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Core Studies

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This paper is marked out of 120 and you have 120 minutes (2 hours) to complete it so you are working towards a mark a minute.



Here is the January 2009 Core Studies Paper.

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Core Studies Paper

Core Studies Paper G542


This paper is 70% of your total AS psychology and consists of a 2 hour written paper marked out of 120.


The question paper has three sections - Section A, Section B and Section C.


Section A requires you to answer short questions related to each of the 15 core studies.

The total mark for this section is 60 therefore you need to be aiming to spend one hour on this section.

There will be 15 questions although some of the question will be split into two. These questions will therefore all be 2 mark or 4 mark questions ? see below.

Freud wrote that the case study of Little Hans provided support for his theory of sexuality. Outline two pieces of evidence from the study that support Freud?s theory of sexuality.


The study by Freud contains the following extract of a conversation between Hans and his father.

Father: When the horse fell down did you think of your Daddy?

Hans: Perhaps. Yes, its possible

(a) What was Hans? father trying to find out with this questioning?


(b) Give one problem with this type of questioning.




Section B requires you to answer one question which will divided into sub sections ? see below.

This question requires considerable detail of one core study. You may be given a choice of three studies.

The total marks for this section is 36 marks so you can afford to spend just over half an hour on this section.

Choose one of the core studies below:

Samuel and Bryant: conservation

Milgram: obedience

Baron-Cohen, Jollife, Mortimer and Robertson: advanced test of theory of mind, autism in adults

And answer the following questions:

(a) Briefly outline the previous research or event which was the stimulus for your chosen study.


(b) Describe how the sample in your chosen study was selected and suggest one advantage of using this sample.


(c) Explain why your chosen study can be considered a laboratory experiment.


(d) Give one advantage andone disadvantage of conducting your chosen study in a laboratory.


(e) Suggest how your chosen study could be improved.


(f) Outline the implications of the improvements you have suggested for your chosen study.


Total [36]



Section C requires you to answer one question from a choice of two focusing on approaches, issues and methods. Again this question is divided into sub sections.

The total marks for this section is 24 marks so you should be giving yourself just under half an hour on this section.

(a) Outline one assumption of the social approach.


(b) Describe how the social approach could explain obedience.


(c) Describe one similarity and one difference between any social approach studies.


(d) Discuss strengths and weaknesses of the social approach using examples from any social approach studies.


Total [24]