Topics: Psychology, Scientific method, Research Pages: 24 (6916 words) Published: May 28, 2014
The Controversies’ Question

You will have a choice of two questions in this section:
Part A is the starter question, for which you are awarded a maximum of three marks. You need to explain the term, then in order to get full marks you will need to give an example:

The only terms you will be asked about are the following:
science, scientific benefits, ethical costs, genetic influences, environmental influences, cultural bias, gender bias, free will and determinism.

In the second part – Part B you will be asked to either – describe, discuss or evaluate one of the following , for which there is a maximum of 22 marks –

psychology as a science
the balance of scientific benefits measured against ethical costs in psychology the balance of genetic and environmental influences on human behaviour issues of cultural bias
issues of gender bias
the question of free will and determinism in respect of human behaviour.

The essay needs to be in the form of an argument- a dialogue between opposing views.

To get full marks your argument needs to be presented in a structured manner, clearly interpreted and analysed, you need to have range and depth of evidence, reasoned conclusion, use appropriate terms throughout. Up to 15 marks will be awarded for this (AO3).

When providing evidence, the mark scheme says that these do not need to be provided in equal measure. This means that you can equal and depth range of evidence or, you can give a very wide range, but not so much depth, or discuss a couple of pieces of research in depth, but thereby not showing quite as much range.. Note that to be in the top mark band you have to have research!

Up to 7 marks will then be awarded for evaluation (A02). This must be relevant, clearly structured and thorough, coherent and displayed, but ‘not in equal measure’.

In their report on the June 2012 examination, WJEC examiners said about this section - “Precision and detail in AO1, using results to make evaluative points and having a deeper and overall appreciation and grasp of the important issues in AO2 are the characteristics of a full mark answer.” You will always get a choice of two questions on section A. Each will be broken down into two parts – A and B.

Starter question (part A):
Define what is meant by… (3 marks):
1. Science
2. Genetic influences
3. Environmental influences
4. Cultural influences
5. Gender bias
6. Free will
7. Determinism

What the examiners has said -
“Controversies remained, as it is intended to be a difficult section . The concept of an argument eludes most students, as does the reflection on the issues posed (e.g. what having free will might mean; is it just ‘do as you please’; what might free will suggest as an evolutionary advantage?”

“The three mark question is intended as a relatively starter. An extended definition an a relevant example will gain full marks.”

Present your argument as follows – that scientific research is desirable and that psychology shares the goals of all science. Scientific method - it must have only one current explanation or theory

it should be carried out under objective conditions, unaffected by biases or expectations a hypothesis is formed then tested, allowing for checking of validity and reliability on a representative sample from a target population. it controls extraneous variables through the use of the lab experiment to investigate the impact (if any) of the IV on the DV. inferential statistics can be applied to assess where the results are significant or due to chance. science allows the rejection of certain theories and a body of evidence to emerge supporting relationships between events, cause and effect to be established and predictions to be made.

Challenge with the view that psychology has no single paradigm (a number of...
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