Group 3


The study of behaviour and mental processes in Psychology requires a multidisciplinary

approach and the use of a variety of research techniques whilst recognising that behaviour is not a static phenomenon, it is adaptive, and as the world, societies and challenges facing societies change, so does behaviour.

At the core of the DP psychology course is an introduction to three different approaches to understanding behaviour:

biological approach to understanding behaviour

cognitive approach to understanding behaviour

sociocultural approach to understanding behaviour.

The knowledge, concepts, theories and research that have developed the understanding in these fields will be studied and critically evaluated to answer some of the questions being asked by psychologists today. Furthermore, the interaction of these approaches to studying psychology will form the basis of a holistic and integrated approach to understanding mental processes and behaviour as a complex, dynamic phenomenon, allowing students to appreciate the diversity as well as the commonality between their own behaviour and that of others.

The contribution and the interaction of the three approaches can be best understood through the options. There are four options in the course. They focus on areas of applied psychology:

abnormal psychology

developmental psychology

health psychology

psychology of human relationships.

The options provide an opportunity to take what is learned from the study of the approaches to psychology and put it into the context of specific lines of inquiry, broaden students’ experience of the discipline and develop the students’ critical inquiry skills.

The aims of the psychology course at SL and at HL are that the students would have the ability to:

develop an understanding of the biological, cognitive and sociocultural factors affecting mental processes and behaviour.

apply an understanding of the biological, cognitive and sociocultural factors affecting mental processes and behaviour to at least one applied area of study.

understand diverse methods of inquiry.

understand the importance of ethical practice in psychological research in general and observe ethical practice in their own inquiries.

ensure that ethical practices are upheld in all psychological inquiry and discussion.

develop an awareness of how psychological research can be applied to address real-world problems and promote positive change.

Assessment at Standard Level

Assessment component Weighting
External assessment
Paper 1 (2 hours) 50%
Paper 2 (1 hour) 25%
Internal assessment
Experimental study 25%

Assessment at Higher Level

Assessment component Weighting
External Assessment
Paper 1 (2 hours) 40%
Paper 2 (2 hours) 20%
Paper 3 (1 hour) 20%
Internal Assessment
Experimental study 20%