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GCE Psychology Examiners' Report June 2010 - WJEC

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Statistical Information

This booklet contains summary details for each unit: number entered; maximum mark
available; mean mark achieved; grade ranges. N.B. These refer to 'raw marks' used in the
initial assessment, rather than to the uniform marks reported when results are issued.

Annual Statistical Report

The annual Statistical Report (issued in the second half of the Autumn Term) gives overall
outcomes of all examinations administered by WJEC.

       Unit                                                             Page

       PY1                                                               1

       PY2                                                               5

       PY3                                                               9

       PY4                                                              12

       Overall Recommendations                                          16

                               General Certificate of Education


                               Advanced Subsidiary/Advanced

Principal Examiner:        Jenny Hill, B.A. (Psychology), P.G.C.E.
                           Lecturer, Gorseinon College

Unit Statistics

The following statistics include all candidates entered for the unit, whether or not they
'cashed in' for an award. The attention of centres is drawn to the fact that the statistics listed
should be viewed strictly within the context of this unit and that differences will undoubtedly
occur between one year and the next and also between subjects in the same year.

Unit                   Entry                   Max Mark                Mean Mark
PY1                    3422                      60                       27.5

Grade Ranges

A        47
B        41
C        35
D        30
E        25

N.B. The marks given above are raw marks and not uniform marks.

PY1: Approaches in Psychology


Overall, the examining team were satisfied with the general performance of candidates on
this paper. The majority of candidates have used the allocated time effectively and the vast
majority of candidates were able to answer all questions. The majority of candidates were
able to demonstrate relevant material in every question. Once again question 5 is proving to
be a challenge for a lot of candidates. Many candidates are failing to use examples
appropriately and effectively to illustrate how a particular method has relevance within the
approach and are focusing on therapy rather than methodology.

Some general points to note are as follows:

         Question 1 – Most candidates were able to outline two assumptions in part (a), and
          the majority of answers were extremely detailed and comprehensive and generally
          received maximum credit. Most candidates showed an awareness of Freud‟s theory
          of Personality in part (b), but failed to apply concepts and ideas to Personality in an
          explicit way.

         Question 2 – most candidates are now providing a link between the main assumption
          and the relevant therapy, and it is clear that centres have responded positively to
          feedback given during INSET.

         Question 3 – On the whole this question was well answered. However, some
          candidates were failing to elaborate sufficiently their explanation of why a particular
          issue exists as a strength or weakness in relation to the behaviourist approach.
          Please note, as detailed under the specific comments for Question 3 that two
          separate strengths (and weaknesses) must be clearly given to gain credit.

         Question 4 – most candidates did attempt to compare and contrast the approaches in
          an evaluative way.

         Question 5 – this question proved to be a discriminator on this paper with many
          candidates either still continuing to give generic answers that failed to demonstrate
          an understanding of how the method(s) relate to (or are relevant to) the approach, or
          simply describing assumptions/therapies from the psychodynamic approach with little
          or no regard to methodology.

Specific Question Comments

Q.1       (a)    The vast majority of candidates were able to outline two assumptions of the
                 Psychodynamic approach. The majority of candidates offered a highly
                 detailed description and attracted full marks. The examining team commented
                 on the quality of the answers provided and the range of assumptions covered,
                 although it was noted that often answers were too lengthy considering the
                 mark allocation. A small minority of candidates did not describe the
                 assumptions in sufficient detail to attract full marks and merely listed basic
                 points such as behaviour stems from the unconscious mind, or that people
                 have an Id, Ego, and Superego, or that childhood experience affects future
                 behaviour. A very small proportion of candidates repeated the same

      (b)    Answers varied greatly. A minority of candidates wrote detailed and accurate
             descriptions and explicitly applied it to personality e.g. having a dominant Id
             results in an erotic personality type; a dominant Ego results in a narcissistic
             personality type; and a dominant Superego results in an obsessional
             personality type. They also focused on the personality traits that result from
             fixation during the psychosexual stages, as well as the impact of defence
             mechanisms on personality. The majority of candidates failed to do this and
             often either repeated the main assumptions that they had written in part (a) or
             discussed psychosexual stages generally with little regard to personality itself.
             Weaker candidates provided muddled and/or inaccurate descriptions of
             psychosexual development. The best candidates covered a range of
             information and focused explicitly on personality.

Q.2   There was a balance in the number of candidates answering this question with
      reference to Chemotherapy or Psychosurgery. These answers ranged from detailed
      and focused, to basic or superficial descriptions of how these therapies work.

      In terms of Chemotherapy, accurate descriptions of the procedures or the chemical
      changes were provided. There was a range of different applications given e.g.
      anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety drugs. However, some candidates
      did not focus on how the therapy is used for the treatment of mental illness e.g. a
      description of pain relief and morphine was provided. This was also highlighted in the
      January 2010 Examiners‟ Report.

      In terms of Psychosurgery, candidates provided a diverse range of information and
      used historical information effectively. The best candidates used
      biological/psychological language effectively and were able to describe effectively the
      history of the procedures, the equipment used, and the relevant brain areas targeted.
      Most candidates did make valid links to the approach; those that did not were in the
      minority. Some answers included simple evaluation of the therapy, which is not
      creditworthy; whereas using research on the effectiveness of Chemotherapy can be

Q.3   On the whole, candidates were able to evaluate relevant strengths and weaknesses
      of the behaviourist approach. Some of these answers were superficial, and lacked
      sufficient elaboration to warrant high marks. This was because the candidates were
      failing sufficiently to elaborate their explanation of why a particular issue exists as a
      strength or weakness in relation to the behaviourist approach. The strengths and
      weaknesses of the approach were sometimes cited as descriptions of the
      assumptions or research used within the approach. For example Bandura‟s bobo
      doll study was described in vast detail and the candidates went on to state that the
      study was unethical, rather than evaluating the behaviourist approach. Also, weaker
      candidates were using the scientific methodology or therapy for both of the strengths
      or weaknesses, even though only one strength and/or weakness in relation to the
      methodology or therapy used by the approach will gain credit. Two separate
      strengths (or weaknesses) must be clearly given to gain credit.

      The best candidates attempted to use key psychological issues/debates to evaluate
      the approach (e.g. scientific approach/determinist/reductionist), but few attempted to
      explain fully why this issue/debate was a strength or weakness of the approach.

Q.4   There were, once again, some excellent answers to this question. Many candidates
      effectively compared and contrasted the two approaches by, for example, making
      reference to the issues of reductionism, determinism, nature-nurture debate and the
      therapies used by the approaches. It is encouraging to see that candidates obviously
      understand each approach in terms of these key issues/debates and therefore in
      answering this question are able to think of logical points of comparison. Weaker
      candidates are however, still only superficially comparing the approaches (e.g. both
      approaches are reductionist), and often expression was not coherent (e.g. both
      approaches are pre-determined). Furthermore, weaker candidates continue to
      describe various assumptions of the two approaches but make no attempt to
      compare and contrast.

Q.5   This question once again proved extremely challenging for a large number of
      candidates. High scoring candidates were able to identify relevant methods used by
      the psychodynamic approach and used research studies very effectively to link the
      method to the approach. For instance when explaining the use of case
      studies/clinical interviews, they referred to the case study of Little Hans/Anna O. Most
      candidates were able to evaluate the methods reasonably thoroughly, although
      repetition was often evident. Weaker candidates described relevant research in
      excessive detail e.g. the case of little Hans, but failed to explain what a case study is
      and give evaluation of it. Some candidates identified methods which were not
      relevant to the idiographic nature of the psychodynamic approach e.g. laboratory
      experiments, although if it was contextualised within the approach e.g. Levinger and
      Clark‟s research into Repression, it received the appropriate credit. Centres should
      note that the top band in the mark scheme states that “Method(s) is appropriate and
      clearly explained with relevance to the approach”.


                               General Certificate of Education


                               Advanced Subsidiary/Advanced

Principal Examiner:        Rhiannon Murray, B.A. (Hons), P.G.C.E.
                           Subject Leader, Psychology, Bassaleg School

Unit Statistics

The following statistics include all candidates entered for the unit, whether or not they
'cashed in' for an award. The attention of centres is drawn to the fact that the statistics listed
should be viewed strictly within the context of this unit and that differences will undoubtedly
occur between one year and the next and also between subjects in the same year.

Unit                   Entry                   Max Mark                Mean Mark
PY2                    6746                      90                       37.7

Grade Ranges

A        55
B        47
C        40
D        33
E        26

N.B. The marks given above are raw marks and not uniform marks.

The examining team was pleased with the standard of the answers written by many of the
candidates. It was particularly pleasing to see the improvement that has occurred in candidates‟
answers in Section A and C. Very few candidates are „mixing up‟ the core studies or offering
completely inappropriate answers.

Section A
Q.1    Most candidates were able to offer a reasonable answer to this question and it was
       pleasing to see a wide range of „contextual‟ evidence being used well. Nearly all
       candidates attempted to include both context and an aim. Some candidates included
       evidence and research produced after the publication of Loftus and Palmer‟s (1974)
       research. This practice should be dissuaded as it does not receive credit. Some
       candidates offered a summary of the appropriate procedure, or re-worked the research
       title noted in the question, rather than describing an appropriate aim; these strategies
       attract minimal credit.

Q.2    For most candidates this was their best answer. It was very pleasing to see the accuracy
       and depth of detail which some candidates were able to describe. It is clear that the
       strategy of „writing a recipe‟ of the research is helping students gain higher marks in this

Q.3    The examining team appreciate that writing a concise, accurate and well-detailed answer
       to this question is very difficult; however we were pleasantly surprised by how many
       students were able to offer a good answer to this question. One issue of concern for the
       examining team was, however, the number of candidates describing findings from later
       research involving Washoe. Candidates may use this sort of information in Section B as
       „alternative evidence‟, but they will only receive credit for describing the findings and
       conclusions from Gardner & Gardner‟s original 1969 research in Section A.

Section B
Q.4    Most candidates attempted this question with enthusiasm! For most, the main focus of
       the answer was a tirade of ethical criticisms, but a few were able to balance this with
       some consideration of the validity of Milgram‟s research. It is disappointing that some
       candidates still persist in believing that evaluation is just writing phrases like “A strength
       of Milgram’s research is that he…” before describing some aspect of Milgram‟s
       procedure rather than engaging in any meaningful discussion of the highlighted
       methodological issue. Many candidates „imported‟ their Section C knowledge and
       applied it to Milgram‟s research with varying degrees of success.

Q.5    Although the answers to this question were perhaps not as enthusiastic as the previous
       question, most candidates were able to produce at least a basic level of methodological
       criticism for Buss‟s research. Weaker answers tended just to identify the „strength‟ of
       Buss‟s research in using such a large sample; average answers identified this but then
       added that some of the samples were comparatively small e.g. Iran, so they may not be
       representative; whereas the better answers noted the limitation that the majority of
       samples tended to be taken from Western, industrialised countries. Some „enterprising‟
       candidates tried to convince the examining team that the variations in the sampling
       techniques used was actually a strength that made the research much more valid. A
       rather cynical, yet creditable, criticism offered by some candidates was that by Buss
       asking people what they wanted in a partner, he may actually be being more realistic
       than just looking at the attributes of married couples – because apparently when you get
       married, you do not always get what you want!

Q.6   As in previous examinations this question was the low point of the paper for many
      candidates. A sizeable minority (22%) did not even attempt to answer the question.
      Another group of candidates persist in ignoring the demands of the question and
      offer a purely methodological criticism of the study. Many candidates were, however,
      able to offer a reasonable description of alternative evidence. However what made
      the difference in marks was how well the evidence presented was used to evaluate
      Bennett-Levy & Marteau‟s research. Candidates with lower marks tended just to state
      whether the research supports, contradicts and/or develops Bennett-Levy &
      Marteau‟s research. Candidates with higher marks explained how the alternative
      evidence supports, contradicts and/or develops Bennett-Levy & Marteau‟s research.
      The intention of this question is to evaluate the core study, using evidence as a
      comparison tool. This is a „higher order‟ skill; to succeed all a candidate needs to do
      is briefly describe recognisable alternative evidence and then discuss fully how it
      supports, contradicts and/or develops the conclusions of the core study. If candidates
      do this well with two pieces of alternative evidence, they can access the top band of

Section C

Q.7   (a)    Most candidates were able to offer an advantage and disadvantage of a
             natural experiment, although a sizeable minority were confused between a
             natural and a field experiment. Very few offered no link to the scenario and for
             many candidates this was their best mark in Section C.

      (b)    It was really pleasing to see an increase in the number of candidates who
             were able to offer confident discussion of a reliability issue. One note of
             caution is that although many candidates were able to offer a clear
             description of techniques for dealing with reliability issues, especially test
             re-test, some missed out on credit because they had failed to identify clearly
             the issue of reliability with which they were dealing.

      (c)    Issues of validity tended to centre on the fact that some students may be
             more intelligent, or may have revised more, and that it was this rather than
             the fact that they had, or had not, eaten breakfast, which affected their exam
             grade. The ways in which this was dealt with varied greatly, but as long as it
             is dealt with appropriately and clearly linked to the scenario the candidate
             receives full credit.

      (d)    Some candidates were unable to offer an advantage to systematic sampling,
             such as less researcher bias when selecting participants. Most were
             however, able to identify an appropriate disadvantage like the sample
             selected may not be representative of all of the students taking the exam.

      (e)    Most candidates were able to identify and offer discussion of an appropriate
             and linked ethical issue. However, only a minority gave enough depth to their
             discussion to warrant the full 3 marks.

      (f)    Most candidates were able to identify a conclusion from the modal grades in
             the question and as a result received varying degrees of credit, depending on
             the appropriateness of their answer rather than the length of their answer.

Q.8   (a)   As with Q.7 (a), this was the strongest answer in Section C for many
            candidates. Most candidates were able to identify a disadvantage of a
            correlation, (cause and effect issues) but less were able to give an
            appropriate advantage. Many ended up describing what a correlation was i.e.
            An advantage is that correlations show the relationship between two variables
            rather than identifying an advantage such as assessing the strength of a
            relationship between two co-variables before conducting an experiment.

      (b)   As with Q.7 (b), more candidates in this examination were able to identify and
            deal with reliability issues appropriately, such as whether the scales that
            measured happiness and stress measured these attributes consistently, or
            whether the „team‟ of psychologists were consistent in their assessment of
            stress and happiness scales.

      (c)   Appropriate validity issues were noted and many students were able to
            describe appropriate ways of dealing with the identified issue. It was
            creditable that some candidates chose to use problems with the self-selected
            (volunteer) sampling technique as a validity issue.

      (d)   Most candidates were able to identify an appropriate advantage and
            disadvantage of a self selected (volunteer) sampling technique and many
            linked both to the scenario to get full marks.

      (e)   As with 7 (e), most candidates were able to identify and offer discussion of an
            appropriate and linked ethical issue. However, only a minority gave enough
            depth to their discussion to warrant the full 3 marks.

      (f)   Most candidates were able to secure a good mark for this question; many
            correctly concluded that there appears to be a negative correlation between
            the happiness scores and stress scores of the participants.


                               General Certificate of Education


                               Advanced Subsidiary/Advanced

Principal Examiner:        Andrew Favager, B.A. (Hons), P.G.C.E, M.Sc., B.P.S.
                           Head Psychology and Vocational Studies, South Wirral High

Unit Statistics

The following statistics include all candidates entered for the unit, whether or not they
'cashed in' for an award. The attention of centres is drawn to the fact that the statistics listed
should be viewed strictly within the context of this unit and that differences will undoubtedly
occur between one year and the next and also between subjects in the same year.

Unit                   Entry                   Max Mark                Mean Mark
PY3                    1404                      80                       44.6

Grade Ranges

A            50
B            43
C            37
D            31
E            25

N.B. The marks given above are raw marks and not uniform marks.



As described in the Specification, Section C in this examination requires two short essays
from a choice of three. These essays are worth 15 AO3 marks each, a total of 30 marks for
the AO3 skill area. The paper as a whole tests three skills and the weighting of each skill is:

• AO1 - 25% (20 marks);
• AO2 - 25% (20 marks);
• AO3 - 50% (40 marks).

This means that there are only 10 marks available for AO3 in Sections A and B. Hence many
questions in Sections A and B are generic rather than specific to the source. Candidates
need to be aware of this so that the reading of questions is more carefully done.

Specific Question Comments

Section A

Q.1    (a)     Fairly well answered although a lot of candidates only achieved 1 mark by not
               giving a full enough answer.

       (b)     Again most candidates achieved 1 mark because a full answer was not given
               e.g. „defining aggression‟.

       (c)     (i) and (ii) generally well answered.

       (d)     Well answered overall.

       (e)     (i)     This question was poorly answered with many candidates not knowing
                       an answer or by just repeating the answer given in (d). Consequently
                       this meant that (ii) was also poorly answered.

       (f)     Most candidates gained marks for the main ethical issue, „protection from
               harm‟, but many failed to grasp that there are other ethical issues such as
               consent and right to withdraw on the part of zoo owners/authorities.

       (g)     Well answered.

       (h)     (i)     Well answered although some candidates confused the median for the

               (ii) and (iii) were also well answered.

Section B

Q.2   (a)    Generally well answered although some candidates still confuse reliability
             with validity and this is learned in the AS.

      (b)    (i)      When answered correctly this was answered well. Some candidates,
                      however, did not seem to read the question properly and referred to a
                      laboratory experiment and omitted the actual design.

             (ii) and (iii)   Some answers lacked awareness of a repeated measures

      (c)    Very poorly answered and many candidates left the question unanswered.

      (d)    Well answered overall.

      (e)    (i), (ii) and (iii) Generally well answered although some candidates attempted
                                 to define the term by just repeating the term in the question.

             (iv)     Many candidates gave another sampling method and then gave
                      advantages of this method instead of explaining how the identified
                      sampling method could be used (a case of not reading the question

      (f)    (i)      Poorly answered overall.

             (ii)     Attempts were made to give a suitable response but many answers
                      were poorly explained.

Section C

Q.3   This was generally well answered but some candidates made similar mistakes to
      candidates who sat the January 2011 paper, in that they discussed ethical issues
      that had arisen within psychological studies without discussing how these issues
      could be dealt with.

Q.4   The least popular answered essay question on the paper but those candidates
      achieved some good marks. The most popular applications of psychology in the real
      world chosen were the use of psychology in the media, and the use of psychology
      within warfare. Applications taught in PY4 may, of course, be relevant to this area.

Q.5   Easily the best answered essay on the paper with many candidates achieving 8 or
      more marks. Many candidates, however, failed to achieve the top band because they
      did not fully develop the advantages given. This can be done theoretically, of course,
      but it is easier for candidates to do this by using relevant research/studies.


                               General Certificate of Education


                               Advanced Subsidiary/Advanced

Principal Examiner:        John Griffin, M.A. (Notts)
                           Curriculum Leader Psychology and Sociology, Kingsmead
                           Technology College.

Unit Statistics

The following statistics include all candidates entered for the unit, whether or not they
'cashed in' for an award. The attention of centres is drawn to the fact that the statistics listed
should be viewed strictly within the context of this unit and that differences will undoubtedly
occur between one year and the next and also between subjects in the same year.

Unit                   Entry                   Max Mark                Mean Mark
PY4                    3742                     100                       38.9

Grade Ranges

A        58
B        49
C        41
D        35
E        25

N.B. The marks given above are raw marks and not uniform marks.



Overall in PY4 there were some excellent scripts with mature arguments, marshalling of
evidence and evaluation, and fluent writing under exam pressure. Unfortunately they were a
minority. It was pleasing, however, to note that the number of centres issuing identical
answers („clone scripts‟) has in fact lessened. Timed essay practice under examination
practice is critical for success in this unit. If any set of behaviours can improve performance,
it is the practice of reading for a structured written essay, and the writing of that essay under
time-restricted conditions. Skills need skill practice.

Sadly, many candidates showed little or no development from AS. The simple listing of
studies plus generic criticism is not an essay, neither is a seemingly random set of ideas and
opinions. For an examination that is summative, and the final one before a student‟s
university career, there must be structure, thought, evaluation, overall grasp and the benefit
of wider reading. It was anticipated that in PY4 and especially in the Controversies Section
that candidates would be stimulated to read and grasp wider issues. This largely has not
happened in this series, but it is hoped that the practice will increase with encouragement
from teachers.

As far as the mark scheme for Sections B and C is concerned, the majority of marks are for
evaluation, so candidates are advised to quote studies labelled as „in support of‟, or „counter-
evidence in the case of…‟. Generic criticisms do not generally attract the same level of
marks as specific and relevant ones. The listing of generic criticisms of Freud, for instance,
would not attract a high level of AO2 marks if attached to a forensics essay or a levels of
consciousness one.

Specific Question Comments

Q.1    (a)     Definitions were in the main very weak, simply rewording the question. For
               3 marks clearly more than one sentence is expected. A definition,
               contextualisation and an apposite example should be the norm. Most
               candidates confused ethical costs with ethical issues arising in an experiment.

       (b)     The ethical cost question was the most popular, but the weaker in quality of
               answer. Most candidates recycled their „ethical issues‟ answer from PY3
               without adjustment, which attracted half marks or less. The better candidates
               argued about scientific benefits across a range of psychological topics, not
               just Milgram, Zimbardo and a selected animal study. A very few mentioned
               the wider world of responsibility, such as the use of conditioning in

Q.2   (a)    In the genetic question, very few mentioned the influence of being human, i.e.
             evolution. Many simply rephrased the question: „Genetic influence is the
             influence of genetic inheritance on behaviour‟.

      (b)    The genetic-environment question was almost universally interpreted as the
             „nature/nurture question‟, which it is not. Virtually no candidate equated
             genetic with evolution (e.g. the extent of human behaviour determination
             springing from being a hyper-social primate, one among a host of other
             issues). A few candidates linked the foetal environment with subsequent
             attributes and behaviour or the effects of nutrition or temperature on
             behaviour. There were, however, a lot of reasonably good answers written
             with thought and structure.

Q.3   Disorders of memory were in the main linked to Alzheimers with a supporting cast of
      amnesias. Far too many candidates relied almost totally on Alzheimers alone. It is
      important to remember that memory disorder is usually a symptom of another
      underlying condition. Alzheimers is a poorly understood brain disease that dements,
      removing a host of cognitive capacities. Progressive amnesia is a major symptom.
      Some candidates described repression, some added fugue; virtually no candidates
      thought of other relatively commonplace disorders such as „tip of the tongue‟ or
      failure to retrieve names. Many candidates quoted no research evidence or
      evaluated the state of knowledge of a disorder. The impervious nature of procedural
      memory received an occasional mention but with no attempt to account for its

Q.4   Understudied relationships as a topic on the legacy specification elicited accounts of
      homosexual relations and computer-mediated relations, but little else. This series
      was no exception. Very few candidates noted the dearth of research into siblings,
      friendship, grandparents and grandchildren, father and child, arranged marriages,
      workplace and formal, and so on. The most studied relationships are mother and
      child, followed by heterosexual mating. Quality varied, with some superb efforts, but
      almost all were limited by a lack of range.

Q.5   Very few centres attempted the issues in intelligence measurement question,
      although some individuals 'had a go' despite having clearly not been taught it. The
      best centres were very good indeed, and ranged from issues arising at the dawn of
      testing through the politics of race and gender, to the question of what exactly is
      being measured.

Q.6   Adolescent identity was a choice of a small number of centres. The answers focused
      on Blos, Erikson and Marcia, but almost universally with no cross-cultural perspective
      or criticism, which is astonishing given the highly ethnocentric bias of the material.
      There was extensive use of generic criticism of Freud. Many candidates gained high
      AO1 marks but relatively low AO2 due to the lack of effective and specific evaluation.

Q.7   This was a popular question, reflecting the rise in popularity of this topic in general.
      There are a considerable number of theories, as well as some underlying descriptive
      work, and the scope for evaluation is wide. A large number of answers focused on
      Freudian explanation, no doubt building on dream therapy work from PY1. Most
      candidates counterposed this to a cognitive theory. The Freudian ideas received
      considerable, sometimes exhaustive, evaluation but the lack of substantive
      evaluation elsewhere restricted AO2 marks.

Q.8    The health promotion question was attempted by few centres, perhaps reflecting a
       decline in interest from the legacy specification. This is not a difficult question but
       requires structure for high marks, which it did not generally receive. The core of the
       AO1 must be behaviour change, and of the AO2 both the evaluation of behaviour
       change attempts and the ethical, moral and political questions that arise (e.g.
       personal freedom, the blurring of health promotion and product promotion, ethics of
       consent, labelling non-adherents as dysfunctional as in the recent anti-obesity

Q.9    A very limited number of candidates answered this question. Some, however, had
       clearly not been prepared by their teachers to attempt this area. A range of factors
       was needed with associated evidence, and it is that evidence that was generally

Q.10   Theories of crime attracted huge interest. Many candidates described a range of
       theories, although the quality of evaluation was generally limited. Some weaker
       candidates relied almost totally on Lombroso, Sheldon and Freud. Very few
       candidates discussed the categories of property and people crimes (with different
       realms of explanation), and virtually none analysed the nature of crime with a view to
       evaluating many (simplistic) theories. Good candidates brought in wider critical
       perspectives such as the effect of economic factors on property crime, the growth of
       under-classes, or the normality of petty crime in children and teenagers.

Q.11   Very few candidates answered this question, and almost none seemed prepared for
       it (Sports students possibly?). The majority of those who did attempt it described
       theories of motivation, but did not focus on „ways of improving‟. This was a very
       difficult question requiring a structured response for high marks.

Q.12   The question on aetiologies of schizophrenia was generally the most frequently
       answered and the best-answered question in this series. Even relatively weak
       candidates had a range of suitable theories; many had evaluative studies or
       reasoned criticism; and answers were well structured. The main area to focus on for
       improvement is the discussion on diathesis-stress.

Overall recommendations on how to improve for both AS and A2

   Students:

        1.       Time management skills; answer only the question asked so that time not
        2.       Understanding of command terms.
        3.       Specific requirements of the skills required by the questions.
        4.       Examination practice - critical for PY4 essays.

   Teachers:

        1.       INSET (now called CPD) - see details online.
        2.       Use the Teacher Guidance booklet (online).
        3.       Use this Examiner‟s Report and previous ones.
        4.       Use the Mark Scheme and previous ones from the legacy specification to
                 identify appropriate content for many areas in the new specification.
        5.       Resources online at NGfL Cymru.
        6.       Learn how to use the item level data - ask your Examinations Officer for the
                 password to the secure website.
        7.       If in doubt, ask.

Contact details:          Dr Alison George, Subject Officer
                          telephone: 029 2026 5302

                          Greg Lewis, Subject Support Officer
                          telephone: 029 2026 5035

GCE Psychology Examiners Report (Summer 2010) /JSM

245 Western Avenue
Cardiff CF5 2YX
Tel No 029 2026 5000
Fax 029 2057 5994

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