AP Psychology : Theories of Psychological Development

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #11 : Studying Developmental Psychology

Which of the following is not one of the four stages of Martin Hoffman's theory of empathy development?

Possible Answers:

Person Permanence

Comprehensive Empathy

Theory of Mind

Role Taking

Global Distress Reaction

Correct answer:

Theory of Mind

Explanation:

Theory of Mind refers to a person's general understanding that the people around them each have their own unique beliefs, perceptions, and desires. The other four answers are specifically the four stages of Hoffman's Theory (in order: Global Distress Reaction, Person Permanence, Role Taking, and Comprehensive Empathy).

Example Question #12 : Studying Developmental Psychology

"Preconventional" is a stage in __________ theory of __________ development. 

Possible Answers:

Abraham Maslow's . . .  hierarchial needs

Sigmund Freud's . . .  psychosexual

Jean Piaget's . . .  cognitive

Carl Jung's . . .  ego and self

Lawrence Kohlberg's . . .  moral

Correct answer:

Lawrence Kohlberg's . . .  moral

Explanation:

"Preconventional" is an early stage of moral development that describes the stage at which decisions are made purely based on "reward and punishment", as opposed to "ethics and morals." Lawrence Kohlberg proposed a theory of moral development that centered on three primary stages: preconventional, conventional, and postconventional. Each of these major stages has two subdivisions. The preconventional stage focuses on reward and punishment, and is relatively oriented around the self. The conventional stsge begins to introduce social norms and morals, while the postconventional stage focuses on social contracts and ethics.

Example Question #13 : Studying Developmental Psychology

Which one of these concepts is not a part of Maslow's hierarchy of needs? 

Possible Answers:

Safety

Love 

Self-actualization 

Food 

Motivation 

Correct answer:

Motivation 

Explanation:

Motivation is not included among the list of human needs according to Maslow. Maslow identified five levels in his hierarchy: physiological, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization.

Example Question #14 : Studying Developmental Psychology

Which one of these stages is not a part of Freud's theory of psychosexual development? 

Possible Answers:

Oral stage

Anal stage 

Sensorimotor stage

Genital stage 

Latency stage

Correct answer:

Sensorimotor stage

Explanation:

Freud posited that there are five stages of psychosexual development: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital.

The sensorimotor stage of development comes from Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development.

Example Question #15 : Studying Developmental Psychology

According to Erik Erikson, which psychosocial conflict occurs in infancy?

Possible Answers:

Generativity v. Stagnation

Intimacy v. Isolation

Trust v. Mistrust

Walking v. Crawling

Integrity v. Despair

Correct answer:

Trust v. Mistrust

Explanation:

Erik Erikson believes that each age group has to deal with a psychosocial conflict in order to successfully develop. In infancy, infants wonder if they can trust the people around them. If an infant successfully develops trust, he or she will feel safe in the world.

Example Question #16 : Studying Developmental Psychology

Jessica's parents are very responsive and caring. They set expectations and boundaries for Jessica, but they also request her input and explain their reasons when making specific decisions or rules. Jessica feels supported by her parents, and she knows that they will still love her even when she makes mistakes. According to Baumrind, which style of parenting and child-rearing describes Jessica's parents?

Possible Answers:

Authoritarian child-rearing style 

Authoritative child-rearing style 

Permissive child-rearing style 

Uninvolved child-rearing style 

Correct answer:

Authoritative child-rearing style 

Explanation:

Authoritative child-rearing and parenting entails high acceptance and involvement with reasonable control/demands and autonomy of children. The scenario described in this question best corresponds to this style of parenting.

Authoritarian child-rearing and parenting emphasizes strict rules and control, with little acceptance and autonomy of children.

Permissive child-rearing and parenting entails high acceptance of children, but parents tend to act more as "friends" with their children by not setting clear expectations, granting too much autonomy, and spoiling children. 

Uninvolved child-rearing and parenting often conveys disinterest or emotional detachment from children. Beyond providing for children's basic needs (e.g., food, clothes, shelter), parents tend to not be actively involved or emotionally available for children. 

Example Question #17 : Studying Developmental Psychology

According to Bandura's Social Learning Theory, individuals learn how to behave through which two mechanisms? 

Possible Answers:

Modeling and reinforcement 

Self-directed initiation and exploration 

Unconscious conflicts and resolutions 

Emotionality and attachment

Correct answer:

Modeling and reinforcement 

Explanation:

Social Learning Theory stems from behaviorism and operant conditioning, and it emphasizes imitation, modeling, and reinforcement to encourage appropriate behavior.

Unconscious conflicts and resolutions are linked more to psychoanalytic theory, whereas self-directed behavior is associated more with Piagetian ideals of actively exploring one's world to facilitate learning. 

Emotionality and attachment are related more to social-emotional development than cogntiive development and learned behavior. 

Example Question #18 : Studying Developmental Psychology

During which of Freud's psychosexual stages does the Oedipus Complex occur?

Possible Answers:

Oral

Anal

Adulthood

Phallic

Puberty

Correct answer:

Phallic

Explanation:

During the phallic stage (ages 3 to 5), Freud believed that young boys desire their mother - but because the boys cannot have their mother, they identify with their father and take on a male gender role.

Example Question #19 : Studying Developmental Psychology

According to Baumrind's work on parenting styles, children who develop anger and trust issues towards their parents are most likely to have been raised in which sort of household?

Possible Answers:

Authoritative or Authoritarian

Authoritarian

Authoritative or Permissive

Authoritative

Permissive

Correct answer:

Authoritarian

Explanation:

Authoritarian parents prioritize the obedience of their children, and are more likely to punish bad behavior than to reward good behavior. This tends to more often produce anger, distrust, and withdrawal in children raised in Authoritarian households than in children raised in Authoritative or Permissive homes.

Example Question #20 : Studying Developmental Psychology

How did Erik Eriksen's proposed stages of human development differ from those earlier put forth by Sigmund Freud?

Possible Answers:

None of these

All of these

Eriksen's theory diminished the importance of sexual and aggressive drives

Eriksen accounted for social influences

Eriksen's stages of development continue beyond puberty through the entirety of adulthood

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

Freud's stages of human development focus heavily on sex and aggression, and largely do not account for social influences beyond relationships with one's parents, and after puberty. Eriksen found all of these features of Freud's theory problematic.

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