Information about IB Psychology:
Nature of the Subject: Psychology is the systematic study of the human behavior
and human experience as viewed through a variety of lenses and measured through
quantitative and qualitative investigative techniques. The historical development
of psychology has changed dramatically over the last couple hundred years and has
struggled to provide a precise clarification of the subject matter, as well as, an agreed
upon focus. In the 1800’s, psychology was often no more than philosophical speculation
often based on casual observation and anecdotal evidence. Contemporary psychology,
however, has become increasingly scientific and empirical. The nature of psychology
places it in the realm of both natural and social science, therefore lending itself to varying
levels of analysis. As well, methods used to investigate psychology are equally diverse.
The IB Psychology 1 student will focus on three major approaches
to studying psychology: Biological, Cognitive, and Sociocultural, and this will make up
the core of IB Psychology curriculum. Also, as optional subject areas, we will study the
Psychology of Abnormal Behaviors and the Psychology of Human Relationships.
We will also review a variety of investigative methods including: experiments,
observations, correlations, interviews, case studies and surveys. In studying the
application and analyzing the inherent strengths and weaknesses of these methods, we
will place great importance on the issue of ethics in psychology. Ethics will remain a
guiding theme throughout the year.
The IB Psychology 1 student will engage in a variety of practical activities to include:
observation, experiments, and interview, among others. Emphasis will be placed on the
student’s ability to communicate in writing as a means of demonstrating content mastery.
The IB Psychology 2 student will begin the year by focusing on qualitative research methods used in the social sciences. In connection with this unit, students will be conducting their own research. We will then study the Psychology of Human Relationships as our second “optional” course of study as required by IB (last year we studied Abnormal Psychology). During the second semester we will be reinforcing last year’s focus on the three major approaches to studying psychology: Cognitive, Sociocultural and Biological. Lastly, we will dedicate a large section of time to reviewing for the IB Psychology exam in early May.
The IB Psychology 2 student will engage in a variety of practical activities to include: observations, experiments, and interviews, among others. Emphasis will be placed on the student’s ability to communicate in writing as a means of demonstrating content mastery.