Key Study: The Minnesota Twin Study of Twins Reared Apart

tdixon Biological Psychology, Key Studies, Studies and Theories Leave a Comment

Understanding how and why twin studies are used is an important topic in biological psychology because they can give us important insights into the extent to which our behaviour is nature (genetics) or nurture.  Context Is our behaviour a product of nature or nurture? In other words, are we born the way we are, or have we become this way …

Lesson Idea: Sampling Methods – Practice for Paper 3

tdixon Research Methodology, Revision and Exam Preparation Leave a Comment

For IB Psychology Paper 3, students need to know the following five sampling methods: Opportunity/convenience Random Self-selected/volunteer Snowball Purposive The stimulus material (summary of a study) that you are given in the exam may or may not state the sampling method used. Therefore, you need to be prepared to identify the method used based on the summary of how the …

Lesson Idea: Understanding thematic analysis

tdixon Qualitative Research Methods Leave a Comment

The aim of the activities in this lesson is to help students understand the process and purpose of conducting a thematic analysis in qualitative research. It is not necessary to study how qualitative data is analyzed in the new IB Psychology curriculum, but it could be useful to help deepen your understanding of qualitative methods (and it could be used in …

Lesson Idea: Understanding generalizability and population validity

tdixon Studies and Theories, Teaching Ideas Leave a Comment

If you want to write excellent evaluations of psychological studies then generalizability is a really important term to know. It’s also called external validity and it refers to the extent to which we could expect the same results in a different context (i.e. do the results apply beyond the study, external to the study?). In this post we’ll focus on population validity (read more …

Lesson Idea: Ethics of reporting findings

tdixon Qualitative Research Methods Leave a Comment

In the new IB Psychology Paper 3, you may be asked to explain the ethical considerations involved in reporting findings of the study. The most obvious consideration (or guideline) relevant to this question is anonymity – not revealing participants names in the final report. Other relevant considerations or guidelines may include: Informed consent (avoiding deception) Debriefing Confidentiality (not telling people you’re involved …

fMRI: An important technological technique used to study the brain

tdixon Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Research Methodology 1 Comment

The invention of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has rapidly advanced our knowledge and understanding of the human brain. In the IB Psychology course, fMRIs are a good example of a “technique used to study the brain in relation to behaviour.”  Background Information fMRIs are a modification of a regular MRI machine. Whereas MRIs simply show the structure of the …

Key Study: London Taxi Drivers vs. Bus Drivers (Maguire, 2006)

tdixon Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Key Studies Leave a Comment

Understanding how the brain can grow and change as a result of our environment and experiences is an exciting and important new field in psychology. Maguire’s study on this topic is already a classic.  Context One of the most fascinating (relatively) recent discoveries is the idea of neuroplasticity: the brain’s amazing ability to grow and change as a result of different experiences. …

Key Study: Clinical bias and the effects of labelling on diagnosis (Temerlin, 1968)

tdixon Abnormal Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Key Studies Leave a Comment

Clinical bias can affect the validity and reliability of diagnosis and one thing that can cause clinical bias is when a patient is labelled with having a particular disorder. Labelling theory usually refers to how a label can affect the individual being labelled, but it is also used to explain how others can treat someone based on their label. Effects …

Key Study: Confirmation bias: why psychiatrists stick to wrong preliminary diagnoses (Mendel et al. 2011)

tdixon Abnormal Psychology, Cognitive Psychology Leave a Comment

Clinical bias can affect the validity and reliability of diagnosis. One example of a clinical bias that could have an effect is confirmation bias. While the use of classification systems could reduce the influence of clinical bias, it might also lead to it. Clinical bias is a general term that refers to any cognitive bias that can affect the diagnosis …