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How to answer short-answer questions. SHORT-ANSWER QUESTIONS TIPS. Read the question carefully. Determine just what the question is asking. Underlining key words will help. There will be a key element you will be expected to address.

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How to answer short-answer questions


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    1. How to answer short-answer questions

    2. SHORT-ANSWER QUESTIONSTIPS • Read the question carefully. • Determine just what the question is asking. Underlining key words will help. • There will be a key element you will be expected to address. • A succinct (short and to the point) answer will be expected. • Generally, the score indicates how many points need to be made in your answer.

    3. Examiners look for key psychological terminology and explanations in your answers. • USE appropriate terms when answering questions

    4. Question 1 • What is meant by the term “consciousness”? ANSWER: • Consciousness is one’sawareness of objects and events in the external world (1 mark), and of ones own existence and activities (1 mark).

    5. Question 2 • What does the term ‘state of ‘consciousness’ refer to? (2 marks) • An individual’s level of mental awareness of sensations, perceptions, memories and feelings (1 mark). Ones states of consciousness can range from fully awake and focussed through to unconsciousness (1 mark).

    6. Question 3 Fiona is an experienced driver. She can drive her manual car whilst having an in-depth conversation with her sister in the passenger seat. With reference to Fiona’s driving, name and justify the psychological process she applies while this state of normal waking consciousness. (2 marks)

    7. Sample higher level answer • Fiona’s driving is an automatic process because it requires little concentration. • Key terms are ‘name’, ‘describe’ and ‘psychological’. To obtain 1 mark, the psychological characteristics must be named and clearly justified.

    8. Sample lower level answer • Driving requires concentration • Pay attention to what the question require, and check your answer. The process is not named and there is no reference to the example (i.e. driver is not concentrating on driving).

    9. Question 4 • A psychologist is conducting research to investigate the physiological responses that can indicate different states of consciousness. Name three of these physiological responses.

    10. Answer??? • What are the 3 physiological states?

    11. Question 5 • An altered state of consciousness is different from normal waking consciousness in a number of ways.Give an example of an altered state of consciousness and identify two psychological characteristics that could distinguish this example from normal waking consciousness. (1 + 2 = 3 marks)

    12. Sleep/dreaming/daydreaming • thought patterns are disorganised • distorted perception of time • lack of control of movements • sensations and perceptions are dulled Meditation • sensations or perceptions are dulled (for example, pain) • distorted perception of time • awareness of external environment is reduced Hypnosis • distorted perception of time • sensations or perceptions are dulled (for example, pain) • loss of awareness of self • can increase self control (for example, quitting smoking) • more suggestible, so less inhibited From drug use • thought processes are disorganised • sensations or perceptions are dulled or heightened • memory impaired • more/less/inappropriate emotional reactions • distorted perception of time • lack of self control Heightened awareness • hyperfocus (selective attention) • distorted perception of time • extra sensitive perceptions

    13. Question 6 • Yusef has just obtained his driver’s licence, and is excited about being able to drive his own car. Yusef understands that it would be extremely dangerous for him to drive his new car and talk on a mobile phone at the same time. Why, in terms of attention and processing, is it dangerous to carry out both tasks simultaneously? (2 marks)

    14. Answer • Driving is a complex task, a controlled process that requires selective attention. In attempting to perform these two tasks at once, Yusef would be using divided attention and would not be able to concentrate sufficiently on driving, thus causing danger. • Students needed to refer to both attention and processing in order to score full marks for this question.

    15. Question 7 • Dr Jens, a psychologist, is using hypnosis with a patient as part of a treatment plan. During hypnosis a patient is in an altered state of consciousness. Give three psychological characteristics the patient may report to Dr Jens to indicate he is experiencing an altered state of consciousness.

    16. Answer: • Three psychological characteristics the patient may report include: • • differences in attention; for example, a very narrow focus on one thought to the exclusion of all others, or openness to a wide range of stimuli • • heightened or reduced awareness compared with non-waking consciousness (NWC) • • distortions in perception (sensory thresholds) from NWC • • distortions in cognition/memory/thought processes • • distortions in the perception of time (may seem to pass faster or slower) from NWC • • distortions/changes in time orientation • • changes in emotional feeling (greater or less than in NWC) • • changes in self control (greater or less than in NWC) • • changes in openness to suggestibility (greater or less than in NWC) • • changes in perception of pain (may be perceived as more or less intense than in NWC). • The answer did not need to refer to hypnosis as the question asked about altered states of consciousness in general.