Approaches to researching behaviour


Psychologists works in many different ways dependent upon their own beliefs about the major determinants of human behaviour; social, cognitive and socioculural psychologists all favour a slightly different blend of research methods and ways of collecting and analysing data. To critically evaluate research from each topic you will need a firm understanding of quantitative and qualitative research.

HL students will have their understanding of methodology assessed in Paper 3 whilst SLs will require a firm foundation in order to access critical thinking marks in their essay across Paper 1 and 2 and also in their IAs.

How will you be assessed in this exam?


Quantitative Research

Qualitative Research



“Approaches to research in psychology may be reductionist or holistic. As behaviour is often the result of complex social, cultural, cognitive as well as biological interactions, a combination of approaches to researching behaviour is not only inevitable, but desirable” IBO (2016)