Test Prep! How to get those Elusive Critical Thinking Points!!!

Putting the Critical Thinking Puzzle Together

In class, we went over a paper 3 in great detail with the goal of demystifying the IB rubric.

We generated a great “HOW TO” earn critical thinking points list! It’s reproduced below:

  1. Make Connections between perspectives.  If you’re talking about stereotypes, discuss schema theory and social identity theory. Make connections between ideas, theories, perspectives.  Show that you are a thinking human being that understands life does not occur in “units” but rather simultaneously.
  2. Show your work:  In math, you show your work so that you can get points and credit for your mathematical thought process. Do the same in IB PSYCH!  Don’t just come to a conclusion, explain how you got there and what your thought process is.
  3. Analyze from multiple perspectivesIt’s great to critique a study that you just cited. However if you are using a piece of research as evidence to suppport a point or a theory, and then you launch into a 2 paragraph critique of how really worthless the study actually is, then why did you use that study in the first place!!!?!?  You can tear it down, but you better build it back up!
  4. Integrate ‘Real World’ examples and analogies It’s important to show that you understand the ‘real world’ implications and applications of the psychological phenomena and theory you’re studying.  By integrating real world examples and making analogies, you demonstrate to the IB grader that you are more than a regurgitator of facts. You have a comprehensive understanding of psychology and they should reward you with a 7.
    Putting the Critical Thinking Puzzle Together

Heidegger and “the thing”

Martin Heidegger is considered by many who opine on such things to be one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Certainly one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century.  The difficulty in comprehending his work often equals it’s greatness.

With the fact that this work is difficult, i want you to read his famous lecture, “The Thing” linked below. It is hard. but PLEASE do NOT engage in a self defeating prophecy!  It is hard but YOU ARE SMART!!! You can do this. Go slow. Highlight. Summarize in your mind as you finish each paragraph. BE OK WITH NOT UNDERSTANDING because as you move through the essay, it will start to come together. Then when you’re finished, you can say, “I just read Heidegger and I get it.” 

The Thing

Aesthetic Experience: Schopenhaur and Dewey on the value of art and criticism

What is the value of art?!  

Since the beginning of human civilization there has always been art. What is it about an “aesthetic experience” that is such a crucial element of the human condition?

Philosophy of Art:

There have been many philosophers who have attempted to answer the above question and many more related ones.  Notably Plato, Kant, Nietsche, James, and Hegel. However today you’ll look into two other famous philosophers and their work on the subject of Art: Arthur Schopenhaur and John Dewey.


Schopenhaur was a German philosopher writing in the 19th century. Click on the link below and read the quick bio of Schopenhaur and then navigate to article 5.1 “Aesthetic Perception as a mode of transcendence” Read it:



Dewey was an American Philosopher writing in the 20th century. Click on the link below and read the quick bio of Dewey and then navigate to article 2.13 “Criticism and Perception” Read it:


Below is chapter from Dewey’s famous work, “Art as Experience” Read it and be smart:

Dewey’s “Art as Experience”

IB Psych Paper 3: Analyzing Research

Research Methods: Paper 3

Read the article on the famous Purdue study on learning methods and retention of information and then answer the accompanying questions below in order to increase your fluency in regard to quantitative and qualitative research methods!!

If you Really Want to Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test

Questions for Understanding:

  1. Identify the target population
  2. What Sampling Technique was used? What the strengths/weaknesses of this approach? List the other sampling techniques.
  3. What type of research was conducted? In what category of research would you place the Purdue Study?
  4. Evaluate the external validity of these findings
  5. Describe what other findings would have to exist in order to provide methodological triangulation


Finish the learning helper below to give you a better understanding of Observational Research!

Understanding Observational Research

Heidegger vs. Reductionism

Martin Heidegger is considered by many to be the greatest philosopher of the 20th century and is a personal favorite of mine! 

His work centers around existentialism, and specifically, phenomenology, an area of philosophy.  We’ll read Heidegger as we progress through the course, however reading the article below and engaging in a reflective journal entry will aide greatly in your ability to comprehend his works as they’re incredibly difficult.

So.  Read the article linked below contrasting the Heideggarian view of the world with a scientific approach (often called reductionism in philosophy). 

Being There: Martin Heidegger on Why our Presence Matters

Journal Entry:

  1. Relate this article to what we’ve been discussing in class over the course of this semester. Integrate source material that we’ve read and discussed as well as the various Ways of Knowing into you response. Additionally, reflect on the article. What are the implications?  What are the implications of reductionism?

Haters Gonna Hate: Language and Narcissism in Post Modern America

In TOK, we examine the ways in which language affects cognition and constructs knowledge.  However it’s equally important to understand the way in which our culture, beliefs, and values are reflected in the language we create. 

Read the excellently written piece by American Author Colson Whitehead examining the growing use of “you do you” and “haters gonna hate” and what it says about our culture. Reflect on the questions below prior to our discussion: 

Colson Whitehead on “how you do you” perfectly captures our narcissistic culture

1.  Do you agree that use of the idioms stated are indicative of a broader societal epidemic of narcissism? 

2.  Do you believe that use of language affects cognition?

3.  Do you believe that this phenomenon is new?  Or do you believe it’s simply captured in language differently?