Shafxx
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Hi Does anyone have any examples of an essay plan for a AQA A Level Psychology 16 marker please x My teacher hasn’t shown us yet how to do an essay plan yet xTIA
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agnos987
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I don't have any essay plans (just made one up now) but you could write down all the points you want to make in the essay, clearly stating which is A01 and A03 and whether the A03 is a strength or limitation. Then you would go on to briefly jotting down the details you would put in.

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E.G. 'Describe and evaluate the social exchange theory of romantic relationships' 16 marks.
*This isn't everything I would write about, I only wrote some of it*

AO1:
Paragraph 1
- The social exchange theory is an 'economic theory' developed by Thibaut and Kelley that believes we form relationships if it's rewarding to us.
-Minimax principle — we want to maximise our rewards and minimise our costs. We do this by weighing the costs and rewards up and stay in a relationship if the outcome is profitable.
-Examples of rewards and costs -> costs: missed opportunities; rewards: companionship. 4 stage model of long-term relationships: sample (exploring rewards and costs in relationships), bargaining (negotiating relationships and agrees costs and rewards), commitment (settling in relationship, exchange of rewards become predictable, institutionalism (norms and expectations established).

Paragraph 2:

-SET too simplistic -> adapted (Thibaut and Kelley) -> companion level -> the level of satisfaction between people with the costs and rewards in relationships depends on their expectations that originate from previous relationships.
-Comparison level for alternatives -> level of satisfaction also depends on the costs and benefits (C&B) that would be involved if we formed a relationship with another person -> compare C&B in alternative with current partner.

A03:

Paragraph 1 - LIMITATION
POINT-> inconsistent empirical research -> Clark and Miller identified 2 types of couples: communal (couples having positive regards for each other and believes they will receive equal costs/benefits over time) and exchange couple (based on the rewards/costs they receive now and don't think about the future) -> suggests that the key to (long-term) relationships depends on the type of couple it is, rather than seeking profit (suggests seeking profit is not a significant part of a relationship).
LINK - therefore limits the social exchange theory as the theory fails to recognise that it can only apply to certain types of couples/theory generalises its argument to all couples.

Paragraph 2 - STRENGTH


POINT - Considers element of free will
EXPLANATION - theory based on socio-economic approach -> this means we can choose whether to pursue someone or not based on choice
-this is possibly a better explanation than other approaches e.g. socio-biological approach whereby it argues that who we pursue and form relationships with depends on biological factors such as resources and waist-hip ratio (no free will).
LINK - Therefore supports the social exchange theory.
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