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Psychology research question for EE - multi-personality disorder

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Hi guys, i'm taking Psych SL for the IB exam in May 2015. i want to do psych EE paper and i have some ideas for my psychology research question for my EE. I'm doing Multipersonality disorder/Disassociative Personality Disorder, and i found out that i could explore this topic on 3 levels of analysis: biological, cognitive, and sociocultural for my Extended Essay. Could you help me form my research question?

Should i include all three levels of analysis or only one?

THank you!

Becky

Edited by beckypancake

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Hey there!

How would you form the research question? We can't really form one for you, though we can help you improve an existing one. Keep in mind that a research question should be a specific, narrow question that should form your research (thereof the name'research question') and the essay itself. How you phrase the question will change how you approach and write your EE.

As for the three levels, it really depends on how you write your EE, but my initial thoughts were that the essay would seem much narrower and better focused if you studied only one of them. However, a comparative analysis is also possible, and perhaps preferable in this case. Keep in mind, though, that I haven't studied psychology, and I can not be said to know exactly how the analysis is supposed to be conducted in this subject. Read the EE guide, especially the psychology part, and consider the research questions / approaches to the topics that are outlined there, and decide whether or not your topic would facilitate the same, general, utilisation of analysis and understanding. Your EE and/or IB coordinators should have this guide readily accessible.

Good luck!

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Personally, I think you're best off doing a single level of analysis. I can certainly see how a comparative analysis would work, but it sounds like sticking to just one will help keep your essay more focused and less likely to jump off the rails (which is a problem I often struggle with when writing with different types of analysis). Like alefal, however, I do not study psych, so perhaps you should consult your teacher and see what (s)he recommends.

Other than that, do what alefal said above, and when you're got a concrete question feel free to post it here and we'll give you feedback!

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Hey there!

How would you form the research question? We can't really form one for you, though we can help you improve an existing one. Keep in mind that a research question should be a specific, narrow question that should form your research (thereof the name'research question') and the essay itself. How you phrase the question will change how you approach and write your EE.

As for the three levels, it really depends on how you write your EE, but my initial thoughts were that the essay would seem much narrower and better focused if you studied only one of them. However, a comparative analysis is also possible, and perhaps preferable in this case. Keep in mind, though, that I haven't studied psychology, and I can not be said to know exactly how the analysis is supposed to be conducted in this subject. Read the EE guide, especially the psychology part, and consider the research questions / approaches to the topics that are outlined there, and decide whether or not your topic would facilitate the same, general, utilisation of analysis and understanding. Your EE and/or IB coordinators should have this guide readily accessible.

Good luck!

Hi, thank you for your reply. I've been researching about the topic, and there's an existing controversy about the diagnosis of the multipersonality disorder. So i've given a thought about the research question. And the question is that, What are the ways multi-personality disorder (MPD) can be diagnosed?

But i will take up your suggestion,Captain Jeeves, and ask my supervisor about the single level or comparison. THanks y'all!

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If I'm not mistaken, your research question doesn't really facilitate thorough research. Your EE could essentially turn into a list of different symptoms that should be present before you can diagnose a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder. I did a quick search, and I found easily a list of those symptoms, and since I found it so easily, you won't be doing much research to be able to answer the question. Keep in mind that all EEs should need thorough research and analysis to be able to answer the research question. That is not the case here. You mention, though, that there is a controversy on the diagnostic methods, and you could rather rephrase the research question to something like 'To what extent can the various ways of diagnosing DID lead to various conclusions?' However, I'm not sure if this particular research question is applicable within psychology, and this is something you need to investigate further. Perhaps 'Can [specific method] lead to better diagnoses than [other specific method]?' is a better approach?

On the topic of comparative analysis, history EEs are often based on this kind of analysis - 'to what extent did this factor cause an event compared to all the other possible causes?' That's why I included the comment about comparative analysis in the first place, and you could for instance look at how cognitive approaches are more accurate than biological approaches, for instance. That'd be one form of comparative analysis. That is what comparative analysis is all about - to compare different factors and analyse which one(s) does explain something the best. However, it really depends on how you structure your EE and how psychology actually works.

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i've given some thoughts about my research question. and i came up with these.

1. should MPD be called a sickness?

2. to what extent is crime the primary cause of MPD?

i dont know which one will give me a 4000-word essay and which one sounds too descriptive. Thank you!

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With your first one, isn't it already called a sickness per se? A mental illness, right? Unless you were referring to some other kind of sickness, but somehow I think that's unlikely...

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After much consideration, my research question is: To what extent is MPD caused by childhood abuse and trauma from a cognitive level of analysis? Please give me some revision to make it seems focused. Thank you!

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One small suggestion: change "to what extent is mpd caused by" to "to what extent can mpd be caused by". It rather sounds like you're saying that EVERY CASE EVER of mpd is/was related to childhood issues to some extent. As I doubt this is the case, rewording it slightly should do the trick.

Other than that, I think you're golden. Just make sure someone with some knowledge of psychology reads your question to make sure all the technical terms and things are correct!

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