Writing samples: Sociocultural

The following section includes annotated samples of responses to exam questions - as well as strategies for answering questions based on the command terms. The responses are not from the IB.  They are created specifically for the site. Often the sample is designed to provide examples of common mistakes or in order to show something that should be done for higher marks. 

There is no definitive list of questions for this curriculum - so the list of potential questions below is not exhaustive.  However, most of the questions will fall within the list that has been provided below. The questions are grouped by topic and include both SAQ and ERQ (essay) questions.

For the ERQ responses, students will need to include two or more pieces of research. In most cases, a single example will be asked for the SAQ questions.

Potential exam questions: Generic

SAQs*

  1. Explain the use of one research method in one study used in the study of the individual and the group.
  2. Describe one ethical consideration relevant to one study of cultural influences on attitudes, identity, or behaviour.
  3. Outline one ethical consideration and demonstrate its consideration in one study of cultural origins of behaviour or cognition. 

* SAQs may be asked using the command terms explain, describe or outline.  In the following sections, all questions will be stated using "explain" to simplify this page.

ERQs

  1. Discuss the use of one research method in the sociocultural approach in the study of the role of culture in the origins of behaviour or cognition. 
  2. Discuss ethical considerations relevant to the study of the individual and the group.

Potential exam questions: The individual and the group

SAQs

  • Explain Social Identity Theory, making use of one study.
  • Explain one study of Social Identity Theory.
  • Explain Social Cognitive Theory, making use of one study.
  • Explain one theory of stereotypes, making use of one study.
  • Explain one theory of the origins of stereotypes, making use of one study.
  • Explain one study that shows one effect of stereotypes on behaviour.

ERQs

Each of the questions above may be asked using the command terms discuss, evaluate, contrast or "to what extent" as appropriate.

  • Evaluate research on Social Identity Theory.
  • Evaluate Social Identity Theory.
  • Discuss research on Social Cognitive Theory.
  • Evaluate Social Cognitive Theory.
  • Discuss two theories of stereotyping.
  • Discuss effects of stereotyping on behaviour.

Potential exam questions: Cultural origins of behaviour and cognition

SAQs

  • Describe one cultural dimension.
  • Explain one study of one cultural dimension.
  • Explain one study of one effect of culture on behaviour or cognition.

ERQs

Each of the questions above may be asked using the command terms discuss, evaluate, contrast or "to what extent" as appropriate.

  • Discuss one or more cultural dimensions.
  • Evaluate research on one cultural dimension.
  • Discuss research on the effects of culture on behaviour and/or cognition.

Potential exam questions: Cultural influences on individual attitudes, identity and behaviour

SAQs

  • Explain one study of enculturation.
  • Explain one study of acculturation.

ERQs

Each of the questions above may be asked using the command terms discuss, evaluate, contrast or "to what extent" as appropriate.

  • Evaluate research on enculturation.
  • Discuss research on acculturation.
  • Discuss research on the effects of culture on behaviour, attitudes or identity.

Potential exam questions: Globalization and behaviour (HL only)

ERQs only

Each of the questions above may be asked using the command terms discuss, evaluate, contrast or "to what extent" as appropriate.

It is not really clear how these question could linguistically be combined with the "topics" as they are written.  So, this is a rather short list.

  • Discuss how globalization may affect behaviour.
  • Discuss the interaction between local and global influences on behaviour.
  • Evaluate research methods used to study the influence of globalization on behaviour.
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