Abnormal Psychology – what is “normal”?

The concepts of normal and abnormal. The debate concerning what is normal behaviour is fundamental when considering any aspect of abnormal psychology. Diagnosis, possible causes (etiology), prevalence figures and treatment all rely on the ability of the psychiatrist or clinical psychologist to first of all identify an individual's behaviour as abnormal and needing diagnosis and treatment. Normality can best be defined as that behaviour which falls within the social norms of a particular culture - and of course, these vary cross-culturally. ...

The sociocultural level of analysis – attribution theory: “Why did he do that?”

This month's post is on attribution theory. The student OSC blog is on also attribution theory, as this is one of the longest-lasting sociocultural theories, that resonates in business theory as well as in psychology, sociology and anthropology. While Heider’s original theory falls within the sociocultural level of analysis, there is a growing movement to see our desire to explain and understand the behaviour of others as part of cognitive neuroscience. The TED talk below bridges this gap. See this TED ...

Cognition and Emotion – flashbulb memories

By Saturday, February 1, 2014 , , 0

This is a part of the syllabus that can be seen as complex by many students. One way in is to look first at Brown and Kulik's (1977) argument regarding flashbulb memory. This allows students to meet two learning outcomes: With reference to relevant research studies, to what extent is one cognitive process reliable? Evaluate one theory of how emotion may affect one cognitive process. There is a lot of material that is helpful here. This video is a good one ...

The Cognitive Level of Analysis

Happy New Year to all of you who are celebrating, or have just finished celebrating and are now starting a new term, and in some cases a new school year.  This blog post looks at the Cognitive Level of Analysis, and the cognitive process of memory. Memory is a useful process to study. Not only does it allow students to undertake all sorts of interesting memory tests that encourage engagement with the material, but controlled laboratory experiments on memory can ...

How to help your students with their Psychology IA

The Psychology IA is probably uppermost in your mind if you are a teacher of Y2 students, and not as far in the future as you thought/hoped if you are a teacher of Y1 students.  It is worth 25% of the grade for the SL students and 20% for the HL, so if you can help your students to find their way through this, it will be a weight off everyone's mind.  One of the main things to remember to ...

Biological Level of Analysis made easy

This month's student blog introduced students to the belief held by neuroscientists that our brain's structure and processes are responsible, at least in part, for our behaviour. The blog post focused on the teenage brain and the arguments put forward regarding the development of the pre-frontal cortex. Please visit the OSC Psychology student blog to see the content if this interests you. Students tend to struggle a little with the BLOA, so I have developed some scaffolding exercises to help, and ...

Don’t just do something – stand there! The psychological benefits of procrastination.

I am making a link each month between what is on the teacher blog and what I post for the OSC student blog. Last month it was the levels of analysis, and interaction between the environment and the brain. This month it is…procrastination. The students get an upbeat TEDx talk from Vik Nithy (below), a recently graduating student on how to avoid procrastination and its damaging effects. [youtuber youtube='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD440CY2Vs0'] The psychology talk on the student blog describes procrastination as a struggle between ...

The ‘Plastic’ Brain. How does our brain change in response to our cognition and environment?

Studying the brain’s neuroplasticity is the field of cognitive neuroscience, and bridges the gap between the biological level of analysis and the cognitive and sociocultural levels. See these links for fascinating studies into: children’s socio-economic status and brain structure changes (Jednoróg et al., 2012);  mirror neurons (Iacoboni, 2004); how the remaining part of the brain adapts after a childhood hemispherectomy (removal of half of the brain, Danelli et al, 2013);  and the effects of meditation and social and emotional learning ...

Exciting, Cost-Effective Online Workshops from Triple A Learning

Here at Triple A Learning, we are constantly examining ways to extend our resources and workshops to meet the needs of IB schools and I would like to tell you about Triple A Learning workshops running alongside our existing IB-approved online workshops from October 8th, 2012. For fuller details about the content and structure of these workshops, please browse our workshop site by following this link. New Triple A Learning workshops (Scroll down and select Triple A Learning IB Workshops) Our own Triple ...