AP Psychology : Cognition and Consciousness

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Cognition

How long do short-term memories last?

Possible Answers:

1-2 minutes

10-30 seconds

3-5 minutes

10-15 seconds

Correct answer:

10-30 seconds

Explanation:

Short-term memories are stored differently than long-term memories. Short-term memories generally include quick observations, and are only stored for 10-30 seconds. Short-term memories must be processed and stored as long-term memory in order to be accessible for any longer period of time.

Example Question #2 : Cognition

What is mood-congruent memory?

Possible Answers:

Mood-congruent memory is when we feel a specific emotion, which triggers the accessibility of memories during which we felt the same way.

Mood-congruent memory involves how emotions filter what we are experiencing around us, affecting what we will remember later. For example, if we are happy, we are most likely to remember positive things about that particular time.

Mood-congruent memory is when our ability to remember is diminished when we experience intense emotions, which could be either positive or negative in nature.

Mood-congruent memory is when negative feelings impede us from storing long-term memories.

Correct answer:

Mood-congruent memory is when we feel a specific emotion, which triggers the accessibility of memories during which we felt the same way.

Explanation:

Mood-congruent memory is when we feel a certain emotion, and then are able to access memories during which we felt similarly. For instance, if we are feeling frustrated in an intimate relationship we are more likely to remember another event during which we felt that same way.

Example Question #81 : Cognition And Consciousness

How long is information stored in our short-term memory?

Possible Answers:

30 seconds

30 minutes

5 minutes

24 hours

5 seconds

Correct answer:

30 seconds

Explanation:

Information only remains in our short-term memory for about 30 seconds. At the end of this time, this information is either forgotten or transferred to long-term memory.

Example Question #1 : Memory

Which of the following is a mnenomic strategy?

Possible Answers:

Clustering

Conditioning

Heeding

Chunking

Learning

Correct answer:

Chunking

Explanation:

Mnemonic devices are memory aids that seek to improve recall of information. Chunking is a popular memory aid that involves organizing items into familiar, manageable units. 

Example Question #1 : Memory

According to George Miller, about how many items can we store in short-term memory?

Possible Answers:

Three, plus or minus one

Five, plus or minus one

Nine, plus or minus two

Ten, plus or minus three

Seven, plus or minus two

Correct answer:

Seven, plus or minus two

Explanation:

Influential cognitive psychologist, George Miller, conducted a series of experiments in which it seemed that there is a "magical number seven," meaning that we can usually hold about seven items in our short-term memory at once. This has been supported by many studies, but also disputed among cognitive psychologists.

Example Question #2 : Memory

Which of the following events may be considered an episodic memory?

Possible Answers:

Tying a shoelace

Mnemonic devices

A series of words in a language you don't know, but have memorized through repetition

Hiking with your parents in Sedona when you were twelve

The dates of important battles in World War II

Correct answer:

Hiking with your parents in Sedona when you were twelve

Explanation:

An episodic memory is a recollection of specific events, usually one's personal experiences. Remembering specific details is an example of semantic memory. Learning a skill, like tying a shoelace, is procedural memory. Mnemonic devices are a tool for remembering detailed information. Remembering words one doesn't understand through repetition is a prime example of rote memorization.

Example Question #3 : Memory

The saying "you never forget how to ride a bike" describes the persistence of which type of memory?

Possible Answers:

explicit

priming

episodic

procedural

semantic

Correct answer:

procedural

Explanation:

Riding a bike is a type of procedural memory, the memory of a participating in a physical or cognitive process. Procedural memories are implicit (implied) rather than explicit (conscious). 

Episodic memory is the memory for events in one's life (your 10th grade birthday party), and semantic memory is the memory for facts and knowledge (the first US president).

Priming is not a type of memory at all, but rather a method of affecting implicit memories in which exposure to one stimulus affects subsequent exposure to another stimulus. An example of priming might be that exposing someone to the word "rocket scientist" before taking a science test might make them get a higher score.

Example Question #11 : Memory

In a psychology lab experiment, the subject have to memorize long lists of words, do fifteen basic math problems, and then get tested on the lists of words. What process were the experimenters getting the subjects not to do by including the math problems in between the memorization and the recall?

Possible Answers:

Blocking

Reconsolidation

Chunking

Flashbulb memories 

Rehearsal

Correct answer:

Rehearsal

Explanation:

By including math problems in between memorization and recall, the experimenters were trying to avoid rehearsal-- the internal repetition of items to extend short term memory. 

As for the other answers, chunking is clustering smaller items into larger groups to aid in memory, blocking is the failure to remember something even though it's in the memory, reconsolidation is changes in the memory that can occur when a memory is recalled, and flashbulb memories are vivid memories of shocking events. 

Example Question #11 : Memory

What is the difference between iconic memory and echoic memory?

Possible Answers:

Echoic memories are transformed into iconic memories by consolidation.

Iconic memory is long term visual memory, whereas echoic memory is long term auditory memory

Echoic memory is long term visual memory, whereas iconic memory is long term auditory memory

Iconic memory is very short-term visual memory, whereas echoic memory is very short term auditory memory

Echoic memory is very short term visual memory, whereas iconic memory is very short term auditory memory

Correct answer:

Iconic memory is very short-term visual memory, whereas echoic memory is very short term auditory memory

Explanation:

Iconic and echoic memories are both types of very short-term sensory memories. Remember that iconic memory is visual and echoic memory is auditory; you can see an icon and hear an echo.

As for the answer choice about memory consolidation, consolidation is the process through which a memory becomes stable in the brain and does not have to do with iconic or echoic memories.  

Example Question #11 : Memory

What is the process by which we get information into our brains?

Possible Answers:

Recall 

Retrieval 

Storage 

Encoding 

Retention 

Correct answer:

Encoding 

Explanation:

Psychologists describe the human memory system as being information-processing models that compare human memory to computer operation systems. Therefore, using this analogy, in order for information to initially be processed into our brains, it must undergo the process known as encoding. This allows for information to be "coded" into our brains. 

Much evidence has been uncovered for psychologists to suggest there being three ways to learning: recall, recognition, and relearning. These three forms of learning feedback into the persisted learning that makes up memory and together make up a way to measure retention (a process known as storage). Therefore, these other options would be incorrect as they focus on another part of memory.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors