Practice Test: Methods and Approaches
1. A participant in an experiment is told that a particular pill should improve her performance on
a cognitive task. The participant is then given the pill, and she performs better than usual on
the task. In actuality, the pill did not contain any ingredients that would affect her performance
on the task. The participant's improved performance was most likely due to
A) random variables.
B) confirmation bias.
C) the placebo effect.
D) the double-blind design.
E) experimenter bias.
2. Sabina is having problems with chronic anxiety. She goes to a psychiatrist who tells her that
she needs medication to reduce her anxiety. Which approach to psychology does Sabina's
psychiatrist take?
A) Humanist
B) Psychodynamic
C) Social-cognitive
D) Biological
E) Behavioral
3. Dr. Wisgoski asked fifty drug addicts a series of questions about their childhoods and then
collected blood samples from them. He found a high correlation between levels of the stress
hormone cortisol and amount of reported childhood trauma. Dr. Wisgoski concluded that
childhood trauma causes high levels of stress during adulthood, which, in turn, causes drug
addiction. Dr. Wisgoski's operational definition of adult stress level is
A) childhood trauma and drug addiction.
B) childhood trauma.
C) self-report.
D) blood cortisol.
E) drug addiction.
4. Achmed claims that men are more aggressive than women because in the past, being
aggressive increased men's reproductive chances. Clarisse argues that this difference is a result
of men being rewarded and women being punished for being aggressive. Achmed is taking
the ______ approach while Clarisse is taking the ______ approach to understanding
aggressiveness.
A) evolutionary; behavioral
B) biological; behavioral
C) humanistic; biological
D) cognitive; behavioral
E) behavioral; biological
5. The perception that seemingly infertile couples who adopt a child are subsequently more
likely to conceive a child themselves best illustrates:
A) the process of replication.
B) an illusory correlation.
C) the placebo effect.
D) an independent variable.
E) random assignment.
6. Professor Shalet contends that parents and children have similar levels of intelligence largely
because they share common genes. His idea is best described as a(n):
A) naturalistic observation.
B) replication.
C) illusory correlation.
D) hindsight bias.
E) theory.
7. In an experiment designed to study the effectiveness of a new drug, research participants who
receive a placebo are participating in the ________ condition.
A) replication
B) correlational
C) control
D) dependent variable
E) experimental
8. Correlation refers to the extent to which two variables:
A) vary together.
B) share a common mean.
C) are random samples.
D) influence each other.
E) show statistically significant differences.
9. If those with low self-esteem are also particularly likely to suffer from depression, this would
not necessarily indicate that low self-esteem triggers negative emotions because:
A) correlation does not prove causation.
B) sampling extreme cases leads to false generalizations.
C) events often seem more probable in hindsight.
D) of the placebo effect.
E) random sequences often don't look random.
10. Six-year-old Jean hits another child and steals the child's lunch money. A psychologist who
takes a psychodynamic approach would suggest that Jean
A) has an unconscious drive for aggression, causing her to act out.
B) asserted herself, an example of bettering herself as a person.
C) hit the child for food, an adaptive mechanism to survive.
D) learned that hitting someone would result in a reward.
E) has an imbalance of dopamine in her hypothalamus, causing heightened aggression
towards others.
11. If you wanted to choose a book that best described the whole scientific field of psychology,
what book title would be most appropriate?
A) "How We Change: Infancy to Old Age"
B) "A Closer Look at Intelligence"
C) "Learning: From Birth to Old Age"
D) "Understanding Behavior and Mental Processes"
E) "Abnormalities: The Brain Revealed"
12. If psychologists discovered that wealthy people are less satisfied with their marriages than
poor people are, this would indicate that wealth and marital satisfaction are:
A) negatively correlated.
B) causally related.
C) independent variables.
D) dependent variables.
E) positively correlated.
13. The median of a distribution of scores is the:
A) score exceeded by 50 percent of all the scores.
B) arithmetic average of all the scores.
C) difference between the highest and lowest scores.
D) most frequently occurring score.
E) least frequently occurring score.
14. The hindsight bias refers to people's tendency to:
A) assume that correlations proves causation.
B) dismiss the value of replication.
C) reject any ideas that can't be scientifically tested.
D) overestimate the extent to which others share their opinions.
E) exaggerate their ability to have foreseen the outcome of past events.
15. Dr. Wilson attributes the delinquent behaviors of many teens to the pressures associated with
being members of street gangs. Her account best illustrates a(n) ________ perspective.
A) psychodynamic
B) behavior genetics
C) evolutionary
D) social-cultural
E) neuroscience
16. The survey is a research method in which:
A) subjects are exposed to an independent variable.
B) a representative sample of individuals are questioned regarding their attitudes or
behaviors.
C) individuals are carefully observed in their natural environments.
D) an individual is studied in great depth.
E) an investigator determines the extent to which two variables influence each other.
Answers : C, D, D, A, B, E, C, A, A, A, D, A, A, E, D, B
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Practice Questions for AP Test