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Internal Assessment Necessities. Criterion A: Introduction, 5 marks, 3.6% of IB Grade Criterion B: Method: Design, 2 marks, 1.4% of IB Grade Criterion C: Method: Participants, 2 marks, 1.4% of IB Grade Criterion D : Method: Procedure, 2 marks, 1.4% of IB Grade

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Internal assessment

  • Criterion A: Introduction, 5 marks, 3.6% of IB Grade

  • Criterion B: Method: Design, 2 marks, 1.4% of IB Grade

  • Criterion C: Method: Participants, 2 marks, 1.4% of IB Grade

  • Criterion D: Method: Procedure, 2 marks, 1.4% of IB Grade

  • Criterion E: Results: Descriptive, 2 marks, 1.4% of IB Grade

  • Criterion F: Results: Inferential, 3 marks, 2.1% of IB Grade

  • Criterion G: Discussion, 8 marks, 5.7% of IB Grade

  • Criterion H: Citation of sources, 2 marks, 1.4% of IB Grade

  • Criterion I: Report format, 2 marks, 1.4% of IB Grade

Internal Assessment

Criteria a introduction

Purpose: To provide background information & rationale for the investigation.

This section should first introduce the AREA of research (level of analysis: cognitive, biological, or socio-cultural) followed by the more SPECIFIC STUDIES that are directly related to the experiment (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979)

Criteria A: Introduction

Advice for writing your introduction

  • Give a general introduction of the psychological subject area you are investigating.

  • Include a brief summary of the theory and KEY pieces of research associated with the topic in which you are investigating.

  • DO NOT include more than 3 pieces of relevant research (more is not always better).

    • This is NOT the same as sources!

  • Research must be focused on your TOPIC and must logically lead to the investigation.

Advice for Writing your Introduction

Relevant research and theories must be included
Relevant area you are investigating. Research and Theories MUST Be Included



  • Ideas

  • Explanation about a specific topic

  • Must be able to be tested, proved/disproved

  • Broad range of concepts on a given topic

  • Example: Big Bang Theory

  • Evidence

  • Used to prove of disprove the theory

  • Gather facts on a subject/topic

  • Deals with some type of argument/debate

End of introduction
End of Introduction area you are investigating.

  • Statement of specific research hypothesis which is clearly justified by research

  • Aim is stated

    • Due to suggestions by Loftus and Palmer’s study, the aim of this experiment is to determine…

    • Our experiment will be carried out by…

  • Be sure to write it in operationalized form and is precisely testable

  • Null hypothesis should state that results found were due to chance not manipulation of the IV

Method sections
Method Sections: area you are investigating.

  • Where you describe how your study was designed and carried out

  • Demonstrate your understanding of the experiment as a QUANTITATIVE METHODOLOGY (not qualitative.)

  • Divided into four parts each with a LABEL

    • Design (Criteria B)

    • Participants (Criteria C)

    • Materials (Criteria D)

    • Procedure (Also, Criteria D)

Design: Criteria B area you are investigating.Depending on what you are investigating, you need to choose between two basic designs

Independent Samples Design

Repeated Measures Design

  • Two different groups of participants: Control group & experimental group

  • Used when it is not possible to use the same participants in the two experimental conditions

  • N=20 (10 participants for each group; even numbers in each group)

  • SAME participants in both the treatment and the control group.

  • Ex. Group is first asked to memorize and recall a list of words without music (control)

  • Then they are asked to memorize and recall a list of words while listening to music (treatment)

  • Order effect : using same participants and they learn what the first trial was therefore affecting the second trial

  • N=10 (same 10 participants)

Strengths area you are investigating.

Independent Samples Design

Repeated Measures Design

  • Participants are less likely to guess the hypothesis

  • Less boredom and tired

  • Won’t improve skill due to repetition (example of order effect)

  • Same materials may be used for both groups (example: same list of words)

  • Eliminates participant variability (differences between the two groups are due to natural situations as opposed to manipulation of the IV)

  • Requires fewer participants

Limitations area you are investigating.

Independent Samples Design

Repeated Measures Design

  • May be participant variability

  • Doing the same task twice may cause order effects

  • Demand characteristics (discover the aim and don’t act naturally in order to “help” or “hinder” your research) may occur

  • Doesn’t work on studies with performance tasks

The experiment
The Experiment area you are investigating.

  • Goal: To establish a cause-and-effect relationship between two variables.

  • Performed under HIGHLY controlled conditions

  • Quantitative research, generates numerical data

    • Can be statistically tested for significance in order to rule out the role of CHANCE in the results.

  • Aim: Purpose of the study

    • Indicates which behavior or mental process will be studied.

    • To see if one variable has an effect on another variable.

Experimental variables
Experimental Variables area you are investigating.

Independent (IV)

Dependent (DV)

  • Is manipulated, all other variables remain constant

  • Measured after the manipulation

Both the IV and DV must be operationalized:

Need to be written in a way that it is CLEAR what is being measured.


IV: High music at volume 35

DV: Number of words remembered from a list of 20 words.

Hypothesis prediction of how the iv will impact the dv
Hypothesis: Prediction of how the IV will impact the DV area you are investigating.

Experimental (HI)

Null (H0)

  • Predicts the exact result of the manipulation of the IV (noise) on the DV (recall)

  • Ex. Noise will decrease the number of words that an individual is able to recall from a list of words.

  • Must have TWO conditions

  • Control condition is not exposed to the IV

    • No noise is used

  • Predicts that there will be no results or that the result will be due to chance

  • Ex. Noise has not effect on an individual’s ability to recall a list of words

  • Any change in the individual’s ability to recall a list of words is due to chance

  • Research is carried out to refute the null hypothesis to show that the predicted cause-and-effect relationship between the IV & DV actually exists.

Goal regarding the hypotheses
Goal Regarding the Hypotheses area you are investigating.

  • We can never PROVE anything, we can only DISPROVE things.

  • Sometimes the null hypothesis will be accepted

    • Example: There was no relationship between noise and recall of words

  • To accept the null hypothesis

    • We have to accept that there is NO RELATIONSHIP between the two variables

  • Refute the null hypothesis

  • The experimental hypothesis can be accepted ONLY if a researcher has demonstrated that the effect was due to the manipulation of the IV.

Cofounding variables undesirable variables that influence the relationship between the iv dv
Cofounding Variables: area you are investigating.Undesirable variables that influence the relationship between the IV & DV

  • 1.) Demand characteristics:

    • Participants act differently because they know that they are in an experiment.

      • May experience the Hawthorne Effect: Participants may try to guess aim and act accordingly

    • Use a single blind control: Participants do not know what the study is about

  • 2.) Research bias/Observer bias: area you are investigating.

    • Experimenter sees what he or she is looking for; expectations of the researcher consciously or unconsciously affect the findings of the study.

      • Simple smile, nodding, treating the experimental group differently

    • Use a double-blind control to help reduce

      • Both the researchers and participants do not know whom is in the treatment or control group, and the person carrying out the experiment does not know the aim of the study

  • 3.) Participant variability:

    • Characteristics of the sample affect the DV.

      • Controlled by using a random sample or randomly selecting the participants in the treatment and control groups

Reminders in the design section be sure to include
Reminders…in the Design section, be sure to include… area you are investigating.

  • Explanation & justification of design used (independent or repeated)

  • Describe the controls you have taken in order to avoid extraneous variables (standardized instructions/briefing)

  • Indentify the IV & DV

  • Documentation of how ethical guidelines were followed (consent, how briefing & debriefing was conducted)

    • Include in appendices

Consent form
Consent Form area you are investigating.

  • Written in a way that informs participants of the nature of the experiment

  • If participants are 16+, informed consent only

  • If participants are under 16, parental and informed consent required

  • Include a copy in appendices

The following slide is an example
The following slide is an EXAMPLE area you are investigating.

Please DO NOT COPY and paste the information and just switch out your appropriate details!

Dear Participant, area you are investigating.

As part of my IB psychology Internal Assessment, I am conducting a study on _____________ (memory). This study is going to test your ability to memorize a list of words while listening to music. After the briefing, I would ask you to sign the statement below:

  • I have been informed of the nature of the experiment.

  • I understand that I have the right to withdraw from the experiment at any time, and any information /data collected will remain confidential.

  • My anonymity will be protected because my name will not be identifiable.

  • The experiment will be conducted so that I will not be demeaned in any way.

  • I will be debriefed at the end and have the opportunity to find out the results.

  • I give my informed consent to participating in this experiment.

  • Name___________________ Date____________

Standardized briefing notes
Standardized Briefing Notes area you are investigating.

  • Reasoning: To ensure that you control any extraneous variables that may interfere with the experiment.

  • Written script of what you said to your participants before conducting the experiment

    • Include in appendices

  • Must include:

  • Aim and instructions regarding the procedure of the study

  • Information about the ethical issues

Standardized debriefing notes
Standardized Debriefing Notes area you are investigating.

  • Written script that is used to debrief participants after conducting the experiment

    • Include copy in appendices

  • Be sure to include:

  • What you expected to find in your study

  • Participants have the right to learn about the conclusions drawn from the research once analysis of data is finalized

  • Remind them that they may withdraw their data

Participants criteria c
Participants: Criteria C area you are investigating.

  • Describes the sample and how it was obtained

  • Sample size of 20, any larger is strongly discouraged

  • Sampling procedure should be indentified and justified

  • Saying that it was the easiest is acceptable

  • How the participants selected for control and treatment group also needs to be explained

  • Relevantcharacteristics of sample should be mentioned (limited English speaking, color-blindness)

  • Number of participants, age, and gender should be included

  • Target population needs to be indentified (who you are interested in and draw your sample from; IB students, non-native English speaking students, staff, etc.)

    • Generalize the results to this specific group

Target population
Target Population area you are investigating.

  • The group whose behavior you are investigating

  • Do not use quasi-experimental research because they do not establish cause and effect relationships due to cofounding variables


    • Gender

    • Age

    • Ethnicity

      Examples include:

  • AP students

  • Non-Psychology IB students

  • Bilingual Students

  • Staff

Sampling techniques
Sampling Techniques area you are investigating.

  • Goal: To obtain a sample that is representative of the target population

  • Types of Sampling Techniques:

    • Opportunity sampling

    • Self-selected sampling

    • Snowball sampling

    • Random sampling

    • Stratified sampling

Opportunity sampling
Opportunity Sampling area you are investigating.

  • AKA convenience sampling

  • Pro: “Whoever happens to be there and agrees to participate”

  • Con: Can lead to bias results and can cause problems for generalization

    • Certain types of people are at certain locations for reasons

Self selected sampling
Self-Selected Sampling area you are investigating.

  • Made up of volunteers (Sign-up sheet or advertisement)

  • Pro: Relatively easy to obtain, sample usually is highly motivated since they volunteered their time

  • Con: Usually reflect a more general population=hard to make generalizations about target population

Snowball sampling
Snowball Sampling area you are investigating.

  • Participants recruit other participants

    • “Bring a friend”

Random sampling
Random Sampling area you are investigating.

  • Every member of target population has an equal chance of being selected

  • Pull all names of target population and then “draw” 20 names from a hat

  • Pro: Easier to generalize findings to a larger population

  • Pro: Gets rid of selection bias

  • Con: Chance of limited variety

Stratified sampling
Stratified Sampling area you are investigating.

  • Drawing random samples from subpopulations of the target population

  • Give variety and reflection of distribution of actual population

Materials criteria d
Materials: Criteria D area you are investigating.

  • List materials used

  • Basic materials should not included

    • Pencils, chairs, paper, etc.

  • Written materials used specifically for experiment should be listed and referenced to a sample that needs to be included in the appendices

    • Standardized briefing notes

    • Informed consent letter

    • Standardized debriefing notes

    • Links to videos

    • PowerPoint slides

Procedure criteria d
Procedure: Criteria D area you are investigating.

  • Carefully and ACCURATELY describe how the experiment was conducted, STEP by STEP

  • Enough details should be provided for replication

  • Reference any ethical issues that were addressed

    • When briefing and debriefing was carried out

    • Reference materials such as briefing notes, consent forms, debriefing notes, etc.

  • May be written in paragraph or bullet-point format (enough details still need to be provided)

Results descriptive e inferential f
Results: Descriptive (E) & Inferential (F) area you are investigating.

  • Must be in NARRITIVE form (written) & in GRAPHIC form

  • Each section should be able to stand alone and the reader should be able to understand the results regardless of which form they are reading

  • Should reflect the aim of the research hypothesis

  • Different levels of details should be represented (levels/scales of measurement)

    • Nominal

    • Ordinal

    • Interval

    • Ratio

Nominal area you are investigating.

  • Simplest form of data

  • Count how many fall into each category such as:

    • Males vs. females

  • Provide the least amount of information

  • Only the mode can be used as a measure of central tendency

Ordinal area you are investigating.

  • Used to rank (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc)

  • Example: Likert scale:

    • 1.) Strongly agree

    • 2.) Agree

    • 3.) Disagree

    • 4.) Strongly disagree

Interval area you are investigating.

  • Measured on a scale which has exact and equal intervals

  • Example: Temperature

    • 67 degrees, you know accurately what the weather is like

  • Carries more information than ordinal data

  • Mean, median, & mode can be calculated

  • When you rank interval data it becomes ordinal data

    • John is 179 cm tall and Max is 180 cm, so Max is the tallest, John is the shortest

Ratio area you are investigating.

  • Has all the characteristics of interval data and also has a TRUE zero point

  • Weight, length, volume can have a zero point but not a negative measurement

Results descriptive statistics criteria e
Results (Descriptive Statistics): Criteria E area you are investigating.

  • Calculate both Central Tendency & Dispersion if the level of measurement allows it

  • Raw data (Exact results/answers from participants) SHOULD not be included in the written section, but must be referenced in the appendix

  • Only summarized data should be included in the results section

  • Ratio and interval are usually more effective

  • Calculated, but do not need to be included in appendices

Measures of central tendency
Measures of Central Tendency area you are investigating.

Measures of dispersion
Measures of Dispersion area you are investigating.

Calculating standard deviation
Calculating Standard Deviation area you are investigating.


Graphs area you are investigating.

Frequency table
Frequency Table area you are investigating.

Pie graph
Pie Graph area you are investigating.

Bar graph
Bar Graph area you are investigating.

Frequency polygon histogram
Frequency Polygon/Histogram area you are investigating.

Box plot
Box Plot area you are investigating.

Whisker plot
Whisker Plot area you are investigating.

Graphs area you are investigating.

  • Use a computer

  • Data must be accurate and RELEVANT to the prediction of the research hypothesis

  • One graph per statistic is sufficient

  • DO NOT include graphs showing each individual participant’s score


Results inferential statistics criteria f
Results (Inferential Statistics) Criteria F area you are investigating.

  • The use of inferential statistical test chosen must be justified

  • Calculations must be included in the appendices (not in the results section)

  • May use an online site that performs the calculations for you (website must be referenced and included in the appendix, actual calculations then would not be needed)

Inferential statistics tests
Inferential Statistics Tests area you are investigating.

Calculators all can be found here http www socscistatistics com tests default aspx
Calculators (All can be found here) area you are investigating.

  • Chi Square Test:

  • Mann Whitney U-Test:



  • Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test:


Discussion criteria g
Discussion: Criteria G area you are investigating.

  • Last part of the IA paper 

  • Interpret your own results in comparison to original experiment/research

  • Findings must be related back to the theories and studies that were referred to in your introduction

  • Explain how results were similar and different from study that was replicated/modified

  • Explanation of why you think you achieved the results that you did


  • Discuss limitations that may have affected the outcome area you are investigating.

  • Possible extraneous variables are indentified

    • Deeper than, “larger sample size…”

  • Suggestions for “future” replications

  • Finish the discussion with suggestions for further research that may have risen during an investigation but was not dealt with in the actual study (topics for further investigation)

  • Finally, brief conclusion, summarizing the results

Citation of sources criteria h
Citation of Sources: Criteria H area you are investigating.

  • In-text citations and references are provided

  • DO NOT include works that are not cited!

  • Consistent format is used in both the body of the report and reference section

    • APA

    • British Psychological Society (I’m not familiar with this, so don’t use it!)

Report format criteria i
Report Format: Criteria I area you are investigating.

  • Title Page: Info. about you and your IA

  • Word count, name, candidate number, HL Psychology, date submitted, and title (see checklist)

  • Title is clear of the experimental method and the specific type of study

    • Hypothesis determines how this is worded

  • Must include method used (experiment), topic under investigation, and the variables

  • Sufficient example:

    • “An experiment on the recall of a list of words.”

    • “An experiment on memory.” =NOT SPECIFIC

  • Abstract area you are investigating.(200 words, max)

  • Last section to be written, comes after title page

  • Summary of important info. about the study

    • Aim

    • Procedure

    • Results

    • Conclusion

    • IV

    • DV

  • Appendices area you are investigating.

  • Must be numbered and have an appropriate title

    • Appendix 4: Informed consent

  • Be sure to include:

    • Blank copies of supplementary information (questionnaire/response papers)

    • Standardized instructions

    • Debriefing notes

    • Informed consent letters (blank)

    • Calculations (or website for inferential statistics)

    • List of materials needed for replication

    • Tables of RAW data

Reminders area you are investigating.

  • Please refer to your checklist and the rubric to ensure you are including all required sections; no need to miss unnecessary points!

  • Word count does not include abstract, appendices, or reference page

  • I am here to help and guide you, I can only give you feedback ONCE

    • Whatever you turn in for your rough draft is what I will provide feedback on; use this to your advantage!

Good Luck area you are investigating.& Happy IA Writing!Remember, I get to grade all 47 of your IAs, so who has the shorter end of the stick?