We have sent two queries to AQA asking for clarification of two of the specification changes – one related to the Media section in PSYA4 and one related to the relationships section in PSYA3.
1. Query: In the new specification the section on media has a changed entry. Previously it said ‘The effects of video games and computers on young people’. It now says ‘The positive and negative effects of computers and video games on behaviour’. I just want to double check that these are two separate things ‘computers’ and ‘video games’ and that it is not meant to be ‘computer games’ and ‘video games’?
As a further question, the term ‘computers’ has such a potentially wide meaning (e.g. use of word processors, use of chat rooms, Facebook, gaming’). Is all of that acceptable?
From AQA: The response from the Principal Examiner for PSYA4 to your enquiry is as follows:
As the section focuses on media psychology, questions on computers could focus on situations where computers are used as a medium (i.e. way of communicating an idea/message, e.g. through Facebook or Youtube). The personal use of computers – for word processing does not fit into this definition of media and questions would not focus on this aspect of computer use .
2. Query: In PSYA3 Relationships, there was a change from ‘The influence of childhood and adolescent experiences on adult relationships’ which is now just ‘childhood’. On wikipedia childhood is defined as ‘the age span ranging from birth to adolescence’. Does this mean that there has actually been no change to the specification and adolescence will still be creditworthy? Basically it isn’t clear what is included in ‘childhood’.
Answer: Adolescent experiences have been removed from the specification as we would not wish to set questions which explicitly refer to this. However, should candidates make reference to this type of experience in their responses and it is relevant to the question set, they would receive credit.
If a question on the influence of childhood experience on adult relationships was asked and a candidate focused the whole of their answer on adolescence, it would be unlikely to be deemed thorough and as a result would not be able to achieve maximum marks.