This AP Psychology practice test covers the history, approaches, and research methods of psychology. On the exam you need to know the basic history of psychology along with the different approaches and subfields. You will also need to be familiar with experimental, correlational, and clinical research. The research methods topic also covers statistics and research ethics. Test your knowledge with our free online quiz.
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Chip believes that human behavior is primarily generated in our unconscious minds and is the result of unresolved conflicts and desires, especially rooted in childhood experience. To which psychological perspective is Chip most likely to prescribe?
Question 1 Explanation:
The correct answer is (D). The Psychoanalytic perspective suggests that behavior is the result of unconscious dynamics (inner forces), and that childhood experiences plays a crucial role in the development of adult behavior, and that behavioral traits can be linked to earlier traumatic experiences.
Debbie is interested in determining if music helps people study. To do this, she uses the help of 40 students in her psychology class. She randomly assigns half the people to study with music in the background for an hour, and the other half study with no music for an hour. The students then take a test on that material. In this example, what is the independent variable?
Music versus no music
Group that studies with no music
Group that studies with music
Scores on the exam
Students in the class
Question 2 Explanation:
The correct answer is (A). The independent variable is the variable manipulated in a study. It is called independent as it is independent of the subject’s behavior. In this case, the “condition” applied is listening to music or NOT listening to music. The dependent variable in this study is the students’ performance on the test.
Which of the following would not appear on a normal distribution of intelligence scores for children?
Question 3 Explanation:
The correct answer is (E). All the other measures do appear on a normal curve showing group intelligence scores. Mean, median and mode are all 100 and the standard deviation is 15 points.
Which of the following best describes the longitudinal research method?
Observing one individual or group in their natural environment for a period of time
Asking questions of a random sample of individuals
Assessing changes in a group of same aged individuals numerous times over many years
Doing cross cultural studies
Testing people of different ages once
Question 4 Explanation:
The correct answer is (C). The longitudinal research method entails repeated observations of the same group over a usually long period of time.
In research terms, what qualifies an assessment as “valid?”
If the assessment accurately measures what it claims to be measuring
If the study shows the independent variable is effective
If the study disproves the hypothesis
If the study has a large number of participants
If the study is conducted under controlled conditions
Question 5 Explanation:
The correct answer is (A). The concept of validity states that a test is valid if it measures what it claims to measure.
What type of research methodology involves watching participants without interacting with them to see how they behave?
Question 6 Explanation:
The correct answer is (D). Naturalistic observation refers to the collection of data without manipulation of the environment. The goal of naturalistic observation is to study the behavior of an organism in its authentic settings without their awareness that they are being observed.
Dr. Miller believes there is a relationship between the amount of carbohydrates a child eats and the hyperactivity of a child. This belief is:
Question 7 Explanation:
The correct answer is (A). Psychology is based on observable events and the scientific method. Psychologists use theories to help organize a variety of observable events, make sense of them, make predictions about them, and connect them with more comprehensive principles. In essence, theories explain observable events in a meaningful way. Keep in mind that theories are not as specific as hypotheses, which are so specific that we use them to make predictions in research. Theories are general explanations about behavior and events.
Instead of studying his spelling words like everyone else, Scott copies from other people when the teacher gives a test. A behaviorist would likely attribute Scott’s cheating to:
A genetic tendency to maximize his opportunities for promoting himself above others.
His underdeveloped frontal lobe, which is used in complex decision making and judgment.
His perception that the test is too difficult, and, therefore, his cheating is justified.
Inner conflicts that are buried deep in his unconscious.
The fact that he was reinforced for cheating on a test in the past.
Question 8 Explanation:
The correct answer is (E). Behaviorists believe that a that actions that are reinforced are more likely to be repeated. A behaviorist would state that because Scott succeeded on earlier tests by copying, he believes he will continue to cheat on tests.
Dr. Daugherty studies how the thickness of the beaks of one species of birds has undergone adaptive changes in response to drought and other environmental factors over a very long period of time. Which psychological approach does Dr. Daugherty take?
Question 9 Explanation:
The correct answer is (C). Recognizing the key factor that this is over “a very long period of time,” the only choice that works here is evolutionary.
What was the name of the pseudoscientific approach to cerebral localization of function that used measurements of bumps and indentations of the skull?
Split brain theory
Question 10 Explanation:
The correct answer is (B). Phrenology links cerebral location to function based on bumps in the head; this concept has been discredited. Phrenology was an important step in the development of neuropsychology.
Who is considered the founder of behaviorism?
Question 11 Explanation:
The correct answer is (E). John Watson believed that psychology should be a study of only what can be observable and measurable.
If in a bell-shaped symmetrical distribution, the mean, median, and mode are identical, what kind of distribution if present?
Negatively skewed distribution
Positively skewed distribution
Question 12 Explanation:
The correct answer is (C). A normal distribution, also known as a bell curve, is symmetric across a vertical axis composed of the mean, median, and mode.
In a normal distribution, what is the percentage of scores that lie within one standard deviation of the mean?
Question 13 Explanation:
The correct answer is (D). 68% of scores fall within one standard deviation of a normal distribution; 34% above the mean, and 34% below the mean.
On a scatter plot, a pattern of date points extends from the lower-left corner to the upper-right corner. The pattern of data for this scatterplot shows:
A negative correlation
A zero correlation
A negative skew
A positive correlation
A positive skew
Question 14 Explanation:
The correct answer is (D). In cases where the dependent variable increases as the independent variable increases, as it does in this example, the data show a positive correlation. A best fit line for this data would have a positive slope.
Patrick wants to talk to his mother about his weekly allowance. It is currently $1, and he would like it to be increased. He gathers data from several of his friends: $2, $4, $4, $5, $7, $30. To make the best argument to his mother, Patrick would be well-advised to use which measure of central tendency?
Question 15 Explanation:
The correct answer is (A). Patrick would be well-advised to use the mean. It always goes in the direction of the skew, and the $30 allowance that he found skews the distribution nicely (for the purposes of his argument).
We’ve compared two sets of data in a correlational study and have found a correlation coefficient of +.83. We can legitimately conclude that there’s what kind of relationship between our measures?
Strong inverse relationship
Strong positive relationship
Weak inverse relationship
Weak positive relationship
Question 16 Explanation:
The correct answer is (C). A correlation this strong expresses a strong positive relationship between the two sets of measures. Correlation coefficients range from −1 to 1 with −1 indicating a perfect negative correlation, 0 indicating no correlation, and 1 indicating a perfect positive correlation. A correlation of +0.83 is a strong positive correlation.
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