AP Psychology : Environmental and Genetic Factors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Environmental And Genetic Factors

What is an instinct?

Possible Answers:

A behavior we develop as we grow older that needs to be learned over time

A behavior we are born with that does not need to be learned

An overwhelming feeling of fear during dangerous situations

A behavior we are born with that needs to be learned over time

A behavior we develop as we grow older that does not need to be learned

Correct answer:

A behavior we are born with that does not need to be learned

Explanation:

An instinct is an innate, fixed pattern of behaviors in response to certain stimuli. Instincts do not need to be learned, and are embedded within an organism at birth. An example of an instinct can be observed in baby kangaroos, or joeys. A joey will immediately climb into its mother's pouch upon being born, without any need for learning such behavior.

Example Question #2 : Environmental And Genetic Factors

Around what age does object permanence develop?

Possible Answers:

24 months old

13 years old

3 years old

6 months old

18 months old

Correct answer:

6 months old

Explanation:

Object permanence refers to the ability to know an object still exists even though it is out of sight. Although research on the exact age of onset of object permanence is controversial, the preponderance suggests the age of onset to be between 4 and 8 months old, hence the correct answer in this question is 6 months old. All of the other answer choices are much too late in life for object permanence to first develop.

Example Question #3 : Environmental And Genetic Factors

 What teratogen causes neurons to overshoot their destinations?

Possible Answers:

Fever

Exposure to radiation

Occasional to light alcohol consumption

Rubella

Ingestion of genetically modified organisms

Correct answer:

Occasional to light alcohol consumption

Explanation:

Alcohol consumption of any amount may cause neurons in an unborn, developing child to overshoot their destinations (especially in the brain and spinal cord), while exposure to radiation may cause neurons to stop short of their final destinations. Consumption of alcohol may result in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Unborn children exposed to alcohol may, as a result, suffer from an abnormally small head, growth problems, learning and behavioral disabilities, lower intelligence, and birth defects.

Example Question #4 : Environmental And Genetic Factors

Parenting has been shown to have the greatest influence on developing which of the following?

I. Morals

II. Intelligence

III. Religion

IV. Manners

V. Extroverted behaviors

Possible Answers:

I, III, and IV

I, II, and V

I and II

I, II, III, and V

II, IV, and V

Correct answer:

I, III, and IV

Explanation:

Twin studies show that parenting has little effect on a child’s personality. When young, infants are generally referred to as “difficult” or “easy going.”  These biological personality traits are not greatly influenced by external factors, such as parenting. Parenting does however have a significant influence on a child’s morals, religion, and manners, which can be imposed on a child through discipline and/or exposure. Parenting also influences intelligence, but not to the same extent as morality, religion, or mannerism. Rather, intelligence (and anxiety) is an effect of a child’s secure attachment. 

Example Question #5 : Environmental And Genetic Factors

The Binet test originally served to __________.

Possible Answers:

test IQ

diagnose mental retardation 

identify children struggling in school

identify gifted and talented individuals

calculate mental age

Correct answer:

identify children struggling in school

Explanation:

Alfred Binet was a French psychologist, responsible for inventing the first intelligence test. The Binet test was designed to identify French children who were struggling in school. Binet believed that intelligence was not fixed, but that a child could grow into or be pulled to a higher level of intelligence. By taking this test, children who needed help would be given the attention they needed.  

Example Question #6 : Environmental And Genetic Factors

Which of the following life stages depicts 18 to 25-year-olds who live in developed countries?

Possible Answers:

Emerging adulthood

In-betweeners

Adolescence

Childhood

Dependent adulthood

Correct answer:

Emerging adulthood

Explanation:

Jeffrey Arnett coined the term "emerging adulthood" to describe 18 to 25-year-olds from developed countries who are no longer adolescents, but still lack financial independence from their parents or guardians. 

Example Question #7 : Environmental And Genetic Factors

Which of the following is NOT a stage in Piaget's theory of development?

Possible Answers:

Sensorimotor stage

Egocentric stage

Formal operational stage

Concrete operational stage

Pre-operational stage

Correct answer:

Egocentric stage

Explanation:

According to Piaget, children develop cognitive and social abilities in a series of 4 stages: sensorimotor (birth to 2 years), preoperational (2-7 years), concrete operational (7-11 years), and formal operational (12 years to adulthood). Egocentrism, according to Piagetian theory, refers to a child's belief that other people experience life in the same way that he or she does. Egocentric beliefs and behavior tend to decrease during the concrete operational stage; however, some egocentrism continues into adolescence. 

Example Question #8 : Environmental And Genetic Factors

Which of the following is an example of a teratogen?

Possible Answers:

Cocaine

Penicillin

All of these.

Alcohol

Phthalates

Correct answer:

All of these.

Explanation:

The word "teratogen" refers to any substance that hinders fetal or embryonic development and can cause permanent harm to the baby. Examples of teratogen-caused harm to the baby include poor bonding, fetal alcohol syndrome, and higher rates of antisocial behavior.

Example Question #1 : Environmental And Genetic Factors

Twin studies are a popular tool in attempts to answer which fundamental debate of psychology?

Possible Answers:

Brain vs. Mind vs. Soul

Nature vs. Nurture

Individual vs. Universal

Brain vs. Brawn

Brain vs. Mind

Correct answer:

Nature vs. Nurture

Explanation:

Twin studies measure the impact of a person's genetics on their development of a certain personality trait. Because monozygotic (identical) twins share 100% of their DNA while dizygotic (fraternal) twins share only 50%, the similarities of results from a pair of identical twins can be compared to the similarities between a pair fraternal twins to estimate the heritability of a personality trait. The heritability of personality traits is a central question of the Nature vs. Nurture debate, which revolves around the extent to which genetic or environmental factors influence development.

Example Question #2 : Environmental And Genetic Factors

Which of the following is not an example of a prenatal factor in development?

Possible Answers:

Smoking

Narcotic drugs

Excessively drinking alcohol

Genetics

All of these are factors

Correct answer:

All of these are factors

Explanation:

All of these things affect the development of a human before they are even born. Children exposed to tobacco, excessive alcohol, and narcotics in utero can be at risk for potential birth defects. The most powerful factor in prenatal development, however, is genetics. A child's genetic predisposition to deformities or childhood illnesses are a huge factor in that child's development.

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