The IB Psychology course has three “core” approaches to understanding human behaviour. These approaches are called “Levels of Analysis”.

They are:

  • Biological
  • Cognitive
  • Sociocultural

The phrase “Level of Analysis” means the focus on a particular factor that is influencing human behaviour and mental processes. Since our goal as (amateur) psychologists is to understand and predict human behaviour, we need to investigate the underlying influential factors involved. This is why the course has been divided into the three levels of analysis. When you get to the options topics, you will look at how all three can influence particular areas of human psychology.

The biological level of analysis focuses on how biological factors can influence our behaviour. These biological factors are primarily genetics, the brain, hormones and neurotransmitters.

The biological level of analysis has particular themes of “principles” that run through the study. Here you can read my thoughts on why you should try to learn these themes last.

There are also overlaps with other levels of analysis, such as looking at how cognition or our environment can affect biology.

If you find the biological level of analysis interesting, you may consider studying it at university. Watch the video below from a renowned professor at Stanford…  

Here is an interesting four-part series called “The Brain: Our Universe Within.”

Part One: Evolution

Here you can see an introduction to the brain as narrated by Phillip Zimbardo (of Stanford Prison Experiment fame).

Cool website about the brain and other biological factors.