AP Psychology : Classifications and Procedures

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Classifications And Procedures

What is a control group?

Possible Answers:

A group of subjects in an experiment that act as confederates

A group of subjects that runs the experiment

A group of subjects in an experiment that receives no treatment or a placebo treatment

A group of subjects in an experiment that receives the experimental treatment

A group of subjects in an experiment that control the experiment's outcome

Correct answer:

A group of subjects in an experiment that receives no treatment or a placebo treatment

Explanation:

Almost every experiment has a control group, along with one or more experimental groups. A control group must be included to serve as a baseline comparison in contrast to the experimental group. This allows experimenters to determine whether the treatment (the independent variable) creates significant change. The control group is not given experimental treatment, but may be given a placebo. Any differences between the experimental group and control group can be attributed solely to the experimental variable, as this is meant to be the only distinguishng feature between the experimental and control groups.

Example Question #2 : Classifications And Procedures

Which type of study is designed to observe subjects over a long period of time?

Possible Answers:

Longitudinal

Cross-sectional

Correlational

Experimental

Empirically-based

Correct answer:

Longitudinal

Explanation:

Longitudinal studies retest the same subjects multiple times over a long period of time. Some longitudinal studies can span several decades, depending on the type of data being collected. These types of studies are especially popular in the field of developmental psychology.

Example Question #3 : Classifications And Procedures

Which type of research seeks to solve real-world problems?

Possible Answers:

Basic research

Developmental research

Cross-cultural research

Longitudinal research

Applied research

Correct answer:

Applied research

Explanation:

Applied research is always conducted with the end goal of trying to solve practical problems. The other choices may seek to help solve various issues, but this is not always the case. 

Example Question #1 : Classifications And Procedures

Which type of research design focuses on the in-depth analysis of one subject?

Possible Answers:

Case study

Cross-sectional

Individual

Longitudinal

Report

Correct answer:

Case study

Explanation:

Case studies are rare in psychological research, and are typically used when a subject exhibits a rare and unique symptom pattern. Case studies can also be employed in K-12 school settings to show a child's progress over time in response to various interventions.

Example Question #78 : History And Research

What is the main difference between qualitative and quantitative research studies?

Possible Answers:

Qualitative studies follow people over a period of time, while quantitative studies take a cross-section of the population

Qualitative studies rely on observations and descriptions, while quantitative studies rely on numbers and statistics

Qualitative studies do not have a control group, whereas quantitative studies do

Qualitative studies rely on self-reported scales, while quantitative studies rely on objective measures

Qualitative studies do not utilize random sampling, while quantitative studies do

Correct answer:

Qualitative studies rely on observations and descriptions, while quantitative studies rely on numbers and statistics

Explanation:

Qualitative studies do not measure behavior using numbers. Rather, these studies record behaviors such as dialogue, body language, and other observations. Quantitative studies measure variables numerically in order to conduct statistics on the results. All other answer choices are characteristics that are not confined to either type of study alone.

Example Question #5 : Classifications And Procedures

What is the advantage of field work in research?

Possible Answers:

None of these.

It allows the experiment to grow and expand so that it may be conducted in other places.

It gives a much more realistic picture of what would happen in the real world.

It allows the researcher to see the world in a much more holistic way.

It allows for the researcher to see the practical applications for their theories.

Correct answer:

It gives a much more realistic picture of what would happen in the real world.

Explanation:

Doing field work for reserarch can give a much more realistic picture of what would happen in the real world. This helps the researcher to discover the things they could miss in a laboratory setting and spread their net wide. For instance, a researcher may have a hypothesis about how autistic children behave in a classroom setting with other students. By observing this in a natural setting, the research considers all of the real world possibilities of this hypothesis. 

Example Question #6 : Classifications And Procedures

What is the difference between basic and applied research?

Possible Answers:

Basic research aims to answer questions that are of concern to a particular field; applied research aims to apply research in some concrete way.

Applied research aims to answer questions that are of concern to a particular field; basic research aims to apply research in some concrete way.

Applied research aims to answer questions that are of concern to a particular field; basic research aims to answers several questions simultaneously through a more generalized experiment.

Basic research aims to make advances in a particular field; applied research aims to apply research in some concrete way.

Correct answer:

Basic research aims to answer questions that are of concern to a particular field; applied research aims to apply research in some concrete way.

Explanation:

Basic research aims to answer questions that are of concern to a particular field. These questions are more of general interest and can be much more for knowledge's own sake as opposed to means toward a specific end. For instance, trying to answer why the sky is blue doesn't have much practical application, but answers an interesting question.

Applied research aims to apply research in some concrete way. For example, researchers may try to answer specific questions so that they can develop a cure or treatment plan for particular illnesses.

Example Question #2 : Classifications And Procedures

What is the ultimate goal of a theory?

Possible Answers:

To explain a particular phenomenon or pattern

To be extremely general, so as to not miss any important details about the phenomenon at hand

To be correct

To be extremely specific, so as not to generalize and make broad statements it can't support

Correct answer:

To explain a particular phenomenon or pattern

Explanation:

A theory is a statement, concept, or idea that tries to explain some particular phenomenon or pattern in a particular field. A good theory makes a number of claims, all which can be concretely proven through thorough and extensive research that is both valid and reliable.

Example Question #8 : Classifications And Procedures

What is the difference between reliability and validity in terms of classifying research?

Possible Answers:

Validity indicates when the theory is proven to be correct but there still exists some disproving counterevidence. Reliability indicates when the theory is proven repeatedly over time. 

Validity indicates when the results of the research can be replicated over and over again consistently. Reliability indicates when the initial hypothesis is proven to be correct by the research. 

Validity indicates when the initial hypothesis is proven to be correct by the research. Reliability indicates when the results of the research can be replicated over and over again consistently.

Validity indicates when the theory is based on clear logic. Reliability indicates when the logic of one theory can apply to another. 

Correct answer:

Validity indicates when the initial hypothesis is proven to be correct by the research. Reliability indicates when the results of the research can be replicated over and over again consistently.

Explanation:

Validity is when the initial hypothesis is proven to be correct by the research. In other words, the experiment measures what the experimenter had anticipated.

Reliability is when the results of the research can be replicated over and over again consistently. This means that the hypothesis can be tested again in another experiment and still proven to be true.

Example Question #9 : Classifications And Procedures

What is the advantage of using a laboratory for experiments?

Possible Answers:

It gives a much more realistic picture of what would happen in the real world

It is a highly controlled environment where any interfering factors that may happen in the field can be phased out

It is much less expensive than buying permits for field testing

The participants of whatever study will be much more focused in a laboratory than they would in any other environment

Correct answer:

It is a highly controlled environment where any interfering factors that may happen in the field can be phased out

Explanation:

The main advantage of using a laboratory for research is to provide a highly controlled environment where any interfering factors that may happen in the field can be phased out. This is good for studies that have an extremely narrow focus on some specific element. With regards to psychology, during a child-play experiment in a laboratory a researcher might be trying to see how a child reacts to a particular toy and observe this specific reaction. In the field, however, the child's reaction could be affected by their environment. They could become distracted by their peers and lose focus on the item and thus the researcher can't gather their data accurately.

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