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AP Psychology Practice Test I (with explanations)
From the Princeton Review AP Psychology Premium Prep 2021
Terms in this set (100)
Which of the following is an example of habituation?
(A) The first time Ilene wear high-heeled shoes, she finds them extremely uncomfortable.
(B) Ilene can only tolerate wearing high-heeled shoes for a few hours because they hurt.
(C) Ilene wore high-heeled shoes for the first time two weeks ago; now she wears them every day.
(D) High-heeled shoes always hurt Ilene's fee, but she forces herself to wear them because they are fashionable.
(E) When Ilene wears high-heeled shoes all day he feet usually only hurt for the first few minutes.
E - Habituation—the process whereby a stimulus has less effect after repeated or continuous exposure.
Predict the Answer: Look for the scenario in which somebody is less affected by something because she gets used to it. Choice (A) simply states that Ilene wore high heels once and found them uncomfortable, (eliminate (A)). Choice (B) states that Ilene can only stand wearing high heels for a few hours, suggesting there is no habituation (eliminate (B) too). Choice (C) states that Ilene wore heels for the first time two weeks ago and now wears them every day. Who cares? There's no information about discomfort or her response to it. This trick answer choice describes the development of a "habit" in the ordinary sense of the word, not "habituation" as a technical term (eliminate (C). Similarly, (D) tells us that Ilene forces herself to wear heels because they're fashionable, even though they hurt. There's nothing to suggest she has habituated to the discomfort. Choice (E) is exactly what we need here. When Ilene wears heels they only hurt for the first few minutes (because she gets used to them).
Which of the following is NOT a symptom of major depressive disorder?
(A) Loss of appetite
(C) Social withdrawal
(D) Prolonged feelings of sadness
(E) Suicidal ideation
B - Mania, a symptom of bipolar disorder, doesn't fit in with the rest of the depressive symptoms listed. All other answers are symptoms of severe depression.
Joe's psychotherapist often asks him to recount his dreams, discuss his early childhood, and explore possible feelings and motivations of which he is unaware. His therapist would best be described as
B - Joe's therapy deals with dreams, his early childhood, and motivations and feelings he's not aware of (i.e. "unconscious"). Yep, Freud! These are the hallmarks of psychodynamic (Freudian-based) therapy and are generally associated with any of the other three schools of thought listed (So (A), (C), and (D) can be eliminated). Choice (E) is wrong because there's nothing to suggest that Joe's therapist is eclectic (i.e., that they borrow different techniques from various schools of thought). Every aspect of therapy mentioned is associated with psychodynamic theory, so (B) is correct.
Which of the following groups of quiz scores has the highest standard deviation?
(A) 80, 80, 80, 82, 85
(B) 90, 91, 93, 95, 98
(C) 50, 53, 54, 54
(D) 60, 65, 75, 84, 98
(E) 70, 70, 79
D - Highest standard deviation means that the scores are spread out from the mean (arithmetic average) more than in the other choices.
Predict the Answer: Look for the group of numbers with the widest range. Here that would clearly be (D).
Jill commits a minor criminal offense. Consequently, a judge orders her to perform community service: picking up garbage along the side of the highway. This scenario is best described as
(A) positive reinforcement
(B) negative reinforcement
(D) negative reinforcement
(E) positive punishment
E - Circle a judge orders. Students often get these answers choices confused. Remember that "reinforcement" always means you;re trying to increase behavior that you want to see more of, while "punishment" always means that you're trying to decrease behavior that you want to eliminate. You can get rid of (A) and (D) on this basis; the judge obviously doesn't want Jill to commit more crimes. Don't get confused by the words "positive" and "negative" in this context: they don't mean good or bad. "Positive punishment" simply means that you're administering an unpleasant or undesirable stimulus to the subject to decrease the unwanted behavior, while "negative punishment" means that you're removing a pleasant or desirable stimulus. If the judge had fined Jill, thereby taking her money, that would be an instance of negative punishment. Since she's being forced to pick up garbage instead, the punishment is "positive" ((B) is wrong and (E) is correct). Choice (C), shaping, refers to the process of rewarding successive approximation to a target goal. If Jill were having difficulty meeting her daily garbage quota, so her supervisor praised her every time she picked up a piece of garbage, emptied her bucket properly, etc., that would be considered shaping.
On a public street, Dave is accosted by a stranger who proceeds to rob him. According to a social psychological theory, his chances of receiving help from someone are greatest if how many people witness the incident?
B - Bystander effect. Research has shown that people are more likely to render assistance to a stranger when they are the only ones present. The more people around at the time, the greater the tendency to assume somebody else will intervene (i.e., there is a diffusion of responsibility; (B) is correct). Choice (A) defies common sense (If no one's there, no one can help).
Which of the following scientists is most closely associated with the "collective unconscious"?
(A) Sigmund Freud
(B) Carl Jung
(C) B.F. Skinner
(D) Ivan Pavlov
(E) William James
B - The term "collective unconscious," which refers to images and beliefs that all humans share, is associated with Carl Jung ((B) is correct). Freud (who taught Jung) developed the idea of the unconscious and Jung expanded on it in this way ((A) is wrong). Pavlov, (D), and Skinner, (C), are both known for their respective seminal experiments in behaviorism (so neither dealt with the realm of the unconscious). William James, (E), is know as the father of American psychology.
A drug counselor observes that her client is extremely lethargic and his pupils are constricted. Which of the following illegal drugs is the client most likely to have taken?
(C) LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)
(E) Ecstasy (methylenedioxymethamphetamine)
B - If you didn't know how various drugs affect the pupils, the phrase "extremely lethargic" should be enough to get you through this question. Which drugs make you extremely lethargic? Predict the Answer: Opiates like heroin (certainly not stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine). Eliminate (A) and (D). Serotonergic hallucinogens like LSD may put some people in a bit of a daze as they react to nonexistent stimuli, but they don't make you extremely tired ((C) is out). Neither does ecstasy, which acts as both a stimulant and a hallucinogen ((E) is out as well). All the drugs on this list except heron actually cause mydriasis (dilation of the pupils), while opiates cause miosis (constriction of the pupils).
A researcher reads the following lists of words to a group of subjects in this order: horse, nose, book, dog, lamp, mind, train, glass, ice, paint, hat, and chair. Then he asks the subjects to write down all the words they remember. On average, the group will
(A) be more likely to remember the word "horse" than the word "chair," owing to the recency effect
(B) be more likely to remember the word "nose" than the word "mind," owing to the recency effect
(C) be more likely to remember the words "horse" and "chair" than the word "train," owing to serial position effects
(D) be more likely to remember the words in the middle of the list than those at the beginning, owing to the primary effect
(E) be more likely to remember certain words randomly than to recall any of the words based on serial position
C - The answer choices all deal with serial position effects: the "primacy effect" (we're more likely to remember words at the beginning of a list) and the "recency effect" (we're more likely to remember words at the end of a list). Predict the Answer: The words at the beginning and end of the list are most likely, on average, to be recalled. (C) is correct. The other choices are all inconsistent with serial position effects.
Robert sees an angry bear approach him and runs as fast as he can to escape. Which of the following bodily changes would be most likely to occur as Robert is running from the bear?
(A) Increased parasympathetic activity
(B) Decreased respiration
(C) Decreased sympathetic activity
(D) Increased epinephrine levels
(E) Decreased adrenaline levels
D - Robert is running from a bear and is undoubtedly scared. Predict the Answer: The fight or flight response! You can eliminate (B) and (E) through common sense and basic knowledge; respiration and adrenaline increase when we are frightened. As for the remaining choices, remember this idea: in a crisis, the nervous system that is "sympathetic" responds (eliminate (C)). The parasympathetic nervous system is the one that helps return the body to homeostasis after the emergency is over (so (A) is wrong and (D) must be the answer). Epinephrine is just another name for adrenaline, which is triggered during fight or flight.
Linda gives all employees of her company a 2% raise every January. She rewards her employee on which type of schedule?
A - Here you're being asked what type of reward/reinforcement schedule is being used. Linda rewards her employees every January, and there's no mention of output or required behavior on the part of the employees. Predict the Answer: A fixed-interval schedule, (A). If you forgot your reinforcement schedules, you can use process of elimination. Since there's no variation in this scenario (rewards always comes in January), you can eliminate any choice beginning with the word "variable"—(B) and (E). Since time is the factor that determines reinforcement here, not output, "interval" is a better bet than "ratio" ((D) is out and (A) is correct). There is no such thing as a fixed-variable schedule, (C), and since nothing varies in this scenario and "interval" indicates time, (A) is clearly the better choice for a guess.
Sue is shy, works exclusively from home, and has very few friends. While she would like to be socially accepted, she generally avoids contact with others for fear that they will reject her. Which personality disorder best describes Sue?
E - Sue is shy and avoids contact with others for fear of rejection. Predict the Answer: If you're up on the diagnostic categories, you'll recognize these signs of an avoidant personality disorder, (E). If you didn't know the term, the word "avoids" in the question should highlight (E) as a strong possibility. Beware, however, of (A)—it's a trap. Being antisocial in DSM-5 terms does not mean that you avoid people; it means you basically have no regard for societal rules. Many antisocial people love the company of other people (all the better to manipulate and abuse them). If you're familiar with the other disorders on the list, you can use Process of Elimination. Choice (B) can be easily eliminated; we all know that narcissistic means self-centered and grandiose. Borderline individuals are unstable and impulsive (with behavior sometimes "bordering" on the psychotic). Even if you didn't know that, the word "borderline" doesn't seem to fit here (on the border of what and what?)—so you can eliminate (C). Schizotypal individuals (D) displays oddities in speech or behavior that are less extreme than those seen in full-blown schizophrenia.
Mary just turned seventeen. Which of Erikson's developmental stages is she working on at this point in her life?
(A) Trust vs. mistrust
(B) Autonomy vs. shame and doubt
(C) Identity vs. role confusion
(D) Generativity vs. stagnation
(E) Integrity vs. despair
C - Here you're being asked which of Erikson's stages applies to teenagers. Predict the Answer: You should recall that identity vs. role confusion is the stage that deals with adolescent developmental struggles. If you forgot that, common sense and POE can narrow it down. "Trust" should have been achieved way before age 17 (as an infant, according to Erikson)—eliminate (A). "Stagnation" and "integrity" sound like issues that much older people would be dealing with, not a seventeen-year-old—eliminate (D) and (E). That leaves only (B) and (C). Teenagers do try to achieve "autonomy," but so do younger kids (although the milestones are obviously different). The key challenge during adolescence is to develop an identity and find your way in the world, so (C) is a better choice than (B).
During Jack's first two years in college, he took one history class every semester and found each professor extremely entertaining. This prompted him to take European History with Professor Smith, whom he found terribly boring. After dropping the class, Jack concluded that history teachers are not all entertaining. The fact that he changed his mind based on this recent experience is best described as
(A) cognitive dissonance
C - Jack had a bunch of interesting history professors, so he got the idea that they were all fun and entertaining (until Professor Smith bored him to tears and he changed this perception). You should be looking for the term that involves changing your mind to fit new experiences: that would be accommodation, (C)! Every time Jack perceived a history teacher to be a total blast, this idea was assimilated into his general conceptual framework (or "schema") about history teachers. So a schema in which history teachers are entertaining was the product of assimilation ((D) and (B) are wrong). In contrast, accommodation is the process whereby our existing ideas about the world are changed in order to incorporate new information. Jack's conclusion that not all history teachers are in fact entertaining, based on his experience with Professor Smith, was the result of accommodation ((C) is correct). If you didn't recall these psychological terms, simply remembering that "assimilate" means "to absorb" and "accommodate" means "to adapt" would help you here. Cognitive dissonance refers to when the mental tension or discomfort that we experience when we hold inconsistent beliefs or our beliefs are inconsistent with our behavior. Jack would have experienced dissonance when his ideas about how boring Professor Smith was conflicted with his established schema about history teachers ((A) is wrong). An archetype, (E), is an image or idea that all human beings have in common, so this term doesn't apply here.
Ever since Jane sustained a head injury in a car accident, she has been unable to form new memories. Which part of her brain has been damaged?
(A) The hippocampus
(B) The hypothalamus
(C) The occipital lobe
(D) The temporal lobe
(E) The medulla
A - Be sure to know the parts of the brains and their functions! Jane's anterograde amnesia would be due to an injury to the hippocampus, which is responsible for forming new memories ((A) is correct). The hypothalamus, (B), largely regulates the pituitary gland and endocrine activity. The occipital lobe, (C), is responsible for vision. The temporal lobe, (D), is associated with auditory processing. The medulla, (E), controls basic functions such as breathing, heart rate, swallowing, etc.
Which of the following is the best example of the psychotherapeutic technique known as "mirroring"?
(A) Dr. Jones challenges her client's explanation of his hostile behavior.
(B) Dr. Jones is empathic and caring towards her client when he recounts traumatic experiences.
(C) Dr. Jones praises her client when he abstains from alcohol and withholds her praise when he does not.
(D) Dr. Jones points out how her client's behavior resembles that of his father.
(E) Dr. Jones summarizes her client's concerns about losing his job and states that he seems worried and upset about it.
E - "Mirroring" is the therapeutic technique most closely associated with client-centered ("Rogerian") therapy: the therapist repeats or paraphrases what the client says, focusing on the emotions involved. Predict the Answer: The only technique that resembles mirroring here is (E). Mirroring doesn't involve challenging the client's stated motivations or telling him that he acts like his father (a psychodynamic therapist would be more likely to go that route; eliminating (A) and (D)). Mirroring doesn't involve giving and withholding praise according to the client's behavior (this is more of a behavioral technique; eliminate (C)). Choice (B) is the trap answer here: while Rogerian therapists are very empathic and caring, mirroring, as a technique, involves more than empathy. Choice (E) is correct.
Louis is thirty years old with an IQ of 65. He can dress and groom himself, make small purchases independently, and work in a restaurant clearing tables with some assistance. He lives with his parents, whom he relies on for help with major life decisions. Which of the following best describes Louis's intellectual functioning?
(A) No disability
(B) Mild disability
(C) Moderate disability
(D) Severe disability
(E) Profound disability
B - Predict the Answer: His IQ places Louis in the mildly disabled range, and his basic level of functioning is consistent with this diagnosis. While the DSM-5 places more emphasis on overall level of functioning than did previous versions of the manual (as opposed to simply using the IQ to categorize people), here the IQ and the functioning level both point to a mild disability. Louis is somewhat independent in that he can hold down a simple job with some help, make small purchases, etc. However, he still requires assistance from family to manage his personal financial matters and make important decisions ((B) is correct).
Which of the following scenarios best exemplifies the just-world hypothesis?
(A) Laura is the prettiest and most popular girl in school. Her peers unanimously elect her class president, despite her lack of relevant experience and qualifications.
(B) Fred is serving a life sentence for a serious crime; crowds of people protest, asserting that he was falsely convicted.
(C) Phil feels bad about ridiculing a fellow student, but he does it because all his friends are doing it.
(D) Roy is mugged at gunpoint; the community believes he brought the attack upon himself by bragging about how much cash he carries.
(E) Julia is fired from her job and her coworkers support her claim of gender discrimination.
D - The gist of the just-world hypothesis is that we all generally deserve what happens to us. Predict the Answer: Look for the scenario in which people believe that somebody basically got what was coming to them. Choice (B) and (E) contradict the just-world hypothesis: in both cases a person was "punished" and the others consider what happened unfair ((B) and (E) are out). Choice (A) actually illustrates the "halo effect": people who are viewed as having positive qualities, especially beauty, are viewed as having positive qualities (such as the ability to be a good class president; (A) is out). Choice (C) is simply a case of conformity: Phil picks on another kid because his peers are doing it (who deserves what is never addressed; (C) is out). Choice (D) is the answer: Roy is clearly victimized, but his community blames him because he was "asking for it."
Zachary, who loves sugary carbonated drinks, reads a magazine article about how bad such beverages are for one's health. According to cognitive dissonance theory, Zachary is LEAST likely to do which of the following after reading the article?
(A) Substantially reduce his consumption of sugary carbonated drinks
(B) Eliminate sugary carbonated drinks from his diet altogether
(C) Question the medical accuracy of the statements in the magazine article
(D) Decide that enjoying oneself is more important than maintaining perfect health
(E) Accept that article's conclusions and continue to consume the same number of sugary carbonated drinks
E - This question concerns dissonance theory and tells us the source of Zachary's cognitive dissonance: he loves sugary carbonated drinks, but has just acquired some pesky knowledge that they're bad for his health. Keep in mind that this is a "LEAST" question, so we're looking for a response that will NOT reduce Zachary's dissonance. Predict the Answer: Remember that cognitive discomfort occurs when our behaviors conflict, our beliefs conflict, or our behaviors conflict with our beliefs. In order to reduce the dissonance, we either change our behavior, change our beliefs, or reduce the importance of the beliefs that are causing the dissonance. Choice (B) has Zachary eliminating these drinks from his diet, which would also eliminate the tension, so (B) is out. Choice (A) has him substantially reducing his intake of these drinks, which would at least reduce the tension (eliminate (A) too). Choice (C) has him questioning the accuracy of the troublesome information, which would reduce dissonance as well. Choice (D) has Zachary downplaying the importance of good healthy by adopting a "YOLO" attitude; this would relieve tension as well. Choice (E), however, has him accepting the article's conclusions, but not changing his sugary-carbonated-beverage-drinking behavior in any way ((E) is correct).
Jennifer finally goes to bed after staying up for 24 hours straight in order to cram for a test. She remains asleep even though a fire alarm goes off in her dormitory, requiring her roomate to shake her a few times in order to wake her up. Which of the following brainwaves were likely dominant in Jennifer's brain while she slept through the alarm?
(A) Alpha and beta
(C) Beta and theta
(E) Delta and beta
D - When Jennifer was in a very deep sleep, which brain waves were dominant in her brain? Predict the Answer: The deep sleep that occurs during stages 3 and 4 is dominated by slow, high-amplitude delta waves (D). Beta and alpha waves are associated with waking states and REM sleep ((A), (C), and (E) are wrong). Theta waves dominate the lighter sleep that occurs in stages 1 and 2, and also occur during REM sleep ((B) is wrong as well).
In John Watson's "Little Albert" experiment, fear of white rats was the
(A) unconditioned response
(B) conditioned stimulus
(C) unconditioned stimulus
(D) conditioned response
(E) primary punisher
D - Watson (quite unethically!) used classical conditioning techniques to get Little Albert to fear white rats, which the child had no problem with before. Predict the Answer: Watson paired a loud noise (the unconditioned stimulus) which the white rat (a neutral stimulus that became the conditioned stimulus). Albert's unconditioned response to the loud noise was fear, so, when the noise paired with the rat, the conditioned response was fear of the rat. If you weren't sure of these terms, you could have used POE effectively. Fear is a response, not a stimulus (so eliminate (B) and (C)). Primary punisher is an operant conditioning term and inapplicable here (eliminate (E)). Now you have to choose between (A) and (D). If you remember that Albert didn't initially fear the rat, you know that this fear response was conditioned and that (D) must be the correct answer.
A professional dancer is warming up before a show by performing some elementary dance moves. If he is suddenly joined by several other dancers who perform the same moves, his performance will most likely
(B) worsen substantially due to the bystander effect
(C) worsen slightly due to social loafing
(D) remain unaffected
(E) improve substantially due to the mere-exposure effect
A - This scenario involves a dancer doing some routine moves who is then joined by other dancers performing the same moves. You are asked how the presence of the others should affect the first dancer's performance. Predict the Answer: This question is testing your knowledge of social facilitation (the phenomenon whereby individuals engaged in simple tasks, or ones with which they are very familiar, perform better when in the presence of others ((A) is correct). However, if you didn't remember that concept but remembered other social psychological theories, you could still use POE. Choice (C) is the trap answer here. Social loafing occurs when individuals working in a group exert less effort than if working alone because there is a diffusion of responsibility among the group members (think "tug of war"). This doesn't apply here because social loafing occurs when people are working in a concerted effort to complete a task or reach a common goal (not when working on their own tasks or goals in a group setting). The bystander effect (B) may sound relevant but is inapplicable here: it deals with the likelihood of receiving assistance in an emergency. The mere-exposure effect, (E), is also inapplicable: it refers to the tendency to rate stimuli more positively after you've been exposed to them.
Which of the following is an example of chunking?
(A) Reciting a telephone number as follows: the area code first followed by a pause, then the first three digits followed by a pause, then the last four digits.
(B) Preparing for an exam by studying a different subject each day
(C) Repeating a license plate number over and over out loud until it can be written down
(D) Using the scent of roses to trigger a childhood memory of being in a rose garden
(E) Teaching children the alphabet through the use of the "ABC's" song
A - You're being asked to identify an example of chunking: a method of aiding short-term memory by grouping bits of information into "chunks." Predict the Answer: Look for the situation wherein somebody is trying to remember something better in the short term by dividing information into groups. Choice (A) fits the bill perfectly; the way we recite phone numbers (3-3-4) helps us remember them and is a classic example of chunking. Choice (B) involves dividing information into groups in that different academic subjects are studied on different days, but this is not a short-term memory process. Choice (C), saying a license plate over and over, involves simple repetition; the question doesn't indicate that any number of letters were divided into groups. Choice (D), triggering olfactory memory with a scent, involves retrieving long-term memories—not aiding short-term memory. Choice (E), teaching information by setting it to music, is a different mnemonic device.
Margaret stores tomatoes together with apples and oranges, rather than together with carrots and celery. This is most likely an example of which Gestalt principle?
(C) Figure and ground
B - We're being asked to identify which Gestalt principles applies to a situation wherein tomatoes are grouped with apples and oranges, rather than together with carrots and celery. Predict the Answer: Ask yourself why Margaret would put tomatoes with apples and oranges. While it is true that all three are fruits, the answer choices have nothing to do with such a logical categorical reason. But, tomatoes, apples, and oranges are all round, and thus may appear similar to Margaret. So, the Gestalt principle of similarity, (B), in which similar items are grouped together, is the correct answer. Choice (A), proximity, is wrong because the tomatoes were not already found next to the apples and oranges. Figure and ground refers to the tendency to view objects as either in the background or the foreground ((C) is wrong). Closure, (D), refers to the tendency to perceive whole objects despite a break in the patter. Continuity, (E), refers to the tendency to perceive lines as continuous and uninterrupted.
Falsely concluding that research findings are statistically significant is called
(A) a null hypothesis
(B) a type 1 error
(C) a regression toward the mean
(D) a random error
(E) a type 2 error
B - This question is testing your knowledge of statistics terminology; it's asking what we call the mistake we make when we wrongly conclude that our findings are statistically significant. Predict the Answer: Ideally you'll remember that this mistake is called a Type 1 error. If you forgot that bit of information, you could use POE effectively. Regression towards the mean, (C), is a statistical phenomenon (not an error) whereby scores tend to average out. Similarly, the null hypothesis, (A), is not an error but rather a hypothesis (hence the name!). It hypothesizes that the findings are merely due to chance and are not statistically significant. A random error, (D), is an error that is unexplained and essential random (hence, the name!); this wouldn't seem to make sense here either. The most appealing wrong choice would be a type 2 error, (E), which involves making the opposite mistake (wrongly concluding that your findings are NOT statistically significant). Choice (B) is correct).
The brain's occipital lobe controls
(A) impulse inhibition
(B) hearing and language processing
(C) planning and goal-setting
(D) pain recognition
(E) visual processing
E - The question is simply testing your knowledge of the occipital lobe (which controls visual processing). Predict the Answer: You could use POE to eliminate the other choices if you know the various lobe functions. The frontal lobe largely controls planning, goal-setting, and impulse inhibition ((A) and (C)). Hearing and language processing (B) are controlled by temporal lobe. Pain recognition (D) is controlled b the parietal lobe. Choice (E) is correct.
Kerri didn't bother to study much for her medical school entrance exam. She believed that, if she was meant to be a doctor, she would do well on the test and ultimately get accepted to medical school. Which of the following is most likely to be true based on this information?
(A) She has an external locus of control.
(B) She suffers from learned helplessness.
(C) She has an internal locus of control.
(D) She lacks a self-serving bias.
(E) She lacks self-esteem.
A - This scenario involves a woman who doesn't really study for a medical school entrance exam because she thinks that, if she was meant to be a doctor, she would do well on the test and it would all work out. Predict the Answer: You should realize that this women seems to have an external locus of control, (A); she believes what happens to her is largely controlled by outside forces. Learned helplessness, (B), is a deceptively attractive answer here because Kerri is sort of acting like she can't control what happens to her. However, there's no evidence that she believes she will fail; she may very well think the universe, so to speak, will be kind to her. An internal locus of control, (C), is simply the opposite phenomenon (i.e., we believe that we ourselves control what happens to us). A self-serving bias, (D), involves taking credit for our own successes but blaming our failures on situational factors; this couldn't be the answer because Kerri hasn't succeeded or failed at anything yet. Choice (E) is wrong because we have no evidence to suggest that Kerri has low self-esteem.
A psychology professor examining the effects of teacher praise on academic performance randomly assigns each of her students to one of two groups: high praise or low praise. She praises her students accordingly and then administers a test: the "high praise" students perform an average of 13% better than they did on the last exam, while the "low praise" students perform onl 6% better on average. The independent variable in this study is
(A) the test scores earned by the two groups
(B) how well the teacher expected the two groups to perform
(C) how well the students performed on the last test prior the experiment
(D) the amount of praise given to the students
(E) the difference between the average improvement rates demonstrated by the "high praise" and "low praise" groups
D - This question presents the basics of an experiment and asks you to identify the independent variable (the variable that the experimenter changes in order to measure its effect on the dependent variable). Predict the Answer: Choose the variable that the researcher intentionally manipulates (not the one that is measured). Here that would be the amount of praise give to each of the two groups ((D) is correct). The test scores, (A), is the dependent variable.
Fred received a score of 120 on a standardized college entrance exam, which places him in the 68th percentile. This means that
(A) he answered 68% of the questions correctly
(B) 32% of the students who took that test scored lower than he did
(C) he scored higher than 68% of the students who took that test
(D) 68% of the students who took that test scored higher than he did
(E) a score of 120 is below average for that test
C - This is a straightforward question for which you need to understand the concept of percentile rank. Predict the Answer: If Fred scored in the 68% percentile on the entrance exam, that means that he scored better than 68% of people who took that exam ((C) is correct).
One evening Carol wears clothing that she herself thinks is appropriate, but is sharply criticized by her community for dressing in that manner. Upon learning of the criticism, Carol is overcome with shame and guilt and swears never to wear clothing of that type again. According to Kohlberg, Carol is most likely at which level/stage of moral development?
(A) Preconventional morality
(B) Stage 8: Integrity vs despair
(C) Conventional morality
(D) Stage 6: Universal ethical principles
(E) Stage 1: Punishment and obedience orientation
C - The question asks how far Carol appears to have progressed in terms of Kohlberg's stages of moral development. Predict the Answer: Carol views her behavior as bad if other people view it as bad, feeling shame and guilt when others criticize her. She is clearly at the "conventional" level of morality. More specifically, she is probably in stage 3 (the "good boy/girl" stage) in which morality is determined by others' approval ((C) is correct). If you didn't remember Kohlberg so well, you can use POE to eliminate some of the choices. Carol seems to be past the stage 1: preconventional level of moral development in which good = avoidance of punishment (this is common among very young children). Carol genuinely feels guilty and ashamed because she believes she did something wrong; she's not simply conforming in order to escape some punishment meted out by an authority figure (eliminate (A) and (E)). Stage 6: universal ethical principles (D) wouldn't seem to fit here either. Carol sees an action as "wrong" because others see it that way, not because it violates some higher universal moral code that she's developed (as the name would seem to imply). "Integrity vs. despair" (B) is one of Erikson's developmental stages and is inapplicable here.
According to Freudian theory, a lifelong criminal with no regard for others' rights has probably failed to develop a(n)
(D) Oedipal complex
C - The key words here are "criminal with no regard for others' rights" and "Freudian theory" Predict the Answer: Ask yourself which Freudian concept deals basically with the conscience? That would have to be the superego, (C), which is correct here. The id, (A), refers to our primal, pleasure-seeking impulse, and the ego, (B), is the part of our psyche that meditates between the outside world, the demands of the id, and the dictates of superego. The Oedipal complex, (D), is an early childhood conflict involving the same-sex parent. A fixation, (E), occurs when a child fails to successfully negotiate a particular pschosexual stage and gets psychologically "stuck," unable to move on.
Delirium tremens is associated with withdrawal from which of the following substances?
E - This question is asking you which substance causes delirium tremens (the DT's) when you suddenly stop taking it. Predict the Answer: As the name might suggest, delirium tremens is a dangerous syndrome which can cause disorientation, hallucinations, irregular heart beat, etc. It is associated with withdrawal from alcohol ((E) is correct).
The word "unhappiness" has how many morphemes?
D - Here you simply need to know what a morpheme is. Predict the Answer: Since a morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in language, dissect the word into smallest units that convey linguistic meaning and then count how many you have. Here we have "happi" (happy)—an adjective meaning "glad." Further, the prefix "un" means "not" and the suffix "ness" indicates state or quality, so altogether we have three morphemes ((D) is correct).
Jenny is diagnosed with aphasia after a severe blow to the head. She will most likely be unable to perform which of the following activities?
(A) Standing unaided for several minutes
(B) Recognizing human faces
(C) Forming new memories
(D) Digesting large amounts of food
(E) Conversing with a group of friends
E - Here you need to know what aphasia is. Predict the Answer: Aphasia involves the loss of expressive or receptive language skills, so look for the scenario that involves language impairment of some sort (it's clearly choice E). If you didn't remember what aphasia is, knowing some other terms would help you with POE here. The inability to form new memories is anterograde amnesia (eliminate (C)) and the inability to recognize faces is prosopagnosia (eliminate (B)). Common sense would probably allow you to eliminate (D) here as well (a digestive disorder resulting from a blow to the head would seem unlikely).
Dennis is an extremely aggressive eleven-year-old boy who is frequently in trouble for physically assaulting other children. According to the research and theories of Albert Bandura, Dennis probably
(A) finds at least some of the consequences of his aggressive behavior desirable
(B) is genetically predisposed to violence
(C) is fixated at an earlier stage of psychosexual development
(D) has observed adults in his life behaving violently
(E) would have had a distinct survival advantage had he lived in a prehistoric era
D - The question asks about Albert Bandura and aggressive behavior. Predict the Answer: You should be thinking "Bobo doll experiment: social learning"! Find the scenario that suggests that Dennis is aggressive because he observes others (especially significant adults) behaving aggressively ((D) is the answer). For this type of question, you're at a disadvantage if you don't recognize the name. You would need to understand that the other theories of aggression are behavioral, (A), genetic, (B), psychoanalytic, (C), and evolutionary, (E), and take your best guess.
Which of the following is an example of secondary drive-reduction?
(A) Veronica pulls her car off the road for a quick nap because she's afraid she might fall asleep at the wheel.
(B) Veronica purchases a new coat, despite living in a warm climate, because an unusually cold winter has been predicted.
(C) Veronica works exhausting double shifts at her job all month in order to receive a large paycheck.
(D) Veronica eats her dessert before dinner has been served because she cannot resist chocolate cake.
(E) Veronica spends several hundred dollars on a new air conditioning system for her car.
C - This question tests your ability to distinguish secondary drives from primary ones in accordance with drive-reduction theory. Predict the Answer: Primary drives are innate biological needs such as sleep (A), a normal body temperature ((B) and (E)), and food (D). Secondary drives are the product of conditioning; they are desirable only because they're associated with primary drives (e.g., money; (C) is correct).
Which part of the eye contains the cells that sense light?
(A) The pupil
(B) The retina
(C) The lens
(D) The cornea
(E) The iris
B - This is a straightforward test of your knowledge of eye structure and function. Be sure to read carefully and note that the question asks specifically about the cells that sense light. Predict the Answer: Light-sensing cells, or "photoreceptors," are located in the retina ((B) is correct). Light enters through the cornea, (D), and travels through the pupil, (A). The iris, (E), controls the amount of light that enters the eye. The lens, (C), located behind the iris, focuses light onto the retina.
Sandra tells her therapist, who has been trained in rational emotional behavior therapy (REBT), that she feels depressed, guilty, and unwanted since her divorce. The therapist would be most likely to do which of the following?
(A) Empathize with her feelings
(B) Ask her about her relationship with her father
(C) Put her on a behavior modification program
(D) Have her lie on a couch and say whatever comes to mind
(E) Help her understand that the negative beliefs about herself are false
E - The question discusses a patient with negative self-views and asks you to identify what a therapist trained in REBT (which focuses on getting rid of irrational beliefs) might do. Predict the Answer: Look for the scenario that involves eliminating self-defeating cognitions ((E) is the only response that fits). Choice (A) is a client-centered technique, (B) and (D) are psychodynamic, and (C) is classic behaviorism.
Which of the following is an example of the door-in-the-face technique?
(A) Liz's boss grants her request to leave 30 minutes early one day, even though leaving early is against company rules. The next week she asks to leave several hours early, and her boss allows it.
(B) Every time Liz's boss lets her leave early, she showers him with praise and thanks.
(C) Liz pesters her boss to allow her to leave early one day, constantly complaining that she feels ill-treated, until he finally gives in. Then she stops bothering him.
(D) Liz asks her boss to let her leave four hours early one day and he flatly refuses. She then asks him to let her leave 30 minutes early, and he agrees.
(E) Liz's boss never lets her leave early, no matter how much she pleads.
D - Here you're being asked to identify an example of the door-in-the-face technique: someone makes a large or unreasonable request, which is refused, then makes a smaller or more reasonable request, which is more likely to be granted because it fares well in the comparison. Predict the Answer: Choose the scenario wherein a second, comparatively reasonable request is granted. Choice (A) is actually an example of the foot-in-the-door technique: one makes a small request, which is granted, then makes a larger one, which is more likely to be granted because a precedent has been established. Choice (B) is simply positive reinforcement and (C) is simply negative reinforcement (there are no second requests involved). Choice (D) fits perfectly here: the request to leave only thirty minutes early seems much more reasonable in light of the previous request. Choice (E) doesn't exemplify any particular psychological phenomenon—just a mean boss.
Which of the following is a projective test?
(A) The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
(B) The Rorschach
(C) The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
(D) The DSM-5
(E) A clinical intake interview
B - Here you need to understand the concept of a projective test in order to identify one. Predict the Answer: Ideally you'll remember (or at least guess) that a "projective" test entails presenting the subject with ambiguous stimuli. Then they project emotions, conflicts, etc. onto the situation for the clinician to interpret. So pick whichever assessment tool has ambiguous elements. Choice (A) is a straightforward IQ test, so get rid of it. The Rorschach, (B), is the quintessential projective test, involving projection of one's psyche onto ambiguous inkblots (definitely keep (B)). The MMPI is a personality test, but it involves answering true/false questions; there's nothing ambiguous about it and there's not projection involved (get rid of (C) too). Choices (D) and (E) can be eliminated (even if you don't know what a projective test is) because neither is a "test" per se: the DSM-5 is a diagnostic manual and an intake interview simply gathers information about the client. Choice (B) is the answer.
Instead of throwing away an empty wine bottle, Julie paints it and uses it as a vase to display flowers. Julie has overcome which of the following?
(B) The fundamental attribution error
(C) The mere exposure effect
(D) Functional fixedness
(E) Learned helplessness
D - Here we have a situation wherein someone is using an object in an unusual way and we're asked what the person has overcome by doing so. Predict the Answer: What tendency would prevent someone from using an object in a novel way? Functional fixedness! ((D) is correct). Conformity, (A), is an appealing wrong choice here in that Julie's use of the wine bottle is atypical. However, conformity deals more with social pressure to behave and think as others do with respect to significant matters; there's no evidence that others would disapprove of her unusual vase. The fundamental attribution error, (B), deals with others' behavior and the mere exposure effect, (C), deals with the tendency to like what is familiar. Learned helplessness, (E), deals with the effects of repeated failure and is also inapplicable.
Conversion disorder (or "functional neurological symptom disorder") might cause an individual to complain of which of the following problems?
(A) A debilitating fear of heights
(B) A fear of germs
(C) Paralysis for which there is no apparent medical explanation
(D) A compulsion to inflict self-harm
(E) Delusions of grandeur
C - This question asks you to identify an example of conversion disorder (FNSD). Predict the Answer: Look for the situation wherein somebody has a neurological symptom, such as paralysis or loss of one of the senses, with no medical explanation or other psychological disorder that could account for this ((C) fits perfectly). The remaining choices are unrelated psychological symptoms.
A child who has mastered conservation understands that
(A) objects still exist even though they can't be seen
(B) human law is fallible and subject to a higher morality
(C) abstract ideas can be represented by symbols
(D) a given amount of liquid remains the same despite being poured into a smaller container
(E) outward expression of aggressive impulses will displease authority figures
D - Here you'll need to choose the statement that reflects what a child who has mastered conservation (according to Piaget) would understand. Predict the Answer: Mastering conservation means that the child grasps that a physical quantity remains the same even though its physical appearance can change ((D) is clearly correct). Choices (A) and (C), respectively, describe the Piagetian ideas of object permanence and symbolic thinking. Choice (B) describes one of Kohlberg's moral stages and choice (E) alludes to Freudian psychosexual development.
Which of the following best exemplifies the halo effect?
(A) Louise is the best student in her algebra class, so her teacher praises her constantly in front of the other students
(B) Louise has won the annual skiing competition for the past three ears, so everyone assumes she'll win again this year.
(C) Louise has the highest GPA in her class, so everyone assumes she'll be the best cheerleader on the new team and votes to make her captain.
(D) Louise is the most obedient child out of all her siblings, so her parents reward her with special privileges
(E) Louise is such an exceptionally talented ballerina that the other ballerinas in her class seem mediocre in comparison, even though some are quite good.
C - To answer this question correctly you'll need to know (or guess) what the halo effect is in order to identify an example. Predict the Answer: Choose the scenario in which a positive assessment of Louise in one area generalizes to a (perhaps unwarranted) positive assessment of her in another unrelated area. Choice (C) is the only scenario that fits. Just because Louise has a stellar GPA doesn't mean that she'll be the best cheerleader, as different skill sets are involved.
Which of the following is true of Wernicke's area?
(A) It is largely responsible for language comprehension.
(B) It is located in the frontal lobe.
(C) It is responsible for speech production.
(D) It controls balance and movement.
(E) It is associated with memory formation.
A - Here you're being asked to pick out a true statement about Wernicke's area—which is responsible for language comprehension. Predict the Answer: If you didn't remember that (A) is right on point, ideally you'd be able to use POE here. The most attractive answer would be (C), which deals with speech production, not speech comprehension (the former is associated with Broca's area).
Which of the following is characteristic of Munchausen syndrome by proxy?
(A) Ignoring one's child
(B) Committing suicide
(C) Verbally abusing one's child in public
(D) Physically abusing one's spouse in public
(E) Contaminating food to keep a family member ill
E - Here you're being asked to identify behavior that is characteristic of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Noting that the word "proxy" means substitute is important here. Predict the Answer: Look for a case in which somebody, especially a parent, is intentionally making someone in their care ill (or greatly exaggerating symptoms of an existing illness) in order to get attention. Choice (A) can be eliminated; Munchausen parents don't ignore their children (if anything, they are overly "attentive"). Choice (B) is wrong because there's no "proxy" involved in a suicide. Choices (C) and (D) can be eliminated because the involved abuse in public; people with Munchausen syndrome by proxy act like loving caregivers n front of others and are sure to keep any abuse a secret. Choice (E) makes sense here: contaminating food to keep someone ill is a common pattern seen with this disorder.
Biofeedback training would be LEAST likely to benefit a person who suffers from which of the following?
(A) Severe anxiety
(D) Migraine headaches
(E) Mild pain
C - Note this is a "LEAST" question; you're being asked which ailment biofeedback would be least likely to help. Predict the Answer: Biofeedback is a technique that attempts to control involuntary bodily functions (e.g., breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.) through auditory or visual feedback. With this in mind, look for medical conditions that probably couldn't be helped in any way by relaxation, lowering your stress levels, etc. Tumors, (C), are much less likely to get better as a result of a relaxation technique than would anxiety, (A), hypertension, (B), headaches, (D), or mild pain, (E). Common sense would suggest that surgery (or other serious medical intervention) would probably be required to get rid of a tumor.
Which of the following statements is true about hypnosis?
(A) While hypnotized, subjects can be forced to violate their personal moral codes.
(B) Hypnosis has proven beneficial in treating some physical conditions.
(C) Most people can be hypnotized against their will.
(D) All people are equally susceptible to hypnosis
(E) Post-hypnotic suggestion is not used in therapeutic settings.
B - Here you're being asked to evaluate the truth of various statements about hypnosis. Predict the Answer: Keep in mind that answer choices with extreme language (e.g., none, all, never, etc.) are always suspects. They can be true, but are much harder to support than are moderate statements. Compare (D): "all people are equally susceptible to hypnosis" with (B): "hypnosis has proven beneficial in treating some physical conditions." It's hard to argue with the second one because it's pretty conservative (and it's the correct answer here). On the other hand, if just ONE person is more susceptible than another to hypnosis, (D) can be disproved. Choices (A) and (C) are completely incorrect (hypnosis doesn't cause people to violate their moral codes, nor can people be hypnotized against their will). Moreover, post-hypnotic suggestion is often used in therapeutic settings ((E) is wrong as well).
A longitudinal study would be most appropriate to examine which of the following research issues?
(A) The rate of remission for institutionalized schizophrenics vs non-institutionalized schizophrenics
(B) The relationship between race, divorce, and income in the U.S.
(C) The effects of age and gender on conformity
(D) The efficacy of a new experimental drug for hypertension
(E) The extent to which single-parent households are impoverished in urban vs. rural areas
A - This question asks which research issue would be best suited to a longitudinal study (a design wherein the same subjects are studied over a long period). Predict the Answer: Ask yourself which scenario would require keeping track of the same people for a pretty long time in order to get the data you need. A study about remission rates in institutionalized vs. non-institutionalized schizophrenics would probably require keeping track of the same folks for awhile to see whether they relapsed, etc. ((A) looks pretty good). Choices (B) and (E) need a cross-sectional design: we want to find correlations between and among different factors. There's no need to study the same individuals over a long period to see how those factors are linked (eliminate (B) and (E)). Studying the effects of age and gender on conformity (C) would seem to require some sort of quasi-experimental manipulation: otherwise, what "conformity" could we measure? At any rate, we wouldn't need years to get our data. Similarly, a drug trial for a new blood pressure medication would require the standard experimental design involving stringent controls. Blood pressure, moreover, can be assessed right away; there's no need to follow the same subjects over an extended period. Choice (A) is correct.
Approximately what percentage of the population has an IQ score of 130 or above?
B - This question asks approximately what percentage of people have an IQ of 130 or above. Predict the Answer: An IQ of 130 is obviously very high, so you can easily eliminate choices (C), (D), and (E) Understanding that intelligence is normally distributed (picture a bell-shaped curve) will allow you to conclude that 2% (B) is the correct answer. Approximately 95% of the population has an IQ between 70 and 130, with those above 130 falling at the very high end of the distribution (approximately 2.5% of the population).
Cindy's therapist tells her that her debilitating fear of dogs likely stems from an unconscious fear of her parents, who were abusive to Cindy when she was a young child. The therapist prescribes sedatives for Cindy to calm her nerves. He then begins to gradually expose Cindy to dogs during therapy, beginning with stimuli that Cindy finds least frightening (e.g., a picture of a tiny dog). This therapist is best described as
D - Here you're being asked to describe Cindy's therapist. The information given indicates that he uses different techniques from various theoretical schools of thought (e.g., Freudian interpretation, behavioral systematic desensitization, medication). Predict the Answer: Clinicians who "borrow" ideas and techniques from different schools of thought are best described as eclectic (D).
Which of the following best exemplifies confirmation bias?
(A) Victor holds no definitive views on alcohol consumption, so he avoids discussing the topic with others.
(B) Victor believes drinking alcohol is morally wrong, although he remains open to thoughtful debate on the subject.
(C) Victor used to drink heavily, but, after suffering alcohol-related health problems, firmly believes that drinking is wrong.
(D) Victor has never believed that drinking alcohol is harmful; he continues to drink on occasion.
(E) Victor believes that drinking alcohol leads to serious health problems; he subscribes to several newsletters and podcasts that address the dangers of alcohol.
E - This question asks you to identify an example of confirmation bias (the tendency to seek out information that confirms our biases and established beliefs). Predict the Answer: Look for the scenario in which Victor is focusing on facts that support his preconceived notions. Choice (E) is the only answer that fits: Victor believes that drinking is bad for you, so he subscribes to newsletters and podcasts that promote that viewpoint.
Which of the following statements is NOT true regarding hormones and neurotransmitters?
(A) Neurotransmitters are primarily found in the nervous system.
(B) Hormones transmit signals faster than neurotransmitters do.
(C) Hormones are transmitted through the bloodstream.
(D) Neurotransmitters are transmitted across the synaptic cleft.
(E) Hormones are produced by the endocrine system.
B - Here you're being asked to evaluate the truth of various statements about hormones and neurotransmitters (keep in mind you're looking for the one that's false). Predict the Answer: You'll need to know your basics for this question (but a bit of common sense will help too). Hormones do NOT transmit faster than neurotransmitters do; the latter typically take only milliseconds, while hormones can take up to days for transmission ((B) is correct). All the remaining statements are true.
Which of the following tests appears to have predictive validity?
(A) 97% of high school students who take a certain college entrance exam a second time will score within 3 points of their first score on that exam.
(B) A questionnaire designed to assess the severity of tobacco addiction asks a variety of questions about how often the subject smokes, the circumstances under which the subject smokes, the severity of withdrawal symptoms, etc.
(C) Scores on a law school entrance exam are very highly correlated with first-year law school GPA's.
(D) A certain narcissism scale has very little overlap with most sociopathy scales: those who are determined to be narcissistic are typically NOT determined to be sociopathic.
(E) Scores on a newly developed depression scale correlate highly with scores on a well-established depression scale.
C - Here you're being asked to identify an example of a test with predictive validity. Predict the Answer: Look for the test that predicts future scores, behaviors, etc. with respect to the construct at issue. Choice (A) might seem like it fits because it deals with future scores, but it's actually just an example of reliability, not validity. Students who take that same test again simply get a very similar score; there's no indication as to whether that test is accurately measuring what it's supposed to measure. The test score is only "predicting a future score on that same test which could be measuring anything. Choice (B) is an example of face validity; the test appears on the surface to be measuring what it claims to measure. Choice (C) is the classic example and is correct here: a law school entrance exam accurately predicts first-year law school GPA's. Choice (D) is an example of construct validity. A narcissism scale should measure narcissism and only narcissism, not a closely related disorder such as sociopathy. Choice (E) is an example of concurrent validity; the test correlates highly with an established test of the same construct (in this case depression).
A psychologist wishes to examine the relationship between age and career satisfaction among Americans. Which of the following research methods would be the best choice?
(A) A case study
(B) Naturalistic observation
(C) A controlled laboratory experiment
(D) A quasi-experiment
(E) A cross-sectional study
E - "Relationship between age and career satisfaction" and "among Americans" are the key phrases here. Predict the Answer: We're looking for a method whereby we can assess career satisfaction at different ages and then generalize the findings to Americans (who are a very large group!). A case study, (A), wouldn't make any sense here: it's an in-depth analysis of a single individual, small group, or event. Naturalistic observation, (B), whereby researchers closely scrutinize behavior in a natural setting, wouldn't make any sense here either. There's no ongoing behavior that needs to be observed (and you can only naturalistically observe so many people!). Choice (C) might be tempting because a controlled laboratory experiment is usually the preferred research method because it allows you to infer causality, etc. However, an experiment wouldn't make any sense here either. You can't randomly assign people to different age groups (or levels of career satisfaction). Moreover, an experiment wouldn't involve enough subjects to conclude anything about Americans in general. A quasi-experiment, (D), is just an experiment without random assignment and would be equally inappropriate here. Choice (E), a cross-sectional experiment study, would be perfect. The design involves assessing, at a single point in time, similar individuals who differ on a key characteristic (like how Americans of different age groups view their jobs!). These studies often deal with correlations among large samples.
In the Milgram obedience experiments, subjects ("teachers") were instructed by the experimenter to administer shocks to confederates ("learners") as a punishment for wrong answers on a memory test. Which of the following variations did NOT lead to a decrease in obedience?
(A) Conducting the experiment in a run-down office instead of a prestigious university
(B) Allowing the teacher to instruct an assistant to administer the shock
(C) Moving the experiment farther from the teacher
(D) Having other teachers present who refused to obey
(E) Moving the learner closer to the teacher
B - Make sure that you truly understand what this type of complicated and convoluted question is asking you before you proceed! You are being asked which variation in the Milgram experiments did NOT lead to a DECREASE in obedience (i.e., all the wrong answer choices will have led to less shocking by the teacher). Predict the Answer: If you recall the experiments, you'll know (B) is the answer. Allowing an assistant to administer the shocks relieved the teacher of some personal responsibility—and led to a greater willingness to hurt the learner. While research findings aren't always predictable or consistent with common sense, if you didn't remember the study you would simply have had to guess here based on reasonable assumptions. A run-down office, (A), diminished the authority of the experimenter, and physically removing the experimenter from the scene, (C), similarly diminished his authoritative presence. The presence of other teachers who refused to shock, (D), emboldened the teacher to also refuse, and moving the learner closer to the teacher, (E), emphasized the suffering of the learner and the personal responsibility of the teacher.
Jerry (15 months old), Jimmy (17 months old), Jana (22 months old), and Jason (24 months old) do not yet walk. Which of the children, if any, can be considered developmentally delayed?
(A) None of the children
(B) Jason only
(C) Jason and Jana only
(D) Jason, Jana, and Jimmy only
(E) Jason, Jana, Jimmy, and Jerry
C - Here you'll need to know what the normal developmental parameters for walking are: Predict the Answer: Most children walk by 14 or 15 months and 18 months is considered delayed. Choice (C), Jason and Jana only, is the answer. Remember to use POE effectively if you're not sure. If you know, for example, that one child qualifies as delayed, any older must also qualify (and any answer choice that excludes the older child must be wrong).
Short-term memory lasts for approximately
(A) 5 to 15 seconds
(B) 20 to 30 seconds
(C) 60 to 75 seconds
(D) 75 to 90 seconds
(E) 90 to 120 seconds
B - This question is asking how long we can keep information stored in short-term memory. Predict the Answer: Short-term memory lasts approximately 20 to 30 seconds ((B) is correct).
Scores on a certain standardized essay test range from 1 to 6: 1 to 2 is below average, 3 to 4 is average, and 5 to 6 is above average. Layla received a score of 3, as one grader gave her a 1 and another gave her a 5—with 3 being the arithmetic mean. After challenging her score, Layla requested that another grader review her essay, and this third individual gave Layla a score of 3. Based on this information alone, the essay test in question might have
(A) high parallel-forms reliability
(B) high inter-rater reliability
(C) high test-retest reliability
(D) low inter-rater reliability
(E) low split-half reliability
D - Don't be fooled by the fact that Layla got a 3 on her test, challenged her score, and then got a 3 again. The scores for this essay test are all over the place and something is clearly wrong. Predict the Answer: Inter-rater reliability means that different people who score the same test will come up with approximately the same score. Given that three graders gave Layla three very different scores, this test may lack this kind of reliability ((D) is correct). You could pretty much have eliminated (A), (B), and (C) right off the bat here: no type of reliability has been established through this information. Choice (E) deals with split-half reliability, which would be more applicable to a multiple-choice exam (the score on one half of an exam should correlate highly with the score on the other half of the exam).
Which of the following groups, charged with the task of making a collective decision, would be most likely to fall victim to a groupthink process?
(A) A nationwide television audience voting online for their favorite performers on a talent-competition reality show
(B) Residents of a sparsely populated state voting to elect a new mayor
(C) Members of two rival sororities required to plan campus charity events together
(D) A close-knit extended family whose members must decide where to go on vacation
(E) A group of commuters on a subway attempting to render first aid to an injured woman.
D - Remember that the key factor that triggers a groupthink process (which is an undesirable phenomenon) is the cohesiveness of the group. Members censor their own dissenting opinions, and those of others, in order to preserve the unity and harmony of the group (which can lead to some pretty bad decisions!). Predict the Answer: The group most likely to fall victim to this phenomenon will be the most close-knit bunch of people. You can eliminate (A) and (B) right off the bat. Are nationwide TV audiences and state voting electorates close-knit groups? Clearly not. Are the members of two rival sororities a close-knit group? Nope—they're just the opposite (eliminate (C)). Are the members of a close-knit extended family a close-knit group? Yes! (Save (D)). Are a bunch of good Samaritan commuters on a subway a close-knit group? Nope—get rid of (E). Don't be lured by the fact that the decisions to be made in that last scenario are more urgent and important. The key to groupthink is group cohesiveness, not the critical nature of the situation.
On a snowy day, the Eta Pi fraternity members miss an important meeting with the dean of students, as do members of their rival fraternity. Which of the following would best exemplify the ultimate attribution error?
(A) The Eta Pi members blame the snowstorm for causing both fraternities to miss the meeting.
(B) The Eta Pi members admit that they didn't attend because they really don't care about administrative meetings; they assume their rival fraternity felt the same.
(C) The rival fraternity assumes that Eta Pi didn't attend because of the snowstorm.
(D) The rival fraternity assumes that the Eta Pi members were just too lazy and irresponsible to attend the meeting.
(E) The Eta Pi members believe that the snowstorm prevented them from getting to the meeting, but that the rival fraternity members were too lazy to attend.
E - Here you're being asked to evaluate a scenario in terms of the ultimate attribution error (which deals with situational vs dispositional attributions regarding "in" and "out" groups). You should have noticed that the fraternities were described as "rivals" (i.e., each likely considers the other an "out" group). You should also have noted the "snowy day" (an obvious situational factor that will probably come into play). Remember that this question is asking for the best example of the ultimate attribution error in this context; beware of answer choices that are correct but simply not as good as another choice. Predict the Answer: A scenario that exemplifies the ultimate attribution error here will have the fraternity members attribute their own failure to show up to the meeting to situational factors (probably the bad weather), but attribute the failure of the rival group (the "out group") to negative personality traits. Choice (D) has the one group thinking that the other group was just too lazy and irresponsible to show up (good so far!) However, those guys don't also attribute their own failure to show up to the snowy day (or some situational factor like that). Choice (E) is perfect.
Tim, an animal trainer, wanted to teach his seal to clap its flippers whenever Tim said the seal's name. Which manner of training the seal would be LEAST effective?
(A) Rewarded the seal with a fish every time it clapped at the sound of its name
(B) Rewarded the seal with a fish every five minutes, regardless of its behavior
(C) Rewarded the seal with a fish every other time it clapped at the sound of its name
(D) Rewarded the seal with a fish every third time it clapped at the sound of its name.
(E) Rewarded the seal with a fish for clapping at the sound of its name, on average once every five times (sometimes every three times, sometimes every seven times, etc.)
B - This scenario involves a trainer who wants to condition his seal to clap at the sound of its name. We're asked to identify which behavior on the part of the trainer would make it LEAST likely that he could train the seal (i.e., which reinforcement schedule would be least effective). Predict the Answer: In general, ratio schedules are the MOST effective, so you can already eliminate (C) and (D), which are fixed-ratio schedules, as well as (E), which is a variable-ratio schedule. Continuous reinforcement is initially good for teaching a new behavior, so eliminate (A). Giving the seal a fish every five minutes, no matter what it is doing, is a fixed-interval schedule. Skinner found that this tends to produce superstitious behaviors in animals and in humans. The seal might believe it is being rewarded for throwing its head back, rather than clapping, and so it will now constantly throw its head back when it wants a fish. Thus, (B) is correct.
Which of the following is NOT a problem with the Stanford prison experiment conducted by Philip Zimbardo?
(A) The treatment of the subjects, some of whom suffered extreme distress, was unethical
(B) The demand characteristics were prominent and problematic
(C) The study improperly inferred causality from correlation
(D) The subjects were all young males of college age
(E) The mock prison setting different significantly from a real one.
C - You should know the basic facts about the famous Zimbardo prison experiment. Even if you forgot some of them, a bit of common sense and POE can narrow down the choices here. Predict the Answer: Remember that this is a NOT question, so any aspect of the study that was basically okay will be the answer. Choice (A) can be eliminated pretty easily; causing subjects extreme distress is always an ethical problem. For (B), you need to remember what demand characteristics are; they are the cues (sometimes very subtle) that let research subjects know that they're expected to act a certain way. Many believe that the Zimbardo "guards" who behaved abusively were simply adopting the role they knew they were expected to play. Choice (C) looks good! Zimbardo never inferred causation from correlation as you might when dealing with survey results or other large numbers. This was an experiment involving a handful of subjects (keep (C)). It's always an issue when the results of a study are used to draw conclusions about people in general, yet the subjects are not representative of the larger population. College-age males might differ from females or older males in terms of aggression (eliminate (D)). The fact that the mock prison setting different significantly from a real prison is absolutely a problem (eliminate (E)); it's very difficult to generalize the study's results to the real world.
Dr. Jackson gives Louie, his three-year-old patient, a painful shot and Louie screams and cries. The next four times Louie visits Dr. Jackson, Louie screams and cries at the sight of him, even though no shot is given. On the fifth visit no shot is given and Louie shows no signs of distress. Which of the following best describes ALL of Louie's abovementioned reactions to Dr. Jackson?
(A) Louie was conditioned to cry at the sight of Dr. Jackson through negative reinforcement.
(B) Dr. Jackson became a conditioned stimulus for Louie's screaming and crying response.
(C) Through shaping, Louie was conditioned not to scream and cry at the sight of Dr. Jackson
(D) Louie was classically conditioned to respond fearfully to Dr. Jackson; then that conditioned response was extinguished.
(E) Louie was positively reinforced for crying and screaming in Dr. Jackson's presence, then positively reinforced for remaining calm in his presence.
D - Here we have a scenario about little Louie and how he seemed to develop a fear of the doctor after he received a shot from him. You're being asked to choose the best description of what occured. Note that the world "all" is capitalized; you can be sure that there will be at least one wrong choice that only addresses some of Louie's behavior! Predict the Answer: You should identify the type of conditioning that occured here before proceeding to the answer choices. Note that there are no rewards or punishments, so this must be classical conditioning—not operant conditioning. Also note that Louie's fear response to the doctor seemed to die out (i.e., it was extinguished). Choice (A) deals with negative reinforcement, (C) deals with shaping, and (E) deals with positive reinforcement; all three can be eliminated because they involve operant conditioning concepts. That leaves us with (B) and (D). Choice (B) is accurate but incomplete because it doesn't address the fact that the behavior was ultimately extinguished. Choice (D) accurately describes all of Louie's reactions.
Which of the following individuals, each of whom suffers from extreme anxiety, would be LEAST likely to benefit from systematic desensitization?
(A) A young mother who developed debilitating generalized anxiety after giving birth
(B) A combat veteran who began experiencing crippling symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder after an intense battle
(C) A CEO who is so afraid of flying that she panics at the mere sight of an airplane
(D) A college student who developed a mild fear of dogs after having been attacked by one
(E) A housebound man who is terrified to step outside his home
A - The key to getting this question right is understanding how systematic desensitization works (and not getting confused by all the red herrings)! The technique involves exposing the individual (sometimes virtually or only in the person's mind) to increasingly frightening aspects of whatever it is they fear (imagine a snake across the room, now imagine a snake a few feet away, now imagine the snake about to bite you, etc.). The fear must have a specific focus—otherwise you can't use the technique. The intensity of the fear, and how it came about, aren't critical factors here. Predict the Answer: Choose the scenario in which the fear is generalized (remember that this is a LEAST question, so we're looking for the case in which desensitization won't work). Choice (A) describes a young mother suffering from generalized anxiety since the birth of her child (this one looks good)! Dogs are a specific source of fear (eliminate (D)), as is flying (eliminate (C)). The combat veteran with PTSD, (B), isn't afraid of a specific animal or activity, but rather a series of traumatic memories. However, the therapist can still "expose" him to these memories gradually as he confronts the source of his fear in the safe therapeutic environment. The agoraphobic man can also benefit from desensitization therapy: he might be asked to imagine himself going outside, then actually putting on his coat to go outside, then placing one foot outside, etc. (eliminate (E) and choose (A)).
Of the following research studies, which one would be the most likely to be compromised by a ceiling effect?
(A) A study measuring the effects of professional tutoring on third-graders' standardized test scores.
(B) A study measuring the effects of monetary rewards on college students' ability to solve simple arithmetic problems
(C) A study measuring the effects of praise on middle school students' test scores in advanced algebra
(D) A study measuring the effects of parental encouragement on toddlers' ability to learn new words
(E) A study measuring the effects of health food consumption on high school students' SAT scores
B - Here you're being asked to identify the data that would be most likely to suffer a ceiling effect (i.e., the dependent variable measures are so high that the independent variable can't really affect them much). Predict the Answer: Look for the test (or other assessment) that's too easy for the group of people taking it. Choice (B) fits: most college students can easily solve simple arithmetic problems.
The Asch conformity experiment involved asking subjects to identify the longest of several lines in the context of a "vision test." Which of the following is true regarding this series of experiments?
(A) Subjects were as likely to conform when they delivered written responses in private as the were when they voiced their responses aloud.
(B) Most subjects conformed even when one of the confederates opposed the group by giving the correct response.
(C) The study was representative in that it included roughly equal numbers of males and females, as well as adult subjects of all ages.
(D) The number of confederates present affected the rate at which the subjects conformed.
(E) Making the lines more similar in length decreased conformity on the part of the subjects.
D - Here you'll need to assess the truth of various statements about the Asch conformity experiments. Predict the Answer: If you don't remember this series of experiments, then simply make an educated guess. Allowing private responses (A) and introducing a non-conforming confederate (B) decreased conformity (which makes perfect sense). Choice (C) is also incorrect: one of the problems with the study is that all subjects were college-age males. Choice (E) is also incorrect because making the lines more similar (and the task harder) increased conformity—and predictably so; when we're less sure of ourselves, we're less likely to openly challenge the consensus. Choice (D) is correct; the number of confederates present did affect conformity rates (conformity was maximized at 3 to 5 people; additional confederates had no significant effect).
Billy's mother takes him out of the crib in his bedroom and carries him away for a bath, leaving his favorite stuffed toy behind. While being taken down the hallway Billy cries and reaches out in the direction of the bedroom for the toy. According to Piaget, Billy most likely
(A) has reached the formal operations stage because he used logic in his attempt to regain the toy
(B) has reached the concrete operations stage
(C) has achieved object permanence
(D) is in the sensorimotor stage because he has mastered conservation
(E) is in the preoperational stage because he can think symbolically
C - The question refers to Piaget, so you should be thinking in terms of his developmental stages. It appears that Billy is an infant and that he understands that the toy is still there even though he can no longer see it. Predict the Answer: You should be thinking—sensorimotor stage (birth to 2 yrs.), with object permanence achieved ((C) is correct). If you forgot some or all of Piaget's stages, you could still use POE and common sense to narrow down the choices. Choice (A) makes no sense because babies aren't capable of "logic," which involves a sophisticated thought process. If you didn't know what the "concrete operations" stage is, you might not be able to eliminate (B) yet. Choice (D) is the trap answer because it lists the correct stage, but the wrong milestone; conservation occurs many years later in the concrete operations stage (remember that "half right" is all wrong!). Since (E) can be eliminated through common sense (there's no "symbolism" here: Billy simply understands that the toy is still there), you would still have it narrowed down to three even if you didn't remember the stages. Choice (C) is the only one that mentions objects, so that would be your best bet for a guess.
Alice had always included two teaspoons of salt in her gravy until her husband, Ralph, recently complained it was too bland. The next six times Alice made gravy, she added an additional teaspoon of salt, but Ralph only noticed this increase on two of those six occasions. Which of the following statements is accurate regarding Ralph and Alice's gravy?
(A) His absolute threshold for salt is two teaspoons.
(B) His different threshold (JND) for salt is one teaspoon.
(C) His absolute threshold for salt is greater than his difference threshold (JND) for salt.
(D) His difference threshold (JND) for salt is three teaspoons.
(E) His difference threshold (JND) for salt is greater than one teaspoon.
E - This question seems to be focusing on Ralph's ability to detect when more salt has been added to the gravy, so you should be thinking "difference threshold (or JND)"! Predict the Answer: If you knew the definition of JND (the smallest difference between two stimuli that can be detected 50% of the time), then it's clear that we don't actually know what the JND is here (but it must be greater than one teaspoon). Ralph only noticed the extra teaspoon of salt two out of six times, so you can eliminate (B) and (D). If you didn't know how to define JND you could still eliminate (A) because we know nothing about Ralph's absolute threshold for salt in gravy (i.e., the lowest level at which he can detect salt at all). Choice (C) makes no sense because the level at which Ralph can detect an increase in salt can't be lower than his ability to detect any salt whatsoever. Choice (E) is correct.
A double-blind design is preferable for an experimental drug trial because it will likely eliminate which of the following?
(A) The placebo effect
(B) Demand characteristics
(C) Random error
(D) The need for informed consent
(E) Serious side effects of the drugs ingested
B - Here you need to know what a double-blind experiment (i.e., neither the experimenter nor the subjects know who is in which group) is designed to eliminate. Predict the Answer: The correct answer will be something negative that you could plausibly eliminate by not telling the experimenter which subjects are receiving which treatment. Choice (D) is out (informed consent is a good thing). Choice (C) makes no sense: random error can't be eliminated so easily (it's random). Choice (E) is implausible as well; if a drug has serious side effects, research methodology can't change that. Choice (A), the placebo effect, might seem like an attractive answer, but it doesn't fit either. If one group gets a drug and the other gets a placebo, the second group might demonstrate a placebo effect. It doesn't matter that the experimenter doesn't know which group received the actual drug (not knowing might actually make a placebo effect more likely). Choice (B) is the answer. Demand characteristics are subtle cues given by the researcher to the subjects that let them know how they're supposed to behave. In a double-blind scenario, the experimenter doesn't know how each group is supposed to behave.
According to Freudian theory, an individual who is fixated at the oral stage of psychosexual development is likely to
(A) be verbally abusive to others
(B) have a rigid sense of gender roles
(C) be preoccupied with cleanliness
(D) have an overly obsessive personality
(E) have difficulties with romantic partners
A - Here you're being tested on your knowledge of the Freudian theories of psychosexual development and what happens when somebody gets fixated, or psychologically "stuck," at the oral stage. Predict the Answer: Choose the scenario that involves some sort of oral gratification or "infantile" dependency. Choices (C) and (D) both involve an anal-retentive fixation, (B) seems to involve trouble with the phallic stage, and (E) indicates trouble during the genital phase, which could have various causes. Although chewing gum, drinking, and overeating are classic examples of a passive oral fixation, Freud also described using one's voice to control or harass others as an active oral fixation from a time when one didn't get one's needs met by crying. Choice (A) is the correct answer.
Annie is very late for an important interview and there are few empty parking spaces nearby. When a woman attempts to park her car in a spot that Annie had planned to park in, an argument develops and insults are exchanged. According to attribution theory, Annie will most likely
(A) assume that the other woman was also late for an interview
(B) attribute the other woman's hostile behavior to the fact that Annie was herself hostile
(C) consider the argument to be the result of her own character flaws and feel guilty
(D) believe that the unpleasant exchange occurred because both women were feeling stressed
(E) conclude that the other woman is a rude and aggressive individual
E - The question asks how Annie would view the hostile incident in terms of attribution theory (the ways in which we all try to explain everybody's behavior). Predict the Answer: You should be thinking in terms of attribution biases, such as the fundamental attribution error. We know that we tend to overestimate dispositional factors (and underestimate situational factors) when interpreting the behavior of others. However, when we're interpreting our own behavior, we tend to do the opposite. So Annie would probably assume that the other woman fought with her simply because she's a hostile and unpleasant person, not because the woman was stressed out, etc. In contrast, she would attribute her own hostile behavior to the stressful situation which she found herself. Choices (A), (B), (C), and (D) are wrong; (E) is the only answer consistent with this theory.
A psychology professor visits a certain kindergarten classroom, which is known for being especially rowdy, in order to study the effects of a token economy on disruptive behavior. Half the students were put on a token economy and the other half were not, with students being randomly assigned to the "token" and "control" groups. If disruptive behavior decreased significantly for both groups, but the reduction was much greater for the "token" groups, which concepts would, respectively, best explain these two findings?
(A) Social facilitation and operant conditioning
(B) The Hawthorne effect and the placebo effect
(C) The placebo effect and the Hawthorne effect
(D) The Hawthorne effect and operant conditioning
(E) Operant conditioning and social facilitation
D - We have a scenario wherein both groups of children showed a significant reduction in disruptive behavior, even though only one group was placed on a token economy. However, the "token" group did show a much greater decrease than did the control group. Predict the Answer: The concept that best accounts for the substantial decrease in disruptive behavior in the "token" group is simply operant conditioning: good behavior is rewarded with something the child wants (nothing extraordinary here). In terms of the decrease in disruptiveness in the control group, however, you'd be at an advantage if you remembered the Hawthorne effect: that involves a change in the behavior being assessed simply as the result of the fact that the subjects are being observed. In this case, the kids are on their best behavior with an authoritative adult stranger in the room ((D) is correct). The placebo effect is inapplicable here (no children were falsely told they were receiving treatment). Social facilitation refers to one's ability to perform simple tasks when observed and is also inapplicable.
Randy is a new patient at a psychiatric facility and his doctor suspects that he might have antisocial personality disorder. Which of the following would be the best way to assess Randy for the disorder?
(A) Have him fill out a psychopath questionnaire
(B) Rely on whatever relevant information is available from third parties, such as family accounts and police reports, and have staff monitor his behavior closely.
(C) Interact with him for several hours in order to get an intuitive sense of his character
(D) Go over each of the DSM-5 criteria for antisocial personality disorder with him during the clinical intake interview in order to determine which if any, apply
(E) Administer a Rorschach test
B - Here you're being asked to identify the best way to assess an antisocial personality. Predict the Answer: Eliminate any answer choice that relies on information provided by Randy himself (psychopaths are deceptive, manipulative, and adept at hiding their negative traits)! Get rid of (A) and (D). The information gained from a projective test like the Rorschach is harder to fake and will be more accurate. However, it won't be specific or thorough enough to warrant a diagnosis (eliminate (E)). While skilled clinicians often have good intuition about patients, the doctor's own feelings about Randy are not an adequate basis for a diagnosis (eliminate (C)). The doctor's best bet is to rely on what others say about Randy (especially documented incidents of antisocial conduct) and watch his behavior closely ((B) is correct).
Frank helped his father paint their house on Saturday and did an excellent job. To show his gratitude for his son's efforts, Frank's father gave him a big hug, took him out for ice cream, and gave him $20. The hug, the ice cream, and the $20 are, respectively
(A) a primary reinforcer, a secondary reinforcer, and a secondary reinforcer
(B) a secondary reinforcer, a primary reinforcer, and a secondary reinforcer
(C) a secondary reinforcer, a secondary reinforcer, and a primary reinforcer
(D) a primary reinforcer, a primary reinforcer, and a primary reinforcer
(E) a primary reinforcer, a primary reinforcer, and a secondary reinforcer.
E - We need to consider each of the three rewards given here (a hug, ice cream, and $20) and determine if it is a primary or secondary reinforcer. Predict the Answer: Remember that a "primary" reinforcer is something that is inherently pleasant or rewarding on a biological level (e.g. food and drink), with no need to pair it with another reinforcer. A "secondary" reinforcer, in contrast, has no biological significance; it gains its reward value through association with a primary reinforcer (e.g., a winning raffle ticket). Is a hug inherently rewarding on a biological level? Absolutely—human affection and physical contact are basic needs (you can eliminate (B) and (C)). Is ice cream inherently rewarding on a biological level? Yes! Eliminate (A). Is twenty dollars inherently rewarding on a biological level? Nope! No matter how much we humans like our cash, money has no inherent value for us. Getting twenty dollars is only rewarding because we can exchange it for something else ((D) is wrong and (E) is correct).
Bobby is furious with his teacher for failing him in math. When he gets home he immediately hits his younger brother, whom he dislikes intensely, shouting, "don't give me that mean look!". For the next few hours Bobby constantly gives his brother treats and tells him how much he loves him. Bobby's behavior suggests all of the following defensive mechanisms EXCEPT
(C) reaction formation
E - Bobby was evidently really mad at his teachers, took it out on his younger brother (sort of claiming that the brother was the one who was hostile), then tried to make it up by being especially nice to the little brother he abused. This is an EXCEPT question, so look for the defense mechanism that doesn't fit in anywhere in this scenario. Predict the Answer: Bobby's behavior is a classic example of displacement, in which impulses or feelings, often aggressive ones, are transferred from their original object to one perceived as less threatening (eliminate (A)). His behavior is also classic projection; he attempts to disown his own unacceptable feelings and impulses by falsely attributing them to his brother (accusing his brother of giving him a "mean look": eliminate (B)). A reaction formation occurs when we behave in a manner that is directly opposed to an underlying impulse that we consider unacceptable. Bobby was nice to his brother and told him that he loved him, even though he really doesn't like him (eliminate (C)). Undoing involves an attempt to negate or reverse an act that the individual has committed, ut considers unacceptable, by doing its opposite. Bobby is clearly trying to make up for his bad behavior towards his brother by being overly nice to him (eliminate (D)). Intellectualization involves an attempt to protect ourselves from anxiety by engaging in abstract reasoning or excessive intellectual activity (this one doesn't apply: (E) is the answer).
A researcher wanted to examine the effects of vitamin intake on standardized test scores. One-hundred local high school students were randomly assigned to receive either a potent vitamin pill, an inert tablet that they were told was a potent vitamin, or no pill at all each morning. The test scores of the students who received the vitamins increased by 20% on average, the scores of those who received the inert tablet increased by 9% on average, and the scores of the remaining students increased by 3% on average. Which of the following is true regarding this study?
(A) It uses a within-subjects design.
(B) Its findings can all be explained by the placebo effect.
(C) It is a quasi-experiment, so causation cannot properly be inferred.
(D) It uses a between-subjects design.
(E) It is methodologically flawed because the sample size is too small.
Shaun's behavior is extremely erratic and he is prone to frequent mood swings. He is self-destructive, highly emotional, overly concerned with his physical appearance, and never comfortable unless he is the center of attention. In terms of a different diagnosis, Shaun's psychologist should consider which of the following personality disorders?
(A) Histrionic and antisocial
(B) Antisocial and avoidant
(C) Borderline and paranoid
(D) Paranoid, borderline, and antisocial
(E) Histrionic, borderline, and narcissistic
Paul Ekman identified 6 basic human emotions that are universal across cultures. These emotions are
(A) happiness, disgust, jealousy, sadness, fear, and anger
(B) disgust, anger, fear, happiness, surprise, and sadness
(C) fear, love, happiness, sadness, surprise, and disgust
(D) surprise, sadness, happiness, disgust, shame, and jealousy
(E) shame, sadness, disgust, anger, fear, and happiness
Which of the following statistics, if true, would provide the most support for the assertion that alcoholism causes depression?
(A) 78% of alcoholics are depressed.
(B) 85% of depressed people are alcoholics.
(C) 72% of alcoholics are depressed, and for 85% of those individuals, a diagnosis of alcoholism preceded a diagnosis of depression by a minimum of three years.
(D) Whenever rates of alcoholism increase among the population, rates of depression increase proportionately.
(E) Whenever rates of depression decrease among the population, rates of alcoholism decrease proportionately.
Which of the following accurately states a critical difference between PTSD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
(A) PTSD, not Generalized Anxiety Disorder, emerges following exposure to the threat of death, injury, or sexual assault.
(B) PTSD affects older individuals more than Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
(C) Generalized Anxiety Disorder is more likely than PTSD to involve hypervigilance.
(D) Unlike Generalized Anxiety Disorder, PTSD does not usually involve intrusive thoughts.
(E) Unlike PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder does not usually involve avoidance behaviors.
According to Maslow's humanistic theory of motivation, which of the following is at the very top of the pyramid of human needs?
(A) Physical safety
(B) Food and water
(E) Love and a sense of belonging
Tonya, a very shy three-year old girl, falls and skins her knee. She runs to her mother crying, but then runs away when her mother attempts to comfort her. Based on the research and theories of Mary Ainsworth, it is likely that
(A) Tonya has a "secure" attachment to her mother
(B) Tonya's mother has never attempted to comfort her daughter before
(C) Tonya has an "insecure ambivalent/resistant" attachment to her mother
(D) Tonya has a more secure attachment to her father than to her mother
(E) Tonya has an "insecure avoidant" attachment to her mother
A police officer conducts a traffic stop, suspecting that the driver is under the influence of alcohol. She instructs him to close his eyes and touch his nose with his right finger. She is primarily testing the driver's
(A) short-term memory
(C) attention span
(D) reaction time
(E) visual acuity
Which of the following scenarios provides the most support for the theory that antisocial personality traits are genetic?
(A) Dizygotic twins are reared together; both are antisocial
(B) Monozygotic twins are reared together; neither is antisocial
(C) Monozygotic twins are reared together; both are antisocial
(D) Dizygotic twins are reared apart; only one is antisocial
(E) Monozygotic twins are reared apart; both are antisocial
Which of the following survey findings are most likely to accurately reflect what they purport to measure?
(A) Jeffrey stands outside an upscale grocery store and asks the first 100 people who walk by whom they intend to vote for in the upcoming senatorial election (they all answer his question). Based on the results, he concludes that candidate X will win.
(B) On orientation day at Jeffrey's college he passes out a survey about attitudes towards capital punishment. Based on the 100 responses he collects (everyone present responded), he concludes that young people in America disapprove of capital punishment.
(C) Jeffrey mails a survey about environmental issues to 500 people randomly selected from the local phone book. Based on the 100 responses he receives, he concludes that most people in his county of residence believe that more money should be spent on conservation efforts.
(D) At an elementary school Jeffrey chooses three of the four sixth-grade classes at random and distributes a survey about which field trips the children desire. All 100 children completed the survey and, based on the results, he concluded that the overwhelming majority of sixth-graders at that school want to visit a science museum.
(E) Jeffrey visits a community meeting at the Town Hall, shows a film about the plight of the poor, and passes out a political survey (all 100 people present complete it). Based on the results he concludes that ost local citizens believe that the government should be doing more to eliminate poverty in their area.
Edward and Elsie are siblings who grew up with highly critical parents. Edward lacks confidence in his abilities to make significant life decisions and relies extensively on his wife to guide him. He similarly requires a great deal of help from his coworkers to perform routine tasks at his job. In contrast, Elsie is a wealthy, powerful, and fiercely competitive executive who strives to dominate everyone around her. According to the theories of Alfred Adler, which of the following statements best characterizes Edward and Elsie's behavior?
(A) Edward harbors unconscious feelings of inferiority, but Elsie does not.
(B) Elsie harbors unconscious feelings of inferiority, but Edward does not.
(C) Edward and Elsie are both overcompensating for unconscious feelings of inferiority.
(D) Elsie is overcompensating for unconscious feelings of inferiority, while Edward is undercompensating for such feelings.
(E) Edward is compensating for unconscious feelings of inferiority in a negative way while Elsie is compensating for such feelings in a positive way.
The external ear is separated from the middle ear by the
(A) tympanic membrane
(C) semicircular canals
Which of the following is NOT a symptom of fetal alcohol syndrome?
(A) Intellectual disability
(B) Low birth weight
(C) A large head
(D) Poor social skills
(E) Poor coordination
Which of the following is true about efferent neurons?
(A) They are sensory neurons.
(B) They can transmit impulses between other neurons.
(C) They carry neural impulses away from the central nervous system to the muscles.
(D) They carry neural impulses from sensory stimuli towards the central nervous system.
(E) They enable communication between sensory and motor neurons.
Brad is highly sociable and loves to attend large parties, although when he does he often gets into physical altercations or other legal trouble. He is quick to anger and unpredictable, often jeopardizing his safety and that of others. According to Hans Eysenck, which of the following is probably true of Brad?
(A) He falls towards the "stability" end of stability/neuroticism continuum and the high end of the psychoticism scale.
(B) He falls towards the low end of the psychoticism scale and towards the "neuroticism" end of the stability/neuroticism continuum
(C) He is biologically predisposed to avoid stimulation
(D) He falls towards the "introversion" end of the introversion/extraversion continuum
(E) He falls towards the high end of the psychoticism scale and towards the "extraversion" end of the extraversion/introversion continuum.
Which of the following is the best example of top-down processing?
(A) Ned reaches into his bag for his French book but mistakenly grabs his English book instead, as the books are about the same size.
(B) Ned sees an object lying in the road but can't identify it at such distance; when he gets closer he realizes that it is a discarded bag of groceries.
(C) Ned sees a woman standing outside a store, then notices that she is wearing a uniform, then notices that she is holding a plate of food; he then realizes that the woman is a salesperson offering free samples of the store's merchandise.
(D) Ned is colorblind, so he differentiates between oranges and grapefruits by size, not color.
(E) Ned is trying to read a cookie recipe that has been partially torn. He sees the letters "b" and "u" and correctly concludes that the word is "butter."
Mr. Reynolds, an elderly jewelry store owner, is looking to hire a new manager. He interviews Candy, a very attractive twenty-five-year-old blonde woman, who has excellent references. Mr. Reynolds likes Candy but doesn't hire her; he believes that someone with her looks wouldn't be "taken seriously" as an authority figure. He is also afraid that a "flighty blonde" wold spend more time flirting with customers than attending to her managerial duties. Which of the following does NOT characterize Mr. Reynold's actions?
(B) Self-serving bias
(C) Out-group homogeneity
Which of the following research studies is probably the LEAST ethically problematic?
(A) An experiment about social loafing in which the researcher lies about the purpose of the study, telling subjects it's about short-term memory
(B) A drug trial in which prisoners are required to participate in order to retain important privileges within the correctional facility
(C) A study involving treatment for depression in which subjects' names are published along with the data pertaining to them
(D) An experiment measuring the extent to which subjects are willing to administer a lethal electric shock to a stranger (although, unbeknownst to the subject, the shocks are fake)
(E) A nutritional study in which kindergarteners are given vitamin supplements without their parents' knowledge
Allie is surprised to learn that her family and friends find her use of her new floral perfume excessive and overwhelming. The most likely explanation is that Allie is experiencing which of the following?
(B) Olfactory fatigue
(C) Cocktail party syndrome
Which of the following pairs of symptoms probably warrants a diagnosis of schizophrenia, as opposed to schizotypal personality disorder?
(A) Social isolation and social anxiety
(B) Marked eccentricities and odd behavior
(C) Delusions and hallucinations
(D) Paranoia and distorted perceptions
(E) Flat affect and inappropriate emotional responses
Which of the following is the best example of the availability heuristic?
(A) Greg thinks that good looking people are more likely to commit murder than they really are because the media tends to focus on such cases.
(B) Greg believes that his next child will definitely be a girl because he and his wife already have five boys.
(C) Greg assumes that his daughter is a bad driver because she has had four accidents in the last month.
(D) Greg is worried about his car breaking down because that model is associated with a disproportionate number of online consumer complaints.
(E) Greg adopts a German shepherd, although he would have preferred a golden retriever, because there were no golden retrievers available for adoption.
Vera's cat, Fluffy, meows excitedly whenever Vera takes out a can of tuna (Fluffy's favorite food) from the cabinet; Vera almost always shares the tuna with Fluffy. Fluffy also behaves this way when Vera takes out a can of corn (which Fluffy does not eat), but not when she takes out a can of mushrooms (which Fluffy also does not eat). Vera didn't share her last two cans of tuna with Fluffy. Based on this information, which of the following is most likely true?
In a research experiment, only inmates on "Block A" of a certain prison participated in an anger-management program. Daily staff reports showed that there was an average of only five violent incidents on Block A that year—73% fewer than average in that prison. Which of the following, if true, would NOT cast doubt on the study's finding that anger management reduces prison violence?
(A) Only Block A inmates were given a special diet intended to promote well-being,
(B) Security is much stricter on Block A than in other areas of the prison.
(C) Only highly violent prisoners were studied.
(D) Block A staff created the anger management program and wanted it to succeed.
(E) All Block A inmates received the same basic treatment.
Several patients on a psychiatric unit report symptoms to the head nurse. Which one is most likely to be malingering?
(A) A thirty-year-old woman hospitalized for bipolar disorder who reports suicidal thoughts
(B) A twenty-five-year-old man hospitalized for schizophrenia who reports hearing voices
(C) A sixteen-year-old girl hospitalized for an eating disorder who reports thoughts of self-harm
(D) A thirteen-year-old boy hospitalized for antisocial behavior who reports visual hallucinations
(E) An eighty-year-old woman hospitalized for depression who reports memory loss
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