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John Crane has worked at the International School of Prague since 1988. He has 20 years of experience teaching psychology and has done workshops for teachers for the past 15 years. His speciality areas focus on cross-cultural research with a focus on the role of culture in overcoming trauma within communities. He is also an avid traveler, having visited over 100 countries.
Quote of the day
If the next generation is to face the future with zest and self-confidence, we must educate them to be original as well as competent.
Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi (1934 - )
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After completing the biology of memory part of the course, I take one class to teach a bit about Alzheimer's disease. My goal is to expose them to the topic but also to build a sense of empathy - as well as to get them to think about careers in research vs careers in patient care and counseling. 5 – 10% of people over 65-years-old will develop Alzheimer’s.Background theoryTo start,...
This final lesson on thinking and decision-making focuses on heuristics - or cognitive biases. The research that is used here can also be used to support the Dual Process Model of thinking and decision making.It is good to remind students that several of these studies would be appropriate for IAs. They are easy to do and will help to revise this important concept in psychology.Demonstration of anchoring...
The following lesson plan looks at the Dual Processing Theory of thinking and decision making. There are several short activities used in this lesson which are all based on Daniel Kahneman's book "Thinking Fast and Slow." The lesson is not research heavy because the research on cognitive biases - that is, heuristics - can also be used to demonstrate the model and how it works.Introducing...
The following lesson introduces the cognitive processes of "thinking" and "decision making." In addition, it will look at how psychologists study these processes, as well as the inherent limitations of such research.Students will first look at the role of interviews in studying thinking; specifically, they will look at a type of interview called a verbal protocol. Then they will...
Daniel Kahneman describes the concept of "anchoring bias" in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. This heuristic describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the "anchor") when making decisions. Anchoring occurs when individuals use an initial piece of information to make subsequent judgments. Once an anchor is set, other judgments...
Although this topic is part of the HL extension, I have both my SL and HL students take part in this lesson. As ethics in the biological approach is something that all students could be asked on the exam, I feel that this lesson is important for all of them. In addition, I think that the question of how animals are used in psychological research is of high relevance to all my students.The rest of...
This lesson focuses on the role of neurotransmission in human behaviour - specifically, on memory.In keeping with the rest of the content of this mini unit on the biology of memory, acetylcholine will be the primary example given. However, there are other examples of neurotransmission affecting behaviour throughout the course; for example, dopamine and addiction; serotonin and depression; or serotonin...
Essential understandings Our behaviour is influenced by others, even when we believe that we are acting independently. We have both an individual and a social identity which influences our behaviour. Behaviours our learned through our interaction and observation of others. Stereotypes affect behaviour. The sociocultural approach Psychologists recognize that human behaviour can only be fully...
In order to study the biological approach, I have divided into two mini-units. The first unit is an extension of the memory unit. The second unit is a unit on the ultimate decision – love.The first unit will focus on the role of localization of function, neuroplasticity, brain imaging technology, neurotransmission and hormones on memory. It will also introduce techniques psychologists use to...
The sample below is one of three exemplars that I will be using with my students. They are all from the same experiment, there is a "high", a "mid" and a "low" scoring internal assessment.The experiment by Rogers, Kuiper and Kirker (1977), which focuses on the self-reference effect, can be found here.The appendices are not included on this page, but they are available...
The following page provides answers to commonly asked questions about the internal assessment. As more questions arise in the new curriculum, more questions and answers may be added to this page.What is meant by a simple experiment?The psychology course defines a simple experimental study as requiring the manipulation of one independent variable and measurement of one dependent variable, while other...
This lesson plan examines the role of emotion on memory. The theory that will be discussed is Flashbulb Memory.This part of the unit will introduce some of the biological concepts that will be discussed in the next part of the course - specifically, the use of an fMRI and the role of the hormone adrenaline in the creation of emotional memories.In addition, this part of the unit is also linked to the...
One of the most common questions for new teachers is how to actually grade the work that students do. Especially in the beginning of the course, how do you assign marks when they cannot do a whole Paper 1? How does one convert a score of 17/20 into an IB grade? And what about the EE? The information below is some guidance on how to assess students in a way that is meaningful with regard to the final...
An excellent resource which really supports my teaching. I particular have used the Paper 3 stimulus material - they have been a great resource especially the model answers.
Gracias por toda la informacón provista.
I have used several of the resources on this site! In addition, the site organization has helped me to better grasp how to organize my coursework...I wish I had more free time to search on the site! I'm grateful that our school paid the subscription...
1 September 2016
One of the most important skills that we can help our students to develop is the skill of "asking questions." This is fundamental to the inquiry... more
26 August 2016
As we all await the publication of the new psychology curriculum, we have also been given the new extended essay criteria. The first set of... more
25 Apr Monali Sharma
Multi-store memory modelDear John Aren’t we supposed to cover Sperling’s experiment on sensory memory? Monali.
25 Apr John Crane
Kulkofsky et al (2011)Dear Ian, I think that McGuagh and Cahill is fine and does not have to be combined with Quevain. As for the students' comments about FBM, it is not really accurate unless they clarify which types of FBMs are fewer - that is, those of personal...
25 Apr John Crane
Internal AssessmentDear Kelly, I am a bit confused. If the students had interval data, why did they use the mode? They should use the mean and calculate standard deviation. The descriptive stats cannot tell you if the data is significant, only the inferential...
25 Apr Andrew Martasian
Evaluating EE questionsThanks John, it sounds like a very interesting topic and we do have access to a few databases, so the research should not be an issue. Thanks for the help!
25 Apr Karen Hinnen
FAQs for Internal AssessmentIf the original experiment utilized an Independent Measures Design, may the students alter it and use a repeated measures design? Also with a repeated measures design, may the students have 10 participants (because they are testing both conditions)...
25 Apr Beth Wasylyk
The unseen passage: Paper 3Hi John, Do the students have to state a method that is listed in the syllabus? Different sources and study guides have different research methods and sampling methods included. Thanks!
25 Apr John Crane
ERQ sample: Cognitive methodsDear Dabalina Questionnaires can be considered either a method or a data gathering technique. In some ways, questionnaires can be like written interviews, where the individual responds to a number of general questions. This is often considered...
25 Apr John Crane
Evaluating EE questionsDear Andrew I would let the student try it. There is more and more research on virtual reality treatment, the question is whether your student will have access to it based on what types of databases and materials are available to him/her.
25 Apr John Crane
Do's and Don'ts for EEDear Tripti, This may be a bit too specific by limiting it to the US. Otherwise, it is a fine question.
24 Apr Andrew Martasian
Evaluating EE questionsHi John, I was wondering about the following question: To what extent is virtual reality therapy effective at treating PTSD in war veterans? My concern was that the question asked about virtual reality treatments, which might be too new to...
24 Apr Ian Latham
Kulkofsky et al (2011)Can McGaugh and Cahill be used (instead of Sharot) as evidence for the biological mechanism (adrenaline) that Brown & Kulik did not detail? (Or only if combined with Quervain perhaps?)
24 Apr Ian Latham
Kulkofsky et al (2011)My students understand the personal significance bit but then insist on adding that 'in collectivist... less likely to form FBM' as if theyve come across the info somewhere. Is there any truth in this?