AP Psychology : Cognition and Consciousness

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #621 : Individual Psychology And Behavior

__________ records momentary images or the echo of a sound.

Possible Answers:

Working memory

Long-term memory 

Sensory input

Sensory memory

Short-term memory

Correct answer:

Sensory memory

Explanation:

Sensory memory is the beginning to memory processing. Upon sensory stimuli (input), the information will be stored as a fleeting sensory memory, which will soon be encoded into short-term/working memory. From this middle stage, the information will be rehearsed and maintained until it is encoded into long-term memory/storage.  

Sensory memory is exactly what it sounds like - memory that pertains to stimuli observed by the senses. Sensory memory may be divided into echoic memory and iconic memory. Echoic memory relates to a fleeting sensory memory for auditory stimuli. Iconic memory relates to a fleeting sensory memory for visual stimuli. 

Example Question #21 : Memory

What is the difference between echoic and iconic memory?

Possible Answers:

Iconic memory is a momentary memory of a visual stimulus and echoic memory is a momentary memory of an auditory stimulus.

Iconic memory plays an important role in sensory memory while echoic memory is important for long-term memory.

Iconic memory is active before echoic memory.

Iconic memory is a momentary memory of an auditory stimulus and echoic memory is a momentary memory of a visual stimulus. 

Echoic memory is crucial for the working memory while iconic memory plays an important role for short-term memory.

Correct answer:

Iconic memory is a momentary memory of a visual stimulus and echoic memory is a momentary memory of an auditory stimulus.

Explanation:

Sensory memory is memory that pertains to stimuli observed by the senses. Sensory memory may be divided into echoic memory and iconic memory. Echoic memory relates to a fleeting sensory memory for auditory stimuli, where the echo of a sound will be encoded into memory. Iconic memory relates to a fleeting sensory memory for visual stimuli, where an image will be encoded into memory. 

Sensory memory is the beginning to memory processing. Upon sensory stimuli (input), the information will be stored as a fleeting sensory memory, which will soon be encoded into short-term/working memory. From this middle stage, the information will be rehearsed and maintained until it is encoded into long-term memory/storage. Given that both iconic and echoic memory play similar roles for sensory memory, it would be incorrect to initially deduce that one plays a greater role in the different stages of memory processing than the other. 

Example Question #21 : Memory

Which of the following is not an effortful processing strategy?

Possible Answers:

Hierarchies 

Distributed practice 

Chunking 

Mnemonics 

Iconic sensory input 

Correct answer:

Iconic sensory input 

Explanation:

Chunking, mnemonics, hierarchies, and distributed practice may seem familiar as studying techniques. These are in fact effortful processing strategies that will aid in remembering new information. Chunking is the strategy by which we organize information into familiar units; this is often automatically done. Mnemonics aid with memory via techniques that use vivid imagery or organizational devices. A well-known example of a mnemonic device is "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally" for mathematical order of operations (PEMDAS). Hierarchies are a little like chunking, but the individual will remember a few broad concepts that will be divided into narrower and narrower concepts. This is a strategy that enables us to organize information. Distributed practice is merely spacing our encoding over a period of time. This revisit the familiar idea of it being more beneficial to space out study time over a few days or weeks as opposed to "cramming" the night before a test. 

Iconic sensory input would not be a strategy for effortful processing because it is part of memory processing. This is the stimulus that will register as a fleeting sensory iconic (visual) memory. This information does not necessarily have to be processed through effortful processing as a declarative memory. This information may be processed as non-declarative memory through automatic processing as it may have been information we were not consciously aware of. In this case, the information would be automatically processed into long-term memory, skipping short-term and working memory.

Example Question #21 : Memory

In school, Tim learned the basics of Spanish grammar; however, after learning this new information, Tim cannot seem to recall the French he learned several months ago. Which of the following could be causing Tim's inability to recall past learning?

Possible Answers:

Relearning

Retroactive interference

Proactive interference

Retrieval failure

Decay

Correct answer:

Retroactive interference

Explanation:

Retroactive interference is when newly learned information causes people to forget old information.

Example Question #27 : Cognition

Thomas has a biochemistry exam as well as a rather difficult physics assignment due tomorrow. He decides to finish the physics assignment first and spend the rest of the night (and possibly the morning) studying for biochemistry. Which of the following is Thomas trying to avoid by prioritizing his school tasks in this particular way?

Possible Answers:

Amnesia

Proactive interference

None of these

Misattribution

Retroactive interference

Correct answer:

Retroactive interference

Explanation:

Thomas decides to finish his physics homework before starting his long night of biochemistry studying because he does not want any of the material from his physics assignment to interfere with the concepts he has to study for his biochemistry exam. In doing so, Thomas avoids retroactive interference, which occurs when learning new information makes it harder to recall something learned earlier. If Thomas had studied biochemistry before doing his physics assignment, then there would be an increased probability that the physics assignment might obscure his knowledge of the biochemistry concepts he had studied beforehand.

Example Question #21 : Memory

What is effortful processing (with regards to encoding memory)?

Possible Answers:

When we make a conscious effort to remember something.

None of these answers is accurate.

When we are emotionally processing a difficult event.

When we experience cognitive strain in trying to remember something.

When we must make a conscious effort to put something to memory.

Correct answer:

When we must make a conscious effort to put something to memory.

Explanation:

Effortful processing occurs when something necessitates our conscious effort and attention to commit something to memory. This most often occurs with complex ideas or tasks and things that do not automatically catch our attention or may not immediately interest us.

Example Question #21 : Memory

What is an example of the spacing effect?

Possible Answers:

Where things that are farther apart appear to be more similar.

When we remember things from disturbed or chopped up study session as opposed to long ones with little breaks.

None of these answers is accurate.

When we warp our memories with the passage of time.

When we remember something more clearly that happened a very long time ago.

Correct answer:

When we remember things from disturbed or chopped up study session as opposed to long ones with little breaks.

Explanation:

Contrary to popular belief, big "cramming sessions" are not effective ways to remember material. Rather, the spacing effect phenomena demonstrates that studying things in small chunks with measured periods of time in between fosters better memory encoding.

Example Question #101 : Cognition And Consciousness

What is mood-congruent memory?

Possible Answers:

The tendency to recall memories that are congruent with your current emotional state

None of these answers is accurate.

The tendency not to remember things when we are depressed

The tendency to warp all of our memories according to current positive feelings

The tendency to warp all of our memories according to current negative feelings

Correct answer:

The tendency to recall memories that are congruent with your current emotional state

Explanation:

Mood-congruent memory is the tendency to recall memories that are congruent with your current emotional state, often leading to temporarily biased views of the past. For instance, if we are mad at someone, we are more likely to remember negative memories associated with them as opposed to the potentially large amount of positive ones. This has a tendency to reinforce and perpetuate our current emotional states.

Example Question #1041 : Ap Psychology

What did Elizabeth Loftus reveal about the nature of memories?

Possible Answers:

All of these answers are accurate.

That no one truly remembers anything

That memories can be traced to certain parts of the brain

That we have a surprisingly good ability to record memories, almost like cameras

That through suggestion and questioning, memories could be easily planted and hence false

Correct answer:

That through suggestion and questioning, memories could be easily planted and hence false

Explanation:

Elizabeth Loftus revealed that many memories could be planted or fabricated by using subtle ways to make people believe they remembered a particular event, such as suggesting, questioning, or making a person doubt themselves by claiming they may have repressed the memory of it.

Example Question #31 : Memory

What does the context-dependent theory of memory posit?

Possible Answers:

That in certain contexts we are prone to forget certain things

That how good your memory is depends on the context in which you were raised

That certain memories are more accessible in the physical place in which they were experienced

That in certain contexts we will only remember physical details but nothing else

None of these answers is accurate.

Correct answer:

That certain memories are more accessible in the physical place in which they were experienced

Explanation:

The context-dependent theory of memory posits that certain memories are more accessible in the physical place in which they were experienced. That is, they may be harder to access in areas where the memory was not experienced. This is a classic example of going back to a place and having a "rush of memories" coming back to you.

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