AP Psychology : Research and Testing

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #4 : Classifications And Procedures

What is the ultimate goal of a theory?

Possible Answers:

To be extremely general, so as to not miss any important details about the phenomenon at hand

To explain a particular phenomenon or pattern

To be correct

To be extremely specific, so as not to generalize and make broad statements it can't support

Correct answer:

To explain a particular phenomenon or pattern

Explanation:

A theory is a statement, concept, or idea that tries to explain some particular phenomenon or pattern in a particular field. A good theory makes a number of claims, all which can be concretely proven through thorough and extensive research that is both valid and reliable.

Example Question #82 : Research And Testing

What is the difference between reliability and validity in terms of classifying research?

Possible Answers:

Validity indicates when the initial hypothesis is proven to be correct by the research. Reliability indicates when the results of the research can be replicated over and over again consistently.

Validity indicates when the results of the research can be replicated over and over again consistently. Reliability indicates when the initial hypothesis is proven to be correct by the research. 

Validity indicates when the theory is proven to be correct but there still exists some disproving counterevidence. Reliability indicates when the theory is proven repeatedly over time. 

Validity indicates when the theory is based on clear logic. Reliability indicates when the logic of one theory can apply to another. 

Correct answer:

Validity indicates when the initial hypothesis is proven to be correct by the research. Reliability indicates when the results of the research can be replicated over and over again consistently.

Explanation:

Validity is when the initial hypothesis is proven to be correct by the research. In other words, the experiment measures what the experimenter had anticipated.

Reliability is when the results of the research can be replicated over and over again consistently. This means that the hypothesis can be tested again in another experiment and still proven to be true.

Example Question #83 : Research And Testing

What is the advantage of using a laboratory for experiments?

Possible Answers:

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

It is a highly controlled environment where any interfering factors that may happen in the field can be phased out

The participants of whatever study will be much more focused in a laboratory than they would in any other environment

It is much less expensive than buying permits for field testing

Correct answer:

It is a highly controlled environment where any interfering factors that may happen in the field can be phased out

Explanation:

The main advantage of using a laboratory for research is to provide a highly controlled environment where any interfering factors that may happen in the field can be phased out. This is good for studies that have an extremely narrow focus on some specific element. With regards to psychology, during a child-play experiment in a laboratory a researcher might be trying to see how a child reacts to a particular toy and observe this specific reaction. In the field, however, the child's reaction could be affected by their environment. They could become distracted by their peers and lose focus on the item and thus the researcher can't gather their data accurately.

Example Question #81 : Research And Testing

In research, correlation can easily be mistaken for which of the following principles?

Possible Answers:

Counterbalancing

Placebo effect

Hawthorne effect

Causation

Correct answer:

Causation

Explanation:

A mistake that can often be made in analyzing in any sort of data is confusing correlation with causation. Correlation is when two variables have a definitive relationship with one another. For instance, if someone is trying to see why certain students perform poorly on standardized tests they may find that these students also frequently have brown eyes. The researcher may mistakenly conclude that brown eyes result in poor test performance. The correlation still exists, but it is not enought to prove causation, as a multitude of other variables may be at play in producing poor test results. Other factors may include testing environment, amount of sleep, presence of learning disabilities, etc. that are not included in this study.

Example Question #85 : Research And Testing

Which of the following is the correct chronological order, from left to right, of the steps taken in a scientific investigation?

Possible Answers:

Analysis, Design, Data Collection, Hypothesis, Evaluation

Observation, Hypothesis, Testing, Analysis, Evaluation

Hypothesis, Observation, Analysis, Testing, Evaluation

Data collection, Hypothesis, Analysis, Evaluation, Observation

Hypothesis, Observation, Testing, Evaluation, Analysis

Correct answer:

Observation, Hypothesis, Testing, Analysis, Evaluation

Explanation:

The first step is to observe a phenomenon that can bear scientific study.

The second step is to form a hypothesis that can be tested experimentally.

The third step is to test that hypothesis through empirical research.

The fourth step is to analyze the data that was obtained to draw a conclusion about the findings.

The fifth step is to evaluate one's theory in light of the results of quantitative research.

The correct answer is Observation, Hypothesis, Testing, Analysis, Evaluation.

Example Question #86 : Research And Testing

In what areas of development do genes carry strong influence?

Possible Answers:

Brain development

All of these

Fine motor skills

Inclinations towards particular interests

Physical appearance

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

Genetics can play a huge role in many areas of development, including mental and physical capacities. While many environmental factors such as prenatal environment, nutrition, upbringing, socialization, and personal experience can have dramatic impacts on development, genes will have huge influence over, in particular, physical appearance, natural inclinations or abilities, brain development, and fine motor skills. While all of these factors may also be influenced by environmental and other factors, for instance one's physical appearance can be altered by a scar, or one's fine motor skills can be refined with training and practice, the strong influence of genetics on these areas is beyond dispute.

Example Question #82 : Research And Testing

A multiple-choice exam is a test of __________.

Possible Answers:

Recognition memory

Recall memory

None of these

Episodic memory

Eidetic memory

Correct answer:

Recognition memory

Explanation:

Unlike tests of recall memory, which ask test takers to draw the correct answer from their own memories without any cues. Recognition tests present test takers with multiple possible answers and ask them to choose the correct one.

Example Question #83 : Research And Testing

Which of the following is an independent variable?

Possible Answers:

the amount of aggression of a subject after playing violent games

measure of depression caused by isolation

giving the subject a pill to sleep

a child's level of anxiety when separated from parent

Correct answer:

giving the subject a pill to sleep

Explanation:

The independent variable is the variable that is believed to cause change. This is typically the variable that is referred to as the treatment. Giving the subject a sleeping pill is the treatment that could cause change. The other three answers would be considered dependent variables because they could be the variables that are influenced from independent variables. 

Example Question #84 : Research And Testing

Which descriptive research method allows the researcher the most control of the study?

Possible Answers:

survey

laboratory observation

case study

naturalistic observation

Correct answer:

laboratory observation

Explanation:

Laboratory observation allows the researcher to have more control over the experiment and to be able to utilize more precise equipment. In naturalistic observation the researcher is observing the organism in their natural environment which gives the researcher no control of the environment. In both case studies and surveys the participant is giving the information from their point of view which also does not allow the researcher control of the experiment. 

Example Question #90 : Research And Testing

If a researcher wants to study effects of exercise on school performance of third graders they would choose which of the following groups to study?

Possible Answers:

a representative sample of third graders

a sample of school children from all grades

third grade students from a private school in Chicago

the entire population of third graders in the world

Correct answer:

a representative sample of third graders

Explanation:

A representative sample is a sample that most clearly mirrors the population that is being studied. The proportions of subgroups should be the same as those in the population. This would be the best way to study the population. A sample from all grades would not give results that would be relevant to a study on third graders. Studying the entire population of third graders would not be feasible because of size, time, and expenses. Finally studying only students from a private school in a specific region would not give results that could be generalized for the population.  

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