Beginning your Extended Essay in Psychology

  • Make sure that you set up a 3 ring binder to begin collecting readings and ideas for your EE.
  • You will receive subject guidelines for your EE in Psychology. Put this in the binder. Pay particular attention to the section on interpreting the assessment criteria.


Individual Essays


Tips for choosing your topic

(Source: IB Diploma Programme Extended Essay - Guide for first exams 2009. Psychology. pp. 163 - 168)

  • Please avoid topics related to 'self help' topics or pop psychology such as eating disorders, dysfunctional behavior, and forensic psychology (see p. 164 of the guide) - unless your topic is focused on one very specific area
  • create a carefully focused research question
  • your paper needs to concentrate on investigative analysis of a topic of interest to you. It is NOT a venue for you to collect data through your own experiments or the conducting of case studies.
  • Select your field of interest (eg. commercial aviation)
  • select a specific area of interest within that field (eg. impact of stress on pilot performance)
  • you can review other examples of topics in the guide (pp. 164 - 165)

Designing your question

  • begin collecting current research material on this topic
  • use "academic and psychological research journals and texts", not popular publications (see p. 164 of the guide) - remember that this is expected to be an analysis of relevant and current theories and/or studies
  • Begin with the sites listed under resources in this wikispace
  • once you have completed your background reading, design a focus question (eg. To what extent has research on stress with airline pilots improved airline safety standards?)
  • you will NOW focus on collecting material that will enable you to investigate your topic in depth.


Sample extended essays