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Psychology: EVOLUTIONARY exam question...HELP! watch

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    Outline and evaluate one explanation of depression and one explanation of anxiety disorders from an evolutionary perspective; 24 marks.

    This question for A2 psychology has been troubling me! Can anyone help me with it please? I'm having trouble with the fact that it's only asking for one explanation for each - this isn't giving me enough to write about (i've been using Nesse and Williams' 1995 theories).
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    i agree that their isn't that much to write about here, you could always expand it by evaluating one theory with another eg. describe the inclusive fitness theory of depression, but then compare this to rank theory.

    nasty pasty question though. if you need anymore deatils, i've jus dug out my notes

    lou xxx
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    (Original post by lou p lou)
    i agree that their isn't that much to write about here, you could always expand it by evaluating one theory with another eg. describe the inclusive fitness theory of depression, but then compare this to rank theory.

    nasty pasty question though. if you need anymore deatils, i've jus dug out my notes

    lou xxx
    Thank you so much for going to all that trouble

    Do you think you could hit me with a few evaluative AO2 points for the rank theory by Nesse and Williams in '95?
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    (Original post by Surfing Hamster)
    Thank you so much for going to all that trouble

    Do you think you could hit me with a few evaluative AO2 points for the rank theory by Nesse and Williams in '95?
    yeh sure, brief outline of it- depression occurs because an individual is prevented from entering a conflict they can never win.

    but...
    • succesful people can also suffer from depression
    • depression does sometimes have an obvious cause eg. bereavement.
    • does not explain severe/long periods of depression which would be counter-productive.
    • ethical implications- suggests non-sufferers are superior to sufferers.
    hope this helps a bit, i've also got Allen (1995) as a researcher for it. anything else you need let me know (try pm if i don't respond here)

    lou xxx
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    Thanks lou

    I've put this together from various sources for the second half of the question. What do you think to it - do I need more AO1 or AO2? What would you propose as criticisms for Seligman's preparedness theory?

    Anxiety disorders can come in the form of phobias; they are adaptive responses apparent in certain situations. A phobia is a strong irrational fear of something. The emotion of fear may have some adaptive value. Seligman (1970) used the term “preparedness” to describe the tendency for members of a species to be biologically predisposed to acquire certain conditioned responses more easily than others. One of these responses would be a fear of things that were probably associated with danger to primitive human beings, such as insects, heights, and small animals. Consider poisonous snakes for example; you may only have one chance to escape and so there would be a beneficial survival value in having an innate predisposition to avoid them. Charles Darwin would therefore support this concept as it provided a genetic advantage and therefore the predisposition to develop phobias has been perpetuated.


    Bennett-Levy and Marteau (1984) conducted a Correlational study that supported the idea that we are born with a readiness to fear certain objects (and we would presume that this readiness has adaptive advantages). Participants were given a list of 29 animals and asked to rate them in terms of their perceived ugliness, perceived harmfulness and their own fear of the animal. Fear was strongly correlated with animals’ appearances. In particular, the more the animal’s appearance was different from the human form, the more the animal was feared. Such differences were in terms of having more legs or an unpleasant skin texture. The suggestion is that this innate fear would be a basis for a phobia. Subsequent avoidance of the phobic stimulus is rewarding because it reduces anxiety levels, and thus a phobia would develop as a result of operant conditioning (i.e. stimulus-response learning).

    At the proximate level, the biological preparedness hypothesis predicts that so-called prepared fears will exhibit the dynamic properties (i.e. rapid acquisition, resistance to extinction) characteristic of phylogenetically facilitated associations (Seligman, 1971). At the ultimate level, the preparedness hypothesis can be tested in circumstances where the subject's experience of prepared stimuli has been strictly controlled. Subsequent first-time exposure to prepared stimuli in a learning task should still result in rapid acquisition of fear toward the prepared stimulus (e.g. Mineka, 1987). In addition, those stimuli that were directly involved in the selection pressures that shaped prepared associations ("phylogenetic stimuli") can be compared with stimuli which could potentially exert selection pressure but are too recent in the history and experiences of humans to have generated genetically mediated predispositions (henceforth these will be called "ontogenetic stimuli", e.g. guns, electricity outlets). Showing that phylogenetic and ontogenetic stimuli exhibit similar selective association effects, however, does not falsify the biological preparedness hypothesis; it merely makes the account less parsimonious. In evolutionary terms, imparsimony is not necessarily damaging because many different mechanisms might have evolved separately to produce similar behavioural outcomes.
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    which paper is it from?
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    the reason I ask is that exam questions aren't like that.. they will only ask a question about ONE individual difference (schizophrenia, anxiety disorders OR depression) - never two.
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    (Original post by James_W)
    the reason I ask is that exam questions aren't like that.. they will only ask a question about ONE individual difference (schizophrenia, anxiety disorders OR depression) - never two.
    It's a real past exam question from one of the publications on the AQA website.
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    I had a look through my unit 4 paper and this was a question from the comparative psychology section

    However it was in an a) and b) format -

    15 (a) Outline and evaluate one explanation of depression from an evolutionary perspective.
    (12 marks)
    (b) Outline and evaluate one explanation of anxiety disorders from an evolutionary perspective.
    (12 marks)

    Rather than as one question.
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    (Original post by eternalsunshine)
    I had a look through my unit 4 paper and this was a question from the comparative psychology section

    However it was in an a) and b) format -

    15 (a) Outline and evaluate one explanation of depression from an evolutionary perspective.
    (12 marks)
    (b) Outline and evaluate one explanation of anxiety disorders from an evolutionary perspective.
    (12 marks)

    Rather than as one question.
    Yeh, I merged it into one question when I copied it out I'm still answering it as if it's two separate ones though.
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    i found a really good piece of evaluation in favour of preparedness theory- it is easier to condition someone to have a phobia of snakes/spiders using an electric shock when a picture is shown than it is to condition them to fear flowers or mushrooms. rhesus monkeys hav e also shown this in studies where they become more easily afraid of snakes than flowers.

    but according to one study the 4th most common phobia is of public transport. but a fear of flying could eb explained by a fear of heights and enclosed spaces and the breathing of recycled air.

    sorry this is vague and taken me hours to answer, i've been hectic today! pm me if you think of anything else (you might get a quicker response)... hardly anyone else does comparative.

    lou xxx
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    (Original post by Surfing Hamster)
    It's a real past exam question from one of the publications on the AQA website.
    Which Month/Year?
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    Am I getting confused? I do depression and anxiety disorders in Unit 5.. don't touch on it in Unit 4 (pro/anti social behaviour, personality development, biological rhythms)... so what part of Unit 4 is depression and anxiety disorders?
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    (Original post by James_W)
    Am I getting confused? I do depression and anxiety disorders in Unit 5.. don't touch on it in Unit 4 (pro/anti social behaviour, personality development, biological rhythms)... so what part of Unit 4 is depression and anxiety disorders?
    Hi James,

    Your school or college only have to teach a minimum of three subject areas under social, physiological, cognitive, developmental, and comparative psychology.

    In social psychology alone there are: social cognition, relationships, and pro- and anti-social behaviour.

    The one you're confused with - evolutionary explanations of human behaviour - is taught under the comparative psychology section (an area your school/college hasn't taught).
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    (Original post by lou p lou)
    i found a really good piece of evaluation in favour of preparedness theory- it is easier to condition someone to have a phobia of snakes/spiders using an electric shock when a picture is shown than it is to condition them to fear flowers or mushrooms. rhesus monkeys hav e also shown this in studies where they become more easily afraid of snakes than flowers.

    but according to one study the 4th most common phobia is of public transport. but a fear of flying could eb explained by a fear of heights and enclosed spaces and the breathing of recycled air.

    sorry this is vague and taken me hours to answer, i've been hectic today! pm me if you think of anything else (you might get a quicker response)... hardly anyone else does comparative.

    lou xxx
    I know they don't - it's a bugger! We were taught four modules, but I've decided to ditch the personality development section.

    Thanks for the evaluation, it's great Do you know who the researchers were, though?
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    Would you say these two are the same question, just worded differently?

    “All human mental disorders may be explained as inappropriate expressions of what was adaptive behaviour for our ancestors.” Discuss the explanation of one or more human mental disorders from an evolutionary perspective; 24 marks.

    AND

    Outline and evaluate one explanation of depression and one explanation of anxiety disorders from an evolutionary perspective; 24 marks.
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    (Original post by Surfing Hamster)
    I know they don't - it's a bugger! We were taught four modules, but I've decided to ditch the personality development section.

    Thanks for the evaluation, it's great Do you know who the researchers were, though?
    i think everywhere should teach it! it's definately the best module (although we only have one teacher at college who does it, so as a result has taught this module to 5 A2 classes)

    nope sorry i don't, we got a weird evaluation sheet on it. we got an envelope full of pieces of paper with a sentence on. the 1st sentence was an explanation of what it investigating, 2nd sentence showed findings + the 3rd evaluated it + we had to put them together (sounds easy, was actually really hard + we got 0 right in out group), but anyway *has kinda babbled here* we didn't get any researcher names. just say 'evidence has shown...' and it'll be fine.

    lou xxx
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    (Original post by Surfing Hamster)
    Would you say these two are the same question, just worded differently?

    “All human mental disorders may be explained as inappropriate expressions of what was adaptive behaviour for our ancestors.” Discuss the explanation of one or more human mental disorders from an evolutionary perspective; 24 marks.

    AND

    Outline and evaluate one explanation of depression and one explanation of anxiety disorders from an evolutionary perspective; 24 marks.
    yep, ignore the quote in the first one unless a question says 'referring to the quote/information given', the 1st one just gives you more choice.

    lou xxx
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    (Original post by lou p lou)
    yep, ignore the quote in the first one unless a question says 'referring to the quote/information given', the 1st one just gives you more choice.

    lou xxx
    fankooo louplou
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    (Original post by Surfing Hamster)
    fankooo louplou
    no probs, if you need any more help (with any of the course, particularly that module) just shout *or maybe pm or hijack me mid-thread*

    lou xxx
 
 
 

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