B. Introduction

IB Psychology: B. Introduction

The introduction provides background information, as well as a rationale for the investigation. It is important that this section of the paper clearly sets out what you are going to investigate, and why the investigation is important.The introduction is an important part of your report. In addition to describing the study that you are going to replicate, it also helps the reader understand the importance of this study...

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Comments 11

Xiaolo Wang 10 October 2017 - 07:10

Hi, John, one characterisitc of the high band is "The aim of the investigation is stated and its relevance is explained", i am not very sure about what are the specific and detailed meaning of "relevance" here. Could you help to explain it? Many thanks.

John Crane 11 October 2017 - 11:42

Dear Xiaolo

The goal here is that students should justify why the question is relevant to study within the population used in their study.

Nikki Rotkosky 30 January 2018 - 21:23

The works cited are going in as footnotes or is this based on which format we use - I have been using APA in which case the works cited is at the end. Is this acceptable under the new guidelines?

John Crane 31 January 2018 - 20:13

Dear Nikki - students should not use footnotes. Please have them use APA and put works cited at the end of the paper.

Steven Morris 2 May 2018 - 12:32

Hi John,
My students and I are having trouble figuring out this part of the rubric.
"The theory or model upon which the investigation is based is described and the link to the student's investigation is explained."
What exactly might this look like? For example, in Loftus and Palmer, how would they explicitly link schema theory/theory of reconstructive memory to their own investigation? Would something like this work? "My investigation will allow me to infer whether or not misleading, post-event information really does distort our memory of an event, and will therefore test the theory of reconstructive memory."

Steven Morris 2 May 2018 - 12:33

*I meant to highlight this part "...and the link to the student's investigation is explained."

John Crane 3 May 2018 - 05:17

Dear Steven

This is where it is helpful for students to read the original study. Loftus and Palmer did not base their study on schema theory. They were investigating the "misinformation effect." This should be explained in some detail in the introduction and then there results linked to the theory in the evaluation.

Steven Morris 8 May 2018 - 08:10

Thanks for the message, John. You make a good point, L&P do not mention schemas at all in the original.

Would you be able to shed any further light on how a student can 'explain the link between background theory and the student's investigation' in the introduction section. I am giving student's feedback on their intro this week and I am struggling to understand what the IB are actually looking for here in the new rubric.

John Crane 8 May 2018 - 13:54


I think that if they discuss reconstructive memory and the concept of post-event interference (misinformation effect), they should be fine. In their evaluation they could even mention the role that schema potentially played in the final outcome of their study.

Steven Morris 10 May 2018 - 08:58

Hi John,
First of all, thanks for answering my numerous questions. I really do appreciate the time you put in and your generosity with expertise.
Building upon your response to Xiaolo above, does the relevance of the aim have to be specific to the target population, or can it be society in general?
I feel that this works sometimes (like in the K&T example you put in the example above), whereas sometimes a study's relevance goes way beyond high school students.
Thus my students are shoe-horning in ideas that are relevant to 'Turkish high-school students' in order to meet this criteria whilst I'm advising them to ignore much more interesting points which are relevant to wider society.

John Crane 10 May 2018 - 13:05

Dear Steven

It can be society in general, which means it should also be relevant to the population being studied. You are right that sometimes there is a significant difference between the effect on the general population vs. the population used in the study - and sometimes a more general approach is appropriate. Either way, it is important for students to explain why the research is justified.

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