GRE Subject Test: Psychology : Conformity, Influence, & Persuasion

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Subject Test: Psychology

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All GRE Subject Test: Psychology Resources

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Example Questions

Example Question #15 : Gre Subject Test: Psychology

Which of the following social psychological phenomena occurs when individuals are less likely to intervene in a given social situation when more people are present?

Possible Answers:

Social exchange

Bystander effect

Social loafing

Reciprocity norm

Correct answer:

Bystander effect

Explanation:

As stated by the bystander effect, individuals do not feel as responsible for helping others when other individuals are present. According to social psychological research, bystanders are most likely to intervene only when the following conditions are met: they share some similarities with the victim of the crime, are happy overall, feel guilty, and are not focused on their own affairs.

Example Question #16 : Gre Subject Test: Psychology

Darla is trying to sell cookies for her girl scout troop. She goes to her neighbor house and asks her to purchase a box of cookies, to which the neighbor agrees. Darla then asks if she would consider purchasing two additional boxes of another type of cookie. Darla is trying to use which technique to get her neightbor to purchase cookies?

Possible Answers:

Obedience

Foot-in-the-door

Door-in-the-face

Minority persuasion

Correct answer:

Foot-in-the-door

Explanation:

Darla first presents a small request and then presents a larger request. This is an example of a "foot-in-the-door" technique. Darla would be practicing "door-in-the-face" if she first presented a large request, then followed it with a smaller request. "Minority persuasion" involves a minority in a group persuading the majority members, and does not fit with this example. "Obedience" occurs when a subordinate complies with an authority figure's request, and is associated with the researcher Milgram. 

Example Question #17 : Gre Subject Test: Psychology

Consider the following scenario: An high school teacher encounters the principal of the school in the hallway on her way to class. The principle instructs the teacher to immediately leave the campus and purchase a pizza for him. The teacher resists saying that she needs to go teach her class and has a test to give, but the principal repeats and insists on his instructions to get a pizza. The teacher goes to get the pizza and misses the class. 

Which of the following classic social psychology experiments was best illustrated by the example scenario? 

Possible Answers:

Soloman Asch's Conformity Study

Clark and Clark's Doll Preference Study 

Phillip Zimbardo's Prison Experiment

Milgram's obedience study

Correct answer:

Milgram's obedience study

Explanation:

This scenario most resembles Milgram's Obedience Study involved subjects obeying direct instructions from an experimenter to administer shocks to another participant (confederate) even though there appeared to be strong negative consequences. For the teacher in this scenario, she was instructed by an authority figure to leave school and buy a pizza even though she would miss her class if she did. Soloman Asch's Conformity Study involved subjects conforming to an obviously wrong answer that all other group members had agreed upon. Clark and Clark's doll preference study involved a task for White and Black children to select the doll that they liked most. Zimbardo's prison experiment involved members of assigned groups assuming roles (i.e. prison guards, prisoners). 

Example Question #18 : Gre Subject Test: Psychology

Which of the following best illustrates the door in the face effect? 

Possible Answers:

A non-profit company calls you to ask for a $10 donation. You agree, and then the following month, the company calls again asking for a $20 donation. 

An antique salesperson tells a customer that if she does not buy a ring on that particular day, somebody else probably will. 

A salesperson tries to sell a car to a customer for $100,000. The customer resists and the salesperson drops the price to $40,000. 

An advertisement indicates that anyone who buys two shirts at $20 will be given a third shirt free. 

Correct answer:

A salesperson tries to sell a car to a customer for $100,000. The customer resists and the salesperson drops the price to $40,000. 

Explanation:

The door in the face effect refers to a tendency in which people who refuse a large initial request will be more likely to agree to a later smaller request. By dropping the price from $100,000 to $40,000, the customer might believe he/she is getting a good deal even if the car should be priced lower. The non-profit call answer was an example of the foot in the door effect. The other two examples were sales techniques, but not examples of the door in the face effect because there is not a sequence of a large request followed by a smaller one. 

Example Question #19 : Gre Subject Test: Psychology

Which of the following best illustrates the foot in the door effect? 

Possible Answers:

A non-profit company calls you to ask for a $10 donation. You agree, and then the following month, the company calls again asking for a $20 donation. 

A salesperson tries to sell a car to a customer for $100,000. The customer resists and the salesperson drops the price to $40,000. 

An antique salesperson tells a customer that if she does not buy a ring on that particular day, somebody else probably will. 

An advertisement indicates that anyone who buys two shirts at $20 will be given a third shirt free. 

Correct answer:

A non-profit company calls you to ask for a $10 donation. You agree, and then the following month, the company calls again asking for a $20 donation. 

Explanation:

The foot in the door effect refers to a tendency in which after agreeing to an initial small request, people will be more likely to agree to subsequent larger requests. By asking for a small initial donation of $10, the donor would be more likely to give $20 the following month than if the donor had been asked for $20 to begin with. The price drop on the car answer was an example of the door in the face effect. The other two examples were sales techniques, but not examples of the door in the face effect because there is not a sequence of a large request followed by a smaller one. 

Example Question #20 : Gre Subject Test: Psychology

Which of the following was the main finding of Milgram's classic study on obedience and conformity? 

Possible Answers:

Subjects shocked peoaple and the majority continued shocking up to maximum voltage

Subjects yield to group pressure and chose incorrect line

Black and white children preferred white dolls

Individuals estimates of movement conformed to group's

Correct answer:

Subjects shocked peoaple and the majority continued shocking up to maximum voltage

Explanation:

Stanley Milgram's Obedience Experiment involved an experimenter instructing participants to administer shocks to an confederate subject in an adjacent room when the subject answered "incorrectly". (No shocks were actually administered). The majority of participants continued to "administer shocks" at high levels when instructed to do so by the experimenter. Asch's classic conformity study involved subject's comparing lengths of lines and Sherif's classic conformity study examined the autokinetic effect. Clark and Clark performed a study on doll preference, but this was not a conformity/obedience study. 

Example Question #21 : Gre Subject Test: Psychology

According to inoculation theory, which of the following would be the best protection against a persuasive attack?

Possible Answers:

Providing arguments to support the initial belief prior to the attack

Anticipating and discrediting the points of the argument prior to the attack

Anticipating and supporting the points of the argument prior to the attack

 Anticipating and discrediting the character of the attacker

Correct answer:

Anticipating and discrediting the points of the argument prior to the attack

Explanation:

Inoculation theory suggests that an original belief can be protected against persuasion (i.e. inoculated against a persuasive attack) by anticipating the argument before it occurs and coming up with counter arguments or discrediting the points of the argument. Other answers did include anticipating the argument, but not the second part of inoculation theory (i.e. discrediting the points of the argument). Providing arguments to support the initial belief prior to the attack could be helpful, but does not necessarily protect against a strong counter attack.

Example Question #1 : Conformity, Influence, & Persuasion

Consider the following scenario: A study group of five students is meeting for a math review before a big test. On the first problem, the students work the problem separately and then share their answers. The first four students give the same answer. When it is the fifth student's turn to share, he decides to say what the other students said even though he got a different answer to the math problem. 

Which classic social psychology study is illustrated best through the scenario? 

Possible Answers:

Stanley Milgram's Obedience Experiment

Soloman Asch's Conformity Study

Clark and Clark's Doll Preference Experiment

Phillip Zimbardo's Prison Experiment

Correct answer:

Soloman Asch's Conformity Study

Explanation:

Soloman Asch's Conformity Study had a very similar set up to the given scenario. In his experiment, a subject was asked to compare lengths of lines that had obvious differences. The subject was in a group of other "subjects" (confederates) and often conformed to the answer that all of the other group members provided rather than sticking to the obviously correct answer. Clark and Clark's doll preference study involved a task for White and Black children to select the doll that they liked most. Milgram's obedience study involved subjects obeying direct instructions from an experimenter to administer shocks to another participant (confederate). Zimbardo's prison experiment involved members of assigned groups assuming roles (i.e. prison guards, prisoners). 

All GRE Subject Test: Psychology Resources

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