Lesson idea: Understanding research methods (with worksheet)

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Research methodology is best understood when it’s made concrete and practical. Talking about concepts in the abstract will make it hard for students to comprehend. So this lesson idea is a simple way of getting students to think about research methods in a practical way. It will only work towards the end of a research methods unit when they already …

Lesson Idea: Understanding thematic analysis

tdixon Qualitative Research Methods, Research Methodology, Teaching Ideas Leave a Comment

The aim of the activities in this lesson is to help students understand the process and purpose of conducting a thematic analysis in qualitative research. It is not necessary to study how qualitative data is analyzed in the new IB Psychology curriculum, but it could be useful to help deepen your understanding of qualitative methods (and it could be used in …

What is “reflexivity?”

tdixon Qualitative Research Methods, Research Methodology 1 Comment

This is for the “old” syllabus (exams in May and Nov 2018).  What is reflexivity? Reflexivity is the process of continual reflection upon the research process by a researcher; at the heart of reflexivity is the idea of self-awareness. Students need to be able to “explain the use of reflexivity in qualitative research,” which means defining the term and explaining …

What is a “narrative interview?”

tdixon Qualitative Research Methods, Research Methodology 1 Comment

This material is the for the “old syllabus.” Students in the new IB Psychology syllabus (first exams May, 2019), do not need to know about narrative interviews (but they do need to know about unstructured interviews). What is a narrative interview?  A “narrative” is a spoken or written summary of connected events. So a narrative interview asks questions that require …

Lesson Idea: Generalizability (External Validity)

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The Task Read the following fictional summaries of how people have applied results from psychological studies. Identify one or more reasons why the application is misguided and might not work. #1 Social Media and Anxiety: One study in the USA showed a correlation between social media and anxiety so a school in Japan has banned the use of social media. #2 Music Class …

Lesson Idea: Understanding Sampling Methods

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Task: Read the following summaries of studies and how they got their samples. Identify the type of sampling method used. Was it: (a) Random (b) Self-selected/volunteer (c) Opportunity Mental Health and War: A psychologist studying the effects of war on mental health got a list of all enlisted soldiers in the countries army using public census records. They assigned a number to …

Lesson Idea: Understanding Self-selected Sampling

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This activity and lots of others are included in the student workbook in the Teacher Support Pack for Chapter 6: Quantitative Methods.  Read the aims of the following proposed experiments. Some researchers want to carry out these studies but their problem is they don’t have any participants yet. Working with a partner, come up with some ideas on how they …

Lesson Idea: Understanding correlational studies

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The purpose of this activity is to help you learn about correlational studies and correlation coefficients.  Key Questions: What are three characteristics of a correlational study? How do correlational studies differ from experiments? How and why are correlational studies used in one or more approaches to understanding behaviour? Resources Textbook 6.1f, pg 320-321 (IB Psychology: A Student’s Guide) (Link) Correlation …

Lesson Idea: Experimental Designs

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The purpose of this activity is to help you learn about design choices experimenters have and to think about the benefits and limitations of using each design. You will also learn about terminology for extraneous variables and other controls. It is designed to be studied during the Quantitative Methods unit (Chapter 6, 6.1b). It should take about 15-20 minutes. Key …

Clinical Drug Trials, PTSD and SSRIs

tdixon Abnormal Psychology, Biological Psychology, Research Methodology 3 Comments

This post is designed to be used in lesson 4.6 in the PTSD unit plan. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of drug therapy using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat PTSD, we need to consult the research. The most common way the effectiveness of drugs are tested is through a carefully controlled experiments. These experiments are also known …