Exam-style Questions: Psychopathology

  1. Outline clinical characteristics of schizophrenia.

    (Marks available: 6)

    Answer

    Answer outline and marking scheme for question: 1

    You could have written about the symptoms or the diagnostic criteria of schizophrenia. Remember, you are only asked for an outline, so don't go overboard!

    Here is a guide for marking your answer:

    5 - 6 marks Thorough outline of symptoms or criteria for diagnosis of schizophrenia.
    3 - 4 marks Fair description but some important aspects omitted.
    1 - 2 marks Basic information about some aspects of schizophrenia.

    (Marks available: 6)

  2. Describe one study into biological causes of depression.

    (Marks available: 6)

    Answer

    Answer outline and marking scheme for question: 2

    You could have chosen to write about a study into genetic causes of depression (for example, twin studies and family histories) or you could have written about biochemical research to do with neurotransmitters (for example, serotonin imbalance).

    Remember: so long as you write about genuine research, you do not need to worry about names and dates!

    5 - 6 marks Detailed description of aim, method, results, conclusions and implications of study.
    3 - 4 marks Description of study lacks detail and/or some aspects of study are omitted.
    1 - 2 marks Basic information about study into biological causes of depression.

    (Marks available: 6)

  3. Discuss psychological explanations of any one anxiety disorder.

    (Marks available: 12)

    Answer

    Answer outline and marking scheme for question: 3

    Remember: to only write about one anxiety disorder, for example, phobias, PTSD or OCD. Do not go into much detail about the characteristics of the disorder as you have not been asked for this and will not gain any marks. Stick to theories or research studies.

    Also remember to focus on psychological research and use other approaches in your evaluation.

    11-12 marks You have identified a range of psychological research into your chosen anxiety disorder. You have thoroughly discussed the value of these studies and pointed out their strengths and weaknesses in relation to demonstrating psychological causes of the anxiety disorder. It is important to have expressed ideas and arguments clearly.
    9-10 marks You have used relevant research studies and have shown a good understanding of the extent to which the chosen anxiety disorder is the product of psychological factors rather than other types of influence. Your essay is very well organised.
    7-8 marks You have described relevant research studies and carried out a good analysis to explain what factors might cause the chosen anxiety disorder. You have not carried out much evaluation. Your essay is well organised.
    5-6 marks You have been limited in your use of research studies to explain what might cause the anxiety disorder. Your essay is reasonably well organised.
    3-4 marks You have mentioned some factors that might be involved in causing the chosen anxiety disorder but have been vague in your answer.
    1-2 marks You have not addressed the issues in the question. Your answer is confused and barely mentions what might cause the chosen anxiety disorder.

    (Marks available: 12)