AP Psychology : Representation, Norms, and Validity

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Representation, Norms, And Validity

A well-designed test should have __________.

Possible Answers:

high reliability and high validity

high reliability and low validity

each choice indicates an equally well-designed test

low reliability and high validity

low reliability and low validity

Correct answer:

high reliability and high validity

Explanation:

Validity is the term for how well a test measures what it has been designed to measure. Reliability refers to the ability to consistently find similar results when a test is repeatedly administered in similar conditions. High validity and high reliability will ensure that a test accurately determines what it claims to determine, and that its findings are not simply caused by random chance.

Example Question #2 : Representation, Norms, And Validity

The Flynn Effect describes which of the following?

Possible Answers:

The substantial increase in European and North American intelligence test scores in the past century

The substantial worldwide decrease in intelligence test scores in the past century

The substantial worldwide increase in intelligence test scores of men in the past century

The substantial worldwide increase in intelligence test scores in the past century

The substantial worldwide increase in intelligence test scores of women in the past century

Correct answer:

The substantial worldwide increase in intelligence test scores in the past century

Explanation:

While a score of 100 indicates average intelligence on a modern IQ test, people who score 100 on these tests generally score much higher on older intelligence tests. Each generation since the 1930s has had increased scores on older tests, an effect studied by James Flynn.

Example Question #3 : Representation, Norms, And Validity

By definition, what percentage of the population has an IQ of less than 100?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Intelligence quotient (IQ) is defined as having a median of 100. This means that half of the people who take an IQ test will have below 100 and half will have above 100. The standard deviation of IQ is 15, such that two-thirds of the population fall between 85 and 115.

Example Question #4 : Representation, Norms, And Validity

Stacy would like to test whether an anti-depressant effectively reduces symptoms of depression. She gives depressed participants a questionnaire before administration of the drug. Half of the participants receive the drug for six weeks, and the other half receive a placebo sugar pill. She then gives the same questionnaire to assess any changes in symptoms.

If Stacy's questionnaire actually measured anxiety instead of depression, which of the following would be first and foremost violated principle?

Possible Answers:

Internal validity

Construct validity

External validity

Ethics

Reliability

Correct answer:

Construct validity

Explanation:

Construct validity refers to how closely a measurement accurately describes the underlying factor that it is trying to measure. An anxiety measurement would obviously not accurately describe participants' depressive symptoms.

Example Question #5 : Representation, Norms, And Validity

Stacy would like to test whether an anti-depressant effectively reduces symptoms of depression. She gives depressed participants a questionnaire before administration of the drug. Half of the participants receive the drug for six weeks, and the other half receive a placebo sugar pill. She then gives the same questionnaire to assess any changes in symptoms.

If the participants in Stacy's study are all caucasian males, which of these would most likely be threatened?

Possible Answers:

Construct validity

External validity

Ethics

Internal validity

Reliability

Correct answer:

External validity

Explanation:

External validity refers to the gerneralizability of your data. If there are only caucasian males in Stacy's study, her findings may not generalize to other groups, such as females or other races.

Example Question #5 : Representation, Norms, And Validity

What is the difference between reliability and validity?

Possible Answers:

Validity refers to the repeatability of findings, while reliability refers to the credibility of findings

Reliability refers to the generalizability of findings, while validity refers to the importance of findings

Reliability refers to the strength of findings, while validity refers to the discriminatory ability of findings

Reliability refers to the repeatability of findings, while validity refers to the credibility of findings

Validity refers to the homogeneity of findings, while validity refers to the heterogeneity of findings

Correct answer:

Reliability refers to the repeatability of findings, while validity refers to the credibility of findings

Explanation:

Reliability and validity are two important aspects to note when analyzing a set of data. Reliability is the degree to which a set of results can be repeated (ex. getting the same test score twice), while validity is the degree to which a set of data measures what it is designed to measure (ex. a depression test actually measures depressive symptomology).

Example Question #6 : Representation, Norms, And Validity

A certain psychological study would likely see its findings confirmed if repeated independently, but does not appear to answer the question it was designed to investigate. This study has __________.

Possible Answers:

low reliability but high validity

high reliability and high validity

high reliability but low validity

None of the other answer choices is correct.

low reliability and low validity

Correct answer:

high reliability but low validity

Explanation:

Reliability refers to the ability of a study to produce similar findings if repeated by an independent team in similar conditions. Validity refers to a study's suitability for answering the question it was designed to investigate.

Example Question #7 : Representation, Norms, And Validity

Which of the following is an example of a scale lacking content validity?

Possible Answers:

A scale that only takes into account the behavioral, but not the emotional, side to anxiety

A scale that does not represent the relevance of a particular disorder

A scale that results in a valid diagnosis less than 50% of the time

A scale that appears subjectively relevant to those being measured on it

None of these

Correct answer:

A scale that only takes into account the behavioral, but not the emotional, side to anxiety

Explanation:

Content validity is the extent to which a scale holistically represents a given social construct, such as a personality trait or disorder. A scale that is high in content validity will represent a given social construct and all of its scientifically agreed upon assets—physical, emotional, behavioral, etc. A scale that is low in content validity will overlook one or some of these assets. For instance, a test trying to measure anxiety might ignore the physical aspects, such as sweating or high heart rate. This would be a test low in content validity.

Example Question #7 : Representation, Norms, And Validity

Which scenario is an example of the halo effect?

Possible Answers:

The American obsession with celebrities—since they are seen as exceptional, they become our idols and role models

None of these

A handsome student is given bonus points on a test, though another student doesn't get bonus points for the same problem with the same answer

A large group of friends at school are seen as more popular solely due to the number of individuals in the social circle

An intelligent student is not treated well by the general student population because they feel threatened by his or her intellect

Correct answer:

A handsome student is given bonus points on a test, though another student doesn't get bonus points for the same problem with the same answer

Explanation:

An example of the halo effect would be if a handsome student is given bonus points on a test, though another student doesn't get bonus points for the same problem with the same answer.

Although some might have been tricked by the answer about America's obsession with celebrities, the halo effect is much more specific than idolizing a person because they are exceptional. Rather, the halo effect has to do with one positive trait spilling over to other traits. In this case, since the student is physically attractive, the teacher perceives them as more intelligent. Of course, this is a logical falllacy that can and does impede our judgement of people in our daily lives.

An example that would apply to celebrities is perceiving George Clooney to be a smart and kind idividual without knowing much about him or his personal life.

Example Question #9 : Representation, Norms, And Validity

A test that is designed to predict a person's future success in a given area is __________.

Possible Answers:

a career test

an IQ test

a standardized test

an achievement test

an aptitude test

Correct answer:

an aptitude test

Explanation:

A test that is designed to predict a person's future success in a given area is an aptitude test. This measure has less so to do with a person's current skill set—though that is certainly relevant—and more to do with their talents, inclinations, and interests. A person's aptitude has to do with where a person has the most potential for growth.

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