Paper 3: Aggression

Paper 3: Issues and options in psychology

Information below taken from AQA Specification. Page last updated 2017

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.

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