A week in IB Psychology

Starting Psychology IB has been rather interesting and challenging; like every new content that we are learning, it is fascinating to see just how much, or little, we know about ourselves- our brains in particular!

Ms. Martin, our Psychology teacher, began with an introduction to Psychology by briefly explaining how our behaviours can be affected by factors such as sociocultural, biological, and cognitive. Then, we extensively began our research into the two research methods that are used in Psychology: Qualitative and Quantitative. The major difference between the two is that Qualitative Research is done by collecting data that is in word forms whether it is written or spoken and includes a narrative report. However, Quantitative Research is done by collecting data that are in number forms and is later produced in a statistical report.

We also learnt sampling methods that are used in Psychology experiments and investigated the different types of sampling methods and the disadvantages as well as advantages that came with these methods. The investigation was done by using skittles and adopting their different colours to work out how well each sampling method represented the target population, which is ultimately the people that you want to represent in the experiment.

Then came our first, very own experiment! As a class, we decided to investigate whether or not chocolate had a positive influence on our mood. By using a group of students ranging from ages 12-18 that we gathered from an Opportunity Sampling, we gave them a questionnaire that would surreptitiously include a question on their happiness amongst questions that were relatively unsuspicious- this became our Independent Variable of a group that had not have chocolate.

After, we gave them a chocolate piece as a treat and presented them with another questionnaire that was similar in nature- this became our Independent Variable of a group that did have chocolate. Our Dependent Variable was the scale of happiness that they had rated in the questionnaire before they had their chocolate and after they had their chocolate.

Our results discovered that whilst only being small, chocolate did have a positive influence on our mood! I guess that’s why chocolate is often used as a pick-me-up after a rough day or a treat after a hard work- these are things that we often look over as being insignificant, though all these functions are really happening in our brain.

Psychology is a mind-blowing subject that never ceases to amaze us the more that we learn; it’s an amazing opportunity to be able to learn something new everyday we go to school in BIS Abu Dhabi.

Laith Breadmore, Ayesha Hana, Raihanah Azman (Year 12 IB Students)

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