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HL IB Psychology

HL IB Psychology (year 2)

Alex Case



Course Objectives:  (taken from IB curriculum guide)

• encourage the systematic and critical study of human experience and behavior; physical, economic and social environments; and the history and development of social and cultural institutions

• develop the capacity to identify, analyze critically and evaluate theories, concepts and arguments about the nature and activities of the individual and society

• enable students to collect, describe and analyze data used in studies, test hypotheses; and interpret complex data and source material

• enable the student to recognize that the content and methodologies are contestable and that their study requires the toleration of uncertainty

• develop an awareness of how psychological research can be applied for the better understanding of human behavior

• ensure that ethical practices are upheld in psychological inquiry

• develop an understanding of the biological, cognitive and sociocultural influences on human behavior

• develop an understanding of alternative explanations of behavior

• understand and use diverse methods of psychological inquiry.



  •   be curious
  •   be courteous
  •   be communicative

It is expected that members of this class will observe strict policies of academic honesty and will be respectful of each other. Any instances in which cheating, including plagiarism and unauthorized use of copyrighted materials, computer accounts, or someone else’s work is determined, will be investigated to its full extent.

Plagiarism, according to the Merriam-Webster On line Dictionary, means: “. . .to steal or pass off (the ideas, words or production of another) as one’s own, to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.”

Students are expected to do their own work and cite other’s work when used, whether quoted, or paraphrased, or images, charts. Etc.

  • Individual work with an individual product must be the students own work and sources cited.
  • Group work with one group product requires equal input from all group members for students to claim the work as their own, and sources cited.
  • Group or partner work with an individual product requires students give their own answers and do not copy each other, only use each other to process ideas and ask questions about content.

Consequences for plagiarism will be the school policy, Consequences for plagiarism in policy on school Web site. It can include fail for assignment and possibly fail the course.



 Electronic Policy!

Cell Phone/Electronic Policy:

The specific colored ZONES will be posted in classrooms and throughout the building.

  • Students are permitted to use electronic devices during passing times and during their individual assigned lunch period. This is for personal use and not to infringe on the learning environment (bluetooth speakers may not be used). GREEN ZONE
  • Students are permitted to use electronic devices with the explicit permission and supervision of their classroom teacher during class time (bluetooth earbuds and headsets included). YELLOW ZONE
  • Students may not use electronic devices to engage in bullying, harassment or other illegal or threatening behavior at any time.
  • Students may not use electronic devices during class time, to include exams, and testing without the direct explicit permission and supervision of the teacher.  RED ZONE
  • Students found violating the responsible use policy during the school day will face the following consequences:
    • 1st Offense – Taken away by teacher (tagged) until the end of the day (Pick up at front desk).
    • 2nd Offense – Same as above except - Parent must come in and pick up cell phone.
    • 3rd Offense – Device will be held by administrator - meeting with parent/ student to plan next steps.


*In the case of a teacher absence, the default setting will be RED ZONE 


**“We ask that families and students use the main office when communicating 

     messages from home or school during the school day. 



                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:

We will explore research methods and the differences between quantitative and qualitative research. We will explore and answer questions concerning the abnormal psychology area of study. We will replicate an experiment and write up a research paper with results and discussion.  We will sharpen writing skills with focus on long and short answer questions from previous IB exams.  We will continue to explore postive psychology and apply the practice to our personal experiences. The following questions will be answered in students' class notebooks;


General framework (applicable to all topics in the option):

.     To what extent do biological, cognitive and sociocultural factors influence abnormal behavior?

.     Evaluate psychological research (that is, theories and/or studies) relevant to the study of abnormal behavior.

Concepts and diagnosis:

1.     Examine the concepts of normality and abnormality.

2.     Discuss validity and reliability of diagnosis.

3.     Discuss cultural and ethical considerations in diagnosis (for example, cultural variation, and stigmatization).

Psychological disorders:

4.     Discuss cultural and gender variations in prevalence of disorders.

5.     • Describe symptoms and prevalence of one disorder from two of the following groups: 

–– anxiety disorders 

–– eating disorders

–– affective disorders

6.     • Analyse etiologies (in terms of biological, cognitive and/or sociocultural factors) of one disorder from two of the following groups: 

–– anxiety disorders 

–– affective disorders 

–– eating disorders. 

Implementing treatment:

7.     Examine biomedical, individual and group approaches to treatment.

8.     Evaluate the use of biomedical, individual and group approaches to the treatment of one disorder.

9.     Discuss the use of eclectic approaches to treatment.

10.     Discuss the relationship between etiology and therapeutic approach in relation to one disorder.