AP Psychology : Fundamental Psychological Theories

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Fundamental Psychological Theories

John Locke described the human mind at birth as a tabula rasa, meaning __________.

Possible Answers:

"blank slate"

"magical tool"

"open book"

"wise judge"

"slow worker"

Correct answer:

"blank slate"

Explanation:

Locke, a staunch Empiricist, believed that we can only acquire knowledge from observation and experience; in fact, he argued that we are born without any knowledge at all. Thus, he considered the human mind at birth a tabula rasa, or "blank slate".

Example Question #2 : Fundamental Psychological Theories

Albert Bandura was famous for championing which learning theory?

Possible Answers:

Cognitive reappraisal

Operant conditioning

Behaviorism

Classical conditioning

Social learning

Correct answer:

Social learning

Explanation:

Albert Bandura is the creator of the social learning theory. This theory states that people can learn simply by observing others in a social context. His most famous social learning experiment was the Bobo Doll experiment.

Example Question #3 : Fundamental Psychological Theories

Which of the following is associated with John Locke's concept of the mind?

Possible Answers:

Dualism 

Open slate

Behaviorism

Tabula rasa

Correct answer:

Tabula rasa

Explanation:

"Tabula rasa" is Latin for "empty slate." John Locke proposed that the mind was an initially empty slate that could be filled with the empirical observations one makes about the world. This contradicts many things we now know about the brain, namely the conventions of innate capacities such as the abilities to acquire language, learn motor skills, process stimuli, etc. Locke claimed we are born with no prior knowledge.

Example Question #4 : Fundamental Psychological Theories

Which of these is not commonly associated with psychoanalysis?

Possible Answers:

Free association

Defense mechanisms

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

The unconscious

Sigmund Freud

Correct answer:

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Explanation:

Abraham Maslow was a humanistic psychologist who came up with a hierarchy of needs to describe basic human functioning.

Psychoanalysis, founded by Sigmund Freud, was more focused on unconscious drives and the motives of human behavior.

Example Question #5 : Fundamental Psychological Theories

Which of the following is a branch of applied psychology?

Possible Answers:

Experimental psychology

Clinical psychology

Cognitive psychology

Neuroscience

Developmental psychology

Correct answer:

Clinical psychology

Explanation:

Applied psychology includes branches of psychology that involve working directly with people. Some of the most popular branches of applied psychology are clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and school psychology.

Example Question #6 : Fundamental Psychological Theories

Which psychological perspective deals with how behaviors differ across cultures?

Possible Answers:

Eclectic

Sociocultural

Behavioral

Cognitive-behavioral

Psychodynamic

Correct answer:

Sociocultural

Explanation:

The sociocultural theory of psychological science is focused on how behavior and thought processes vary across cultures. One of the most famous psychologists in social-cultural research is Albert Bandura.

Example Question #7 : Fundamental Psychological Theories

According to Freud, what acts as a mediator between the id and the superego?

Possible Answers:

The associative consciousness

The conscious

The unconscious

The ego

The alterego

Correct answer:

The ego

Explanation:

Freud defined the ego as the largely conscious, executive part of one's personality that mediates the id's impulses and the superego's judgement standards. 

Example Question #8 : Fundamental Psychological Theories

Which researcher developed the term "collective unconscious?"

Possible Answers:

Carl Jung

William James

Sigmund Freud

Erik Erikson

Fredrich Fromm

Correct answer:

Carl Jung

Explanation:

Carl Jung coined the term "collective unconscious," which is defined a shared, inherited memory that all humans possess due to our shared ancestry. The collective unconscious is used to explain the commonalities observed between different cultures throughout the world.

Example Question #9 : Fundamental Psychological Theories

According to Freud, which of the following is controlled by the id?

Possible Answers:

Love

Aggression

Happiness

Intelligence

Problem solving

Correct answer:

Aggression

Explanation:

According to Freud, the id operates on the "pleasure principle," meaning that it controls our primeval urges, including aggression and sex. The id demands immediate gratification, and requires a well-developed superego to balance the id's selfishness. 

Example Question #10 : Fundamental Psychological Theories

Which endocrinologist is considered the "Father of Stress," and developed the General Adaptation Syndrome to describe the three phases of stress?

Possible Answers:

Thomas Warwick

William James

Hans Selye

Sigmund Freud

Carl Jung

Correct answer:

Hans Selye

Explanation:

Hans Selye was an Austrian-Canadian endocrinologist of Hungarian origin  who is best known for developing the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). GAS's three stages are, alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.

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