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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 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
  • 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:
  • 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 BDepending 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)

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

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
  • 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

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

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
  • 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: 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:

    • 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…
  • 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
  • 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

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


Dear Participant,

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Participants recruit other participants
    • “Bring a friend”
random sampling
Random Sampling
  • 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
  • Drawing random samples from subpopulations of the target population
  • Give variety and reflection of distribution of actual population
materials criteria d
Materials: Criteria D
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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
  • Used to rank (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc)
  • Example: Likert scale:
    • 1.) Strongly agree
    • 2.) Agree
    • 3.) Disagree
    • 4.) Strongly disagree
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
calculating standard deviation
Calculating Standard Deviation
  • 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
  • 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)
calculators all can be found here http www socscistatistics com tests default aspx
Calculators (All can be found here)
  • Chi Square Test:
  • Mann Whitney U-Test:
  • Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test:
discussion criteria g
Discussion: Criteria G
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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(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


  • 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
  • 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 & Happy IA Writing!Remember, I get to grade all 47 of your IAs, so who has the shorter end of the stick?