Ideas for Internal Assessment

This is by no means a definitive list of all the topics that students could choose to explore in their internal assessment. Students should choose something that they clearly understand and is easy to replicate. There are a few types of studies that should be avoided as the work does not meet the IB definition of a "simple experiment." They are in the "Danger Zone." The following topics are possible, but you...

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Comments 7

Jane Gibbons 22 August 2014 - 04:29

Hi John, one of my students wishes to replicate Mandler’s experiments for schema theory and memory. Would you know where I can direct them to get a full version of his experiment?

John Crane 23 August 2014 - 11:57

I don't. It is so interesting that you ask this since I have been searching for it for my own students this week. We have found several articles written about the study, but none that clearly lay out the procedure. This is the most similar we can find, but we have not bought it - yet. We are looking for a free copy.

John Crane 23 August 2014 - 12:00

Jane, if you send me an email to, I can send you something very similar that I have just downloaded from Researchgate.

Ann Carshult 23 September 2014 - 01:50

Hello John. I have two HL students who want to replicate Loftus and Palmer but with a twist. Is this OK? I'm worried about them receiving zero marks because of pre-existing variables. But then again, I don't think it matters what language they use when conducting the experiment, as long as they don't compare them. Thanks for your feedback. Here is what they sent to me: What is the effect of loaded language on memory recall?
we're going to ask our questions along with the leading words in either Spanish or Chinese.
IV: Kind of word used (there will be one control and three leading words)
DV: Estimate of the speed
There will be no comparison between the English results and those in another language. We are doing the exact same thing as Loftus and Palmer did, but we are doing ours in either Spanish or Chinese.

John Crane 26 September 2014 - 02:10

I guess my question is "why?" Why are you doing it either in Spanish or Chinese? This appears to be too many variables. The IB only allows for two conditions. You could run the whole experiment in either Chinese or Spanish, but all participants should be in one language or the other since what you are changing in the experiment is your stated IV and you want to make sure that the process is standardized for all participants. This cannot happen if you are doing it in two different languages.

chris friendly 1 November 2014 - 13:21

Hi John,
Can you help me find a link to Shuell 1969? Is it necessary to find the original study in full or can students replicate it based on a summary? Thanks, Chris

John Crane 2 November 2014 - 04:21

Dear Chris, it is not necessary to use the original. My students almost never do. If you email me at, I will send you a copy of the study.

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