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The individual and the groupfree7 April 2017

Psychologists recognize that human behaviour can only be fully understood if the social context in which behaviour occurs is taken into account. One assumption of the sociocultural approach is that human... more

1. Research in psychologyfree30 April 2017

This chapter looks at the fundamentals of psychology. What is psychology and how do psychologists do their job? The focus of this chapter is on research methods.It is important to understand research... more

Getting started with IAfree20 August 2017

This section of the site is devoted to materials that may be used to organize and assist students in the setting up and carrying out of the internal assessment. The section includes suggestions for experiments... more

LP 3: Memory and neurotransmission28 March 2018

This lesson focuses on the role of neurotransmission in human behaviour - specifically, on memory.In keeping with the rest of the content of this mini unit on the biology of memory, acetylcholine will... more

IA Exemplar High16 March 2018

The sample below is one of three exemplars that I will be using with my students. They are all from the same experiment, there is a "high", a "mid" and a "low" scoring internal assessment.The experiment... more

LP 2: Brain imaging techniques22 March 2018

The following lesson plan is an introduction to brain imaging techniques - a key way in which psychologists are able to study the brain.Although I will focus on MRIs (structural) and fMRIs (functional)... more

FAQs for Internal Assessment13 January 2018

The following page provides answers to commonly asked questions about the internal assessment. As more questions arise in the new curriculum, more questions and answers may be added to this page. more

ALP 1.2 Classification systems2 September 2018

This lesson looks at classification systems and how they are used in diagnosis. In the previous lesson, the problems of using a symptoms-based approach were outlined. This will be explored in more depth... more

Practicing Paper 3free13 January 2018

The following set of practice papers are not official IB papers. As of the creation of this page, there is only one specimen paper available. All of the papers are created here by me, based on examiner... more

LP 4: Memory and hormones25 March 2018

A hormone is a chemical that is secreted by glands in the endocrine system. Unlike neurotransmitters, they are released directly into the blood stream. Hormones may act as neurotransmitters and attach... more

External Assessmentfree20 August 2017

This section focuses on the external assessment - that is, the exams that are sat either in November or May by your students.This section contains sample marking and marking practice. In addition, it... more

Introduction to IA presentation1 July 2018

The presentation below is a complete overview of the internal assessment requirements. This presentation is a good introduction, but students may find it a bit overwhelming. You may want to use it to... more

LP 10: Animal models (HL)27 May 2018

This final lesson for the first year of the course looks at the question of animal models and our ability to generalize from animal research.As part of this lesson, we review research on the brain and... more

LP 9: Genetics and sexuality12 May 2018

The following lesson plan is my final one for SL for year 1. The lesson focuses on how psychologists investigate the genetic origins of behaviour. And to complete our "love unit" for this year, we look... more

10. Internal assessmentfree3 March 2017

The Internal Assessment asks you to apply your understanding of experimental methods by replicating a published study to see if your results confirm those of the original study.For SL candidates, this... more

Biological study guide16 January 2018

The following page is a study guide for students. I have created one that matches the unit planner for this unit - but it is a good idea for students to tailor-make their own study guide. Attached below... more

LP 7: The evolution of attraction14 May 2018

The following lesson is on the evolution of attraction. It starts with an overview of evolutionary theory and then looks at two key studies of the role of biology in attraction.The lesson finishes with... more

Writing the Analysis4 July 2018

Writing a good analysis is key to writing a good evaluation. If you do not understand the data that you have obtained from your study, this has a significant influence on your ability to evaluate it. more

Approving IAs 1 July 2018

When starting the IA's, it is important for students to go through the process of getting their proposed study approved. This is what happens in the real world of psychology - and as part of our drive... more

LP 6: Introducing love5 May 2018

The following mini-unit on "love" is the second half of the biological unit. I will complete the "interpersonal attraction" unit in the second year of the course, but this will introduce the biological... more

C. Exploration3 March 2017

This section of the report is where you describe how your experiment was designed and carried out. You are asked to demonstrate your understanding of the experiment as a quantitative methodology. more

Statistics revision presentation1 July 2018

This presentation is meant to remind students how to apply statistics for the internal assessment.A helpful site for the calculation of the statistics is Vassarstat. To find the non-parametric tests,... more

Writing with critical thinking13 January 2018

One of the problems that students often have is how to include "critical thinking" into their exam essays. It is often clear that students know the strategies - that is, writing MAGEC about research (Methodological... more

Fundamentals of Research Quiz 24 September 2017

The following quiz focuses on the nature of hypotheses, as well as reminds them of the difference between correlational and experimental research. more

ALP 1.3 Validity and reliability 9 September 2018

Reliability and validity are two very important factors when discussing the process of diagnosis. It is important that we have a clear definition of each term.When preparing this learning objective for... more

A focus group on the use of ecstasy13 January 2018

The following is a sample Paper 3 that looks at focus groups. Below you will first find the stimulus piece, followed by the static questions. A copy of the mock paper is included to give students as... more

DLP 1.1 Brain development18 August 2018

The human brain adapts and develops throughout our lifetime. However, the majority of brain development takes place between birth and adolescence, through myelination, neural pruning in some areas, and... more

Writing the Introduction3 July 2018

One of the reasons that many internal assessments are moderated down is because of the quality of the introduction. The goal of this page is to give advice on how to improve this part of the report. more

Methodology in sociocultural7 April 2017

In sociocultural research, the goal is to see how people interact and influence each other. Various research methods - both qualitative and quantitative - are used to study this behaviour. Quantitative... more

LP 2: The Multi Store Model30 January 2018

The following lesson introduces the Multi-Store Model of memory. In addition to learning about the model, we explore what is meant by short-term (working) memory and begin a discussion of how cognitive... more

9. Human relationshipsfree5 May 2017

This chapter looks at interpersonal relationships as well as how we either help one another or enter into conflict with one another. Reasons for helping behaviour, prejudice and conflict are explored... more

Biology ATL unit planner1 September 2018

The following unit planner is based on the lesson plans that are in the curriculum resources section of the site. This is a model unit planner to help you adapt your own unit plans in order to meet IB... more

LP 3: The working memory model7 February 2018

The following lesson introduces the Working Memory Model. In addition to learning about the model, we explore what is meant by multi-tasking. This lesson takes two to three 80-minute periods.For this... more

Writing the Exploration3 July 2018

One of the difficulties of working in groups for the internal assessment is that the exploration section of the internal assessment has very little leeway for creativity. In other words, there are specific... more

Investigating animal models27 May 2018

Animal models are often used because we believe that animals exhibit behaviours that are similar to human beings.The following activity is meant for you to explore the question of whether human and animal... more

LP 1: Intro to memory27 January 2018

This lesson plan is an introduction to the cognitive approach and our first cognitive process to be studied - memory. The following ppt presentation is used to start the lesson. This is an 80-minute... more

Mapping out internal assessment2 July 2018

It is a good idea to have finished the cognitive approach before starting internal assessment since many good experiments for students can be found within cognitive psychology. I normally give students... more

Sample 1: Durability of relationships14 January 2018

The following sample extended essay does not have an official grade. It is an essay that was submitted for the former curriculum which has been heavily rewritten by me in order to demonstrate some of... more

Climate change denial7 August 2018

The following is a sample Paper 3 that looks at focus groups. Below you will first find the stimulus piece, followed by the static questions. A copy of the mock paper is included to give students as... more

LP 5: Ethics in animal research1 April 2018

Although this topic is part of the HL extension, I have both my SL and HL students take part in this lesson. As ethics in the biological approach is something that all students could be asked on the... more

LP 4: Schema theory 5 February 2018

The following lesson introduces the Schema theory - its strengths and limitations. It is also a precursor to the lessons on reconstructive memory and the reliability of cognitive processes. This lesson... more

IA marking: Sample 129 June 2018

The sample below is based on Strack and Mussweiler's (1997) study of anchoring bias.The IA below does not include any appendices, with the exception of the raw data which is included below. more

Assessing the EE17 June 2018

The following presentation is a tutorial for teachers on how the Extended Essay is assessed. It is particularly important to familiarize yourself with the rules for academic dishonesty as this can have... more

Writing the Evaluation4 July 2018

One of the reasons that many internal assessments are moderated down is because of the quality of the evaluation. The goal of this page is to give advice on how to improve this part of the report. more

ERQ: Classification systems8 September 2018

The following sample is a response to the question: Evaluate the use of classification systems in the diagnosis of abnormal behaviour.The sample response is an example of an exemplary response that should... more

ERQ marking: Localization13 July 2018

Below you will find three sample ERQs for the question: Evaluate research on localization of function with regard to human behaviour.For each of the samples, refer to the rubric to award marks. After... more

Aggression in hockey players8 August 2018

The following is a sample Paper 3 that looks at a naturalistic observation. Below you will first find the stimulus piece, followed by the static questions. A copy of the mock paper is included to give... more

LP 2b: The Dual Processing model7 April 2018

The following lesson plan looks at the Dual Processing Theory of thinking and decision making. There are several short activities used in this lesson which are all based on Daniel Kahneman's book "Thinking... more

ERQ: Concepts of normality8 September 2018

The following sample is a response to the question: Discuss concepts of normality and abnormality. Discuss asks students to consider a range of arguments or theories. This is a rather open question, asking... more

ALP 1.4 Biases in diagnosis16 September 2018

The following lesson looks at different biases that may affect diagnoses. Clinical biases have to do with the expectations of the clinician. This may include cognitive biases, as well as stereotypes.... more