Two different drug therapies were tested on a group of patients. All the patients suffered with the same anxiety disorder. Half the patients were given Therapy A



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Q1. 

Two different drug therapies were tested on a group of patients. All the patients suffered with the same anxiety disorder. Half the patients were given Therapy A and the other half were given Therapy B. Improvement was assessed on a scale from 0-25, where 0 = no improvement.

The table below shows the improvement made between the start and the end of the treatment.

       Average and range of improvement scores

 

 

 

Average

Range

 

Therapy A

6.5

2 – 19

 

Therapy B

6

4 – 9

Explain what these findings suggest about the different therapies?

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(Total 4 marks)


Q2. 

Discuss biological explanations of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Refer to evidence in your answer.



(Total 16 marks)


Q3. 

Outline and evaluate one biological explanation for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).



(Total 12 marks)


Q4. 

Outline and evaluate one biological explanation for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).



(Total 16 marks)


Q5. 

 

Gavin describes his daily life.

‘I sometimes get gripped with the thought that my family is in danger. In particular, I worry about them being trapped in a house fire. I now find that I can only calm myself if I check that every plug socket is switched off so an electrical fire couldn’t start. I used to switch each socket on and off, but now I have to press each switch six times. It takes me ages to leave the house’.


Outline two characteristics of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Refer to Gavin in your answer.

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(Total 4 marks)


Q6. 

Read the item and then answer the question that follows.

 

 

Steven describes how he feels when he is in a public place.

‘I always have to look out for people who might be ill. If I come into contact with people who look ill, I think I might catch it and die. If someone starts to cough or sneeze then I have to get away and clean myself quickly.’


Outline one cognitive characteristic of OCD and one behavioural characteristic of OCD that can be identified from the description provided by Steven.

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(Total 2 marks)


Q7. 

Read the item and then answer the questions that follow.

 

 

Researchers analysed the behaviour of over 4000 pairs of twins. The results showed that the degree to which obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is inherited is between 45% and 65%.

(a)     Distinguish between obsessions and compulsions.

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(2)

(b)     With reference to the study described above, what do the results seem to show about possible influences on the development of OCD?

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(4)

(Total 6 marks)

 

M1. 

Please note that the AOs for the new AQA Specification (Sept 2015 onwards) have changed. Under the new Specification the following system of AOs applies:

•        AO1 knowledge and understanding

•        AO2 application (of psychological knowledge)

•        AO3 evaluation, analysis, interpretation.


Although the essential content for this mark scheme remains the same, mark schemes for the new AQA Specification (Sept 2015 onwards) take a different format as follows:

•        A single set of numbered levels (formerly bands) to cover all skills

•        Content appears as a bulleted list

•        No IDA expectation in A Level essays, however, credit for references to issues, debates and approaches where relevant.

 AO3 = 4

•        The two averages are very similar, suggesting that both therapies are as good as each other.

•        The range of each group is very different. This suggests that for some people Therapy A was very beneficial, but for others it had little benefit. For Therapy B, there was a much smaller range, suggesting that it has a similar effect on improvement for all the patients.


 


 

4 marks  Effective interpretation of data
Effective interpretation that demonstrates sound knowledge of what the data shows, with reference to both the average and the range.

 

3 marks  Reasonable interpretation of data
Reasonable interpretation of what the data shows; or effective interpretation of either the average or the range.

 

2 marks  Basic interpretation of data
Basic interpretation of what the data shows.

 

1 mark  Rudimentary interpretation of data
Rudimentary, muddled interpretation of the data, demonstrating very limited knowledge. Or reference to, for example, larger range/higher average/similar range.

 

0 marks
No creditworthy material.

M2. 

Marks for this question: AO1 = 6, AO3 = 10

 


 

Level

Marks

Description

 

4

13 – 16

Knowledge is accurate and generally well detailed. Evidence is clear. Discussion / evaluation / application is thorough and effective. The answer is clear, coherent and focused. Specialist terminology is used effectively. Minor detail and / or expansion of argument sometimes lacking.

 

3

9 – 12

Knowledge is evident. There are occasional inaccuracies. Evidence is presented. Discussion / evaluation / application is apparent and mostly effective. The answer is mostly clear and organised. Specialist terminology is mostly used effectively. Lacks focus in places.

 

2

5 – 8

Some knowledge is present. Focus is mainly on description. Any discussion / evaluation / application is only partly effective. The answer lacks clarity, accuracy and organisation in places. Specialist terminology is used inappropriately on occasions.

 

1

1 – 4

Knowledge is limited. Discussion / evaluation / application is limited, poorly focused or absent. The answer as a whole lacks clarity, has many inaccuracies and is poorly organised. Specialist terminology either absent or inappropriately used.

 

 

0

No relevant content.

Please note that although the content for this mark scheme remains the same, on most mark schemes for the new AQA Specification (Sept 2015 onwards) content appears as a bulleted list.



AO1

Marks for description of biological explanations of OCD. Credit can be awarded for any or all of the following explanations:


Genetic explanation - some people are predisposed to develop the disorder as a result of inherited familial influence.
Biochemical explanation – low levels of serotonin associated with anxiety; high levels of dopamine linked to compulsive behaviour / stereotypical movements.
Physiological explanation - basal ganglia in the brain responsible for psychomotor functions, hypersensitivity of the basal ganglia may result in repetitive movements; linked to abnormality / excessive activity in the orbital frontal cortex.
Limited credit for simply naming / listing explanations.
Likely studies: McKeown and Murray (1987), Bellodi et al. (2001), Pauls et al. (1995), Rapoport and Wise (1988), Aylward et al. (1996).


AO3

Marks for discussion of biological explanations of OCD. Likely points include: the effectiveness of biological / drug therapies and how this supports the (biochemical) explanation eg anti-depressants that increase serotonin levels reduce OCD symptoms in many patients; problem that not all sufferers respond to drug treatment; issue of causation; treatment fallacy; contradictory evidence in brain scan studies; alternative explanations for findings from family / twin studies such as shared environments; brain structural accounts tend to explain repetitive behaviour but not obsessional thoughts. Credit discussion of broader issues such as reductionism, determinism and reasoned comparison with alternative explanations e.g. cognitive. Only credit evaluation of the methodology used in studies when made relevant to discussion of the explanation.


Credit use of evidence.
M3. 

Marks for this question: AO1 = 6, AO3 = 6

 


 

Level

Marks

Description

 

4

10 – 12

Knowledge is accurate and generally well detailed. Discussion / evaluation / application is effective. The answer is clear, coherent. Specialist terminology is used effectively. Minor detail and / or expansion of argument sometimes lacking.

 

3

7 – 9

Knowledge is evident. There are occasional inaccuracies. There is some effective discussion / evaluation / application. The answer is mostly clear and organised. Specialist terminology is mostly used appropriately.

 

2

4 – 6

Knowledge is present. Focus is mainly on description. Focus is mainly on description. Any discussion / evaluation / application is of limited effectiveness. The answer lacks clarity, accuracy and organisation in places. Specialist terminology is used inappropriately on occasions.

 

1

1 – 3

Knowledge is limited. Discussion / evaluation / application is limited, poorly focused or absent. The answer as a whole lacks clarity, has many inaccuracies and is poorly organised. Specialist terminology is either absent or inappropriately used.

 

 

0

No relevant content.

Please note that although the content for this mark scheme remains the same, on most mark schemes for the new AQA Specification (Sept 2015 onwards) content appears as a bulleted list.



AO1

The main biological explanations for OCD are as follows:

•        genetics – there is some evidence of a tendency to inherit OCD, with a gene (Sapap3) recently identified

•        neuroanatomy – dysfunctions of the orbital frontal cortex (OFC) over-activity in basal ganglia and caudate-nucleus thalamus have been proposed

Also accept:

•        biochemistry – serotonin deficiency has been implicated

•        evolutionary – adaptive advantages of hoarding, grooming, etc.


AO3

Evaluation will depend on the explanation offered, but is likely to include supporting / refuting evidence.

•        genetics – relatives of sufferers are around 9 times more likely to be diagnosed (Arbor 2006), with a CR of between 65% and 80% MZ twins (Rasmussen 1986, Carey and Gottesman), sample sizes in twin studies, difficulty separating genetic and environmental influences

•        neuroanatomy – some support for claims, eg Rauch et al 1994, PET scans show over activity in basal ganglia, co-morbidity with Tourette’s which is also linked to basal ganglia (Rapoport 1990).

•        biochemistry – SSRI’s are only effective for about 50% of sufferers


M4. 

Marks for this question: AO1 = 6, AO3 = 10

 


 

Level

Marks

Description

 

4

13 – 16

Knowledge is accurate and generally well detailed. Discussion / evaluation / application is thorough and effective. The answer is clear, coherent and focused. Specialist terminology is used effectively. Minor detail and / or expansion of argument sometimes lacking.

 

3

9 – 12

Knowledge is evident. There are occasional inaccuracies. Discussion / evaluation / application is apparent and mostly effective. The answer is mostly clear and organised. Specialist terminology is mostly used effectively. Lacks focus in places.

 

2

5 – 8

Some knowledge is present. Focus is mainly on description. Any discussion / evaluation / application is only partly effective. The answer lacks clarity, accuracy and organisation in places. Specialist terminology is used inappropriately on occasions.

 

1

1 – 4

Knowledge is limited. Discussion / evaluation / application is limited, poorly focused or absent. The answer as a whole lacks clarity, has many inaccuracies and is poorly organised. Specialist terminology either absent or inappropriately used.

 

 

0

No relevant content.

Please note that although the content for this mark scheme remains the same, on most mark schemes for the new AQA Specification (Sept 2015 onwards) content appears as a bulleted list



AO1

The main biological explanations for OCD are as follows:

•        genetics – there is some evidence of a tendency to inherit OCD, with a gene (Sapap3) recently identified

•        neuroanatomy – dysfunctions of the orbital frontal cortex (OFC) over-activity in basal ganglia and caudate-nucleus thalamus have been proposed

Also accept:

•        biochemistry – serotonin deficiency has been implicated

•        evolutionary – adaptive advantages of hoarding, grooming, etc.


AO3

Evaluation will depend on the explanation offered, but is likely to include supporting / refuting evidence.

•        genetics – relatives of sufferers are around 9 times more likely to be diagnosed (Arbor 2006), with a CR of between 65% and 80% MZ twins (Rasmussen 1986, Carey and Gottesman), sample sizes in twin studies, difficulty separating genetic and environmental influences

•        Difficulty establishing cause and effect

•        Possibility of multiple factors

•        neuroanatomy – some support for claims, eg Rauch et al 1994, PET scans show over activity in basal ganglia, co-morbidity with Tourette’s which is also linked to basal ganglia (Rapoport 1990).

•        biochemistry – SSRI’s are only effective for about 50% of sufferers


M5. 

AO1 = 2 AO2 = 2

 


 

Level

Marks

Description

 

2

3 – 4

Outline of characteristics of OCD is clear. Application to the stem is clear. The answer is generally coherent with effective use of terminology.

 

1

1 – 2

There is limited / partial explanation of the characteristics of OCD and application to the stem. Explanation of OCD characteristics is clear but the application is missing or inaccurate OR application is clear but the explanation is missing or inaccurate. The answer lacks accuracy and detail. Use of terminology is either absent or inappropriate.

 

 

0

No relevant content.


Possible content:

•        A cognitive characteristic would be an irrational belief or persistent recurring thoughts – catastrophic thinking such as: ‘my family is in danger and might get trapped in a house fire’.

•        An emotional characteristic would be feeling anxiety or the reduction of anxiety such as: ‘worry about them’ or ‘feeling calm after making sure a fire cannot start’.

•        A behavioural characteristic would be performing a repetitive action such as: switching plug sockets six times.

Credit for two characteristics of OCD, if student offers three, credit the best two.


M6. 

[AO2 = 2]

1 mark for outline of a cognitive characteristic of OCD from the stem: hypervigilance – ‘looking out for people who are ill’; catastrophic thinking – ‘I might catch it and die’.

Plus

1 mark for outline of a behavioural characteristic of OCD from the stem: repetitive cleaning – ‘I have to clean myself’.


M7. 

(a)     [AO1 = 2]



2 marks for a clear and coherent answer emphasising internal vs external distinction: obsessions are internal components because they are thoughts, and compulsions are external components because they are behaviours.

1 mark for a muddled or vague answer in which the distinction is suggested but is unclear or incomplete.

OR

1 mark for straightforward definition of each component (obsessions are intrusive thoughts, compulsions are repetitive behaviours / acts).

(b)     [AO2 = 4]

 

 

Level

Marks

Description

 

2

3 – 4

Research findings are clearly explained in terms of both genetic and alternative explanation(s) and are mostly accurate. The answer is generally coherent with effective use of terminology.

 

1

1 – 2

Research findings are explained with some link to genetic and / or alternative explanation(s). The answer lacks accuracy and detail. Use of terminology is either absent or inappropriate.

 

 

0

No relevant content.


Content:

•        results indicate development of OCD is at least partly genetic

•        the findings suggest that heritability is high (between 45% and 65%)

•        this means that there must also be other explanations (inherited influence is not 100%)

•        so other factors (eg environment or other bio factors) may also partly account for OCD.

 

E1. 

It was encouraging to see that this cohort of candidates was able to go beyond simply describing the findings. They were able to make suggestions about what they showed. For example, that both therapies showed some improvement, as there were no scores of zero; that in fact neither showed much improvement as the average was only 6.

However, it was also clear from the responses that a minority of candidates had no real understanding of what range tells us about data.




E2. 

Most answers discussed two or three explanations. In some, key details, such as the ‘levels of serotonin’ linked to OCD, were inaccurate. Some answers began to write about Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) as a treatment for OCD and the support for the ‘serotonin’ explanation, but got ‘side-tracked’ into describing different treatments rather than focusing back on the biological explanation. Discussions of the basal ganglia were often well done, but there was occasional confusion between the ‘hyperactivity’ associated with this brain region, and the cognitive notion of ‘hypervigilance’.




E3. 

This option was attempted by around 5% of students.

This question required an outline and evaluation of one biological explanation for OCD. The most popular responses focused on the Orbital Frontal Cortex (OFC) (worry circuit), or the role played by biochemistry in OCD. Successful students provided impressive detail which was often in excess of the 4 AO1 marks available. Some students were able to make use of recent research that has identified specific genes as well as basal ganglia activity demonstrating that some teachers have an impressive knowledge of this engaging topic.


E4. 

This option was attempted by around 5% of students.



This question required an outline and evaluation of one biological explanation for OCD. The most popular responses focused on the Orbital Frontal Cortex (OFC) (worry circuit), or the role played by biochemistry in OCD. Successful students provided impressive detail which was often in excess of the 4 AO1 marks available. Some students were able to make use of recent research that has identified specific genes as well as basal ganglia activity demonstrating that some teachers have an impressive knowledge of this engaging topic.

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