AP Psychology : Other Social Psychology Concepts

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Other Social Psychology Concepts

Who was the head researcher behind the Stanford Prison Experiment?

Possible Answers:

Solomon Asch

Karen Horney

Sigmund Freud

Abraham Maslow

Philip Zimbardo

Correct answer:

Philip Zimbardo

Explanation:

In 1971, Philip Zimbardo and his team of research assistants ran the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment. For six days, they studied the psychological effects of being a prisoner or prison guard. The experiment was supposed to run for two full weeks, but abruptly ended due to significant abuse between the guards and the prisoners. 

Example Question #2 : Other Social Psychology Concepts

What is the bystander effect?

Possible Answers:

The likelihood of an individual in distress receiving assistance increases if the crowd around him/her is large

Bystanders should not help an individual in distress because they may make the situation worse

Bystanders tend to avoid helping an individual in distress because they do not want to be late

The likelihood of an individual in distress receiving assistance decreases if the crowd around him/her is large

The likelihood of an individual in distress receiving assistance decreases if there are emergency responders in the crowd of bystanders

Correct answer:

The likelihood of an individual in distress receiving assistance decreases if the crowd around him/her is large

Explanation:

The bystander effect maintains that the larger a group of bystanders, the lower the chance that an individual needing help will receive it. This is in large part due to a diffusion of responsibility, and everyone assuming someone else will handle the situation. 

Example Question #1 : Other Social Psychology Concepts

Which of the following is not a factor that increases an individual's conforming behavior within a group?

Possible Answers:

Greater agreement within the group

The group cannot observe the individual's behavior

Large group size

All of these will increase an individual's conforming behavior

Feeling of insecurity or incompetency 

Correct answer:

The group cannot observe the individual's behavior

Explanation:

When the individual knows the group can see his/her behavior, he/she is more likely to conform to the group. Individuals are also more likely to conform when the group is larger, but this only increases conformity up to a certain point, after which conformity levels off and does not further increase with group size. Further, if there is unanimous agreement within the group, an individual is more likely to conform. If even one individual within a group dissents, the likelihood of conformity will decrease. Last, if the individual feels insecure or incompetent, or looks up to and admires members of the group, they are more likely to conform.

Example Question #4 : Other Social Psychology Concepts

In Stanley Milgram's obedience experiment, which of the following was not a factor that increased obedience? 

Possible Answers:

The subject observed others obeying the command

The person giving the command was in the room with the subject 

Command given by an equal or peer, rather than an individual in a position of authority

The "learner" receiving the "punishment" was not in the same room as the subject

All of these increased obedience in the experiment

Correct answer:

Command given by an equal or peer, rather than an individual in a position of authority

Explanation:

Subjects were more likely to listen to the command if it came from an individual they viewed as a legitimate authority figure, rather than someone who was their equal or peer. Subjects were also more likely to obey if they saw others obeying, if the command came from someone in the room, or if the "learner" being punished was in another room.

Example Question #5 : Other Social Psychology Concepts

Suzie notices that she is the only girl in her advanced calculus class, which makes her extra nervous for her first test. Her nervousness can be explained by what psychological concept?

Possible Answers:

cognitive dissonance

stereotype threat

fundamental attribution error

the prisoner's dilemma

subtyping

Correct answer:

stereotype threat

Explanation:

Stereotype threat occurs when people fear that they will confirm unfavorable stereotypes about a social group they belong to. In this question, girls are stereotyped to be not as good at math as boys, so Suzie is nervous about confirming that stereotype in that context of her math class. 

Example Question #3 : Other Social Psychology Concepts

If Elena enjoys the newest pop song more the fifth time she hears it than the first time, what could explain her increased affinity for the song?

Possible Answers:

groupthink

self-fulfilling prophecy

mere-exposure effect

social exchange theory

altruism

Correct answer:

mere-exposure effect

Explanation:

The mere-exposure effect states that people are more likely to enjoy things with which they are familiar, accounting for Elena's increased affinity for the song as she becomes more familiar with it. 

Example Question #7 : Other Social Psychology Concepts

Which of the following is an example of fundamental attribution error (FAE)?

Possible Answers:

Alicia feels strange when she realizes that even though she campaigns for sustainability, she uses a lot of plastic containers. 

Lily does poorly on a test because she is afraid of confirming stereotypes about her race.

Dashiell doesn't clap after a concert because he sprained his wrist, but Sarah assumes it is because he is being rude.

Laura pretends that she wants $100 to pay for the plane ticket when she really only wants $50, in case her parents bargain her down. 

People tend to like nonsense syllables that they have heard before more than nonsyllables that they haven't.

Correct answer:

Dashiell doesn't clap after a concert because he sprained his wrist, but Sarah assumes it is because he is being rude.

Explanation:

"Dashiell doesn't clap after a concert because he sprained his wrist, but Sarah assumes it is because he is being rude" is an example of fundamental attribution error because there is a external factor (a sprained wrist) accounting for Dashiell's behavior, but Sarah attributes it to a internal personality trait (rudeness).

Example Question #8 : Other Social Psychology Concepts

A toothpaste ad claiming to be "dentists' favorite brand" is utilizing which of Cialdini's principles of influence?

Possible Answers:

Reciprocity

Social Proof/Consensus

Liking

Scarcity

Authority/Expertise

Correct answer:

Authority/Expertise

Explanation:

Because dentists are experts/authorities in the field of dental care, a toothpaste ad claiming their approval appeals to their authority to convince consumers to buy the product- basically, they're saying "if dentists think our toothpaste is good, you should think it's good too."

Example Question #4 : Other Social Psychology Concepts

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' five stages of grief traditionally proceed in which order?

Possible Answers:

Denial, Depression, Bargaining, Anger, Acceptance

Anger, Denial, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance

Anger, Depression, Acceptance

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance

Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining

Correct answer:

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance

Explanation:

While individual experiences of grief certainly vary, and some grievers may not even experience all five stages, the grieving process is usually described as a procession from immediate denial into anger, then through bargaining and depression before one can finally reach acceptance.

Example Question #2 : Other Social Psychology Concepts

Joe consistently has negative interactions with his parents. He is most likely to engage in which of the following activities? 

Possible Answers:

Become androgynous 

Develop a substance abuse problem

Work hard at school so he can get into a good college and move out

Develop high self-esteem

Correct answer:

Develop a substance abuse problem

Explanation:

Joe is most likely to develop a substance abuse issue, as research has shown that increased negative interactions with parents lead to increased drinking and smoking. He wouldn't develop high self-esteem; in fact, he would probably develop low self-esteem as a result of these negative interactions. He might do poorly at school as a result of being distracted or lacking self-esteem. 

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