Baumgartner et al. (2008)

IB Psychology: Baumgartner et al. (2008)

Baumgarten carried out a study to investigate the role the hormone oxytocin may play in trust relationships. You can use this study for the following learning objectives:Explain how principles that define the biological level of analysis may be demonstrated in research.Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the biological level of analysis.Explain functions of two hormones in human behaviour.


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Comments 8

Megan Fallon 12 March 2017 - 01:39

arghhh one of my students has attempted an extended response about how neurotransmission affects behaviour and she has used oxytocin and the Baumgartner experiment as an example. how do we know if oxytocin in this experiment is acting as a hormone or as a neurotransmitter? or is it acting as both? I have taught this research as an example of a hormone but now i'm not so sure

John Crane 14 March 2017 - 20:34

Megan, oxytocin is a hormone. Period. Hormones sometimes 'act as neurotransmitters" by attaching to receptor sites in neurons. But they are still hormones. IB would give a zero to a student who wrote about oxytocin as a neurotransmitter.

Megan Fallon 17 March 2017 - 01:43

thanks for the clarification John

Mohamed ElFarra 1 September 2017 - 21:15

Hello John,
I am wondering if the students are required to describe the experiment in detail in the external exam. Do they have to describe the "trust game"

Thank you.

John Crane 2 September 2017 - 06:08

Dear Mohamed - they should be able to demonstrate a general understanding of the procedure. They do not need to describe the trust game.

Justin Dacanay 30 October 2017 - 01:00

Hello John, for a potential question 'Explain the role of one hormone in human behaviour making use of one study.' If students use Baumgartner, do they have to explain the role of oxytocin on the amygdala and caudate neucleus? Or can they just explain the role that oxytocin has on participants continuing to invest at similar rates, even if there were breaches of trust. Thank you

John Crane 30 October 2017 - 08:12

If the question is to explain the role of one hormone, I think that the role in decreasing activity in the amygdala is an important understanding for students. Otherwise, it does not answer the "explain" part of the question. Why would oxytocin lead to more trust?

Justin Dacanay 31 October 2017 - 20:40

Great, thanks for clarifying John! Your previous comment of students having a general understanding of the procedure made me think twice. Very helpful, thanks again.


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