Exam Question Bank: Paper 1: Sociocultural Approach

Travis Dixon Assessment (IB), Revision and Exam Preparation, Social and Cultural Psychology 34 Comments

Whether you're a student looking for help with studying or a teacher writing mock exams, these questions should help.
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Disclaimer: These questions are not IB “official” questions and are written with our best guess as to what the probable exam questions may look like. Therefore, not every possible question is covered.

Read More: IB Psychology Exam Question Banks

  • Paper 1: Biological approach (Link)
  • Paper 1: Cognitive approach (Link)
  • Paper 1: HL Ext Bio Animal Studies (Link)
  • Paper 1: HL Ext Cog Technology & Cognition (Link)
  • Paper 1: HL Ext Soc/cult Globalization (Link)
  • Paper 2: Human Relationships (Link)
  • Paper 2: Abnormal Psychology (Link)
  • Command terms and definitions (link)

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Sociocultural Approach

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The exam questions will be based on the topic and content headings as shown above (Note: terms in italics will only be asked from May 2020 onwards). This table is taken from our new revision book (available here).

Exam Questions

TOPIC Content SAQs Essay Questions

The individual and the group.

Social identity theory

  • Describe social identity theory.
  • Explain how one study supports social identity theory.
  • Evaluate social identity theory.
  • Discuss social identity theory’s explanation of human behaviour.
  • Evaluate one or more studies related to social identity theory.
Social groups
  • Explain how belonging to social groups can influence behaviour.
             SAQ Only

Social cognitive theory

  • Outline social cognitive theory.
  • With reference to one study, explain social cognitive theory.
  • Evaluate social cognitive theory.
  • Evaluate one or more studies related to social cognitive theory.

Stereotypes

  • Explain how stereotypes may influence human behaviour.
  • Explain how and/or why stereotypes are formed.
  • Discuss research related to stereotypes.
  • Evaluate one study or theory related to stereotypes.
  • Discuss the formation or effects of stereotypes.
   

Cultural origins of behaviour and cognition.  

Culture and its influence on behaviour and cognition.

  • Explain one influence of culture on behaviour.
  • Explain one cultural origin of behaviour.
  • Discuss one or more ways culture may influence behaviour and/or cognition.
  • Discuss one cultural origins of behaviour.
Cultural groups
  • Explain how belonging to cultural groups may influence behaviour and/or cognition.
         SAQ Only

Cultural dimensions

  • Explain the role of one cultural dimension in human behaviour.
  • Outline one way cultural dimensions can influence behaviour.
  • Discuss the influence of one cultural dimension on human behaviour.
  • Evaluate one study related to cultural dimensions.
   
   
  • Explain one cultural influence on individual behaviour.
  • Discuss one or more cultural influences on individual attitudes, identity and/or behaviours.

Cultural influences on individual attitudes, identity and behaviours

Enculturation

  • Explain one effect of enculturation on human behaviour.
  • Outline one study related to enculturation.
  • Discuss one or more effects of enculturation on human behaviour.
  • Evaluate one or more studies related to enculturation.
Norms
  • Outline one way cultural norms may influence human behaviour.
              SAQ Only

Acculturation

  • Describe one effect of acculturation on human behaviour.
  • Discuss one or more effects of acculturation on identities, attitudes and/or behaviour.
  • Evaluate one or more studies related to acculturation.
Assimilate
  • Outline what it means to assimilate and how this may influence behaviour.
                 SAQ Only

Research Methods & Ethical Considerations

Questions about research methods and ethics will be based on the three “topics” for the sociocultural approach (the brain and behaviour, hormones and pheromones and behaviour and genetics and behaviour).

Research Methods

Short Answer Questions

  • Outline one research method used to study cultural influences on behaviour.
  • Describe the use of one research method used to study the individual and the group.
  • Explain how and why one research method is used to study cultural origins of behaviour and/or cognition.
  • Explain the use of one research method used in the sociocultural approach to understanding human behaviour.

Essay Questions

  • Outline one research method used to study cultural influences on behaviour.
  • Describe the use of one research method used to study the individual and the group.
  • Explain how and why one research method is used to study cultural origins of behaviour and/or cognition.
  • Explain the use of one research method used in the sociocultural approach to understanding human behaviour.

Ethical Considerations

Short Answer Questions

  • Outline one ethical consideration related to studies on the individual and the group.
  • Explain one ethical consideration relevant to studies on cultural origins of behaviour.
  • Explain one ethical consideration relevant to one study on cultural influences on behaviour.
  • Outline one ethical consideration related to studies in the sociocultural approach to understanding human behaviour.

Essay Questions

  • Discuss one ethical consideration relevant to studies on the individual and the group.
  • Discuss one ethical consideration relevant to one study on cultural origins of behaviour.
  • Discuss ethical considerations relevant to research on cultural influences on behaviour.
  • Discuss one or more ethical considerations relevant to research on cultural influences on behaviour.
  • Discuss one or more ethical considerations related to research in the sociocultural approach to understanding human behaviour.

Notes

Paper One has two sections – A and B. In Section A you have three compulsory short answer questions, one from each approach (biological, cognitive and sociocultural). In Section B, you have three exam questions, also one from each approach and you answer only one. This means you should prep all core approach topics for SAQs and you can choose one approach for essays.

For short answer questions, because you can use the command terms interchangeably (outline, describe, explain) their selection for the above questions has been random.

The italicized terms above (e.g. norms) are the SAQ additional terms. It’s often difficult to predict how these will be phrased in IB exam questions. Also, these will not appear in the 2019 exams (May and Nov), but may appear in SAQs from 2020 onwards.

Disclaimer: These questions are not IB “official” questions and are written with our best guess as to what the probable exam questions may look like. Therefore, not every possible question is covered.

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Comments 34

  1. Is there anything like you answer for biological approaches the students can score more in 22 marks than in social or cognitive approaches?

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      Author

      I’m not sure I understand the question, sorry. Are you asking me which approach I think students are better at answering, bio, cog or sociocultural?

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      1. No Sir. Which approach to answer for? Is there anything like- you answer the question for this approach then the examiner would give more marks.
        For example: if the students are picking up Social approaches for 22 marks then they have less of content to study, comparatively than for Biological approaches. But, will answering biological approaches fetch more marks than social approaches? Or, are all 3 approaches have equal weightage?

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          Ah, I understand now. All three approaches have the equal weighting and equal chance of scoring higher marks – the approach you choose to write your essay on will be based on your confidence levels and strengths in the different topics.

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          Author

          There’s no one answer to this – you can score the maximum regardless of the approach you choose. My students are choosing either bio or cognitive, because those questions are more predictable (especially the HL extensions).

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  2. The new syllabus takes effect these coming exams, so doesn’t that mean that the topics such as “Norms” and “Assimilation” will take effect? You also mentioned in a previous comment that your students will tackle the HL extensions, so if those are coming why are the new topics not coming? Thank you in advance.

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      The IB released a clarification document alongside the new guide that said some terms would only come into effect from May 2020 (e.g. norms, neural pruning, etc.) while the rest (incl. HL extensions) comes into effect this May 2019.

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  3. Hi,
    in paper 1 section B can they specify if for example ” Evaluate formation of stereotypes” or “Evaluate effects of stereotypes”

    meaning should I prepare two studies for formation of stereotypes and two for effects of stereotypes, or is it enough with preparing one study for formation and one for effects, in total I have then prepared two studies for stereotypes.

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    1. Post
      Author

      The official clarification document states this: “Any material connected by the word “and” may be worded on exam questions as “and/or”. For example, “thinking and decision-making” may appear in a question as “thinking and/or decision-making”. There are three exceptions to this. In these cases, a question may be formulated by separating the pairing. These are:
      • gender identity and social roles (developmental psychology)
      • childhood trauma and resilience (developmental psychology)
      • dispositional factors and health beliefs (abnormal psychology).”

      This doesn’t really clarify it for certain though, as they say “may” use and/or, not “will.” However, the fact that they state the three exceptions suggests that indeed any topic that has an “and” such as stereotypes and their formation and effect will have an “and/or.’ Thus, you should be able to study only one – formation or effect.

      TL;DR: The IB’s documents suggest that you can choose to study formation or effects.

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      1. Hi Travis,

        Is it still the case that students may choose to study the formation or the effects of stereotyping? The guide now says:

        “Formation of stereotypes and their effects on behaviour: Study one example of the development and effect of stereotypes.”

        John Crane claimed on the 23rd of January that either question might be asked (that is, there could be a question on the formation of stereotypes, or there could be a question on the effects of stereotypes).

        It feels absurd that, with the exams so near, we’re all having to ask questions like this.

        Many thanks!!!

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          Author

          Hi Alastair,

          This is a confusing one because I’m not sure where John is getting his information. I’m guessing it’s private correspondence, because the public explanations suggest the contrary (albeit not definitively). In the “clarification” document it states that topics joined by an “and” e.g. formation and effects of stereotypes MAY be asked and/or.

          But I think they meant to write WILL be asked and/or, because in that same doc they state the three exceptions to this rule. i.e. the following three topics are the only ones they explicitly state could be asked separately: gender identity and social roles (developmental psychology), childhood trauma and resilience (developmental psychology), dispositional factors and health beliefs (abnormal psychology). As stereotypes is not on this list, it suggests (dare I say “proves?”) that they will be asked and/or, thus students can choose one or the other.

          My advice to students: prepare to explain one effect of stereotypes is confirmation bias and use the same study (e.g. Stone or Cohen) as they would if the question was on one cognitive bias. This saves doubling up on studies. Use one explanation for formation of stereotypes as the out-group homogeneity effect using Park + Rothbart, and use this same explanation to support social identity theory.

          This means they are covered if an SAQ asks for either, and if an essay writes for both by combining the above two examples they will also have enough to write about.

          You’re right – this should be clear and it’s a shame it’s not. Feel free to share what I’ve written with others (including John) as it helps to work together to get things clear in these cases.

          Thanks,
          Travis.

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          1. Many thanks for your detailed and considered response! We’ll put our faith in the official ‘clarification’.

            Alastair

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  4. Can an SAQ or ERQ ask specifically on either the effects or formation of stereotypes?

    And if it asks to discuss effects of stereotypes, am I supposed to provide 1 positive and 1 negative effect of stereotypes, or is 2 negative fine?

    Thanks.

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      Author

      Hi Jay,
      See my response to Alastair’s question directly above yours for an answer.

      And for effects, you don’t need to worry about positive or negative – any effects are fine.

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  5. Hi Sir, may I know if I can use the same study for Culture and its influence on behaviour and cognition and Cultural dimensions in the exam? I feel like they are very similar.

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      Author

      Any study you use for cultural dimensions can also be used for culture and behaviour, but the opposite isn’t necessarily true so be careful. E.g. a study on the culture of honour is not relevant for cultural dimensions because CoH is not a cultural dimension. But any study on individualism/collectivism can be used for culture.

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      Author

      That phrase may appear in exam questions. How you answer it depends on the precise question. The phrase would most likely be used in relation to research methods or ethics, but I think it’s an unlikely question. (I wish this topic was just called “social psychology.”).

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    2. Your question has made me think it will be a good idea to remind the students about the titles of the topics. There are perhaps students who would get confused by the phrase no matter how well they know the actual content.

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      Author
      1. What about Harrison and Gifford? I can’t seem to think of any weaknesses and critical thinking points for this study.

        Thank you so much!

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  6. What about Harrison and Gifford? I can’t seem to think of any weaknesses and critical thinking points for this study.

    Thank you so much!

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  7. I need to clarify which two studies would you recommend for SIT and for SCT? There are multiple options out there and it gets confusing. So my question is very direct:
    1) If one has to explain SIT, which 2 studies should they use?
    If one has to explain SCT, which 2 studies should they use?

    2) If it is Compare and Contrast, which studies should be used for 1) SIT & 2) SCT?

    Your clarifications would greatly help.
    Thank you.

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  8. Post
    Author

    I like this study for SIT: https://www.themantic-education.com/ibpsych/2017/12/04/key-study-stereotypes-social-identity-theory-and-the-out-group-homogeneity-effect-park-and-rothbart-1982/

    As well as the minimal group studies: https://www.themantic-education.com/ibpsych/2016/10/25/key-studies-minimal-group-paradigm-sit-tajfel-et-al/

    For SCT, I think the Bobo doll is a classic, or any study showing the effects of self-efficacy or demonstrating triadic reciprocal causation.

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