5. Sociocultural approach

The IB Psychology course looks at behaviour through three different approaches: biological, cognitive and sociocultural.  In modern psychology, it is understood that these three approaches interact rather than compete to explain behaviour.

This chapter looks at sociocultural explanations of behaviour.  The unit focuses on how groups affect an individual's behaviour as well as how culture affects us.  Conformity will be the focus of the chapter.

Each chapter is divided into smaller sections with quizzes to test for mastery of key vocabulary and "checking for understanding" questions with sample answers to check for broader conceptual understanding.

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Chapter 5.1 The individual and the group

This chapter looks at how other people affect our behaviour, even when we think we are acting independently.  The key topics of study are:

  • The relationship between the individual and a group
  • The role of social identity on individual behaviour
  • The role of social cognitive theory in explaining behaviour
  • The origin of stereotypes and their effect on behaviour
  • Research methodology in the sociocultural approach
  • Ethical considerations in sociocultural research
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Chapter 5.2 Culture, behaviour and cognition

This chapter looks at how culture affects not only how we behave, but how we think and remember. The key topics of study are:

  • Definitions of culture
  • How psychologists study culture
  • The role of culture on cognition
  • Cultural dimensions and behaviour
  • Enculturation and acculturation - and their effect on identity

HL Extension Globalization and identity

HL students are asked to delve a bit deeper into how globalization affects one's individual identity.  The key topics of study are

  • Effects of globalization on identity
  • Effects of globalization on attitudes
  • Effects of globalization on behaviour
  • How researchers study globalization
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