Core Studies 2 (part b question)


Unit 2541: Core Studies 2 (1 hour)


The core studies 2 paper covers the same 20 core studies as Core studies 1 but tests your understanding of research methods, themes and perspectives. You have one hour to answer one question from section A and one question from section B.

Part B

In this section you will be given a choice of two questions – you must only answer one.  Below is an example of a Part B essay question. 


Some psychologists believe that the environment or situation we are in determines our behaviour.  If this were true then we would all behave in similar ways under similar conditions and some studies appear to show that this is what happens.  Other psychologists argue that not all our behaviour is similar to others’ and that we are thinking, feeling individuals, with our own personality.  


Using the Core Studies listed below, answer the questions which follow.

Gould (IQ testing)
Rosenhan (sane in insane places)
Piliavin, Rodin and Piliavin (subway samaritans)
Deregowski (perception)






Describe what each study tells us about how situations affect behaviour.







Using examples, give four problems psychologists may have to consider when they study the effect of situations on behaviour.







[Total Marks




In this section you will be given a choice of two questions – you must only answer one.

The question will refer to four core studies – you must refer to all of them in your answer.

The distribution of marks are as follows:

Part A (12 Marks): Asks you to describe what a core study tells us about a particular theme in the course. There are three marks available for each of the four studies. You gain one mark you need to identify the relevance of the study to the theme, one mark for further explanation and a final mark for some evaluation (for instance, drawing a conclusion)


Part B (12 Marks): Usually asks you for two strengths and two weaknesses OR four problems. You can gain a total of three marks for each point – 1 mark for identifying a relevant point, 1 mark for an example and 1 mark for an evaluation or comment. It is important to illustrate the points with examples from studies – you don’t necessarily have to refer to all of the studies, but it is a good idea not to just refer to one. (point, example, comment)


Make sure you think about what you are going to write before each paragraph – top mark-bands require a good written standard.


You need to subtitle each section to show whether you are answering part (a) or (b).


A good tactic is to start a new paragraph for each block of marks (for instance, start a new paragraph for each strength and weakness) – this will show the examiner where you are gaining marks.





More Stuff

More pages.

And A Bit More Stuff

Some more pages.

























How to do PEC


P - A general point (positive or negative) that can apply to any study.


E - An example to illustrate the point from the chosen study (section A) or from the four studies (section B).


C - A comment, implication or evaluative point. A ‘so what’.


As you are required to discuss, the point must be explained not merely identified;

the example must be explained and not just stated;

the comment must be explained to show understanding and not just stated.