AP Psychology : Research and Testing

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #31 : Research And Testing

Which of the following is an example of applied psychological research?

Possible Answers:

Understanding the ways that different cultures view emotion

Developing a theory about different types of anxiety

Testing the efficacy of an educational program designed to raise the IQ scores of low-income students

Understanding the psychological patterns that explain why some couples divorce and some do not 

Figuring out how brain structure relates to political ideology

Correct answer:

Testing the efficacy of an educational program designed to raise the IQ scores of low-income students

Explanation:

Basic research is more theoretical and focused on understanding a phenomenon, whereas applied research is more focused on solving a real-world problem. In the answer choices, the only issue that would immediately solve a real-world problem is "testing the efficacy of an educational program designed to raise the IQ scores of low-income students." Developing theories and understanding patterns are more characteristic of basic research.

Example Question #1531 : Ap Psychology

A researcher is curious about how temperature relates to aggression and predicts that as the temperature in a room increases, a measure of the subject's aggression will increase as well. What is the experimental design term used to describe "temperature" and "aggression"?

Possible Answers:

Theories

Variables

Hypotheses

Dependent variables

Independent variables

Correct answer:

Variables

Explanation:

A “variable” is described something that varies between people or objects—in this case, temperature and aggression are the variables. The “independent variable” (IV) is the variable that is manipulated by the researcher (temperature) and the “dependent variable” (DV) is the variable that changes as a result of a change in the IV (aggression). A “hypothesis” describes the relationship between variables and is generally what the researcher predicts will happen (i.e. “as the temperature in a room increases, a measure of the subject's aggression will increase as well”). Last, a “theory” is a principle or set of principles that explains a phenomenon.

Example Question #31 : History And Research

A researcher is curious about how temperature relates to aggression and predicts that as the temperature in a room increases, a measure of the subject's aggression will increase as well. What is the experimental design term for "temperature" in this scenario?

Possible Answers:

Dependent variable

Independent variable

Variables

Hypothesis

Theory

Correct answer:

Independent variable

Explanation:

A “variable” is described something that varies between people or objects—in this case, temperature and aggression are the variables. The “independent variable” (IV) is the variable that is manipulated by the researcher (temperature) and the “dependent variable” (DV) is the variable that changes as a result of a change in the IV (aggression). A “hypothesis” describes the relationship between variables and is generally what the researcher predicts will happen (i.e. “as the temperature in a room increases, a measure of the subject's aggression will increase as well”). Last, a “theory” is a principle or set of principles that explains a phenomenon.

Example Question #31 : Influential Experiments And Methods

A researcher is curious about how temperature relates to aggression and predicts that as the temperature in a room increases, a measure of the subject's aggression will increase as well. What is the experimental design term for "aggression" in this scenario?

Possible Answers:

Independent variable

Dependent variable

Theory

Variables

Hypothesis

Correct answer:

Dependent variable

Explanation:

A “variable” is described something that varies between people or objects—in this case, temperature and aggression are the variables. The “independent variable” (IV) is the variable that is manipulated by the researcher (temperature) and the “dependent variable” (DV) is the variable that changes as a result of a change in the IV (aggression). A “hypothesis” describes the relationship between variables and is generally what the researcher predicts will happen (i.e. “as the temperature in a room increases, a measure of the subject's aggression will increase as well”). Last, a “theory” is a principle or set of principles that explains a phenomenon.

Example Question #31 : History And Research

A researcher is curious about how temperature relates to aggression and predicts that as the temperature in a room increases, a measure of the subject's aggression will increase as well. What is the experimental design term for the researcher's prediction about temperature's relationship to aggression?

Possible Answers:

Hypothesis

Dependent variable

Variable

Theory

Independent variable

Correct answer:

Hypothesis

Explanation:

A “variable” is described something that varies between people or objects—in this case, temperature and aggression are the variables. The “independent variable” (IV) is the variable that is manipulated by the researcher (temperature) and the “dependent variable” (DV) is the variable that changes as a result of a change in the IV (aggression). A “hypothesis” describes the relationship between variables and is generally what the researcher predicts will happen (i.e. “as the temperature in a room increases, a measure of the subject's aggression will increase as well”). Last, a “theory” is a principle or set of principles that explains a phenomenon.

Example Question #31 : History And Research

Can a researcher's hypothesis ever be proven?

Possible Answers:

None of these

No, hypotheses can never be proven; they can only fail to be disproven

Yes, if the researcher finds evidence that supports their hypothesis through a study

Yes, if the researcher finds enough evidence that supports their hypothesis through a study and that study is replicated by other researchers

No, the researcher will never find enough evidence

Correct answer:

No, hypotheses can never be proven; they can only fail to be disproven

Explanation:

Proving a hypothesis is actually impossible—we can only fail to disprove or add support for a hypothesis. Essentially, the closest we can get to "proving" a hypothesis is to not find evidence that contradicts it. This is because there could always be an exception to the hypothesis that we have not discovered.

Example Question #32 : History And Research

A researcher is curious about how temperature relates to aggression and predicts that as the temperature in a room increases, a measure of the subject's aggression will increase as well. What questions might the researcher want to consider in order to develop operational definitions for her variables?

Possible Answers:

All of these

What will be considered "an increase" in the measure of aggression?

What temperature will be manipulated in the study-- the temperature outside or the temperature inside the room?

Will temperature be measured in Fahrenheit or Celsius?

Will the aggression of the subject be measured in actions or words?

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

When one operationally defines a variable, they translate an idea into a concrete operation that can be measured. For example, the concept of "aggression" might be operationally defined as "the number of times someone punches a wall in a 5 minute period." In order to get from the concept to the concrete, the researcher has to consider a lot of questions about how the idea will be specifically measured within the study.  

Example Question #32 : History And Research

Albert Bandura's BOBO doll experiment revealed the significance of which of the following methods of learning?

Possible Answers:

Behavior modification 

Extinction 

Modeling 

Classical conditioning 

Perception 

Correct answer:

Modeling 

Explanation:

Albert Bandura's BOBO doll experiment showed the significance of modeling. Humans learn by way of observation; we watch the demonstrated behavior and imitate that behavior. In a similar manner, the BOBO doll experiment showed how vicarious reward and punishment influence behavior modification.If a child observed an adult being praised for aggressive behavior, then the child would imitate that behavior. If a child observed an adult being scolded for aggressive behavior, then the child would avoid modeling that behavior.

Example Question #31 : History And Research

Which of the following is not true about split-brain research?

Possible Answers:

Participants who are shown an image in their left field of vision often cannot verbally label it.

It involves at least one individual who has volunteered to have his or her corpus callosum cut for the study.

It provides evidence for hemispheric specialization.

Roger Sperry and his colleagues most famously carried out this type of research in the 1960s.

Correct answer:

It involves at least one individual who has volunteered to have his or her corpus callosum cut for the study.

Explanation:

All of these statements are correct except for the idea that participants "volunteered" to have their corpus callosum severed. Psychologists know that the corpus callosum plays an extremely important role in communication between the two brain hemispheres, so it would be incredibly unethical to cut it simply for a study. Surgeries to cut the corpus callosum are generally only performed on patients with severe epilepsy, as the procedure (for reasons not entirely known) tends to stop the seizures. Split-brain research is important because it demonstrates that different halves of the brain are specialized for different activities. For example, if a split-brain patient was shown a spoon to her left eye, contralateral control means this information would be much more readily available to the right cerebral hemisphere. Since the left (not right) hemisphere is associated with language, she would not be able to correctly identify what the object was in words. This is evidence for hemispheric specialization—the “division of labor” between the two halves of the brain such that each side specializes in certain functions.

Example Question #33 : History And Research

In 1971, which researcher conducted the infamous Stanford prison experiment?

Possible Answers:

Philip Zimbardo

Sigmund Freud

Karen Horney

Stanley Milgram

Alfred Adler

Correct answer:

Philip Zimbardo

Explanation:

The Stanford prison experiment was a study of the psychological effects of roles associated with being a prisoner or a prison guard within a fictitious prison located in an laboratory setting. The experiment was stopped after six days due to the psychological torture that was being inflicted on the prisoners by the prison guards. It was conducted byPhilip Zimbardo and has been the subject of many conversations regarding ethical violations.

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