AP Psychology : Physical Development

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Physical Development

When does the Moro reflex occur?

Possible Answers:

When an infant smiles at his parents

When a teenager's phone is taken away

When an infant feels like he is falling

When a toddler beckons for his bottle

When a toddler holds his head up straight

Correct answer:

When an infant feels like he is falling

Explanation:

The Moro reflex occurs in infants up to 6 months old. This reflex occurs when infants feel like they are falling, and specifically involves the infant spreading and unspreading his arms while crying out for help. 

Example Question #1 : Physical Development

Which answer displays the units of genetic coding from least complex to most complex?

Possible Answers:

Chromosomes, genes, DNA

Chromosomes, DNA, genes

DNA, genes, chromosomes

Genes, DNA, chromosomes

DNA, chromosomes, genes

Correct answer:

Genes, DNA, chromosomes

Explanation:

Out of these three units, genes are the building blocks and the smallest unit. Each gene codes for one or more proteins, though only one protein will be produced from each gene transcript. Genes are comprised of DNA sequences. A single strand of DNA will carry the code for numerous genes. When DNA is condensed and wrapped around histone proteins, it creates the structure of a chromosome. Chromosomes are formed from tightly coiled DNA strands, as well as protein components.

Chromosomes are composed of DNA, which is composed of genes. As such, genes are the least complex element, followed by DNA and chromosomes.

Example Question #3 : Physical Development

Which type of gene will cause its coded trait, or phenotype, to appear every time the gene is present?

Possible Answers:

Recessive gene

Recessive allele

Dominant allele

Dominant gene

Active allele

Correct answer:

Dominant allele

Explanation:

Genes frequently come in different varieties, known as alleles. Certain alleles can be dominant to others, such that the presence of a dominant allele masks the presence of a recessive allele. Every time a dominant allele is present in an individual's genome, that individual will display the trait coded by the dominant form of the gene.

Note that there is no such thing as a "dominant gene" or "recessive gene." Take, for example, the gene that codes for eye color. One does not say that the gene for eye color is dominant or recessive; this suggests that presence of a "recessive eye color gene" would result in no eye color whatsoever. In contrast, one can say that the allele for blue eyes is recessive to the allele for brown eyes, such that an individual with both forms of the allele will always display brown eyes. Note that eye color is, in reality, far more complex that this explanation would suggest.

Example Question #4 : Physical Development

Infants have a particular, innate reflex known as the "startle" reflex. This is also called _________.

Possible Answers:

None of these answers are correct

the Moro reflex

grasping

rooting

the Babinski reflex

Correct answer:

the Moro reflex

Explanation:

The Moro reflex is an involuntary type of reflex (response to stimulation) during which a baby will respond to loss of support by spreading out his/her arms (abduction), unspreading the arms (adduction), then usually crying. Another common name for this reaction is the startle reflex.

Example Question #2 : Physical Development

Which of these is true about the development of the human motor and sensory systems?

Possible Answers:

Humans tend to develop from their head to their toes

Humans tend to develop the sense of hearing before the sense of taste

Humans tend to develop the sense of sight before the sense of hearing

Humans tend to develop from their extremities to their core

Humans tend to develop from their toes to their head

Correct answer:

Humans tend to develop from their head to their toes

Explanation:

Babies tend to develop in a pattern called cephalocaudal development. This means that the first areas to develop are the head and neck, and the last are the legs and feet. We also develop smell and taste in the womb, then hearing, then finally sight.

Example Question #3 : Physical Development

Which of the following is an example of a prenatal teratogen?

Possible Answers:

Maternal antibodies

Fetal antibodies

Sunlight

Alcohol

Platelets

Correct answer:

Alcohol

Explanation:

Teratogens are chemicals or viruses that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause great harm. Moderate to high amounts of alcohol consumed by the mother may cause problems for the developing fetus; thus it is an example of a teratogen. 

Example Question #7 : Physical Development

Which of the following disorders can occur in infants?

Possible Answers:

Alzheimer's disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Parkinson's disorder

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)

Conduct disorder

Correct answer:

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)

Explanation:

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a collection of cognitive abnormalities in young children caused by a mother's heavy drinking during pregnancy. In severe cases of FAS, there may be severe physical deficiencies as well.

Example Question #8 : Physical Development

Which of these reflexes is thought to have developed in order for an infant to breastfeed?

Possible Answers:

Moro

Withdrawing

Rooting

Babkin

Tonic neck

Correct answer:

Rooting

Explanation:

The rooting reflex is an infant's tendency to turn his/her head toward something that touches his/her cheek. This allows the baby to find the nipple during breastfeeding.

Example Question #4 : Physical Development

What is menarche?

Possible Answers:

A Freudian term associated with hysteria

A boy's first ejaculation

A girl's first menstrual period

When a baby is effectively able to acquire his mother's attention

When a toddler transitions into childhood

Correct answer:

A girl's first menstrual period

Explanation:

Menarche, a girl's first menstrual period, is often viewed as the biological marker indicating the beginning of adolescence. 

Example Question #10 : Physical Development

Which of these is the correct timeline of events between the conception of a child and its birth?

Possible Answers:

Conception - Embryonic Period - Germinal Period - Fetal Period - Birth

Conception - Germinal Period - Embryonic Period - Fetal Period - Birth

Conception - Embryonic Period - Fetal Period - Birth

Conception - Germinal Period - Fetal Period - Birth

Conception - Fetal Period - Germinal Period - Embryonic Period - Birth

Correct answer:

Conception - Germinal Period - Embryonic Period - Fetal Period - Birth

Explanation:

After the conception of a child, the following two weeks are known as the Germinal Period. This is followed by the Embryonic Period, which lasts another 2-8 weeks. After the Embryonic Period is complete, the Fetal Period occurs, and the child is born at its conclusion.

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