Full A2 Psychology Unit 3 Revision - Essay Plans

Essay plans on the whole of Unit 3 PsychologyA


   - Biological Rhythms 

   - Relationships

   - Aggression

Ao1, Ao2 and Ao3s/IDA included.

Ao2s set out in the PECS format.

P: Point

E: Evidence

C: Comment/Explain

S: Synopsis 

You can change it about, add your own Ao2s whatever, I hope this helps :D 

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Lea Abi-Akl…read more

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Circadian Rhythms
Rhythms that last about 24 hours
The sleep-wake cycle
- In addition to external cues, there is also an endogenous `clock'
- The internal circadian rhythm is `free running' and works without any
external cues
- There are external cues such as daylight
- These help adjust the internal clock to environment you live in
- These studies show that circadian rhythms persist despite isolation from
natural light, demonstrates the existence of an endogenous `clock'
Core Body Temperature
- One of…read more

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C: This further supports the idea that the cycle operates without any external cues.
P: Support for the importance of external cues comes from Folkard et al. (1985)
E: 12 participants lived in `temporal isolation' for 3 weeks isolated from natural
light and other time cues. They agreed to go to bed at 11.45pm and get up when it
said 7.45am. The clock initially ran to time but gradually quickened until it indicated
a passing of 24hrs for 22hrs.…read more

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Known as slow wave sleep (SWS) in stages 3 and 4.
- REM: this is a deep sleep shown as paradoxical sleep', as the brain and eyes
move, but the body is paralyzed.
Basic rest-activity cycle
- The 90-minute sleep cycle is located within a 24-hour rhythm.
- Freidman and Fisher observed eating/drinking behaviour in a 90-min cycle.
Monthly cycles
- The pituitary gland releases FSH. This releases LH, which stimulates
oestrogen, and it releases preoestrogen which thickens the lining of the
uterus.…read more

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Endogenous pacemakers: Internal cues
Exogenous zeitgebers: Are external cues that entrain our biological
The Suprachiasmatic Nucleus
- Located in the hypothalamus above the optic nerve.
- It obtains info about light through our eyes.
- Albus et al: 2005, states that the SCN is actually a pair of structures, one in
each hemisphere of the brain, ventral and dorsal.
- Ventral: quickly reset by external cues
- Dorsal: Much less affected by light.
Basic rest-activity cycle
- 90-mins cycle, usually drinking.…read more

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P: However, there is evidence to go against the SCN as the main endogenous
E: Kate Aldcroft spent time in a cave, after 25 days her temperature was a 24-hour
rhythm, yet her sleep rhythm was in a 30-hour-cycle.
C: Suggesting that the SCN is not in charge and doesn't control all rhythms, and that
something external may have affected the rhythms.…read more

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Symptoms: Loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, disorientation, insomnia, mild
- PERFORMANCE DECREMENT- Effects of jetlag found in study of American
Major League baseball teams.
- Generally eastward flights (where there has been a phase advance of the
circadian rhythm, ie. backward shift in the 24 hour cycle) cause greater
problems than travelling west (where there is a phase delay, i.e. a forward
shift in the 24 hour cycle.…read more

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E: Jetlag may also be affected by other factors, (other than disruption of biological
rhythms). An individual may sleep badly the night before travel, because of
worry/excitement. Travel itself is also tiring and many holidays include long trips
to the airport before the flight. As well as alcohol, coffee and noise.
C: Suggesting that there are other factors that contribute to jetlag as well as
disrupting biological rhythms.
P: A way of reducing the symptoms of jet lag is by taking melatonin.…read more

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One distinguishing feature is that REM sleep for males is accompanied by
orgasm and ejaculation, which is significantly less likely at other ages.
Adulthood and Old Age
- Normal adult sleep is usually 8 hours with 25% in REM sleep.
- Parasomnias are more rare but other sleep disorders e.g. insomnia and
apnoea are more frequent.…read more



Have you sat your psychology exams? If so what grade did you receive?


These are wonderful, thank you so much!

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