AP Psychology : Attention and Focus

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #11 : Attention And Focus

Rick is an avid sports fan. While watching a football game, he focuses intently on the position of the ball and follows it very carefully. He jumps for joy when a player carries the ball downfield to score a touchdown, but is surprised and upset when the referee says that there was a penalty in the play on a different player, which negates the touchdown. Rick may have just experienced which of the following phenomena?

Possible Answers:

Optical illusion

Phi phenomenon

Inattentional blindness

Blind spot

Correct answer:

Inattentional blindness

Explanation:

Inattentional blindness occurs when someone is hyper-focused on one stimulus and unable to take in other information. Rick was so focused on where the ball was and he missed another player making a seemingly blatant foul. The blind spot is the point where the optic nerve exits the eye from the retina to the brain. Optical illusion is an umbrella term that can refer to many different principles of perceptual organization. The Phi Phenomenon is the illusion of movement created by presenting visual stimuli in rapid succession (much like a cartoon flip book). 

Example Question #881 : Individual Psychology And Behavior

Robin is trying to remember a series of numbers. She decides to divide them into meaningful units. What memory strategy is Robin using?

Possible Answers:

Chunking

Primacy effect

Mnemonic device

Peg-word system

Echoic memory

Correct answer:

Chunking

Explanation:

In this example Robin is making use of chunking, which improves short-term memory by grouping items together. For example, if Robin had to memorize a string of numbers (e.g. 91769512), then she could chunk together into four number strings reminiscent of years (e.g. "1976" and "1925"). A mnemonic device is a string of words or an acronym to help recall information. For example, ROYGBIV helps some people remember the colors of the rainbow. The peg-word system is another memory strategy that involves memorizing a list of words by associating the words with specific numbers that are "pegged" onto an imaginary board, such as "two" and "shoe." The primacy effect refers to the tendency to remember the first item on a list better than later items. Echoic memory is a form of sensory memory that can be retained for 3 to 4 seconds. Last, the primacy effect and echoic memory do not refer to memorization strategies. 

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