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Model Answer for Question 1 Paper 1: AS Psychology, June 2016 (AQA)

AS, A-Level

Last updated 9 May 2017

Section A – Social Influence

01.1 Name three behaviours that enable a minority to influence a majority. [3 marks]

Suggested Answer: Consistency, Flexibility and Commitment.

Exam Hint: This is a classic example that demonstrates why knowledge of the specification is crucial. All three terms (consistency, flexibility and commitment) are named on the specification. While it was possible to include other behaviours (e.g. self-sacrifice), broader concepts (e.g. the snowball effect) were not credited. 

01.2 Marcus wants to persuade his group of friends to go travelling in the summer, but the rest of the group would like to go on a beach holiday.

Briefly suggest how Marcus might use the three behaviours that you have identified in your answer to 01.1 to persuade his friends to go travelling. [4 marks]

Suggested Answer: Marcus would need to be stable in his view (consistent), that going ‘travelling in the summer’ is better than going on a beach holiday and continually remind his friends of this to demonstrate his consistency. 

Furthermore, Marcus should be prepared to compromise (flexible) for example, he might say that if his friends go travelling, they could also visit a beach to demonstrate his willingness to compromise.

Finally, Marcus needs to remain dedicated to his point of view (committed) and show that he is willing to make a sacrifice to go travelling, rather than going on a beach holiday. For example, he might offer to do all of the planning and book the holiday for his friends, to demonstrate his commitment. 

Exam Hint: Students need to avoid defining any key term by simply restating the term (e.g.  ‘Marcus should show consistency by being consistent in his point of view.’) Furthermore, students need to avoid implausible suggestions (e.g. Marcus could go on a hunger strike) and make their application relevant and realistic to the scenario. 

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