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Exam technique advice

Example Answers for Approaches: A Level Psychology, Paper 2, June 2019 (AQA)

  • Levels: A Level
  • Exam boards: AQA

Here are some example answers to the written Paper 2 questions on Approaches in the 2019 AQA exams.

Question 3

The unconscious protects the conscious mind from anxiety. One method it can use to do this is through employing one of the defence mechanisms, for example displacement.

Question 4

The advert may influence viewers mediational processes through the fact that the use of a famous rugby player in the advert is likely to capture the viewers’ attention. As the advert may be considered to be amusing, in the way that the rugby player draws stripes on their face, it is likely that this memory will be retained in the long-term store. The action of simply spraying the stain and wiping it clean is one that is easy to copy, so this will aid in motor reproduction. In addition, the use of vicarious reinforcement is evident as the boy claps, this reward will motivate individuals to want to carry out the behaviour themselves.

Question 5

We are more likely to identify with someone who is a celebrity role model. As a result of this people are likely to imitate the behaviour of the rugby player and buy the product, therefore increasing sales.

Question 8

Wilhelm Wundt was responsible for a number of ‘firsts’ in the study of Psychology. He was the first psychologist to set up a specialised laboratory to study the mind and behaviour, this was known as the Institute of Experimental Psychology. In this controlled setting he was able to study the building blocks of human thought known as structuralism. He achieved through carrying out a number of experiments using introspection with his students, these experiments served to examine the role conscious thoughts and emotions in a scientific way.

Although Wundt’s methods of exploring introspection have been criticised due to the rather subjective nature of the research, that is to say that Wundt was attempting to study something that was unobservable, it is worth noting that Wundt went to great lengths to ensure that all of his students were highly skilled in such methods. This in part goes some way to reduce criticisms and serves to make his methods more objective.

Another issue related to the scientific nature of Wundt’s research is the issues with replicability. The ability to be able to carry out research and then repeat such research is a core principle of science and allows us to establish the reliability of conclusions. Arguably there is little research evidence outside of Wundt’s own work that has been able to produce similar results using the introspective methods. That being said, it is evident from more modern approaches, that the mental processes that Wundt was trying to study using introspection are indeed a valid constituent part of the human mind.

AQA A-Level Psychology Revision & Teaching Resources

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