GRE Subject Test: Psychology : Emotional Development

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Emotional Development

According to Erik Erikson, at what stage of development does a child need to experience discipline in order to learn a responsible way of living?

Possible Answers:

Toddler (age 1 to 2 years)

Grade school years (age 6 to 12 years)

Adolescence (age 12 to 18 years)

Infancy (0 to 1 year)

Early childhood (age 2 to 6 years)

Correct answer:

Early childhood (age 2 to 6 years)

Explanation:

During early childhood (age 2 to 6 years) the child begins to engage in social interaction. He or she wants to be the center of attention. By encouraging the child to respect boundaries and providing discipline to control impulsive behavior, the child will learn a responsible way of living. 

Example Question #2 : Emotional Development

According to Erik Erikson, a child is most likely to experience an "identity crisis" and be unable to make choices about their role in life during what developmental stage?

Possible Answers:

Grade school years (age 6 to 12 years)

Adolescence (age 12 to 18 years)

Early childhood (age  to 6 years)

Infancy (age 0 to 1 year)

Toddler (age 1 to 2 years)

Correct answer:

Adolescence (age 12 to 18 years)

Explanation:

Adolescence (age 12 to 18 years) is a time of identity crisis. At this stage, the child asks, "Who am I?" If the child can integrate values learned during previous childhood stages (trust, independence, impulse control, and intellectual curiosity), then they will have a strong identity and readiness to be an adult. If not, confusion can occur and they will be unable to make decisions about their role in life. 

Example Question #3 : Emotional Development

A client is 7 years old. Due to intense childhood trauma, he still sucks his thumb, talks in a baby voice. and has minimal social interaction. The client is highly dependent on his caregiver and will not complete tasks without the caregiver’s assistance. He experiences high levels of anxiety and cannot be left alone due to a fear of abandonment. According to Erickson's stages of psychosocial development, this child has regressed to which of the following stages of development?

Possible Answers:

Autonomy vs. shame/doubt

Intimacy vs. isolation

Initiative vs. guilt

Dependence vs. independence

Trust vs. mistrust

Correct answer:

Trust vs. mistrust

Explanation:

The regressed behaviors of this client are characteristic of the “trust vs. mistrust” stage. When a child experiences trauma or neglect during this stage they are unable to develop a secure sense of trust with himself or herself or their caregiver. This leaves them feeling either excessively dependent or excessively detached. The client also demonstrates early development behaviors such as thumb sucking, which are indicative of an emotional age of about 1 year old in Erickson's model. 

Example Question #83 : Gre Subject Test: Psychology

Ellie is 10 years old and is learning to master skills and work cooperatively with her peers in school. If she successfully masters her current stage of development, then she will experience a sense of competence. If she fails to master her current stage of development, then she will likely feel inadequate. Ellie is in which of Erikson's psychosocial stages of development?

Possible Answers:

Initiative vs. guilt

Trust vs. mistrust

Autonomy vs. shame and doubt

Industry vs. inferiority

Correct answer:

Industry vs. inferiority

Explanation:

The "industry vs. inferiority" stage most often occurs between the ages of 6 and puberty. It involves learning to master one's skills in order to develop a sense of competence. "Trust vs. mistrust" is the first stage that occurs during infancy, with the goal being to develop a sense of trust in the caregiver. The second stage is "autonomy vs. shame and doubt," which occurs between 1 and 3 years of age and involves developing a sense of independence. "Initiative vs. guilt" is the third stage, which occurs from ages 3 to 6 and involves assuming responsibility. "Integrity vs. despair" is the final stage of development and involves reflecting on one's life. 

Example Question #4 : Emotional Development

Maria is 17 years old and preparing for college. She has decided to become a lawyer because both of her parents are lawyers. She has not considered other career options and does not plan to in the future. Maria is most likely in which of the following identity states?

Possible Answers:

Differentiation

Identity diffusion

Moratorium

Identity achievement

Foreclosure

Correct answer:

Foreclosure

Explanation:

Psychologist James Marcia developed a theory of adolescent identity development. This theory focuses on the presence of crisis and commitment. Maria is in the "foreclosure" state, which is characterized by accepting a ready-made identity. Maria has not experienced an identity crisis, but has made a commitment. "Moratorium" involves the presence of a crisis but no commitment. "Identity diffusion" occurs when a person experiences neither a crisis nor commitment. "Identity achievement" involves successfully resolving a crisis and committing to an identity. Last, "differentiation" is not a term used in this theory. 

Example Question #5 : Emotional Development

Anne is 40 years old. Her main priorities are caring for her growing children, continuing to excel at work, and giving back to the community by volunteering on the weekends. Anne is most likely in which of Erikson's psychosocial stages of development?

Possible Answers:

Intimacy vs. isolation

Generativity vs. stagnation

Ego integrity vs. despair

Industry vs. inferiority

Trust vs. mistrust

Correct answer:

Generativity vs. stagnation

Explanation:

Erik Erikson's theory includes 8 stages of psychosocial development that individuals go through from infancy to late adulthood. This theory assumes that individuals experience a crisis at each stage, and can either successfully or unsuccessfully complete a stage. Anne is in the “generativity vs. stagnation” stage, which includes being productive, giving back, and focusing on the future generation. On the other hand, “trust vs. mistrust” is the first stage, with the goal being to develop trust in caregivers. "Industry vs. inferiority" is the fourth stage and occurs between ages 5 and 12. The goal of this stage is to develop competence and a sense of pride in one's work. “Intimacy vs. isolation” is the sixth stage and occurs during early adulthood. The goal of this stage is to develop deep and meaningful relationships with others. “Ego integrity vs. despair” is the final stage and includes looking back on one's life and accomplishments. 

Example Question #6 : Emotional Development

According to Erikson, which of the following is the central crisis of emerging adulthood?

Possible Answers:

Trust vs. mistrust

Industry vs. inferiority

Intimacy vs. isolation

Identity vs. role confusion

Correct answer:

Intimacy vs. isolation

Explanation:

Intimacy vs. isolation occurs between adolescence and middle age during emerging adulthood. During this stage, individuals are tasks with developing intimate relationship with others and commitment to another person. Identity vs. role confusion is the crisis that happens during adolescence. Trust vs. mistrust is the first crisis that occurs during the first year of life. Industry vs. inferiority occurs in childhood from ages 6-12.

Example Question #87 : Gre Subject Test: Psychology

An elderly individual approaching death reflects on his life and has a sense of regret and that his life has not been worthwhile. Which of the following conflicts would he be most likely to be experiencing?

Possible Answers:

Oral fixation

Integrity vs. despair

Anal fixation

Generativity vs. stagnation

Correct answer:

Integrity vs. despair

Explanation:
Oral and anal fixation are part of Freud's psychosexual stages of development, and would occur during childhood. Erikson's theory of psychosocial development included stages throughout the lifespan. The last stage, integrity vs. despair, occurs during old age as the individual approaches death whereas generativity vs. stagnation is the conflict of middle age.

Example Question #7 : Emotional Development

Which of the following is characteristic of a child's behavior with anxious-resistant insecure attachment?

Possible Answers:

The child is likely to explore a novel situation. 

When a parent leaves and returns to a room, the child is ambivalent about the parent's return. 

When a parent leaves and returns to a room, the child cries upon the return, but still approaches the parent. 

The child does not exhibit any distress when the parent leaves them alone in an unfamiliar room. 

The child will likely go on to have secure attachment in adult relationships.

Correct answer:

When a parent leaves and returns to a room, the child is ambivalent about the parent's return. 

Explanation:

A child with anxious-resistant insecure attachment has a conditioned response to inconsistent caring from the parent. The child will become distressed when the parent leaves the room, but will then not approach the parent upon their return to the room. Secure attachment style is indicative of a child likely to explore a novel situation and grow up with a secure attachment style. The child who cries but still approaches likely has a disorganized attachment. The child that is not distressed about being left alone is exhibiting anxious-avoidant insecure attachment. 

All GRE Subject Test: Psychology Resources

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