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we were having a discussion with the kids taking psychology in my class.

and the thing is that they are really confused about how long should the introduction in their IA be...

and how many examples of the previous experiments (related to the investigation) should you include?

help would be really appreciated.

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The introduction provides the background and justification for the research study. At SL, this sections includes the study that is being replicated and the aim of the study at hand. At HL, the introduction is longer and includes a more thorough review of literature related to the study. Candidates should use this section to justify the prediction that they are making in their research hypothesis. This section should move from broad concepts to more specific studies that are directly related to the current study. Be sure to define all important terminology in this section as relevant to your study.

This section should end in a clearly defined research question/aim (SL) or operationalized research and null hypothesis (HL).

The introduction should follow the order below:

  • A general introduction to the psychological subject area under investigation. Include an indication of the perspective that is being discussed.
  • A summary of the key theories and research studies. This must include proper reference, for example, Zajonc (1965). Candidates at SL must cite one reference, and at least three are recommended for HL. SL, you are simply to summarize the aim, procedure, and findings of the study that you are replicating.
  • A rationale and justification for the study.
  • The aim (HL and SL) and hypotheses (HL only).

Source: http://cranepsych.com/Psych/Internal_Assessment.html

Anyway, in regards to your questions, there is no defined length for the introduction. Technically the longest part of the report should always be the discussion, but keep in mind that you can only mention studies in the discussion if you talked about them in the introduction. So, once again, there is no suggested number of studies, but the more, the better. More studies shows that you have done more research. However, as I noticed when I was doing my IA, one doesn't have access to much original data, so it's best to find books about the subject and get the stuff from there.

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My introduction was about 250 words long.

My teacher warned us and told us to keep it as short as possible and to only cover the necessary material, because with a 1500 word limit, its dangerous to go overboard on one section.

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