Above is the question that you could answer in the form of an article (see attached
example – psychology review), as an exam question (setting out using AO1, AO2 and
including issues, debates and approaches which would automatically be there because of
the question posed). Or you could answer in the form of a report style – it is up to you.
This needs to be TYPED up and to include references (google Harvard references).
You MUST give a ‘for and against’ in this debate. This is very important because this will
help you immensely for your arguments at A2 in psychology and enable you to access
the top grade criteria.
What to include:
- Genetic information – ie MAOA gene – how it works etc.
- How this might be studied ie, MRI scans, twin studies (genetics) etc.
- Studies that could support this idea
- Real life case studies that you can use (ie Bradley Waldrup)
- Issues, Debates and approaches (definitely include determinism)
A2 SUMMER TASK
Can genetics be used as a defence for
murder or violent behaviour?
Websites that you can use:
- Youtube – search CSI – warrior gene episode
Questions to consider within this debate:
Does having the gene (or genetic mutation) mean that somebody does not have to take
responsibility for their actions?
Do people have free will in their behaviour? In that they make a rational choice in what
What evidence do you have that demonstrate that it is just down to pure genes?
Is this evidence scientific?
Is aggression/violent behaviour just down to the environment and being brought up in a
Does the environment interact with genetics? Poor childhood and genes make a lethal
combination? Is there support for this?
What are the ethical issues that are raised when investigating aggressive behaviour?
How would understanding the causes and reasons for aggression/violent behaviour help?
You will need to end the argument with what you think the answer might be and why?
Attachments: Cardwell double page spread handout
Example of a psychology review article
Hand in date – first lesson