Lesson Idea: Understanding Sampling Methods

Travis Dixon Research Methodology Leave a Comment

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

Travis Dixon Research Methodology

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

Travis Dixon Internal Assessment (IB), Research Methodology Leave a Comment

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

Travis Dixon 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 …

Lesson Idea: Psychology in Popular Media

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This would be a particularly good TOK lesson.  Activity One: Watch a TED Talk Watch this TED Talk by Molly Crockett, one of the researchers in the Passamonti et al.’s experiment on trytophan depletion and its effects on the prefrontal cortex. In this talk she explains why we should be wary of “neurobunk.” [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b64qvG2Jgro&w=560&h=315] After the video, discuss what …

What is an “experiment?”

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If you’re reading this it’s probably because your teacher has assigned this as homework because you’ve called a study an “experiment” when it wasn’t an experiment at all. So this post is to help you know exactly when to use the term “experiment”, and when it’s safe just to say “study.” But before we get to that, let’s first clarify …

What makes an experiment “quasi?”

Travis Dixon Research Methodology, Teaching Ideas 1 Comment

One key characteristic of a quasi-experiment is that one or more conditions of a true experiment cannot be met. This often includes the fact that there is no random allocation to the treatment or control conditions in the experiment. So if there is no random allocation, but there is still an IV hypothesized to have an effect on a DV, the …

Lesson Idea: Thinking critically about correlations

Travis Dixon Research Methodology

When looking at correlational studies and quasi-experiments it’s important, I think, to allow students to make the obvious conclusion first, which is generally one of causation. But a big part of the IB Psychology course is helping them to understand the mantra: correlation does not mean causation.  This activity idea works well as a follow-up to the other activity about causation …

Lesson Idea: Explaining the difference between causation and correlation

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This lesson works well with in the introductory unit, topic 1.2, lesson (d) “correlation.” The following TED Talk by Adam Grant is really interesting for a number of reasons and it’s well worth a watch. I like to show students the short segment from 8:25 to 10:30 where he talks about how mozilla firefox and google chrome browser users outperform …