Core: Biological level of analysis (Paper 1)
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Enduring Understanding:
  • Why are you who you are?
  • Genetics and physiology influence behavior.

Essential Questions:
  • What role does physiology play in determining our behavior?
  • What methodologies to psychologists use to study the effect of biological factors on human behavior?
  • To what extent is behavior inherited?

Learning outcomes:

  1. Outline the principles that define the biological level of analysis.
  2. Explain how the principles that the BLA may be demonstrated in research ( through theories and/ or studies)
  3. Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the BLA.
  4. Discuss ethical considerations related to research studies at the BLA.
  5. Examine one study related to localization of function of the brain.
  6. Explain, using examples, functions of two hormones on human behavior.
  7. Explain, using examples, the effects of neurotransmission on human behavior.
  8. Discuss two effects of the environment on physiological processes.
  9. Examine one interaction between cognition and physiology on behavior.
  10. Discuss the use of brain-imaging technologies in investigating the relationship between biological factors and behavior.
  11. Discuss the extent to which genetics influence behavior.
  12. Examine one evolutionary explanation of behavior.
  13. Discuss ethical considerations in research into genetic influences on behavior.

The three areas of study with links are listed below

Biological level of analysis-physiology
Biological level of analysis-genetics and behavior

An integrative look at criminal behavior

Links to TOK: Ethics
  • Do you think that doctors should scan patients to let them know if they have a predisposition for a mental illness? What effect do you think this would have on the individual? (Crane & Hannibal)
IB Learner profile:
  • Thinkers: they exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.

  • On line IQ tests
  • Psych briefs
  • Debates-Criminal behavior is it learned or inherited?

  • SAQ practice
  • Precis writing
  • Wiki page development
  • Peer editing using Google docs
  • Mind map and visual representation (non-text) of key concepts
  • SAQ exam
  • In class essay
  • Psych briefs
  • Forty Studies that Changed Psychology: Bouchard et al, The Minnesota study of twins reared apart.; Gardner: Just How Are You Intelligent?
  • You tube clips on brain localization,: P. Gage
  • Oxford Revision Guides-As & A Level Psychology through diagrams by Grahame Hill, pp. 78, 79, 80,81, 86,
  • Ted talks on neuroplasticity
  • DVD: Discovering Psychology: The Behaving Brain and The Responsive Brain