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Read our latest blog-post for students currently studying psychology for the IBDP from Pamoja teacher, Peter Anthony

As outlined in the IB Psychology Guide, Criterion D of the essay writing rubric credits students who demonstrate an inquiring and reflective attitude to their understanding of psychology. In particular, the areas of critical thinking are:

  • research design and methodologies
  • triangulation
  • assumptions and biases
  • contradictory evidence or alternative theories or explanations
  • areas of uncertainty

Learning to think critically takes time and your abilities will develop over the two-year course. A good starting point is learning how to evaluate the research design and methodology of any study you write about.

All of the methodologies employed by investigators have strengths and limitations, but you need to do more than just list them after you have described a study. What you need to think about is the overall credibility of the study.

To what extent does the study provide insights into human behaviour. Having established the study’s explanatory value, you then need to think about how it informs your argument.

Why have you used this study to support your argument? Does it provide convincing evidence to support your argument despite its limitations?

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