Key Study: HM’s case study (Milner and Scoville, 1957)

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

HM’s case study is one of the most famous and important case studies in psychology, especially in cognitive psychology. It was the source of groundbreaking new knowledge on the role of the hippocampus in memory.  Background Info “Localization of function in the brain” means that different parts of the brain have different functions. Researchers have discovered this from over 100 …

The sociocultural approach and diagnosis in Abnormal Psychology

tdixon Abnormal Psychology, Social and Cultural Psychology Leave a Comment

Making an accurate diagnosis of a psychological disorder like depression or PTSD is very important. However, it’s not always easy and culture is one factor that can influence the validity and reliability of diagnosis.  Culture and Reporting Symptoms One factor that may affect diagnosis is culture. In particular, people from different cultures may report their symptoms differently. For example, a …

Key Studies: Effects of acculturation on behaviour (Torres et al. 2012 and Nap et al. 2014)

tdixon Prejudice and Discrimination, Social and Cultural Psychology Leave a Comment

Acculturation may refer to assimilation, but it can also refer to Berry’s model of acculturation which outlines four way in which someone may adapt to a new culture. The type of acculturation a person experiences can affect their behaviour. More specifically, it may moderate the effects of prejudice and discrimination. Acculturation is the process of adapting and changing as a …

Computer games and the brain: A summary with two key studies

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

In this post we look at the positive effects of playing computer games by looking at how it might affect the brain, both in young and old people. We know from many MRI studies that our brain changes as a result of experience – this is called neuroplasticity. Therefore, it’s not unrealistic to think that hours spent playing video games …

The negative effects of digital technology on cognition #2 (with key studies): TV, attention and working memory

tdixon Cognitive Psychology, IB Psychology HL Extensions, Key Studies 5 Comments

Technology’s Negative Effects on Memory Numerous studies have investigated the effects of watching television on working memory and executive functions because kids in developed countries tend to watch a lot of television. Watching TV for long periods of time might be harmful for cognition because it doesn’t require us to use our working memory, unlike other activities like reading, doing …

Lesson Ideas: Understanding Semi-structured Interviews

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Conducting your own qualitative research is an engaging and effective way to learn about qualitative methodology. Activity Outline You’re about to conduct your own semi-structured interviews on other students in your class. This will help you understand what a semi-structured interview is, as well as its strengths and limitations. (This activity is designed to go with Lesson 9.1(c) Semi-Structured Interviews …

Technology and Memory: The negative effects of digital technology on memory #1 (and key studies)

tdixon Cognitive Psychology, IB Psychology HL Extensions, Key Studies Leave a Comment

The following has been adapted from our exam revision book: IB Psychology: A Revision Guide (available here). This is relevant for the working memory model and also for the HL extension: the (negative) effects of technology on cognitive processes and the reliability of cognitive processes. In this post we look at the negative effects of computer games and other technology …

Key Study: The effects of emotion (stress) on memory (Luethi et al, 2009)

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The following has been adapted from our exam revision book: IB Psychology: A Revision Guide (available here). This is relevant for the effects of emotion on cognition and the HL extension: the (positive) effects of technology on emotion and cognitive processes and the reliability of cognitive processes. When we feel stressed our body releases a hormone called cortisol. The effects …

Can computer games improve working memory? A look at the positive effects of digital technology on cognition (and key studies)

tdixon Cognitive Psychology, IB Psychology HL Extensions, Key Studies Leave a Comment

The following has been adapted from our exam revision book: IB Psychology: A Revision Guide (available here). This is relevant for the working memory model and also for the HL extension: the (positive) effects of technology on cognitive processes and the reliability of cognitive processes. In this blog we look at the positive effects of computer games and other technology …

Essay Writing Advice: Do we need a counter-argument in every essay?

tdixon Revision and Exam Preparation Leave a Comment

Do we need a counter-argument in every essay? This is a common question that has different answers depending on who you ask, so I want to make my position on this question very clear. In my advice to students I say that yes, they should have a counter-argument in every essay. In fact, they should aim for three counter-arguments to show …