1st Semester IB Psychology

IB Psychology

Mr. Alex Case

acase@mpls.k12.mn.us

Course Objectives:

1.   Encourage the systematic and critical study of human experience and behavior
2.   Develop in the student the capacity to identify, to analyze critically and to evaluate theories, concepts
      and arguments about the nature and activities of the individual and society
3.   Develop an awareness in the student that human attitudes and beliefs are widely diverse and that the
       study of society requires an appreciation of such diversity
4.   Enable the student to recognize that the content and methodologies of the study of psychology are
      contestable and that their study requires the toleration of uncertainty.
5.   Develop an awareness of how psychological research can be applied for the benefit of human beings
6.   Ensure that ethical practices are upheld in psychological inquiry
7.   Develop an understanding of the biological, cognitive and socio-cultural influences on human
      behavior
8.   Develop an understanding of alternative explanations of behavior
9.   Understand and use diverse methods of psychological inquiry.

 

Expectations:

Respect and/or tolerate diverse opinions
Communicate with me if you have any concerns or questions!

 

New Electronic Policy!

Once class starts all electronic devices, mostly concerning cell phones, need to be in pocket or backpack;  out of use.  If you are using the device during class then i will take it and keep it until the end of the school day.  If it is the second offense I will give it to the office and you can retrieve it from there after school.  On the third offense a parent must come in to retrieve your electronic device from the office.
 

Grading:

                Notebook                                                               45%

                Class work including article review                 10%

                Quizzes, tests and presentations                     35%

                Participation                                                       10%

                                Extra credit will be made available and is due 2 weeks before the quarter's end.

 

Course Outline:

The course follows the IB guide.  In the first semester we will look at questions concerning three fundamental influences on behavior, biological, cognitive and socio-cultural.  The class notebook will be used to answer these questions.  In the second semester we will focus on human relationships as one specific area of study.  The students will have the opportunity to choose their own specific field of study from one of the following fields; abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, health psychology, or sports psychology.

                Questions concerning the biological perspective:

General learning outcomes
1.         Outline principles that define the biological level of analysis (for example, patterns of behavior can be
inherited; animal research may inform our understanding of human behavior; cognitions, emotions and
behaviors are products of the anatomy and physiology of our nervous and endocrine systems).
2.        Explain how principles that define the biological level of analysis may be demonstrated in research
(that is, theories and/or studies).
3.        Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the biological level of analysis (for
example, experiments, observations, correlational studies).
4.       Discuss ethical considerations related to research studies at the biological level of analysis.
Physiology and behavior
5.        Explain one study related to localization of function in the brain (for example, Wernicke, Broca,
Gazzaniga and Sperry).
6.       Using one or more examples, explain effects of neurotransmission on human behavior (for example,
the effect of noradrenaline on depression).
7.        Using one or more examples, explain functions of two hormones in human behavior.
8.       Discuss two effects of the environment on physiological processes (for example, effects of jet lag on
bodily rhythms, effects of deprivation on neuroplasticity, effects of environmental stressors on reproductive
mechanisms).
9.        Examine one interaction between cognition and physiology in terms of behavior (for example,
agnosia, anosognosia, prosapagnosia, amnesia). Evaluate two relevant studies.
10.     Discuss the use of brain imaging technologies (for example, CAT, PET, fMRI) in investigating the
relationship between biological factors and behavior.
Genetics and behavior
11.     With reference to relevant research studies, to what extent does genetic inheritance influence
behavior?
12.     Examine one evolutionary explanation of behavior.
13.   Discuss ethical considerations in research into genetic influences on behavior.
 
Questions concerning the cognitive approach
 

General learning outcomes
1.        Outline principles that define the cognitive level of analysis (for example, mental representations guide
behavior, mental processes can be scientifically investigated).
2.        Explain how principles that define the cognitive level of analysis may be demonstrated in research
(that is, theories and/or studies).
3.        Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the cognitive level of analysis (for
example, experiments, observations, interviews).
4.        Discuss ethical considerations related to research studies at the cognitive level of analysis.
Cognitive processes
5.        Evaluate schema theory with reference to research studies.
6.       Evaluate two models or theories of one cognitive process (for example, memory, perception, language,
decision‑making) with reference to research studies.
7.        Explain how biological factors may affect one cognitive process (for example, Alzheimers disease, brain
damage, sleep deprivation).
8.        Discuss how social or cultural factors affect one cognitive process (for example, education,
carpentered-world hypothesis, effect of video games on attention).
9.        With reference to relevant research studies, to what extent is one cognitive process reliable (for
example, reconstructive memory, perception/visual illusions, decision‑making/heuristics)?
10.     Discuss the use of technology in investigating cognitive processes (for example, MRI (magnetic
resonance imaging) scans in memory research, fMRI scans in decision‑making research).
Cognition and emotion
11.     To what extent do cognitive and biological factors interact in emotion (for example, two factor theory,
arousal theory, Lazarus theory of appraisal)?
12.     Evaluate one theory of how emotion may affect one cognitive process (for example, state-dependent
memory, flashbulb memory, affective filters).
                        Questions concerning the socio-cultural perspective
 

General learning outcomes
1.       Outline principles that define the socio-cultural level of analysis (for example, the social and cultural
environment influences individual behavior; we want connectedness with, and a sense of belonging to,
others; we construct our conceptions of the individual and social self).
2.        Explain how principles that define the socio-cultural level of analysis may be demonstrated in research
(that is, theories and/or studies).
3.        Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the socio-cultural level of analysis (for
example, participant/naturalistic observation, interviews, case studies).
4.        Discuss ethical considerations related to research studies at the socio-cultural level of analysis.
Socio-cultural cognition
5.       Describe the role of situational and dispositional factors in explaining behavior.
6.        Discuss two errors in attributions (for example, fundamental attribution error, illusory correlation,
self‑serving bias).
7.        Evaluate social identity theory, making reference to relevant studies.
8.        Explain the formation of stereotypes and their effect on behavior.
Social norms
9.        Explain social learning theory, making reference to two relevant studies.
10.     Discuss the use of compliance techniques (for example, lowballing, foot‑in‑the‑door, reciprocity).
11.    Evaluate research on conformity to group norms.
12.     Discuss factors influencing conformity (for example, culture, groupthink, risky shift, minority influence).
Cultural norms
13.     Define the terms culture and cultural norms.
14.     Examine the role of two cultural dimensions on behavior (for example, individualism/collectivism,
power distance, uncertainty avoidance, Confucian dynamism,
                       
Links
http://www.psychologytoday.com,   http://www.psychcentral.com ,   http://www.apa.org 
http://mindhacks.com,    http://www.spring.org.uk ,      http://www.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/index.shtml