AP Psychology : Research and Testing

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Ethics

Can there be involuntary participants in a psychological study according to APA guidelines?

Possible Answers:

No, with certain exceptions, especially when field work is being done

No, and under no exception

No, but with the exception that the involuntary participants will be put under no mental or physical stress

Yes, but only in a controlled setting

Correct answer:

No, and under no exception

Explanation:

The American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines for participation in a psychological study are such that there may be no involuntary partcipants or coercion involved in the study. The participants must provide clear and written informed consent before participating in the study.

Example Question #2 : Ethics

Which of the following is not an aspect of an ethical study?

Possible Answers:

Anonymity 

Confidentiality

Informed consent

Coercion

Debriefing

Correct answer:

Coercion

Explanation:

Informed consent, confidentiality, anonymity, and debriefing are all aspects of an ethical study. Informed consent means that all subjects were given the necessary information for them to decide whether they wanted to participate in the study, or not. Confidentiality means that the experimenters will not release any information about subjects without their consent. Anonymity means that the experimenter does not know the identity of the subjects. Debriefing is when an experimenter tells the subject more information about the study's purpose and procedures after the study is completed.

Coercion means persuasion via threat or force, so coercion is NOT a feature of an ethical study.

Example Question #51 : History And Research

It is mandatory that all participants in a study are told the purpose of the study and what potential for harm the study could present. The term for this is __________.

Possible Answers:

informed consent

assent

debriefing

deception

Correct answer:

informed consent

Explanation:

Informed consent is part of the ethical standards adopted by the American Psychological Association. This provision says that all participants must be told the purpose of the study and informed of any potential harm. Informed consent is considered an ethical keystone in medical and psychological research on human subjects.

Example Question #52 : History And Research

Which of the following is a study that should use animal instead of human subjects?

Possible Answers:

An initial study analyzing the side effects of a new kind of psychotropic drug used to treat anxiety

A study of the effects of exercise on happiness

A study of the effects of diet on happiness

The final longitudinal study before an anti-depressant drug is put on the market

Correct answer:

An initial study analyzing the side effects of a new kind of psychotropic drug used to treat anxiety

Explanation:

Animals should be used in experiments that cannot ethically be performed in humans. In this case, an initial study of a psychotropic drug should be conducted first on animals, in order to assess the potential damage of the drug's side effects. In order for a drug to be approved for human use, the drug must first be tested on human subjects, but this is true of later stages of drug testing. Studies of diet and exercise on mood would not be potentially harmful in the same way as a study of a new psychotropic drug, so they would be appropriate instances in which to use human subjects (as long as the courses of diet and exercise were not inherently harmful to the participants).

Example Question #53 : History And Research

Which of the following choices is an APA recommendation given to maintain experimental ethics in all data related to research participants?

Possible Answers:

Destroy data as soon as the research is finished

Data is to be released only upon request by the participants

Data should be scrubbed of all identifying details 

Make data as anonymous as possible

None of these

Correct answer:

Make data as anonymous as possible

Explanation:

Some research designs make it necessary to record demographic information from participants; however, the APA ethical guidelines require strict monitoring of the location of research data and that all data be made as anonymous as possible.

Example Question #54 : History And Research

Which of the following branches of psychological ethics deals with the idea that psychological researchers ought to refrain from behavior that may interfere with their ability to execute their research or analysis objectively and professionally?

Possible Answers:

Human relations

Privacy and confidentiality

Education and training

Competence

Research and publication

Correct answer:

Competence

Explanation:

The American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines for ethical principles in psychology state that psychologists should refrain from initiating an activity when they know or should know that there is a substantial likelihood that their personal problems will prevent them from performing their work-related activities in a competent manner. In other words, the branch associated with competence warrants against the proposed behavior.

Example Question #55 : History And Research

The principle of informed consent prohibits performing psychological research or services on which of the following?

Possible Answers:

An unconscious person

None of these

A four-year-old child

A chimpanzee

An unwilling prisoner

Correct answer:

None of these

Explanation:

Informed consent is the principle that states that—to the best of a psychologists' ability—plain language that is understandable to the subject is to be used to gain the consent of persons upon whom research, treatment, or services are to be performed. In instances where a person is legally incapable of providing consent, psychologists are still required to provide an appropriately phrased explanation, obtain the assent of the person involved, consider that person's preferences, and seek authorization from any guardian or responsible third party. An unconscious person may give consent prior to becoming unconscious (e.g. in sleep research and certain forms of therapy), or have a responsible guardian give assent for them. Although many ethical principles for animal care apply, a chimpanzee is a non-person and the research associated with these organisms does not require informed consent. A four-year-old child can still have most procedures explained to them in simplified language and they can voice their preference for procedures—with proper parental/guardian consent likely also required. Even an unwilling prisoner may have certain court-ordered procedures performed on them (e.g. in the mandatory psychological evaluation provided for potential suicide/self-harm cases). In these cases, every effort must be made to ensure the person understands what is going to happen before it takes place and has the opportunity to voice their concerns or questions.

Example Question #56 : History And Research

Which of the following is best described as the idea that psychologists should, in general, refrain from disclosing any identifiable information relating to research participants?

Possible Answers:

Record Keeping

Informed Consent

Confidentiality

Privacy

Disclosure

Correct answer:

Confidentiality

Explanation:

The principle of confidentiality covers situations in which the law requires certain forms of disclosure. This includes limited circumstances that force the researcher to provide personally identifiable information in order to prevent harm to persons or to obtain consultations for therapy/medical treatments.

Example Question #57 : History And Research

Which of the following is not an example of a violation of ethical principles in psychology surrounding the presentation of research?

Possible Answers:

All of these

Significantly simplifying the conclusion or hypothesis of research in order to make it understandable to a wider audience

Removing confusing data from a research study before submission to an academic or review journal for potential publication

Crediting yourself as the primary author on research you performed based off a student's dissertation

Reconstructing from memory an insignificant amount of data that was lost or destroyed

Correct answer:

Significantly simplifying the conclusion or hypothesis of research in order to make it understandable to a wider audience

Explanation:

When a study is published, a researcher may rephrase or simplify the language, results, conclusions, or methods of the research in order to appeal to a wider audience. Sometimes, particular journals require the author to simplify research before a submission can be accepted. This is only acceptable when no relevant facts are changed and the rephrasing of conclusions are not suggestive.

Example Question #58 : History And Research

Case studies present the most unique challenges to which of the following principles of psychological ethics?

Possible Answers:

Plagiarism

Deception

Informed consent

Confidentiality

Protection from harm

Correct answer:

Confidentiality

Explanation:

The principle of confidentiality requires all psychologists to take steps before, during, and after research to ensure that no individually identifiable information is accessible to non-researchers without the expressed consent of the participants. A case study can be defined as an intensive review of at least one person’s psychological profile. It is virtually impossible to remove all identifiable information from such a report. For this reason, confidentiality agreements are often lengthy in case studies, and the participant(s) must be kept aware of the risk that, in spite of a researcher's best efforts, their identity may become known.

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