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 %
- Classification of schizophrenia. Positive symptoms of schizophrenia, including hallucinations and delusions. Negative symptoms of schizophrenia, including speech poverty and avolition. Reliability and validity in diagnosis and classification of schizophrenia, including reference to co-morbidity, culture and gender bias and symptom overlap.
- Biological explanations for schizophrenia: genetics, the dopamine hypothesis and neural correlates.
- Psychological explanations for schizophrenia: family dysfunction and cognitive explanations, including dysfunctional thought processing.
- Drug therapy: typical and atypical antipsychotics.
- Cognitive behaviour therapy and family therapy as used in the treatment of schizophrenia. Token economies as used in the management of schizophrenia.
- The importance of an interactionist approach in explaining and treating schizophrenia; the diathesis-stress model.
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