AP Psychology Practice Exam 2 - STEP 5 Build Your Test-Taking Confidence

5 Steps to a 5: AP Psychology - McGraw Hill 2021

AP Psychology Practice Exam 2
STEP 5 Build Your Test-Taking Confidence


Time—70 minutes

100 Questions

Directions: Each of the following questions or incomplete statements is followed by five suggested answers or completions. Select the one that is best in each case and then fill in the corresponding oval on the answer sheet.

1. To act consistently with the group’s behavior, Etan changed what he was doing. This illustrates

(A) stereotyping

(B) conformity

(C) obedience to authority

(D) out-group homogeneity

(E) hindsight bias

2. Which of the following approaches emphasizes the importance of people’s feelings and views human nature as naturally positive and growth seeking?

(A) biological

(B) behavioral

(C) cognitive

(D) humanistic

(E) psychodynamic

3. Children are most likely to grow up more competent and responsible when they are raised by parents who behave in a manner considered

(A) authoritarian

(B) authoritative

(C) permissive

(D) inconsistent

(E) very strict

4. Rather than use a shortcut to find out various possible combinations of alleles that could result from fertilization of an egg with particular genes by a sperm with particular genes, Shakira systematically lists every single possible combination to determine the probability that the baby will show a particular set of traits. Shakira is solving the problem by use of

(A) trial and error

(B) the availability heuristic

(C) the representativeness heuristic

(D) an algorithm

(E) confirmation bias

5. Bessie could barely detect sweetness in a sip of water from a pitcher in which one quarter of a teaspoon of sugar was mixed into a half gallon of water. For taste, this is Bessie’s

(A) absolute threshold

(B) difference threshold

(C) subliminal stimulation

(D) distal stimulus

(E) just noticeable difference

6. Extinction occurs when the conditioned stimulus

(A) precedes the unconditioned stimulus

(B) succeeds the unconditioned stimulus

(C) evokes the conditioned response

(D) no longer evokes the conditioned response

(E) is paired with the neutral stimulus

7. A doctor suspects that her patient’s language processing area is in the right hemisphere. This would most likely be corroborated by the use of






8. Free association and dream interpretation frequently characterize which of the following treatments?

(A) psychoanalysis

(B) behavior therapy

(C) humanistic therapy

(D) cognitive therapy

(E) existential therapy

9. Because Al doesn’t care how well he does at school but does care about having enough money to pay for a car, Al’s mother gives him money for every “A” and “B” he earns on school tests and projects. For which of the following theories is the mother’s behavior an exemplary application?

(A) Cannon—Bard

(B) instinct

(C) drive reduction

(D) arousal

(E) incentive

10. In a cartoon, an angel is perched on one shoulder and a devil is perched on the other shoulder of a character who needs to decide whether to give money to a homeless man or not. The devil says, “Don’t give him anything, you’ll make better use of the money than he will.” The angel says, “Give him the money because he needs it more than you do.” The character gives the homeless man half of his money. In a Freudian interpretation, the angel represents the character’s

(A) libido

(B) id

(C) ego

(D) superego

(E) reality principle

11. Barry reported that in his study, the relationship between religiosity and academic grades was not statistically significant. By “not statistically significant,” he meant that the results

(A) were not important

(B) were not strong

(C) might have been due to chance

(D) were of no value to statisticians

(E) do not suggest any relationship

12. What is the mode of the following set of scores? 70, 70, 80, 80, 60, 60, 50, 90, 90, 90

(A) 74

(B) 75

(C) 90

(D) 40

(E) 10

13. The AP Psychology examination given by the College Board in May exemplifies which of the following types of tests?

(A) aptitude

(B) projective

(C) achievement

(D) intelligence

(E) individualized

14. Which of the following drugs is classified as a stimulant?

(A) alcohol

(B) nicotine

(C) heroin

(D) phencyclidine

(E) marijuana

15. Which schedule of reinforcement is followed by Soledad, who answers every e-mail message her friend sends?

(A) fixed ratio

(B) fixed interval

(C) variable ratio

(D) variable interval

(E) continuous

16. Before Justin could take an airplane flight, he needed to overcome his fear of flying. His therapist taught him relaxation exercises, which he practiced while first looking at pictures of airplanes, then seeing them take off at the airport, then going into an empty plane that would not take off, and then finally taking a short flight. Which of the following treatments did he undergo?

(A) psychoanalysis

(B) behavior therapy

(C) humanistic therapy

(D) cognitive therapy

(E) existential therapy

17. “Behavior is personality” best characterizes which of the following personality theories?

(A) psychodynamic

(B) behavioral

(C) biological

(D) sociocultural

(E) evolutionary

18. Most New Yorkers in their thirties remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard that the World Trade Center was destroyed. Which of the following best identifies this type of memory?

(A) implicit memory

(B) engrams

(C) flashbulb memory

(D) explicit memory

(E) déj`a vu

19. Although a man watched in horror as his wife and children were killed by a speeding truck as they crossed the street, he has no memory of the event and gets upset when people tell him he must remember. The man is most likely suffering from

(A) panic disorder

(B) post-traumatic stress disorder

(C) dissociative amnesia

(D) bipolar disorder

(E) deindividuation

20. According to the Law of Effect, behaviors followed by negative consequences

(A) occur more frequently

(B) occur less frequently

(C) will never be performed again

(D) will be performed more forcefully

(E) are unpredictable

21. The pastry chef ordinarily makes 15 apple turnovers in 15 minutes, but when culinary arts students are watching him, he makes 20 apple turnovers in 15 minutes. This exemplifies

(A) foot-in-the-door phenomenon

(B) social loafing

(C) social facilitation

(D) the bystander effect

(E) Type B behavior

22. The part of the neuron that directs synthesis of neurotransmitters and proteins is the

(A) cell body

(B) dendrite

(C) axon

(D) axon terminal

(E) myelin sheath

23. According to Erikson, those who look back at the end of their lives with regrets and the feeling that their lives have lacked fulfillment evidence unsuccessful resolution of the challenge of

(A) intimacy versus isolation

(B) identity versus role confusion

(C) integrity versus despair

(D) generativity versus stagnation

(E) industry versus inferiority

24. Which of the following is the most reliable indicator of emotions across all cultures?

(A) hand gestures

(B) facial expressions

(C) voice intonation

(D) body posture

(E) smoothness of movements

25. The more difference shown by the behavior of identical twins raised apart, the more the differences in their behavior can be attributed to their

(A) heritability

(B) genetic traits

(C) mutations

(D) coincidence

(E) environments

26. All public institutions subscribe to all of the following ethical guidelines EXCEPT

(A) avoiding unnecessary deception to humans

(B) avoiding unnecessary pain to humans and other animals

(C) avoiding use of animals when computers are available

(D) protecting confidentiality

(E) having Institutional Review Boards approve all research conducted within their institutions

27. Mason is a fifth grader who tries to listen to the teacher but has difficulty focusing. He looks around the classroom while the teacher is talking and then does not know what to do when others are starting their assignments. These symptoms are characteristic of which of the following?

(A) panic disorder

(B) post-traumatic stress disorder

(C) attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

(D) bipolar disorder

(E) antisocial personality disorder

28. Joan strongly believes in capital punishment. After discussing capital punishment with only other people who believe in capital punishment in a chat room, Joan is most likely to

(A) believe more strongly in capital punishment

(B) believe less strongly in capital punishment

(C) not have changed her views at all

(D) want more information about capital punish- ment before deciding how strongly she supports capital punishment

(E) not want to discuss capital punishment any more

29. Answering multiple-choice questions is often easier than answering fill-in or completion questions, because multiple-choice questions

(A) provide more retrieval cues

(B) enhance retention of information

(C) check memorization rather than critical thinking

(D) are definitional rather than conceptual

(E) are easier to encode than completion questions

30. A neutral stimulus that signals an unconditioned stimulus begins to produce a response that anticipates and prepares for the unconditioned stimulus during

(A) acquisition trials

(B) generalization

(C) extinction trials

(D) spontaneous recovery

(E) operant conditioning

31. According to Jean Piaget, egocentrism, animism, and trial-and-error learning are characteristic of the stage of development known as

(A) preoperational

(B) sensorimotor

(C) concrete operational

(D) adolescence

(E) formal operational

32. Blinking, sneezing, flinching, and coughing are examples of the type of behavior called

(A) instinct

(B) reflex

(C) habit

(D) thought

(E) arc

33. Stephen is going through his second divorce. He thinks that no woman will ever love him again. His therapist points out to Stephen that his thinking is irrational and faulty. Which of the following therapies is the therapist employing?

(A) psychoanalysis

(B) systematic desensitization

(C) flooding

(D) rational emotive

(E) client-centered

34. Delia is deciding between a trip to Disney or Universal and is having difficulty choosing which amusement park to attend. With which of the following conflicts is she faced?

(A) frustration—aggression

(B) intrinsic—extrinsic

(C) approach—avoidance

(D) approach—approach

(E) avoidance—avoidance

35. EEGs that consist primarily of alpha and beta waves are characteristic of

(A) consciousness

(B) stage 1 sleep

(C) stage 2 sleep

(D) stage 3 sleep

(E) stage 4 sleep

36. A psychologist focusing on whether development occurs in stages is most interested in which of the following controversies?

(A) nature versus nurture

(B) continuity versus discontinuity

(C) stability versus change

(D) subjectivity versus objectivity

(E) individualism versus collectivism

37. Collective unconscious, archetypes, and individuation are personality concepts most closely associated with

(A) Sigmund Freud

(B) Carl Jung

(C) B. F. Skinner

(D) Karen Horney

(E) Albert Bandura

38. Which of the following is a hallucination?

(A) thinking you are the president of the United States

(B) being sure that your boss is out to get you

(C) thinking this is 2013

(D) feeling extraordinarily happy and agitated one moment, then extraordinarily depressed the next

(E) hearing voices that are not actually there

39. Stella remembered the order of the planets from the Sun by recalling the sentence “My very educated mother just served us noodles.” For Stella, this sentence is a

(A) chunking strategy

(B) mnemonic device

(C) peg system

(D) acoustic encoding sequence

(E) proactive interference inhibitor

40. Which of the following is caused by a teratogen?

(A) Tay-Sachs disease

(B) Klinefelter’s syndrome

(C) Turner syndrome

(D) Down syndrome

(E) fetal alcohol syndrome

41. In classical conditioning the learner learns to associate the unconditioned stimulus with

(A) an unconditioned response

(B) a conditioned stimulus

(C) a conditioned response

(D) a negative reinforcer

(E) a punishment

42. According to Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) theory, of the following stages, we are most susceptible to disease during

(A) resolution

(B) resistance

(C) alarm

(D) exhaustion

(E) extinction

43. Jeanette locked the front door and then checked it by turning the knob. She checked it a second time. After walking halfway down the path to the street, Jeanette went back to the door and checked to make sure that it was locked. Her behavior appears to be

(A) psychotic

(B) schizophrenic

(C) obsessive

(D) compulsive

(E) manic

44. Carlos could consistently differentiate the note middle C on the violin from middle C on the piano because of the difference in

(A) frequency

(B) primary wavelength

(C) amplitude

(D) timbre

(E) volume

45. Hunger, thirst, and sex are most closely associated with stimulation of the

(A) pons

(B) cerebellum

(C) hypothalamus

(D) temporal lobes

(E) basal ganglia

46. For which of the following disorders might a psychiatrist prescribe a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor such as Prozac or Paxil?

(A) manic

(B) depressive

(C) dissociative identity

(D) conversion

(E) schizophrenic

47. Jared thinks that going to psychology lecture classes is a waste of time and that you can do just as well in the course if you just read the review book, watch “Discovering Psychology,” and take the tests. He decides to test his hypothesis with an experiment. The independent variable in his experiment is

(A) going to lecture classes

(B) going to lecture classes, reading the review book, and watching “Discovering Psychology”

(C) not going to lecture classes, reading the review book, and watching “Discovering Psychology”

(D) just taking tests

(E) doing as well on tests without going to class as with going to class

48. In class, John’s teacher tells him that she will give him the coin and bill for each picture he can correctly identify on the face of the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half-dollar, dollar bill, and five-dollar bill. John cannot identify any of them, although he has been handling money for 17 years. His inability to remember the pictures most likely results from

(A) confabulation

(B) failure to reconstruct

(C) failure to encode

(D) deep processing

(E) repression

49. Stranded in a deserted area after a boating accident, Harry was able to survive by eating leaves and insects and drinking water he boiled in a fire he made. According to Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Harry displayed a high level of which of the following intelligences?

(A) naturalistic

(B) interpersonal

(C) verbal-linguistic

(D) mathematical

(E) g

50. Menarche occurs at about age

(A) 12 in males only

(B) 12 in females only

(C) 12 in both sexes

(D) 12 in females and 14 in males

(E) 50 in females only

51. Amy’s therapist shakes her head affirmatively and says, “Yes, uh huh,” as Amy talks about her problems. Which of the following treatments did she experience?

(A) psychoanalysis

(B) behavior therapy

(C) humanistic therapy

(D) cognitive therapy

(E) existential therapy

52. Lucille suffered a stroke last week and cannot recognize her children or grandchildren by looking at them. Of the following structures, her brain lesion is most likely in the

(A) cerebellum

(B) hypothalamus

(C) amygdala

(D) left cerebral cortex

(E) right cerebral cortex

53. According to the Gestalt organizing principles of perception, when you look at “i n car n a t e,” you tend to notice the word car rather than in, nate, at, or ate, because of

(A) continuity

(B) the phi phenomenon

(C) similarity

(D) figure—ground

(E) proximity

54. Which of the following is a secondary reinforcer?

(A) food

(B) water

(C) money

(D) sex

(E) token economy

55. An action potential involves the movement of

(A) glucose into the axon

(B) fats out of the axon terminal

(C) molecules in the synaptic gap

(D) sodium ions into the axon

(E) fluoride ions out of the axon

56. Dr. Bonneau helped a company redesign its offices to raise morale and the productivity of the employees. With which of the following subfields of psychology is Dr. Bonneau most likely affiliated?

(A) counseling

(B) educational

(C) industrial/organizational

(D) developmental

(E) social

57. Shafi cited Tony’s and David’s 100 percent math test scores in providing evidence that boys do better in math than girls. His failure to recognize that seven girls in the class earned 100 percent while only two boys earned that score best exemplifies

(A) hindsight bias

(B) confirmation bias

(C) functional fixedness

(D) proactive interference

(E) retroactive interference

58. Which of the following usually increases with age in healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 70?

(A) fluid intelligence

(B) crystallized intelligence

(C) g

(D) speededness

(E) IQ scores

59. In general, the best presentation time between the conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus to produce classical conditioning is

(A) delayed

(B) simultaneous

(C) trace

(D) backward

(E) temporal

60. Which of the following is generally considered a disadvantage of longitudinal developmental research?

I. It is extremely costly

II. Members of the original study drop out over time

III. The cohort effect

(A) I only

(B) II only

(C) III only

(D) I and II only

(E) I, II, and III

61. After she used address stickers sent by a charity in the mail, Brittany felt obligated to mail a donation to the organization that sent the stickers. Brittany’s behavior illustrates

(A) stereotyping

(B) the fundamental attribution error

(C) the mere exposure effect

(D) the reciprocity norm

(E) groupthink

62. Which best represents the path of an impulse over a reflex arc?

(A) receptor, afferent neuron, interneuron, efferent neuron, effector

(B) receptor, efferent neuron, interneuron, afferent neuron, affector

(C) sensory neuron, interneuron, afferent neuron, efferent neuron, effector

(D) effector, sensory neuron, afferent neuron, inter- neuron, receptor

(E) sensor, sensory neuron, motor neuron, efferent neuron, effector

63. “Mommy gived me a cookie” best illustrates a basic understanding of

(A) phonemes

(B) prelinguistic speech

(C) holophrases

(D) grammar

(E) etymology

64. Which of the following disorders is most likely related to the amount of light to which a susceptible person is exposed?

(A) seasonal affective disorder

(B) claustrophobia

(C) Alzheimer’s disease

(D) catatonia

(E) schizophrenia

65. Mr. Gordon suffered damage to the back of his right frontal lobe. As a result, he is unable to

(A) understand information he hears

(B) understand information he reads

(C) speak intelligibly

(D) move his left hand

(E) lift his right foot

66. A comprehensive final examination in AP Psychology that consists of questions dealing solely with motivation and emotion, social psychology, and the biological basis of behavior units lacks

(A) content validity

(B) predictive validity

(C) test-retest reliability

(D) alternate-forms reliability

(E) standardization

67. In a team tug-of-war, Ty did not pull as hard as he would have if he were pulling alone against one competitor. His behavior exemplifies

(A) deindividuation

(B) groupthink

(C) social loafing

(D) bystander effect

(E) self-serving bias

68. Functionalists such as William James were mainly interested in

(A) the purpose of behavioral acts

(B) identifying the smallest unit of behavior

(C) the basic elements of consciousness

(D) teaching introspection

(E) studying the whole conscious experience

69. Mayella believes that getting a good grade on an AP exam is a matter of luck. She most likely has

(A) high academic self-efficacy

(B) an internal locus of control

(C) an external locus of control

(D) high achievement motivation

(E) achieved self-actualization

70. Which of the following is an anxiety disorder according to DSM-5?

(A) panic disorder

(B) illness anxiety disorder

(C) anorexia nervosa

(D) post-traumatic stress disorder

(E) obsessive-compulsive disorder

71. Which of the following is NOT considered a primary facial expression?

(A) surprise

(B) disgust

(C) anger

(D) love

(E) fear

72. The most common form of Down syndrome results during sex cell formation and fertilization from

(A) three copies of chromosome 19

(B) three copies of chromosome 21

(C) loss of a chromosome

(D) failure of the separation of XX

(E) failure of the separation of XY

73. In time-out, a disruptive child who wants to stay with his or her class is removed from the classroom. This exemplifies

(A) positive reinforcement

(B) negative reinforcement

(C) positive punishment

(D) omission training

(E) classical conditioning

74. According to activation-synthesis theory,

(A) the brain counteracts a strong positive emotion by evoking a negative emotion

(B) dreams result from the mind’s attempt to make sense of random neural activity from the brainstem

(C) happiness depends on comparing one’s present circumstances with one’s past circumstances

(D) particular facial expressions induce particular emotional experiences

(E) hypnosis induces a dissociated state of consciousness

75. According to the opponent process theory of emotions,

(A) red emotions are followed by green emotions

(B) happiness and unhappiness combine to keep someone relatively stable over a lifetime

(C) repetitions of an emotion-arousing event strengthen the opposing emotion

(D) opposing emotions after a primary emotion are always weaker than the primary one

(E) judgments of emotions are relative to a neutral level defined by prior experience

76. After dealing kindly with several customers who acted very rudely toward her, the clerk was impatient with her next customer. The tendency of that customer to think that the clerk is a very impatient person rather than just having a bad day exemplifies

(A) stereotyping

(B) the fundamental attribution error

(C) the mere exposure effect

(D) the reciprocity norm

(E) groupthink

77. Abnormal behavior can be defined as maladaptive behavior according to

(A) biologists

(B) behaviorists

(C) psychoanalysts

(D) humanists

(E) cognitivists

78. John’s inability to address a problem from a new perspective is known as

(A) fixation

(B) divergent thinking

(C) a heuristic

(D) framing

(E) confidence

79. According to Carl Jung, we share trace memories from our species history known as

(A) imagination inflation

(B) sensory memory

(C) déjà vu

(D) collective unconscious

(E) iconic memory

80. In response to a column printed in newspapers throughout the United States, an advice columnist received over 28,000 responses. Over 75 percent of respondents said that if they had it to do over again, they would not have children. The columnist concludes that most parents are sorry that they had children. For which of the following reasons is her conclusion NOT valid?

(A) Her participants were not randomly assigned in her study.

(B) The number of respondents from across the country was too small.

(C) The study was not replicated.

(D) Her sample may not have been representative of the population.

(E) The study should have been a double-blind study.

81. According to social learning theory, gender identity results primarily from

(A) chromosomal differences in the sex chromosomes and hormones secreted during prenatal development

(B) resolution of the Oedipal complex resulting in identification with the same-sex parent

(C) observation and imitation of significant role models

(D) consistent reinforcement of gender-appropriate behaviors and punishment of gender-inappropriate behaviors

(E) labeling of a child as a boy or a girl

82. According to David Napolitan and George Goethals, fundamental attribution error is most likely to occur when explaining

(*NOTE: This question has only 4 choices.)

(A) bad behavior by a person we know

(B) good behavior by a person we know

(C) bad behavior by a person we never met before

(D) good behavior by a person we never met before

83. The position on the basilar membrane at which waves reach their peak depends on the frequency of a tone, according to which theory?

(A) opponent-process

(B) trichromatic

(C) place

(D) volley

(E) frequency

84. Lev Vygotsky’s approach to the study of cognitive development was

(A) psychodynamic

(B) behavioral

(C) biological

(D) sociocultural

(E) evolutionary

85. The left cerebral hemisphere is specialized for which of the following functions?

(A) verbal, mathematical, and recognizing emotional expressions

(B) mathematical, spatial, and musical

(C) verbal, analytic, and mathematical

(D) mathematical, spatial, and analytic

(E) spatial, musical, and identifying faces

86. The contingency model explains classical conditioning from which of the following perspectives?

(A) behavioral

(B) psychoanalytic

(C) cognitive

(D) humanistic

(E) biomedical

87. All people have essentially the same set of traits, differing only in terms of the extent to which they show each trait, according to which of the following personality theories?

(A) nomothetic

(B) idiographic

(C) Freudian

(D) somatotype

(E) biological

88. After Tamika complained to her mother about how little she has, Tamika and her mother went to a soup kitchen to volunteer to serve dinner to the homeless. After serving 120 dinners, Tamika told her mother how happy she is that they can afford to buy delicious foods she loves. Tamika’s increased perception that she is happy is best explained by applying which of the following theories?

(A) relative deprivation

(B) adaptation-level

(C) Yerkes—Dodson arousal

(D) diathesis-stress

(E) attribution

89. Standardized tests are

(A) any examination given by your state or country

(B) all examinations with exactly the same directions

(C) tests with norms, which indicate average, high, and low scores for the test

(D) tests that are given year after year without being released or returned

(E) tests for which a person’s performance can be compared with a pilot group

90. The most common somatic nervous system neurotransmitter to cause muscle contractions is

(A) acetylcholine

(B) dopamine

(C) endorphins

(D) epinephrine


91. The rooting reflex is characterized by neonates

(A) turning their heads toward stimuli when touched on their cheeks

(B) withdrawing from painful stimuli

(C) drawing up legs and arching their backs in response to sudden noises

(D) grasping objects that press against their palms

(E) fanning their toes when their soles are stimulated

92. Which coefficient indicates the strongest correlation?

(A) -1.00

(B) -.33

(C) 0.00

(D) +.50

(E) +.89

93. According to gate-control theory, which condition tends to close the gate?

(A) anxiety

(B) depression

(C) focusing on the pain

(D) electrical stimulation

(E) insomnia

94. People generally send higher contributions to charities when check-off boxes on the response card the charity sends to donors suggest $25, $35, $50, other; rather than $10, $15, $25, other. This illustrates the

(A) anchoring effect

(B) availability heuristic

(C) representativeness heuristic

(D) mental set

(E) serial position effect

95. Mechanical energy is transduced to electrochemical energy by

(A) glandular effectors

(B) muscular effectors

(C) pressure receptors

(D) rods and cones

(E) thermoreceptors

96. Which of the following is NOT a basic somatosensation?

(A) pain

(B) touch

(C) cold

(D) warmth

(E) itch

97. All of the following are characteristic of physiological arousal EXCEPT

(A) dilation of the pupils

(B) increase in salivation

(C) increase in perspiration

(D) increase in secretion of stress hormones

(E) decrease in peristalsis

98. Nearsightedness results from

(A) too much curvature of the cornea and lens

(B) too little curvature of the cornea and lens

(C) too much curvature of the iris and lens

(D) too little curvature of the iris and lens

(E) a lack of aqueous or vitreous humor

99. Of the following theories, the presence of Hilgard’s “hidden observer” best supports

(A) dissociation

(B) opponent process

(C) activation-synthesis

(D) diathesis-stress

(E) evolution

100. Although many studies regarding the effects of a particular herb on memory have been conducted, results of any one study have been inconclusive. An overall conclusion might be reached by performing

(A) meta-analysis

(B) revising the data from one of the experiments

(C) calculating the statistical significance of each study

(D) cross-cultural analysis

(E) factor analysis



Time—50 minutes

Directions: Take approximately 50 minutes to answer both of the essay questions. According to the College Board directions, “It is not enough to answer a question by merely listing facts. You should present a cogent argument based on your critical analysis of the question posed, using appropriate psychological terminology.” Write your essays on separate sheets of paper.

Essay 1:

Although historically nature versus nurture was considered an all-or-none proposition, most psychologists today agree that heredity and environment are both important in determining behavior and mental processes. Describe the extent to which heredity and the extent to which environment affect expression of each of the following:

● shyness

● language acquisition

● phenylketonuria

● violent behavior

● schizophrenia

Essay 2:

Yesterday when a brown bear unexpectedly appeared in his backyard, John ran into his house faster than he ever ran before.

a. Describe how John’s eye and brain enabled him to see the bear. In your description, include how the eye focused the image, transduced energy, and transmitted information to the brain; identify the parts of the brain involved.

b. Explain how the “fight-or-flight” response enabled John to run faster than ever before.

c. Using a current theory of emotion, account for why John experienced fear rather than anger or sadness.


Image Answers and Explanations

Section I

1. B—(Chapter 13) Conformity. Etan seems to want the group’s approval and so conforms to its behavior.

2. D—(Chapter 5) The humanistic approach believes that people are good by nature and emphasizes the need for people to do their best and strive toward self-actualization.

3. B—(Chapter 10) Authoritative. Authoritative families are democratic by nature, and though there are rules, these are flexible and children grow up helping to make their own decisions and accepting responsibility for their behavior.

4. D—(Chapter 9) An algorithm. This is the problem-solving technique where there is an exhaustive search of all possible answers and a guaranteed solution.

5. A—(Chapter 7) Absolute threshold. This is the minimum stimulation at which 50 percent of the time Bessie can detect the sweetness in the water.

6. D—(Chapter 8) No longer evokes the conditioned response. Extinction is the elimination of a learned response. In classical conditioning, when the UCS is removed and the CS is repeatedly presented, eventually it will no longer produce the CR and is extinguished.

7. C—(Chapter 6) PET. A PET scan shows the activity in the brain and is useful in allowing doctors to see where different tasks, such as this patient’s language, are processed in the brain. For most people, language is processed in the left hemisphere.

8. A—(Chapter 12) Psychoanalytic therapy attempts to uncover unconscious conflicts, and both dream interpretation and free association are techniques used to reach the unconscious.

9. E—(Chapter 11) Incentive theory attempts to use rewards to increase positive behavior, and Al’s mother is trying to motivate him to do better in school.

10. D—(Chapter 11) Superego. According to Freudian theory, the superego is the last part of the personality to emerge and represents our moral conscience, which would be more likely to donate money to the homeless than the selfish and self-centered id, which operates on the pleasure principle.

11. C—(Chapter 5) Might have been due to chance. To be significant, results cannot be the results of a coincidence but must depend on the relationship between the factors studied at least 19 out of 20 times.

12. C—(Chapter 5) 90 appears 3 times and is the most frequently occurring number in the set.

13. C—(Chapter 9) The AP test measures one’s achievement or how much was learned in the year in contrast to an aptitude test, which measures potential.

14. B—(Chapter 6) Nicotine. Nicotine is a stimulant drug that arouses the central nervous system and causes some to have an increased sense of self-confidence.

15. E—(Chapter 8) By answering each e-mail, Soledad is on a continuous schedule of reinforcement. One learns more quickly under this schedule, but new behaviors are also extinguished more easily than on intermittent schedules.

16. B—(Chapter 12) Justin has undergone a behavior therapy known as systematic desensitization in which he unlearns a phobia and replaces it with relaxation. The procedure described also utilizes an anxiety hierarchy of progressively higher level fears involved in his phobia.

17. B—(Chapter 11) According to Skinner, a famous behaviorist, all behavior is learned and one can only measure observable behavior, so personality is reduced to observable behavior. Feeling, thoughts, and other mentalistic constructs cannot be measured accurately.

18. C—(Chapter 9) A flashbulb memory is one that is extremely vivid and emotional, and is remembered for years. Like other episodic memories, it is also likely to be partially confabulated. The level of confidence in a memory does not make it more valid.

19. C—(Chapter 12) Dissociative amnesia. Dissociative amnesia is a result of memories that are too painful for the conscious memory to deal with, like the horrible sight of the death of his wife and children in this example. This would support Freud’s repression theory.

20. B—(Chapter 8) Occur less frequently. Thorndike’s Law of Effect states that behaviors that are followed by negative consequences are less likely to recur, and those that are followed by positive consequences have a higher probability of being repeated in the future.

21. C—(Chapter 13) Social facilitation. The chef, a master at his trade, will increase his productivity before an audience. Social facilitation occurs for well-learned tasks; an audience will positively affect one’s performance.

22. A—(Chapter 6) Cell body. This is the part of the neuron that contains DNA in the nucleus, which directs synthesis of such substances as neurotransmitters.

23. C—(Chapter 10) Integrity versus despair. Erikson has eight crisis stages, and the eighth occurs in old age. This is an example of despair.

24. B—(Chapter 11) Facial expressions have been shown in cross-cultural studies by Paul Ekman and others to be the single most reliable indicator of emotions. Six emotions are understood universally.

25. E—(Chapter 10) Environments. Identical twins share the same DNA, so any difference in their behavior must be attributable to the separate environments in which they grew up.

26. C—(Chapter 5) Avoiding use of animals when computers are available. Although animals must be treated humanely, animals may be used in research studies when computer simulations are inadequate.

27. C—(Chapter 12) According to DSM-5 one of the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is inattention, illustrated when Mason looks around the room while the teacher is talking. Dramatic changes are sometimes achieved when a stimulant like Ritalin is used in treatment.

28. A—(Chapter 13) Believe more strongly in capital punishment. Joan will succumb to group polarization, which occurs when like-minded people reinforce each other’s opinions, so that any one person’s is stronger than it was prior to the chat room.

29. A—(Chapter 9) Provide more retrieval cues. Because the correct answer is among the incorrect ones, some find it much easier to answer multiple choice questions. Fill-in and completion questions give no hints, and the student must retrieve answers without these.

30. A—(Chapter 8) Acquisition trials. In classical conditioning, after repeated pairings of the CS and UCS, acquisition, or learning, occurs when the CS reliably produces the CR when the UCS is not presented.

31. A—(Chapter 10) Preoperational. Between the ages of 2 and 6, kids are egocentric and learn through trial and error, according to Piaget. They are not yet capable of logical thought.

32. B—(Chapter 6) Reflex. Blinking, sneezing, and flinching are all reflexive behaviors. When an object comes too close to our eyes or there is pepper under our nose, we will automatically blink or sneeze.

33. D—(Chapter 12) Rational Emotive Therapy or RET, developed by Albert Ellis, is a cognitive-behavioral treatment effective with pessimistic clients like Stephen, whose problems might stem from irrational and illogical thought patterns. RET is a somewhat combative approach that counters illogical assumptions like Stephen’s, that since he has two divorces, no woman will ever love him again.

34. D—(Chapter 11) An approach—approach conflict is characterized by a decision that must be made between two attractive options. If Delia views both prestigious colleges as attractive, her decision involves approach—approach conflict.

35. A—(Chapter 6) Consciousness. Alpha waves are produced when a subject is relaxed, and beta waves are characteristic of an alert state of consciousness.

36. B—(Chapter 10) Continuity versus discontinuity is a controversy over whether human growth patterns follow a gradual, steady course (continuity) or whether there are abrupt markers that cause intermittent growth patterns. Stage theorists such as Piaget and Freud support the discontinuous pattern theory.

37. B—(Chapter 11) Carl Jung. Jung, like Freud, believed that the unconscious mind determined much of our behavior. Jung also thought the collective unconscious filled with archetypes was a universally inherited part of our nature that explained common themes in literature and world religions. Individuation is his personality goal of balancing out the opposites in one’s personality, like introversion and extraversion.

38. E—(Chapter 12) Hallucinations are perceptual experiences that occur in the absence of external stimulation of the corresponding sensory organ. Hearing voices when they are not present could be a result of either schizophrenia or hallucinogenic drugs.

39. B—(Chapter 9) Mnemonic device. Stella’s memory aid is using the first letter of each planet in a series and completing a sentence with words beginning with those letters.

40. E—(Chapter 10) Fetal alcohol syndrome is a disorder caused by prenatal alcohol use by the mother, which can lead to both physical and cognitive abnormalities in the developing child. A teratogen is any harmful substance (drug or virus) used during the prenatal period that can cause birth defects.

41. B—(Chapter 8) A conditioned stimulus. The two are repeatedly paired together, and the conditioned stimulus reliably comes to predict the unconditioned stimulus, which produces the unconditioned response.

42. D—(Chapter 11) The exhaustion stage. Usually stressors are dealt with during the second stage of resistance, but if the stressors are prolonged, the immune system becomes unable to protect us from disease and infection.

43. D—(Chapter 12) Compulsive. Jeanette suffers from one of the common problems of compulsives—checking behavior. A compulsion is an action repeated over and over even though it serves no useful purpose.

44. D—(Chapter 7) Timbre. Timbre is the complexity of sound determined by its composition of several frequencies. Carlos can thus distinguish between the two instruments.

45. C—(Chapter 11) Hypothalamus. Many motivated behaviors, including hunger, thirst, and sex, are associated with stimulation of the hypothalamus. Stimulation of the lateral hypothalamus in a rat, for instance, will be a signal to initiate eating behavior.

46. B—(Chapter 12) SSRIs like Prozac and Paxil seem to increase the availability of serotonin at postsynaptic receptor sites by preventing the reuptake of the neurotransmitter by presynaptic neurons, which elevates the mood of the patient suffering from depression.

47. C—(Chapter 5) Not going to lecture classes, reading the review book, and watching “Discovering Psychology.” The independent variable is the one manipulated by the experimenter. Jared manipulates this variable in his experiment to gather evidence that students can do just as well in the course without attending lectures.

48. C—(Chapter 7) Failure to encode. Like John, most of us see different coins and bills every day, but our failure to pay close attention to these stimuli results in a failure to encode them into our long-term memories.

49. A—(Chapter 9) Naturalistic intelligence, according to Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, would enable Harry to distinguish between edible leaves and insects because of his familiarity with plants and insects in the environment.

50. B—(Chapter 10) 12 in females only. Menarche is the first menstrual period for females, the onset of the ability to reproduce.

51. C—(Chapter 12) Amy is probably engaged in a humanistic therapy session. Client-centered therapists would encourage Amy to direct the therapy process while the therapist engages in active listening.

52. E—(Chapter 6) Right cerebral cortex. Neural pathways for facial recognition are found in the right temporal lobe.

53. E—(Chapter 7) Proximity. The three letters c-a-r are together, and thus, our attention is drawn to that combination first due to the closeness of the letters and because they form a familiar word.

54. C—(Chapter 8) Money is a secondary reinforcer we learn to be reinforced by. Food, water, and sex are all primary reinforcers or biologically significant and things we are naturally reinforced by.

55. D—(Chapter 6) Sodium ions into the axon. Positively charged sodium ions rush into the axon, depolarizing the membrane and transmitting an action potential. The neuron “fires.”

56. C—(Chapter 5) Dr. Bonneau is an industrial/ organizational or I/O psychologist interested in improving morale in the industrial setting.

57. B—(Chapter 9) Confirmation bias. Shafi looked for evidence to support his beliefs and failed to try to disconfirm his belief. When he found the two male scores of 100 percent, he believed even more that his conclusion was correct.

58. B—(Chapter 10) Crystallized intelligence refers to intellectual ability that reflects concrete knowledge or facts, which tends to increase rather than decrease with age. The more abstract reasoning that is characteristic of fluid intelligence declines in later years.

59. A—(Chapter 8) Delayed. In delayed conditioning, the CS is presented before the UCS in acquisition trials, and the CS then becomes a good predictor of the UCS to come.

60. D—(Chapter 10) Both the expense and the fact that subjects drop out over time are two disadvantages of the longitudinal approach. Cross- sectional research has the disadvantage of the cohort effect or the problem of different ages being exposed to different learning environments because of their date of birth.

61. D—(Chapter 13) The reciprocity norm. This is a compliance technique used by groups. Brittany feels obligated to go along with a request for a small donation after she has used the stickers the organization sent her.

62. A—(Chapter 6) The path over which the reflex travels typically includes a receptor, sensory or afferent neuron, interneuron, motor or efferent neuron, and effector.

63. D—(Chapter 9) Grammar. Typical of a 3-year-old, the child without formal training intuits the “ed” rule for making the past tense. This is called overgeneralization.

64. A—(Chapter 12) Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a recurrent depressive disorder characterized by depression, lethargy, sleep disturbances, and craving for carbohydrates that generally occurs during the winter, when the amount of daylight is low. It is sometimes treated with exposure to bright lights.

65. D—(Chapter 6) Move his left hand. The right hemisphere controls Mr. Gordon’s left side, and the part in the back of the frontal lobe is the motor cortex.

66. A—(Chapter 9) Content validity. Content validity measures whether the test “covers” the full range of the material, which is not met by testing only the four areas mentioned.

67. C—(Chapter 13) Social loafing is the tendency for individuals to put less effort into group projects than individual projects for which they are accountable.

68. A—(Chapter 5) The purpose of behavioral acts. James and other members of the functionalist perspective were concerned with how an organism uses its perceptual abilities to adapt to its environment more than the structuralists, who looked at the individual parts of consciousness.

69. C—(Chapter 11) An external locus of control. Julian Rotter’s research says that externals do not believe that they control what happens to them, and when good things do happen, it is more a matter of luck than individual achievement or effort.

70. A—(Chapter 12) Panic disorder is the only choice that is classified as an anxiety disorder in DSM-5.

71. D—(Chapter 11) Love. All of the other choices are among the six primary facial expressions identified cross-culturally. Sadness and happiness round out the six.

72. B—(Chapter 6) Three copies of chromosome 21. With three copies of chromosome 21 in their cells, individuals are typically mentally retarded and have a round head, flat nasal bridge, protruding tongue, small round ears, a fold in the eyelid, poor muscle tone, and poor coordination.

73. D—(Chapter 8) Omission training. After disruptive behavior is emitted, the child is removed from the classroom (seen as a reward taken away from the learner), thus decreasing the original behavior.

74. B—(Chapter 6) Dreams result from the mind’s attempt to make sense of random neural activity from the brainstem. This theory says that dreams do not have symbolic meaning.

75. C—(Chapter 11) Repetitions of an emotion-arousing event strengthen the opposing emotion. Fear accompanies the first time most people jump out of an airplane with a parachute, but on successive jumps the fear decreases and the joy increases.

76. B—(Chapter 13) The fundamental attribution error. When judging other people’s behavior, we are likely to overestimate personal factors—an impatient clerk—and underestimate situational factors—how rude customers had been to her. When judging our own behavior, we do not make this same error.

77. B—(Chapter 12) Behaviorists. Maladaptive behavior is learned and, therefore, can be unlearned through behavior therapy.

78. A—Fixation is defined as the inability to view a problem from a different perspective. Divergent thinking is the thought process used to generate creative ideas. A heuristic is a general rule of thumb, or guidelines that can be used to solve a problem efficiently. Framing refers to the manner in which an issue is posed. Confidence is the feeling or belief that you can rely or depend on someone or something.

79. D—Carl Jung proposed that the collective unconscious is derived from ancestral memories and experiences and is common to all humankind. Imagination inflation refers to the belief that imagining an event that never happened can increase the confidence that it actually occurred. Sensory memory is the brief and immediate recording of sensory information within the memory system. Déjà vu refers to the intuitive experience that we have experienced something already. Iconic memory is a momentary sensory memory of a visual stimulus.

80. D—(Chapter 5) Her sample may not have been representative of the population. People who were unhappy with their children may have been more inclined to respond to the columnist than those who were happy. Participants were not randomly selected.

81. C—(Chapter 10) Observation and imitation of significant role models. One learns his or her gender role, according to social learning theory, by observing parents and friends interact and then copying those behaviors that seem most rewarded.

82. C—Fundamental attribution error explains how we tend to overestimate the contribution of personality and underestimate that of situation when explaining a person’s behavior. We are more likely to blame personality when we observe bad behavior displayed by someone with whom we are not familiar.

83. C—(Chapter 7) Von Bekesy proposed that the differences in pitch (frequency) result from stimulation of different areas of the basilar membrane.

84. D—(Chapter 10) Sociocultural. Vygotsky developed a theory he called the zone of proximal distance (ZPD), which measures one’s intelligence as the difference between what someone can do with the help of others (sociocultural) and what one can do alone. His view supports the nurture side, while Piaget’s is contrastingly on the nature side of the nature—nurture controversy in cognitive development.

85. C—(Chapter 6) Verbal, analytic, and mathematical processing are usually done primarily on the left side of the cerebral cortex. This side of the brain is more logical and linear in problem solving than the more creative and artistic right side of the brain, which is specialized for visual/spatial reasoning.

86. C—(Chapter 8) The cognitive revision of Pavlovian classical conditioning is called the contingency model. Rescorla theorized that the predictability of the UCS following the presentation of the CS determines classical conditioning in contrast to Pavlov’s contiguity model based on timing between the appearances.

87. A—(Chapter 11) Nomothetic theory analyzes personality characteristics according to universal norms of the group, in contrast to idiographic theory, which looks at the individual.

88. A—(Chapter 11) Relative deprivation theory is based on a cognitive model of motivation. How Tamika perceives her situation is changed once she works with those who have even less than she does.

89. E—(Chapter 9) Tests for which a person’s performance can be compared with a pilot group. The pilot group, a representative group of the population to be tested, helps to establish a baseline so that the future performance of groups can be meaningfully compared and defined.

90. A—(Chapter 6) Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that causes contraction of skeletal muscles. In addition to this somatic task, it also helps regulate heart muscles, is involved in memory, and transmits messages between the brain and spinal cord. Alzheimer’s is associated with a lack of this neurotransmitter.

91. A—(Chapter 10) Turning their heads toward stimuli when touched on their cheeks. This is one of a group of reflexive actions that is innate and present at birth.

92. A—(Chapter 5) The correlation coefficient is a statistical measure of the degree of relatedness between two sets of data that range from a +1 positive correlation (both increase together) to a -1 in this case, which represents a complete negative correlation (as one increases, the other decreases).

93. D—(Chapter 7) Electrical stimulation. Substance P is blocked by the endorphins, which are released by the electrical stimulation, thus blocking the pain sensation, according to the gate-control theory of pain.

94. A—(Chapter 9) Anchoring effect. Individuals are influenced by a suggested reference point or range, particularly when uncertain what amount to give. They base their giving on the “acceptable” range provided and thus will give more when the starting value is $25 rather than the “high” amount being $25.

95. C—(Chapter 7) Pressure receptors. A push is a form of mechanical energy. Mechanical energy is changed to the electrochemical energy of a neural impulse by pressure receptors of the skin.

96. E—(Chapter 7) Itch. Somatosensation is the perception of skin sensations (touch), which include cold, warm, pain, and pressure.

97. B—(Chapter 11) Increase in salivation. When one is aroused by a stressful situation like standing up and giving a speech in front of others, dry mouth, or a decrease in salivation, is often present.

98. A—(Chapter 7) Too much curvature of the cornea and lens. In nearsightedness, light rays are focused in front of the retina, causing distant objects to appear blurry.

99. A—(Chapter 6) Dissociation. According to Hilgard, a person undergoing hypnosis for pain management may feel little pain because the brain channel that registers pain is separated from channels registering the voice of the hypnotist. But a “hidden observer” can still observe his or her own pain without consciously experiencing any suffering.

100. A—(Chapter 5) Meta-analysis. This approach would compare and contrast all the studies as a group and thus determine trends and provide a greater understanding of the entire body of research on the herb and its effects on memory.

Section II

Scoring Rubric for Essay 1

This is a 10-point essay: 5 points are awarded for explaining at least one argument for the nature side of each of these issues and 5 points for explaining at least one argument for the nurture side of each of these.

Point 1: Shyness (Nature)

● Kagan’s longitudinal research on inhibited children

● strong correlation between inhibited parents/grandparents and shy children

● cultural differences as a product of genetics

Point 2: Shyness (Nurture)

● 25 percent of Kagan’s children changed temperament by adolescence

● collectivist societies promote modesty and shyness, respect for authority

● gender role socialization rewards females for shyness

● abused children, others with low self-esteem, or socially rejected may learn shyness

● according to Zimbardo, 50 percent of Americans self-report shyness

● cognitive behavioral therapy is successful in helping to overcome shyness

Point 3: Language acquisition (Nature)

● Noam Chomsky’s “language acquisition device” in which grammar switches are turned on

● all children, including deaf children, babble at around 4 months and develop language in a distinct pattern: cooing, babbling, babbling only phonemes of their language group, holophrases, telegraphic speech

● overgeneralization of grammar rules by age 3, not influenced by formal training

● critical period hypothesis

Point 4: Language acquisition (Nurture)

● Skinner’s argument of language acquisition through shaping

● deaf speech hindered because of an inability to hear proper sounds

● all children babble some 100 phonemes at 6 months, but by 10 months they use the phonemes only found in their language group, which obviously have been reinforced

● Whorf’s language relativity hypothesis that languages shape the way we think

● failure of isolated children (such as Genie) to develop language

Point 5: Phenylketonuria (PKU) (Nature)

● inherited error of metabolism

● recessive gene, must have two alleles to be expressed

● high levels of phenylalanine lead to severe retardation and other problems

Point 6: Phenylketonuria (Nurture)

● screening at birth can alert adults to a lack of enzyme and need to avoid phenylalanine

● diet eliminating sources of phenylalanine (such as proteins, nuts, aspartame, and legumes) prevents expression of phenylketonuria

Point 7: Violent behavior (Nature)

● Freud’s aggression instinct which leads to violent behavior

● higher testosterone levels or low levels of serotonin may predispose violence

● Delgado’s stimulation studies

● adoption studies indicating violent children more like biological parents than adoptive parents

Point 8: Violent behavior (Nurture)

● Bandura’s social learning theory, Bobo doll studies

● correlation between violence and video game behavior

● negative consequence of violent upbringing—most abusers were abused by their parents

● receiving or expecting rewards for aggression—gang behavior and deindividuation

Point 9: Schizophrenia (Nature)

● exposure during pregnancy to flu virus and other teratogens leads to enlarged ventricles in brain

● age of expression seems to be 17—25 for most subtypes

● dopamine hypothesis, response to antipsychotic drugs that decrease dopamine

● high probability that monozygotic twin of twin with schizophrenia will develop schizophrenia

● high incidence of schizophrenia in close relatives

Point 10: Schizophrenia (Nurture)

● diathesis-stress model requires an environmental releaser

● milder cases of schizophrenia in less stressed twins

● Vietnam veteran syndrome—right age of onset and stressor strong enough

Sample Full-Credit Essay

The nature/nurture controversy has been one of the more enduring themes of psychological research. Although it used to be an either/or question of heredity or environment, now most psychologists agree with an interactionist point of view.

Jerome Kagan did some interesting longitudinal research with infants. By 2 months of age, 15 to 20 percent of children in his sample were already expressing inhibited behavior in the form of startle reactions to new stimuli. In their teens, 75 percent of his original group of inhibited kids were still inhibited. American parents who seem to value more extraverted behaviors were unable to change their children’s nature. Strong correlations have been found between inhibited children and parents and grandparents as well.

Many people seem to learn shyness from abusive parenting styles, negative experiences in school, and rejection in social situations as both children and adults. Some 50 percent of Americans self-report shyness. Philip Zimbardo has spent much of his life conducting research and therapy for shyness. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been successful in helping formerly shy people to learn new social skills and in reinforcing more positive self-statements.

Language acquisition has also had its nature and nurture supporters. Prominent on the nature side is linguist Noam Chomsky, who argues for a language acquisition device in the brain. He cites evidence of a progressive sequence of language acquisition from cooing, babbling, holophrases, and telegraphic speech to even overgeneralization of grammar rules unaffected by learning. Chomsky has indicated a critical period during which a child must be exposed to language for this maturational process to occur. Although B. F. Skinner would agree with the steps in the language acquisition process, he disagrees with Chomsky and believes that language is acquired through shaping and reinforcement. Although all children babble some 100 phonemes at about 6 months of age, at 10 months most are only using the phonemes of their own language, some 40 in English that have been reinforced.

Phenylketonuria or PKU is an inherited problem of metabolism. In order to be expressed, two recessive alleles for this trait must be present. Today, screening for this metabolic disorder is done at birth, and the mental retardation and other problems associated with it in the past have been considerably altered. Following a restricted diet, at least until adolescence, can prevent the expression of phenylketonuria. The diet eliminates proteins, nuts, and dairy products and severely restricts starches like bread and potatoes.

There are many theories on both the nature and nurture side about violent behavior. Both Freud and Lorenz believed that aggression is innate and the frustration-aggression hypothesis claims that violent behavior is a natural product of built-up frustration. High testosterone levels and lower serotonin levels have also supported a biological basis for violent behavior. Some studies have indicated that children more closely mimic their violent biological parents than their adopted parents. On the nurture side, Bandura’s social learning theory and Bobo doll studies indicate that violent behavior can be learned through modeling and imitation. Recent studies indicate that children who play violent video games are more likely to display violent behavior than those who do not play such games. Gangs who commit violent crimes reward similar behavior by their members and punish those who do not conform to these norms. Finally, in a highly aroused state, many people fall into a mob violence situation, as soccer matches and social protest marches have shown, exemplifying deindividuation.

Some psychologists also think the causes of schizophrenia are biological, whereas others think its causes are environmental. Schizophrenia is a devastating mental disorder involving delusional thinking, sensory hallucinations, and other psychotic symptoms. High levels of dopamine that can be treated with antipsychotic drugs in many cases seem to support the biological origin of this disease. Enlarged ventricles of the brain can be seen in MRIs or at autopsy. The disorder is most likely to express itself during the 17- to 25-year age period. Some theorize that mothers were exposed to flu-like viruses during their second trimester and that these factors lie dormant in the brain until late adolescence. Those arguing on the nurture side cite the diathesis-stress model and the double-bind situation. According to the double-bind theory, bad parenting makes the child confused about how to perceive the world. Twin studies in which one twin exhibits severe symptoms of schizophrenia and the other milder symptoms or none at all may be a result of environmental factors and stress levels—either real or perceived—that the two experience.

Scoring Rubric for Essay 2

Five points are to be awarded for the sensory and brain issues addressed in a, 2 points for explaining the “fight-or-flight” theory in b, and 1 point for correctly identifying and explaining a current theory of emotion in c.

Point 1: Eye focusing the image—cornea→pupil→lens→retina

Point 2: Eye transducing energy—rods and cones are photoreceptors that convert light energy to energy of the electrochemical impulse

Point 3: Transmission of information to the brain—from the retina→optic nerve→thalamus or brain

Points 4 and 5: Mention of at least two brain parts involved in visual processing of the bear: optic chiasma where information from one-half of each eye crosses to opposite hemisphere; thalamus as sensory relay and for color processing; occipital lobes or feature detectors in visual cortex; association areas of the cortex integrate sensory information to enable perception of bear

Point 6: Explanation of the “fight-or-flight” response—sympathetic nervous system increases heart rate, pulse, and blood pressure and slows digestion making energy available to muscles

Point 7: Pituitary signals adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline, which gives the extra surge of energy to run faster than ever

Point 8: Description of either Schachter’s two-factor theory or Lazarus’s cognitive appraisal theory or Ekman’s facial feedback system or LeDoux and role of amygdala

Sample Essay

Seeing the brown bear in his backyard obviously caused an alarming sensory experience for John, which was quickly translated into quick action thanks to his sympathetic nervous system and the expression of fearful emotion. Light rays bounced off the bear’s brown coat and entered John’s eyes through the cornea, which begins the process of focusing. Next, the light passes through the pupil controlled by the iris. John’s eyes open very wide! Next, the light is focused by the curved lens, which changes shape in relation to the distance of the bear and inverts the bear’s image to focus on the retina on the back part of the eye where receptors (rods and cones) are stimulated. The rods and cones transduce the light energy into the electrochemical energy of a neural impulse. The brown color stimulates the cones especially concentrated in the fovea, which is where John’s best acuity is. If enough cells fire, the bipolar cells are activated and finally the ganglion cells are activated. The axons of the ganglion cells in each eye form the optic nerves, which send the image to the thalamus in the brain (the sensory relay), which then sends it on to the occipital lobes where feature detectors will help John to perceive the dangerous image of the bear.

The “fight-or-flight” reaction is the physiological arousal of the body or sympathetic nervous system in response to a stressor (the bear) that enables John to get away fast. When John perceived the bear, messages were sent to his organs, glands, and muscles. John’s heart rate and blood pressure immediately accelerated, and his breathing deepened. The pituitary gland also secreted hormones that commanded the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline (epinephrine), which helped give him the extra energy to run faster than he had ever done.

There are several contemporary theories that are helpful in explaining why John felt fear and not anger or sadness. Schachter’s two-factor model explains that first John felt the physiological arousal as explained earlier. He could identify the reason for this arousal (the bear) and knowing that bears can be very dangerous, he felt the emotion of fear. Lazarus’s model says that a thought must come before any emotion or physiological arousal. John recognized that the bear could kill him, and then he could actually experience the fear. Ekman would explain the fear as the experience of changes in his facial muscles. When reacting to the bear, John’s eyes widened, his teeth clenched, and these muscle cues alerted his brain to interpret this as fear. Anger or sadness would involve different muscles.

Scoring and Interpreting

Now that you’ve finished Practice Exam 2 and scored your answers, you can examine your results. Did you get all the questions correct for a particular chapter? That’s excellent. You don’t need to spend much time going over that topic. Did you answer several questions incorrectly for a particular chapter? Go over that material carefully.

You can roughly equate your results to an AP test score. To put an approximate AP score on the results of your practice test, follow these steps: