Paper 3: Aggression

Paper 3: Issues and options in psychology

  • What’s assessed? Compulsory content of Issues and Debates plus Optional Content (our centre has chosen Relationships, Schizophrenia and Aggression)
  • How is it assessed? Written exam: 2 hours • 96 marks in total • 33.3% of A-level
  • What type of questions? Section A-D: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing maximum 16 marks, each section totaling 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 3 content.
  • apply psychological knowledge and understanding of the specified Paper 3 content in a range of contexts
  • analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological concepts, theories, research studies and research methods in relation to the specified Paper 3 content
  • evaluate therapies and treatments including in terms of their appropriateness and effectiveness.

Assessment Objectives (% of overall A Level)

  • AO1 = 9–12 %
  • AO2 = 5–8 %
  • AO3 = 15–17 %

4.3.8  Aggression

  • Neural and hormonal mechanisms in aggression, including the roles of the limbic system, serotonin and testosterone. Genetic factors in aggression, including the MAOA gene.
  • The ethological explanation of aggression, including reference to innate releasing mechanisms and fixed action patterns. Evolutionary explanations of human aggression.
  • Social psychological explanations of human aggression, including the frustration-aggression hypothesis, social learning theory as applied to human aggression, and de-individuation.
  • Institutional aggression in the context of prisons: dispositional and situational explanations.
  • Media influences on aggression, including the effects of computer games. The role of desensitisation, disinhibition and cognitive priming.