IB Psychology( ) is a course designed to study, practice, and learn three main perspectives (biological, cognitive, and sociocultural), one optional perspective (abnormal psychology), and quantitative research methods and ethics.
Students will also conduct a simple experimental study (Internal Assessment).
The overall aim of the course is to give students a deeper understanding of the nature and scope of psychology.

The aims of the program, according to the IBO are to:
  • Interpret and/or conduct psychological research to apply the resulting knowledge for the benefit of human beings
  • Ensure that ethical practices and responsibilities are implemented in psychological inquiry
  • Develop an understanding of different theoretical processes that are used to interpret behavior, and to be aware of how these processes lead to the construction and evaluation of psychological theories
  • Develop an awareness of how applications of psychology in everyday life are derived from psychological theories
  • Develop an appreciation of the eclectic nature of psychology
  • Understand and/or use diverse methods of psychological inquiry

There are nine assessment objectives for the psychology course at SL. Students should expect questions asking them to:
  1. explain, where appropriate, how cultural, ethical, gender and methodological considerations may affect the interpretation of behavior
  2. describe, compare and evaluate the four content topics of the perspectives: development and cultural contexts, framework, methodologies, application
  3. describe and evaluate theories and empirical studies of the perspectives
  4. identify and explain the strengths and limitations of explanations of behavior of each perspective
  5. describe and evaluate theories related to the selected options
  6. identify, explain and evaluate empirical studies relevant to the selected options
  7. apply theories and findings of empirical studies to explanations of human behavior
  8. analyze and compare issues within the selected option
  9. demonstrate the acquisition of knowledge and skills required for experimental design, data collection, data analysis and interpretation

As a course of study, Psychology at SL is divided into five units, each with its own internal or external assessment.

UNIT 1 – History; Research Methodology

Essential questions:
What considerations must a psychologist make when setting up a research experiment?
What are the strengths and limitations of an experimental design compared to a more qualitative approach?
How can statistics be applied to interpret data?
What is the importance of a representative sample – and how can one be obtained?

Learning objectives & content
  • Define the aim of a study.
  • State a research and null hypothesis of a study.
  • State the independent and dependent variable in an experiment.
  • State operational definitions of variables
  • Describe potential confounding variables: Individual difference, artificiality, order effects, demand characteristics, experimenter expectancy, maturation, placebo effect.
  • Explain the controls needed for an experiment: Random selection, counterbalancing, matched pairs design, single & double blind method.
  • Explain effects of participant and researcher expectations and bias: Rosenthal & Jacobsen, Bright Rats/Dull Rats, demand characteristics (Orne)
  • Discuss the strengths and limitations of experimental designs: Independent samples, repeated measures.
  • Discuss sampling techniques appropriate to quantitative research: self-selected, haphazard, opportunity, stratified, purposive, and random
  • Explain the concept of representative sampling.
  • Apply descriptive statistics to analyze data: Mean, median, mode, range, standard deviation
  • Apply an appropriately chosen statistical test: understanding the concept of statistical significance

Activities & readings include
Texts on the nature of love
Brainstorming origins of behaviors
Hypothesis writing activity
Cialdini on airplane crash clusters
Ethics activity
Data interpretation worksheet
Correlation or causation worksheet
In-class data gathering
Practice unit test
In-class discussion on ethics in psychology.

Precis writing of experiments assigned as homework reading. The goal is to focus on the aim, procedure, results, and implications of the studies that they have read.
Online journal to interpret behaviors to be studied. Based on photographs.
An experimental design based on an assigned topic of study.

The sociocultural level of explanation centers around the effects of cultural and social factors and their impact on human behavior
Essential questions:
To what extent is our behavior determined by the society in which we live?
How do psychologists study the effect of sociocultural factors on human behavior?
How does our social cognition influence our behavior?

  • Human beings are social animals that have a basic need to belong
  • Social and cultural environment influence behavior
  • Humans desire connectedness and belongingness to others
  • Humans construct conceptions of our individual and social self
  • Human beings' views of the world are resistant to change

Principles of the Sociocultural Level Demonstrated in Theories and Research

Research Methods
  • Naturalistic Observation (Systematic vs. Casual)
    • Overt - know they're being observed
    • Covert - do not know they are being observed
      • When Prophecy Fails (Festinger et al., 1956)
  • Interviews
  • Case Studies
  • Ethical Concerns
    • Use of deception in Milgram's studies
    • Humiliation and potential trauma for prisoner's in Zimbardo's experiment

Sociocultural cognition
Role of Situational and Dispositional Factors in Behavior
  • Dispositional factors - internal factors like skill, looks etc
  • Situational factors - external factors like bad luck
  • Fundamental attribution error - overvalue dispositional internal factors but undervalue situational external factors to others' behavior
  • Self-serving bias - Attribute our own success to dispositional factors but our failures to situational factors
    • I did well on the test because I'm smart (dispositional) not because the test was easy (situational)
Attribution Errors
  • Fundamental Attribution Error
  • Illusory Correlation
  • Self-serving bias
  • Modesty bias

Evaluation of Social Identity Theory (Tajfel)
  • Based on social categorization
  • We categorize as in-group (us) and out-group (them) even when randomly assigned to a group
  • Self-esteem is created by comparing the benefits of belonging to the in-group instead of the out-group
  • Cialdini //et al//. (1976)found college football supporters were more likely to represent their winning team by wearing team clothing and other insignia than when the team lost
    • Bias to view group actions as positive because of our human need for a positive self-concept
  • Boys randomly assigned to a group based on their preference for Klee or Kandindsky paintings rated the out-group as less-likeable even though the out-group members were never actually disliked (Tajfel et al., 1974)
    • Further research has shown that group identity alone is not enough to produce intergroup conflict - there must be competition as well
  • Evaluation
    • Describes but does not predict
    • There are situations where personal identity is stronger than the group identity
    • Theory on its own is reductionist because it ignores the interaction of the environment and the self
  • Think about cultural expectations, rewards as motivators, sense of belongingness, rewards used to motivate the in-group

Formation of Stereotypes and their Effect on Behavior
Social cognition
  • Stereotyping is a naturally occurring cognitive phenomenon to conserve resources
    • Can be seen as schema processing
Stereotype threat (Steele & Aronson, 1995) video
  • Individuals in a situation where they could be judged can inadvertently confirm a stereotype
  • African Americans told that a test of verbal ability genuinely represented their verbal skills performed worse than European Americans
  • When African Americans were told that the test was used to study how problems are generally solved they performed as well as the European Americans
  • Steele (1997) argues that spotlight anxiety is responsible for stereotype threats because the emotional distress and pressure can undermine performance
  • Campbell (1967) two sources stereotypes
    • Personal experience with in-group members and the groups themselves
    • Gatekeepers like the media, parents, teachers and other members of our culture
    • Campbell says there is some truth to our stereotypes and that we generalize an experience with one in-group member to the entire group
    • Criticism - errors in attribution are very common
  • Hamilton and Gifford (1976) claim that illusory correlations are responsible for stereotypes
    • We see a relationship between two variables that actually have no relationship and overestimate a link between the two variables
    • A woman who is awful at driving
  • After the illusory correlation has been made we use confirmation bias to gather more evidence to support our illusory correlation
    • We will tend to find more bad female drivers but ignore female race drivers
  • General evaluation
    • Investigating stereotypes is difficult because of the social desirability effect
  • Researchers are instead using implicit measures of prejudice such as the IAT which has its own array of problems
  • Interestingly, Williams Syndrome individuals do not show racial stereotypes but do show gender stereotypes (Santos //et al//., 2010)

Social norms
Social Learning Theory
  • Social learning involves
    • Attention - pay attention to model
    • Retention - remember behavior observed
    • Motor reproduction - have the ability to emulate the observed action
    • Motivation - observers must want to demonstrate what they have just observed
  • Bobo Doll Studies (Bandura //et al//., 1961)
  • Huesmann & Eron (1986) longitudinal study discovered a positive correlation between number of hours of violent television watched and their levels of aggression as teenagers
  • Canadian children became more aggressive 2 years after television was introduced (Kimball & Zabrack, 1986)
  • Evaluation of Social Learning Theory
    • Helps explain how behaviors can be passed on without trial-and-error learning
    • Behavior can be acquired but not demonstrated
    • Makes it difficult to establish that the behavior is a result of socially learned behavior
    • Cannot explain why some people never learn a behavior despite observation, retention, motor reproduction and motivation
Compliance Techniques
  • Foot in the door
  • Door in the face
  • Low balling

Evaluation of Research on Conformity to Group Norms
Factors Influencing Conformity
  • Culture
  • Groupthink
  • Minority Influence

Cultural norms
Definition of Culture and Culture Norms
  • Three definitions of culture
    • Culture: is a shared, learned, symbolic system of values, beliefs and attitudes that shapes and influences perception and behavior
    • Culture: The system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and artifacts that the members of society use to cope with their world and with one another, and that are transmitted from generation to generation through learning
    • Culture: all the things that make up a people's entire way of life
Culture Norms
  • Cultural norms are patterns of behavior typical of a specific group normally passed down from generation to generation via observational learning.
  • They can be thought of as traditions like wedding rituals or rites of passage, ways of raising children and views on how to care for the elderly.

Role of Cultural Dimensions on Behavior
  • Individualism/Collectivism
  • Masculinity/Femininity

Emic and Etic Concepts
  • Emic - relates to the intrinsic values of the society that are important to its members
  • Etic - relates to extrinsic properties of a society that are important for scientific observation

Human Relationships
General framework
To what extent do biological, cognitive and sociocultural factors influence human relationships?
Evaluate psychological research (that is, theories and/or studies) relevant to the study of human relationships.

Social responsibility
Distinguish between altruism and prosocial behavior
  • Pro-social behavior benefits others or has positive social consequences (Staub, 1978)
  • Helping behavior intentionally helps or benefits others in the spirit of making a difference
  • Altruistic behavior is helping someone else without reward and can even be at some cost to yourself
    • However, distinguish between fairness and actual altruism (List; Fehr)
Contrast two theories explaining altruism in humans
  • Negative-state relief model (Schaller and Cialdini, 1988) - motivated to reduce distress experienced by watching others in awful situations
    • does not explain why some people who experience distress do not act
    • cannot predict behavior
  • Empathy-altruism model (Batson et al., 1981) - we experience either
    • personal distress - anxiety or fear which motivates us to help egoistically to relieve our fear or anxiety
    • empathetic concern - sympathy or compassion which motivates us to help where the goal is relieving the person's suffering (not your own fear or anxiety)
Using one or more research studies, explain cross-cultural differences in prosocial behavior
  • Whiting (1979) found that nurturing behavior in children (3-11) is higher in Kenya, Mexico and the Philippines compared to US (who scored lowest)
  • Graves and Graves (1985) - family environment where you are expected to care for younger children increases prosocial behavior
  • Levine et al. studies
    • US population density predicts prosocial behavior (lower = more likely to help)
    • Replicated in 23 cities - Rio de janeiro and San Jose were most likely to help (role of collectivist society?)
    • Low economically productive countries are more likely to help
Examine factors influencing bystanderism

Interpersonal relationships
Examine biological, psychological and social origins of attraction
  • Pheromones?
  • Oxytocin and vasopressin
  • Face symmetry
  • Hormone levels (ovulation vs non-ovulation) can affect female attraction to men
  • Waist-to-hip-ratio affects male attraction to females (Johnson and Tassinary, 2005)
  • Cultural norms - e.g. thinness in Western culture
  • Proximity determines attraction in dorm rooms (Festinger et al., 1950), elderly homes and college campuses (Nahemow and Lawton, 1975)
    • Confirmation of proximity including likelihood of dislike based on proximity and probability of face-to-face contact (Ebbesen //et al//., 1976)
      • People who choose to participate in interviews are perhaps more likely to gossip and/or have more sociable personalities
Discuss the role of communication in maintaining relationships
Explain the role that culture plays in the formation and maintenance of relationships
  • Cross-cultural perspectives on infidelity (Druckerman, 2007)
    • Japanese do not consider it cheating if you pay for sex
    • Russians do not consider it cheating if you have extramarital sex while on vacation at a beach resort
    • South Africans consider inebriation a proper excuse for cheating - they are forgiven
Analyze why relationships may change or end
  • MHC genes are too similar
  • Social exchange theory (Kelley and Thibaut, 1959)
    • Based on cost-benefit analysis where cost of relationship must not outweigh the benefits
  • Equity theory (Walster, 1978)
    • Equality is important in maintenance of fidelity
    • Individuals who feel deprived or under-benefited are more likely to cheat than individuals who feel fairly treated or over-benefited (Hatfield, 1979)
  • Fatal attraction theory (Felmlee, 1995)
    • Factor that caused initial attraction is also responsible for its ultimate demise
      • A musician that lives freely and day-to-day is initially attractive but long-term his partner may view him as undesirable to settle down with


Evaluate explanations of the origins of violence
Discuss the relative effectiveness of two strategies for reducing violence
  • Multiculturalism
  • Color blindness
  • Extended Contact
Discuss the short term and long term effects of exposure to violence


The biological or physiological level explains behavior in terms of physiology meaning that it explains behavior in terms of the brain, genes, neurotransmitters and hormones
Essential questions:
  • What role do our biological systems play in determining our behavior?
  • How do psychologists study the effect of biological factors on human behavior?
  • To what extent is behavior inherited?
  • Behavior is biologically determined by physiological processes such as the nervous system neurotransmitters e.g. serotonin) and the endocrine system (hormones e.g. testosterone)
  • The above principle was expressed as "all that is psychological is first physiological" (Sperry)
  • Patterns of behavior can be inherited through genetics
  • The study of animals can inform our understanding of human behavior

Principles of the Biological Level Demonstrated in Theories and Research
  • Localization of function (Broca's Area in speech production) discovered through post mortem analysis of brains
  • Genetic predisposition of schizophrenia using correlational twin research (Gottesman and Shields, 1976)
  • The dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia - amphetamines increase positive symptoms of schizophrenia in normal patients and increases positive symptoms further in schizophrenic patients (Laruelle //et al//., 1996)
  • The monoamine hypothesis of depression

Research Methods
  • Experiments
  • Observations
  • Correlational Studies
  • Twin studies
  • Adoption studies
  • Family studies
  • Ethical Concerns

Physiology and Behavior
Localization of Function
  • Broca's Area - Involved in speech production
  • Wernicke's Area - Involved in speech comprehension
    • Patients can produce speech but not comprehend it

Effects of Neurotransmission on Behavior
  • Sleep
  • Arousal Levels
  • Emotion
    • Happiness
  • Monks hallucinated after 48 hours of no food or water - linked to increased serotonin levels (Kasamatsu & Hirai, 1999)
Functions of Two Hormones on Behavior

Effects of Environment on Physiological Processes
  • Brain plasticity - ability to rewire connections between neurons
    • Enriching environment leads to increased cortical thickness in rats compared to boring environment (Rosenzweig & Bennett, 1972)
  • Environmental stressors at work can increase our susceptibility to disease (e.g. heart disease). Do Google employees have this problem? Check out this video of the work life at Google.
  • Eating disorders can disrupt the menstrual cycle - can be considered an evolutionary mechanism to prevent an unprepared woman from conceiving a child
  • Sleep deprivation in rats causes increased metabolism (210-270%) despite increased food intake and for most rats eventual death (Rechtschaffen & Bergman, 1995)
  • Menstrual Synchronicity

Interaction between Cognition and Physiology in Terms of Behavior
  • Meditation produces gamma waves found using a PET scan with monks (Davidson, 2004)
  • Long term effect of increased gamma waves compared to controls who practiced meditation for 1 week

Brain Imaging Techniques
  • EEG - records brain waves
    • Cannot show what is happening in deeper brain regions
    • Cannot show actual functioning of brain regions
  • PET - monitors glucose metabolism in brain via injection of radioactive glucose
    • Can record ongoing activity like thinking
  • fMRI - provides 3D image of brain
    • Easier to carry out compared to PET
    • Higher resolution than PET
    • Cannot record ongoing activity - just snapshots

  • MRI scanners are unnatural environments for cognition - ecological validity
  • Colors in images may exaggerate activity in brain regions
  • Equipment may not be sophisticated enough to detect subtle brain activity
  • Brain areas activate for various reasons because the brain is highly interconnected so you cannot conclude that just because the amygdala is activated the patient is experiencing fear
  • All of these imaging techniques are indirect measures of neural activity
    • They measure indicators that suggest neural activity is occurring
      • Other measures like single unit recording directly measure neural activity by implanting electrodes into the brain
        • Ethical issues with using single unit recording on humans

Genetics and Behavior
Extent of Genetic Inheritance on Behavior
  • Huntington's - Only neurodegenerative disease with a 100% genetic cause
  • Schizophrenia - DISC1 implicated (Hennah //et al//., 2006)
    • Diathesis stress model - environment and genetics
  • Affective Disorders - Short and Long Serotonin Transporter Genes implicated in disposition to depression (Caspi //et al//., 2003) and in some cases suicide (Du //et al//., 1999)
    • Diathesis stress model is most accepted
  • Both genetics and environment play crucial role
    • Poverty tends to correlate with low IQ
  • Meta-analysis of 111 studies found highest correlation for IQ was kinship (Bouchard & McGue, 1981)
  • Minnesota Twin Study (Bouchard //et al.//, 1990)
    • MZ twins raised together compared to MZ twins raised apart longitudinal study
    • Estimate that heritability accounts for about 70% of intelligence
    • Criticism
      • Media coverage to recruit participants - possible sample bias
      • Ethical concerns about how he reunited the twins who were reared apart
      • No control over how often the twins reared apart visited each other prior to study
      • Equal environment assumption - cannot assume twins raised together experience same environments (e.g. treatment from parents, experience with friends and peers in school and at home)
  • Adoption studies (Scarr & Weinberg, 1977; Horn et al., 1979)
    • No significant difference found in correlations despite adoptive parents being wealthy, white and with high IQ and adopted children being from poor backgrounds

Ethical Considerations for Research into Genetic Influences
  • Undue stress on patients being tested for Neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's but less with Huntington's because of reliability of prognosis)
  • Parents can feel responsible for fate of the child
  • Patient may feel less responsible for their disease and make less of an effort to recover, instead relying on medications to do the psychological work

Evolutionary Explanation of Behavior: Disgust
  • Promotes survival (Fessler, 2006)
  • Confirmed by online survey that found participants had the strongest disgust reaction to stimuli which threatened the immune system (Curtis //et al.//, 2004)
  • Has also been related to biological preparedness and phobias because animals that elicit a disgust response can be poisonous and avoiding these creatures because they evoke disgust further promotes survival
Evaluation of Evolutionary Arguments
  • Testing evolutionary theories of behavior is empirically difficult so researchers may be led astray by confirmation bias
  • We know little, if anything, about Homo sapiens’ behavior - it is purely speculative
  • Disregard the role of culture in shaping behavior

First Semester Review - Unit Outlines

Unit PDFs


The cognitive level focuses on how people think and how people's thinking affects their behavior
  • Mental representations and processes guide behavior
  • Models of mental processes can be proposed and investigated scientifically
  • Cognitive processes are influenced by social and cultural factors

Principles of the Cognitive Level Demonstrated in Theories and Research
  • Bottom-up processing
  • Top-down processing
  • Schema theory and the War of Ghosts (Bartlett, 1920)
  • Self-schema theory (Markus, 1977)
  • Reconstructive Memory and Eyewitness Testimony (Loftus & Palmer, 1974)
  • Distinction between basic cognitive research (understand fundamentals) and applied cognitive research (specific real-world issues)

Research Methods
  • Experiments
  • Observations
  • Interviews
  • Ethical Considerations

Cognitive processes
Evaluation of Schema Theory
  • Bartlett's Schema Theory
  • Office schema experiment (Brewer & Treyens, 1981) - degree of ecological validity
  • Self-schemas are stable and fixed in adults (Markus, 1977)
  • The Fluid Self - self-schemas are malleable (Onorato & Turner, 2004)
  • It is unclear how schemas develop and how they influence cognitive processes
  • Schema as a concept is too vague to be of any use (Cohen, 1993)
Models of Cognitive Processes
  • Multi-store Memory Model (Atkinson & Schiffrin, 1968)
  • Working Memory Model (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974) Strengths
  • Decision-making
    • Heuristics
      • Representative
      • Availability
      • Illusory Correlations
      • Hindsight Bias

Biological Factors Affect Memory
  • Lesions
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Role of Hippocampus in Animals vs. Humans
  • Role of amygdala in emotional memories
  • Different lesions affect memory in rats and humans
  • Role of ACh in memory

Biological Factors Affect Decision-making

Social and Cultural Factors Influence Perception
  • Individuals in Dominican Republic with pseudohermaphroditia guevedoce (='testicles at 12 years old') also called machi-embra (=male-female) viewed as a gift from god (Imperato-McGinley //et al//., 1974, 1979) compared to similar individuals in US as unfortunate or suffering)

Extent of Reliability of Cognitive Processes
  • Reconstructive memory in eyewitnesses (Loftus & Palmer, 1974)
    • Yuille & Cutshall (1986) crticize Loftus's findings on the grounds of ecological validity after they found that people who witnessed a real robbery were unaffected by leading questions
  • Factors influencing recognition of eyewitness like familiarity with the subject (Burton //et al//. 1999; see Result 2)
  • Decision-making reliability
    • Hindsight bias
    • Representative bias
    • Availability bias
    • Illusory correlation
    • Confirmation bias

Use of Technology to Investigate Cognitive Processes
  • PET to record live thinking by recording metabolic activity of radioactive glucose in regions of the brain
    • Used to investigate role of hippocampus in Alzheimer's
  • MRI and fMRI to detect changes in oxygen levels in the blood of brain regions
    • Has been used in marketing research and problem solving
  • Mirror neurons and imitation and social learning

Cognition and emotion
Extent that Cognitive and Biological Factors Interact in Emotion
Appraisal Theory (Lazarus, 1975)
  • People make a cognitive evaluation of how a situation will impact them
  • Positive appraisal of a potential benefit leads to positive emotion
  • Negative appraisal of a threat or loss leads to negative emotion
  • Individual experience of stress differs (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984)
    • Depends on your resources for dealing with stress such as family and friends, beliefs about yourself (e.g. self-esteem and confidence) and the way you relate to the world
  • Different strategies used for coping (Folkman & Lazarus, 1988)
    • Problem-focused to change or manipulate situation
    • Emotion-focused to deal with emotions instead of changing the situation
  • Genital surgery video experiment (Speisman et al., 1964)
    • Investigate if emotional reactions to events can be manipulated
  • Trauma condition - pain emphasized by soundtrack in video
  • Denial condition - participants acted happy to have the surgery
  • Intellectualization condition - soundtrack gave an objective anthropological viewpoint of the genital surgery
  • Participants respond more emotionally to trauma condition suggesting it is the individual's interpretation of the event (person in video experiencing pain, acting happy or being analyzed) that affect the emotional stress rather than the event itself
  • Evaluation
    • Artificial video study - ecological validity
    • Researchers used deception and put participants in a potentially uncomfortable situation

Evaluate One Theory of How Emotion May Affect One Cognitive Process
Flashbulb Memories
  • Brown and Kulick (1977) argue flashbulb memories are special memories not subject to decay and inaccuracy like 'normal' memories
  • Current research claims that our confidence in flashbulb memories characterizes our perceived accuracy and vividness of the events and flashbulb memories are subject to the same inaccuracies as everyday memories (Talariko & Rubin, 2003)
  • Role of amygdala affects how so-called flashbulb memories are encoded which explains why vividness of flashbulb memories remains even if the details of the memory are inaccurate
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Trauma disturbs perception and thinking
  • Intrusive memories affect daily life
  • Use of propranolol to reduce impact of traumatic experiences (Pitman, 2005)

General framework
· To what extent do biological, cognitive and sociocultural factors influence abnormal behavior?
· Evaluate psychological research (that is, theories and/or studies) relevant to the study of abnormal behavior.
Concepts and diagnosis
· Examine the concepts of normality and abnormality
· Abnormality defined by the APA as behavior that causes distress, loss of freedom, physical or emotional pain, increased risk of death or injury to self or causes a disability of some sort
· 7 Criteria for Abnormal Behavior (Rosenhan & Seligman, 1984)
o Suffering
o Maladaptiveness
o Irrationality
o Unpredictability
o Vividness and unconventionality
o Observer discomfort
o Violation of moral or ideal standards
· 6 Characteristics of Mental Health (Jahoda, 1958)
· Efficient self-perception
· Realistic self-esteem and acceptance
· Voluntary control of behavior
· Accurate perception of the world
· Sustaining relationships and providing affection
· Self-direction and productivity
· Actually applying these criteria means most people would be considered abnormal
· Normalness is culturally determined
· Discuss validity and reliability of diagnosis
· Problems with classification
· No physical signs of disorders making it difficult to diagnose
· Lack of agreement using same classification system
o DSM-IV - 64% agreed
o ICD-10 - 36% agreed
Discuss cultural and ethical considerations in diagnosis
· Culture-bound Syndrome
o Shenjing shuairuo accounts for over 50% of outpatient cases in China
o Not included in DSM-IV but many symptoms are similar to the crtieria for a combo of mood and anxiety disorder in DSM-IV
Ethical Considerations in Diagnosis
· Self-fulfilling prophecy
o People who believe they are 'abnormal' may begin to act abnormal thus fulfilling the prophecy they have a psychological illness (Scheff, 1966)
· Racial and ethnic (Jenkins-Hall & Sacco, 1991)
o African American women rated more negatively and less socially competent than European women by therapists watching them on videos of a clinical interview
o Only women were used, possible gender difference
· Confirmation bias
o Cognitive bias that leads practioners to assume that patients seeking help are sick and thus look for signs/symptoms that can lead to a diagnosis even if patient is 'normal' (Rosenhan, 1973)
· Powerlessness and depersonalization
o Makes assessing patients properly difficult
o Effect of institutionalization where patient has little choice, few rights, not much privacy and a lack of constructive activities affects their 'normal' behavior
Describe symptoms and prevalence of one disorder from two of the following groups
Anxiety disorders - PTSD
· Symptoms
o Affective - anhedonic (=inability to experience pleasure), callousness
o Behavioral - flashbacks, paranoia and hypervigilance, nightmares
o Cognitive - intrusive memories of traumatic event, problems concentrating, hyperarousal
o Somatic - lower back pain, digestion issues, insomnia, losing ability to control bladder
· Prevalence
o US - 1-3% with lifetime prevalence of 5% in men and 10% in women
o Affects 15-24% of people who experience a traumatic event (Davidson et al., 2007; Breslau et al., 1998)
o Usually cooccurs with other disorders like depression andsubstance abuse
Affective disorders - Unipolar Depression
· Symptoms
o Affective - sadness, inability to find joy in things once found enjoyable
o Behavioral - lacking desire to do any activities, extremely passive and idle
o Cognitive - negative thoughts, attribute failures to self, poor self-esteem, possible suicidial thoughts, hopelessness and lack of confidence in their condition improving
o Somatic - low energy levels, insomnia or hypersomnia (=sleeping all the time), lack of sex drive
· Prevalence
o US - lifetime prevalence of 15% (Charney & Weismann, 1988)
o 2-3x more likely to occur in women
o 80% diagnosed will experience a subsequent episode
Eating disorders - Bulimia
· Symptoms
o Affective - feelings of inadequacy, guilt, shame
o Behavioral - binge eating, vomiting after eating, laxative use, excessive exercising
o Cognitive - distorted perception of body, perfectionism
o Somatic - irregular menstrual cycle, tooth enamel erosion, gastrointestinal problems, risk of heart palpitations
· Prevalence
o Affects 2-3% of women
o Roughly 5 million experience an eating disorder in US
o Some symptoms reported in up to 40% of college women in US (Keel et al., 2006)
o 5.79% for women aged 15-29 in Japan
Analyze etiologies (in terms of biological, cognitive and/or sociocultural factors) of one disorder from two of the following groups
Anxiety disorders - PTSD
· Biological
o Twin research showed a potential genetic disposition (Hauff & Vaglum, 1994)
o High levels of noradrenaline cause individuals more openly and PTSD patients had above average noradrenaline levels (Geracioti, 2001)
o PTSD patients have Increased sensitivity in noradrenaline receptors (Bremner, 1998)
· Cognitive
o PTSD patients believe they have no control over their lives
o Intrusive memories in the form of flashbacks occur because of cue-dependent memory
§ Cues in the real world are similar to the cues of the traumatic experience which cause the same level of panic as the cues in the traumatic event (Brewin et al., 1996)
o Recovering from child abuse may be related to the patient's tendency to think the abuse was their fault - patients who did not think it was their fault were more likely to recover
· Sociocultural
o People exposed to racism and oppression are more likely to develop PTSD
§ Vietnam War veterans (Roysircar, 2000)
· 20.6% black developed PTSD
· 27.6% hispanic developed PTSD
· 13% white developed PTSD
o Threat of death linked to PTSD so patients should avoid situations that cause anxiety and panic (Dyregrov)
§ Sarajevo, Bosnia 1998
· 35% boys had PTSD
· 73% girls had PTSD
o Higher rate linked to girls being threated with rape (Kaminer et al., 2000)
· Cultural Considerations
o Non-western variants of PTSD should be treated for somatic symptoms even if atypical somatic symptoms are not in the DSM
o Non-westerners exhibit body memory symptoms
· Gender Considerations
Affective disorders - Unipolar Depression
· Biological
o Recent research shows too much serotonin in a different serotonin receptor subtype has been linked to depression summary (Barter //et al//., 2008)
· Cognitive
· Sociocultural
Eating disorders - Bulimia
· Biological
· Cognitive
· Sociocultural
Discuss cultural and gender variations in prevalence of disorders
Implementing treatment
Examine biomedical, individual and group approaches to treatment
· Biomedical
· Individual
· Group
Evaluate the use of biomedical, individual and group approaches to the treatment of one disorder
· Biomedical
· Individual
· Group
Discuss the use of eclectic approaches to treatment
Discuss the relationship between etiology and therapeutic approach in relation to one disorder

Wilson: IB Psychology SL/HL Syllabus Schedule

(specific dates are preliminary, tentative and subject to change)

Instructional Objectives
Homework Assignments
Week 1 8/18-8/19


Introduction to IB Syllabus
1. Identify goals, expectations, and important dates of the IB Psychology SL/HL course.
-Levels of Analysis
-"Optional" Areas
-Research Methodology
2. Explain different study methods, including the PRTR (Preview, Read, Think actively and critically, Review), SQ3R (survey, question, read, recite, and review), Cornell Note taking, and Flash cards.
3. Define the term "psychology."
4. Describe the relationship between psychology and physics, chemistry, biology, anthropology, and sociology.

Support Reading

Read - Crane, pp.7-11

Week 2 8/22-8/26
#2 and #3
Crane - 1.1
Crane - 11,12,13
Myers Prologue
Psychology's Roots; Background
1. Trace the history of psychology, including the rise of structuralism, functionalism, psychoanalysis, behaviorism, and Gestalt psychology.
2. Summarize the contributions of the schools of psychology and prominent theorists.
Early Structuralist Research
Early Functionalist Research
Early Behavorial Research
Early Freudian Research
Early Cognitive Research
Gestaltist Rsearch

Read Crane, pp.11-6

#4 and #5
Crane, pp.11-6
Myers Prologue
Psychology's Contemporary Perspectives and Subfields
1. Identify and explain three major issues that cut across psychology
2. What is psychology's historic big issue?
3. What are IB Psychology's levels of analysis?
The Core
4. Identify and briefly describe the different contemporary perspectives of psychology.
Contemporary Biological Research
Contemporary Evolutionary Research
Contemporary Humanistic Research
Contemporary Psychoanalytic Research
Contemporary Learning Research
Contemporary Sociocultural Research
5. Explain how psychology's different perspectives contribute to a complete view of human behavior.
An Introduction to Psychology - Part 1
An Introduction to Psychology - Part 2
An Introduction to Psychology - Part 3
6. Identify the major subfields of psychology.
7. Differentiate between basic and applied research.
Review Notes

Outline one principle that defines each of the following perspectives and how each might explain human aggressive behavior.
- Biological perspective
- Cognitive perspective
- Sociocultural perspective


Unit/Section Review
Review Command terms
Introduction - IB Psychology/External Assessment/Paper 1

Week 3 8/29-9/2


Unit 1, Section 1 Quiz
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question(SAQs)
Read Crane, 17-24

Unit 1 Quiz
- Cumulative Vocabulary
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Revision of Unit 1, Section 1 Quiz

Intro. to the IB Psychology IA and EA

Selecting a Topic for the IA
see the "Internal Assessment Help" link above on the left

Crane 1.2-1.3

Myers Ch. 1
Unit 1, Sec.2 - Understanding the Research Process
1. Why are the answers that result from the scientific approach more reliable than those based on intuition and common sense?
2. How do theories advance psychological science?
3. Define the aim and target population of a study.
4. Discuss sampling techniques appropriate to research.
5. Discuss ethical considerations when carrying out research.
6. Explain the concept of generalizability.
7. Explain the concepts of validity and reliability.
8. Explain what is meant by an application of findings.

Support Reading

Read Crane, pp.25-9



#10 and #11
Crane 1.2-1.3
Myers Ch. 1
cont. Understand the Research Process
1. How do experiments, powered by random assignment, clarify cause and effect?
2. Define the three measures of central tendency, and explain how they describe data differently.
3. Describe two measures of variation.
4. Discuss three important principles in making generalizations about populations on the basis of samples.
5. Differentiate between inferential and descriptive statistics.
6. Describe the frequency distribution.
7. Explain standard deviation.
8. Explain correlation coefficient.
9. Describe how psychologists make statistical inferences about differences between groups.

IA Experiment Replication
-Research design
see PowerPoints on IA
Read Crane, pp.29-37

Imagine that you are a sports psychologist interested in the usefulness of a new visualization technique that has been developed for Olympic divers. You are going to conduct an experiment to determine if the technique is effective.
Discuss the importance of each of the following in regard to this experiment:
- population
- sample
- hypothesis
- independent variable
- dependent variable
- operational definitions
- control group
- random assignment
- replication

#9 - Read through, thoroughly

Week 4 9/5-9/8

Read Crane, pp.29-37
cont. Understand the Research Process
cont. IA Experiment Replication
-Research design
see PowerPoints on IA
Select Topic for Internal Assessment (IA)
see the "Internal Assessment Help" link above on the left


Unit 1, Sections 1 & 2 Review
Review Command terms
Practice - IB Psychology/External Assessment/Paper 1


Unit 1, Sections 1 & 2 Quiz
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question(SAQs)
Read Crane, pp.101-110


Unit 1, Sections 1 & 2 Quiz
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz Revision - Unit 1

IA and EA Workshop
- Timeline of IA
- EA writing

Week 5

Myers Ch. 16
Unit 2 - Sociocultural Level of Analysis
1. Explain the primacy and recency effects of social perception.
2. Discuss attribution theory, focusing on the fundamental attribution error, and describe some possible effects of attribution.
3. Differentiate between dispositional and situational attributions, and explain the biases that are found in the attribution process.



Crane 4.3
Myers Ch. 16
cont.Sociocultural Level of Analysis
1. Define attitude, origins of attitudes, and identify the conditions under which attitudes predict behavior.
2. Describe how actions influence attitudes, and explain how cognitive dissonance theory accounts for this phenomenon.
3. Discuss the key factors in persuasion.
4. Describe the roles of social inequalities, ingroup bias, and scapegoating in prejudice.
5. Discuss the cognitive roots of prejudice.
Support Reading

Read Crane, pp. 111-27


#18 and #19
Read Crane, pp. 111-27
Myers Ch. 16
cont.Sociocultural Level of Analysis
1. Describe the results of Asch's experiments on conformity, and distinguish between normative and informational social influence.
2. Summarize the findings from Milgram's obedience studies.


Week 6

Myers Ch. 16
cont.Sociocultural Level of Analysis
1. Discuss how the presence of others may produce social facilitation, social loafing, or deindividuation.
2. Describe group polarization and show how it can be a source of groupthink.
3. Discuss how personal control and social control interact in guiding behavior, and explain how a minority can influence the majority.
4. Discuss how social exchange theory and social norms explain altruism.
5. Describe and explain the bystander effect.
Support Reading

Read Crane, pp. 128-35


Read Crane, pp. 128-35
Myers Ch. 16
cont.Sociocultural Level of Analysis
1. Describe how physical appearance, schemas, stereotypes, and other factors contribute to our impressions of others.
2. Identify the determinants of social attraction and distinguish between passionate and companionate love.
Support Reading



Myers Ch. 16
concl.Sociocultural Level of Analysis

Work on Internal Assessment Introduction - Topic and Research
HOMEWORK - Complete and bring to class


Units 1 & 2 Review
Review Command terms

Practice - IB Psychology/External Assessment/Paper 1
EA prep Homework Due -Write an introduction (only) for the following question: Identify, describe and evaluate applications and relevant theories in sociocultural psychology.
A good introduction will:
a. use the terms of the question.
b. set the scene for the rest of the essay by identifying which theories, concepts, areas, research and/or applications will be discussed
c. be four sentences in length
d. use simple sentences


Quiz - Units 1 & 2
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question(SAQs)

Quiz -
Units 1 & 2
- Cumulative Vocabulary
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question
Week 7


Quiz Revision - Units 1 and 2

IA and EA Workshop
- sample IAs and EAs

#26 and #27
Crane 2.1
Myers Ch. 2
Unit 3 - Neuroscience/Biology

Neural Communication
1.Explain why psychologists are concerned with human biology.
2. Explain why, at every level, our existence is both part of a larger system and a combination of smaller systems.
3. Describe the structure of a neuron and the process by which an action potential is triggered. (read, and be prepared to discuss info. contained in, http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/i/i_01/i_01_cr/i_01_cr_fon/i_01_cr_fon.html,in particular info. beginning after "The simplicity of the knee-jerk reflex.” )
4. Describe how nerve cells communicate and discuss the importance of neurotransmitters for human behavior.
5. Discuss the significance of endorphins and explain how drugs influence neurotransmitters.

Support Reading




#28 and
Crane 2.1
Myers Ch. 2
Nervous System
  1. Identify the major divisions of the nervous system and their primary functions, noting how information is carried throughout the system.
  2. Describe the operation of reflexes in the spinal cord and neural networks in the brain.
  3. Identify and describe various methods used in studying the brain.

Work on Internal Assessment Introduction - Research
Support Reading



Week 8

Crane 2.1
Myers Ch. 2
The Cerebral Cortex
  1. Describe the functions of structures within the brainstem, as well as those of the thalamus and the cerebellum.
  2. Describe the functions of the structures within the limbic system.
  3. Describe the structure and functions of the cerebral cortex.


Crane 2.1
Myers Ch. 2
cont.The Cerebral Cortex
  1. Discuss how damage to one of several different cortical areas can impair language functioning, and outline the process by which the brain directs reading aloud. (read, and be prepared to discuss info contained in, http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/lang.html - beg. fourth paragraph)
    1. more about brain injury, if you're interested, http://www.biausa.org/Pages/types_of_brain_injury.html
  2. Discuss brain plasticity and what it reveals about brain reorganization.
    1. (read, and be prepared to discuss info contained in, http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/plast.html)
Broca's Reseach

Crane 2.1
Myers Ch. 2
cont. The Brain
  1. Describe research on the split brain and discuss what it reveals regarding normal brain functioning.
    1. (read, and be prepared to discuss info. contained in, http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/split.html and, if you're interested in this topic, http://www.indiana.edu/~pietsch/split-brain.html)
  2. Discuss the brain organization of left-handed people and why left-handedness seems to diminish with age. (read, and be prepared to discuss info. contained in, http://www.indiana.edu/~primate/index.html)

Crane 2.1
Myers Ch. 2
The Endocrine System
  1. Discuss the functioning of the endocrine system.
  2. Identify two important endocrine glands, and specify their functions.

Work on Internal Assessment Introduction - Research

Week 9


Units 1, 2 & 3A Review
Review Command terms

Practice - IB Psychology/External Assessment/Paper 1


Quiz - Units 1, 2 & 3A
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question(SAQs)


Quiz Revision - Units 1, 2 & 3A

IA and EA Workshop

Work on Internal Assessment Aims - Outline

Crane 2.2

Myers Ch. 4
GENES: Our Biological Blueprint and Evolutionary Psychology
  1. Identify the mechanisms of heredity. (read, and be prepared to discuss info. contained in, http://library.thinkquest.org/19037/heredity.html)
  2. Explain why geneticists and psychologists are interested in commonalities and variations in our genetic makeup.
  3. Explain the scope of the new field of evolutionary psychology, focusing on the importance of the concept of natural selection.
  4. Discuss gender differences in sexuality, and outline the evolutionary explanation for these differences.
  5. Identify several criticisms of evolutionary explanations of gender differences in sexuality.


Myers Ch. 4
cont. GENES: Our Biological Blueprint and Evolutionary Psychology
  1. Describe the focus of behavior genetics, and explain why researchers use twin and adoption studies to study individual differences.http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/inheritance
  2. Discuss the origins of temperament, and explain the concept of heritability.
  3. Discuss the scope of the new frontier of molecular genetics.Discuss the effect of parental behavior and the prenatal environment on person-to-person differences in children's personalities.
  4. Describe the role of experience on brain development and the socializing influence of peers on children and youth.
  5. Discuss the effect of culture on behavior and child-rearing practices.
  6. Explain how nature defines our gender.
  7. Explain how gender is also socially constructed.
  8. Summarize the results and implications of research on the nature-nurture issue.

Week 10


Review Command terms

Practice - IB Psychology/External Assessment/Paper 1


Quiz - Units 1, 2, & 3
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question(SAQs)

Quiz - Units 1, 2, & 3
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz Revision - Units 1, 2, & 3

IA and EA Workshop
Completed Introduction Due

Second Semester Year One – HL and SL Class Schedule

Myers Ch.6
UNIT 4 - Cognitive LOA

Sensation and Perception
  1. Contrast the processes of sensation and perception, and explain the difference between bottom-up and top-down processing.
  2. Distinguish between absolute and difference thresholds, and discuss whether we can sense and be affected by subliminal or unchanging stimuli (sensory adaptation).

Support Reading

Sensation and Perception Outline

Myers Ch. 6
cont. Sensation and Perception
  1. Describe the characteristics of visible light, and explain the process by which the eye converts light energy into neural messages.
  2. Discuss the different levels of processing that occur as information travels from the retina to the brain’s cortex.
  3. Define parellel processing, and discuss how visual information is processed in parallel (through the eye's retina and brain) and at increasingly abstract levels.
  4. Discuss how both the Young-Helmholtz and the opponent-process theories contribute to our understanding of color vision.
Sensation and Perception Visuals and Notes

Myers Ch. 6
cont. Sensation and Perception
  1. Explain the auditory process, including the stimulus input and the structure and function of the ear.
  2. Discuss how both the place and frequency theories contribute to our understanding of pitch perception.
  3. Explain how sounds are located and discuss the nature and causes of hearing loss.

Myers Ch. 6
cont. Sensation and Perception
  1. Describe the sense of touch, focusing on pain and the gate-control theory of pain.
  2. Describe taste, smell, kinesthesis, and the vestibular sense.
  3. Discuss the nature of sensory interaction.

Myers Ch. 6
cont. Sensation and Perception
  1. Explain the concept of selective attention; give an effective example.
  2. Explain how illusions help us to understand perception (identify various illusions)
  3. Discuss Gestalt psychology's contribution to our understanding of perception, including the figure-ground relationship and principles of perceptual grouping in form perception.
  4. Discuss research on depth perception involving the use of the visual cliff.
  5. Explain how 3-D movies are made, and describe the binocular cues in depth perception.
  6. Describe the perception of motion
Support Reading

Perception Activity

Perception: An introduction to the Gestalt-theorie. Kurt Koffka (1922)

Myers Ch. 6
cont. Sensation and Perception
  1. Describe perceptual constancies, and show how they operate in visual illusions.
  2. Briefly describe the nature-nurture debate on the origins of perception.
  3. Discuss research findings on sensory deprivation and restored vision.
  4. Explain what the use of distorting goggles indicates regarding the adaptability of perception.
  5. Discuss the experiences, assumptions, expectations, schemas, and contexts on our perceptions.

Myers Ch. 6
cont. Sensation and Perception
  1. Describe what Stratton's research reveals about vision and perceptual adaptation.
  2. Explain how our individual expectations, contexts, and emotions influence our perceptions.
  3. Discuss how our perceptions are influenced by our emotions.
  4. Explain how perceptions are a biopsychosocial phenomenon.
  5. State the claims of ESP, and explain why most research psychologists remain skeptical.

UNITS 1, 2, 3, and 4, Sec.1 REVIEW
Review Command terms

Practice - IB Psychology/External Assessment/Paper 1


Quiz - Units 1, 2, 3, and 4, Sec.1
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question(SAQs)

Quiz - Units 1, 2, 3, and 4, Sec.1
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz Revision

IA and EA Workshop
- IA Design - IV and DV

Myers Ch.3
  1. Discuss the meanings of consciousness.
  2. Discuss the nature of consciousness and its significance in the history of psychology.
  3. Explain what cognitive neuroscience focuses on and what it has revealed about our conscious experience.
  4. Discuss the different levels of information processing and dual processing
  5. Explain the human phenomenon to selectively attend to or ignore aspects of our conscious awareness.
  6. Discuss the nature and potential functions of daydreams and fantasies.

Support Reading

Consciousness Vocab

Consciousness Notes

Myers Ch.3
cont. Consciousness
  1. Differentiate the various biological rhythms of the human body.
  2. Describe the cyclical nature of sleep.
  3. Discuss possible functions of sleep and the effects of sleep deprivation.
  4. Identify and describe the major sleep disorders.

Myers Ch.3
cont. Consciousness
  1. Describe the normal content of dreams.
  2. Discuss the possible functions of dreams as revealed in various theories.
  3. Define hypnosis, and discuss several popular misconceptions about hypnosis.
  4. Discuss hypnosis from a biopsychosocial perspective.

Myers Ch.3
cont. Consciousness
  1. Discuss the physical and psychological effects common to all psychoactive drugs and state three common misconceptions about addiction.
  2. Describe the physiological and psychological effects of depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens.

Myers Ch.3
cont. Consciousness
  1. Discuss the physical and psychological effects common to all psychoactive drugs and state three common misconceptions about addiction.
  2. Describe the physiological and psychological effects of depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens.


UNITS 1, 2, 3, and 4, Sec.1 and 2 REVIEW
Review Command terms

Practice - IB Psychology/External Assessment/Paper 1


UNITS 1, 2, 3, and 4, Sec.1 and 2 REVIEW
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question(SAQs)


Quiz Revision

IA and EA Workshop
- IA Design IV, DV, and Type and Justification for Design

Crane 3.1
Myers Ch. 7
  1. Discuss the importance of experience in learning and describe the role of association in learning.
  2. Describe the nature of classical conditioning, and show how it demonstrates associative learning.
  3. Explain the processes of acquisition, extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization, and discrimination.
  4. Discuss the importance of cognitive processes and biological constraints in classical conditioning.
  5. Discuss the importance of Pavlov's work in classical conditioning and explain how Pavlov paved the way for the behaviorist position.

Support Reading

Crane 3.1
Myers Ch. 7
cont. Learning
  1. Describe the process of operant conditioning, including the procedure of shaping.
  2. Identify the different types of reinforcers, and describe the four major schedules of partial reinforcement.
  3. Discuss the effects of punishment on behavior.
  4. Discuss evidence of the importance of cognitive and biological processes in operant conditioning.
  5. Describe some major applications of operant conditioning.
Learning Terms

Crane 3.1
Myers Ch. 7
cont. Learning
  1. Describe the process of observational learning.
  2. Discuss the Bandura's experiments and the applications of observational learning.


UNITS 1, 2, 3, and 4, Secs.1 & 2 REVIEW
Review Command terms

Practice - IB Psychology/External Assessment/Paper 1


Quiz - Units 1, 2, 3, and 4, Sec.1 & 2
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz - Units 1, 2, 3, and 4, Sec.1 & 2
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz Revision

IA and EA Workshop
- IA Design - Controls

Crane 3.1 Myers Ch. 9
  1. Explain memory in terms of information processing.
  2. Explain the process of encoding, and distinguish between automatic and effortful processing.
  3. Discuss the importance of rehearsal, spacing, and serial position in encoding.
  4. Explain the importance of meaning, imagery, and organization in the encoding process.

Support Reading

Memory Notes and Vocab

Crane 3.1 Myers Ch. 9
cont. Memory
  1. Describe the functioning of sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory.
  2. Distinguish between iconic, echoic, and eidetic memory.
  3. Describe memory capacity and duration.
  4. Discuss research findings on the physical basis of memory.
  5. Discuss what research with amnesiacs and animal conditioning studies reveals about the brain mechanisms involved in the dual explicit-implicit memory system.
  6. Describe the importance of retrieval cues, noting the effects of priming,contexts, and moods on retrieval.

Crane 3.1 Myers Ch. 9
cont. Memory
  1. Explain the types of memory tasks that are used in measuring forgetting.
  2. Explain and contrast recall, recognition, and relearning measures of memory.
  3. Describe Schacter’s seven sins of memory (3 of forgetting, 3 of distortion, and 1 of intrusion) as a categorization of the ways in which we forget.
  4. Discuss forgetting as either a form of encoding failure or storage decay.
  5. Discuss the roles of interference and motivated forgetting in the process of retrieval failure.
Read - Memory reconstruction, schema.Bartlett (1932)

Crane 3.1 Myers Ch. 9
cont. Memory
  1. Describe misinformation and imagination effects.
  2. Describe the negative effects of source amnesia.
  3. What effect does suggestive interviewing techniques have on children's eyewitness recall?
  4. Discuss the concept of repressed memory and the controversial issue of recovered memories.
  5. Explain different methods of improving memory, including the SQ3R, that provide helpful study techniques.


UNITS 1, 2, 3, and 4, Secs.1,2, & 3 REVIEW
Review Command terms


Quiz - Units 1, 2, 3, and 4, Sec.1, 2, & 3
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz - Units 1, 2, 3, and 4, Sec.1, 2, & 3
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz Revision

IA and EA Workshop

Crane 3.3 Myers Ch.9
Thinking and Language
  1. Describe the nature, function, and formation of concepts and prototypes.
  2. Discuss the major problem-solving strategies, and describe the nature of insight.
  3. Identify obstacles to problem solving

Support Reading

Thinking and Language Notes and Vocab

Thinking and Language powerpoint

Crane 3.3 Myers Ch.9
cont. Thinking and Language
  1. Describe the heuristics that guide decision making, and explain how overconfidence and framing can affect judgment.
  2. Describe how our beliefs (e.g., overconfidence, belief perseverance, rationality, fear, intuition, framing) influence our logical reasoning.
  3. Contrast the human mind and the computer as information processors, and describe recent advances in artificial intelligence.

Crane 3.3 Myers Ch.9
cont. Thinking and Language
  1. Describe the structure of language.
  2. Trace the course of language acquisition, and discuss alternative theories of language development.
  3. Discuss the impact of early experience on language development as revealed by cognitive neuroscience.
  4. State the main points and perspectives related to language structure and development.

Crane 3.3 Myers Ch.9
cont. Thinking and Language
  1. Discuss the relationship between thought and language (e.g., Whorf's hypothesis).
  2. Discuss the impact of visualization (e.g., mental practice, mental rehearsal) on learning.
  3. Describe the research on animal communication, and discuss the controversy over whether animals have language


UNITS 1, 2, 3, and 4, Secs.1,2, 3 & 4 REVIEW
Review Command terms


Quiz - Units 1, 2, 3, and 4, Sec.1, 2, 3, & 4
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz - Units 1, 2, 3, and 4, Sec.1, 2, 3, & 4
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz Revision

IA and EA Workshop


  1. What is an acceptable definition of the term "intelligence"?
  2. Describe intelligence, and discuss two controversies regarding its nature.
  3. Describe the factor-analysis approach to understanding intelligence, and discuss evidence regarding intelligence as a general mental ability and/or as many specific.
  4. Discuss the concept of multiple intelligences.

Support Reading

Intelligence and Testing Notes

Intelligence powerpoint

Testing powerpoint


cont. Intelligence
  1. Identify the factors associated with creativity.
  2. Describe the main factors associated with emotional intelligence?
  3. Discuss neurological approaches to the measurement of intelligence.
  4. Trace the origins of intelligence tests.

cont. Intelligence
  1. Distinguish between aptitude and achievement tests and describe modern tests of mental abilities.
  2. Identify the major principles of good test construction and illustrate their application to intelligence tests.
  3. Discuss the stability of intelligence test scores and the two extremes of intelligence.


cont. Intelligence
  1. Discuss evidence for genetic influences on intelligence.
  2. Discuss evidence for environmental influences on intelligence.
  3. Describe group differences in intelligence test scores .
  4. Discuss whether intelligence tests are biased and/or discriminatory.



Review Command terms



- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz - Units 1, 2, 3, and 4
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz Revision

IA and EA Workshop



Motivational Concepts (Motives, Needs, Drives, Incentives)
  1. Define motives, needs, drives, and incentives.
  2. Define motivation.
  3. Discuss the main theories/concepts that have influenced our understanding of motivation.
  4. Discuss research concerning the effort to increase or decrease the stimulation one experiences (i.e. stimulus motives, optimum arousal and sensory deprivation).
  5. Discuss Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
  6. Explain balance theory.
  7. Explain cognitive dissonance theory.

Support Reading

Motivation Notes and Vocab

Motivation powerpoint


  1. Discuss the basis of hunger in terms of physiology and external incentives and explain how taste preferences are determined.
  2. Describe the physiological, social and psychological factors that contribute to the motivation of hunger.
  3. Describe the symptoms and possible causes of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and obesity.


  1. Identify the biological influences on human sexual motivation.
  2. Discuss the basis of sexual motivation in terms of both internal physiology and external incentives.
  3. Discuss the social issues of teen pregnancy and STDs.
  4. Discuss cultural and historical variations in adolescent sexuality, and identify several factors that contribute to the high rate of unprotected sex.
  5. Describe research findings on the nature of sexual orientation.
  6. Discuss the origins of homosexuality, including both myths and recent research findings
  7. Discuss the place of values in research and education about sexual behavior.



Review Command terms



- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question


Quiz Revision

IA and EA Workshop


Emotion, Stress, and Health

Theories of Emotions; Physiological link to Emotions
  1. What are the components of an emotion?
  2. Contrast and critique the James-Lange and Cannon-Bard theories of emotion.
  3. Describe Schachter's two-factor theory of emotion.
  4. Describe the physiological changes that occur during emotional arousal, noting the relationship between arousal and performance.
  5. Discuss the research findings on the relationship between body states and specific emotions.
  6. Cite two pieces of evidence that support Robert Zajonc's theory of emotion.
  7. Discuss the effectiveness of the polygraph in detecting lies.

Support Reading

Emotion Notes and Vocab

Emotion powerpoints 1and 2

Expressing Emotions; Experiencing Emotion
  1. Discuss how humans detect and interpret emotions.
  2. Discuss gender and personality differences in nonverbal communication, and describe people's varying abilities to detect deceit.
  3. Discuss whether nonverbal expressions of emotion are universally understood, and describe the effects of facial expressions on emotion.
  4. Discuss the significance of environmental and biological factors in the acquisition of fear.
  5. Discuss the catharsis hypothesis and identify some of the advantages and disadvantages of openly expressing anger.
  6. Identify some potential causes and consequences of happiness, and discuss reasons for the relativity of happiness.
  7. Explain Solomon's Opponent-Process theory of emotion


Health psychology; Sources of Stress; Stress and Illness
  1. Identify the major concerns of behavioral medicine and health psychology.
  2. Describe the complex concept of "stress," and the relationship between stressors and stress reaction.
  3. Define stress and describe the body's response to stress.
  4. Discuss research findings on the health consequences of stressful life events, as well as the impact of perceived control and pessimism on health and our vulnerability to stress

Sociocultural Factors in Health and Illness; Promoting Health
  1. Discuss the role of stress in coronary heart disease, and contrast Type A and Type B personalities.
  2. Describe how the immune system defends the body and discuss the effect of stress on the immune system.
  3. Identify and discuss different strategies for coping with stress.
  4. Describe the relationship between perceived control, optimism, and social support, and health.
  5. Identify and discuss different strategies for managing stress.
  6. Discuss the growing popularity of complementary and alternative medicine.
  7. Discuss whether there is a "faith factor" in health and longevity.



Review Command terms



- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question



Introduction; The Psychoanalytic Perspective - Exploring the Unconscious
  1. Define personality, and explain how its study differs from that of other psychological research interests.
  2. Identify the two "classic" theories of personality.
  3. Describe how Freud's search for the psychological roots of nervous disorders led to his study of the unconscious, and explain psychoanalysis.
  4. Describe Freud's views of personality structure.
  5. Outline and describe Freud's psychosexual stages of personality development.
  6. Explain Freud's view of maladaptive behavior and describe how defense mechanisms operate.

Support Reading

Personality Notes and Vocab

Personality powerpoint

cont. the Psychoanalytic Perspective
  1. Explain how projective tests are used to assess personality, and describe research findings regarding their validity and reliability.
  2. Discuss the major ideas of the neo-Freudians and today's psychodynamic theorists.
  3. Evaluate the psychoanalytic perspective.

The Humanistic Perspective
  1. Describe the humanistic perspective on personality, and discuss the basic ideas of Maslow and Rogers.
  2. Describe recent research on the way people view themselves.
  3. Discuss how culture affects ones sense of self, including research findings on stigmatized groups and differences between individualist and collectivist cultures.
  4. Evaluate the humanistic perspective.


The Trait Perspective
  1. Discuss trait theories of personality and trace their history.
  2. Identify the Big Five personality factors, and discuss recent research findings regarding them.
  3. Describe the assessment techniques associated with the trait perspective.
  4. Evaluate the trait perspective on personality, and describe research findings regarding the consistency of behavior over time and across various situations.


The Social-Cognitive Perspective
  1. Describe the social-cognitive perspective, and define reciprocaldeterminism, giving three examples.
  2. Discuss research findings on personal, or "locus" of, control.
  3. Describe the fundamentals, and main "pillars" of, of positive psychology.
  4. Describe how social-cognitive researchers study behavior, and evaluate this perspective on personality.

Exploring the Self; Self-Esteem; Self-Serving Bias
  1. Discuss the assumption that the concept of the Self is the center of the personality.
  2. Explain the Spotlight Effect and its influence on our self concept.
  3. Identify and discuss the positive effects of self-worth (self esteem).
  4. Identify and discuss the effects of low self esteem.
  5. Discuss research findings regarding the concept of self serving bias, "our readiness to perceive ourselves favorably."
  6. Discuss Jean Twenge's research regarding the today's generation, Generation Me, and a changing self concept.



Review Command terms



- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question


Psychological Disorders

What are Psychological Disorders?/Classifying Psychological Disorders; Perspectives on Psychological Disorders
  1. Discuss how the criteria for judging whether behavior is disordered changes over time.
  2. Explain the debate concerning the diagnosis of normal high energy behavior as ADHD.
  3. Explain and contrast the medical and bio-psycho-social perspectives on psychological disorders.
  4. Describe the system used to classify psychological disorders, and explain the reasons for its development.
  5. Discuss the controversy surrounding the use of diagnostic labels

Support Reading


Anxiety Disorders; Somatoform Disorders
  1. Identify and describe the various anxiety disorders.
  2. Discuss anxiety disorders from the psychoanalytic, learning, and biological perspectives.
  3. Describe the somatoform disorders and discuss their origins.

Dissociation and Multiple Personalities
  1. Describe the nature and possible causes of dissociative disorders.
  2. Discuss arguments made by skeptics that DID is a cultural phenomenon


Mood Disorders - Major Depressive Disorder; Bipolar disorder
  1. Describe two principal mood disorders.
  2. Identify the main characteristics of mood disorders.
  3. Discuss the psychological perspectives of mood disorders.
  4. Discuss the characteristics of the average person who commits suicide, and the causes of teenage suicide

  1. Describe the symptoms and types of schizophrenia.
  2. Discuss research on the causes of schizophrenia


Personality Disorders; Rates of Psychological Disorders
  1. Describe the various "clusters" of personality disorders (see, also, http://www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/personality-disorders).
  2. Describe the nature and causes of personality disorders and the specific characteristics of the anti-social personality disorder.
  3. Briefly discuss the prevalence of psychological disorders



Review Command terms



- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz - Units 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz Revision

IA and EE Workshop



What is Therapy?; History of Therapy; Psychodynamic therapies
  1. Define psychotherapy.
  2. Trace the history of therapy from ancient to contemporary times.
  3. Briefly explain the current approach to therapy.
  4. Discuss the aims and methods of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy, and explain the critics’ concerns with these forms of therapy.

Support Reading

Humanistic Therapies; Behavior Therapies
  1. Identify the basic themes of humanistic therapies and describe Rogers' client-centered (person-centered) approach and its goals.
  2. Describe the goals and methods of Perls' Gestalt therapy.
  3. Identify the basic assumptions of behavior therapy, and discuss the classical conditioning therapies.
  4. Describe the premise behind operant conditioning techniques, and explain the critics' concerns with these techniques.


Cognitive Therapies; Group and Family Therapies
  1. Identify the basic assumptions of the cognitive therapies, and describe group and family therapies.
  2. Describe the goals and methods of Beck's cognitive therapy.
  3. Describe the goals and methods of Ellis's rational-emotive therapy.
  4. Discuss the goals and benefits of group and family therapy.

Evaluating Psychotherapies
  1. Discuss the findings regarding the effectiveness of the psychotherapies.
  2. Identify two reasons clients' and therapists perceptions of therapy's effectiveness may be inflated.
  3. Discuss the findings of outcome research, meta-analysis, regarding the effectiveness of psychotherapies.
  4. Discuss the relative effectiveness of different psychotherapies.
  5. Evaluate the effectiveness of three popular alternative therapies.
  6. Discuss the commonalities among the psychotherapies.
  7. Discuss the roles of culture and values in psychotherapy.


The Biomedical Therapies; Preventing Psychological Disorders
  1. Define "psychopharmacology" and discuss the method of determining the effectiveness of a particular drug.
  2. Identify the common forms of drug therapy (include names and uses of specific drugs).
  3. Describe the use of electroconvulsive therapy and psychotherapy in the treatment of psychological disorders.
  4. Discuss the use of psychosurgery.
  5. Explain the rationale and goals of preventive mental health programs.



Review Command terms



- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz - Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Therapy
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz Revision

IA and EE Workshop


The Developing Person

Prenatal Development and the Newborn
  1. Briefly describe the work of the developmental psychologist.
  2. Identify and briefly describe three major issues that pervade developmental psychology.
  3. Describe conception and outline the course of prenatal development.
  4. Discuss the possible effects of teratogens on the developing embryo and fetus.
  5. Describe the physical and cognitive capacities of the newborn.

Support Reading

Infancy and Childhood
  1. Describe the brain development that occurs from infancy through childhood, including its impact on memory.
  2. Describe the roles of nature and nurture in motor development through infancy and childhood.
  3. Discuss Piaget’s view of how the mind develops, and describe his cognitive stages.
  4. Discuss current views of Piaget's theory of cognitive development.


cont. Infancy and Childhood
  1. Discuss the origins and effects of early attachment, and the roles of familiarity and parenting in the development of attachment.
  2. Discuss how disruptions in attachment and day care affect childdevelopment.
  3. Explain how children's behavior provides evidence of an emerging self-concept,
  4. Discuss the possible effects of different parenting styles on children.

cont. Infancy and Childhood
  1. Describe physical developments during adolescence.
  2. Discuss cognitive and moral reasoning during adolescence, focusing on Piaget's and Kohlberg's theories.
  3. Describe how Erikson viewed adolescence and the nature of social relationships during adolescence.
  4. Explain adolescents' changing relationship with parents and peers.


  1. Identify the major physical changes that occur in middle adulthood and later life.
  2. Describe the major cognitive changes that occur in adulthood and old age.
  3. Explain why stage theories of adult social development are controversial.
  4. Discuss the importance of family and career commitments in adult development.
  5. Describe the sense of well-being across the life span.
  6. State current views of psychologists on the continuity versus stages issue.
  7. State current views of psychologists on the stability versus change issue.



Review Command terms



- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Quiz - Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Therapy, and Development
- Cumulative Vocabulary (including command terms)
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Essay Question

Select Topic for Internal Assessment (IA)