PSYA4 All Past Questions


PSYA4 Past Questions

June 2013


·         Discuss biological explanations for schizophrenia. (8 + 16)

Anomalistic Psychology

·         Outline two methodological issues involved in the study of psychokinesis. (4)

Most people have several dreams each night, and a small number of these dreams come true a week or so later. Former American president, Abraham Lincoln, is believed to have dreamt of his assassination, two weeks before it happened. Some people interpret dreams coming true as evidence for the paranormal. However, others assume that probability or coincidence can explain this anomalous experience.

·         Explain why some people see dreams which later come true as evidence for the paranormal, whereas other people do not. Use knowledge of probability judgements and/or coincidence in answer. (10)

·         Discuss what research has shown about psychic healing. (4 + 6)

Research Methods

In an observational study, 100 cars were fitted with video cameras to record the driver’s behaviour. Two psychologists used content analysis to analyse the data from the films. They found that 75% of accidents involved a lack of attention by the driver. The most common distractions were using a hands-free phone or talking to a passenger. Other distractions included looking at the scenery, smoking, eating, personal grooming and trying to reach something within the car.

·         What is content analysis? (2)

·         Explain how the psychologists might have carried out content analysis to analyse the film clips of driver behaviour. (4)

·         Explain how the two psychologists might have assessed the reliability of their content analysis. (3)

The psychologists then designed an experiment to test the effects of using a hands-free phone on drivers’ attention. They recruited a sample of 30 experienced police drivers and asked them to take part in two computer-simulated driving tests. Both tests involved watching a three-minute film of a road. Participants were instructed to click the mouse as quickly as possible, when a potential hazard (such as a car pulling out ahead) was spotted.Each participant completed two computer-simulated driving tests:

- Test A, whilst chatting with one of the psychologists on a hands-free phone

- Test B, in silence, with no distractions.

The order in which they completed the computer tests was counterbalanced.

·         Explain why the psychologists chose to use a repeated measures design in this experiment. (3)

·         Identify one possible extraneous variable in this experiment. Explain how this variable may have influenced the results of this experiment. (3)

·         Explain how one factor in this experiment might affect its external validity. (3)

·         Explain one or more ethical issues that the psychologists should have considered in this experiment. (4)

·         Write a set of standardised instructions that would be suitable to read out to participants, before they carry out Test A, chatting on a hands-free phone. (5)

The computer simulator measured two aspects of driver behaviour:

- The number of hazards detected by each driver

- The time taken to respond to each hazard,


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