OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries
G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Pa...
OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries
G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Pa...
OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries
G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Pa...
OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries
G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Pa...
OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries
G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Pa...
OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries
G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Pa...
OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries
G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Pa...
OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries
G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Pa...
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  1. 1. OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Page 1 ©JRSilver-revised April 2014 G543 part a) Answer One- Adrian LOWER BAND Comment a) Describe one piece of research into achievement motivation in sport. [10] Achievement motivation in sport is looked at by McClelland‟s theory. In this theory McClelland argues that everyone either has the motive to achieve or the fear of failure and one of them is stronger. For example, if a footballer has the chance to take a penalty in a match and their motive to achieve was higher they would happily take the penalty and have the confidence to do so, however if the athlete‟s fear of failure was higher they would refuse to take the penalty and let someone else take it instead because they would be too scared of missing and disappointing their supporters and teammates. To find out which is higher self-reports of observations must be used or you could ask the athlete to choose between the task with a 50-50 success rate or a task against someone really weak or strong. If they chose the first task they would be a high achiever and if not they would be a low achiever. There is supporting evidence for this theory from Gill who found that low achievers chose to compete against someone really good or bad, and high achievers chose someone that was of equal sporting ability. This answer has only peripheral relevance to the question. McClelland’s theory of achievement motivation is described in minimal terms but is not really explained and there is no attempt to cite any research done by McClelland himself or by others in support of the theory. The discussion of the motivation of a footballer is anecdotal in style and it is hard to be sure whether this is based on a piece of formal research. It is also ‘off- target’ because the discussion appears to relate to the footballer’s willingness to take risks in the interests of winning, which is only indirectly related to the question of achievement motivation. LOWER BAND 3-5 marks Total words = 198
  2. 2. OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Page 2 ©JRSilver-revised April 2014 Answer 2 – Fahim – MID BAND a) Describe one piece of research into achievement motivation in sport. [10] McClelland looked at achievement motivation in his study. His study involved participants looking at a picture and then writing down a short story of explanation of what was going on in the picture. McClelland measured their achievement motivation by looking at the words they used and seeing if they were positive or negative words. He also reviewed whether the story was positive or negative. McClelland suggested that the people with the best achievement motivation were the people used and equal or balanced amount of positives and negatives. As the people who put mainly positive things tended to be gamblers and therefore high risk of failure. The people who put down negatives would generally play it safe. The candidate makes some attempt to describe a formal research study of achievement motivation. There is some detail and elaboration, but this answer has a vague feel to it. Details of the sample for this study are missing. ( e.g. number of participants, age , gender, whether P’s were students, location of the study) Technical details of the way that achievement motivation was measured are also missing. The answer would have been much clearer if the candidate had explained that McClelland used the ‘Thematic Apperception Test’ (TAT) to assess achievement motivation and had provided details of the administration and scoring of this test. Finally, the candidate fails to provide exact quantitative or qualitative results from this study, but instead jumps to the interpretative conclusions which McClelland drew from his results, This part of the answer is a little hard to follow, because once again the candidate has failed to define technical terms, e.g. what exactly is meant by ‘best’ achievement motivation? MID BAND 6-8 marks Total words = 116
  3. 3. OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Page 3 ©JRSilver-revised April 2014 Gary TOP BAND 9-10 marks Comment a) Discuss one study into the effects of an audience on sports performance [10] A study into the effects of audience effects on performance is Zajonc‟s study on 72 adult female cockroaches. He created three different conditions where cockroaches were paced in a „run‟ and a light was turned on and the time to reach the other end of the run was recorded (average of 10 trials.). The first condition was a lone cockroach, the second was two cockroaches (co-acting audience) and the third was a „cockroach grandstand‟ where several cockroaches acted as an audience. Zajonc found that the co-acting audience conditions yielded the fastest time and lone the slowest, surmising that high arousal is required in easy sports/tasks for optimum performance, even for animals with no cognition. He then repeated with a complex task, a cockroach maze, nd found that the co-acting audience condition yielded the lowest time and lone the fastest, again surmising that complex skills/sports need lower arousal for optimum performance . This answer displays competent use of psychological terminology. The description of the research study is logically structured and the candidate provides accurate and telling details of sample and experimental conditions. The results are clearly stated and the candidate shows insight and understanding in distinguishing clearly between factual results and the interpretation the researcher put on those results (‘Zajonc surmised..’) TOP BAND = 9-10 marks Total words = 153
  4. 4. OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Page 4 ©JRSilver-revised April 2014 part b) Billie – mid band Comment b) Evaluate the reliability of research into motivation in sport [15] [Par.1] It can be argued that research into motivation in sport is reliable. This is because it can often have high test-retest reliability – that is it produces the same results when repeated. For example, when looking at Gill and Deeter‟s research into the sports orientation questionnaire (or SOQ) they tested the questionnaire on a number of athletes and non-athletes and compared. They found that athletes scored higher on most dimensions of the SOQ and were also concerned more with performance. Then when they did this a second time there was a strong positive correlation between the first set of results and the second set – suggesting strong test-retest reliability. [Par 2] However, this study was very ethnocentric as it only looked at American college/high school students so the results cannot be generalised to other ethnicities. However, it did have construct validity as it showed that it measured what it claimed to measure. [Par. 3] On the other hand, it could also be argued that research into motivation is not reliable. This is because it often uses self-report measures as motivation is difficult to measure empirically. Self-reports can lead to social-desirability - they write what they This answer starts very well, with a strong first paragraph. Billie provides a definition of ‘test-retest reliability’ and accurately cites the research findings of Gill and Deeter (1988) as evidence for the claim that research into motivation in sport ‘can often have high test-retest reliability’. (Note however, that Billie’s initial definition of ‘test-retest reliability’ is slightly inaccurate. High test-retest reliability entails a high correlation between scores on first and second testing, as correctly cited from the research findings, but results will not necessarily be exactly ‘the same ‘ on the second testing. ) The points in the second paragraph about generalisability of the findings to other ethnic groups and about construct validity cannot gain credit, since Billie has not related these points directly to the central issue of reliability. In the third paragraph, Billie has unfortunately used the term ‘reliability’ incorrectly on two occasions. ( highlighted in yellow and underlined) If respondents give answers to questionnaires which are ‘socially desirable’ rather than a true reflection of
  5. 5. OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Page 5 ©JRSilver-revised April 2014 think about others want to hear or to fit in – which would of course reduce their reliability. For example both the SOQ and McClelland‟s theory of achievement motivation are measured using self-reports – mainly questionnaires, although interviews could be used. For McClelland‟s theory one would have to ask which task the athlete would choose, and the SOQ is a questionnaire that uses a Likert Scale – reducing the reliability, as athletes are more likely to choose the middle option. their own beliefs and behaviours, then this reduces the validity of the findings ( whether the researcher is measuring what is intended ) and not their reliability ( consistency). Response bias when answering questions involving a Likert Scale is another factor which affects validity rather than reliability. The third paragraph is therefore ‘off target’ and is not directly answering the question set, so this pulls the mark awarded down from the top to the upper band. Some people might argue that Billie is using ‘reliability’ in a common-sense manner to mean ‘the extent to which the data can be trusted’, rather than in a strict technical sense, to mean ‘consistency of measurement’ (at different times, or between different raters or observers.) If that is so, then the content of paragraph 3 might perhaps be deemed relevant to the argument. Billie might have ‘saved’ paragraph 3 if he had explicitly stated at the beginning of the paragraph that he was using reliability in a broad common-sense way and provided his own definition. Examiners will not mark you down for using a different definition of a technical term from the usual one, or making up your own definition. But you must define your key terms in order to get full credit, not just leave it to the reader to work
  6. 6. OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Page 6 ©JRSilver-revised April 2014 [Par 5] However, both McClelland‟s theory and the SOQ have supporting evidence improving its reliability as the same results were obtained. [Par 6] But they do not predict sporting performance, which therefore reduces the usefulness of the research. [Par 7] In conclusion, I would argue that research into motivation in sport is not reliable. This is because it rarely measures it without self- reports and these are so often affected by social desirability. out what you are really getting at! Paragraph 5 merely repeats the point made in Paragraph 1. The reference to McClelland is not elaborated. This is a case of failure to provide true evidence for the point being made. Paragraph 6 is not related to the central issue of reliability This ‘conclusion’ is seriously misleading. The social desirability effect reduces validity but is not relevant to reliability. Moreover the sweeping over- generalisation that research into motivation in sport is ‘not reliable’ completely ignores the findings described in Paragraph 1. It is good in principle to draw conclusions, but these should sum up all the evidence you have cited in your essay without bias or distortion. Conclusions from psychological research are rarely clear-cut. You should not ignore certain results in order to provide a neat simple conclusion. UPPER BAND 8-11 marks Total words = 331 General comment The terms ‘reliability’ and ‘validity’ are notoriously tricky to define and to use correctly, so it is not surprising that students have difficulty with examination questions on these issues.
  7. 7. OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Page 7 ©JRSilver-revised April 2014 Nevertheless the above candidate might have produced a top band answer by following through the successful strategy used in paragraph 1:- A second paragraph might have explored the question of inter-scorer reliability in assessing McClelland‘s ‘need for achievement ‘( nAch). Mcllelland used a version of Murray’s ‘Thematic Apperception Test’ (TAT) to assess ‘nAch’. The TAT test is a ‘projective’ test, based on similar principles to the Rorschach (inkblot) test. The underlying theoretical framework is psychodynamic and the assumption is made that if participants are asked to make up stories about pictures portraying shadowy figures in ambiguous scenarios, then they will ‘project’ unconscious motivations, conflicts and fantasies into the stories they create. Trained scorers conduct a content analysis of the stories to arrive at an individual measure of nAch for each participant. Clearly there are grounds for scepticism about the validity of such measures, but it is claimed that trained scorers can achieve high levels of inter-scorer reliability. (Thus a test may be reliable without being valid) Another interesting paragraph might have been devoted to the reliability of the findings of Deci (1971), who examined the effects of external rewards on intrinsic motivation. Deci operated within a firmly behaviourist framework and adopted a behavioural measure of motivation. Participants were observed via an observation window whilst completing a complex 3-D puzzle. ‘Intrinsic motivation’ to complete the puzzle was measured by the amount of time spent working on the puzzle ( defined as manipulating and looking at one or more puzzle pieces, as opposed to reading, day-dreaming or just having a hand on a puzzle piece ) during eight minutes when the experimenter was absent from the experimental room. The clear manner in which the researchers defined whether the participant was working on the puzzle was conducive to making observations with high inter-observer reliability ( though the researchers did not directly report on this ). However, it is open to question whether time spent working on the puzzle could be considered a valid measure of ‘intrinsic motivation’, so once again, findings may have been reliable, without necessarily being valid.
  8. 8. OCR A2 Psychology G543 SPORT student style answers with commentaries G543 SPORT Student style answers with commentaries Page 8 ©JRSilver-revised April 2014 Esther TOP BAND 12-15 marks Comment b) Discuss nature and nurture in relation to aggression in sport The nature side of the debate represents the belief that all behaviour is innate and we are powerless to change how we are programmed to act . In a sports setting, the argument from nature is supported by Freud‟s theory of aggression, which states that there are two instincts in a person, each fighting to beat the other. These are Eros and Thanatos, which are the desire to live and the self-destructive instinct. Freud suggested if these were not vented by „cathartic‟ activity they would materialise in the form of aggression. For such a complex idea as aggression, the nature argument and Freud‟s theory are very reductionist, as a person may be influenced by other factors, not just two instincts. Also it is highly deterministic, as it could lead to people being categorised as “aggressive” or “not aggressive”, which could lead to discrimination. Conversely, if this view were to be accepted, it could allow for intervention with programmes to help people get rid of their aggression early, before it becomes problematic. On the other hand, the nurture side of the debate says we are all born as “blank slates” and our behaviours are all learned and influenced by our life experiences. This view is reflected in Bandura‟s “social learning theory” which states how behaviour is learned through seeing consequences of others behaviour and consequences of our own behaviour (operant conditioning). In relation to sport, a footballer may perform a highly aggressive tackle and the next day a person may hear that tackle being praised. If we assume that „nurture‟ ( e.g. opportunities to learn )is important in aggression, this would cause a connection to be made between an aggressive tackle and a positive outcome ( reinforcement of the behaviour) and the person may copy or imitate this aggressive behaviour later on. The „nurture‟ assumption raises a lot of questions as it appears reductionist, as some people may be naturally more aggressive than others and this assumption ignores biological factors. However it could be useful to know that if these behaviours are not seen to be praised i.e. reinforced, this aggression could be avoided. This answer is organised around just two theories of aggression in relation to sport: Freud’s ‘instinct’ theory and Bandura’s ‘social learning theory’. This is a relatively narrow focus and it is disappointing that the student has chosen to evaluate exclusively theories, rather than looking at empirical evidence as to how far aggressive sports behaviour derives from nature and how far from nurture. However, the discussion arguably makes up in depth for what it lacks in breadth and it fulfils the criteria for the top band, as follows:- TOP BAND 12-15 marks Total words = 353

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