A2 Psychology: IDA Superheroes DEBATES
Fighting for all things
natural. I believe that
all behaviour is pre-
hormones, genes &
Doctor Determinism knows
that all behaviour is
determined by forces
beyond human control.
Determined to prove that
behaviour is learned and
influenced by social forces. I
hunt down Nature-Man for
the ultimate of battles: The
Nature-Nurture Face Off.
Fighting against the
evil threat of
that we have the
power to control
our own behaviour.
It’s all about the
Flying through the skies on a
mission to show that
psychologists reduce complex
behaviour down to over-
simplified factors. He
believes that behaviour
should be looked at
• Free will vs determinism
• Reductionist vs Holistic
• Psychology As a Science
• Nature vs Nurture
A2 Psychology: IDA Superheroes ISSUES
The Animal Ace Master Ethnocentric
The Ethics Kid
usefulness of animal
research. Can animal
behaviour be applied to
Kitty says no!
theories are prone to
culture bias, The
die to prove that
theories which are
be applied to all
Ironically, the Gender Bias
Beauty wants equal
application of theories to
both Genders. Her pet
hate is when theories or
studies can only be
generalised to one gender
or only explain behaviour
in just men or just women.
Can a theory or study
be criticised on the
grounds of ethics? Is
it unethical? The
Ethics Kid is here to
A2 Psychology: IDA Superheroes APPROACHES
Pavlov’s Power Puppy
In the name of
Power Puppy is here to
show that all behaviour
can be learned. Just
ring that bell and I’ll
be there ready to help!
In the name of the
Motivated by his
desire, The Freud-ster
wants to prove that our
behaviour really is only
the tip of the iceberg!
In the name of
Double Act are
here to show that
humans really did
evolve from Apes!
It’s all about the
In the name of Biology,
fights to prove that
behaviour is underpinned by
biological factors: brain
The Memory Marvel
In the name of Cognitive Psychology, the
Memory Marvel just goes to show that
behaviour can be underpinned by cognitive
processes. It’s all in the thinking!
Mark bands for AO2
Rudimentary, with very limited understanding.
The answer is weak, muddled and incomplete. Material is not used effectively and may be mainly irrelevant.
Absent or muddled IDA. QWC has errors.
Basic, superficial understanding.
The answer is sometimes focused and shows some evidence of elaboration.
Superficial reference to IDA. QWC lacks clarity, limited use of terms.
Reasonable analysis and understanding.
The answer is generally focused and shows reasonable elaboration and/or a line of argument is evident.
Reasonably effective IDA. QWC is clear and appropriate.
Sound analysis, understanding and interpretation.
The answer is well focused and shows coherent elaboration and/or a clear line of argument.
IDA used effectively. QWC has fluent effective use of terms.
So…A02 Mark bands and IDA
• Rudimentary 0-4: Muddled and inaccurate IDA
• Basic 5-8: Superficial reference to IDA
• Reasonable 9-12: Reasonably effective use of IDA
• Effective 13-16: Effective use of IDA
Effective use of issues and debates
To access higher marks :
1. Reference to issues and debates should be thoughtful and
1. It does not have to be substantial. One or two well chosen
I&D will be fine (less is more).
1. Candidates should be able to elaborate and explain why the
issue or debate is important.
1. It is fine to link one debate to another (e.g. determinism to
socially sensitive research).
Look at the difference
Reasonable: Biological explanations of eating
disorders are on the nature side of the
nature nurture debate as they argue that
obesity is built into the genes of a person.
Twin studies show a higher concordance rate
for obesity in identical twins than in non
identical twins. However, twin studies also
show that upbringing and nurture play an
important role in the development of obesity
– if obesity were purely genetic, the
concordance rate between MZ twins should
Top notch: Biological explanations are on the
nature side of the nature nurture debate as
they argue that obesity is built into the genes
of a person. There is some support for this
from genetically modified mice who have been
bred to lack a leptin gene and developed
obesity (Zhang et al ) Similarly twin studies
show high concordance rates between identical
twins. However, the biological approach can be
seen as highly deterministic as it implies that
people have little control over their eating
habits when social factors such as exercise
and larger portion sizes also play an important
role in the current obesity epidemic.
Basic: Biological explanations of
obesity are on the nature side of
the nature nurture debate as they
argue that obesity is built into the
genes of a person. Twin studies
support the biological approach.
Rudimentary: The biological explanation
of obesity is deterministic, reductionist
and socially sensitive.
How are the bands different?
PEEL your way through the IDA
• One way of ensuring effective use of issues and debates is to “PEEL” them.
1. Point (make sure it is relevant to question)
2. Elaboration (explain, analyse, review implication)
3. Evidence (to support the point) or further explanation/elaboration
4. Link back to the point or to the question itself
• Let’s look at an example of weak evaluation from a student’s response to the exam question ‘Discuss explanations for the
success and/or failure of dieting’.
• The student said “Biological explanations for dieting are reductionist and determinist “. This comment is weak because it
has not been elaborated. It does not indicate whether being reductionist is good or bad or what the implications might be.
• How can each be PEELed open to reveal a more effective evaluation?
Peel Point 1
P biological explanations propose that eating behaviour is governed by genes, hormones and neural mechanisms
E the implication being the dieting also be would be governed by ‘ biology
E as is suggested in part by the set point theory and the boundary model
L that offer explanations for success and failure of dieting.
Peel point 2
P Biological explanations are determinist
E that is our behaviour is not freely chosen
E a point supported by Herman and Mack’s research but challenged by Rodin and Ogden
P whose research showed that internal locus of control and responsibility for one’s own body size underlies successful dieting– a
complete contrast to the more determinist set point theory
Peel point 3
P Biological explanations are reductionist
E they explain behaviour by reducing it to its constituent parts
E so they explain dieting success and failure in terms of genetics, hormones such a leptin and ghrelin and neural mechanisms
L However only looking at this level can lead to incomplete explanations. More effective explanations for the success and failure of
dieting entail consideration of a variety of levels of explanation, biological, social and cultural
Note one of the most common errors students make is to claim that a theory is reductionist because it
ignores and alternative explanation.