Don’t Do this to your IBDP Psychology IA

When writing an experimental analysis (IA), it's easy to make a mistake. This blog post will show you how to avoid the biggest one - linking your experiment to the theory. By following our tips, you'll be able to produce an accurate and informative IA. So, let's get started!

To get the full marks, you must have a practical introduction it must be referenced with an appropriate theory or model.

Some common examples include:

  • Schema theory
  • Multistore model
  • Working memory model
  • Dual processing model
  • Levels of processing model

Psychology symbol as a creative human mind made of rope and thread in a 3D illustration style.

As well as theories or models, a well-known hypothesis and effects are also acceptable.

For example:

  • Mozart effect
  • Misinformation effects
  • Anchoring effects
  • Stroop effects

It is guided to the students to use theory or model to write down the effects. For example, the dual processing model explains the anchoring effects, or the working memory model explains the anchoring effects.

How to connect the theory to the study:

When students are working on their internal assessments (IAs) for IB, they must connect the theory they are learning and the study they are conducting.

Students often mistake simply regurgitating information from their textbooks without showing how it applies to their research. As a result, their IAs can lack depth and fail to demonstrate a complete understanding of the concepts. So how can students avoid this common pitfall?

For example, if you are going to study the effect of social media on teenagers, consider how different psychological theories can help to explain your findings. By making these connections, you can produce an informative and well-argued IA.

Note: the rubrics make it complicated by stating the investigation instead of the study. It is not sure what should be linked to original or replications. That is why it is a good idea to do both.

How to use the theory to explain the results of the original study:

You have to avoid making mistakes in your IA; it is essential to understand how the theory can help explain the original study's results.

By understanding how the theory can help to explain the study's results, you will be better able to identify any shortcomings that may have occurred and ensure that they are not repeated in your IA.

The first and foremost way to link your investigation to the theory/ model is used to explain the results of the original study; for example: Use schema theory to explain the title before people remember more details, Bransford and Johnson,

  • Use of facial hypothesis model to explain why people who have fake smiles have a high increase in mood etc.

Elaborate on how your aim is testing the theory:

It would help if you were assured that you have stated the aim of the investigation” generally test the research aims to test the IV on the DV. In this section, it is recommended that you write your purpose here. After writing this, you have had to explain how this aim will test at least one specific claim of background theory if you are writing about the effects and how your replicated study aims to determine the existence of an impact.

For example, I was replicating a minimal group study, and my background theory is social identity theory. So, our investigation examines whether identifying with an in-group will affect an in-group bias. Therefore, it is said that this aim tests the central claims of social identity theory that discrimination happens because people usually have a natural tendency to bias toward their groups.

Define the relevance of aim and theory:

The first and foremost thing is the relevance of aim and theory, which you can do from the study of real-life application of findings and analysis.

The project should be based on a student's interests and aim to answer a question or solve a problem relevant to the student's chosen course of study. For example, a biology student might investigate the effect of different fertilizers on plant growth, while a history student might examine the impact of colonialism on economic development in Africa. Notably, the IA should not simply be a literature review; it should include original research using primary sources.

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