The Evolution of Attraction: Extra Resources

tdixon Biological Psychology, Teaching Ideas 1 Comment

The study of attraction is definitely one of my favourite topics. Because there’s so much interesting research in this field, I thought I’d create this post to “dump” some extra resources that you might find interesting. WARNING FOR STUDENTS: Many of the “studies” in the videos below have been replicated for the purposes of TV entertainment. They are to be used …

What is “an evolutionary explanation of behaviour?”

tdixon Biological Psychology Leave a Comment

Offering an evolutionary explanation of behaviour can be more difficult than it first appears, so I want to show two ways to do this. I don’t teach evolution and behaviour as an individual topic in my course, as there are multiple behaviours that are applicable including fear, aggression (both in Criminology), attraction (Love and Marriage) and fear conditioning (PTSD). This …

Key Studies: The effects of mindfulness and meditation on the brain (Desbordes et al. 2012, and Lazar et al. 2005)

tdixon Biological Psychology, Criminology, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Leave a Comment

These two studies can be used to discuss: The use of technological techniques Neuroplasticity Experimental methods (quasi and true experiments) to study: The brain cognitive processes Lazar et al. (2005)   There have been numerous studies that have compared the brains of Tibetan monks who have thousands of hours of practice in meditation with normal controls. These studies regularly show …

Key Study: Testosterone and aggression in rats (Albert et al. 1986)

tdixon Biological Psychology, Criminology 2 Comments

The material here was originally published in IB Psychology: A Student’s Guide. Males are more aggressive than females in almost every species. Why is this? One possible reason could be in the influence of the male sex hormone, testosterone. Testosterone is produced in the testes of males, which could be why males are more aggressive than females. While it is also …

Key Study: Serotonin, tryptophan and the brain (Passamonti et al., 2012)

tdixon Biological Psychology, Criminology Leave a Comment

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has been correlated with numerous behaviours, including impulsive aggression, antisocial behaviour and violence. One reason for this correlation could be the effect that depleted serotonin levels could have on important parts of the brain when we perceive emotional stimuli. To test the effects of serotonin depletion on the brain, Passamonti et al. (2012) asked one …

What is a pheromone?

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A pheromone is a type of hormone that is passed from one individual to another which has an effect on the receiving individual. One technical definition offered for pheromones is that they are “…substances which are secreted to the outside by an individual and received by a second individual of the same species, in which they release a specific reaction, for example, …

Example Essay: Technological Techniques

tdixon Assessment (IB), Biological Psychology, Revision and Exam Preparation Leave a Comment

I’ve been playing around a bit with scaffolding for essay writing, and from what I’ve found, a general guideline for essay structure is as follows: Introduction Core argument  Supporting evidence (min. 2 x studies). Counter argument Conclusion  Of course, this is just a template and sometimes the structure varies. For example, you might have one study supporting the core argument …

Key Study: Decision Making, Iowa Gambling and the vmPFC (Bechara et al., 2000).

tdixon Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Criminology 6 Comments

Context Before reading about this study it’s important to recap the dual processing model of judgement and decision making. According to Kahneman (and others) we have two systems of processing information. System one is fast and unconscious, while system two is slower and considers more factors. The system of processing we use will affect our judgement, which in turn will …

The Story of Phineas Gage

tdixon Biological Psychology, Criminology, General Interest Leave a Comment

Important Note: Phineas Gage is an interesting way to learn about the relationship between the frontal lobe and our behaviour. However, there are many other studies that we use in this course to demonstrate important concepts like localization of brain function. Therefore, Gage should not be used in exam answers. The story… Phineas Gage was a railroad worker who was …

Biological Approach: Sample Exam Questions

tdixon Assessment (IB), Biological Psychology, Curriculum, Revision and Exam Preparation Leave a Comment

With the new curriculum and the loss of the LOs, many teachers may be wondering about what the exam questions will be like. The answer is: much like the old ones. If you look at all the topics in the biological approach they are all related to the understanding of how variables can influence behaviour. The exam questions will reflect …