AP Psychology : Cognition and Consciousness

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #51 : Conscious Thought And Problem Solving

Believing that your university is generally smarter than all others is an example of which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Bandwagon bias

Anchoring effect

Ingroup bias

Current moment bias

Negativity bias

Correct answer:

Ingroup bias

Explanation:

The incorrect answers are biases mainly to do with decision making and selective focus. The "ingroup bias" has more to do with our beliefs about what "groups" we belong to and how we measure our groups to the "others". The essential bias is that we are prone to believe that OUR group is better than all the others. Indeed in the past we have identified with racial groups and this bias was the source of violent racism. On the flipside, the ingroup bias also maintains our solidarity with others and creates morale.

Example Question #52 : Conscious Thought And Problem Solving

Which of the following sectors are most affected by the "negativity bias"?

Possible Answers:

Food and beverage industry

Hospitality industry

News and media

Auto industry

Technology industry

Correct answer:

News and media

Explanation:

The negativity bias that we as humans are prone to affects news and media the most. The other industries listed have more of an interest in promoting the positive things about their products to attract consumers. Though we may not like to hear that the car we're going to buy is going to break down in five years when it comes to learning about the world we like to hear bad news! This is most likely due to natural selection: it may be more important for our survival to pay attention to bad news than good.  

Example Question #751 : Individual Psychology And Behavior

Which of the following is an example of the status quo bias?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Thinking your group of friends is better

Not wanting to change the way you do things

Only wanting to do things you want to do

Thinking your nation is better

Correct answer:

Not wanting to change the way you do things

Explanation:

The status quo bias refers to our tendency to keep things the way they are. This provides a sense of stability for us that makes day-to-day living manageable and we avoid a sense of cognitive dissonance. This can be damaging though, when the status quo itself is toxic or damaging to others.

Example Question #1 : Other Cognitive Principles

What term did Carl Jung introduce to represent the form of the unconscious that is common to mankind as a whole and that contains archetypes, or universal primordial images and ideas?

Possible Answers:

Anima mundi

Collective unconscious

Morphogenetic field

Samsara

Prima materia

Correct answer:

Collective unconscious

Explanation:

The collective unconscious is a term used in analytical psychology, especially Jungian psychology, to describe a part of the unconscious mind that is shared by a society, a people, or all mankind. 

Example Question #2 : Other Cognitive Principles

Which of the following is an example of semantic memory?

Possible Answers:

Predicting what will happen to you tomorrow

Recalling your first day of 1st grade

Remembering how to ride a bicycle

Knowing the capital of New York

Salivating when you see your favorite food

Correct answer:

Knowing the capital of New York

Explanation:

Semantic memory is one's memory for various facts and concepts, so being able to recall the capital of New York is a good example of this type of memory. Remembering how to ride a bicycle is a procedural memory, recalling your first day of 1st grade is an episodic memory, and salivating when you see your favorite food is a conditioned memory.

Example Question #3 : Other Cognitive Principles

What is aphasia?

Possible Answers:

An impairment in processing visual stimuli

A popular treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

An impairment in communication through oral and/or written means

Carbon dioxide deprivation in the brain

Oxygen deprivation in the brain

Correct answer:

An impairment in communication through oral and/or written means

Explanation:

Aphasia is a language disorder that impacts a person's communication skills. Aphasia typically results from a head injury or stroke, and leaves long-lasting effects on a person's communication abilities depending on the severity and location of the head injury or stroke.

Example Question #1 : Other Cognitive Principles

Which of the following is an instance of cognitive dissonance?

Possible Answers:

A man steals money from his friend and then experiences a state of stress due to contradicting beliefs. On the one hand, he believed that he was a good person, but he also believes good people don't steal. These two beliefs cannot be true at the same time, so he is in a state of dissonance.

A woman sees her friend in pain and immediately starts to cry. She finds the exact emotions of her friend to be mirrorred within herself. She would then be in a state of dissonance because she finds herself completely immersed in her friend's psychological state of mind. 

A person experiences severe disconnection from their surroundings and psychological distress at the thought of the loneliness of their condition. This kind of alienation is termed cognitive dissonance. 

A person's consciousness becomes fractured and they start to act like two different people at random times. Their behavior begins to represent two antagonistic forces in their consciousness that are fighting each other.

Correct answer:

A man steals money from his friend and then experiences a state of stress due to contradicting beliefs. On the one hand, he believed that he was a good person, but he also believes good people don't steal. These two beliefs cannot be true at the same time, so he is in a state of dissonance.

Explanation:

Cognitive dissonance has to do with the beliefs we hold, namely when they come into conflict with one another. For instance, the man has belief number one: Good people do not steal. At the same time, he also believes that he is a good person. When he is confronted with the reality of his actions (that he stole money from his friend), he experiences dissonance since those two beliefs now contradict each other.

Example Question #4 : Other Cognitive Principles

What is confirmation bias?

Possible Answers:

The tendency to hold on to beliefs despite information that contradicts them

None of these

The tendency to overlook details when looking for evidence

The tendency to look for evidence that confirms our current beliefs

Correct answer:

The tendency to look for evidence that confirms our current beliefs

Explanation:

Confirmation bias is the tendency to look for evidence that confirms our current beliefs. This can affect many decisions and beliefs we hold in our lives and can impede us from finding out new things about the world and new solutions to problems.  

Although the answer "the tendency to hold on to beliefs despite information that contradicts them" might have been confusing, this is not confirmation bias. This would be an instance of belief perseverance, since we actually find and recognize truthful but contradictory information, yet hold on to our beliefs anyways. Confirmation bias is when we simply seek out confirming evidence without recognizing this information.

Example Question #4 : Other Cognitive Principles

Which of the following is not assessed on an IQ (cognitive) test?

Possible Answers:

Logical reasoning

Auditory processing

Reading comprehension

Short-term memory

Processing speed

Correct answer:

Reading comprehension

Explanation:

IQ/cognitive tests—for example, WISC-V and WJ-IV—do not assess any academic areas, such as reading, writing, or math. Academic areas are tested on achievement tests, like on the WIAT-III.

Cognitive tests focus on processing skills, such as logic, problem solving, and memory.

Example Question #5 : Other Cognitive Principles

Where is the amygdala located?

Possible Answers:

The cerebellum

The occipital lobe

The brainstem

The limbic system

The cerebral cortex

Correct answer:

The limbic system

Explanation:

The amygdala consists of two almond-shaped clusters that regulate much of our emotional experiences. It is located in the limbic system, which is situated between the brainstem (below) and the cerebral cortex (above). 

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