AP Psychology : Biological Motives

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Biological Motives

Which of the following is a secondary drive?

Possible Answers:

Sex

Thirst

Money

Hunger

None of the above

Correct answer:

Money

Explanation:

While primary drives are directly related to basic survival and reproduction, secondary drives are related to social factors. Money is not directly related to basic survival, but it can aid in quelling primary drives (for example, using money to buy food to reduce hunger).

Example Question #2 : Biological Motives

Sally is studying for an exam, but realizes her favorite TV show has just started. She immediately puts down her books and goes to watch. Freud would identify this as a characteristic of __________.

Possible Answers:

the ego

reality principle

the superego

the id

free association

Correct answer:

the id

Explanation:

The id operates on the pleasure principle and seeks immediate gratification. The id satisfies drives, developed from physiological needs such as hunger, thirst, sexual drives, and more. The id, unlike the ego or superego, contains no morality or judgment of value. Rather, it seeks immediate pleasure or avoidance of pain, and disregards long-term consequences and benefits. 

Example Question #3 : Biological Motives

Before looking for a sense of belonging and love, which of the following needs must be met according to the hierarchy of needs?

I. Self esteem

II. Self efficacy 

III. Safety and shelter 

IV. Physiological needs

Possible Answers:

I only

III and IV

IV only 

II and III 

II only

Correct answer:

III and IV

Explanation:

Proposed by Abraham Maslow, the hierarchy of needs theory states that the most important physiological needs must be met before other, less urgent needs are met. These essential needs consist of oxygen, food, water, and shelter. After physiological needs are met, one will seek to fulfill the need for safety and security (personal, physical, and financial), belongingness and love (friendship, intimacy, and family), then self esteem (earned respect), self actualization (reaching one’s highest potential), and then self transcendence (finding a greater, spiritual purpose in life). According to Maslow, very few people reach a level of self transcendence. 

Example Question #4 : Biological Motives

Damage to the amygdala would result in which of the following symptoms?

Possible Answers:

Poor depth perception

Antisocial behavior

An inability to process fear

Loss of hearing

Blindness

Correct answer:

An inability to process fear

Explanation:

The amygdala is a key brain structure in the limbic system. Those who experience brain damage in this area have difficulty developing conditioned fear responses.

Example Question #5 : Biological Motives

Which of the following most closely defines drive reduction theory?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Humans seek to satisfy their drives in order to gain external rewards like money or approval

Humans seek to satisfy their drives in order to achieve further knowledge about the truth of their surroundings

Humans seek to satisfy their drives in order to reduce a state of tension within themselves and achieve homeostasis

Humans seek to satisfy their drives in order to enjoy the intrinsic value of the actions involved in satisfying those drives

Correct answer:

Humans seek to satisfy their drives in order to reduce a state of tension within themselves and achieve homeostasis

Explanation:

Drive reduction theory is based on the idea that human behavior is motivated by various drives. This behavior is undertaken in hopes of reducing the state of tension these drives create. The most basic of examples would be that when people are hungry they experience the distress of hunger and are motivated to look for food. A more nuanced example might be humans' drives to connect with romantic partners. If humans seek connection and don't find it with one partner, they may look for it in another person.

Example Question #6 : Biological Motives

What's an example of extrinsic motivation?

Possible Answers:

Going to your job because it gives your life meaning

Going to your job because you love all your coworkers dearly

Going to your job because it involves reading scripts, and you love reading scripts

None of these

Going to your job because you have a massive debt you need to pay off

Correct answer:

Going to your job because you have a massive debt you need to pay off

Explanation:

Extrinsic motivation is a pervasive force behind many of our daily behaviors. Most people don't go to work because it's intrinsically pleasurable, but because they need something. In essence, extrinsic is when someone does something for something else. We go to school to avoid punishment and get approval from our teachers, parents, and peers. We work to get money to pay the bills to avoid being broke and to make our families happy and comfortable. 

The reverse is doing something for its intrinsic pleasure, known as intrinsic motivation. For instance we may enjoy knowing more about the world for the pleasure it gives us, not what we have to gain from it.

Example Question #7 : Biological Motives

Are humans born with the ability to be emotional or is it a learned behavior?

Possible Answers:

Humans are born with the ability to be emotional, though they can eventually learn to completely repress them, such that the emotions are no longer felt on any level.

Humans are born with the ability to be emotional. Emotion is a product of evolution which signals when needs are met or unmet.

Humans learn emotions exclusively from their parents between the ages of 2 and 6.

Humans are not born as inherently emotional beings. Humans learn which emotions are appropriate in our given culture and adjust to these norms over time.

Humans are born with the ability to be emotional, though there is no real evolutionary purpose for this ability.

Correct answer:

Humans are born with the ability to be emotional. Emotion is a product of evolution which signals when needs are met or unmet.

Explanation:

Emotions are a product of evolution designed to signal when humans need or want something or when a certain need or want has been met. Emotions are universal, as they can be observed cross-culturally, though the degree of expression of emotion may vary in different cultures. 

Example Question #8 : Biological Motives

Which hormone switches hunger on and which switches hunger off?

Possible Answers:

Gherlin tells the brain to switch hunger on; leptin tells the brain to switch hunger off.

Leptin tells the brain to switch hunger on; gherlin tells the brain to switch hunger off.

None of the other answers are correct.

Gherlin tells the brain to switch hunger on; serotonin tells the brain to switch hunger off.

Serotonin tells the brain to switch hunger on; leptin tells the brain to switch hunger off.

Correct answer:

Gherlin tells the brain to switch hunger on; leptin tells the brain to switch hunger off.

Explanation:

Gherlin is secreted by an empty stomach and tells the brain to switch hunger on. Leptin is secreted by fat cells and tells the brain to switch hunger off. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of well-being.

Example Question #9 : Biological Motives

Which of the following is a primary drive?

Possible Answers:

Hunger

Pride

Money

None of these answers are primary drives.

Fame

Correct answer:

Hunger

Explanation:

Primary drives refer to things a person needs to survive, like thirst and hunger. Secondary drives are determined by social factors, money, pride, and fame are all great examples of secondary, not primary, drives.

Example Question #10 : Biological Motives

The Yerkes-Dodson law states that individuals perform best at which of the following conditions?

Possible Answers:

High levels of motivation

Moderate levels of arousal

Moderate levels of motivation

High levels of arousal

High levels of self-efficacy 

Correct answer:

Moderate levels of arousal

Explanation:

The Yerkes-Dodson law is a curve known for its bell shape, relating its independent variable (i.e. arousal) to its dependent variable (i.e. performance). This graph shows that performance peaks at moderate levels of arousal, as high levels of arousal result in stress while low levels of arousal result in boredom. 

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