Exam Question Bank: Paper 1: Biological Approach

tdixon Biological Psychology, Revision and Exam Preparation 8 Comments

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 …

Exam Question Bank: HL Extension Bio – Animal Studies

tdixon Biological Psychology, IB Psychology HL Extensions, Revision and Exam Preparation 3 Comments

One, two or all three essay questions in Paper 1, Section B will be based on the extension topics. Biological Approach: Animal Research Biological extension topics: “The role of animal research in understanding human behaviour” The value of animal models in psychological research Whether animal research can provide insight into human behaviour Ethical considerations in animal research Biological approach topics: …

Key Study: Childhood stress and its effects on serotonin (an animal experiment), (Gardner et al. 2009)

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This animal experiment by Gardner et al. (2009) could explain links between stress early in life when we’re kids and our behaviour as adults. The use of rats in this study allows the researchers to manipulate and measure IVs and DVs in ways that would be impossible in human subjects. The study provides possible explanations for why early life stress …

Key Study: Evolution of Gender Differences in Sexual Behaviour (Clark and Hatfield, 1989)

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If a man sleeps with lots of women he’s a “stud” but if a woman does it she’s a “slut.” By why does this societal double-standard exist and are men really more promiscuous than women? Clark and Hatfield’s classic study might be able to give us some answers to these questions. Background Information The perception exists in society that men …

Key Study: The Minnesota Twin Study of Twins Reared Apart

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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 …

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)

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

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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 …

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

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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 …

Key Study: Animal research on neuroplasticity (Rosenzweig and Bennett, 1961)

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Background Info For a long time it was widely believed that our brain’s growth happened at a fixed rate. Many people thought that by the time we were about 4 – 6 years old, our brains had stopped developing and we were either going to be smart, dumb or average and that this wouldn’t change in our lives. However, research …