WJEC PSY1 compare and contrast approaches how to answer question

advice on how to approach the compare and contrast question to achieve high marks (use in combination with my compare and contrast summary table)

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  • Created on: 20-12-12 15:06
Preview of WJEC PSY1 compare and contrast approaches how to answer question

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Compare and contrast the approaches
This question is testing your AO2 skills (evaluation and analysis)
You must include similarities and differences. Only including similarities or differences will limit your
answer to 6/12. You should aim for 5 well described points, in your answer. Note however that you
do not need to evaluate the approaches in this question, only discuss the similarities and differences.
One of the best ways to evaluate is to use the debates, but you can also evaluate in terms of the
methodology used, the assumptions of the approach or any other relevant point.
A good way to start is to state whether you are talking about a similarity or a difference first,
and state what that similarity or difference is (this also makes it easier for the examiner).
Next you give an explanation of why that particular aspect is a similarity or a difference, using
evidence from the approaches. You need to make it clear how the two approaches are
similar or different.
Avoid the `description trap'
Use a range of comparing and contrasting words in your paragraphs to show the examiner
that you are fulfilling the requirements of the question:
Similarly Likewise Correspondingly
In the same way... Equally, Also In comparison
In contrast However, A difference A distinction is.. Whereas
On the other hand..
Structuring your response
1. Write a sentence explaining how the theories/approaches are similar /different.
2. Add a further sentence or two explaining the similarity or difference by pointing out the
features of each theory/approach that relate to the difference/similarity you are discussing.
3. Write a further sentence or two explaining a consequence or implication of the
4. If appropriate, identify a difference/similarity that relates to the one you have discussed but
which contrasts with it (i.e. a similarity within a difference or a difference within a similarity).
Example answer
One similarity between the biological and behaviourist approaches is that they both use nonhuman
animals in their research. (1) For example, behaviourists used rats in Skinner boxes to investigate
operant conditioning and biopsychologists did neurosurgical studies on many species to discover
how the nervous system works. (2) The approaches use animal subjects in different ways, however.
Behaviourists focus on how the animal responds to changes in its external environment whereas
biopsychologists focus on how it responds to changes in its internal structure. (4) In either case a
consequence of this is that critics have attacked both approaches on ethical grounds and because
the findings they produce may not generalise to humans. (3)

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One key similarity (or difference) between the ____ and ____ approaches is...
One key comparison between the _____ and ______ approaches lies in the fact that...
One means of contrasting (or comparing) the approaches is to consider the ______
Another similarity (or difference) between the ____ and _____ approach is...
Finally the ____ and _____ approaches are similar (or different) because...…read more


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