AP Psychology : Research and Testing

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #71 : History And Research

Dr. R is conducting a study in which she plans to deliver a moderate electric shock to research participants while measuring their brain activity. She plans to deceive them about the intensity of the shock. Which of the following statements is true regarding the ethical practices of the doctor’s research?

Possible Answers:

Dr. R's study is unethical because it involves deception with physical pain.

Dr. R's study is ethical as long as the research participants are at least 18 years old. 

Dr. R's study is unethical because she is measuring brain activity.

Dr. R's study is ethical as long as she receives informed consent from the participants. 

Dr. R's study is ethical as long as it is approved by the research institution at her university. 

Correct answer:

Dr. R's study is unethical because it involves deception with physical pain.

Explanation:

Using deception in research is covered by the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) ethics code. Standard 8.07 of the code states “psychologists do not deceive prospective participants about research that is reasonably expected to cause physical pain or severe emotional distress.” Dr. R's study involves both deception and physical pain; therefore, her study is unethical.

Example Question #72 : History And Research

Which of the following organizations reviews research studies for adherence to ethical principles?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

American Psychological Association (APA)

Ethical Review Team (ERT)

Psychologists for Ethical Research (PfER)

Correct answer:

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Explanation:

An "institutional review board" (IRB), also known as an ethical review board (ERB), is a committee that has been formally designated to approve, monitor, and review psychological research involving human subjects. In the United States, IRBs are governed by Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations Part 46. 

Example Question #73 : History And Research

An observation that increased sugar intake results in greater activity in lab mice would indicate which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Coincidence

Positive correlation

Negative correlation

Zero correlation

Causal relationship

Correct answer:

Positive correlation

Explanation:

As the intake of sugars increases, the activity of the mice increases. If this were to be graphed, it would indicate a positive correlation from a line with a positive slope. It is important to note that this would be a correlation; furthermore, correlation simply reveals possible relationships and does not necessarily indicate causation, which may be the result of a lurking or confounding variable.

Example Question #1 : Classifications And Procedures

What is a control group?

Possible Answers:

A group of subjects that runs the experiment

A group of subjects in an experiment that control the experiment's outcome

A group of subjects in an experiment that receives no treatment or a placebo treatment

A group of subjects in an experiment that act as confederates

A group of subjects in an experiment that receives the experimental treatment

Correct answer:

A group of subjects in an experiment that receives no treatment or a placebo treatment

Explanation:

Almost every experiment has a control group, along with one or more experimental groups. A control group must be included to serve as a baseline comparison in contrast to the experimental group. This allows experimenters to determine whether the treatment (the independent variable) creates significant change. The control group is not given experimental treatment, but may be given a placebo. Any differences between the experimental group and control group can be attributed solely to the experimental variable, as this is meant to be the only distinguishng feature between the experimental and control groups.

Example Question #2 : Classifications And Procedures

Which type of study is designed to observe subjects over a long period of time?

Possible Answers:

Longitudinal

Empirically-based

Experimental

Cross-sectional

Correlational

Correct answer:

Longitudinal

Explanation:

Longitudinal studies retest the same subjects multiple times over a long period of time. Some longitudinal studies can span several decades, depending on the type of data being collected. These types of studies are especially popular in the field of developmental psychology.

Example Question #1 : Classifications And Procedures

Which type of research seeks to solve real-world problems?

Possible Answers:

Developmental research

Applied research

Longitudinal research

Cross-cultural research

Basic research

Correct answer:

Applied research

Explanation:

Applied research is always conducted with the end goal of trying to solve practical problems. The other choices may seek to help solve various issues, but this is not always the case. 

Example Question #1 : Classifications And Procedures

Which type of research design focuses on the in-depth analysis of one subject?

Possible Answers:

Cross-sectional

Report

Longitudinal

Individual

Case study

Correct answer:

Case study

Explanation:

Case studies are rare in psychological research, and are typically used when a subject exhibits a rare and unique symptom pattern. Case studies can also be employed in K-12 school settings to show a child's progress over time in response to various interventions.

Example Question #2 : Classifications And Procedures

What is the main difference between qualitative and quantitative research studies?

Possible Answers:

Qualitative studies do not utilize random sampling, while quantitative studies do

Qualitative studies rely on self-reported scales, while quantitative studies rely on objective measures

Qualitative studies do not have a control group, whereas quantitative studies do

Qualitative studies rely on observations and descriptions, while quantitative studies rely on numbers and statistics

Qualitative studies follow people over a period of time, while quantitative studies take a cross-section of the population

Correct answer:

Qualitative studies rely on observations and descriptions, while quantitative studies rely on numbers and statistics

Explanation:

Qualitative studies do not measure behavior using numbers. Rather, these studies record behaviors such as dialogue, body language, and other observations. Quantitative studies measure variables numerically in order to conduct statistics on the results. All other answer choices are characteristics that are not confined to either type of study alone.

Example Question #1583 : Ap Psychology

What is the advantage of field work in research?

Possible Answers:

It allows the researcher to see the world in a much more holistic way.

It allows the experiment to grow and expand so that it may be conducted in other places.

It allows for the researcher to see the practical applications for their theories.

It gives a much more realistic picture of what would happen in the real world.

None of these.

Correct answer:

It gives a much more realistic picture of what would happen in the real world.

Explanation:

Doing field work for reserarch can give a much more realistic picture of what would happen in the real world. This helps the researcher to discover the things they could miss in a laboratory setting and spread their net wide. For instance, a researcher may have a hypothesis about how autistic children behave in a classroom setting with other students. By observing this in a natural setting, the research considers all of the real world possibilities of this hypothesis. 

Example Question #1 : Classifications And Procedures

What is the difference between basic and applied research?

Possible Answers:

Applied research aims to answer questions that are of concern to a particular field; basic research aims to apply research in some concrete way.

Basic research aims to answer questions that are of concern to a particular field; applied research aims to apply research in some concrete way.

Basic research aims to make advances in a particular field; applied research aims to apply research in some concrete way.

Applied research aims to answer questions that are of concern to a particular field; basic research aims to answers several questions simultaneously through a more generalized experiment.

Correct answer:

Basic research aims to answer questions that are of concern to a particular field; applied research aims to apply research in some concrete way.

Explanation:

Basic research aims to answer questions that are of concern to a particular field. These questions are more of general interest and can be much more for knowledge's own sake as opposed to means toward a specific end. For instance, trying to answer why the sky is blue doesn't have much practical application, but answers an interesting question.

Applied research aims to apply research in some concrete way. For example, researchers may try to answer specific questions so that they can develop a cure or treatment plan for particular illnesses.

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