AP Psychology : Social Development

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #137 : Developmental Psychology

Which famous psychological theorist said that a person's adolescence is a stage of identity vs. role confusion? 

Possible Answers:

Sigmund Freud 

Jean Piaget 

Erik Erikson

Lawrence Kohlberg

Abraham Maslow 

Correct answer:

Erik Erikson

Explanation:

Erik Erikson developed the idea behind identity vs. role confusion, which comes from his theory of psychosocial development.

Erikson's theory proposed eight stages: trust vs. mistrust, autonomy vs. shame, initiative vs. guilt, competence vs. inferiority, identity vs. role confusion, intimacy vs. isolation, generativity vs. stagnation, and integrity vs. despair.

Example Question #138 : Developmental Psychology

Which one of these is not one of Erik Erikson's stages in his theory of psychosocial development? 

Possible Answers:

Generativity vs. despair

Identity vs. role confusion 

Autonomy vs. shame and doubt 

Intimacy vs. isolation 

Trust vs. mistrust 

Correct answer:

Generativity vs. despair

Explanation:

Generativity vs. despair is not one of the stages of psychosocial development. Generativity vs. stagnation and integrity vs. despair are two stages of Erikson's theory. 

Example Question #1 : Social Development

A 23-year-old female is contemplating taking a job after college graduation on the other side of the country. She is torn because this is an amazing opportunity, but she would be leaving her family and boyfriend of two years behind. Which stage of psychosocial development would Erikson say this young woman is experiencing? 

Possible Answers:

Trust vs. mistrust 

Initiative vs. guilt 

Intimacy vs. isolation 

Identity vs. role confusion 

Integrity vs. despair 

Correct answer:

Intimacy vs. isolation 

Explanation:

The stage known as "intimacy vs. isolation" takes place during the period of young adulthood, roughly encompassing ages 18-35. The young woman in the question falls firmly within this range.

Example Question #1 : Social Development

A 2-year-old boy is in the process of being potty trained. His mother frequently makes trips to the bathroom with him, but he frequently still goes in his diaper. Which stage of psychosocial development would Erikson say this toddler is facing? 

Possible Answers:

Trust vs. mistrust 

Industry vs. inferiority 

Initiative vs. guilt 

Integrity vs. despair 

Autonomy vs. shame and doubt 

Correct answer:

Autonomy vs. shame and doubt 

Explanation:

Erikson would say that this boy is at the developmental stage during which he is grappling with his own autonomy. This stage is known as "autonomy vs. shame and doubt," and typically takes place during ages 1-3 years.

Example Question #2 : Social Development

Alexia decides to spread a rumor about Lindsay to all of their mutual friends. Once their friends hear about the rumor, they begin to ignore and isolate Linsday. This is an example of __________ aggression. 

Possible Answers:

physical 

relational 

nonverbal 

reactive 

Correct answer:

relational 

Explanation:

Relational aggression typically involves more covert behavior, such as spreading rumors or gossiping about others in an attempt to manipulate one's friendships and faciltation exclusion. This type of aggression is represented in the given question.

Physical aggression involves physical harm to another person, such as hitting, punching, kicking, or even vandalizing or damaging one's property. 

There is no such thing as nonverbal aggression. 

Reactive aggression is typically an angry, defensive response to provocation, particularly when one is blocked from reaching a goal or is harmed first. 

Example Question #4 : Social Development

Landon is a junior in high school and is beginning to think about what he wants to do in the future. He has participated in a law internship, has shadowed a principal for a day, and currently volunteers at a children's clinic. He in interested in law, education, and medicine, but has not decided which field he would like to pursue in the future. According to James Marcia's Identity Statuses, which identity status best describes Landon? 

Possible Answers:

Moratorium

Foreclosure 

Achievement 

Diffusion 

Correct answer:

Moratorium

Explanation:

Marcia's theory pertaining to identity development and statuses involves two dimensions: exploration and committment. 

Individuals who are actively exploring their options before making a final decision, such as the young man described in this question, are classified in the moratorium identity status. 

Individuals who have made a decision after active exploration as classified in the achievement identity status. 

Individuals who make a decision without doing any exploration are classified in the foreclosure identity status. 

Individuals who do not know what they want to do and who are indifferent to exploring are classiged in the diffusion identity status. 

Example Question #5 : Social Development

Which stage of Erikson's Psychosocial Theory characterizes adolescence? 

Possible Answers:

Identity vs. role confusion

Initiative vs. guilt 

Intimacy vs. isolation 

Industry vs. inferiority 

Correct answer:

Identity vs. role confusion

Explanation:

Since adolescence is characterized by various biological, social, emotional and cognitive changes, Erikson would argue that adolescents are attempting to solidify their identity in terms of who they are, what they value, and what their goals are. If adolescents do not resolve their identity crises, they could have role confusion, which has negative psychological implications. 

Intimacy vs. isolation characterizes early adulthood. 

Industry vs. inferiority characterizes middle childhood. 

Initiative vs. guilt characterizes early childhood.

Example Question #6 : Social Development

Stereotypes related to gender and women's capabilities could cause __________ in their career advancement. 

Possible Answers:

a glass ceiling effect 

a self-fulfilling prophecy 

a stereotype threat 

an increase in self-confidence 

Correct answer:

a glass ceiling effect 

Explanation:

The glass ceiling effect is the phenomenon that occurs when women can no longer advance in their careers for higher-level positions that are typically held by men. 

A self-fulfilling prophecy and stereotype threat are very similar in that they typically are the result of stereotypes that negatively impact one's academic performance. 

Increase in self-confidence is a distractor item, and does not directly relate to the question. 

Example Question #146 : Developmental Psychology

Which of the following traits are men most likely to value when selecting a long-term mate? 

Possible Answers:

Intelligence 

Physical attractiveness 

Income level 

Family stability 

Correct answer:

Physical attractiveness 

Explanation:

Men are more likely than women to select mates based on physical attractiveness. According to evolutionary theory, men focus on whether a woman is physically healthy and fit to carry children.

Income level and intelligence are traits that women actually value. Family stability was a distractor item, and does not directly relate to the question.

Example Question #7 : Social Development

Ten-year-old Eric knows that he is a great athlete compared to his peers, but he is not as good in math class. Eric is focusing on which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Social comparisons 

Self-control 

Gender typing 

Social identity 

Correct answer:

Social comparisons 

Explanation:

Social comparisons are chracteristic of middle childhood when children begin to notice their relative strengths and weaknesses in comparison to their friends and classmates. 

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