This AP Psychology practice test covers sensation and perception. For this portion of the AP exam you will need to be familiar with thresholds and signal detection theory, attention, sensory mechanisms, and perceptual processes. Start your test prep right now with our free quiz questions.
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Although Robert was sitting right next to his wife, he smelled the very slight odor of a skunk minutes before she did. Apparently, Robert has a lower ________ for skunk odor than his wife.
Question 1 Explanation:
The correct answer is (B). An absolute threshold is the lowest level of a stimulus — light, sound, touch, etc. — detectable by an organism fifty percent of the time.
After feeling the cold water against your skin when you first jump into the pool, after a few minutes, you no longer feed cold. This best illustrates:
Gate Control Theory
Question 2 Explanation:
The correct answer is (B). Neural adaptation or sensory adaptation is a change over time in the responsiveness of the sensory system to a constant stimulus. It is usually experienced as a reduction in responsiveness to the stimulus.
What is the process by which we recognize, interpret, and organize our sensations?
Question 3 Explanation:
The correct answer is (A). Perception is the process of recognizing, giving meaning to and interpreting sensory stimuli.
What are the two types of receptors in the eye?
Cones and rods
Disks and rods
Cones and poles
Rods and poles
Disks and cones
Question 4 Explanation:
The correct answer is (A). Inside of the retina are two types of photoreceptors, rods and cones. Rods are much more sensitive than cones and are adapted for vision in low light. Cones, on the other hand, are adapted for color sensitivity. While there are upwards of 120 million rods in each retina, the cones number 6 to 7 million.
What carries information for the rods and cones back out to the ganglion cells and then to the thalamus?
Question 5 Explanation:
The correct answer is (B). Signals received by the photoreceptor cells (rods and cones) are transmitted to the ganglion cells by way of bipolar cells. More generally, these cells function to transmit sensory information from the site of stimulation to the ganglion cells and then to other brain areas.
Jenny likes to look at the stars at night. Since it is fairly dark, she turns her head to use which cells in her retina in order to detect more stars?
Question 6 Explanation:
The correct answer is (E). Rods are responsible for vision at low light levels. A useful way to remember this difference between rods and cones is that both ‘cones’ and ‘color’ start with a ‘c.’ Cones are mostly used to process colors and rods are mostly used to facilitate vision in the absence of light.
A condition under which a person experiences the Gestalt phenomenon called “closure” would involve perceiving:
a circle even though approximately 1/8th of its line is omitted
a square with diagonal lines going to opposite corners
a triangle with a dot in the middle
Question 7 Explanation:
The correct answer is (A). Closure is the perceptual tendency to complete a shape, such as a circle or square, in which a gap in the needed stimulus line currently exists. In the case of a circle with a small portion of its line omitted, “closure” will occur and the small gap will be overlooked and the shape will be perceived as a complete circle.
Pete is looking at a number of circles on a piece of paper. When he views the circles from one angle, the circles look like craters. When he rotates the page and looks from a different angle, the craters look like bumps. What is the source of this change in his perception of the circles?
Light and shadow
Question 8 Explanation:
The correct answer is (B). Gradients of light and shadow create the perceptual phenomenon of bumps and craters; the change following rotation is due to prior knowledge about the most likely source of light (from above).
Of the following, which is a monocular cue for depth perception?
Question 9 Explanation:
The correct answer is (D). Interposition refers to the interpretation of depth due to one object covering another. The object being covered appears to be farther away even though the objects could be in the same plane.
Jerry is looking at a two-dimensional picture of a railroad track. It appears as if the track is heading off into the distance with less space between the tracks. What explains this phenomenon?
Question 10 Explanation:
The correct answer is (B). Distance perception in a two-dimensional representation of a railroad track is primarily a function of linear perspective. Linear perspective is responsible for the perception of two parallel lines intersecting at a single point.
In another two-dimensional picture of a railroad track, a small object is perceived by a person as a train. This is an example of which of the following?
Question 11 Explanation:
The correct answer is (E). When an object far in the distance is perceived as a large object instead of its presentation as a small object, size constancy is taking place. In this case, the small object is perceived to be a train due to the surrounding context.
What is the phi phenomenon?
A type of extra-sensory perception.
It deals with experiences common to REM sleep.
It occurs in response to a spot of light in a darkened room.
It can occur in response to sequentially flashing lights of a certain duration.
It relates to electrical stimulation in the brain.
Question 12 Explanation:
The correct answer is (D). Lights blinking in sequence and perceived as movement are an example of the phi phenomenon. Strobe lights elicit the phi phenomenon.
A sensory stimulus is converted into a neural impulse through the process known as:
Question 13 Explanation:
The correct answer is (C). Specialized receptor cells respond to various external stimuli such as touch, light, temperature, pressure, etc. These receptor cells transduce the physical stimulus into electrical impulses, which, in turn, trigger an impulse in other cells.
“Umami” is described as:
A small membrane separating parts of the ear
A sex hormone
A species of chimpanzee distantly related to humans
A neurotransmitter present in the neuromuscular junction
One of the five basic tastes, sensed by a specialized receptor on the human tongue
Question 14 Explanation:
The correct answer is (E). In the Japanese language, Umami means savory. The umami receptor on the tongue is activated by glutamate in protein-rich foods.
Tripp has just been presented with a 1,100 Hz tone. As the frequency is slowly increased, Tripp is instructed to tell the experimenter when he notices a difference in pitch. At 1,150 Hz, Tripp reports noticing a difference. Therefore, we can confirm that 50 Hz is Tripp’s:
Question 15 Explanation:
The correct answer is (D). The difference threshold is the smallest difference that a person can detect between two stimuli. In this case, every tone from 1,100 Hz to 1,149 Hz is perceived as the same.
Karen can detect the position of her legs and feet as she walks. This feedback arises by way of which sense?
Question 16 Explanation:
The correct answer is (B). The kinesthetic sense informs Karen (and all of us) of the position of the limbs. The prefix kin- is Greek for movement, motion, or muscular activity.
A picture of 2 distinct arrows, <−−> and >−−<, are perceived to be of different lengths even though they are not. What is this illusion called?
Wundt Jastrow illusion
Question 17 Explanation:
The correct answer is (D). The Müller-Lyer illusion is a demonstration of the influence of perspective and context on size perception and is most prevalent in cultures with buildings that have right angles.
In the 1800s, Thomas Young and Hermann von Helmholtz proposed a theory of perception. What does the Young-Helmholtz theory attempt to explain?
Question 18 Explanation:
The correct answer is (A). The Young-Helmholtz theory of color vision holds that three specialized receptors and there combinations gives rise to the perception of any color.
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