Key Studies: “Weapon focus” and its effects on eye-witness memories (Loftus, 1987)

Travis Dixon Cognitive Psychology, Criminology, Key Studies, Studies and Theories Leave a Comment

From decades of research we know that memory is not a passive cognitive process, but it is an active reconstructive one. As Elizabeth Loftus says, memory is not like a tape recorder that records things accurately and plays it back for us, but it’s more like a wikipedia page that anyone can go in and change. Loftus should know as …

Key Study: Bandura’s Bobo Doll (1963)

Travis Dixon Criminology, Developmental Psychology, Key Studies, Social and Cultural Psychology, Studies and Theories Leave a Comment

Introduction In one of his earlier research studies (1961), Bandura showed that children exposed to an aggressive model would later copy those same aggressive behaviours, even if the child was in a different setting. This supports the idea that behavior can be learned through observation, which is the major claim of Social Learning Theory (SLT). TV and films have become …

Key Studies: Reconstructive memory

Travis Dixon Cognitive Psychology, Criminology, Studies and Theories Leave a Comment

False Memories and the Misinformation Effect Background Information Elizabeth Loftus is a prominent memory researcher whose work has had significant impacts on the legal system in the United States. She is often called on to testify in legal cases against eye-witness testimony. In the past, if an eyewitness claimed that they saw someone commit a crime they would almost definitely …

The MAOA (“Warrior”) Gene and Violence

Travis Dixon Biological Psychology, Criminology Leave a Comment

In IB Psychology you need to be able to explain at least one example of how behaviour could be influenced by genetic factors. In this post, we’ll look at why a variation of the MAOA gene (a.k.a the “warrior gene”) could be linked with antisocial behaviours like aggression. There are two explanations: a simple one and a complex one. We’ll …

Lesson Idea: Neuroplasticity

Travis Dixon Biological Psychology, Criminology 1 Comment

This activity is designed to accompany the Criminology lesson 2.7b: Childhood and Brain Development. A good way to learn about neuroplasticity is to compare your performance on something you’re a master at, with something with which you’re a novice. Find someone in your class with whom you can share talents – they’ll try to teach you something you’ve never tried …

How does testosterone influence aggression?

Travis Dixon Biological Psychology, Criminology, Revision and Exam Preparation Leave a Comment

Understanding how testosterone can influence aggression can be a little tricky, so this post is designed to provide extra help. This post is designed to support the materials in Topic 2.4 of our textbook, IB Psychology: A Student’s Guide. Common Errors Here is what an over-simplified (and incorrect) explanation for testosterone and aggression might look like: So in writing, this …

Criminology Support Pack: Now Available

Travis Dixon Criminology, Curriculum, Teaching Ideas, Themantics Leave a Comment

BUY YOURSELF SOME TIME WITH OUR TEACHER SUPPORT PACK. You can get your full teacher support pack HERE! This pack for Criminology contains: Complete unit plan with learning outcomes, key terms and lesson overviews 9 x topic plans with learning outcomes 25 x individual lesson plans following our C.H.A.C.E.R framework 10 x individual activity handouts Links to complete online resources …

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

Travis Dixon Biological Psychology, Criminology, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 1 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 …

Lesson Idea: Understanding conclusions from studies

Travis Dixon Criminology, Teaching Ideas 3 Comments

For years I fear I underestimated just how complex psychology studies are at first glance for brand new IB Psychology students, so I’ve made a deliberate effort in my new course to have a real gradual introduction into studies. This lesson idea is designed to go with the Introductory chapter, Topic 1.2 (b), Applying Conclusions (Download FREE Introduction to Psychology …