Mind games

Feature on the IB Psychology class


Jessica Trevarthen

Junior Bronte Heerdink takes notes during a Psychology 1 class. They were covering the differences between violence and aggression.

by Kyle Gehman, Editor-In-Chief

Learning about the science of love, how culture affects decision making, and how people can reconstruct someone’s memory are all things that students in the IB Psychology class get to experience. They get to learn why people act the way they do and better understand human interactions around them.

“I feel more aware of the world and how it works because of this class,” junior Ariana Vieira said. “I love discussing what we are learning because it is so engaging.”

The class, taught by Greg Shaw, is one of the electives offered to IB students when they make the decision on what IB elective they want to test in. Students cover the biological level of analysis, cognitive level of analysis, sociocultural level of analysis, human relationships and if they decide to continue to a second year, abnormal psychology and qualitative research methods.

“Their whole world is a laboratory for them to observe human behavior,” Shaw said. “We learn about something in class, and they cannot help but look for confirmation of that everywhere they go. I have students in college sometimes email me about something they observed that matched what we learned in class.”

We learn about something in class, and they cannot help but look for confirmation of that everywhere they go.

— Greg Shaw

The class typically consists of taking notes, discussing about the studies that they are learning about and playing games to better understand topics. The test for IB is short answer questions (SAQ) and an essay over a random topic from any of the sections. One of the reasons the class is so popular is because of how what is taught can be applied and seen in everyday life according to junior Marisa Guy.

“One of my favorite parts about being in psychology is learning about human relationships and seeing how what we learn in class is used all around us,” Guy said. “It really helps you understand everything around you and become more self aware which is one of the goals of IB.”