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1. Research in psychologyfree30 April 2017

This chapter looks at the fundamentals of psychology. What is psychology and how do psychologists do their job? The focus of this chapter is on research methods.It is important to understand research... more

The individual and the groupfree29 October 2018

Psychologists recognize that human behaviour can only be fully understood if the social context in which behaviour occurs is taken into account. One assumption of the sociocultural approach is that human... more

Practicing Paper 3free13 January 2018

The following set of practice papers are not official IB papers. As of the creation of this page, there is only one specimen paper available. All of the papers are created here by me, based on examiner... more

Getting started with IAfree20 August 2017

This section of the site is devoted to materials that may be used to organize and assist students in the setting up and carrying out of the internal assessment. The section includes suggestions for experiments... more

LP 2b: The Dual Processing model7 April 2018

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... more

LP 6: Effect of emotion on memory 19 February 2018

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... more

External Assessmentfree20 August 2017

This section focuses on the external assessment - that is, the exams that are sat either in November or May by your students.This section contains sample marking and marking practice. In addition, it... more

LP 3: Memory and neurotransmission28 March 2018

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... more

Options menu29 July 2019

Since the options are assessed with one question per topic, it allows some flexibility in how we approach the course. This is a good way to minimize the amount of content that students have to learn... more

Approving IAs 1 July 2018

When starting the IA's, it is important for students to go through the process of getting their proposed study approved. This is what happens in the real world of psychology - and as part of our drive... more

Introduction to IA presentation1 July 2018

The presentation below is a complete overview of the internal assessment requirements. This presentation is a good introduction, but students may find it a bit overwhelming. You may want to use it to... more

LP 2: Brain imaging techniques22 March 2018

The following lesson plan is an introduction to brain imaging techniques - a key way in which psychologists are able to study the brain.Although I will focus on MRIs (structural) and fMRIs (functional)... more

LP 1b: Studying thinking2 April 2018

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... more

Statistics revision presentation1 July 2018

This presentation is meant to remind students how to apply statistics for the internal assessment.A helpful site for the calculation of the statistics is Vassarstat. To find the non-parametric tests,... more

ALP 2.1 Biological etiology of MDD1 October 2018

The following lesson looks at biological theories with regard to Major Depressive Disorder. The lesson starts by finding out what students already know and surfacing any misconceptions about the disorder.... more

LP 1: Intro to memory27 January 2018

This lesson plan is an introduction to the cognitive approach and our first cognitive process to be studied - memory. The following ppt presentation is used to start the lesson. This is an 80-minute... more

Paper 1 clarificationsfree14 October 2018

There have been several clarifications given by the IB over the past few months. Many have said that they are difficult to follow. In order to assist, I am organizing these clarifications below, based... more

Mapping out internal assessment2 July 2018

It is a good idea to have finished the cognitive approach before starting internal assessment since many good experiments for students can be found within cognitive psychology. I normally give students... more

10. Internal assessmentfree3 March 2017

The Internal Assessment asks you to apply your understanding of experimental methods by replicating a published study to see if your results confirm those of the original study.For SL candidates, this... more

Study guide: Brain and behaviour21 December 2018

In order to prepare for exams, it is important to prepare a "tailor-made" study guide. A study guide should reflect your own learning and not just what someone tells you is the "best" research to use... more

LP 4: Memory and hormones25 March 2018

A hormone is a chemical that is secreted by glands in the endocrine system. Unlike neurotransmitters, they are released directly into the blood stream. Hormones may act as neurotransmitters and attach... more

9. Human relationshipsfree4 May 2017

This chapter looks at interpersonal relationships as well as how we either help one another or enter into conflict with one another. Reasons for helping behaviour, prejudice and conflict are explored... more

Methodology in sociocultural7 April 2017

In sociocultural research, the goal is to see how people interact and influence each other. Various research methods - both qualitative and quantitative - are used to study this behaviour. Quantitative... more

IA marking: Sample 28 August 2019

The sample below is based on Baddeley, Thomson & Buchanan's (1975) study of word length effect.The sample is based on a student's work, but is heavily edited and changes have been made to illustrate different... more

ATL planner: Diagnosis23 June 2019

The following unit planner is based on the lesson plans that are in the curriculum resources section of the site. This is a model unit planner to help you adapt your own unit plans in order to meet IB... more

Writing with critical thinking13 January 2018

One of the problems that students often have is how to include "critical thinking" into their exam essays. It is often clear that students know the strategies - that is, writing MAGEC about research (Methodological... more

Assessment clarificationsfree14 October 2018

There have been several clarifications given by the IB over the past few months. Many have said that these clarifications are difficult to follow. In order to assist, I am organizing these clarifications... more

Determinants of health30 July 2017

One's approach to health and well being is the result of biological, psychological and sociocultural factors.One's beliefs about health have a direct influence on health behaviours.A combination of risk... more

ERQ marking: Reliability of memory4 March 2018

Below you will find three sample ERQs for the question: To what extent is one cognitive process reliable?For each of the samples, refer to the rubric to award marks. After each sample, there is a predicted... more

DLP 1.1 Brain development18 August 2018

The human brain adapts and develops throughout our lifetime. However, the majority of brain development takes place between birth and adolescence, through myelination, neural pruning in some areas, and... more

IA marking: Sample 129 June 2018

The sample below is based on Strack and Mussweiler's (1997) study of anchoring bias.The IA below does not include any appendices, with the exception of the raw data which is included below. more

Englich and Mussweiler (2001)8 May 2019

The following study by Englich and Mussweiler is a study of anchoring bias. The researchers wanted to determine the effect of a prosecutor's suggestion for sentencing on the decision-making of a judge. more

Tversky and Kahenman (1986)free9 August 2019

Framing is one cognitive bias that affects our ability to make a rational decision. Tversky and Kahneman's classic study shows that when options are framed in a positive way, we go for the surest positive... more

Sample 1: Durability of relationships14 January 2018

The following sample extended essay does not have an official grade. It is an essay that was submitted for the former curriculum which has been heavily rewritten by me in order to demonstrate some of... more

HRLP 1.1 Origins of prosocial behaviour19 January 2019

The following lesson focuses on the origins of prosocial behaviour. Remember that as part of this topic, students should consider biological, cognitive and sociocultural explanations of why we engage... more

Food mind-set12 January 2019

The following is a sample Paper 3 that looks at a quasi-experiment. Below you will first find the stimulus piece, followed by the static questions. A copy of the mock paper is included to give students... more

LP 5: Ethics in animal research1 April 2018

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... more

Cases et al (1995)6 August 2019

This study made use of transgenic mice in the study of the role of serotonin in aggression. This study is good for HL candidates preparing for the biological extension question: Discuss the use of animal... more

Writing the Analysis4 July 2018

Writing a good analysis is key to writing a good evaluation. If you do not understand the data that you have obtained from your study, this has a significant influence on your ability to evaluate it. more

Defining abnormal behaviour3 July 2018

There are several ways to introduce the abnormal psychology option. I like to use a combination of film clips and hands-on activities. Below you will find three different activities that I do with my... more

Chi-square9 May 2019

The following lesson focuses on carrying out the chi-square.It is not required that you carry it out by hand for your IA, but it is important to be able to do the following: * Know when to use... more

IA clarificationsfree14 October 2018

There have been several clarifications given by the IB over the past few months. Many have said that they are difficult to follow. In order to assist, I am organizing these clarifications below, based... more

Presentation: Avoiding bias12 March 2019

The following presentation is a revision in preparation for one of the three questions that may asked on Paper 3 for the "mini-essay." Discuss how the researcher could avoid bias in this study. more

HRLP 3.1 Cooperation and competition20 February 2019

The following lesson plan focuses on cooperation and competition. Remember that on the exam a question for this learning outcome will not separate the terms cooperation and competition. Therefore, this... more

Organization of the ERQ2 November 2018

Writing an exam response to an extended responses question is not easy for many students. Unfortunately, there are many trends in the writing that lead to students getting low marks. This includes writing... more

ALP 2.2 Cognitive etiology of MDD6 October 2018

The following lesson plan looks at explanations of Major Depressive Disorder in the cognitive approach. The lesson focuses on two arguments: negative schemas and rumination. Students should be able to... more

ERQ sample: Emotion and memory5 March 2018

The following essay sample is a response to the question: Discuss the effect of emotion in one cognitive process. The sample response is an example of an exemplary response that should receive top marks. more

Cultural research: Emic vs etic3 March 2018

When discussing cultural research, one way to show critical thinking is to think about how the research was done - was it an etic or an emic approach? This makes a difference in the validity of the research... more

Alloy et al (1999) 15 April 2019

Alloy et al (1999) carried out a study to the role that one's cognitive style plays in the development of depression. This study may be used to discuss the aetiology of one disorder - or more specifically... more

Assessing the EE17 June 2018

The following presentation is a tutorial for teachers on how the Extended Essay is assessed. It is particularly important to familiarize yourself with the rules for academic dishonesty as this can have... more