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PSYA4 Psychological Research and Scientific Method Contents

Specification content

Key questions to learn

Key answers to learn

May 2010 examination

16

January 2010 examination

21

Specification
Psychological Research and Scientific Method

Candidates will be expected to: extend their knowledge, understanding and skills of research design, data analysis, and data interpretation and reporting gained at AS develop an understanding of the nature of science and scientific method.

Candidates are expected to be able to: understand the application of scientific method in psychology design investigations understand how to analyse and interpret data arising from such investigations, report on practical investigations.

In order to gain sufficient understanding of the design and conduct of scientific research in psychology, candidates will need to practise these skills by carrying out, analysing and reporting small-scale investigations. The application of scientific method in psychology The major features of science, for example replicability, objectivity The scientific process, including theory construction, hypothesis testing, use of empirical methods, generation of laws/principles (e.g. Popper, Kuhn) Validating new knowledge and the role of peer review

Designing psychological investigations Selection and application of appropriate research methods Implications of sampling strategies, for example, bias and generalising Issues of reliability, including types of reliability, assessment of reliability, improving reliability Assessing and improving validity (internal and external) Ethical considerations in design and conduct of psychological research

Data analysis and reporting on investigations Appropriate selection of graphical representations Probability and significance, including the interpretation of significance and Type 1/Type 2 errors

Factors affecting choice of statistical test, including levels of measurement The use of inferential analysis, including Spearmans Rho, MannWhitney, Wilcoxon, Chi-squared Analysis and interpretation of qualitative data Conventions of reporting on psychological investigations

Key questions 1. What does p 0.05 mean? (2 marks) 2. When would you use each of the following; a one tailed test, a two tailed test? (2 marks)
3. What are type one and type two errors?

(4 marks)
4. What is a null hypothesis?

(2 marks)
5. Name four statistical tests and explain when they would be used.

(16 marks)
6. Outline and evaluate the major features of science

(16 marks)

7. Outline and evaluate how scientists validate new knowledge (eg. the

role of peer review) (12 marks)


8. Explain different types of sampling.

(3 marks)
9. How could a researcher assess reliability? 10. How could a researcher improve reliability? 11. How would a researcher assess validity?

(8 marks) (3 marks) (3 (4 marks)

marks)
12. How would a researcher improve validity?

13. Describe what a consent form should include and give an example of one. (10 marks) 14. Describe what a debriefing should include and give an example of one. (10 marks)
15. How would a psychological investigation be reported?

(16 marks)
16. What should be included in the methods section of a report?

(13 marks)

Key answers 1. Identify an appropriate significance level and explain what it means? (2 marks) "p 0.05" means the probability of the results occurring by chance is equal to or less than 5 times in 100. 2. When would you use each of the following; a one tailed test, a two tailed test? (2 marks) Two-tailed test is used when the hypothesis is non-directional. Because there was no indication that research suggested the direction of difference, a nondirectional hypothesis and a two-tailed test would be appropriate. A one-tailed test is used when the hypothesis is directional. If previous research had been conducted into the area of research, which suggested the direction of results, a one tailed test would be used 3. What are type one and type two errors (4 marks) A Type 1 error is when the null hypothesis is rejected and it shouldnt have been. A Type 2 error is when the null hypothesis is accepted and it shouldnt have been. 4. What is a null hypothesis? (2 marks) A null hypothesis states there is no difference or relationship between variables in the population. 5. Name four statistical tests and explain when they would be used. (16 marks) Spearmans Rho is used for testing a correlation, the data is at least ordinal, however the accuracy is reduced when there are many tied ranks. Mann-Whitney Is used in an independent measures design, for a test of difference and the data is at least ordinal. Wilcoxon is used when a repeated measures design, is used to test for a difference, the data is at least ordinal.

Chi-squared design is used when data is nominal and data within each category is independent. It is used for a test of difference/association.

6. Outline and evaluate the major features of science? (16 marks)

Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is, in its broadest sense, any systematic knowledge that is capable of resulting in a correct prediction or reliable outcome. Two key features of science are replicability and objectivity. Science is replicable, this means that the procedures and or findings in science can be reproduced and/or repeated. For example the Strange Situation was repeated many times and with similar findings i.e. most infants were securely attached. Objectivity means that science should be based on observable phenomena and not personal opinion, prejudices or emotion. This means that scientific observations and measurements should not be affected by the scientists expectations. Another major feature of science is control. Scientists use control to demonstrate causal relationships, for example psychologists have investigated whether using a mnemonic causes an impovement in recall. Science is also rational. Explanations which are scientific are based on known facts and follow the rules of logic. The scientific method involves using empirical methods to test hypothesis. Empirical methods are those which gain information through experiment or direct observation rather than by unfounded beliefs. The information gained, from such methods, is used to test hypothesis. To test hypothesis scientists control extraneous variables in order to observe the effect of manipulating the independent variable on the dependent variable. For example, observing the affects of age on memory whilst controlling gender. Karl Popper devised the Hypothetico-deductive method in 1935. His method involved six stages. Firstly identify a problem, secondly develop a hypothesis about the problem and then thirdly devise a study to test the hypothesis. The results would then fourthly be analysed and evaluated to determine whether they support the hypothesis or not. Fifthly the scientist should modify and repeat the process in the light of stage 4 and finally develop a theory. Central to Poppers method is falisifiabilty which is the ability to show that a theory is false. The researcher should try to show the theory to be false. A famous Popper quote is that No amount of observations of white swans can prove that all swans are white, but the observation of a single black swan is sufficient to refute that conclusion. Popper states that theories cannot be proved and theories are strengthened if they are not falsified. According to Popper theories which are tested over time and cannot be disproved become laws of science which are universal.

Popper is criticised heavily by Kuhn in that Kuhn argues Poppers view is idealised. Rather than attempting to falsify theories Kuhn argues that scientists go through a period of normal science in which scientists cling to theories even if contradictory evidence exists. Kuhn claimed science was a paradigm where scientists had a shared set of assumptions about the subject. Kuhn claimed science isnt objective new theories that dont fit the paradigm are rejected. According to Kuhn only a scientific revolution changes paradigms when enough evidence is amassed these are called paradigm shifts. For example up until the Polish astronomer Copernicus in the sixteenth century scientists believed the Earth to be the centre of the Universe. In psychology, some psychologists argue, this can be seen in the shift from a behaviourist view to the cognitive view in the 1960s. Kuhn suggested these changes were not logical as Popper supposed, but were more like religious conversion and related to social factors. 7. Outline and evaluate how scientist validate new knowledge (eg. the role of peer review) (12 marks) Peer review is the process by which psychological research papers, before publication, are subjected to independent scrutiny by other psychologists working in a similar field who consider the research in terms of its validity, significance and originality. Peer review is an important part in the process of psychological research because it provides a way of checking the validity of the research, making a judgement about the credibility of the research and assessing the quality and appropriateness of the design and methodology. Peers are also in a position to judge the importance or significance of the research in a wider context. They can also assess how original the work is and whether it refers to relevant research by other psychologists. They can then make a recommendation as to whether the research paper should be published in its original form, rejected or revised in some way. This peer review process helps to ensure that any research paper published in a well-respected journal has integrity and can, therefore, be taken seriously by fellow researchers and by lay people. Peer review can be criticised on several counts. If research is not consistent with other findings then the research is less likely to be published for example Garcia and Koellings work on classical conditioning was not published because it was inconsistent with other findings, despite being proved true later. Research is more likely to be published if the author and reviewer share the same values then research is more likely to be published. For example Bowlbys work on deprivation was seen to reflect the cultural values of post war Britain. Bias can influence whether research is published or not. Bias comes in three main forms; if the research findings are different from the beliefs of the reviewer then they are more likely to look unfavourably on it, also if its from a less prestigious University, or if its written by a woman. Peer review can also be criticised in terms of the file draw phenomenon. Research which is negative and supports the null hypothesis is not likely to be published as the research wouldnt really show anything therefore if one positive

finding is published and there are 10 negative findings in file draws then it distorts our understanding of the topic.

8. Explain different types of sampling.

(10 marks)

Stratified and quota sampling involves making sure sub groups within a sample, e.g. boys and girls, are proportionally represented within that sample. Snowball sampling involves starting with one person and asking them to direct you to other people for example with an eating disorder. Time sampling involves observing behaviour after a set period of time whereas event sampling involves recording every time an event occurs. A systematic sample involves taking every tenth person from a register.

9. How could a researcher assess reliability?

(8 marks)

Ways of assessing reliability include the test-retest method which tests for external reliability and the split-half method which tests for internal reliability. The split-half method involves splitting a test in half and comparing the results. If the results are similar on both halves then the test is seen to be reliable. The test-retest method involves giving the same participants the same test again after a time delay. Again if the results are similar the test would be deemed reliable and vice versa. Another way of testing for reliability in an interview/questionnaire would be to administer a valid and reliable questionnaire to the participants as well as interviewing them and then comparing the scores on the two measures. If the interview score was reliable, there would be strong positive correlation between the scores. To assess the reliability of observations and or interviews inter-rater reliability could be measured by getting two observers to observe the same phenomena and see if the rating they gave were similar e.g. if using interviews the interviews could be filmed and given to another trained therapist to assess. A strong correlation between the scores given by each therapist would demonstrate reliability. 6. How could a researcher improve reliability? (3 marks)

There are several ways in which researchers can improve reliability depending on the type of research. In observational research giving the observers more training can improve reliability. This could be done by filming the child so that the observers can practise the categorisation. Often in observational research establishing clearer criteria for categorising can improve reliability. 7. How would a researcher assess validity? (3 marks)

Two techniques for assessing validity are content validity and concurrent validity. Content validity involves independent experts assessing the validity of the measuring instrument concerned. Concurrent validity involves correlating the scores from the new procedure with scores from an alternative procedure for which validity has already been established. A highly significant positive correlation would suggest the new procedure is valid. 8. How would a researcher improve validity? (4 marks)

There are two types of validity; internal validity and external validity. Internal validity is whether the IV measures what its suppose to measure and whether the experiment measures the effects of the IV on the DV whereas external validity is comprised of population and ecological validity. Internal validity is reduced by both demand characteristics and experimenter effects. Internal validity can be improved by using single blind and double blind techniques. Single blind is where the participants do not know which condition they are in. Double blind is where both the participant and the experimenter do not know which condition they are in. To

test for external validity a researcher could use a variety of locations such as in Milgrams research. However, increasing external validity often comes at the expense of decreasing internal validity and vice versa. 10. Describe what a consent form should include and give an example of one. (10 marks) A good consent form should be succinct, clear and informative. It should inform participants what the research is about and what will happen to them during the research. The following points should be made clear to participants. pressure to consent no they can withdraw at any time they can withdraw their data from the study their data will be kept confidential and anonymous they should feel free to ask the researcher any questions at any time they will receive a full debrief at the end of the programme. Participants should be given the opportunity to ask questions in order to better their understanding of the consent form. The participant should sign the consent form once they have read and understood the information sheet. 11. Describe what a debriefing should include and give an example of one. (10 marks) In a debriefing the participant should, at the earliest possible opportunity, be informed of the true nature of the experiment and be given the right to withdraw their data or give retrospective informed consent. The participant should be asked if anything has upset or disturbed them in the study. Debriefing should be used to lower the anxiety of participants as participants should leave the study in the same state as when they entered it. Participants should sign the debriefing form when they have read and understood it. 12. How would a psychological investigation be reported? (16 marks) Conventions of reporting on psychological investigations Typically a report on psychological investigations will contain the following sections: Title tells the reader what the report is about. Abstract Provides the reader with a summary of the study including its findings. Introduction Explains why the research is being carried out and its link with other research which leads into hypothesis. Method States what was done in the investigation allowing replication. Results Summary of findings. Discussion Findings are discussed in relation to previous research References Inform reader of sources of previous research Appendices Materials used in the procedure.

13. What should be included in the methods section of a report? (13 marks)

A method section should be split into the following subsections. Design Should include Type of research method / experimental design, what was being studied, how were extraneous variables controlled. Ethical issues discussed Participants - Who the participants were / sampling method Materials what was used Procedures write down what happened in order to conduct research in as much detail so that someone else could repeat what was done.

Exam June 2011 Exam June 2011 / Mark scheme / Examiners Report Topic: Psychological Research and Scientific Method It is thought that colours might affect our performance when carrying out certain tasks. Research in this area has been inconclusive. Some studies have shown that red improves performance but others have found the opposite. It could be that these contradictory results have arisen because red is beneficial only for certain kinds of mental processing. Some psychologists tested this hypothesis in a series of independent-groups design experiments using students at a Canadian university. The experiments involved computer tasks, with either a red, blue or neutral background appearing on the monitor. The researchers found that participants were better at a word-recall task and a spell-checking task when the screen background was red rather than blue or neutral. However, participants thought of more creative ideas when the screen was blue rather than red or neutral. The researchers concluded that red is beneficial for tasks that require attention to detail whereas blue aids creativity. 1 7 What were the researchers aims in this study? (2 marks) Imagine that you are writing up the report for this series of experiments. 1 8 What is the purpose of the introduction section of a report? (2 marks) A psychological report also contains a discussion section. Researchers are expected to consider their findings critically and discuss issues such as validity. 1 9 What is meant by validity? (1 mark) 2 0 Explain how one factor in this study might affect its internal validity and how one factor might affect its external validity. (2 marks + 2 marks) 2 1 In the discussion section, researchers are also expected to consider any possible applications of their research. Suggest one practical application that might arise from these findings. (2 marks)

2 2 Explain why the researchers asked independent judges to rate the toys. (2 marks) 2 3 Write a set of standardised instructions that would be suitable to read out to participants in this experiment. (5 marks) Psychological research suggests an association between birth order and certain abilities. For example, first-born children are often logical in their thinking whereas later-born children tend to be more creative. A psychologist wonders whether this might mean that birth order is associated with different career choices. She decides to investigate and asks 50 artists and 65 lawyers whether they were the first-born child in the family or not. 2 4 Write a non-directional hypothesis for this study. (2 marks) 2 5 Identify an appropriate sampling method for this study and explain how the psychologist might have obtained such a sample. (3 marks) The psychologist found the following results: 20 of the 50 artists were first-born children 35 of the 65 lawyers were first-born children. She analysed her data using a statistical test and calculated a value of = 2.27. 2 She then looked at the relevant table to see whether this value was statistically significant. An extract from the table is provided below. Table 1: Critical values of 2 Level of significance for a one-tailed test 0.10 0.05 0.025 0.01 Level of significance for a two-tailed test 0.20 0.10 0.05 0.02 df 1 1.64 2.71 3.84 5.41
Calculated value of must be equal to or exceed the table (critical) values for 2 significance at the level shown

2 6 Imagine that you are writing the results section of the report on this investigation. Using information from the description of the study above and the relevant information from the statistical table, provide contents suitable for the results section. You must provide all of the following: an appropriately labelled 2 contingency table 2 a sketch of an appropriately labelled bar chart identification of the appropriate statistical test with justification for its use identification of an appropriate significance level a statement of the results of the statistical test in relation to the hypothesis. (12 marks)

Exam June 2011 / Mark scheme / Examiners Report Topic: Psychological Research and Scientific Method It is thought that colours might affect our performance when carrying out certain tasks. Research in this area has been inconclusive. Some studies have shown that red improves performance but others have found the opposite. It could be that these contradictory results have arisen because red is beneficial only for certain kinds of mental processing. Some psychologists tested this hypothesis in a series of independent-groups design experiments using students at a Canadian university. The experiments involved computer tasks, with either a red, blue or neutral background appearing on the monitor. The researchers found that participants were better at a word-recall task and a spell-checking task when the screen background was red rather than blue or neutral. However, participants thought of more creative ideas when the screen was blue rather than red or neutral. The researchers concluded that red is beneficial for tasks that require attention to detail whereas blue aids creativity. 1 7 What were the researchers aims in this study? (2 marks) Question 17

AO2/AO3 = 2 marks They wanted to clarify some of the issues raised by previous research where some studies had shown that red facilitated tasks and other studies had shown the opposite. They believed that one way to reconcile these different findings was to look at particular cognitive tasks eg ones which required attention to detail and to compare them with tasks which tap into very different skills eg creativity and thus to narrow down the benefits of providing red backgrounds. One mark for a brief answer eg 'they wanted to investigate the effects of colour on performance.' One further mark for elaboration, in relation to colour and / or performance. This question was answered well. Most candidates provided a detailed aim that was awarded 2 marks. A minority of candidates provided a more general aim that was credited with just 1 mark, such as to investigate the effect of colour on performance in cognitive tasks. For both marks some elaboration (either related to colour or performance) was required.

Imagine that you are writing up the report for this series of experiments. 1 8 What is the purpose of the introduction section of a report? (2 marks)

Question 18 AO1 = 2 marks Candidates need to show understanding of reporting conventions. The introduction is an important part of the report that provides background information on theories and studies relevant to the investigation. One mark for a brief explanation of the purpose eg 'It provides background information', and one further mark for elaboration or for other detail such as reviewing methodological issues or how the current aims/ hypothesis were derived. This question was problematic for a lot of candidates. Many candidates confused the introduction with the abstract or the method sections and received no credit. Some recognised the inclusion of aims/hypotheses in the introduction but did not achieve 2 marks because they did not make reference to background information. A few impressive answers showed real understanding and referred to contextualising the research.

A psychological report also contains a discussion section. Researchers are expected to consider their findings critically and discuss issues such as validity. 1 9 What is meant by validity? (1 mark) Question 19 AO1 = 1 mark In this question, candidates are not required to relate validity to this particular study so a general definition of validity is acceptable. Definitions of specific types of validity (eg population validity) can also gain credit. Validity refers to how well a test or a piece of research measures what it says it measures = 1 mark. Answers such as 'truth' or 'whether it is true' legitimacy or accuracy = 0 marks.

Although this question was worth only 1 mark, many candidates produced lengthy answers. Some distinguished between specific types of validity such as external validity or population validity. A small number of candidates became confused between validity and reliability and provided a definition of the test-re-test method. Just over half of candidates gained the mark.

2 0 Explain how one factor in this study might affect its internal validity and how one factor might affect its external validity. (2 marks + 2 marks) Question 20 AO2/AO3 = 2 + 2 marks In this question, candidates have to make their answers relevant to this particular study. Candidates need to make it clear which factor refers to internal and which to external validity. Where candidates do not make this clear, examiners should accept the first factor as referring to internal validity and the second to external validity. For each factor, one mark for a brief explanation and one further mark for elaboration. Factors that might affect internal validity include: Individual differences eg colour blindness could have affect the outcome as the studies were all independent groups design possibility of experimenter bias in judging the creativity of the ideas. 'Individual differences' = 1 mark 'Because the researchers used an independent groups design, there could be a problem with individual differences' = 2 marks Factors that might affect external validity include: sampling bias all participants were university students cultural bias study took place in Canadian university response to colours might well be affected by cultural factors 'sample bias' 1 mark 'There was a sampling bias. Although all the participants were university students the investigators drew more general conclusions = 2 marks' There was a broad range of answers to question 20, with candidates in roughly equal measure being awarded marks across the full range. The majority had at least a rough idea of external validity but found internal validity more problematic. The weakest answers were those where the candidate confused internal with external validity. Answers that achieved the full 4 marks generally selected the most straightforward ideas; individual differences due to the independent design for internal validity and sampling bias or mundane realism for external validity. Candidates who achieved only 1 mark for internal validity often became confused when referring to demand characteristics (which could be made creditworthy) by explaining this in the context of repeated measures which was clearly irrelevant in the question. 2 1 In the discussion section, researchers are also expected to consider any possible applications of their research. Suggest one practical application that might arise from these findings. (2 marks) Question 21 AO2/AO3 = 2 marks

The Canadian researchers who actually undertook this study suggested the following possible practical applications: to help decide what colour to pick for an educational facility. To help decide what colour enhances persuasion in a consumption context. To help decided what colour enhances creativity in a new product design process. Any plausible practical applications are creditworthy. 1 mark for identifying an application and 1 further mark for elaboration. 'You could use particular colours for pages in textbooks' = 1 mark ' Red might be used in textbooks covering analytical subjects like maths' = 2 marks There were some lovely, imaginative responses to this question which was answered well in general. The majority of candidates achieved 2 marks by including an example of how colour could be used in a real world setting. The most popular answer was use of colour in classroom walls or on textbook pages to aid learning in particular subjects. In a further experiment, participants were given 20 blue shapes or 20 red shapes. They were then asked to pick 5 shapes and use them to make a toy suitable for a child aged between five and eleven years. They were given a limited time to carry out this task. Participants given red shapes made toys that independent judges rated to be more practical but less original, whereas participants given blue shapes made more creative toys. 2 2 Explain why the researchers asked independent judges to rate the toys. (2 marks)

Question 22
AO2/AO3 = 2 marks If the researchers had judged the toys themselves, they might have been biased in favour of their hypothesis. There are no objective criteria for what makes a toy either practical or original. Independent judges would be able to decide between themselves on a set of criteria and then apply them to the toys made by the participants. Some candidates might interpret 'independent judges' in this question to mean judges who do not confer with one another. In this case, an acceptable answer would be that they could not conform with one another when making their judgement. One mark for a brief explanation, eg to avoid experimenter bias, and one further mark for elaboration, eg if the researchers judged the toys themselves. An answer explaining the value of rating the toys should be credited. The majority of answers to question 22 demonstrated an understanding that independent judges were required to reduce bias, and in doing so the majority achieved two marks. 2 3 Write a set of standardised instructions that would be suitable to read out to participants in this experiment. (5 marks) Question 23 AO2/AO3 = 5 marks Candidates need to use the details in the description of the study to write an appropriate set of instructions for potential participants.

The instructions should be clear and succinct. They must: explain the procedures of this study relevant to participants include a check of understanding of instructions They should also use language appropriate for a formal document and be as straight forward and courteous as possible. This is not a consent form so explicit references to ethical considerations are not necessary for full marks. However, it is perfectly acceptable to include comments such as 'you are free to withdraw from the study at any time.'
AO3 Mark Bands 5 marks Effective The standardised instructions provide accurate detail of the procedure and go beyond the information given in the question eg provide details of time allowed. 4-3 marks Reasonable The standardised instructions provide sufficient detail of the procedure in a reasonably clear form. 2 marks Basic The standardised instructions provide some details of the procedure though these may not be clear. 1 mark Rudimentary The standardised instructions provide few details of the procedure and may be muddled and or inaccurate. Omissions in the instructions compromise the procedure. 0 marks No creditworthy material is presented.

Few students achieved full marks on question 23, providing little additional information to that included in the question stem. Candidates were too focused on providing details of ethics (which was not required), at the expense of standardised instructions. Some candidates also made an error in their instructions by stating that participants would be given 40 shapes, 20 red and 20 blue, when in fact participants would only be given one colour of 20 shapes. A further common error was writing that participants would be given a limited time to make the toy. Writing a limited time is not a clear standardised instruction and stronger candidates wrote exactly what the time limit would be. Very few candidates checked if participants had any questions at the end of the instructions. Candidates who had conducted research were at an advantage here and produced answers of a higher quality. Psychological research suggests an association between birth order and certain abilities. For example, first-born children are often logical in their thinking whereas later-born children tend to be more creative. A psychologist wonders whether this might mean that birth order is associated with different career choices. She decides to investigate and asks 50 artists and 65 lawyers whether they were the first-born child in the family or not. 2 4 Write a non-directional hypothesis for this study. (2 marks) Question 24 AO2/AO3 = 2 marks 'There is an association between birth order and choice of career' = 2 marks A directional hypothesis is not creditworthy. Reference to a relationship/correlation cannot gain credit. Although technically, the psychologist is looking for an association, candidates can gain credit for expressing the hypothesis in terms of a difference eg 'There is a difference in career choice

depending on birth order.' 2 marks for a clear hypothesis, 1 mark for a hypothesis which lacks clarity. Hypothesis writing is still a problematic area for many candidates despite the requirement to do this at AS level. Many candidates achieved zero marks on question 24, having mistakenly written a directional or a null hypothesis. Many responses were lacking in clarity or failed to include an operationalised DV so only achieved 1 mark. The best answers were concisely and clearly worded responses such as There will be an association between birth order and career choice, which achieved the full 2 marks. 2 5 Identify an appropriate sampling method for this study and explain how the psychologist might have obtained such a sample. (3 marks) Question 25 AO2/AO3 = 3 marks One mark for identifying a sampling method. One mark for a brief explanation of how to obtain the sample eg 'by advertising for lawyers or artists to come forward. One further mark for elaboration eg by explaining that adverts would have to be placed in appropriate journals etc to attract these particular categories of participants Candidates who identify a sampling method but describe it incorrectly can be awarded 1 mark. Virtually all candidates identified an appropriate sampling technique. However, a large number did not score full marks because their account of how to obtain the sample was confused or insufficiently linked to the study in question on artists and lawyers. Candidates who chose a random sample needed to explain how the target population would be identified. The psychologist found the following results: 20 of the 50 artists were first-born children 35 of the 65 lawyers were first-born children. She analysed her data using a statistical test and calculated a value of 2 = 2.27. She then looked at the relevant table to see whether this value was statistically significant. An extract from the table is provided below. Table 1: Critical values of 2 Level of significance for a one-tailed test 0.10 0.05 0.025 0.01 Level of significance for a two-tailed test 0.20 0.10 0.05 0.02 df 1 1.64 2.71 3.84 5.41
Calculated value of 2 must be equal to or exceed the table (critical) values for significance at the level shown

2 6 Imagine that you are writing the results section of the report on this investigation. Using information from the description of the study above and the relevant information from the statistical table, provide contents suitable for the results section. You must provide all of the following: an appropriately labelled 2 2 contingency table

a sketch of an appropriately labelled bar chart identification of the appropriate statistical test with justification for its use identification of an appropriate significance level a statement of the results of the statistical test in relation to the hypothesis. (12 marks)

Question 26 AO2/AO3 = 12 marks This is a 12 mark question but marks are allocated to each of the required components as follows: An appropriately labelled table = 2 marks 1 mark for a table that displays the data in the question. 2 marks for a table which includes data relating to non first-born children. Totals are not required for the 2 marks. Table 1: Table to show the career choices of first born and non-first born children Artists Lawyers Totals First born 20 35 55 Not first born 30 30 60 Totals 50 65 115
Psychology (PSYA4) - AQA GCE Mark Scheme 2011 June series 26

a sketch of an appropriately labelled bar chart = 3 marks For 3 marks, candidates need to display the data relating to first born and non-first born career choices on a bar chart. They should label axes correctly and draw the columns to the correct approximate height for a sketch For 2 marks, candidates display data as above but labels are missing or lack clarity For 1 mark, candidates graph the data supplied in the question relating to first born career choices only. = 1 marks = 3 marks = 3 marks = 3 marks NB Labelled axes but no bars = 0 marks. identification of appropriate statistical test and justification = 1 + 2 marks An appropriate test here is the Chi-squared. Justification gains 2 marks. Any two correct reasons from: data are independent level of measurement is nominal test of association / difference is required. identification of appropriate significance level = 1 mark The most likely significance level is 5% (p 0.05). Candidates are not asked to justify their choice. Candidates who choose a more stringent level can achieve marks but they must then follow this through when they make their statement of results.
0 10 20 30 40 First born artists First born lawyers Frequency First borns 0

10 20 30 40 First born artists Later born artists First born lawyers Later born lawyers Frequency Birth order 0 10 20 30 40 First born Not first born Frequency Birth order Artists Lawyers 0 20 40 60 80 Artists Lawyers Frequency Career choice Later born First born
Psychology (PSYA4) - AQA GCE Mark Scheme 2011 June series 27

Candidates who erroneously report 0.05% or p= 0.5 do not gain credit for level of significance but can achieve credit for the statement of results in relation to the hypothesis a statement of the results of the statistical test in relation to the hypothesis = 3 marks For full marks, the candidate should state whether or not they can accept the hypothesis (or they can express this in terms of rejecting the null hypothesis) at a given significance level and refer to the observed and critical values. Where candidates choose an inappropriate value from the table but interpret that value correctly, they can gain 2 marks. The critical value for x (df =1 p 0.05 (two-tailed)) is 3.84. As the observed value of x 2.27 is less than the critical value, we cannot reject the null hypothesis. There is not an association between birth order and career choice. UMS

Some centres had clearly prepared their candidates very well and many showed an impressive understanding of inferential statistics scoring 11 or 12 marks. However, other candidates struggled with the question and collected very few marks. Some of the most common errors were as follows. A number of candidates did not know how to express the statistical conclusion of a research study, by referring to observed and critical values and probability. There were errors in correctly identifying the observed and critical values and their relationship to the hypothesis. A large number of candidates did not label the axes of the graph or only showed data relating to first born career choices. Some candidates chose the wrong statistical test; some did choose the correct statistical test but did not then state the reasons why the test was appropriate. Yet again, advice to teachers is to do some practical work. It was clear that some candidates were very familiar with the rationale for selecting a test and deciding if an observed value is significant or not. These candidates had a strong advantage on question 26.

Exam January 2011 Section C Psychological Research and Scientific Method Answer all questions in this section. This topic carries 35 marks. Topic: Psychological Research and Scientific Method A teacher has worked in the same primary school for two years. While chatting to the children, she is concerned to find that the majority of them come to school without

having eaten a healthy breakfast. In her opinion, children who eat a decent breakfast learn to read more quickly and are better behaved than children who do not. She now wants to set up a pre-school breakfast club for the children so that they can all have this beneficial start to the day. The local authority is not willing to spend money on this project purely on the basis of the teachers opinion and insists on having scientific evidence for the claimed benefits of eating a healthy breakfast. 1 9 Explain why the teachers personal opinion cannot be accepted as scientific evidence. Refer to some of the major features of science in your answer. (6 marks) A psychologist at the local university agrees to carry out a study to investigate the claim that eating a healthy breakfast improves reading skills. He has access to 400 five-year-old children from 10 local schools, and decides to use 100 children (50 in the experimental group and 50 in the control group). Since the children are so young, he needs to obtain parental consent for them to take part in his study. 2 0 The psychologist used a random sampling method. Explain how he could have obtained his sample using this method. (3 marks) 2 1 Explain limitations of using random sampling in this study. (3 marks) 2 2 Explain why it is important to operationalise the independent variable and the dependent variable in this study and suggest how the psychologist might do this. (5 marks) 2 3 The psychologist used a Mann-Whitney test to analyse the data. Give two reasons why he chose this test. (2 marks) 2 4 He could have used a matched pairs design. Explain why this design would have been more difficult to use in this study. (2 marks) Section C continues on the next page 6
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2 5 Other than parental consent, identify one ethical issue raised in this study and explain how the psychologist might address it. (2 marks) 2 6 The psychologist asks some of his students to conduct a separate observational study at the same time on the same group of children. The aim of this observational study is to test the idea that eating a healthy breakfast affects playground behaviour. Design an observational study to investigate the effects of a healthy breakfast on playground behaviour. Include in your answer sufficient detail to allow for reasonable replication of the study. You should state the hypothesis you are setting out to test. In your answer, refer to: an appropriate method of investigation materials/apparatus and procedure. Justify your design decisions. (12 marks)

Exam January 2011 / Mark scheme / Examiners Report

Section C Psychological Research and Scientific Method Answer all questions in this section. This topic carries 35 marks. Topic: Psychological Research and Scientific Method A teacher has worked in the same primary school for two years. While chatting to the children, she is concerned to find that the majority of them come to school without having eaten a healthy breakfast. In her opinion, children who eat a decent breakfast learn to read more quickly and are better behaved than children who do not. She now wants to set up a pre-school breakfast club for the children so that they can all have this beneficial start to the day. The local authority is not willing to spend money on this project purely on the basis of the teachers opinion and insists on having scientific evidence for the claimed benefits of eating a healthy breakfast. 1 9 Explain why the teachers personal opinion cannot be accepted as scientific evidence. Refer to some of the major features of science in your answer. (6 marks) AO2/3 = 6 marks Candidates need to show that they understand what differentiates opinion from scientific evidence. They could mention some of the following: The teacher has only experienced one school in a particular catchment area so she has only observed a very limited number of 5 year-olds (issues of sampling and replicability). She has found out that children do not eat anything nourishing simply by chatting with the children. She has no corroborative evidence from eg parents (issues of objectivity). She uses vague phrases such as 'decent breakfast' without being clear what this means (operationalisation). She has generated a theory and made predictions based on flimsy evidence. She has not used any scientific method to lead to her conclusions eg a carefully controlled experiment, survey or observation. She has drawn conclusions about the effects of breakfast without considering other variables which might affect reading skills and behaviour. A challenging question because candidates needed to apply their knowledge. They often knew about what makes something scientific (objectivity, replicability, etc) but seemed unable to engage with the stem. There were lots of answers involving paradigm shift, which were not relevant to this question. A psychologist at the local university agrees to carry out a study to investigate the claim that eating a healthy breakfast improves reading skills. He has access to 400

five-year-old children from 10 local schools, and decides to use 100 children (50 in the experimental group and 50 in the control group). Since the children are so young, he needs to obtain parental consent for them to take part in his study. 2 0 The psychologist used a random sampling method. Explain how he could have obtained his sample using this method. (3 marks) Question 20 AO2/3 =3 marks In a random sample, every member of the identified population has an equal chance of selection. In this case, the sampling frame consists of the 400 five-year-old children attending ten local schools. In order to obtain a simple random sample, the researcher has to have the names of all 400 children and can then select using one of the following methods: Random number tables random number tables are specially devised to meet the following criteria they contain strings of numbers where each number has the same chance of being selected as any other and each number is independent of the others. Such tables are readily available in statistics text books etc or can be generated by the researcher using a computer program. The researcher assigns each child a number between 1 and 400. He enters the table at any place (he could close his eyes and point with a finger at a starting place) and then moves either horizontally or vertically to produce a string of random numbers. He records all the numbers which correspond to the 400 children until he has recorded a total of 100 non-duplicated numbers. Computer selection This is a similar method where the computer does most of the work. A computer can generate an endless string of random numbers ie numbers which have no relationship to one another as a sequence. Each child's name is given a number and a random number generator program is used to produce the required sample size (in this case 100 participants). Manual selection - Using this method, the researcher has to put each name (or an assigned number) on a separate slip of paper and place them all in a container. The researcher then selects 100 slips from the container. The following conditions could apply: the container should be shaken between each draw; the slips of paper should all be the same size and folded in the same way so that one does not feel different from another; the selector draws 'blind' ie cannot see the actual slips of paper. A simple definition of a random sample is not creditworthy since it offers no explanation. Similarly, answers which only use the word 'random' as an explanation cannot gain credit eg'He would choose 100 participants at random from the children. One mark for a very basic method eg 'he would take names from a hat/ computer/ random number table'. Two further marks for elaboration. Most candidates had some idea about how a random sample could be obtained, but often failed to explain the methods fully. They could suggest all the names should be put in a hat, but did not make it clear that the names were then selected without looking or without bias. There was some confusion with systematic sampling. 2 1 Explain limitations of using random sampling in this study. (3 marks) Question 21 AO2/3 = 3 marks Candidates could focus on: Even if a sample is random, it may not be truly representative of the population eg might all come from the same school, or be all boys or all girls. Practical limitations eg the time and effort needed to write out 400 slips for the manual method.

Difficulties of obtaining a truly random sample eg even if the sample is selected randomly, parents might refuse to allow their children to participate. Any plausible and appropriate answers should be credited. Up to 2 marks for identification of limitations. For 3 marks, one or more limitations must be explained in reasonable detail. Many answers displayed some confusion here, eg saying that a limitation was that it was not representative of the whole population, when the point is that is might not be representative of the target population of 400. Some answers referred to problems of allocation to conditions, rather than random sampling. A good point was made by those who said that if some parents did not give consent, the psychologist would have to select again, and that would not be random. 2 2 Explain why it is important to operationalise the independent variable and the dependent variable in this study and suggest how the psychologist might do this. (5 marks) Question 22 AO2/3 = 5 marks There are two requirements to this question, why operationalising variables is important and how to operationalise the IV and the DV. If a candidate only explains how/why, maximum 3 marks. The terms' 'decent breakfast' and 'reading skills' are vague. It is important from the point of view of objectivity, replicability and control of extraneous variables to make sure that these terms are closely defined. Suggestions as to how the psychologist might do this could include the following: The researcher needs to specify the exact composition of the breakfast (possibly by doing a pilot study or a literature search to identify the components of breakfast most likely to bring about behavioural/cognitive change). He probably also needs to specify the time at which it is consumed. The researcher needs to use a standard reading test which should be administered to all the participants at the beginning of the study and at the end the dependent variable is likely to be the improvement score. This question was not answered well. Most candidates seemed very unclear about why it is important to operationalise variables. How to actually operationalise the two variables was beyond many candidates. Some effective answers referred to food content eg fat, sugar etc. 2 3 The psychologist used a Mann-Whitney test to analyse the data. Give two reasons why he chose this test. (2 marks) AO2/3 = 2 marks Reasons are: a test of difference data (scores from a reading test) are at least ordinal, this would include ordinal/interval and/or ratio independent design One mark for each appropriate reason (maximum 2 marks). Most candidates answered this correctly. 2 4 He could have used a matched pairs design. Explain why this design would have been more difficult to use in this study. (2 marks)

Question 24 AO2/3 = 2 marks It would have been more difficult to use a matched-pairs design because of the number of relevant factors that would need to be controlled (eg gender, intelligence, parental attitudes/income/education, experience of pre-school education, number of siblings in family etc). There is a relatively small pool of children available (ie 400) and it could be difficult to match on all these factors. It would also be very time-consuming; it could be quite expensive to carry out the necessary surveys; it could be quite intrusive collecting such information from parents. One mark for a basic explanation eg Because it is difficult to match participants appropriately. One further mark for elaboration. There was some serious confusion about what exactly matched pairs design is. Few could go beyond its time consuming or difficult to match on all variables. Some referred back to the random sample and said it would not be possible; others felt that at five-years-old children are either too similar to match or too different.

Section C continues on the next page 6


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2 5 Other than parental consent, identify one ethical issue raised in this study and explain how the psychologist might address it. (2 marks) Question 25 AO2/3 = 2 marks One mark for identifying an appropriate issue and second mark for explaining how it could be addressed. The most likely issue is confidentiality which could be addressed by ensuring that all scores on reading scales and all personal information are anonymised. There are also ethical problems involved in denying the control group breakfast although it is more difficult for candidates to suggest a way of addressing this perhaps to put only those children into the control group who do not eat breakfast anyway, restricting the study length to a short period of time and, if the study results support the hypothesis, to provide free breakfasts to these children for the rest of the academic year. Parental consent is excluded because it is given in the stem so answers which offer this as an issue cannot gain credit. Most could identify an ethical issue such as confidentiality, the right to withdraw and protection from harm (those who did not get any breakfast or who were embarrassed at their poor reading). Some seemed to forget that they also had to explain how the issue would be dealt with, or they simply repeated that the right to with draw could be dealt with by giving the right to withdraw. 2 6 The psychologist asks some of his students to conduct a separate observational study at the same time on the same group of children. The aim of this observational study is to test the idea that eating a healthy breakfast affects playground behaviour. Design an observational study to investigate the effects of a healthy breakfast on playground behaviour. Include in your answer sufficient detail to allow for reasonable replication of the study. You should state the hypothesis you are setting out to test.

In your answer, refer to: an appropriate method of investigation materials/apparatus and procedure. Justify your design decisions. (12 marks) Candidates will not receive credit for details included in the stimulus material. These include using a random sample of 100 children, gaining parental consent and selection of a Mann Whitney test. To access marks in the top band candidates must state an appropriate hypothesis in which playground behaviour is clearly operationalised. The hypothesis could be directional or non-directional. Given the wording of the question, a correlational hypothesis is not credit worthy, however, the rest of the answer should be marked on its merits. Likely aspects of playground behaviour would include activity levels, aggression, cooperative play etc. An attempt to operationalise a healthy breakfast should be credited. However, candidates could assume this had already been done by the psychologist. As this is an observational study any of the following, together with appropriate justification, would be credit-worthy:Is the observation covert or overt? Where are observers positioned? (In playground, watching from window?) Is a video recording of the children used? How will this be analysed (eg content analysis)? Do the students who observe know what the children ate for breakfast? At what times of day does the observation take place? How many children are observed? (Candidates could justify using a smaller sub-sample of the 100 children in the original study) How long does each observation last? Will the observers use a behavioural check list/tally chart? Will more than one observer observe each child? If so, what training will be given and what checks for inter-observer reliability will take place? Reference to time sampling or event sampling. Credit any other relevant material. This question was not answered well. Many candidates failed to read the question carefully before they attempted it. They were given the information that they were using the same group of children (ie the 5-year olds in the previous study). Despite the fact that the ethical issues and sampling had already been addressed in the plan for the original study many wrote at great length about sampling and ethics. The majority of candidates were unable to write a fully operationalised hypothesis, and often simply restated the aim. Many seemed to think the IV was breakfast versus no breakfast, rather than healthy versus unhealthy breakfast. Some of their ideas were totally impractical, especially given that the children were only 5 years old. In many answers lack of detail would have made any kind of replication very difficult. However, some candidates did understand the need for some sort of training for the observers, the need for clearly identified behaviour categories to record, and the importance of being able to distinguish the two groups in the playground. Designing a study is clearly a difficult task for candidates, and one that they need to practice.

Exam June 2010 18 Outline what is meant by the term peer review in psychological research. (2 marks)

19. Explain why peer review is important in psychological research. (5 marks) Read the text below and answer questions 20, 21 and 22. A psychologist was interested in looking at the effects of a restricted diet on psychological functioning. A group of 20 healthy, young adult volunteers agreed to spend four weeks in a research unit. They were kept warm and comfortable but given only water and small amounts of plain food. They were able to socialise with one another and watch television but they had to keep to strict, set mealtimes and were not allowed to eat anything between meals. The psychologist carried out various tests of emotional and cognitive functioning during this four week period. One area of interest for the psychologist was the effect of the dietary restriction on the perception of food. He tested this by asking the volunteers to draw pictures of food at the end of each week. When all the drawings had been completed, the psychologist used content analysis to analyse them. 20. What is meant by content analysis? (1 mark) 21. Explain how the psychologist might have carried out content analysis to analyse these drawings. (3 marks) 22. The psychologist needed to make sure his participants understood the nature of the study so that they were able to give informed consent. Write a consent form which would be suitable for this study. Make sure there is sufficient information about the study for the participants to make an informed decision. (5 marks) 23. The psychologist was also interested in the effects of a restricted diet on memory functioning and he expected memory to become impaired. His hypothesis was as follows: Participants scores on a memory test are lower after a restricted diet than before a restricted diet. He gave the volunteers a memory test when they first arrived in the research unit and a similar test at the end of the 4 week period. He recorded the memory scores on both tests and analysed them using the Wilcoxon test. He set his significance level at 5%. His calculated value was T = 53

State whether the hypothesis for this study is directional or non directional. (1 mark) 24. Table 1: Extract from table of criticial values from the Wilcoxon signed ranks test Level of significance for a one-tailed test Level of significance for a two-tailed test N 19 20 21 22 0.05 0.1 0.025 0.05

Using Table 1, state whether or not the psychologists result was significant. Explain your answer. (3 marks)

Read the text below and answer questions 25 to 28 A psychologist uses the observational method to look at verbal aggression in a group of schoolchildren with behavioural difficulties. Pairs of observers watch a single child in the class for a period of one hour and note the number of verbally aggressive acts within tenminute time intervals. After seeing the first set of ratings, the psychologist becomes concerned about the quality of inter-rater reliability. The tally chart for the two observers is shown in the table below: Table 2: Observation of one child - number of verbally aggressive acts in ten-minute time slots Time slots 0-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 Observer A Observer B 2 4 5 3 0 2 6 1 4 6 3 5

25 Use the data in Table 2 to sketch a scattergram. Label the axes and give the scattergram a title. (4 marks) 26 Using data in Table 2, explain why the psychologist is concerned about inter-rater reliability. (4 marks) 27 Identify an appropriate statistical test to check the inter-rater reliability of these two observers. Explain why this is an appropriate test. (3 marks) 28 If the psychologist does find low reliability, what could she do to improve inter-rater reliability before proceeding to the observational reseach? (4 marks)

Exam June 2010 mark scheme / examiners report

18 Outline what is meant by the term peer review in psychological research. (2 marks) Question 18 AO1 =2 marks Peer review is the process by which psychological research papers, before publication, are subjected to independent scrutiny by other psychologists working in a similar field who consider the research in terms of its validity, significance and originality. 0 marks for other psychologists look at the research. 1 mark for a very brief outline eg other psychologists look at the research report before it is published. One further mark for elaboration Many candidates seemed not to have heard of this term, and attempts to guess were unsuccessful eg working with your friends'. A common misconception was that it was a marking exercise to give feedback during the research process. There were also many tautological answers such as 'getting a peer to review your work'. Many candidates appeared to have an idea of what peer review was, but were unable to articulate it in the way that would get them full marks. 19. Explain why peer review is important in psychological research. (5 marks) Question 19 AO2/3= 5 marks Peer review is an important part of this process because it provides a way of checking the validity of the research, making a judgement about the credibility of the research and assessing the quality and appropriateness of the design and methodology. Peers are also in a position to judge the importance or significance of the research in a wider context. They can also assess how original the work is and whether it refers to relevant research by other psychologists. They can then make a recommendation as to whether the research paper should be published in its original form, rejected or revised in some way. This peer review process helps to ensure that any research paper published in a well-respected journal has integrity and can, therefore, be taken seriously by fellow researchers and by lay people. Candidates who understood peer review were able to give a reasonable answer, but not many showed the elaboration needed for full marks. Many expanded on what it is rather than why it is important. A common error was that it enabled peers to replicate the research. While ethical considerations could have been of relevance, some candidates did not understand that peer review is a retrospective process and can only prevent ethical problems being repeated. A surprising minority talked about corrupt peers who would give a negative review to maintain their own interests.

Read the text below and answer questions 20, 21 and 22. A psychologist was interested in looking at the effects of a restricted diet on psychological functioning. A group of 20 healthy, young adult volunteers agreed to spend four weeks in a research unit. They were kept warm and comfortable but given only water and small amounts of plain food. They were able to socialise with one another and watch television but

they had to keep to strict, set mealtimes and were not allowed to eat anything between meals. The psychologist carried out various tests of emotional and cognitive functioning during this four week period. One area of interest for the psychologist was the effect of the dietary restriction on the perception of food. He tested this by asking the volunteers to draw pictures of food at the end of each week. When all the drawings had been completed, the psychologist used content analysis to analyse them. 20. What is meant by content analysis? (1 mark)

AO1 = 1 mark A brief definition of the term is sufficient for 1 mark eg a technique for analysing data according to themes or categories. Candidates who simply write a way of analysing qualitative data are not meeting the requirement to say what is meant by.? Many candidates seemed unable to say what is meant by content analysis. In some cases, this was because of poor expression and the inability to define terms clearly. In others, it was simply that they did not know the term. Teachers and candidates must be aware that the Research Methods section of the PSYA4 specification builds on what was covered at AS. Anything that appears on the Research Methods specification at AS can be examined on PSYA4.

21. Explain how the psychologist might have carried out content analysis to analyse these drawings. (3 marks) Question 21 AO2/3 = 3 marks The psychologist would have identified a number of categories or themes by which to sort the drawings. Such categories/themes might include: the type of food depicted eg carbohydrate, protein; the state of the food eg cooked, raw etc; the portion size; the brightness of the colours used. He would have counted examples from each category to provide quantitative data. He could then compare the drawings according to these categories to see if there were changes over the 4 week period. For full marks candidates can either outline three of the above or outline two with some elaboration. For 2 marks candidates can either outline two of the above, or one with elaboration. For 1 mark candidates simply outline one of the above eg choose a theme like size. Note: maximum 2 marks if no engagement with the stem. When candidates understood the term they were able to apply their knowledge effectively. For example, they explained how the psychologist would identify themes or categories in the drawings, count examples of each category to provide quantitative data and compare categories of drawings for changes over the duration of the study.

22. The psychologist needed to make sure his participants understood the nature of the study so that they were able to give informed consent. Write a consent form which would be suitable for this study. Make sure there is sufficient information about the study for the participants to make an informed decision. (5 marks)

Question 22 Question Stem The psychologist needed to be sure that his participants understood the nature of the study so that they were able to give informed consent. Write a consent form which would be suitable for this study. Make sure that there is sufficient information about the study for the participants to make an informed decision. The form would need to contain sufficient information for the participant to make an informed decision about whether to take part or not. The form should contain some of the following: The purpose of the study The length of time required of the participants The fact that participants would have to be isolated in a research institute for the duration of the study Details about the diet Right to withdraw Reassurance about protection from harm e.g. the availability of medical supervision The requirement to undertake a series of psychological tests Reassurance about confidentiality of the data It is not necessary for candidates to include all of the above points for full marks. However, in order to access the top band, candidates must engage with the study and include sufficient information on both ethical and methodological issues for participants to make an informed decision. Maximum of 3 marks if no ethical issues are included. Many candidates wrote thorough consent forms using appropriate content and tone. But some just included procedural details with no mention of ethics or vice versa. Some had problems in including enough information to allow the participant to make an informed decision. Specifically there was often insufficient information on the stay in a research unit, the nature of the restricted diet and the need for testing. While some candidates referred to ethical issues, including right to withdraw, many did not. A few actually suggested that participants would be locked in if they agreed to take part.

23. The psychologist was also interested in the effects of a restricted diet on memory functioning and he expected memory to become impaired. His hypothesis was as follows: Participants scores on a memory test are lower after a restricted diet than before a restricted diet. He gave the volunteers a memory test when they first arrived in the research unit and a similar test at the end of the 4 week period. He recorded the memory scores on both tests and analysed them using the Wilcoxon test. He set his significance level at 5%. His calculated value was T = 53 State whether the hypothesis for this study is directional or non directional. (1 mark) Question 23 AO2/3 1 mark 1 mark for correct answer directional (one-tailed is acceptable)

Almost all answers were correct however, surprisingly, some answers were left blank or the answer yes was provided.

24. Table 1: Extract from table of criticial values from the Wilcoxon signed ranks test Using Table 1, state whether or not the psychologists result was significant. Explain your answer. (3 marks)

Question 24 AO2/3 3 marks 1 mark for correctly stating that the result is significant 2 further marks for an explanation: the calculated value of T =53 which is less than the critical value of 60 where N = 20 and p 0.05 for a one-tailed test. If the candidate states that the result is not significant, no marks can be awarded. Many candidates clearly understood how to read the table and to interpret results and so gained the full 3 marks here. Some gained 1 mark for saying that the result was significant but then demonstrated a complete lack of understanding in the rest of their answer.

Read the text below and answer questions 25 to 28 A psychologist uses the observational method to look at verbal aggression in a group of schoolchildren with behavioural difficulties. Pairs of observers watch a single child in the class for a period of one hour and note the number of verbally aggressive acts within tenminute time intervals. After seeing the first set of ratings, the psychologist becomes concerned about the quality of inter-rater reliability. The tally chart for the two observers is shown in the table below: Table 2: Observation of one child - number of verbally aggressive acts in ten-minute time slots Time slots 0-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 Observer A Observer B 2 4 5 3 0 2 6 1 4 6 3 5

25 Use the data in Table 2 to sketch a scattergram. Label the axes and give the scattergram a title. (4 marks) Question 25 AO2/3 = 4 marks For any credit, candidates must sketch a scattergram. For full marks, candidates should provide an appropriate title for the scattergram, label each of the axes appropriately and plot the data accurately on the scattergram. Each of the examples on page 21 is a full mark answer because:

it is clearly a sketch of a scattergram the data are appropriately plotted the labels of the axes and the title taken together show full understanding of the nature of the data.

This question proved to be a good discriminator. Candidates who understood scattergrams were able to make a reasonable sketch with appropriate labels and accurately plotted data and so gained full marks. However, a disappointingly large number of candidates clearly had

no understanding of scattergrams and drew a frequency polygon instead for which they could gain no marks. The requirement to present and understand graphs is clearly stated on the AS specification: 'presentation and interpretation of quantitative data including graphs, scattergrams and tables.'

26 Using data in Table 2, explain why the psychologist is concerned about inter-rater reliability. (4 marks) Question 26 AO2/3 = 4 marks For full marks, candidates should give a reasonably detailed explanation eg she is concerned because the observers should both recognise the same types of verbal behaviour as aggressive and you would expect their tallies to be very similar. In this case, the observers disagree in every 10 minute time interval even though they are both watching the same child and should be using the same criteria. In some time slots, there is a really big difference in the number of acts. This suggests that the observers have interpreted the criteria differently or that, at certain times, one observer was more vigilant then the other (4 marks). 1 mark because the observers do not agree with each other. 3 further marks for elaboration. Some candidates gave full answers in which they made good use of the data contained in the table. However, fewer candidates were able to make use of the information in the scattergram and very few referred to correlation. There were 4 marks available for this question which should have made candidates realise that some detail was required. Answers such as 'she was concerned because the observers gave different ratings' could not gain much credit. Quite a few candidates wasted time by defining inter-rater reliability. Answered included suggestions of how to improve reliability which, of course, was addressed in question 28.

27 Identify an appropriate statistical test to check the inter-rater reliability of these two observers. Explain why this is an appropriate test. (3 marks) Question 27 AO2/3 = 3 marks 1 mark for identifying the appropriate test Spearmans Rho or Pearsons (with appropriate justification). 2 further marks for explaining why it is appropriate ie the psychologist is testing for a correlation and the data that can be treated as ordinal. Candidates can gain no marks on this question if their choice of statistical test is inappropriate. Relatively few candidates identified an appropriate test - almost every reasonably familiar test was quoted. Experimental designs were often quoted as incorrect reasons for test selection. Many candidates did not even suggest an inferential test but suggested calculating the range, mean or standard deviation. Candidates who did identify the appropriate test were usually also able to offer an appropriate justification.

28 If the psychologist does find low reliability, what could she do to improve inter-rater reliability before proceeding to the observational reseach? (4 marks) Question 28 AO2/3 = 4 marks 1 mark for a very brief answer eg better training for the observers 3 further marks for elaboration. There is a breadth/depth trade-off here. Candidates can elaborate on one improvement eg explain how the training might be improved or outline several improvements in less detail eg establish clearer criteria for categorising verbal aggression, filming the child so that the observers can practise the categorisation. This was a good discriminator. Most candidates could offer at least one solution to this issue but many stopped after making their initial point eg 'give them more training'. Some were able to elaborate on this effectively to gain full marks but many showed little understanding. Very common errors were get more observers or average the results or 'only use one observer'.

Exam paper Jan 2010 7 A psychologist was interested in testing a new treatment for people with eating disorders. She put up adverts in several London clinics to recruit participants. Thirty people

came forward and they were all given a structured interview by a trained therapist. The therapist then calculated a numerical score for each participant as a measure of their current functioning, where 50 indicated excellent, healthy functioning and zero indicates failure to function adequately. The psychologist then randomly allocated half the participants to a treatment group and half to a no-treatment group. After eight weeks, each participant was reassessed using a structured interview conducted by the same trained therapist, and given a numerical score. The trained therapist did not know which participants had been in either group.

For each participant, the psychologist calculated an improvement score by subtracting the score at the start of the study from the score after eight weeks. The greater the number, the better the improvement. Table 1: Median and range of improvement scores for the treatment and no-treatment group
Treatment group Median Range 10.9 2.1 No-treatment group 2.7 0.8

(a) With reference to the data in Table 1, outline what the findings of this investigation seem to show about the effectiveness of the treatment. (2 marks) (b) The psychologist used a statistical test to find out if there was a significant difference in improvement between the treatment and no-treatment groups. She found a significant difference at the 5% level for a one-tailed test (p 0.05). Identify an appropriate statistical test for analysing the participants scores. Explain why it would be a suitable test to use in this study. (4 marks) (c) What is the likelihood of the psychologist having made a Type 1 error in this study? Explain your answer. (2 marks) (d) The psychologist assumed that improvements in the treatment group were a direct result of the new type of treatment. Suggest two other reasons why people in the treatment group might have improved. (4 marks) (e) The psychologist could have used self-report questionnaires to assess the participants

instead of using interviews with the therapist. Explain one advantage and one disadvantage of using self-report questionnaires in this study rather than interviews. (4 marks) (f) The psychologist needed to obtain informed consent from her participants. Write a brief consent form which would be suitable for this study. You should include some details of what participants can expect to happen in the study and how they will be protected. (5 marks) (g) What is meant by reliability? Explain how the reliability of the scores in this study could be checked. (4 marks) (h) The psychologist noticed that female and male participants seemed to have responded rather differently to the treatment. She decided to test the following hypothesis: Female patients with an eating disorder will show greater improvement in their symptoms after treatment with the new therapy than male patients. She used a new set of participants and, this time, used self-report questionnaires instead of interviews with a therapist. Imagine that you are the psychologist and are writing up the report of the study. Write an appropriate methods section which includes reasonable detail of design, participants, materials and procedure. Make sure that there is enough detail to allow another researcher to carry out this study in the future. (10 marks)
Exam mark scheme, examiners report and specimen answer with examiners comments

7 Total for this question: 35 marks (a) With reference to the data in Table 1, outline what the findings of this investigation seem to show about the effectiveness of the treatment. (2 marks) AO2/3 = 2 marks One mark for one brief finding and a further mark for appropriate elaboration or for two brief findings or one mark for a slightly muddled answer. On average, the treatment group showed greater improvement after the treatment than the no-treatment group. The average improvement score for the no-treatment group was very low suggesting that the treatment gains for the treatment group were not simply a result of the passage of time. There was some variation in both groups as shown by the ranges but it was wider in the treatment group. The low range in the no-treatment group suggests that most people in this group had similar low improvement scores. This was a straightforward question and many candidates accessed full marks but a surprising number were confused by median and range and some did not understand what the range indicated about the data.

The median of the results show that improvement was greatest for the group being treated. However the range shows more variation in the performance of the treatment group than the non-treatment group.
Marks: 2/2

Commen t [RMH47] : Reference to both the median and the range but not much elaboration on either so 2 marks for two brief findings.

(b) The psychologist used a statistical test to find out if there was a significant difference in improvement between the treatment and no-treatment groups. She found a significant difference at the 5% level for a one-tailed test (p 0.05). Identify an appropriate statistical test for analysing the participants scores. Explain why it would be a suitable test to use in this study. (4 marks) AO1 = 1 mark, AO2/3 = 3 marks One mark for identification of a suitable test and 3 further marks for an appropriate justification. The specification only requires knowledge of non-parametric tests. However, if a candidate names an independent t-test and justifies its use, this is perfectly acceptable. It is likely that most candidates will identify a non-parametric test. The most appropriate test is the MannWhitney and the justifications for its use are: independent groups design at least ordinal data differences. Many candidates were very well prepared and got full marks here but some wrote very confused answers showing little understanding eg Spearmans Rho because it was nominal data and repeated measures.
The statistical test used would be the chi squared test because the data is interval level.
Marks: 0/4
Commen t [RMH48] : The choice of test is incorrect. The data is not interval as the candidate claims

(c) What is the likelihood of the psychologist having made a Type 1 error in this study? Explain your answer. (2 marks) AO2/3 = 2 marks One mark for correctly identifying the likelihood and one further mark for an appropriate explanation or one mark for a slightly muddled answer. The likelihood of making a Type 1 error is 5%. A Type 1 error occurs when a researcher claims support for the research hypothesis with a significant statistical test, but in fact, the variations in the scores are due to chance variables. If the level of significance is set at 5%, there will always be a one in twenty chance or less that the results are due to chance rather than to the influence of the independent variable or some other factors. There was a centre effect here. Some candidates had a good understanding of Type 1 error while others had clearly never heard of it. Some understood what is meant by the term and offered a definition but were not able to apply their knowledge to answer the question.
The likelihood of a type one error being made is considerable as an acceptable

but not very stringent level of significance was used. The more stringent level of significance the less chance of making a type one error where the alternative hypothesis is accepted and the null rejected.
Marks: 1/2
. Commen t [RMH49] : Muddled answer. There is some understanding of the circumstances in which a type 1 error becomes more likely, hence the 1 mark, but the candidate has not answered the question appropriately in the context of this study.

(d) The psychologist assumed that improvements in the treatment group were a direct result of the new type of treatment. Suggest two other reasons why people in the treatment group might have improved. (4 marks) AO2/3 = 4 marks Two marks for each reason. One mark for a basic identification and one further mark for elaboration. Possible reasons include: Expectations the patients might expect the treatment to do them some good and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Biased sample even though the participants were randomly assigned to groups, the treatment group might, by chance have included more people with milder symptoms that were more likely to respond to treatment. Other support we do not know what other support/ treatment that the participants might have had over the 8 week therapy period. Candidates offered a wide range of answers, although some were a little bit too brief or poorly explained to get both marks. There was some confusion about what is meant by a placebo and some candidates offered two explanations which were essentially the same as one another. Other candidates offered factors which could apply equally to the treatment and non-treatment group. It is important in this kind of question to read the stem carefully. Some candidates said that the therapists might have been biased in favour of the treatment group, but the stem clearly states that the therapist did not know who had been in which group.
The participants may have been showing demand characteristics and not have acted in the way they normally would during the second interview* because they thought the researcher would have wanted them to improve. So, due to the social desirability bias, the participants may have behaved in a way to show the researcher that theyve improved when they have not.* The participants in the treatment group may have also been receiving treatment outside the study as well, especially if theyd already been diagnosed with an eating disorder and theyd volunteered for the study. It is possible that other treatment may have caused their improvement rather than the treatment being tested.*
Marks: 4/4
Commen t [RMH50] : Clear contextualising /link to the study. Commen t [RMH51]: Grasp of demand characteristics shown but the candidate seems confused about the difference

between demand characteristics and social desirability response bias. Commen t [RMH52]: Sound point well made.

(e) The psychologist could have used self-report questionnaires to assess the participants instead of using interviews with the therapist. Explain one advantage and one disadvantage of using self-report questionnaires in this study rather than interviews. (4 marks) AO2/3 = 4 marks Two marks for the advantage and two marks for the disadvantage. One mark for simply identifying an advantage/disadvantage and the further mark for elaboration in the context of the study. Answers which are not set in context cannot achieve full marks. Advantage: Much quicker to administer and to score could all have been given out at the same time whereas the therapist has to conduct 30 time-consuming interviews; cheaper than interviews, ie in terms of the therapists time; people might be more comfortable, and, therefore, more honest, if they have to write responses rather than face an interviewer (could work the other way as well see disadvantages). Disadvantage: Self-report questionnaires might not yield as accurate data as an interview questions can limit range of answers and there are no additional cues, eg body language, participants might be less honest on a questionnaire than in a face-to-face interview. Marks can be awarded for any appropriate advantages/disadvantages. A lot of candidates missed the point that the advantage/disadvantage needed to be in comparison to interviews. Many candidates gave advantages/disadvantages that could apply equally well to both self-reports and interviews. This was acceptable only if the candidate made it clear ie People are less honest in a questionnaire was not creditworthy because it could apply to both interviews and questionnaires. However, People are less honest in a questionnaire because they are anonymous and feel they can lie about themselves without being found out. In an interview where they are facetoface with the interviewer, they might find it more difficult to lie.
A disadvantage of self report questionnaires in this case is that many people with eating disorders are in denial about it so may not respond to the questionnaire as if they had an eating disorder and the researcher cant ask extra questions to check this out so the data collected would not be valid .* An advantage of self report questionnaires is that they can save time and so save money as compared with an interview. The investigator can send or give them all out at the same time so they are quick, they take less of the researchers time to collect the data. Also you do not have to spend time transcribing the interview tapes so they can usually be analysed more quickly than interviews so overall this would mean they are cheaper.*
Marks: 4/4
Commen t [RMH53] : A good point fully elaborated including implications for validity. Commen t [RMH54] : Although cheap is a weak advantage it has been explained fully and appropriately in relation to features of the method and compared with another method.

(f) The psychologist needed to obtain informed consent from her participants. Write a brief consent form which would be suitable for this study. You should include some details of what participants can expect to happen in the study and how they will be protected. (5 marks) AO2/3 = 5 marks Candidates should demonstrate understanding of some of the requirements of a good consent form. For full marks, it should be succinct, clear and informative. It is likely to include some of the following information: treatment programme that is noninvasive; requirement to be assessed on current level of functioning; use of a trained therapist to conduct interviews; duration of the programme; requirement for re-assessment at the end of the programme; random allocation to a treatment or no-treatment group. It should show awareness of ethical considerations, eg no pressure to consent it will not affect any other aspects of their treatment if they choose not to take part they can withdraw at any time they can withdraw their data from the study their data will be kept confidential and anonymous they should feel free to ask the researcher any questions at any time they will receive a full debrief at the end of the programme. Some candidates wrote excellent consent forms containing both ethical and procedural information and expressed them in appropriate language. Some candidates had a very vague understanding of what needed to be included here, either only focusing on all the ethical issues (you will have the right to withdraw your data, yourself etc) with no mention of the procedures, or vice versa. Many adopted a rather inappropriate tone eg 'Once you have signed this form, you are committed to being in the study' or 'You have to subject yourself to an interview. It was surprising to see that a few candidates seemed to think a consent form acted as some kind of legal disclaimer 'you may suffer harm but if you sign this you cant sue us.' It was notable on this question that candidates who were able to express themselves clearly and succinctly were much more likely to access full marks. Many answers were so poorly constructed that the content was difficult to understand. Many switched confusingly between pronouns eg They will have to have an interview. You can withdraw at any time. I agree to be part of this study.
If you take part in this study you are agreeing to be interviewed by a psychologist about not just your eating habits but other aspects of you life too. You will be given a numerical score of your current functioning 50 indicating excellent health and 0 indicating failure to function adequately.* You will be put into a group that either receives treatment or a group that doesnt receive treatment. After 8 weeks you will be reassessed. All information you give is confidential and will only be used for the study.*
Marks: 3/5 Examiners comment The answer does not need to have all aspects to get full marks but the combined omissions make this not effective but better than basic.
Commen t [RMH55] : This is inappropriate. It would not get through an ethics committee. The tone of the consent form is rather peremptory and would not put the participant at ease. Commen t [RMH56] : There is no detail

about the nature of the re-assessment. Good on procedure, poor on reassuring participant that they will be protected from harm, no reference to right to withdraw and no mention of possibility of asking questions /checking understanding.

(g) What is meant by reliability? Explain how the reliability of the scores in this study could be checked. (4 marks) AO1 = 2 marks, AO2/3 = 2 marks AO1: One mark for brief description, eg consistency and one further mark for elaboration. Reliability refers to consistency over time. If a test, questionnaire, etc, is reliable, people tend to score the same on the test if they take it again soon afterwards. AO2/3: One mark for a very brief answer, eg do another test or test them again or use another interviewer to check. Two marks for some elaboration. Reliability could have been checked by administering a valid and reliable questionnaire to the participants as well as interviewing them and then comparing the scores on the two measures. If the interview score was reliable, there would be strong positive correlation between the scores. The interviews could have been filmed and given to another trained therapist to assess. A strong correlation between the scores given by each therapist would demonstrate reliability. There were some very muddled answers to this question. Candidates often didnt read the question carefully, and wrote something like 'Reliability means if you do the study again you will get similar results' for their definition and then didnt know what to write for the next part of the question. Those candidates who explained it in terms of inter-rater reliability generally gained full marks. Some candidates did not read the question carefully and did not relate their answer to checking the scores in this particular study. Many candidates thought incorrectly that test-retest involved using different participants. Some candidates suggested split-half methods indicating a lack of thought about the question. Some candidates confused reliability with validity.
Reliability is the consistency between data and method.* In order to check reliability of the study the no treatment group should treatment group should have received treatment after the initial study and the treatment group should have had a period of not treatment. If the same improvement is found in the second group the results are reliable. This is the split half technique.*
Marks: 0/4
Commen t [RMH57] : This shows complete lack of understanding about what consistency means in the context of this study. Commen t [RMH58] : Muddled and does not address reliability of the scores.

Examiners comment The question asks about the reliability of the scores so the focus should have been on inter rater reliability. The candidate has tried to apply some knowledge of reliability of tests to the conditions of the IV.

(h) The psychologist noticed that female and male participants seemed to have responded rather differently to the treatment.

She decided to test the following hypothesis: Female patients with an eating disorder will show greater improvement in their symptoms after treatment with the new therapy than male patients. She used a new set of participants and, this time, used self-report questionnaires instead of interviews with a therapist. Imagine that you are the psychologist and are writing up the report of the study. Write an appropriate methods section which includes reasonable detail of design, participants, materials and procedure. Make sure that there is enough detail to allow another researcher to carry out this study in the future. (10 marks) AO2/3 = 10 marks For full marks, the method section should be written clearly, succinctly and in such a way that the study would be replicable. It should be set out in a conventional reporting style, possibly under appropriate headings. Examiners should be mindful that there are now different, but equally acceptable reporting styles. For example, candidates should not be penalised for writing in the first person. The important factor here is whether the study could be replicated. There should be reasonable detail with regard to: design participants materials procedures Many candidates showed limited awareness of a conventional reporting style. While it was not necessary to divide the method section into sub-sections, this strategy might have helped candidates to include all the relevant details. Weaker answers made no mention of gender or eating disorders and simply repeated details from the stimulus material. Many candidates completely lost sight of the fact that gender differences were being investigated and suggested randomly allocating participants to groups. A lot of time was wasted in including aims/ hypotheses and statistical analyses which do not form part of a method section. Better answers included appropriate detail of IV, DV, design, sampling method, materials/equipment and procedure which would have enabled replication to take place. As in (f), poor expression and grammatical errors often obscured meaning.
The participants* should be split into males and females. An independent groups design should be used. Males and females should be allocated by use of a random number generator to one of the two conditions. There should be a group of boys receiving treatment and a group of girls receiving treatment. There should also be a group of boys receiving no treatment and a group of girls receiving no treatment.* Before treatment begins the questionnaires should be given to all participants. The questionnaire or one that gives exactly the same information should be given after 12 weeks. The data from the questionnaire should be analysed to assess participants current functioning there should be content analysis so that numerical values can be obtained. This should be repeated for the second questionnaire and an improvement score calculated. The mean score (measure of central tendency) should be calculated and the standard deviation to provide a measure of dispersion. To work out the level of significance for this study a Mann Whitney

U test would be used at the 5% probability.* *All participants should be debriefed at the end of the study.
Marks: 6/10 Examiners comments This answer only just makes the criterion of reasonable. There are various ways of writing reports these days and it is, therefore, unreasonable to prescribe a particular, rigid format in the mark scheme. However, the convention is always to write in the past tense the method indicates a lack of awareness of this basic report writing convention. There is some attempt to describe the questionnaire but no attempt to elaborate in any way on the treatment programme (eg duration, frequency, the fact that it is new etc). There is a mention of 12 weeks but it is not clear what happens to all of the participants within this period. Other omissions include reference to consent and confidentiality.
Commen t [RMH59] : There is no reference to participant suffering from eating disorders. There is no detail of the sample size, the nature of the sample (except gender) or detail of how the sample would be obtained. Commen t [RMH60] : Size clear correct but rather laboured description allocation to conditions but no explicit identification of the investigation design. Commen t [RMH62]: This candidate clearly knows about data analysis but this is not appropriate for the method. It belongs in the results. Commen t [RMH63] : This is creditworthy.

Specimen Question Paper

A psychologist believed that people think of more new ideas working on their own than they do working in a group, and that the belief that people are more creative in groups is false. To test this idea he arranged for 30 people to participate in a study that involved generating ideas about how to boost tourism. Participants were randomly allocated to one of two groups. Fifteen of them were asked to work individually and generate as many ideas as they could to boost tourism in their town. The other fifteen participants were divided into three groups and each group was asked to "brainstorm" to generate as many ideas as they could to boost tourism in their town. The group "brainstorm" sessions were recorded and the number of ideas generated by each participant was noted. The psychologist used a statistical test to find out if there was a significant difference in the number of ideas generated by the participants working alone as compared with the number of ideas generated by the participants working in groups. A significant difference was found at the 5% level for a two-tailed test (p 0.05).

Table 1: Average number of ideas generated when working alone and when working in a group Working alone Working in a group Average number of ideas 14 8 generated Standard deviation 1.89 2.98 1 4 Identify the type of experimental design used in this study. (1 mark) (SP) 1 5 Identify one extraneous variable that the investigator addressed in the procedure for the study and explain how it was addressed. (4 marks) (SP) 1 6 Name an appropriate test of statistical significance for analysing this data. Explain why this would be a suitable test to use. (4 marks) (SP) 1 7 Explain what is meant by "p 0.05." (2 marks) (SP) 1 8 Give one reason why the psychologist used a two-tailed test. (2 marks) (SP) Turn over for the next question

6 1 9 With reference to the data in Table 1 outline and discuss the findings of this investigation. (10 marks) (SP) 2 0 The psychologist noted that younger participants seemed to generate more ideas than older participants. Design a study to investigate the relationship between age and ability to generate ideas. You should include sufficient details to permit replication, for example a hypothesis, variables, detail of design and procedure, sampling. (12 marks) (SP)

Specimen Paper mark scheme

14 Identify the type of experimental design used in this study. (1 mark) AO3 = 1 mark For correct identification of the design Independent measures/samples design. Note: reference to lab or field experiment should not be credited.
Psychology A (PSYA4) - AQA GCE Specimen Mark Scheme 18

15 Identify one extraneous variable that the investigator addressed in the procedure for the study and explain how it was addressed. (4 marks) AO3 = 4 marks Analysis of the design to identify correctly extraneous variable. Appropriate description of practical technique to address this. Likely answer: participant variables dealt with by random allocation of the participants to the two different conditions working alone or in groups. For full marks, candidates need to explain the process of random allocation. 16 Name an appropriate test of statistical significance for analysing this data. Explain why this would be a suitable test to use. (4 marks) AO1 = 1 mark Appropriate test named AO3 = 3 marks Explanation in terms of level of measurement, design, purpose of test Mann Witney Ordinal data, independent measures, test of difference 17 Explain what is meant by "p 0.05". (2 marks) AO1 = 2 marks Accurate explanation The probability of the results occurring by chance is equal to or less than 5 times in 100. 18 Give one reason why the psychologist used a two tailed test. (2 marks) AO3 = 2 marks Accurate reason Two-tailed test is used when the hypothesis is non-directional. Because there was no indication that research suggested the direction of difference, a non-directional hypothesis and a two-tailed test would be appropriate. 19 With reference to the data in Table 1, outline and discuss the findings of this investigation. (10 marks) AO2 = 4 marks Outline of findings of the investigation

AO3 = 6 marks Analysis, evaluation and interpretation of other's methodology and the impact of findings Answers should describe the overall results and make reference to: Average scores for 2 conditions Range or sd for each condition Explain what the mean and sd seem to tell us Realism of the task Reliability of identifying who generated each idea when working in groups What constitutes "an idea".
Psychology A (PSYA4) - AQA GCE Specimen Mark Scheme 19

AO2/3 Mark bands 10-9 marks Effective Discussion and application of knowledge to unfamiliar material are effective. Overall, the material shows coherent elaboration and/or a clear line of argument. There is substantial evidence of synopticity. 8-6 marks Reasonable Discussion and application of knowledge to unfamiliar material is reasonably effective. Overall, the material shows reasonable elaboration and/or a line of argument is evident. There is evidence of synopticity. 5-3 marks Basic Discussion and application of knowledge to unfamiliar material is basic. Overall, the material shows some evidence of elaboration. There is some evidence of synopticity. 2 - 1 marks Rudimentary Discussion is rudimentary. It is weak, muddled and incomplete. Application of knowledge to unfamiliar material is rudimentary. The material presented may be mainly irrelevant. There is little or no evidence of synopticity. 0 marks No creditworthy material is presented.
Psychology A (PSYA4) - AQA GCE Specimen Mark Scheme 20

20 The psychologist noted that younger participants seemed to generate more ideas than older participants. Design a study to investigate the relationship between age and ability to generate ideas. You should include sufficient details to permit replication, for example a hypothesis, variables, detail of design and procedure, sampling. (12 marks) AO3 = 12 marks Clear well-reasoned design with sufficient detail for reasonable replication. Hypothesis operationalised Method - correlational Variables age in years and number of ideas generated Sampling method and sample size Procedure to include briefing consent/right to withdraw, step by step to permit replication 12-10 marks Thorough and well reasoned Design is thorough. Design decisions are appropriate and well reasoned. Sufficient detail for the study to be implemented. 9 - 7 marks Reasonable Design is reasonable. Most design decisions are appropriate and some justification is provided. Sufficient detail for most aspects of the plan to be implemented. 6- 4 marks Basic

Design is basic. Some design decisions are appropriate. Justification provided is very limited. Insufficient detail for the plan to be implemented. 3- 1 marks Rudimentary Design is rudimentary. Design decisions are muddled and incomplete and are not justified. The plan could not be implemented. 0 marks No creditworthy material is presented.

PSYA4 Psychological research and scientific method (35 marks) Question


In the wake of the economic crisis, young people are leaving school and university and joining the ranks of the unemployed. A group of students decided to investigate the effects of unemployment on young adults self-esteem and locus of control. They used an opportunity sample of 40 young people between 18 and 24 years. Twenty of the sample had been unemployed for the previous 9 months; the other 20 were employed and had only ever experienced short spells of unemployment. Self-esteem was measured with the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, a 10-item questionnaire. Each of the 10 statements is rated on a 4-point scale, resulting in a minimum score of 10 (low self-esteem) and a maximum score of 40 (high self-esteem). Figure 1 Example of the items and scoring for the self-esteem test Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree I feel that I have a number of good qualities. I am able to do things as well as most other people. The locus of control scale used was a new scale that consisted of 12 items, with a minimum score of 12 and a maximum of 24. A high score indicates external locus of control and a low score indicates internal locus of control. Before collecting the data, the students checked the reliability and validity of this new locus of control scale. The students calculated the mean and standard deviation scores for self-esteem and locus of control scale. Table 1 Mean and standard deviation scores for self-esteem and locus of control scale Employed Unemployed Mean self-esteem score 31 26 Standard deviation for self-esteem 3.8 5.0 Mean locus of control 16 18

Standard deviation for locus of control 2.06 2.8 1 Identify the design of this investigation. (1 mark) 2 (i) Explain how the students could have checked the reliability of the locus of control scale. (3 marks) 2 (ii) Explain how the students could have checked the internal validity of the locus of control scale. (3 marks) 3 Outline what the data in Table 1 seems to show about the difference between the employed and unemployed samples. (4 marks)
Teacher Resource Bank / Psychology A / Further Practice Questions: PSYA3 and 4 / Version 1.0

Copyright 2009 AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. 67


The students then used a statistical test to find out if there was a significant difference between the scores for the unemployed and employed groups. They found a significant difference at the 5% level for a two tailed test (p = 0.05) for both the self-esteem scores and the locus of control scores. 4 Identify an appropriate statistical test for analysing the scores for self-esteem. Explain why it would be appropriate. (4 marks) The students decided to explore the relationship between self-esteem and locus of control for the two groups. The scattergraphs below depict the relationship for employed and unemployed young people. Figure 2
Relationship between self esteem and locus of control for employed young people 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Self esteem Locus of control

Figure 3
Relationship between self esteem and locus of control for unemployed young people
12 14 16 18 20 22 24 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Self esteem
Locus of control Teacher Resource Bank / Psychology A / Further Practice Questions: PSYA3 and 4 / Version 1.0

Copyright 2009 AQA and its licensors. All

68 rights reserved.

5 Explain what the scattergrams show about self-esteem and locus of control in employed and unemployed young people. (4 marks) 6 Discuss limitations of this study and the implications of these limitations. (8 marks) 7 The students tutor suggested that collecting some qualitative data might help them to develop a deeper understanding of the effects of employment and unemployment on young people.

Outline a proposal for a study that would allow you to collect qualitative data on the effects of employment and unemployment on young people. You should identify the research method, provide detail of the sampling procedure and data collection tools/techniques, explain how you would record the data and suggest how you would analyse the data. (8 marks)

Further sample questions mark scheme and candidate response 1 Identify the design of this investigation. (1 mark) AO3 = 1 mark: For correct identification of design. Independent measures/groups/samples design. Reference to method, eg quasi-experimental, is not creditworthy.

1 Independent groups design.


AO3: 1/1 2 (i) Explain how the students could have checked the reliability of the locus of control scale. (3 marks) AO3 = 3 marks: For explanation of the method of checking reliability. One mark for identifying a method that could be used and 3 further marks for explanation of the procedure/rationale and required outcome to evidence reliability. Likely answers split half test/re-test. For full marks, it is not necessary for candidates to describe the correlation procedure but if they did, it would be credited.

2 (i) A split-half test could be used. The questions in the test are randomly split into two halves and participants answers to the two halves is compared to see if they correlate positively. Alternatively the test retest assessment could be used. The participants undertake the test again at a later date and their scores on the two occasions are compared.

Examiner comments The answer suggests two ways: each of these contains sufficient detail to gain the 3 marks. AO3: 3/3 2 (ii) Explain how the students could have checked the internal validity of the locus of control scale. (3 marks) AO3 = 3 marks: For explanation of method of checking internal validity. Candidates may explain a method to check face validity, concurrent validity, or predictive validity, criterion validity. One mark for making clear the aspect of internal validity being checked (though the technical term is not essential) plus 2 further marks for detail of the procedure and/or rationale and required outcome to evidence validity. References to external validity would not be creditworthy.

2 (ii) Validity could be checked by examining the behaviour of people rated strongly internal on the test and the behaviour of those rated strongly external to see whether the scale really distinguishes between them.
Examiner comments The method is not identified as a check of predictive validity but an appropriate method is described, though the decision about whether or not the scale is valid is not explained. AO3: 2/3 3 Outline what the data in Table 1 seems to show about the difference between the employed and unemployed samples. (4 marks) AO3 = 4 marks: For outline of what the data shows. For full marks, candidates need to make reference to both the means and the standard deviations but they need not necessarily be equally weighted. Relevant points: self-esteem higher for employed employed more internal in LofC unemployed more external in LofC SD/variation in scores on SE and in LofC is greater amongst the unemployed. Credit also other comparisons and references to the point that causality cannot be inferred.

3 On average, the employed group has higher self-esteem and more internal locus of control than the unemployed whose self-esteem is lower and locus of control is more external. This could be because of their job or it could be they have got jobs because they have high self-esteem. And the unemployed cannot get jobs because they believe it is just luck of chance.
Examiner comments An accurate and detailed outline of what the means show, with some elaboration, though this is speculative and therefore not creditworthy. There is no mention of what the standard deviations show. AO3: 4/4 4 Identify an appropriate statistical test for analysing the scores for self-esteem. Explain why it would be appropriate. (4 marks)

AO1 = 1 AO3 = 3 marks: One mark for identification of a suitable test for this data, 3 further marks for the justification. Mann-Whitney is the most appropriate test, but if candidates argue a good case for the robustness of the t-test for independent samples, they should be credited. Justification: independent groups at least ordinal data test of diffference.

4 Mann Whitney, as it is an independent groups design.


Examiner comments No reference to the level of measurement or that it is a test of difference. AO3: 2/4

5 Explain what the scattergrams show about self-esteem and locus of control in employed and unemployed young people. (4 marks) AO3 = 4 marks: For explanation referring to both conditions. Relevant points include: strong relationship between SE and LofC for unemployed, the relationship is positive external locus of control: belief in luck and chance is associated with high self-esteem. for the employed sample, the relationship is negative internal locus of control: belief in personal responsibility and self-efficacy is associated with high self-esteem because it shows a relationship, it cannot tell us what causes the association: it could be a third factor such as the employed group are more inclined to give socially desirable responses on both scales. As locus of control is part of the compulsory specification content at AS level, candidates may make reference to this in relation to the direction of relationship. This should be credited.

5 The scatterplots show that there is a strong relationship between selfesteem and locus of control. They are not equally strong. It is a bit stronger for the employed as the scatterplot is closer to a straight line. The relationship in the graph for unemployed people is positive but for the employed it is negative.
Examiner comments This answer makes three good points about the strength and direction of the relationship but it is not related explicitly to SE and LofC. There is no explanation provided for the difference in direction of the relationship. AO3: 3/4 6 Discuss limitations of this study and the implications of these limitations. (8 marks) AO3 = 4 marks: For identification of the limitations. AO2 = 4 marks: For discussion of the implications of the limitations identified. Limitations and their implications might include: quasi-experiment where no IV has been manipulated so the study cannot achieve its aim to see the effect of employment on SE and LofC cannot draw causal inferences. High SE may lead to employment and low SE to unemployment: in addition, those who are external in LofC may not try to get

employment scores could have been distorted by socially desirable responses. Implications for validity independent groups design does not hold person variables constant. Implications for validity no random allocation to conditions.

6 The main limitation of this study is that it is an independent measures design and this means there are different people in each condition so any differences that are found could be personality differences not the effect of being employed or unemployed. The usual way to deal with this confounding variable is by random sampling so that every one has an equal chance of being selected and put into one or other group. However it would be unethical to randomly put people into employment or make them unemployed and even if you did it would not have ecological validity as in the real world people have to apply for and get jobs based on their qualifications. Another big problem with the study is that the questionnaires might not be answered honestly. The participants may just answer how they think you want them to answer and the employed people might think they have to seem really in control and up for it whereas the unemployed might think they ought to be ashamed and resentful because they do not have a job, so the difference they found was not a real difference.
Examiner comments Some sound discussion of limitations which elaborates on the implications. At some points, the answer is muddled as in the explanation of random allocation. It is a pity the candidate did not get to grips with the most fundamental flaw, that the study does not adopt a method suitable for testing whether employment/unemployment affects SE or LofC. AO2/3: 4/8 7 The students tutor suggested that collecting some qualitative data might help them to develop a deeper understanding of the effects of employment and unemployment on young people. Outline a proposal for a study that would allow you to collect qualitative data on the effects of employment and unemployment on young people. You should identify the research method, provide detail of the sampling procedure and data collection tools/techniques, explain how you would record the data and suggest how you would analyse the data. (8 marks) AO3 = 8 marks: For outline of proposals for qualitative investigation. Quality of answers is likely to vary as a function of the plausibility/appropriateness of the proposal. Candidates are most likely to choose either interviews or a questionnaire using a range of open questions, though other methods that yield qualitative data should be credited. The proposals should make clear how: the method will yield qualitative data questions would be selected and structured, eg through open questions the sample would be selected. It is perfectly acceptable for candidates to suggest

selecting from the original sample data would be recorded data would be analysed. Credit also references to issues such as reliability, validity, bias, piloting, ethics.

7 The students could select some of the participants from the first study and approach them to see if they are willing to participate. They would have to give them an information sheet, and get them to sign a consent form. This would ensure they realised they had the right to withdraw and that the information would be confidential. The data would be collected using face to face interviews. The questions would mostly be open questions that allowed the interviewee to say what they really thought about how unemployment or employment had affected them. The questions could focus attention on things like the first response, how other people reacted etc. Eg When you first got your job how did you feel? When you had not managed to get a job after 6 weeks, how did you feel? The students could record the persons answers so that they could pick out information carefully and the they could all listen to the tape and help analyse what is said . It is important to keep the meaning so they need to listen to the tone. They would then take the notes for all the employed and try to identify themes. Then do the same for the unemployed. By doing it together they could compare how they categorised the bits of information and check reliability.
Examiner comments The candidate has described the main components that were listed in the questions for guidance and has provided a clear proposal. The answer would have been more effective if the proposed sample size and the way of obtaining the sample from the participants in the first study had been explained. Adding in detail of a couple of sample questions was useful, as were the examples of the focus for some questions. The candidate gave sufficient detail to show understanding of how to collect data. The recording and analysis were quite good and the point about noting tone to keep the meaning was impressive. This sort of detail, along with the point about reliability, suggests the candidate had carried out some qualitative data analysis, not just read about it. AO3: 7/8 Total 26/35

Writing up the Practical


The report should follow a similar format to a journal article. The total length of the report should be approximately 2000-2500 words (excluding tables, figures and appendices). It is recognised that the length of a good report can vary depending on factors such as complexity of research and the number of previous studies, but a maximum of 2500 words [+ or 10%] should be borne in mind.

It is recommended that the following divisions be used: Title Abstract Introduction Aims Hypothesis[es] Method [subdivided into Design/ Participants/ Materials/ Procedure] Results Discussion References Appendices

Title
This should give the reader a good idea what the study is about: not too long and not too vague. E.g.
An investigation into the effects of deep and shallow processing on memory for words.

Abstract
The purpose of the Abstract is to summarise the bare essentials of the study so that the reader can discover quickly the purpose of the research, what was done and what was found. It should present details of the aims, hypothesis(es), method used, participants, findings and conclusions. An example of an Abstract which would be awarded 3 marks follows:
The aim of the research was to repeat Bowers study which found that photographs of deep processed faces are remembered better than photographs of shallow processed faces. An opportunity sample of 20 16-18 year olds were tested individually in an empty classroom. Each participant was shown 20 photographs of faces one at a time and asked a deep processing question (Does this person remind you of anyone you know?) or a shallow processing question (Is this a man or a woman?). Two days later they were shown the 20 photographs again mixed with another 20 similar pictures. They were asked to identify the photographs seen before. A Wilcoxon Matched Pairs test was used to analyse the results. Observed value of T = 5; Critical value at p<0.05 [one tailed] for N = 20 is 60. Thus the experimental hypothesis (that participants would recall more deep processed faces than shallow processed faces) was accepted. It was concluded that the idea that deep processing aids memory was supported. Specification Support Document Psychology A 80 klm

After reading the Abstract the reader should know: What the aim was. What the hypothesis was. What was actually done. Who the participants were. Where they were studied. What was found. What conclusions were drawn.

A word length around about 150 words (+ or 10%) should be sufficient.

Introduction
The Introduction should provide sufficient background information so that the derivation of the hypothesis is evident. It should begin with a brief general introduction to the research area. Please note that this is an introduction to the specific study not a general essay. Material should not be included which is not directly relevant. Specific and relevant theories and/or research studies should then be described. Candidates should then explain how their idea for the coursework was derived from this previous research thus leading logically into the aims and hypothesis(es). Relevant critical comments on previous research may be included but candidates should take care that their aims follow logically from the literature review. If the research has been completely discredited why are they repeating it? Remember that all studies included in the Introduction should be referenced at the end of the report in such a way that the reader could find the original study or a detailed account of it. An example of an Introduction which would be awarded 5 marks follows. It is difficult to be precise as to how long an Introduction should be as this varies with the topic selected but 600 - 750 words should suffice. If there is only one relevant research study to describe around 500 words may well be sufficient for an A grade piece of work.
Introduction One argument that has arisen from research into people with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia is that they have distorted images of themselves and are not content with their weight. The cognitive approach to eating disorders recognises these distorted views about body shape and weight and calls them cognitive biases. The cognitive theory suggests sufferers of eating disorders have body distortion and it is known that most patients with anorexia and bulimia have strong cognitive biases that, for example, lead them to overestimate their body size. Garfinkel and Garner (1982) researched distortions in body image and found that sufferers of anorexia nervosa have a distorted image of their own body, seeing themselves as heavier than they are. Garfinkel and Garner gave anorexic and control participants a device that allowed them to adjust someones photograph to between 20 percent and +20 percent of the photographs actual width. They found that an

anorexic was more likely to adjust a picture of herself so that it was larger than actual size but had no tendency to distort the sizes of other people. Psychology A - Specification Support Document

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81 Cooper and Taylor (1988) also found that, although sufferers of bulimia nervosa are not typically overweight, they usually show a substantial discrepancy between their estimation of their actual body size and their desired body size. However, what is not certain is whether these cognitive biases exist before the onset of eating disorders and so may influence their development, or whether they only develop after the onset, in which case they cannot be a causal factor. Do similar distortions in body image occur in the general population? Other psychologists blame the media and Western society that places a high value on slim female appearance. This argument is supported by the fact that eating disorders are considerably more common in Western than in non-Western society, as found by Cooper in 1994. The media and modelling can explain many features of eating disorders, for example the increased prevalence in recent years, the higher rates in Western society, and age and gender differences. However, a problem is that a majority of the population who are exposed to these cultural pressures do not develop eating disorders. It is possible, however, that peoples own body image is still affected by media pressures. Research has been conducted on the general population to see whether gender differences in body image occur there and whether perceptions of body shape are distorted amongst people with no history of eating disorders. Fallon and Rozin (1985) investigated sex differences in perceptions of desirable body shape. They used a scale of nine figure drawings that went from 1-9 (1 being the thinnest). The participants were asked to indicate on the scale the figure that was closest to their current figure (current), that they would like to look like (ideal), that they thought would be most attractive to the opposite sex (attractive) and that of the opposite sex that they found the most attractive (other attractive). Fallon and Rozin found differences in perception of current body shape and ideal body shape, especially in women. Their participants were not asked whether or not they had an eating disorder but Fallon and Rozin concluded that the sex differences are probably related to the greater incidence of dieting, anorexia and bulimia among American women than among American men. They found that, on average, women rated their current figure as fatter than their ideal figure and also fatter than the figure they expected men

to choose as attractive. In reality, they found the female figure preferred by men is larger than women think. They also found men have very similar current and ideal figures with the ideal being very slightly larger. The male figure that the men rated as most attractive to females was larger than the actual figure preferred by women. These results indicate that a difference in perceptions of body shape does exist in men and women and supports the idea that females in the general population are dissatisfied with their body image. In 1959 Calden, Lundy and Schlafer found that women are generally more dissatisfied with their physical appearance than men and that the most marked difference in body-image perceptions between the sexes is dissatisfaction with weight. Gray (1977) found similar results to Fallon and Rozin for women: that females are more likely to judge themselves as overweight when by objective standards they are not. However, in contrast to Fallon and Rozin, Gray found males were significantly more likely to see themselves as underweight with respect to objective standards. These findings suggest that both males and females misperceive their weight. Specification Support Document Psychology A 82 klm

Aims & Hypothesis


The review of the psychological literature given in the Introduction should lead logically into the aims. A paragraph should be written explaining what the student plans to investigate and how this idea was derived from the previous research. This should lead logically into a statement of the hypothesis(es). Please note that there is some controversy as to whether it is appropriate to include a null hypothesis at this point and so AQA will accept either a clear, precise and operationalised experimental/alternative hypothesis or both this and a null hypothesis according to the centres policy. It is not necessary to explain why a directional or non-directional hypothesis has been selected as this is included in the Project Brief. It is very important that the hypothesis is worded precisely (sometimes called operationalised). A hypothesis such as Younger people have better memories than older people is too imprecise. What age groups are being tested? What test of memory is being used? Is STM or LTM being tested? How is better being measured? The Aims and Hypotheses which followed the above Introduction are given below. They were awarded 3

for C2 and 2 for C3. It should be noted, however, that the whole introduction logically leads to the statement of hypotheses and that this is taken into account when awarding C2 marks.

Aims It seems from this research that there is distortion of perception of body shape in the general population especially in females. However, the above research was conducted around 20 years ago on American undergraduates. The following study aims to find out if these body distortions exist today in 1618 year old female English students. It will investigate the relationship between perceived body size and ideal body size in females with no history of eating disorders. After looking at research in this area, especially investigations by Fallon and Rozin (1985) and Gray (1977) the following hypotheses have been drawn up. Alternative Hypotheses The perceived current body size that 16-18 year-old female students select on a body shape scale is greater than the ideal body size that they select. Null Hypotheses There is no difference between the perceived current body size of 16-18 year-old female students and their ideal body size as selected on a body shape scale.

Candidates should ensure that the hypothesis(es) is unambiguous and understandable to someone who has not yet read the rest of the report.

Method
This is typically divided into subsections: Design Participants Apparatus/ Materials Procedure.
Psychology A - Specification Support Document

klm 83 Design

This should include: Choice of method. e.g. field experiment, naturalistic observation, etc. Choice of experimental design (if appropriate) e.g. repeated measures. Choice of observational techniques (if appropriate) e.g. time sampling. Identification of IV and DV (where appropriate). If it involved correlation which variables were being related with each other? Methods used to control extraneous variables e.g. use of standardised instructions, counterbalancing, single blind condition, etc. Ethical considerations (although it is not strictly necessary to include discussion of ethical issues in

Design it may be advantageous to encourage candidates to think about these issues again after they have actually conducted the research).

Participants
Full details of: The target population, described in terms such as age, gender or any other relevant variables. The sampling method used. The actual sample. How participants were assigned to conditions. Details of who was conducting the research, described in terms of age; gender or any other relevant variables.

Apparatus/Materials
A description of all the apparatus and materials used. The source of any questionnaires or scales used should be given and scoring procedures explained. Examples and answers should be given in the Appendix. Copies of word lists, questionnaires, etc. should be placed in appendices. Candidates should remember to include mark schemes for any tests or questionnaires.
Specification Support Document Psychology A 84 klm

Procedures
These should include a description of the steps taken in the research in sufficient detail that someone unfamiliar with the work could repeat the study. This should include where the research was undertaken, the instructions given to participants, exactly what was done, etc. Details of what was said may be placed in an appendix. Students should ensure that they include details of control procedures already mentioned, such as how counterbalancing was achieved, how a single or double blind condition was achieved, how extraneous variables were controlled, etc. An easy way to check that all necessary information is included is to give the procedure to someone else and ask them if they could duplicate the research. An example is given below of a Method which would receive full marks. Some centres may query the use of the first person but, as some journals are now publishing articles using this style, AQA will not penalise the use of I or We.

Method Design: The method used was the experimental method with an independent groups design. The independent variable was whether or not there was a missing dot in the dot-to-dot given to the participant and the dependant variable was the change in the pulse rates of the participants. Many things

were controlled in my experiment. Standardised instructions were used, (see appendix). The room where the experiment was being carried out was always the same and the amount of time the participants had to complete the dot-to-dot was always the same. The double blind technique was used when giving the participants the dot-to-dots (I did not look to see which I was giving them), so that I would not be biased when taking the pulse rates and evaluation apprehension would not occur. To try to deal with ethical issues the participants were debriefed at the end of the experiment and given the right to withdraw their results. Participants: 20 participants aged from 16 to 18, both males and females, were used and they were all students at ***** College. Opportunity sampling was used and I used lunchtimes to find and test people. Participants were randomly allocated to the two conditions by shuffling the complete and incomplete dottodots up and giving the participants the next one on the pile. The researcher was a 17 year old female sixth former. Materials used: Dot-to-dots. These were found on the internet. I chose one that was not too obvious and easy, but would not take too long to complete. It was the outline of a frog. I then used paint art to delete one of the dots on the puzzle. I chose dot 88 near to the end of the picture, so that the participant would have little time left to complete the puzzle and win a prize and therefore should feel under stress. I printed 10 of each dot-to-dot. (See appendix for copies.) Stop watch Sweets (as prizes) Psychology A - Specification Support Document

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85 Procedure: After choosing the dot to dot I tested the completed one on 4 participants to get an average amount of time that the puzzle took to complete. It came out as one minute. This would be the time limit for the experiment. During lunchtimes at school I used an empty, quiet room and brought one participant in at a time (by opportunity sampling). They were seated at a table and given the standardised instructions to read (see appendix). Their pulse was taken for 10 seconds and this was recorded. They were then given the next dot-to-dot on the pile to complete. It was double blind so I didnt know which one they had. They were told to begin and the stopwatch was started. They were given a minute to complete it. If they had not finished after that minute they were stopped. Their pulse was taken for another 10 seconds and this was again recorded. It was also recorded whether the puzzle was a complete dot or missing dot one. I then debriefed the participant and gave them the right to withdraw their results.

Results Section
The data collected and the results of statistical testing should be summarised in the main text. All raw data should be included in Appendices. This raw data should be clearly presented in a readable form with suitable labeling to enable the reader to understand what is being shown. If a computer program has been used summary tables and graphs should still be included in the body of the report and raw data and print outs of calculations should be included in the appendices.

Descriptive Statistics
Descriptive statistics make up an important part of the Results. Measures of central tendency and spread plus graphs help students to gain a feel for the data and an understanding of the results that have been obtained. If data at the nominal level of measurement has been collected a simple summary table should be included giving the totals in each cell. (If the data is nominal it is not possible to calculate means, medians, range, etc.) For data at the ordinal or interval levels of measurement medians/ means should be given plus ranges/ standard deviations as appropriate. One or two well-chosen graphs which illustrate the data collected clearly should be included and should be placed in the main Results section not in the Appendices. Wellpresented, hand-drawn graphs are acceptable even if the rest of the coursework has been wordprocessed. Special care should be taken that all tables and graphs are fully labelled. Centres may encourage students to add one or two sentences under tables or graphs explaining what the descriptive statistics indicate. Other centres may prefer that such description be in the Discussion section. AQA will accept either approach but both should be credited in F1.
Specification Support Document Psychology A 86 klm

Inferential Statistics
The use of inferential statistics is a requirement of the specification and this section should contain the following information: A statement of the test to be used.
e.g. The chi-square test was used to analyse the results.

Justification of the choice of inferential test with reference to whether the data is related or independent, the level of measurement of the data collected and whether the hypothesis is testing for

difference, correlation or association. Levels of measurement should be fully explained.

e.g. This test was suitable as the data was independent as each participants score could only fall in one cell. Also data was at the nominal level of measurement as it was in the form of categories and the hypothesis was that there would be an association between the two variables.

The calculated value of the test; the degrees of freedom/ number of participants or pairs/ etc.; the relevant critical value; whether the test was one tailed or two tailed.
e.g. Chi square = 2.99 df = 1 Critical value at p<0.05 [two tailed] = 3.84

An explanation of which hypothesis was retained or rejected.

e.g . As the calculated value of Chi-Square was less than the critical value the null hypothesis was retained.

When centres are allocating E1 and E2 marks they may find it useful to break down the criteria into separate sections. The criteria for 4 marks for E1 can be broken down into: The selection of descriptive techniques is appropriate. The application of descriptive techniques is appropriate. The selection of an inferential test is appropriate. The application of an inferential test is appropriate. The use of any inferential test was justified with full reference to the data collected. An appropriate level of statistical significance was applied. A full explanation of the actual level of significance reached was provided. The criteria for 4 marks for E2 can be broken down into: Descriptive statistics were presented precisely and clearly. Inferential statistics were presented precisely and clearly. Presentation of raw data in an Appendix was clear. Presentation of calculations in an Appendix was clear. An example of the Results section related to the Method section on pages 84 & 85 is given below. This Results section was given full marks for E1 and E2. It should be noted that there are many different ways of presenting results and the particular style of this student is not prescriptive. The section should, however, be precise and clear to gain full marks.
Psychology A - Specification Support Document

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87 Results A Summary Table Of Changes in Participants Pulse Rates measured over 10seconds before and after puzzle completion Dot missing Not missing Mean +1.7 -0.1 Median +2 0 Range 4 2
Figure 1 Different changes of pulse rates between the two groups
0

1 2 3 4 5 6 -1 0 1 2 3 (change in pulse rate after experiment) (number of people) missing not missing

Figure 1 shows the differences in changes of pulse rates between those who had the puzzle with a missing dot and those that didnt. It shows that the larger increases in pulse rate after the experiment belonged to those who had the dot missing, therefore the stress. From the 10 who attempted the incomplete puzzle 8 had increased pulse rate, no one had no change in pulse rate but 2 peoples pulse rates did drop. From the 10 participants who attempted the complete puzzle 2 had increased pulse rate, 5 people experienced no change in pulse rate, and 3 peoples decreased. Treatment of Results I used the Mann Whitney U Test. I chose this statistical test because it is used in independent groups designs (like mine is) and to show if there is a significant difference between the results of two groups. The data collected could be treated as ordinal (i.e. could be ranked) and thus a non-parametric test could be used. The critical value of U at p<0.05 (one tailed) for N1 = 10 & N2 = 10 is 27 The critical value at p<0.01 (one tailed) = 19 I calculated that my result was U = 18 The observed value of U must be equal or less than the critical values to reach that level of significance. As 18 is less than both 19 and 27 this shows that my result was significant and I can accept the experimental hypothesis. (For the raw data and workings out of this stats test, see the appendix.) The mean and median show that when there is a dot missing, generally the pulse increases, and when there isnt one missing, it stays pretty much the same. The range shows that there was more of a spread in the pulse rate changes with the dot missing than not missing. Specification Support Document Psychology A 88 klm

Inferential Statistics
It is recognised that, very occasionally, when the descriptive statistics are examined it may be clear that it is inappropriate to run an inferential test. A case where this might arise would be if a directional hypothesis was selected but the means/ medians indicate that the results lie in the opposite direction to the hypothesis.

E.g. Hypothesis: Participants estimates of their fathers IQ are greater than those of their mothers IQ. Mean estimated IQ of fathers = 100 Mean estimated IQ of mothers = 110 In such a case candidates should fully explain why an inferential test is not appropriate and explain which test would have been selected (and why) if the data had been different. If centres are in doubt the coursework adviser should be consulted.

Discussion
This section has the greatest number of marks allocated. There are four sections to the mark schemes: Explanation of findings. Relationship to background research. Limitations and modifications. Implications and ideas for future research. Students may find it advantageous to structure their report around these subsections.

Explanation of Findings
In the last section students should have given the results in terms of descriptive and inferential statistics. In the Discussion they should explain these results in words. They should state what was found and relate the findings to their initial aims and hypotheses. They may also have additional findings to report such as observations made when collecting the data, things said by participants, etc. Some students may chose to comment on summary tables and graphs in the Results section itself. This is quite acceptable and any pertinent comments should be credited in F1.

Relationship to Background Research


This section is the students opportunity to explain why they think their results occurred with reference to other research. They should discuss the outcome of the study in terms of relevant background literature such as theories and previous research. In the Introduction the aims and hypotheses should have grown logically from the review of relevant literature. Now the process is reversed and the current findings should be tied into the previously reviewed work. Students should not just list previous work here but should explain whether their own findings agree or disagree with the earlier work. If the results agree then the discussion will be brief although candidates might indicate the ways in which their own study differs. If the results are contrary to previous research candidates should look for alternative explanations. This may, on occasion, mean introducing new material and ideas.
Psychology A - Specification Support Document

klm 89 Limitations and Modifications


Even a well designed study is likely to have some flaws and candidates should use this section to consider how factors such as experimental treatments, measurement scales used, sampling, controls, procedures and/or statistical treatments might have been improved. Suggested alterations which are still investigating the same area should be credited as modifications and awarded marks in this sub-section.

Implications and Suggestions for Future Research


The implications of the findings for everyday life and/or psychological theory should be considered. One or two ideas for follow up research should be included. Follow up ideas should take the topic under investigation a step forwards from the current study and care should be taken that ideas are credited as either a modification in F3 or an idea for future research in F4 but not as both.

Conclusion
It is common practice to finish with a statement of the findings and key points of the study in no more than 3 or 4 sentences.

An Example of a Discussion
The Discussion below follows the Introduction given on page 80. The discussion would be awarded full marks in all the subsections.

Discussion The findings of this investigation found a difference in perceived and ideal body sizes of 16-18 year old female students. Overall females wanted to be thinner than they think they are. The Wilcoxon Matched Pairs test was significant at the 0.05 level and the result was supported by the graphs. There was only one case in which a participant chose an ideal shape larger than her current shape. Thus the alternative hypothesis will be retained. The perceived current body size of 16-18 year-old female students is greater than their ideal body size.

* Commentary on the descriptive statistics in Results may also be creditworthy under F1. F1*

There has been much research into the ideal and perceived body weight of females. Since early research such as Calden, Lundy and Schlafer [1959] and Fallon and Rozin [1985] it has been found that women were more dissatisfied with their body shape than were men. This study suggests that dissatisfaction amongst women is as high as ever.

F2

The dissatisfaction with weight could be influenced by modelling. Western society places a high value on slim female appearance. These social pressures could cause young people to be unhappy with their weight. Changing attitudes of society from the preferred curvaceous hour-glass figure of Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s to the currently popular waif-like shape could contribute to the

increase in prevalence of eating disorders and discontent over body size.

F2
Alternatively, the results could be explained in terms of cognitive biases that cause females to overestimate their body size. It is possible that the 16 18 year olds questioned were over estimating their current size in their genuine perceptions of their own weight. This would support the idea that over estimation of body size is common in all females and is in line with the research of Fallon and Rozin in 1985 who found that distorted beliefs about body size are found even in those not suffering from an eating disorder.

F2
Specification Support Document Psychology A 90 klm One limitation of the study was the participant sample used. Opportunity sampling from a sixth form target population was used and so the sample contained many biases like age, level of intelligence and social economic background. However, the hypotheses only related the results to 16-18 year old students and so are not claiming that they are true for all ages and social groups.

F3

Another flaw is that the researchers knew the participants. This may have led the participants to be influenced by social desirability and put what they thought was the normal answer and not what they actually think. Use of a different target population and sampling technique could tackle this problem.

F3
There may have also been the problem of demand characteristics. Perceived and ideal body sizes, and eating disorders are popular and well-covered issues. Participants, therefore, may have known what results were expected and answered accordingly whether agreeing with what they thought was normal so as not to look wrong or disagreeing in order to disrupt the results.

F3
A design flaw of this investigation is in the scale used. The scale only went from 2-5 instead of 19 as with the original scale used by Fallon and Rozin. This was because the full scale (from extremely thin to extremely fat) was not available and, as the participants were all of normal size, the shorter scale was felt to be adequate. However, this limited the data and forced the participants to put their answers within a more limited range. If repeated the more extensive scale would be used.

F3
There are many follow up studies that could be conducted. People from a different age group or occupation could be studied. A relevant age group would be 19-25 because this is also a vulnerable age group to eating disorders, particularly bulimia nervosa. It would also be interesting to investigate a younger age group of 8-12 to see if the same tendencies are found. Males perception of their body weight could be studied. Perhaps the current emphasis on working out and the six pack body will influence mens perceptions of their own and ideal body shapes.

F4
Alternatively this investigation could be extended to ask people why they want to be a different size. It would be very useful to collect qualitative data from open-ended interviews to help with the interpretation of the results.

F4
The results of this investigation have implications for psychological theory. As already discussed

dissatisfaction weight could be explained by a number of psychological models such as errors in the perception of your own body weight or modelling. These findings also have implications for every day life. They draw attention to the fact that many 16-18 year old students are discontented with their weight and so, as a society, we should encourage people to be happy with who they are and what they look like, focusing more on personality and not appearance. The media should be urged to employ many different shapes and sizes of people as models and not constantly promote thin females.

F4
In conclusion, this investigation has found that on average 16-18 year old females have different perceived and ideal body sizes. Reasons for this difference could be explained by various psychological models but it is probable that the dissatisfaction with weight is based on a combination of influences from each of the psychological explanations. Psychology A - Specification Support Document

klm 91 References

In this section students are not asked to give a Bibliography (a list of the books that they used) but rather to reference the studies that they have mentioned in their report. The criteria that are used in marking this section are: Could the reader go to a library and, using the reference given, find the original journal article/book or find the section in a textbook that the candidate used in writing the coursework? The candidate should either give the reference to the original, following the standard conventions (as used in textbooks), or quote the textbooks used plus page numbers used. (Please note that page numbers are necessary as there may be several references to the psychologist in question in a textbook.) or Could the reader go to the Internet and, using the reference given, find the web site / web page that the candidate used in writing the coursework? Are the references in alphabetical order? Are all the studies mentioned in the report included?

Referencing from a Journal Article/Book


If the candidate chooses to give the reference to the original the standard convention for a journal article is: Author Date Title of article Journal Volume Page numbers e.g. Scarr, S. (1998) American Childcare Today. American Psychologist, 53, 95-108. If the reference is to a book the reference should include: Author Date Title of book Publisher e.g. Beck, A.T. (1967) Depression: Causes and Treatment. University of Philadelphia Press. Some candidates may chose to give the reference to the pages they used in a textbook (page numbers must

be included in this instance). e.g. Brown, R. and Kulik, J. (1977) in Gross, R., McIlveen, R. and Coolican, H. (2000) Psychology: a new introduction for AS level. Hodder and Stoughton. Pages 26-27. Another acceptable method would be: Gross, R., McIlveen, R. and Coolican, H. (2000) Psychology: a new introduction for AS level. Hodder and Stoughton. From this book the following studies were obtained: Asch, S.E. (1951) page 109-112 Sherif, M. (1935) page 109. Candidates will not be penalised if they include a Bibliography of the books they have used but this is not asked for in the mark scheme, thus will not gain credit.
Specification Support Document Psychology A 92 klm

Referencing from the Internet


If a candidate used a document on the Internet, the following formats should be used: The date accessed must always be given for web pages. A web page with authors: Author Date Title of article/book Web address Date accessed Zimbardo, P. (1999): The Stanford Prison Experiment <http://www.prisonexp.org/>Accessed on 16th October, 2003 A web page without authors and date: Title of article Web address AQA is an independent company, limited by guarantee, and a charity. <http://www.aqa.org.uk/over/index.html> Date accessed Accessed on 16th October, 2003 Quoting from the web should also be acknowledged following the procedures above For example: The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) came into existence in April 2000 following the merger of the Associated Examining Board and the Northern Examinations and Assessment Board and is the largest of the three English unitary awarding bodies. AQA is an independent company, limited by guarantee (registration number 3644723) and a charity (registration number 1073334). Its activities are not for profit and are determined in its Memorandum of Association, which is concerned with the provision of high quality assessments to students (generally in schools and colleges). (AQA website Overview, 2003) With a corresponding entry in the bibliography: Title of article Web address Date accessed

AQA website Overview (2003): < http://www.aqa.org.uk/over/index.html> Accessed on 17th October, 2003

Appendices
The Appendices will obviously vary but will probably include: Examples of materials / questionnaires / etc. used. Details of any materials essential for scoring. For an observational study or content analysis details which would enable the reader to conduct the observation and replicate the scoring system used. Workings out of calculations. These should all be clearly labelled.
Psychology A - Specification Support Document

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Practical Report Checklist for Candidates


Abstract
Have you stated what you are studying? Have you given your aim/hypothesis? Have you described what you did? Have you given some details of the participants and where the research was conducted? What did you find? Summarise your results. What conclusions were drawn?

Introduction, Aims and Hypotheses


Have you described relevant studies and / or theories? Is the literature logically linked to the aims? Have you explained how your aims develop from this previous research? Are any hypotheses clear and testable?

Method
Design Have you stated the method used? If appropriate have you stated the IV & DV? If you are conducting non-experimental research (such as an observation or survey) have you explained the methods used? Have you explained any controls used? Have you discussed any relevant ethical considerations? Participants Have you described the participants and the population from which they were drawn? Have you explained the sampling method used? Have you explained who the researchers were? Materials Have you explained what you used and where it was obtained? Have you included examples of all materials used in the Appendix? Have you included answers to any tests or questionnaires and details of scoring systems used? Procedures

Have you given the procedures in sufficient detail that someone who knows nothing of the study could replicate it? Have you included details of what was said to the participants?
Specification Support Document Psychology A 94 klm

Results Have you given a summary table of the data? Have you included a neat, well-labelled copy of the raw data in the Appendix? Have you included a pictorial representation of the results such as a bar chart, frequency graph, etc? Have you labelled everything and given it a title? Have you reported which inferential statistical test was used? Have you justified the use of this test in terms of the nature of the data, the design and whether you were testing for a difference, an association of a correlation? Have you included details of the calculated value, critical value, level of significance, degrees of freedom or number of participants as appropriate and whether the hypothesis was directional (onetailed) or non-directional (two-tailed)? Have you included any calculations in the Appendix? Have you stated the conclusion in terms of the hypotheses?

Discussion
Have you explained in words what the descriptive and inferential statistics show? Have you stated the hypothesis that was retained/ accepted? Have you explained why you think you got such results? Have you compared your results with the research described in the Introduction? Have you discussed the limitations of your study? What was right or wrong about your methods and how could they be improved? What follow up studies could be done? What are the implications of your findings?

References
Have you included references to all the research mentioned in your report in such a way that the reader could go to a library and find the actual study/ book or a detailed account of it? Are references given in a conventional form?

Appendices
Are these clearly labelled and well laid out?

Finally
Have you checked your spelling? Acknowledgement This section is adapted with kind permission of C Flanagan and Hartshill Press:

Flanagan, C. (1999) Resource Pack for AS/A Level Psychology Practical. Hartshill Press. ISBN 1-900-843-17X
Psychology A - Specification Support Document

klm 95 A Note to Candidates on Copying

Do not copy directly from books or similar sources. If you wish to quote a passage acknowledge the quote by putting it in quotation marks and giving the reference. Do not copy from another candidate. Every year people get caught copying when work is moderated and are given 0 for their coursework. NEVER LEND YOUR WORK TO ANYONE. AQA does not know who wrote the original and who copied so you could both lose all the marks for this module.
Specification Support Document Psychology A 96 klm

Suggested Titles for Coursework

It is the intention of AQA to offer these titles as suggestions for possible coursework topics. The list is in no way intended to be prescriptive.

AS Psychology Module One:


Cognitive Psychology The effect of Chunking on the recall of letters in STM. Primacy and Recency effects in STM. A study investigating Levels of Processing and their effects on memory. The effect of leading questions on memory of a film clip. Developmental Psychology This is not a suitable area for coursework because of the nature of the material in the AS specification.

Module Two:
Physiological Psychology The effects of a minor stressor such as a missing dot in a dot-to-dot puzzle on pulse rate. The relationship between hassles and illness (using questionnaires). Individual Differences This is another area where there are many ethical issues and it is probably better to select topics from elsewhere.

Module Three:
Social Psychology An observational study on obedience to the law: e.g. people wearing seat belts. A conformity study using written answers only: e.g. the distance between two cities.

A2 Psychology Social Psychology

A questionnaire study on the attribution of causation and the amount of damage. Is there a relationship between liking and the familiarity of names? Replication of the Matching Hypothesis. A content analysis of lonely hearts advertisements.
Psychology A - Specification Support Document

klm 97 Cognitive Psychology

There are many possibilities in this area, a few of which are: The Stroop effect. Work on illusions. Replication of Carmichaels work on the effect of labelling on recall.

Developmental Psychology
Please read the notes on work with participants under 16 before considering work from this area. Work on gender and adolescence with over 16s is quite possible, however.

Physiological Psychology
Temperature changes over 24 hours. Hemispherical dominance and the choice of right or left field pictures in right and left handed people.