Specific learning outcomes (Course: Introduction to experimental research)

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1 IB Psychology: course 1 (i3psh1, i3pss1) Standard and higher level: Introduction to experimental research The first course focuses on setting the ground for studying IB psychology; we will begin by looking at how can human behavior be studied, what are the methods that psychologists use to gain an understanding of the subjects they are studying. We will look at the strengths and limitations of each method, and try to understand why a certain method might be more beneficial to a specific topic that is under investigation (e.g. how to study memory? mental illnesses? happiness? violence? helping behavior?). We will also discuss where do researchers in psychology find their participants for their studies, i.e. different sampling methods. This course additionally introduces the basic ethical guidelines that psychologists need to adhere to when studying human subjects. General aims: Developing an awareness of how psychological research can be applied for the benefit of human beings. Ensuring that ethical practices are upheld in psychological inquiry, understanding their importance in the subject matter. Understanding and using diverse methods of psychological inquiry. Using Moodle as a virtual classroom. Specific learning outcomes (Course: Introduction to experimental research) Define the aim of the study State a research and null hypothesis State operational definitions of variables Describe potential confounding variables Explain effects of participant and researcher expectations and bias Explain the use of single and double-blind techniques Discuss the strengths and limitations of experimental designs Discuss sampling techniques appropriate to quantitative research Discuss how participants are allocated to experimental and control groups Explain the concept of representative sampling Discuss the concepts of internal and external validity Discuss conditions that increase a study's reliability Assessment: Demonstrating knowledge and comprehension of specified content (research methods and ethical considerations) such as key concepts. Demonstrating application and analysis, including using psychological concepts to formulate an argument in response to a specific question. Writing short answer essays. Reflection on one s studying techniques and knowledge. Reading theoretical texts and applying critical thinking. Activity during lessons, participation in discussions and group assignments. IB Psychology: course 2 (i3psh2, i3pss2) Standard and higher level: Cognitive level of analysis At this level of analysis, we will study human behavior with a focus on the human mind. We will investigate memory in detail, and discuss e.g. whether our emotions have an effect on what we remember and how well we remember it. We will also take a look at some case studies of patients with severe amnesia, and see what those case studies can tell us about human memory in general. Cognitive psychology represents a vast array of research areas including cognitive psychology,

2 cognitive science, cognitive neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. We will also get to see how modern technology (e.g. brain scanning techniques) is used to study the human mind. General aims: Developing an awareness of how psychological research can be applied for the environment. Specific learning outcomes (Course: cognitive level of analysis) Evaluate schema theory with reference to research studies Evaluate two models or theories of one cognitive process Explain how biological factors may affect one cognitive process. Discuss how social or cultural factors affect one cognitive process. With reference to relevant research studies, to what extent is one cognitive process reliable? Discuss the use of technology in investigating cognitive processes. To what extent do cognitive and biological factors interact in emotion? Evaluate one theory of how emotion may affect one cognitive process. Outline principles that define the cognitive level of analysis. Explain how principles that define the cognitive level of analysis may be demonstrated in research Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the cognitive level of analysis Discuss ethical considerations related to research studies at the cognitive level of analysis. participation in discussions and group assignments. IB Psychology: course 3 (i3psh3) Higher level: Qualitative research methods in psychology During this course we will pay attention to the qualitative research methods that can be used to study human behavior (in comparison to quantitative methods). Qualitative research takes place in the real world, as opposed to the laboratory, and deals with how people give meaning to their own experiences. We will investigate three methods in detail; interviews, observations and case studies. By focusing on these three methods we will try to get an understanding of when and how these methods might provide us with most fruitful pieces of knowledge in terms of understanding human behavior. We will of course also take a critical look at the methods, and find out what the strengths and limitations of each method are. During this course students will get a chance to apply their knowledge to the real world as we will conduct and observation and through our own experience can then understand what are the challenges that researchers face when conducting observations.

3 General aims: Realizing that qualitative and quantitative research complement each other. Each is suited to investigating different aspects of behavior and should be used appropriately. Gaining an understanding of qualitative research methods, applying that knowledge. Learning psychological concepts used in qualitative research. Using Moodle as an electronic learning environment. Specific learning outcomes (Course: Qualitative research methods in psychology) Distinguish between qualitative and quantitative data. Explain strengths and limitations of a qualitative approach to research. To what extent can findings be generalized from qualitative studies? Discuss ethical considerations in qualitative research. Discuss sampling techniques appropriate to qualitative research Explain effects of participant expectations and researcher bias in qualitative research. Explain the importance of credibility in qualitative research. Explain the effect of triangulation on the credibility/trustworthiness of qualitative research. Explain reflexivity in qualitative research. Evaluate semi-structured, focus group and narrative interviews. Discuss considerations involved before, during and after an interview. Explain how researchers use inductive content analysis (thematic analysis) on interview transcripts. Evaluate participant, non-participant, naturalistic, overt and covert observations. Discuss considerations involved in setting up and carrying out an observation. Discuss how researchers analyze data obtained in observational research. Evaluate the use of case studies in research. Explain how a case study could be used to investigate a problem in an organization or group. Discuss the extent to which findings can be generalized from a single case study. concepts. Demonstrating application and analysis, including using psychological concepts to formulate an argument in response to a specific question. Writing Paper 3 answers. Reflection on one s studying techniques and knowledge. Activity during lessons, participation in discussions and group assignments. IB Psychology: course 4 (i3psh4, i3pss3) Standard and higher level: Socio-cultural level of analysis At this level of analysis, we will study human behavior with a focus on social and cultural influences on our behavior. We will investigate group processes in detail, and discuss e.g. the topics of obedience, compliance and conformity. We will also take a look at some rather unethical studies that have been conducted in trying to understand the social nature of humans (such as Zimbardo s Stanford prison experiment). In terms of the cultural influences on human behavior, the need to understand the effect of culture on a person s behavior has risen to a new prominence, given that many societies have become more multicultural. At this level of analysis, the need not only to achieve an understanding of the role of culture in human behavior, but also to devise means for alleviating problems that arise from misunderstandings when individuals from different cultures come into contact with each other is recognized.

4 General aims: Developing an awareness of how psychological research can be applied for the environment. Specific learning outcomes (Socio-cultural level of analysis) Outline principles that define the sociocultural level of analysis. Explain how principles that define the sociocultural level of analysis may be demonstrated in research. Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the sociocultural level of analysis. Discuss ethical considerations related to research studies at the sociocultural level of analysis. Describe the role of situational and dispositional factors in explaining behaviour. Discuss two errors in attributions. Evaluate social identity theory, making reference to relevant studies. Explain the formation of stereotypes and their effect on behaviour. Explain social learning theory, making reference to two relevant studies. Discuss the use of compliance techniques. Evaluate research on conformity to group norms. Discuss factors influencing conformity. Define the terms culture and cultural norms. Examine the role of two cultural dimensions on behaviour. Using one or more examples, explain emic and etic concepts. participation in discussions, listening and group assignments. IB psychology: course 5 (i3psh5) Higher level: Human relationships The option course Human Relationships focuses on three specific topics: interpersonal relationships, social responsibility and violence. The first topic is examined through investigating love and examining it from a biological, psychological and sociocultural perspective. In studying social responsibility, we will take a look at e.g. helping behavior, and find out if there are differences between cultures in how likely they are to help out. Violence is defined as a specific aspect of aggression characterized by victimization of another (for example, bullying, domestic violence, genocide). Though much of the research on aggression may be used to understand the basis of violence, the focus of this part of the option is to apply this research to social problems in which violence is often manifested. We will for example try to find out ways of reducing bullying in schools.

5 General aims: Developing an awareness of how psychological research can be applied for the environment. Specific learning outcomes (Human relationships) -To what extent do biological, cognitive and sociocultural factors influence human relationships? -Evaluate psychological research (theories/studies) relevant to the study of human relationships. -Distinguish between altruism and prosocial behaviour. -Contrast two theories explaining altruism in humans. -Using one or more research studies, explain cross-cultural differences in prosocial behaviour. -Examine factors influencing bystanderism. -Examine biological, psychological and social origins of attraction. -Discuss the role of communication in maintaining relationships. -Explain the role that culture plays in the formation and maintenance of relationships. -Analyse why relationships may change or end. -Evaluate sociocultural explanations of the origins of violence. -Discuss the relative effectiveness of two strategies for reducing violence. -Discuss the effects of short-term and long-term exposure to violence. participation in discussions, listening and group assignments. IB psychology: course 6 (i3psh6, i3pss4) Standard and higher level: Internal assessment in psychology

6 In psychology we will conduct one simple experimental study and the report of the study, including its findings, will be your final IA for psychology. The simple experimental study will be conducted at school, and you will manipulate one variable (IV) and see its effect on another variable (DV). You could for example test whether listening to music (IV) has an effect on how many words are remembered (DV). At HL you will conduct a statistical test to examine whether your findings are statistically significant; at SL you will analyze the results using descriptive statistics. General aims: selection and use of skills appropriate to psychology, the acquisition of knowledge, skills required for experimental design, data collection and presentation, data analysis and interpretation. Data analysis using an appropriate inferential statistical test and writing an organized response. Specific learning outcomes related to the IA procedure Define the aim of a study. State a research and null hypothesis of a study (HL only). State the independent and dependent variable in an experiment. State operational definitions of variables. Describe potential confounding variables. Explain the controls needed for an experiment (for example, contamination, placebo effect). Explain effects of participant and researcher expectations and bias (including demand characteristics, expectancy effect, observer bias, Hawthorne effect). Explain the use of single- and double-blind techniques. Discuss the strengths and limitations of experimental designs Discuss sampling techniques appropriate to quantitative research. Discuss how participants are allocated to experimental and control groups. Explain the concept of representative sampling. Discuss the concepts of internal and external validity. Discuss conditions that increase a study s reliability. Apply descriptive statistics to analyse data (for example, mean, median, mode, standard deviation). Distinguish between levels of measurement (including nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio). Apply appropriate graphing techniques to represent data (for example, bar chart, histogram, line graph, frequency polygon). Apply an appropriately chosen statistical test (for example, Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test, Mann Whitney U test, sign test, chi-squared test) in order to determine the level of significance of data (HL only). IB psychology: course 7 (i3psh7, i3pss5) Standard and higher level: Biological level of analysis At the biological level of analysis our focus is on the biological influences on our behavior, for example genetics, hormones, neurotransmitters and brain structures. Is our intelligence determined by our biology and genes, or does the environment have a role to play? What is the interaction between the environment and our physiology? We will also take a look at evolutionary explanations on our behavior by for example examining disgust as one evolutionally beneficial reaction. The field of behavioral genetics takes the skills of biological analysis used to study the differences between species and applies these skills to studying individual differences in humans. These are the

7 components at the biological level of analysis needed to understand our complex biological system and the psychological functions it supports. General aims: Developing an awareness of how psychological research can be applied for the environment.. Specific learning outcomes (Biological level of analysis) Outline principles that define the biological level of analysis Explain how principles that define the biological level of analysis may be demonstrated in research. Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the biological level of analysis. Discuss ethical considerations related to research studies at the biological level of analysis. Explain one study related to localization of function in the brain. Using one or more examples, explain effects of neurotransmission on human behaviour. Using one or more examples, explain functions of two hormones in human behaviour. Discuss two effects of the environment on physiological processes. Examine one interaction between cognition and physiology in terms of behaviour. Evaluate two relevant studies. Discuss the use of brain imaging technologies in investigating the relationship between biological factors and behaviour. To what extent does genetic inheritance influence behavior? Examine one evolutionary explanation of behaviour. Discuss ethical considerations in research into genetic influences on behaviour. participation in discussions, listening and group assignments. IB psychology: course 8 (i3psh8, i3pss6) Standard and higher level: Abnormal psychology This option begins with a consideration of normal and abnormal behavior. We will find different definitions of normal behavior and what is abnormal, and most importantly, we will consider who gets to decide what is normal behavior; is it the individual, the psychologist/the psychiatrist, the society? Abnormal psychology focuses on diagnosing, explaining and treating humans suffering from psychological disorders. An understanding of issues related to diagnosis provides a framework for the subsequent study of disorders and therapeutic approaches.

8 General aims: Developing an awareness of how psychological research can be applied for the environment. Specific learning outcomes (Abnormal psychology) To what extent do biological, cognitive and sociocultural factors influence abnormal behaviour? Evaluate psychological research relevant to the study of abnormal behaviour. Examine the concepts of normality and abnormality. Discuss validity and reliability of diagnosis. Discuss cultural and ethical considerations in diagnosis. Describe symptoms and prevalence of one disorder from two of the following groups: anxiety disorders/ affective disorders / eating disorders. Analyse etiologies (in terms of biological, cognitive and/or sociocultural factors) of one disorder. Discuss cultural and gender variations in prevalence of disorders. Examine biomedical, individual and group approaches to treatment. Evaluate the use of biomedical, individual and group approaches to the treatment of one disorder. Discuss the use of eclectic approaches to treatment. Discuss the relationship between etiology and therapeutic approach in relation to one disorder. participation in discussions, listening and group assignments.

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