IB Psychology

Year 12-

The IB Psychology diploma allows students to have a varied and detailed understanding of psychology. 

Students studying IB Psychology shall study the three key psychology approaches. There are two levels of study and these are standard and higher level. All students shall study the three core psychological approaches. Students studying higher level will have to study an extra two units as well as more in each area. 

  1. Biological approach:
    • The brain and behaviour.
    • Hormones and behaviour.
    • Genetics and behaviour.
    • HL only: The role of animal research in understanding human behaviour.
  2. Cognitive approach:
    • Cognitive processing.
    • Reliability of cognitive processes.
    • Emotion and cognition.
    • HL only: Cognitive processing in the digital world.
  3. Sociocultural approach:
    • The individual and the group.
    • Cultural origins of behaviour and cognition.
    • Cultural influences on individual attitudes, identity and behaviours.
    • HL only: The influence of globalisation on individual behaviour.

Once students have studied the three core psychological approaches, they shall conduct their own research. This shall account for either 20% of their assessment at higher level or 25% at standard level. The other 80% or 75% are internally examined.  

Students shall then use their previous knowledge to study either one (standard level) or two (higher level) of the following applied psychology units. These are:

  1. Abnormal Psychology:
    • Factors influencing diagnosis.
    • Etiology of abnormal psychology.
    • Treatment of disorders.
  2. Developmental Psychology:
    • Influences on cognitive and social development.
    • Developing an identity.
    • Developing as a learner.