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 %
- Definitions of abnormality, including deviation from social norms, failure to function
adequately, statistical infrequency and deviation from ideal mental health.
- The behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of phobias, depression and
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
- The behavioural approach to explaining and treating phobias: the two-process model,
including classical and operant conditioning; systematic desensitisation, including relaxation
and use of hierarchy; flooding.
- The cognitive approach to explaining and treating depression: Beck’s negative triad and
Ellis’s ABC model; cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), including challenging irrational
- The biological approach to explaining and treating OCD: genetic and neural explanations;
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