Paper 2: Psychology in context
Information below taken from AQA Specification. Page last updated 2017
What’s assessed? Compulsory content of Approaches, Biopsychology and Research Methods.
How is it assessed? Written exam: 2 hours • 96 marks in total • 33.3% of A-level
What type of questions? Section A&B: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing maximum 16 marks, each section totaling 24 marks. Section C: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing maximum 16 marks, section totaling 48 marks
Students will be expected to:
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts, theories, research studies, research methods and ethical issues in relation to the specified Paper 2 content.
- apply psychological knowledge and understanding of the specified Paper 2 content in a range of contexts
- analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological concepts, theories, research studies and research methods in relation to the specified Paper 2 content
- evaluate therapies and treatments including in terms of their appropriateness and effectiveness.
Assessment Objectives (% of overall A Level)
- AO1 = 7–10 %
- AO2 = 16–19 %
- AO3 = 7–9 %
- The divisions of the nervous system: central and peripheral (somatic and autonomic).
- The structure and function of sensory, relay and motor neurons. The process of synaptic transmission, including reference to neurotransmitters, excitation and inhibition.
- The function of the endocrine system: glands and hormones.
- The fight or flight response including the role of adrenaline.
- Localisation of function in the brain and hemispheric lateralisation: motor, somatosensory, visual, auditory and language centres; Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, split brain research. Plasticity and functional recovery of the brain after trauma.
- Ways of studying the brain: scanning techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); electroencephalogram (EEGs) and event-related potentials (ERPs); post-mortem examinations.
- Biological rhythms: circadian, infradian and ultradian and the difference between these rhythms. The effect of endogenous pacemakers and exogenous zeitgebers on the sleep/wake cycle.
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