The biggest mistake students make in IB Psychology exams

Travis Dixon Revision and Exam Preparation 2 Comments

I still can’t figure it out. After teaching IB Psych for over a decade, marking thousands of essays and short answers, writing hundreds of blogs and recording heaps of video tutorials about this topic, there’s still one mistake that students continue to make in their IB Psych exams. Read on to find out what it is and how you can avoid …

Emotion-focused vs. Problem-focused Coping Strategies

Travis Dixon Health Psychology Leave a Comment

Coping is “a person’s efforts to manage demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding their resources.”(1) In other words, coping is how we try to deal with stress. It is a widely studied topic in psychology and there are over 400 categorized styles of coping. (2) These styles are commonly grouped into two distinct types: problem focused vs. emotion-focused. In …

Morning Motivation Hack

Travis Dixon General Interest 2 Comments

Want to start your day with more motivation? Here’s some tricks I’m trying based on neuroscience. They seem to be working so far. Every morning I wake up sometime between 3:30am and 6am (I don’t use an alarm to avoid sleep deprivation). I go straight to my computer and start writing while the family sleeps. But lately that changed. I …

The Command Term Conundrum

Travis Dixon Curriculum, Revision and Exam Preparation 3 Comments

Allow me to explain the IB Psychology command terms:  Explain means explain if it’s in Paper 1, but not if it’s in Paper 2, unless of course it’s coupled with another level three command term (e.g. discuss), then it does mean explain. And outline doesn’t really mean outline, it means describe, unless the question (or mark scheme) is actually asking …

Example essay: Contrast two models of memory

Travis Dixon Cognitive Psychology, Revision and Exam Preparation Leave a Comment

Of the command terms for IB Psychology essays, “contrast” is the hardest to write. Here is an example essay that contrasts two models of memory. Please note – this essay is not written with the intention that you will memorize it. That is a highly inefficient way to study. It’s written so you can get ideas on how to structure a contrast …

Key Study: Schemas and Story Interpretations (Anderson et al., 1976)

Travis Dixon Cognitive Psychology, Key Studies, Studies and Theories 1 Comment

“No two people read the same novel or watch the same movie.” This is one of my favourite sayings as an English teacher. It conveys the simple fact that our interpretations of stories are based on our personalities, our experiences, our biases, our schemas. While this might be common knowledge now, in the 1970s it was being slowly revealed through …

Key Study: The Office Schema Study (Brewer and Treyens, 1981)

Travis Dixon Cognitive Psychology, Key Studies Leave a Comment

Our life’s memories are filed away in our long-term memory and our mind categories these into clusters, which we call schema. These schema then affect how we process new information and remember old information. At least, these are the claims of schema theory. In this post we’ll look at how these claims are supported by a classic study.  Because of …

How to “explain additional ethical considerations that could be taken into account when applying the findings.”

Travis Dixon Revision and Exam Preparation Leave a Comment

The following has been adapted from our IB revision textbook, now available as an online textbook. IB Psychology’s Paper 3 will have a question on ethical considerations. One of these questions asks you to “describe the ethical considerations in reporting the results…” This is comparatively easy to the second part of this question, “…and explain additional ethical considerations that could …

How to “describe the ethical considerations in reporting the results” in Paper 3

Travis Dixon Revision and Exam Preparation Leave a Comment

The following has been adapted from our IB revision textbook, now available as an online textbook. IB Psychology’s Paper 3 will have a question on ethical considerations. One of these questions asks you to “describe the ethical considerations in reporting the results” of the study summarized in the stimulus material. Let’s look at how you can score full marks (3/3) …