Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology
Information below taken from AQA Specification. Page last updated 2017
What’s assessed? Compulsory content of Social Influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology.
How is it assessed? Written exam: 2 hours • 96 marks in total • 33.3% of A-level
What type of questions? multiple choice, short answer and extended writing maximum 16 marks, each section totalling 24 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 1 content.
- apply psychological knowledge and understanding of the specified Paper 1 content in a range of contexts
- analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological concepts, theories, research studies and research methods in relation to the specified Paper 1 content
- evaluate therapies and treatments including in terms of their appropriateness and effectiveness.
Assessment Objectives (% of overall A Level)
- AO1 = 11–14 %
- AO2 = 6–9 %
- AO3 = 12–14 %
- Caregiver-infant interactions in humans: reciprocity and interactional synchrony. Stages of
attachment identified by Schaffer. Multiple attachments and the role of the father.
- Animal studies of attachment: Lorenz and Harlow.
- Explanations of attachment: learning theory and Bowlby’s monotropic theory. The concepts
of a critical period and an internal working model.
- Ainsworth’s ‘Strange Situation’. Types of attachment: secure, insecure-avoidant and
insecure-resistant. Cultural variations in attachment, including van Ijzendoorn.
- Bowlby’s theory of maternal deprivation. Romanian orphan studies: effects of
- The influence of early attachment on childhood and adult relationships, including the role of
an internal working model.
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