AP Psychology : Research and Testing

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : History And Research

A student reviews four highly cited papers on the effects of green tea on memory and synthesizes the common critical elements of each paper to propose a new experimental framework. This is an example of which of the following research techniques?

Possible Answers:

Naturalistic observation

Archival research

Correlational research

Ethnographic research

Meta-analysis

Correct answer:

Meta-analysis

Explanation:

In a meta-analysis, the statistical or experimental methods of multiple studies are reviewed for common techniques, results, or disagreements. This is done in order to discover new areas of research interest. Most dissertation-level research and some graduate theses include some level of meta-analysis to justify new research studies.

Example Question #12 : History And Research

Which of the following is not a type of reliability-check for psychological assessments?

Possible Answers:

Split-half reliability

Inter-item reliability

Inter-rater reliability

Inter-data reliability

Test-retest reliability

Correct answer:

Inter-data reliability

Explanation:

Inter-data reliability is a made up phrase. The other four are all types of reliability tests. Inter-rater reliability checks if independent raters or judges agree on what they are seeing. Test-retest reliability checks if repeated tests or administrations lead to similar scores or results. Inter-item reliability checks that if items in an assessment correlate. Split-half reliability checks if both halves or parts of a test measure the same thing.

Example Question #13 : History And Research

Researchers decide to study some children from the time they are 5 until they graduate college. The research team checks up on the participants every year. This is an example of a __________ study.

Possible Answers:

cross-sectional

correlational 

longitudinal 

naturalistic 

Correct answer:

longitudinal 

Explanation:

Longitudinal research is described as research where the same individuals are studied over a long period of time. This type of research produces useful results, but it is extremely costly and not time effective.

Example Question #14 : Influential Experiments And Methods

A group of researchers want to study how people’s ability to asses risk changes over time. They recruit  participants for their study and compare their findings between the age groups. This is an example of a __________ study. 

Possible Answers:

experimental   

longitudinal

cross-sectional

quasi-experimental 

Correct answer:

cross-sectional

Explanation:

Cross-sectional research involves studying participants of varying age groups and comparing some behavior between those age groups. This approach is cost effective and less time consuming that longitudinal, but is subject to more confounding variables and sampling error. In research studies, the choice is generally between cost and time-efficiency and research validity.

Example Question #11 : History And Research

Which study design best reveals genetic factors for mood disorders?

Possible Answers:

Monozygotic twin studies (identical)

Dizygotic twin studies (fraternal)

All of the above

Adoption studies

Family studies

Correct answer:

Monozygotic twin studies (identical)

Explanation:

Monozygotic twins share 100% of their DNA. As a result, the higher concordance rates in MZ twins that have a mood disorder means that genetic factors played a role in contrast to environmental factors.

Example Question #11 : History And Research

Which of the following best describes the conclusion of the Bandura’s experiment that utilized “Bobo dolls”?

Possible Answers:

Even in infants, the fusiform face area in the brain responds more strongly to faces

Children can imprint onto inanimate objects during the critical period

Children learn aggressive behaviors through social observation and imitation

Female children show a preference for dolls from an early age

Correct answer:

Children learn aggressive behaviors through social observation and imitation

Explanation:

In 1961, Albert Bandura and his colleagues conducted a study in which children were placed at a table with engaging toys while they simultaneously watched an adult interact with a tall inflatable clown toy. Some children watched adults aggressively attack the Bobo doll while others watched adults play quietly with other toys. In the control group, no adult model was present at all. After the children watched the adult model, the experimenter took them to another playroom. The experimenter attempted to frustrate the child by explaining to them that the engaging toys there were only for other children—he or she would have to play with the toys in the experimental playroom instead. Afterwards, researchers observed how many aggressive behaviors the child displayed towards the Bobo doll. When the child had seen an adult model beat up and verbally assault the Bobo doll, the child was much more likely to do it as well. On the other hand, children in the other groups were more likely to non-aggressively play with the other toys in the room.

Example Question #15 : History And Research

 Which of the following best describes the conclusions of Harlow’s famous experiment with rhesus monkeys separated from their mothers at birth?

Possible Answers:

Monkeys were excellent mothers who attentively nursed and otherwise cared for their young

Monkeys socialized only with humans and completely ignored other monkeys

Monkeys often rose to an alpha position when exposed to other normally-reared monkeys

Monkeys exhibited bizarre and infantile sexual postures

Correct answer:

Monkeys exhibited bizarre and infantile sexual postures

Explanation:

In the 1950s and 1960s, Harry Harlow separated rhesus monkeys from their mothers very shortly after birth and put them in an environment where they only had access to inanimate “surrogate mothers.” One available “mother” was made of rough wire and the other was made of soft terry cloth; however, only the wire “mother” dispensed milk. The researchers found that while the monkeys fed from the wire “mother,” they spent far more time clinging to the cloth “mother.” This revealed that attachment is not solely related to the parent’s ability to provide food. In adult life, the monkeys were incredibly damaged by this experience. They could not show or respond to natural sexual postures with other monkeys and eventually were aloof—and sometimes abusive—parents.

Example Question #15 : History And Research

What is the objective for selecting a sample out of the population?

Possible Answers:

To achieve a representative sample

To achieve a large sample

To achieve a small, random sample

To achieve a random sample

To achieve a fully formed sample

Correct answer:

To achieve a representative sample

Explanation:

The ideal sample that is chosen out of a population is a representative sample, which means that the makeup of the sample generally matches the makeup of the population. The sample is often chosen through the process of random sampling, but the sample itself is not random. Also, increasing the size of the sample increases the chance that it will be representative but a large sample is not the goal of picking the sample.

Example Question #16 : History And Research

What is the main benefit of choosing a large sample for a study (as opposed to a smaller one)?

Possible Answers:

It is less costly

It is guaranteed to be representative of the population

It is more likely to be representative of the population

It is less difficult to coordinate

It is less time consuming

Correct answer:

It is more likely to be representative of the population

Explanation:

The ideal sample that is chosen out of a population is a representative sample, which means that the makeup of the sample generally matches the makeup of the population. The main benefit of choosing a larger sample is that it is more likely to be representative of the population; however, unless the sample includes the entire population (which it rarely, rarely does), it does not guarantee that it will be representative. However, larger samples are often more time consuming, harder to coordinate, and more costly, so those drawbacks have to be balanced.

Example Question #16 : Research And Testing

What is the main difference between laboratory experiments and field experiments?

Possible Answers:

Laboratory experiments are conducted in the lab and field experiments are conducted in the real world

Laboratory experiments are more realistic

Laboratory experiments are conducted in the real world and field experiments are conducted in the lab

Laboratory and field experiments differ based on the number of subjects

Field experiments are more easily controlled

Correct answer:

Laboratory experiments are conducted in the lab and field experiments are conducted in the real world

Explanation:

The difference between laboratory experiments and field experiments is not the number of subjects, but the place where they are conducted-the lab or the outside world. Lab experiments are more easily controlled whereas field experiments are more realistic.

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