer is generallyfocused and shows reasonable elaboration. Most ideas are appropriately structured andexpressed clearly. Appropriate use of psychological terminology. Minor errors of grammar,punctuation and spelling occasionally compromise meaning.Partial performance demonstrates sound analysis and understanding. It is well focused andshows coherent elaboration and / or a clear line of argument. Maximum 10 marks.8 - 5 marks BasicEvaluation demonstrates basic, superficial understanding. The answer is sometimes focusedand shows some evidence of elaboration. Expression of ideas lacks clarity. Limited use ofpsychological terminology. Errors of grammar, punctuation and spelling are intrusive.Partial performance demonstrates reasonable analysis and understanding. It is generallyfocused and shows reasonable elaboration and/or a clear line of argument.4 - 1 marks RudimentaryEvaluation is rudimentary demonstrating a very limited understanding. The answer is weak,muddled and incomplete. Material is not used effectively and may be mainly irrelevant.Deficiency in expression of ideas results in confusion and ambiguity. The answer lacksstructure often merely a series of unconnected assertions. Errors of grammar, punctuationand spelling are frequent and intrusive.Partial performance demonstrates basic, superficial understanding. It is sometimes focusedand shows some evidence of elaboration.0 marksNo creditworthy material is presented. 8
  • 9. Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Psychology A – PSYA4 – January 2012Topic: Obsessive Compulsive DisorderQuestion 05AO1 = 8 marksAO1 credit is awarded for outlines of two or more therapies which must be explicitly relatedto obsessive compulsive disorder. Candidates may use any combination of psychologicaland/or biological therapies and can use two or more from the same category.Some common therapies for OCD include:  Biological therapies - the most common biological treatment is the use of anti- depressants including clomipramine (a tricyclic anti-depressant) and SSRI’s. These drugs increase serotonin availability. Benzodiazepines are also used to treat OCD. These work by increasing the effectiveness of GABA  Behavioural therapies – the most common behavioural therapy is exposure and ritual (response) prevention (ERP). This approach uses the principles of classical condi
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