Pearson BTEC National Applied Psychology: Revision Guide

Introduction Assessment advice Example questions and answers Marker’s comments Unit 3: The UK government devises a campaign to encourage people to exercise more, called ‘Let’s Get Britain Moving’. As part of this, a TV advert is filmed which is fronted by a major sports celebrity who has also been a fashion model. The advert points out the dangers of being inactive and the benefits of exercise. Ellis watches the advert and realises that they could improve their health by exercising more. But they worry that they don’t have the time or motivation. Assess the effectiveness of the Hovland-Yale theory in predicting whether Ellis will be persuaded to exercise more. (9 marks) Answer: The Hovland-Yale theory predicts whether Ellis will exercise more depending on three aspects of the campaign. First, the source of the campaign’s message. A person will be persuaded to change their behaviour if the source has credibility and attractiveness. The source in the advert is a sports celebrity, who is credible because they are an ‘expert’ on physical activity. They have personal experience of being fit. They were also a fashion model so they probably are physically attractive. Because of the halo effect, Ellis might believe the celebrity is also knowledgeable about exercise. Second, the message itself. The message will be persuasive if it has emotional appeal for Ellis. It has a fear threat because it shows the dangers of being inactive. But this is not enough on its own to persuade Ellis. However, the campaign also highlights there is a way to avoid negative outcomes – it can show Ellis how they get positive benefits from exercising. One part of the message may make Ellis afraid, but the other part may relieve their fear, so they are more likely to exercise. Finally, there is the audience, i.e. Ellis themselves. If Ellis is an intelligent person, they may feel they are being manipulated by the campaign and resist changing their behaviour. On the other hand, as Ellis is aware they are lacking fitness, perhaps they have low self-esteem. People with low self-esteem are easier to persuade so Ellis may be more likely to exercise. However, some research shows that people with high self-esteem are easier to persuade but just less willing to admit to being persuaded. This means the theory makes the wrong prediction about Ellis’s behaviour. Also, the theory may well predict that Ellis will become more positive about the idea of exercise. But changing Ellis’s attitude may not be enough to change their actual behaviour. Therefore, the theory cannot predict that Ellis will exercise because it is only describing the factors that contribute to their attitude. In conclusion, the model could be effective in predicting that Ellis will exercise because two of the three aspects of the campaign are favourable. But this may just mean Ellis has a more positive attitude towards exercise, without actually doing any. 368 words Comments: A very important rule of 9-mark extended open-response questions is that there are 3 marks for AO1, 3 for AO2 and 3 for AO3. So, the answer has to include a balance of description, application and evaluation, even though the command term is AO3. The student’s knowledge and understanding of the theory are accurate and thorough. Description is fairly detailed and has some depth. The answer covers all three factors in the theory rather than leaving one out. At almost every point in the answer, the theory is applied to Ellis. The focus is on predicting Ellis’s behaviour and whether the theory is able to do this. But there are vague elements too, e.g. ‘A person will be persuaded to change their behaviour…’ instead of ‘Ellis will be persuaded to exercise…’. The student has given two weaknesses of the theory which are both appropriate but neither is developed in much detail. The command term is Assess so the student has drawn a conclusion. It is slightly repetitive of the previous point but otherwise a balanced judgement and applied to Ellis. Overall, this is a very good answer. The reason it does not get full marks is because each skill could have been just a little bit more developed, especially the evaluative element (e.g. ‘…the theory makes the wrong prediction’ is a bit vague). Looking at the table below, the AO1 in this answer is bottom of level 3, the AO2 is middle of level 3 and the AO3 is top of level 2. So overall, bottom of level 3 = 7 marks. Level Mark Knowledge and understanding Gaps or omissions Points are relevant to the context of the question Links made to context Discussion/ analysis/ assessment/ evaluation Considers different aspects and how they interrelate 1 1–3 Isolated elements. Major. Few. Minimal. Limited. Generic assertions. 2 4–6 Some accurate. Minor. Some. Not clear. Partiallydeveloped. Some, but not always in a sustained way. 3 7–9 Mostly accurate and detailed. None. Most. Clear. Welldeveloped. A range, in a sustained way. This is called a levels-based mark scheme because an examiner decides on your mark by determining the level that best describes your answer. The criteria in this table are adapted from the exam board’s marking guidance. 9 Copyright: Sample material