Content changes: the core

The new curriculum is available on the OCC as of February 8th.  You will see that there are some significant changes to the content of the core, which is assessed on Paper 1.

First, there are no longer stated learning outcomes that will serve as exam questions.

Secondly, they are now called "approaches" rather than "levels of analysis."

And there are now HL extensions.

Below you will see some of the changes to expect in the new curriculum.  Remember, this will be for the students that will sit exams in May 2019.  For your current students, it is business as usual.

Changes to the biological approach

As with all of the approaches, all of the areas of study are focused only on the approach and no longer asking questions that look at different levels of analysis working together - e.g. no more "effect of biological factors on one cognitive process."

The following are the key changes.

New contentNo longer assessed (from current curriculum)
NeuroplasticityPrinciples of the approach
Pheromones and behaviourEffects of the environment on physiological processes
HL: The role of animal research in brain researchInteraction between cognition and physiology
HL: The role of animal research in the study of hormones
HL: The role of animal research in the study of genetics

Changes to the cognitive approach

New contentNo longer assessed (from current curriculum)
Required models of memory: Multi-store model and working memory model.Principles of the approach
Thinking and decision makingHow biological factors may affect memory.
Reconstructive memory is required.How social or cultural factors may affect memory.
Biases in thinking and decision makingThe extent to which cognitive and biological factors interact in emotion.
HL: The effect of technology on cognitive processes - both memory and thinking/decision making.

Changes to sociocultural approach

New contentNo longer assessed (from current curriculum)
Social cognitive theory (updated research on SLT)Principles of the approach
Effect of culture on cognitionThe role of situational and dispositional factors in behaviour.
Enculturation and acculturationAttribution errors.
HL: The influence of globalization on attitudesCompliance techniques
HL: The influence of globalization on behaviourConformity
HL: The influence of globalization on identity.

Please note, the way that the content in the HL extensions is written often makes a distinction between effects on behaviour and effects on cognition.  It is not 100% clear yet, but it does appear that the days of using memory as a behaviour have finally ended. It will be important that students can differentiate a behaviour from a cognition.  

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Comments 2

Aankeet Gokkalgandhi 24 July 2018 - 08:39

will heuristics be assessed?

John Crane 25 July 2018 - 03:34

Dear Aankeet

Cognitive biases will be assessed. At least for May 2019 we may use heuristics. We are still waiting on a clarification from the IB about May 2020.