AP Psychology : Research and Testing

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #61 : History And Research

A junior researcher is complaining about the principle of debriefing. He says, "If it's so important that we be honest with research participants about our study, then we should just tell them everything beforehand and have them promise to be honest in their answers. If we have to be honest, then so should they!" Which of the following is the most important concept that the researcher is forgetting?

Possible Answers:

All of these

Participant knowledge of an experiment's purpose beforehand can bias their responses, even if the participant wishes to remain neutral.

Deception is sometimes encouraged in psychological research, so long as the data gathered benefits mankind

If participants are made aware of the purpose of some experiments, they will seek to deliberately answer the way they think they ought to, rather than give honest answers

None of these

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

The junior researcher is forgetting all of these concepts of psychological research; furthermore, post-deception the experiment must be followed with a debriefing, in which participants are alerted to the true nature of their participation.

Example Question #62 : History And Research

Which of the following does not require prior approval from an ethics committee or IRB?

Possible Answers:

Research on participants who are compensated for their time

Research that does not involve any risk to participants

Research only with animals

Research on other psychology researchers

All of these

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

Nearly all research in psychology must be approved ahead of time by either an IRB or ethics board, in order to determine what risks are present in the experimental design and whether proper procedures and practices are being implemented. Examples of research that might not require initial approval are archival research, meta-analyses (though these often eventually require IRB approval for publication), and research using only computer simulations as participants.

Example Question #61 : Research And Testing

Which of the following is typically appointed to oversee the ethical treatment of animals during experiments? 

Possible Answers:

None of these

Committee for Ethical Animal Oversight (CEAO)

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Animal Handling and Treatment Committee (AHTC)

Institutional Committee for Responsible Animal Care (ICRAC)

Correct answer:

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Explanation:

In addition to the oversight of the humane treatment of animals during experimentation, each university or research institute's IACUC is also responsible for approving research to be performed on animals, reporting on any preventable animal deaths, and serving as a liaison for animal ethics issues between governing bodies like the APA and colleges.

Example Question #64 : History And Research

In a psychological study, a researcher is aware of who is receiving a tricyclic antidepressant and who is receiving a placebo. Accidentally, the researcher begins to notice the positive results of the group receiving the real medication more frequently and judges the condition of the placebo group to be poorer than it is in reality. Which of the following errors has the experimenter inadvertently committed?

Possible Answers:

Experimenter bias

Response Bias

Hindsight bias

Hawthorne Effect

None of these

Correct answer:

Experimenter bias

Explanation:

Experimenter bias is the process by which an informed researcher unconsciously shows preference for one or more groups, based on knowledge outside the experiment. Note that this is not a choice—deliberately favoring one group due to outside knowledge is called fraud, and is definitely an ethics violation. A double blind methodology could rectify this issue.

Example Question #65 : History And Research

Under which of the following circumstances is it permissible deceive research participants regarding study parameters?

Possible Answers:

None of these are justifiable reasons for deception in research

When a patient is appropriately compensated for the deception and agrees to let their data be used in the study

When there is no other nondeceptive alternative, and the research has a significant interest

When research is performed only with participants who have consented to be lied to about the nature of the study

When there are no affordable options that do not involve deception, and the research is only on a small group

Correct answer:

When there is no other nondeceptive alternative, and the research has a significant interest

Explanation:

The principle of informed consent requires that deception only occur when there is no reasonable non-deceptive alternative. Cost may be a factor in making this determination; however, it is rare for deception to be approved due to cost factors alone. This may also be considered when the research has a significantly established or reasonably expected value: academic or medical.

Example Question #66 : History And Research

Which of the following best summarizes the ethical principle of “protection from harm”?

Possible Answers:

Subjects must be kept free from pain whenever possible. If pain must be inflicted, it should be kept as light as possible and the subjects given mandatory counseling after the fact. An ethics board is required if the research is to be conducted on humans.

Subjects must be kept free from harm whenever possible, and psychologists must keep themselves separated from subjects whenever possible. If an experiment incites anger or violence, an ethics board must immediately be advised.

None of these

Subjects should be safeguarded from physical and mental harm at all times, and debriefing after an experiment should include a therapeutic safeguard if necessary. If danger is present in an experiment, it must be approved by an ethics board and kept at a minimum required.

Subjects must be kept free from physical and mental harm at all times. Psychologists may not inflict pain, embarrassment, or incite strong emotion in subjects without their prior consent. A therapist or other qualified individual must be on hand in case an experimental procedure causes emotional harm.

Correct answer:

Subjects should be safeguarded from physical and mental harm at all times, and debriefing after an experiment should include a therapeutic safeguard if necessary. If danger is present in an experiment, it must be approved by an ethics board and kept at a minimum required.

Explanation:

The principle of protection from harm possesses four requirements. First, subjects should be safeguarded from physical and mental harm at all times. Second, debriefing after an experiment should include a therapeutic safeguard if necessary. Third, if danger is present in an experiment, then an ethics board must approve it. Last, any danger present in an experiment must be kept at the minimum required for the experiment to function.

Example Question #62 : Research And Testing

Which of the following effects can be used to explain why the practice of deception is sometimes necessary in research?

Possible Answers:

The Erikson Effect

The Zimbardo Effect

The Frost Effect

The Hawthorne Effect

The Pavlov Effect

Correct answer:

The Hawthorne Effect

Explanation:

In this infamous study, employees at the Hawthorne Works in Cicero, Illinois were told ahead of time that they were part of an experiment designed to measure, among other things, worker productivity. Initial results looked very promising; however, subsequent research and investigation revealed that the novelty of being part of an experiment likely caused worker productivity to rise. As a result, this confounded results and inflated (albeit unintentionally) the data. Today, the use of deception or post-experimental debriefing is encouraged if a Hawthorne effect is expected in a research design.

Example Question #63 : Research And Testing

Which of the following is not a provision in APA ethics? 

Possible Answers:

Students must be given the choice to fulfill an alternate assignment if they choose not to volunteer

Subjects may not be deceived in any form during the testing

Subjects must give informed consent

Information about the subjects must not be personally identifiable

Correct answer:

Subjects may not be deceived in any form during the testing

Explanation:

Subjects can be deceived on the absolute true nature of the experiment if these two conditions have been met:

1) It is not feasible to use alternates to deception

2) The potential findings justify the use of deception due to their scientific, educational, or applied value

Example Question #69 : History And Research

Carl goes to a psychology laboratory to participate in a study. Before the experiment begins, the experimenter gives him a paper which explains various things such as the following: what participation in the experiment involves, how long the experiment will take, the risks and benefits of the study, and that a participant may exit the study at any time without consequence. The experimenter makes sure the participant understands the details of the study. Carl agrees and signs the consent form. This is an example of which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Debriefing

Deception

Informed consent

Naturalistic observations

Survey research

Correct answer:

Informed consent

Explanation:

In order to do ethical research, researchers must obtain informed consent from research participants. Informed consent is sometimes obtained verbally rather than using a written form. Researchers usually need to have their way of obtaining informed consent approved by an institutional review board.

Example Question #64 : Research And Testing

Consider the following scenario. Tsukiko participated in a psychological experiment on recognizing faces. She volunteered for the study, gave informed consent, and throughout the study she was never in danger— physical, emotional, or psychological. When reporting their findings, the researchers conducting the study kept her identity and information anonymous. Which of the following best explains why Tsukiko might have the right to sue them for a breach of ethics?

Possible Answers:

None of these

The researcher had no right to use her data in the report

She needed special permission to participate in the study

She was not debriefed after the study

Correct answer:

She was not debriefed after the study

Explanation:

According to the ethic laws for psychological experiments and studies, all participants must be debriefed after the study. 

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