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.

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.

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 may be asked using the command terms discuss, evaluate, contrast or "to what extent" as appropriate. All examples below will use the command term "discuss" to simplify this page.

For the ERQ responses, students should include two or more pieces of research. Only one piece of research should be used for responses to SAQs.

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. Explain one ethical consideration relevant to one study of cultural influences on attitudes, identity, or behaviour.

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 study of stereotypes.
  • Explain one study that shows one effect of stereotypes on behaviour.

ERQs

  • Discuss one or more studies of Social Identity Theory.
  • Discuss Social Identity Theory.
  • Discuss one or more studies of Social Cognitive Theory.
  • Discuss Social Cognitive Theory.
  • Discuss one or more theories of stereotyping.
  • Discuss one or more theories of the formation of stereotypes.
  • Discuss one or more effects of stereotyping on behaviour.

Potential exam questions: Cultural origins of behaviour and cognition

SAQs

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

ERQs

  • Discuss one or more cultural dimensions.
  • Discuss one or more studies of one cultural dimension.
  • Discuss one or more 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

  • Discuss one or more studies of enculturation.
  • Discuss one or more studies of acculturation.
Potential exam questions: Globalization and behaviour (HL only)
The extension questions may only be asked as ERQs, not as SAQs.
  • Discuss the influence of globalization on individual behaviour.
  • Discuss the interaction between local and global influences on behaviour.
  • Discuss research methods used to study the influence of globalization on behaviour.
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