GROUP 3 - PSYCHOLOGY



The IB Diploma Programme Psychology course is the systematic study of human behaviour and mental processes. Since the Psychology course examines the interaction of biological, cognitive and sociocultural influences on behaviour, it is well placed in Group 3, individuals and societies. Students undertaking the course can expect to develop an understanding of how psychological knowledge is generated, developed and applied. This will allow them to have a greater understanding of themselves and appreciate the diversity of human behaviour.   

The holistic approach reflected in the curriculum, which sees biological, cognitive and sociocultural analysis being taught in an integrated way ensures that students are able to develop an understanding of what all humans share, as well as the immense diversity of influences on human behaviour and mental processes. The ethical concerns raised by the methodology and application of psychological research are also key considerations of the IB Psychology course.

Psychological skills are integrated throughout the course

Standard Level

Year 1 of IB Psychology focuses on the ‘core’ of the course. This consists of a robust introduction to three different approaches to understanding behaviour: biological, cognitive and sociocultural approaches. The knowledge, concepts, theories and research that have developed the understanding in these fields will be critically evaluated to answer some of the questions being asked by psychologists today. Furthermore, the interaction of these approaches to studying psychology will form the basis of a holistic and integrated approach to understanding mental processes and behaviour as a complex, dynamic phenomenon, allowing students to appreciate the diversity as well as the commonality between their own behaviour and that of others.

In Year 1 of the course will also begin work on their Internal Assessment. This is a student led replication of a key study within the core which is assessed according to its adherence to the conventions of Psychology report writing.

In Year 2, students draw on their knowledge of research and approaches to answer essential questions about the nature and purpose of Human Relationships and on the aetiology and diagnosis of Mental Illnesses. Standard Level students are required to study one optional theme from: Abnormal Psychology or Psychology of Human Relationships

ASSESSMENT
Internal Assessment
A report of a simple experimental study conducted by the student (25%)
External Examinations
Paper 1: three compulsory question responses and one extended response (2 hours, 50%)
Paper 2: one extended response on either the Human Relationships unit or the Abnormality unit(1 hour, 25%)

Higher Level

In addition to the Standard Level work outlined above, Higher Level students undertake extension topics within each approach investigated in Paper 1.
They investigate both Abnormal Psychology or Psychology of Human Relationships, instead of choosing between them.
Finally, Higher Level students undertake an additional examination which asks them to analyse, interpret and discuss a piece of previously unseen research.

ASSESSMENT
Internal Assessment
A report of a simple experimental study conducted by the student (20%)
External Examinations
Paper 1: three compulsory question responses and one extended response (2 hours, 40%)
Paper 2: two extended responses from choice of 15 topics (2 hour, 20%)
Paper 3: three compulsory questions based on unseen text (1 hours, 20%)