AP Psychology : Biological and Cognitive Factors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #21 : Biological And Cognitive Factors

Researchers hypothesize that the serial-position effect (i.e. the finding that the relative position of items within a list affects serial learning) occurs due to which of the following phenomena?

Possible Answers:

All of these

Anchoring

Rehearsal

Interference 

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

It is hypothesized that anchoring, rehearsal, and interference may all play a role in the serial-position effect. Anchoring refers to the tendency to latch onto the beginning and end of items in a list as “anchors” for memory. Rehearsal theories state that participants recall more items in the beginning and end because there is less competition for memory at that stage. Interference theories point to the disruption of learning when items in the middle of the list interfere with each other.  

Example Question #22 : Biological And Cognitive Factors

In paired-associate learning, two items are presented in a pair for learning and labeled stimulus and response. This type of learning experiment is similar to which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Discriminative stimulus control

Operant conditioning

Response learning

Classical conditioning

Correct answer:

Classical conditioning

Explanation:

Paired-associate learning is similar to classical conditioning; both types of learning involve the sequence of stimulus-response and rely on paired items. It is not operant conditioning because there is no contingency or reward. Discriminative stimulus control applies to operant learning and is a signal of the availability of a reward. Last, response learning refers to the process of shaping behavior.

Example Question #321 : Individual Psychology And Behavior

In verbal learning, when a pair of words is rehearsed (e.g. an English word to its Spanish translation) the term “direction of associations” refers to the tendency for memory recall to be best described by which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Only go in the direction it is rehearsed

Be equal for both words in a paired association

Lead to stronger associations for words you are directed to 

Strengthen the more it is rehearsed

Correct answer:

Only go in the direction it is rehearsed

Explanation:

In verbal learning, the term “direction of associations” refers to the tendency for recall to only go in the direction it is rehearsed. For example, if you make flash cards for Spanish class, and rehearse by reading the English word (first word of the pair) followed by the Spanish word (second word of the pair), there is a good chance that you would recall the Spanish; however, if you were tested from Spanish to English you may not be able to recall the information because the “direction of associations” tends to follow the direction you rehearsed. 

Example Question #23 : Biological And Cognitive Factors

In learning and memory, the term “categorical clustering” refers to the tendency for recall of a list to increase when the list is considered to be which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Constructed so that the words come from the different semantic categories

Constructed so that the words come from an equal number of semantic categories

Constructed so that the words come from the same semantic categories

Constructed so that there are never more than 5 categories on a single list

Correct answer:

Constructed so that the words come from the same semantic categories

Explanation:

In learning and memory, the term “categorical clustering” refers to the tendency for recall of a list to increase when the list is constructed so that the words come from the same semantic categories. For example, a list is easier to recall when the words are related to each other, such as types of food or animals.

Example Question #24 : Biological And Cognitive Factors

Which of the following best describes when “implicit learning” seems to occur?

Possible Answers:

As the result of recognizing behavior

Even without awareness or the intention to learn

Only when there is awareness or the intention to learn

As the result of rehearsing behavior

Correct answer:

Even without awareness or the intention to learn

Explanation:

“Implicit learning” is a type of learning that seems to occur even without awareness or the intention to learn. Although learning has taken place, it may not be able to be verbalized or well articulated. For example, if you have seen and performed a process “by rote” or habit many times, you might have trouble trying to describe exactly how to do it to someone else. You might have to demonstrate it instead of just describing it.

Example Question #143 : Learning

In order to formally verify that learning has occurred, a scientist would most likely look at which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Changes to the brain that are readily apparent in magnetic imagery

An individual’s subjective experience of a change in thinking or behavior

All of these

Objective (i.e. observable) evidence of a relatively permanent and quantifiable change in behavior

Correct answer:

Objective (i.e. observable) evidence of a relatively permanent and quantifiable change in behavior

Explanation:

Scientific studies of learning tend to rely on objective evidence of a quantifiable and relatively permanent change in behavior. In other words, the result of learning must be capable of being empirically observed and measured. Neuroscience is making huge strides in mapping changes to the brain that occur as a result of learning, but most learning is still not visible through brain imaging. The scientific method does not rely on subjective experiences. 

Example Question #25 : Biological And Cognitive Factors

Grammatical rules are those consisting of which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Morphemes 

Phonemes 

 

Syntax

Semantics

Correct answer:

Syntax

Explanation:

Grammatical rules are those of "syntax" because they depend almost exclusively on the placement of words and their arrangement in a sentence. Their position relative to each other allows ideas to be expressed in a multitude of different ways. A different arrangement of words in a sentence will produce a different idea. 

Example Question #26 : Biological And Cognitive Factors

Johnny replicates Pavolv's experiment, except he rings a bell before providing dogs with food; therefore there is no overlap between the sound of the bell and the dish hitting the ground. This is an example of what kind __________ conditioning?

Possible Answers:

simultaneous

backward 

trace 

delayed

spontaneous

Correct answer:

trace 

Explanation:

In this case, the bell's ringing ends before the food is presented; therefore, it would be best described as "trace conditioning." If the bell were still ringing when the food was presented, then this would be described as "delayed conditioning," which has the most powerful response. In "backward conditioning," the unconditioned stimulus is presented before the conditioned stimulus. Also, in "simultaneous conditioning," the unconditioned stimulus and the conditioned stimulus are presented at the same time.

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