GRE Subject Test: Psychology : Experimental

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Subject Test: Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Experimental

Which of the following mental processes are promoted by intrinsic motivation, persistence, and expertise?

Possible Answers:

Functional fixedness

Convergent thinking

Creativity

Crystallized intelligence

Correct answer:

Creativity

Explanation:

Creativity is another word for divergent thinking, a type of problem solving ability wherein a person’s brain searches various areas as it seeks the solution to a particular problem. Certain traits—including intrinsic motivation, persistence, expertise, nonconformity, and curiosity—can help promote creative thinking.

Example Question #1 : Theories Of Intelligence

Which of the following terms is used to describe the increase in IQ scores over the past century?

Possible Answers:

Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory

Zeigarnik effect

Flynn effect

Hawthorne effect

Correct answer:

Flynn effect

Explanation:

The "Flynn effect" describes the increase in IQ scores that has been observed over the past century. On the other hand, the "Zeigarnik effect" is the tendency to remember unfinished tasks better than completed ones. The "Hawthorne effect" is the change in people's behaviors while they are being observed, and can occur in research subjects. Last, the "Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory" or CHC theory is the most supported intelligence theory, and states that intelligence includes three strata: general ability or "g," broad abilities, and several narrow abilities. 

Example Question #2 : Thinking

Which of the following situations is an example of using fluid (Gf) intelligence abilities?

Possible Answers:

Bob solves a math equation using familiar formulas. 

Bob can recite all of the former presidents of the United States from memory. 

Bob remembers how to ride a bike even after not riding one for several years. 

Bob is given a math problem using concepts he has never tackled before but is able to arrive at the correct answer. 

Correct answer:

Bob is given a math problem using concepts he has never tackled before but is able to arrive at the correct answer. 

Explanation:

Fluid intelligence involves the ability to reason and solve novel problems. The example of Bob solving an unfamiliar math problem is the only example that involves a novel situation. Bob being able to recite the former presidents and solve a math problem using familiar formulas are examples of crystallized intelligence (Gc), which refers to stored knowledge. Bob remembering how to ride a bike does not fit into Gc and Gf theory, but rather is an example of procedural/implicit memory. 

Example Question #2 : Theories Of Intelligence

Who is often considered the father of the multiple intelligences theory?

Possible Answers:

Howard Gardner

Mary Ainsworth

Sigmund Freud

Jakob Pietschnig

Stuart Richie

Correct answer:

Howard Gardner

Explanation:

Howard Gardner is the father of the theory of Multiple Intelligences, which divides intellectual intelligence into seven different modalities (music, logical/mathematical, bodily/kinesthetic, visual/spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic). 

Example Question #1 : Attention

People's ability to discern one conversation or focus on one point from another, prioritized by interest, is known as which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Cocktail party effect

Aural wandering

Attentional spotlight 

Specific attention

Divided attention

Correct answer:

Cocktail party effect

Explanation:

The cocktail party effect, demonstrated and named by Colin Cherry, illustrates people's ability to selectively attend to common stimuli--even in the presence of several conflicting conversations or auditory stimuli--which the brain identifies as more important. This is demonstrated by people's ability to hear their name, or the voice of a partner or friend, more clearly than other stimuli in a crowded environment. 

Example Question #1 : Experimental

Which of the following does not act as a cue for depth perception?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Dark adaptation

Interposition

Binocular disparity

Motion parallax

Correct answer:

Dark adaptation

Explanation:

In 1709, George Berkeley noted various depth cues in the human visual system, including interposition, which refers to the depth cue wherein one object covers or overlaps with another object. A second cue is motion parallax wherein the disparity in speed and motion gives us cues about the relative depth of parts of the object. The last cue is binocular disparity, also known as stereopsis. This cue is linked to the fact that our different eyes provide us with two slightly different views of the world around us. When the brain adds together these two images, we get a perception of depth.

Example Question #1 : Perceptual Organization

Sensory integration can be best describe as which of the following?

Possible Answers:

The process of combining different sensory signals

A change in afference caused by external stimuli

A mathematical technique for computing definite integrals of one real variable

None of these

When a mixture of lights add together and create the perception of color

Correct answer:

The process of combining different sensory signals

Explanation:

The correct answer is the process of combining different sensory signals. To give cause or equal opportunity to each sense and a mathematical technique for computing definite integrals of one real variable are answers that utilize the incorrect definition of integration for this problem. When a mixture of lights add together and create the perception of color is additive color mixture. 

Example Question #1 : Experimental

Phyllis is 63 years old, and recently she has noticed that colors do not appear as bright or clear as they used to in her memory. She is having trouble driving and reading, but can still knit and cook with little to no issues (i.e. she remembers the recipes without having to read them). Which of the following conditions is most likely affecting Phyllis?

Possible Answers:

Cataracts

Prosopagnosia

Macular degeneration

Glaucoma

Hemeralopia

Correct answer:

Macular degeneration

Explanation:

Macular degeneration is a degenerative condition affecting the retina and choroid—the blood supply that feeds the retina. In either "dry" or "wet" forms, it causes progressive central blindness while leaving the peripheral vision largely intact. It is estimated that from 40-55 million people worldwide suffer from the condition, which is suspected to have been long under-diagnosed.

Example Question #1 : Sensation & Perception

Which of the following best defines a feature detector?

Possible Answers:

The place in the ear where transduction occurs

A neuron that responds to stimuli in one's environment

Structures we use to organize the stimuli in our environment

Cone cells

Correct answer:

A neuron that responds to stimuli in one's environment

Explanation:

The interpretation of sensory stimuli is an important biological process. Feature detectors play an important role in the sense of sight. Once visual signals reach the primary visual cortex, specialized visual cells called "feature detectors" code for the elements of stimuli that are most important.

Example Question #1 : Experimental

How do infants typically react when placed on a visual cliff? What do these findings suggest?

Possible Answers:

They remain still. Infants have no conception of depth.

None of these

They move towards the shallow side of the visual cliff. A degree of depth perception seems to be innate.

They move towards the shallow side of the visual cliff. Infants learn early in development to fear heights.

They remain still. Young infants are not yet perceptually aware of depth cues.

Correct answer:

They move towards the shallow side of the visual cliff. A degree of depth perception seems to be innate.

Explanation:

Infants will move towards the shallow side of the visual cliff apparatus. This behavior is exhibited a significant percentage of times, even when their mothers stand at the "deep" end, and encourage them to step over the "cliff."

These findings suggest that young infants are aware of depth cues, as in the case of the visual cliff, and are able to modify their behavior appropriately in response to these. The young age of the infants involved in such experimentation suggests that at least a degree of depth perception is innate. It is inconclusive how much of this ability is innate and how much learned, though it seems most likely to be a combination of both 'nature' and 'nurture'. The significance of such studies was to demonstrate that 'nature' had a role.

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