Example Essay: Technological Techniques

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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).

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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

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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

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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 …

The Frontal Lobe and the Prefrontal Cortex

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Numerous studies have shown that there are correlations found between brain function (or dysfunction) and behaviour. In order to fully understand these studies, it’s important to have a general understanding of some of the functions of important parts of the brain. The frontal lobe is an important part of the brain to understand. One important function of the frontal lobe is …

Key Study: Moral Dilemmas – The Trolley and the Footbridge

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Note: This was in a first draft of our textbook IB Psychology: A Student’s Guide but was later removed because of it’s complexity in nature, and the fact that it doesn’t thread as well as other studies on system one and two decision making. Morality and Decision Making The prefrontal cortex plays a crucial role in executive functions, also known as …

Key Study: Moral judgement and the prefrontal cortex (Ciaramelli, et al)

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This study helps to explain how dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex might make people more susceptible to violent and/or impulsive behaviours. Similar to the VHIS, Ciaramelli et al investigated the differences between moral judgements in people with damage to their prefrontal cortex and healthy controls. Their study cites existing research that suggests people with damage to their PFC have “high levels of …

Key Study: Testosterone,the Brain and Aggression (Goetz et al, 2014)

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Background Information Many studies have shown that testosterone can influence levels of aggression. But there haven’t been many studies that show exactly how testosterone may cause aggressive behaviours. The amygdala is a part of the brain associated with emotional response and it prepares our body for fight or flight. Goetz et al hypothesized that testosterone might influence the activity (or reactivity) of the …

BLA Research Methods Example Essay (ERQ)

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Exemplar Essay: Research Methods Biological Level of Analysis Paper One. Part B: Discuss how and why one particular research method is used at the biological level of analysis. (22) One research method that is used at the biological level of analysis (BLA) is the experimental method. The experimental method is when researchers manipulate one or more independent variables in order …

Brain Imaging: All About fMRI

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Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Background Information fMRIs are a modification of a regular MRI machine. Whereas MRIs simply show the structure of the brain, fMRIs can record ongoing brain activity. They are also more accurate and display results in a higher resolution than PET scans. They are very common in a range of modern neuropsychological research studies. So how …