3 Take a Diagnostic Exam - STEP 2 Determine Your Test Readiness

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

3 Take a Diagnostic Exam
STEP 2 Determine Your Test Readiness


Summary: Get started in your review by answering the questions in the diagnostic exam. Use the answer sheet to record your answers. After you’ve finished answering the questions, check your answers in the answer key. The review chapter to which the question applies is indicated at the beginning of each answer in the key. Your results should give you a good idea of how well you’re prepared for the AP exam at this time. Follow the directions regarding scoring and interpretation. If you get all the questions right, pass this book on to someone who needs it! Note those chapters that you need to study the most, and spend more time on them. Ready, set, go!


Key Ideas

Image Practice the kind of multiple-choice and free-response questions you will be asked on the AP Psychology exam.

Image Answer questions that approximate the coverage of topics on the real exam.

Image Check your work against the given answers.

Image Determine your areas of strength and weakness.

Image Identify and mark the pages to which you must give special attention.

Diagnostic Exam in AP Psychology



The Diagnostic Exam


Time—70 minutes

100 Questions

Directions: Each of the questions or incomplete statements below 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. The evolutionary approach emphasizes changes in behavior

(A) resulting from cloning

(B) resulting from changes in chromosome number

(C) on the species level

(D) within cultural groups

(E) that show how behavior of monkeys compares to behavior of people

2. Which approach emphasizes the nature of people to maximize their own potential?

(A) biological

(B) behavioral

(C) cognitive

(D) humanistic

(E) sociocultural

3. Which of the following psychologists is best trained to treat people with schizophrenia?

(A) counseling

(B) clinical

(C) developmental

(D) psychometric

(E) health

4. Dr. Maloney asked his patients to monitor and report their immediate reactions to numerous hypothetical situations. This data collection involves a technique known as

(A) behavior genetics

(B) personal preference

(C) survey

(D) introspection

(E) functionalism

5. As part of a research study, Sanjay is asked to fill out a 30-question form about his study habits. Which of the following research methods does this characterize?

(A) controlled experiment

(B) quasi-experiment

(C) naturalistic observation

(D) survey

(E) clinical

6. Why can’t a controlled experiment be designed to answer the question, “Do boys have higher self-esteem than girls?”

(A) Random selection is not possible.

(B) Random assignment is not possible.

(C) A population cannot be defined.

(D) Self-esteem cannot be operationalized.

(E) Informed consent cannot be obtained.

7. Which of the following graphs would best picture correlational data about the relationship between scores on the first psychology test and final exam in psychology for Mr. Sochet’s third-period class?

(A) a frequency polygon

(B) a histogram

(C) a line graph

(D) a box plot

(E) a scatterplot

8. Which of the following is the same for these two sets of data?

Set 1: 1, 7, 5, 9, 3

Set 2: 2, 5, 6, 5, 7

I. mean

II. median

III. mode

(A) I only

(B) II only

(C) III only

(D) I and II only

(E) I, II, III

9. Which measure of variability provides the most meaningful information about the following set of scores?

Set of scores: 12, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 17, 32

(A) mean

(B) median

(C) mode

(D) range

(E) standard deviation

10. A research method in which an individual or group is studied in depth is known as a(n)

(A) longitudinal study

(B) survey

(C) case study

(D) naturalistic observation

(E) experimentation

11. Major ethical concern(s) of psychological researchers include

I. lasting harm to subjects

II. deception

III. morality of the question being investigated

(A) I only

(B) II only

(C) III only

(D) I and II only

(E) I, II, and III

12. Which of the following technologies enables psychologists to visualize brain function?

(A) EEG and EKG

(B) CAT and MRI

(C) EKG and PET

(D) PET and CAT

(E) fMRI and PET

13. Which of the following nervous systems work in opposition to each other?

(A) central and peripheral

(B) somatic and autonomic

(C) sympathetic and parasympathetic

(D) central and sympathetic

(E) somatic and peripheral

14. The unit of structure and function of the human nervous system is the

(A) neuron

(B) nerve

(C) axon

(D) reflex arc

(E) brain

15. Hormones most closely associated with stress are produced by the

(A) thyroid

(B) parathyroids

(C) pineal

(D) adrenals

(E) thalamus

16. The part of the brain most closely associated with regulation of hunger, thirst, and body temperature is the

(A) left frontal lobe

(B) right frontal lobe

(C) amygdala

(D) cerebellum

(E) hypothalamus

17. As a result of injury to her brain, Starla no longer can understand what people say to her, although she hears them. The region of the cerebral cortex most likely injured is her

(A) left temporal lobe

(B) left frontal lobe

(C) right frontal lobe

(D) right parietal lobe

(E) right occipital lobe

18. Communication within a single neuron is said to be __________, whereas the communication between two or more neurons is said to be __________.

(A) dendrite; axon

(B) electrical; chemical

(C) chemical; electrical

(D) active; passive

(E) glial; hormonal

19. The depolarization of a neural membrane can result in a(n)

(A) action potential

(B) dendrite

(C) interneuron

(D) synaptic gap

(E) neural network

20. Chemical energy is transduced to the electrochemical energy of neural impulses at the

(A) cochlea

(B) retina

(C) olfactory mucosa

(D) semi-circular canals

(E) ganglion cells

21. Damage to the hammer, anvil, and stirrup can result in

(A) conduction deafness

(B) sensorineural deafness

(C) blindness

(D) color blindness

(E) loss in taste sensation

22. Although Hannah could barely hear the person whispering on Maya’s other side, Maya couldn’t hear him at all. For hearing, compared to Maya, Hannah has a

(A) lower absolute threshold

(B) lower difference threshold

(C) higher absolute threshold

(D) higher difference threshold

(E) lower tolerance

23. If you stand on one foot and close your eyes, which of the following senses prevents you from falling?

(A) gustatory

(B) olfactory

(C) kinesthetic

(D) somatosensory

(E) visual

24. Which depth cue best explains that we are able to perceive a tall building to be in front of hills about a mile away?

(A) interposition

(B) texture gradient

(C) retinal disparity

(D) convergence

(E) the phi phenomenon

25. A psychophysicist would be most concerned with the relationship between physical characteristics of stimuli and

(A) our physical reaction to stress

(B) transduction

(C) our psychological interpretation of the stimuli

(D) signal detection

(E) our absolute tolerance

26. Gate-control theory suggests that large fiber activity in the spinal cord can

(A) trigger stimulation in the basilar membrane

(B) prevent chemical signals from reaching the olfactory bulb

(C) prevent pain signals from reaching the brain

(D) stimulate pain signals in the brain

(E) stimulate activity in the fovea

27. Alpha and beta waves are characteristic of

(A) conscious awareness

(B) NREM 1 sleep

(C) NREM 2 sleep

(D) NREM 3 sleep

(E) REM sleep

28. Monitoring by a hidden observer provides evidence for which theory of hypnosis?

(A) dissociation

(B) state

(C) diathesis-stress

(D) place

(E) activation-synthesis

29. Which of the following are stimulants?

(A) methamphetamine and codeine

(B) caffeine and morphine

(C) nicotine and cocaine

(D) alcohol and benzedrine

(E) marijuana and LSD

30. Because of her demanding work schedule, Blanche has not been able to sleep for 48 hours. She will most likely experience

(A) hallucinations and delusions

(B) insomnia

(C) symptoms similar to those found in psychosis

(D) inattention, staring, and hand tremors

(E) a hunger deficit

31. Which of the following is the result of learning?

(A) Salmon swim upstream in order to spawn.

(B) A neonate cries immediately after birth.

(C) A man blinks when a puff of air is blown into his eyes.

(D) A boy cringes when he sees lightning.

(E) A girl falls asleep when she feels tired.

32. In classical conditioning, between what two factors is a new association formed?

(A) reinforcer and unconditioned stimulus

(B) reinforcer and unconditioned response

(C) reinforcer and conditioned response

(D) unconditioned stimulus and conditioned stimulus

(E) unconditioned stimulus and unconditioned response

33. Although the pigeon was trained to peck at a yellow light, it pecks at green, red, and orange lights, too. This behavior indicates the pecking behavior has been

(A) discriminated

(B) generalized

(C) extinguished

(D) spontaneously recovered

(E) punished

34. When alarms on timers started going off in the back of the classroom, students were distracted, but the teacher continued lecturing. As more alarms went off, one student got up, and the teacher nodded. The student walked toward the back of the room, and the teacher nodded. The student turned the alarms off, and the teacher thanked him. What operant conditioning process does this best illustrate?

(A) shaping

(B) generalization

(C) discrimination

(D) extinction

(E) omission training

35. After Tom’s parents told him not to take his father’s car to the movies, he did anyway. As a result, his parents took away Tom’s car keys and told him he was not permitted to drive for a month. Taking away the car keys and not letting Tom drive for a month exemplifies

(A) positive reinforcement

(B) positive punishment

(C) negative reinforcement

(D) negative punishment

(E) insight learning

36. JoBeth watched her mother cook dinner, then went to her room, made believe she was cooking the same dinner, and served it to her stuffed toys. JoBeth learned to cook like her mother by

(A) insight learning

(B) classical conditioning

(C) operant conditioning

(D) observational learning

(E) maturation

37. Richard is generally a happy person and smiles frequently. However, he has a hard time smiling and is more likely to frown while watching his sister frown. Recent research tends to support the theory that Richard’s reaction to his sister’s emotion may be due to

(A) sympathetic nervous system activity

(B) mirror neurons

(C) intrinsic motives

(D) approach−avoidance conflict

(E) cognitive maps

38. The greatest degree of resistance to extinction is typically found in which type of reinforcement schedule?

(A) continuous

(B) fixed ratio

(C) variable ratio

(D) fixed interval

(E) variable interval

39. In describing a ball that is both red and big, we say, “Big red ball,” rather than “Red big ball,” in the English language. Such a rule about word order is a specific rule of

(A) grammar

(B) syntax

(C) semantics

(D) spelling

(E) deep structure

40. Ralph thinks senior citizens are the ones who back up traffic on parkway entrance ramps because senior citizens are hesitant drivers. Every time he sees lots of cars waiting to enter the parkway, he looks to see who is driving the front car. If a senior citizen is in the driver’s seat, he points it out to passengers in his car. Ralph is evidencing

(A) confirmation bias

(B) hindsight bias

(C) groupthink

(D) the availability heuristic

(E) the representativeness heuristic

41. Jho remembers which wavelengths of light are shorter than others by recalling ROYGBIV. ROYGBIV is an example of

(A) a mnemonic device

(B) the method of loci

(C) the self-reference effect

(D) constructive memory

(E) the representativeness heuristic

42. Knowing how to ride a bicycle is stored in which of our memory subsystems?

(A) explicit

(B) implicit

(C) semantic

(D) episodic

(E) declarative

43. Rather than taking the time to check the dictionary, Vinny used “i before e, except after c” to decide the spelling of “niether” (sic). To solve his spelling problem, Vinny applied

(A) Weber’s law

(B) an algorithm

(C) the law of effect

(D) the misinformation effect

(E) a heuristic

44. After hearing this list of words, “Night, snore, bed, tired, pillow, dark, yawn, blanket, toss, turn,” subjects were asked to write the words they heard. They frequently included the word sleep. This illustrates

(A) source amnesia

(B) procedural memory

(C) constructive memory

(D) retroactive interference

(E) proactive interference

45. When Sally moved to a new city, she didn’t know where to find the spices she needed in the unfamiliar supermarket. As a result, Sally walked up and down each aisle until she located the spices in the same aisle as the baking supplies. The strategy Sally used to solve her problem best illustrates

(A) trial and error

(B) the availability heuristic

(C) representativeness heuristic

(D) an algorithm

(E) the belief perseverance

46. A phoneme is

(A) a set of rules for language

(B) a word or letter added to the end of another

(C) a word or letter placed before another

(D) the smallest meaningful unit of language

(E) the smallest distinctive sound unit of language

47. According to the drive reduction theory, the aim of drive reduction is

(A) raising motivation

(B) homeostasis

(C) incentive

(D) to maintain a tension state

(E) to increase arousal

48. After Madison got home from the buffet (at which she stuffed herself), she went to the bathroom and made herself throw up. She does this every time she binges on food. She thinks about food a lot, craves chocolate, and would be considered of average weight. Madison is most likely suffering from

(A) anorexia nervosa

(B) bulimia nervosa

(C) set point depression

(D) panic disorder

(E) type A behavior

49. Physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience best characterize

(A) the two-factor theory

(B) motives

(C) incentives

(D) drives

(E) emotions

50. Physiological arousal is characterized by which of the following?

(A) contracted pupils and increased perspiration

(B) slowed digestion and accelerated heartbeat

(C) increased respiration and increased salivation

(D) contracted pupils and increased heartbeat

(E) dilated pupils and speeded digestion

51. Of the following, which means of communication is the most universal?

(A) English language

(B) hand gestures

(C) facial expressions

(D) vocal intonation

(E) bowing

52. After a portion of a rat’s brain is destroyed, a scientist records dramatic weight gain in the rat. The portion of the rat’s brain that was destroyed is most likely

(A) the hippocampus

(B) the hypothalamus

(C) the corpus callosum

(D) the angular gyrus

(E) Wernicke’s area

53. As a race-car driver waits for the green flag to begin the race, his heartbeat increases and his mouth becomes dry. This is a result of increased

(A) amines

(B) serotonin

(C) cortisone

(D) adrenaline

(E) endorphins

54. Which of the following is an example of extrinsic motivation?

(A) dieting to become healthier

(B) going for a run because it relaxes you

(C) volunteering at the shelter to help others

(D) learning a new language because you find it interesting

(E) improving your golf score to earn more money while on tour

55. A person with X, X, and Y sex chromosomes must be

(A) heterosexual

(B) homosexual

(C) bisexual

(D) male

(E) female

56. According to Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, the upper limit of a child’s zone of proximal development is the level at which the child can

(A) solve a problem only with the help of a skilled instructor

(B) solve a difficult problem working alone

(C) recognize that the volume of a liquid stays the same whether it is in a tall, narrow container or a short, wide container

(D) use metacognitive skills to solve a problem

(E) perform logical deductions

57. Chemicals that cause birth defects are

(A) morphogenic

(B) homophobic

(C) homeostatic

(D) teratogenic

(E) pathogenic

58. Which controversy deals with the question of whether development is a gradual, cumulative change or a sequence of distinct stages?

(A) nature versus nurture

(B) continuity versus discontinuity

(C) stability versus change

(D) evolution versus creationism

(E) individualism versus collectivism

59. Darren is a happily married man who is a successful nursery school teacher. According to traditionalists, he has adopted the wrong

(A) gender

(B) gender identity

(C) gender role

(D) sex

(E) sexual orientation

60. The correct sequence of prenatal developmental stages is

(A) zygote, embryo, fetus

(B) embryo, fetus, zygote

(C) embryo, zygote, fetus

(D) zygote, fetus, embryo

(E) fetus, zygote, embryo

61. Frances, an 85-year-old retired teacher, feels that her life has been valued and she has made a positive impact on the lives of others. According to Erikson, Frances has achieved a sense of

(A) industry

(B) integrity

(C) generativity

(D) initiative

(E) autonomy

62. A marriage counselor can estimate a couple’s marital satisfaction by the

(A) wife’s positive attitude toward the marriage

(B) husband’s experience in a prior marriage

(C) frequency of the couple’s sexual activity

(D) ratio of their positive and negative interactions with each other

(E) all of the above

63. Freud’s personality construct that contains psychic energy to power all personality systems and is guided by the pleasure principle is the

(A) id

(B) ego

(C) superego

(D) libido

(E) collective unconscious

64. After Rowena’s boyfriend broke up with her, Rowena had a hot fudge sundae with four scoops of ice cream and whipped cream on top. Which defense mechanism does this exemplify?

(A) projection

(B) rationalization

(C) reaction formation

(D) regression

(E) displacement

65. Aurora enjoys playing with her young nieces and nephews because they always laugh and tell her how much fun she is. So Aurora goes out of her way to visit them. Her behavior is best explained by

(A) Sternberg’s triarchic theory

(B) Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory

(C) Hering’s opponent process theory

(D) the halo effect

(E) Bandura’s reciprocal determinism theory

66. Rolf is very reserved, is inner-directed, would rather be alone than with lots of people, rarely displays emotions, and is level-headed in an emergency. On Hans Eysenck’s dimensions of personality, Rolf would be

(A) high on extroversion and high on psychoticism

(B) high on neuroticism and high on psychoticism

(C) high on extroversion and low on neuroticism

(D) low on extroversion and high on neuroticism

(E) low on extroversion and low on neuroticism

67. Social−cognitive theorists would disagree with which of the following statements?

(A) a positive sense of self will help a person succeed in a new situation

(B) addressing conflicts in our unconscious can help resolve current challenges

(C) individuals with high self-esteem will be more successful at continuing work on a difficult task

(D) past performance can help predict a person’s effectiveness in similar future circumstances

(E) observing police department trainees in simulated robberies can help determine a candidate’s potential

68. The statement “A musician must make music; an artist must paint; a poet must write if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself” was most likely said by

(A) Sigmund Freud

(B) Carl Rogers

(C) Hans Eysenck

(D) Abraham Maslow

(E) Karen Horney

69. When two-year old Tyler loses his toy, he throws a temper tantrum and stomps his feet on the floor. According to Freud, the boy’s tantrum is evidence that Tyler could not resist the demands of his

(A) id

(B) ego

(C) superego

(D) Oedipus complex

(E) Electra complex

70. The Rorschach inkblot test is

(A) a personality inventory

(B) used to fingerprint suspects

(C) an aptitude test

(D) an achievement test

(E) a projective personality test

71. In a normal distribution

(A) the range is always the same

(B) the standard deviation is equal to the range

(C) the standard deviation equals about 34 percent

(D) the median is equal to the mode

(E) the mean is equal to the standard deviation

72. Peter Salovey and John Mayer’s concept of emotional intelligence is most similar to which of Howard Gardner’s intelligences?

(A) analytic and practical

(B) naturalist and existential

(C) interpersonal and intrapersonal

(D) bodily/kinesthetic and verbal/linguistic

(E) spatial and logical

73. All good achievement tests should have

I. content validity

II. predictive validity

III. reliability

(A) I only

(B) II only

(C) III only

(D) I and III only

(E) I, II, and III

74. All polar bears appear to have a white coat at birth. In warmer climates about 25 percent appear to have yellow or green coats as they age because of algae growing on them. The heritability of the white coat phenotype is

(A) 0 percent

(B) 25 percent

(C) 50 percent

(D) 75 percent

(E) 100 percent

75. According to Claude Steele, self-fulfilling prophecy might account for the poorer performance of African Americans on intelligence tests and girls on mathematics achievement tests because of

(A) generalized anxiety disorder

(B) stereotype threat

(C) neuroticism

(D) the primacy effect

(E) psychological profiling

76. A process used to identify clusters or groups of related items on a test is called

(A) correlation

(B) factor analysis

(C) normative curve

(D) experimental design

(E) controlled variable

77. Although your friend thinks there is nothing wrong with her, you are concerned with her behavior of unplugging every electrical item in her house every time she leaves, including all lamps, radios, the television, toaster, clocks, and telephones. Her behavior might be considered abnormal because

(A) she doesn’t know right from wrong

(B) it is atypical and violates cultural norms

(C) she thinks it interferes with her everyday life

(D) it is insane

(E) it is dangerous

78. Which of the following perspectives attributes abnormal behavior to failure to resolve unconscious conflicts?

(A) biological

(B) behavioral

(C) psychoanalytic

(D) humanistic

(E) evolutionary

79. Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by

(A) unwarranted suspiciousness and mistrust of other people

(B) a lack of interest in social relationships

(C) a grandiose sense of one’s own importance

(D) instability revolving around problems of mood and thought processes

(E) pleasure-seeking, shallow feelings, lack of conscience

80. David thought he heard a dog telling him to kill people. Hearing the dog talking is an example of

(A) a hallucination

(B) a delusion

(C) inappropriate affect

(D) incoherent speech

(E) palsy

81. The intent of the DSM-5 is chiefly to

(A) classify psychological disorders

(B) treat psychological disorders

(C) prevent physiological disorders

(D) cure psychological disorders

(E) create labels of physiological disorders

82. One common characteristic among many people with antisocial personality disorder is that they tend to

(A) be young women with connections to gang violence

(B) lack remorse or shame

(C) fall in love easily

(D) appear nervous and insecure

(E) suffer from a psychological disorder

83. Which of the following is a positive symptom of schizophrenia?

(A) catatonia

(B) reduced speech

(C) social withdrawal

(D) delusions

(E) flat affect

84. According to the DSM-5, OCD is classified as:

(A) An Anxiety Disorder

(B) A Neurodevelopmental Disorder

(C) Obsessive-Complusive and Related Disorder

(D) Somatic Disorder

(E) Addictive Disorder

85. The American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)

(A) is meant to be used by psychiatrists but not psychologists

(B) describes the causes of a variety of mental disorders

(C) explains why homosexuality should be considered a mental disorder

(D) contains case illustrations to help diagnosticians identify a client’s disorder

(E) defines categories of mental disorders in terms of symptoms

86. Which is a behavioral therapy that has proved successful in treating phobias?

(A) electroconvulsive shock treatment

(B) group therapy

(C) psychosurgery

(D) systematic desensitization

(E) rational emotive therapy

87. Psychoanalytic therapy and humanistic therapy differ in that psychoanalytic therapy focuses on

(A) the present and humanistic therapy focuses on the future

(B) subconscious and preconscious thoughts and humanistic therapy focuses on conscious thoughts

(C) curing illness and humanistic therapy focuses on preventing illness

(D) fixations and humanistic therapy focuses on insight

(E) probing past feelings and humanistic therapy focuses on exploring feelings as they occur

88. Clients who drink too much alcohol are sometimes treated with a drug that causes nausea if the client consumes alcohol. This type of therapy is known as

(A) systematic desensitization

(B) progressive relaxation

(C) client-centered therapy

(D) aversive conditioning

(E) psychodynamic therapy

89. Light therapy, consisting of exposure to bright light in the morning, has been successful in relieving symptoms of

(A) dissociative amnesia

(B) seasonal affective disorder

(C) schizophrenia

(D) obsessive-compulsive disorder

(E) Alzheimer’s disease

90. Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil help elevate mood by

(A) increasing the availability of serotonin to postsynaptic neurons

(B) decreasing the availability of norepinephrine to postsynaptic neurons

(C) facilitating reuptake of serotonin

(D) acting as agonists of dopamine

(E) preventing reuptake of dopamine

91. Which of the following would not occur in Aaron Beck’s therapy for depression?

(A) gentle questions to reveal irrational thinking

(B) persuasion of the client to change his perception of his actions

(C) recognition of negative self-talk

(D) historical reconstruction, interpretation of resistance, and transference

(E) helping clients make more realistic appraisals

92. A college professor asked a biology teacher to let a college student observe her teaching for one period. After the student observed the teacher, the professor asked the teacher to accept the student as a student teacher for 10 weeks. She agreed. The strategy the professor used to get the teacher to agree is called

(A) cognitive dissonance

(B) foot-in-the-door phenomenon

(C) obedience to authority

(D) normative social influence

(E) conformity

93. As part of each lab, Ms. Geraci requires her students to wash their glassware so it is clean for the next class. She has found that the glassware is cleaner when students wash it in full view of their classmates. This is best explained by

(A) deindividuation

(B) the mere exposure effect

(C) social facilitation

(D) social loafing

(E) superordinate goals

94. In Heartsaver AED training, the American Heart Association teaches rescuers to direct specific people standing around the victim to do specific jobs, such as calling 911. Directing specific people to perform these jobs prevents

(A) the victim from dying

(B) people from feeling scared

(C) group polarization

(D) the bystander effect

(E) a social trap

95. According to group polarization studies, after Mary and Marie (who are strongly in favor of the death penalty) discuss the issue with Lisa and Liza (who are strongly opposed to the death penalty), it is likely that

(A) all of them will be more strongly in favor of the death penalty

(B) all of them will be more strongly opposed to the death penalty

(C) Mary and Marie will be more strongly in favor of the death penalty than before and Lisa and Liza will be more strongly opposed to the death penalty than before

(D) Mary and Marie will be less strongly in favor of the death penalty and Lisa and Liza will be less strongly opposed to the death penalty

(E) Mary and Marie will be opposed to the death penalty, and Lisa and Liza will be in favor of the death penalty

96. The field of psychology that examines how the behavior and subjective experiences of individuals are influenced by other people is

(A) sociobiology

(B) sociology

(C) social psychology

(D) social anthropology

(E) psychopathology

97. According to evolutionary psychologists, in making a decision to help in life-or-death situations, most people will choose to help

(A) cousins sooner than siblings

(B) ill people rather than healthy people

(C) poor people rather than wealthy people

(D) close friends rather than close relatives

(E) sisters in their 20s rather than mothers in their 50s

98. When their waitress spills a drink and forgets to bring their salads, James and Kim assume she is a bad waitress instead of entertaining the possibility that she may be having an off day. James and Kim are most likely committing

(A) a fundamental attribution error

(B) peripheral route persuasion

(C) central route persuasion

(D) cognitive dissonance

(E) deindividuation

99. The distinction between prejudice and discrimination is that prejudice is __________ and discrimination is __________.

(A) found among groups; found among individuals

(B) unconscious; conscious

(C) a negative behavior; a negative attitude

(D) a negative attitude; a negative behavior

(E) a negative attitude; a positive behavior

100. Solomon Asch’s well-known experiment in which subjects were asked to identify similar lines, after confederates responded incorrectly, supported the theory of

(A) social loafing

(B) conformity

(C) mimicry

(D) obedience

(E) social facilitation


Image Answers and Explanations, Section I

1. C—(Chapter 5) The evolutionary approach looks at behaviors that have resulted from natural selection. Natural selection operates at the population or species level; an organism doesn’t evolve; a population or species does.

2. D—(Chapter 5) The humanistic approach views human nature as naturally positive and growth seeking.

3. B—(Chapter 5) While both counseling and clinical psychologists treat people, only clinical psychologists are trained to help people suffering from psychoses and other severe mental disorders.

4. D—(Chapter 5) Observation of your own mental state is a characteristic of introspection, a technique used by Wundt and Titchener.

5. D—(Chapter 5) The form with 30 questions is a questionnaire. Questionnaires and interviews are survey methods.

6. B—(Chapter 5) While people for the study can be randomly chosen from the population, they cannot be divided into the experimental and control groups without considering their sex. If sex must be considered, the subjects cannot be randomly assigned.

7. E—(Chapter 5) A scatterplot shows points on a graph. The points are determined by the values of the score on each test. For example, the score on the first test could be the x value and the score on the final could be the y value for each student. The points form a pattern. If, for example, the pattern extends from the lower left to the upper right of the graph, the correlation between the first and final exams is positive.

8. D—(Chapter 5) Both the mean and the median are 5 for each set. Adding all scores for each set, the sum is 25. Dividing by the number of scores (7) the mean is 5. The middle score for each set, when put in order, is the median. Set 1 does not have a mode.

9. E—(Chapter 5) The mean, median, and mode are measures of centrality and do not tell anything about variability. The range is a crude measure that can be misleading for this set, because 32 is so different from the rest of the set. Standard deviation is a more sensitive measure of variability.

10. C—(Chapter 5) A case study is a research method in which an individual or small group is studied in depth.

11. E—(Chapter 5) The APA Ethics Code stresses the importance of researchers protecting their subjects from harm, obtaining potential participants’ informed consent, keeping information about the subjects confidential, and fully debriefing the experiment upon its conclusion. The guidelines provide strict direction on the morality of experimentation in the wake of the Little Albert Study of 1920, the Monkey Drug Trials of 1969, and Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Study of the 1960s, to name just a few examples.

12. E—(Chapter 6) Functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography enable psychologists to see the parts of the brain that are functioning when a subject is engaged in a particular task. An electroencephalograph enables psychologists to see patterns of brain waves, but an electrocardiogram shows heart function. Computerized axial tomography and magnetic resonance imaging picture brain structure rather than function.

13. C—(Chapter 6) The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are subdivisions of the autonomic nervous system. Whereas the sympathetic usually speeds up the function of an organ, the parasympathetic typically slows it down.

14. A—(Chapter 6) A neuron is a single cell that transmits messages in our bodies. Nerves, a reflex arc, and the brain are composed of neurons. An axon is part of a neuron.

15. D—(Chapter 6) The adrenal glands secrete corticosteroids and adrenaline when we are stressed.

16. E—(Chapter 6) The tiny hypothalamus helps regulate hunger, thirst, body temperature, some biological rhythms, some emotions, heart rate, and other functions.

17. A—(Chapter 6) Starla probably has damage to Wernicke’s area, critical for understanding language, which is part of the left temporal lobe of the cerebral cortex.

18. B—(Chapter 6) Within a single neuron, communication is electrical, via the action potential; between neurons, communication is accomplished by neurotransmitters, which are chemicals released into the synapse by the end of a nerve fiber to trigger the action potential in the receiving end of a second nerve fiber.

19. A—(Chapter 6) If neuronal stimulation is strong enough, it will cause depolarization, which causes the electrical impulse, known as the action potential, that runs down the length of the axon.

20. C—(Chapter 7) Taste (gustation) and smell (olfaction) are the chemical senses. For the sense of smell, chemical energy of molecules is changed to the electrochemical energy of a neural impulse at the mucous membrane on the roof of the nose. This membrane is called the olfactory mucosa.

21. A—(Chapter 7) The hammer, anvil, and stirrup are the three tiny bones in the middle ear that transmit vibrations to the cochlea, where transduction takes place. If they are damaged, vibrations may not be transmitted, resulting in conduction deafness.

22. A—(Chapter 7) Since Hannah could hear a sound from farther away than Maya, she seems to have a lower absolute threshold for hearing than Maya.

23. C—(Chapter 7) Kinesthesis is your sense of body position and movement of individual body parts, with receptors in your muscles, tendons, and joints.

24. A—(Chapter 7) A mile is too far away for texture gradient, retinal disparity, and convergence to be factors in perceiving depth. At that distance, the fact that the building partially hides the hills behind it is a cue to which is closer.

25. C—(Chapter 7) Psychophysicists study the relationship between physical stimuli and mental phenomena, such as the psychological interpretation, or perception, of stimuli.

26. C—(Chapter 7) The gate control theory of pain states that nonpainful input closes gates to prevent pain messages from traveling to the central nervous system.

27. A—(Chapter 6) Alpha and beta waves characterize our awake states, whereas theta and delta waves are more characteristic of sleep states.

28. A—(Chapter 6) According to the dissociation theory, hypnotized individuals experience two or more streams of consciousness cut off from each other, where the hidden observer monitors behavior.

29. C—(Chapter 6) Methamphetamine, caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, and benzedrine are all classified as stimulants.

30. D—(Chapter 6) Sleep deprivation can lead to inattention, which is estimated to be the cause of at least 100,000 car accidents per year. It can also impact your thinking and learning and trigger irregular heartbeat and tremors.

31. D—(Chapter 8) Because of a learned association with loud thunder, lightning can evoke a cringing reaction. The other behaviors are unlearned, automatic behaviors.

32. D—(Chapter 8) Classical conditioning establishes an association between an unconditioned stimulus and a neutral stimulus that becomes a conditioned stimulus. The unconditioned stimulus is the reinforcer.

33. B—(Chapter 8) The pigeon does not discriminate among the different lights. Responding the same way to other colors of light as to yellow light is generalizing.

34. A—(Chapter 8) The teacher wanted someone to turn off the alarms. She reinforced closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior, which is known as shaping.

35. D—(Chapter 8) Tom wants to drive the car, but because of his behavior, his parents took the car away from him. Taking something away to DECREASE a behavior is called negative punishment.

36. D—(Chapter 8) JoBeth learned by observing her mother and imitating the behavior.

37. B—(Chapter 8) Mirror neurons fire when an animal acts and/or is observed by another animal. The neuron is said to “mirror” the behavior of the observed individual.

38. C—(Chapter 10) Extinction is a process of eliminating a behavior by stopping the delivery of reinforcers responsible for maintaining the behavior. Most psychologists consider extinction to be a process of continued learning. As a result, the schedule that reinforces the most continued learning would be the least resistant to extinction. Intermittent, or partial, reinforcement makes extinction slower or harder to accomplish. This would be the variable ratio. Since you never know when the next reinforcement is going to come, you are more likely to continue the behavior with the expectation of reinforcement.

39. B—(Chapter 9) Syntax is the set of rules that regulate the order in which words can be combined into grammatically sensible sentences in a language.

40. A—(Chapter 9) Ralph is looking only for instances that uphold his hypothesis, not for instances that disconfirm it, so he is showing the confirmation bias.

41. A—(Chapter 9) Mnemonic devices are memory tricks that help us retrieve information from long-term memory.

42. B—(Chapter 9) Implicit memory stores memories of procedural skills.

43. E—(Chapter 9) A heuristic is a “rule of thumb,” a shortcut to an answer that is usually, but not always, correct.

44. C—(Chapter 9) We often incorporate information that was not presented into our memories of events.

45. D—(Chapter 9) Sally’s problem-solving strategy is to walk through each aisle as she carefully searches for the spices. This process, although time-consuming, will guarantee her a positive result. An algorithm is a process or set of rules to follow to solve a problem successfully.

46. E—(Chapter 9) By definition, a phoneme is the smallest distinctive sound unit of language. As such b, ch, th, and ai are all phonemes. There are 44 phonemes in the English language.

47. B—(Chapter 11) Homeostasis is the maintenance of the steady state of metabolism in our bodies. Reestablishing equilibrium is the goal of drive reduction.

48. B—(Chapter 11) Bingeing and purging characterize bulimia nervosa.

49. E—(Chapter 11) All three factors define emotions.

50. B—(Chapter 11) The sympathetic nervous system is activated when the body is aroused, which dilates pupils, slows digestion, speeds the heart, speeds breathing, increases perspiration, etc.

51. C—(Chapter 11) Facial expressions seem to be universal across all cultures.

52. B—(Chapter 11) The hypothalamus is a region of the brain located below the thalamus that controls both the autonomic nervous system and the activity of the pituitary gland, controlling body temperature, thirst, hunger, and other homeostatic systems, and involved in sleep and emotional activity. The hormone leptin binds to receptors in the hypothalamus to signal the brain that the stomach is full. Destruction of the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus leaves the lateral hypothalamus to operate uninhibited, causing the rat to always feel hungry and become obese.

53. D—(Chapter 11) As adrenaline increases in the body, the sympathetic nervous system takes control, which increases heartbeat and glucose release by the liver and inhibits digestion. With the inhibition of digestion, production of saliva in the mouth will decrease.

54. E—(Chapter 11) Extrinsic motivation refers to behavior driven by external rewards such as money, fame, grades, and praise. To earn more money by improving your golf score is an extrinsic motivation.

55. D—(Chapter 10) The Y chromosome determines that the fertilized egg will develop into a male baby, no matter how many X chromosomes are present.

56. A—(Chapter 10) The lower limit is the level at which the child can solve the problem working alone, whereas the upper limit requires the child to work hard with a mentor to solve the problem.

57. D—(Chapter 10) Chemicals that damage the embryo or fetus, such as alcohol, are teratogens.

58. B—(Chapter 10) Continuity is gradual change and discontinuity occurs in stages.

59. C—(Chapter 10) As a happily married man, Darren seems to identify himself as a heterosexual male, which is appropriate according to traditionalists. Traditionally, however, nursery school teachers are women, so being a nursery school teacher would be regarded as an inappropriate role for a male.

60. A—(Chapter 10) A fertilized egg is called a zygote. Until about 8 weeks of development, it is considered an embryo. As development continues, it is called a fetus.

61. B—(Chapter 10) According to Erikson, the last stage of development, integrity versus despair, deals with self-reflection. As older adults, some people look back with a sense of contentment and fulfillment, feeling they have led a meaningful life and made a valuable contribution to society. Others may reflect upon their experiences and failures, developing a sense of despair during this stage.

62. D—(Chapter 10) Marital satisfaction can be estimated by assessing the positive and negative interactions a couple has. A spouse’s perception of his or her partner’s positive and negative behavior during marital interaction can further support the relationship or drive a wedge between the couple.

63. A—(Chapter 11) Of Freud’s three personality constructs (the id, ego, and superego), the id is the one guided by the pleasure principle.

64. D—(Chapter 11) Regression is a retreat to an earlier level of development characterized by more immature, pleasurable behavior (in this case, oral behavior).

65. E—(Chapter 11) Reciprocal determinism theory states that characteristics of the person, the person’s behavior, and the environment all affect one another in two-way causal relationships.

66. E—(Chapter 11) According to Eysenck, neuroticism is our level of instability and extroversion is our sociability.

67. B—(Chapter 11) Albert Bandura’s social learning theory emphasizes the importance of observational learning, imitation, and modeling. This includes the interaction between behavior, environmental factors, and personal factors—including cognition and affective and biological events—called the reciprocal causation model. As such, a social−cognitive theorist would not agree with the psychoanalytical approach of identifying and addressing unconscious conflicts.

68. D—(Chapter 11) Abraham Maslow created a hierarchy of needs, often portrayed as a triangle or pyramid, based on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, beginning at the bottom with basic physiological needs. The statement “A musician must make music; an artist must paint; a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself” emphasizes the drive to reach self-actualization, Maslow’s highest stage of fulfillment.

69. A—(Chapter 11) According to Freud’s model of the psyche, the superego provides standards for critical and moral judgment. The id operates on the pleasure principle and demands immediate gratification. The role of the ego is to mediate the demands of the other two. Tyler’s tantrum and foot stomping are due to the demands of his id and the desire for immediate gratification—and the return of his lost toy.

70. E—(Chapter 11) The Rorschach presents ambiguous inkblots so that test takers will project their unconscious thoughts or feelings onto them.

71. D—(Chapter 9) In a normal distribution, the mean, median, and mode are the same score.

72. C—(Chapter 9) Salovey and Mayer described emotional intelligence as the ability to perceive, express, understand, and regulate emotions.

73. D—(Chapter 9) All good tests must have content validity and reliability. Aptitude tests, but not achievement tests, must have predictive validity.

74. A—(Chapter 9) Heritability is the proportion of variation among individuals in a population that results from genetic causes. All polar bears inherit transparent hairs that appear white. None of the variation results from genetic causes.

75. B—(Chapter 9) Claude Steele hypothesizes that at least part of the difference in scores can be attributed to anxiety that influences members of a group concerned that their performance on a test will confirm a negative stereotype.

76. B—(Chapter 9) Factor analysis is a statistical technique used to find major trends in large amounts of data. It seeks to find similarities, clusters, or groups of related items. This technique can be used on large surveys to identify consistencies in an individual’s responses, as well as similarities among groups of respondents.

77. B—(Chapter 12) Abnormal behavior is statistically rare, violates cultural norms, personally interferes with day-to-day living, and legally may cause a person to be unable to know right from wrong. Her behavior seems bizarre to others but not to her.

78. C—(Chapter 12) According to Freudian theory, all abnormal behavior results from unconscious conflicts that have not been resolved.

79. C—(Chapter 12) Narcissistic personality is characterized by preoccupation with fantasies about ultimate power, riches, brilliance, or beauty, as well as an unwarranted sense of self-importance.

80. A—(Chapter 12) A hallucination is a sensory experience in the absence of an external stimulus, which in this case is hearing a voice that isn’t there.

81. A—(Chapter 12) The main purposes of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders are to both classify and diagnose psychological disorders. It does not discuss physiological disorders, nor does it offer any suggestions for treatment or cure.

82. B—(Chapter 12) Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by consistent lack of regard for right and wrong and the rights and feelings of others. People with antisocial personality disorder show no guilt or shame for their behavior. The disorder is more prevalent in men and symptoms often begin to appear as early as age 15. Because of these characteristics, people with this disorder typically can’t fulfill responsibilities related to family, work, or school.

83. D—(Chapter 12) Negative symptoms of schizophrenia refers to a lack of characteristics in patients that should be present, such as social withdrawal, reduced speech, and flat affect. Positive symptoms of schizophrenia are those that are overt and should not be present. As such, delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thought are positive symptoms.

84. C—(Chapter 16) Obsessive-compulsive disorder used to be classified as an Anxiety Disorder, but current research demonstrates the distinct neurochemistry of OCD compared to other Anxiety Disorders such as GAD or Panic Attacks.

85. E—(Chapter 12) DSM-5 classifies mental disorders into 22 major categories according to their symptoms.

86. D—(Chapter 12) Systematic desensitization is the only behavioral therapy listed. It has been very helpful in lessening fear step by step.

87. E—(Chapter 12) Humanistic therapy focuses on the present and future, conscious thoughts and feelings, and promoting growth. Psychoanalytic therapy focuses on unconscious thoughts and feelings in the past and on curing illness.

88. D—(Chapter 12) Aversive conditioning is a type of counterconditioning. An association is formed between an obnoxious stimulus (such as nausea) and an unwanted behavior (such as drinking alcohol).

89. B—(Chapter 12) Bright light exposure in the morning results in lower secretion of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and protects against depression.

90. A—(Chapter 12) Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil are classified as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), which prevent the presynaptic neuron from reabsorbing serotonin, leaving more serotonin in the synapse to bind to receptor sites on postsynaptic neurons, enabling them to fire.

91. D—(Chapter 12) Aaron Beck’s cognitive behavioral therapy is based on the idea that how we think, feel, and act are connected. Specifically, our thoughts determine our feelings and behavior. To treat depression, a cognitive behavioral therapist would help her client to identify when he makes negative interpretations and to identify behavioral patterns which reinforce the depressed thinking. This therapy helps people develop alternative thoughts and behaviors to reduce their psychological distress. This therapy would not include historical reconstruction, resistance, and transference, which are Freudian or psychoanalytical ideas.

92. B—(Chapter 13) Foot-in-the-door phenomenon is the tendency for a person who has agreed to a limited commitment to later agree to a more significant commitment.

93. C—(Chapter 13) Social facilitation is the improved performance of well-learned or simple tasks in the presence of others.

94. D—(Chapter 13) The bystander effect, the tendency for bystanders not to help someone in need when others are present, often results from diffusion of responsibility and lack of recognition of the need. Specifying someone to perform a specific task generally results in the person doing that job.

95. D—(Chapter 13) Research by Burnstein and Vinokur has shown that when a group is evenly split on an issue, participants in a discussion partially convince each other that their own positions are valid, and participants moderate their positions—but this seems to be true only when group members are evenly divided and equally passionate about their views.

96. C—(Chapter 13) Social psychology studies how the individual thinks about, influences, and relates to others and how others relate to him or her; sociology emphasizes the behavior and functions of groups.

97. E—(Chapter 13) According to evolutionary psychologists, our behavior tends to help perpetuate our genes. We are, thus, more likely to help close kin who are likely to reproduce than others. If we need to choose others to help in life-or-death situations, we will tend to choose those who may benefit us or our kin.

98. A—(Chapter 13) When analyzing the behavior of others, people tend to overestimate the contribution of personal disposition, or personality, and underestimate the contribution of the situation. In this case, by declaring that their waitress is bad, James and Kim have attributed her performance to enduring personality traits and do not consider that the waitress may have just received bad news, may be working a double shift, or may be covering for two colleagues who called in sick.

99. D—(Chapter 13) Prejudice is an attitude, which is usually negative, of prejudgment toward a group without a factual basis. Discrimination is differential treatment and harmful action against minorities. One can have prejudiced attitudes, which are affective, behavioral, and/or cognitive, but not act on them. Discrimination involves acting on the negative thoughts toward a person or group.

100. B—(Chapter 13) Solomon Asch’s experiment was designed to measure the extent to which social pressure from a group could influence a person to perform in a particular way. Conformity was dependent upon the size of the opposing majority group and its cohesiveness. If another person in the group, also a confederate of the experimenter, opposed the majority and gave a correct response, the subject was also more likely to provide a correct response—feeling social pressure from the dissenter as well.

Analyzing Your Performance on the Diagnostic Exam

The following exercise will help you quickly and easily identify the chapters in Step 4 that you most need to review for the AP Psychology exam. Revise your study plan so that you prioritize the chapters with which you had the most difficulty.

Look at your answer sheet and mark all the questions you missed. Then shade in or mark an X in the following boxes that correspond to the question numbers that you missed.

Chapter 5: Scientific Foundations


Chapter 6: Biological Bases of Behavior


Chapter 7: Sensation and Perception


Chapter 8: Learning


Chapter 9: Cognition, Language, and Intelligence


Chapter 10: Development


Chapter 11: Motivation, Emotion, and Personality


Chapter 12: Clinical Psychology


Chapter 13: Social Psychology


Did you answer all the questions correctly for any chapters? Did you get all or most of the questions wrong for any chapters? Note which ones. In using this review book, you don’t need to spend as much time on a chapter with which you are very familiar as you do with a chapter that puzzles you. If you found yourself saying “Huh?” or felt “clueless,” spend more time learning the material in that chapter. If you are not reading this for the first time at the beginning of May, you have probably left yourself time for reviewing the chapters where you missed the most questions.

Calculate Your Score

Do you want to know how your performance on the muliple-choice questions of diagnostic test would translate to an AP score. On the actual test, the 100 multiple-choice questions count for two-thirds of your score; the two free-response questions account for the remaining one-third of your score. But the following chart gives you an idea of how your performance on the multiple-choice questions alone would translate to an AP score.

Multiple-Choice Questions


Don’t worry if your score is low; you are just beginning your preparation for AP Psychology Exam. And this chapter has shown you which chapters you most need to review.

Now let’s try Section II of the diagnostic exam, the free-response questions.

The Diagnostic Exam


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:

[A] A study showed that after a car accident involving head trauma, many patients complain of similar symptoms. The most common of these symptoms are headache, dizziness, difficulty reading, and difficulty understanding what has been said to them. Discuss three possible areas of the brain that could be affected and why each affected area could cause the observed symptoms.

[B] Similar symptoms are found in employees of an industrial company. A researcher hired to analyze the symptoms believes a chemical, rather than head trauma, may be the cause. Design and describe a study the researcher could perform to test this hypothesis. In your description, you should include a description of how each of the following would apply to your study:

• Population

• Subject selection

• Illusory correlation

• Correlation coefficient

• Potential confounding variable

• Ethics

Essay 2:

Often misunderstood, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a psychological disorder affecting approximately 1.5 percent of the population. In addition to treating the disorder, psychologists work to identify its nature and origin, as well as help parents work with their affected child.

• Identify two characteristic symptoms used to diagnose ASD.

• Discuss two risk factors associated with the potential for ASD.

• Describe one medical treatment and identify a risk inherent in the use of this treatment in ASD.

• Describe one psychological treatment for ASD.

• People sometimes confuse ASD with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Identify two characteristics that differentiate ADHD from autism spectrum disorder.


Image Answers and Explanations, Section II

Essay 1

Scoring Rubric for Essay 1

This is a 9-point essay: 1 point for each of three areas of the brain affected by head trauma, including observed symptoms, and 1 point for a description of how each term in [B] applies to the study described.

Note: For all of part [A], responses should explain how each area of the brain plays a role in one of the symptoms mentioned in the essay. Three of the four symptoms must be explained.

Points 1−3: Explanation of source of headache, such as neuroinflammation and release of neurotransmitters.

(Exception: Stating the headache is caused by head trauma without identifying damage to brain.)

Explanation of source of dizziness, such as vestibular disruption of basilar membrane of inner ear or cerebellar damage.

Explanation of source of difficulty reading, such as injury to any region of the brain involved in the visual or comprehensive process of reading.

Explanation of source of impaired auditory comprehension, including Wernicke’s area.

Points 4−9: Design an experiment.

1 point for Population—Target population is the entire group of individuals or employees in the industrial facility to which researchers are interested in generalizing their conclusions. The research population comprises the experimental and control groups, a smaller portion of the target population, through which generalizations can be made.

1 point for Subject selection—a subgroup of the target population to be selected at random so that each individual has an equal chance of being put in either the experimental or control group.

1 point for Illusory correlation—which occurs when an event appears to be related to the cause(s) of the symptoms but where in reality no relationship exists.

1 point for Correlation coefficient—a measure of how closely the symptoms displayed by the subjects are related to the presence of the chemical.

1 point for Confounding variables—those forces which may be at work to skew the experiment, such as fatigue, eye strain, cold/flu, etc., that may appear to present similar symptoms in the population.

1 point for Ethics—the essay must address appropriate experimental consideration of all subjects, following appropriate ethical guidelines.

Sample Essay

A traumatic brain injury can occur as a result of any force that penetrates or fractures the skull. Traumatic brain injury from a car accident may affect many parts of the brain. The likelihood is that the victim’s head either struck the windshield or a side window or was jarred resulting in a concussive force.

Post-traumatic headache may be caused by cellular injury which increases the concentration of extracellular potassium, triggering neuronal depolarization and the release of neurotransmitters that promote headaches. Neuroinflammation can be characterized by the activation of microglia and the release of proinflammatory chemicals, including chemokines. Dizziness may be caused by a vestibular disruption as a dysfunction of the basilar membrane of the semicircular canals of the inner ear, or a dysfunction of the part of the cerebellum that controls balance and equilibrium. A number of brain regions are involved in reading and comprehension. Broca’s area in the frontal lobe controls the production of speech and language. The angular and supramarginal gyri link different parts of the brain so that letter shapes can be interpreted and combined to form words. The temporal lobe is responsible for phonological awareness for decoding and discriminating sounds. Damage to any one of these areas during a car accident will result in difficulty reading. Damage to the eyes, cornea, lens, or optic nerve might create visual disturbances which will also lead to difficulty reading. Damage to Wernicke’s area located in the temporal lobe will result in a victim’s inability to comprehend language, making it difficult to understand what others are saying.

To determine if a chemical were to cause similar symptoms in an industrial facility, a researcher would conduct an experiment in which sample employees would be divided into two groups, the research population. One group would be exposed to the chemical in question and the other would not, acting as the experimental and control groups, respectively. Since the target population, or the entire roster of employees, is probably too large to investigate, the researcher would select a portion of the employees as the experimental or research population. All employees of the company would have an equal chance of being selected for the experiment. The researcher might choose to use every fourth person who reports to work on a single day as the selection criteria. Random assignment would also be utilized to place participants into the experimental or control group. Random selection is essential to external validity, or the extent to which the researcher can use the results of the study to generalize to the larger population. Random assignment is necessary for internal validity, which allows the researcher to make causal claims about the effect of the chemical. Both the experimental and control groups would be given specific tasks to perform, such as reading a passage and responding to comprehension questions, assembling a puzzle, or other fine-motor skill tasks. The researcher will collect data based on scores, time for completion, and/or accuracy. The employees assigned to the experimental group would conduct their tasks while being exposed to the chemical in question. Those in the control group would work in an environment clean of any chemicals. Data on the results of the performance by two groups will be collected and compared.

The researcher should be aware of the potential for any illusory correlations, or those events that appear to be related in which, in fact, no relationship exists. The evidence may suggest that the presence of a particular chemical has caused the headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms, but it may be due to other factors. One can state that there is a particular chemical present in the industrial building and that many employees have headaches. To state that the chemical has caused the headaches requires experimental evidence. While presenting the data collected from the experiment, the correlation coefficient will indicate how closely the symptoms are related to the presence of the chemical. A strong relationship will have a coefficient value closer to 1.0. A negative correlation will indicate that as one variable increases, in this experiment it would be the level of chemical, the other variable, in this case the symptoms, would decrease. A positive correlation will indicate that as one variable increases, so does the other. A strong positive correlation with a high positive coefficient will indicate a strong relationship between the presence of the chemical and the employees’ symptoms.

Confounding variables may pose a hurdle to the success of the researcher’s efforts. An example of this may be employees having difficulty reading directions due to fatigue or eye strain in the workplace. Headaches may be caused by the prevalence of loud noises or poor lighting in the workplace rather than the chemical in question.

Any experiment using live subjects requires strict use of appropriate ethical guidelines. Subjects should be made aware of the purpose of the experiment and what they could expect to experience. This includes an understanding of the potential dangers that may arise as a result of exposure to the chemical in question. Long-term effects of this exposure might be unknown.

Essay 2

Scoring Rubric for Essay 2

This is a 9-point essay.

Points 1—2: Two characteristic symptoms of ASD can include any of the following: ongoing social problems; difficulty communicating and/or interacting with others; repetitive behaviors; limited interests or activities; manifestations that typically are recognized in the first two years of life; attributes that impede the individual’s ability to function socially, at school or work, or in other life activities.

Points 3−4: Two risk factors may include gender, siblings with ASD, older parents at time of birth, and genetic conditions such as Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis.

Points 5−6: Medication and inherent risk period Several medications are used to treat symptoms of ASD. Examples of the medications and associated risks are shown in the following table.


Point 7: Psychological treatment. Early integrated developmental and behavioral interventions for ASD include family training, speech therapy, hearing impairment therapy, nutritional services, physical therapy, behavioral management therapy, cognitive therapy, joint attention therapy, and social skills training.

Points 8−9: Two characteristics that differentiate ADHD and ASD can include how the brain develops in ADHD and how children with ASD struggle to focus on things they dislike while those with ADHD lose interest and avoid focusing on things they dislike.


Sample Essay

Autism spectrum disorder is group of developmental disorders which encompass a wide range, or spectrum, of symptoms, levels of disability, and skills. The severity and characteristics of the symptoms can vary greatly from one individual to the next. The most common may include ongoing social problems, including difficulty communicating and interacting with others. Children with autism spectrum disorder find it difficult to make eye contact with others. They exhibit repetitive behaviors such as rocking, hand movements, and repetitive sounds or words. They display limited interests or activities, with intense focus on a singular item, theme, or color. Symptoms typically are recognized in the first two years of life and may impede the individual’s ability to function socially, at school or work, or other areas of life.

Risk factors that may contribute to the likelihood of a child developing autism spectrum disorder include being born to older parents, typically a mother over 35 years and/or father over 40 years. Research at the University of California, Davis, has shown that the risk of developing the disorder was higher if an older sibling has also been diagnosed with it. Younger male siblings were three times more likely to have autism than their female counterparts. About 20% of children with autism also have other genetic disorders such as Down syndrome or fragile X syndrome according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

No medication currently available can cure autism spectrum disorder, but there are a number of drugs that can treat certain symptoms, especially the behavioral ones. Most of these drugs, however, have their own list of side effects. One such medical treatment is the drug risperidone (Risperdal), which can suppress irritability in children between the ages of 5 and 16. It is often prescribed to treat schizophrenia and helps to rebalance the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin to improve thinking, mood, and behavior. Some people may develop muscle-related side effects such as tardive dyskinesia while taking risperidone. Symptoms include slow or jerky involuntary movements that cannot be controlled, often starting in the mouth with tongue rolling or chewing movements. Less risky side effects of taking Risperdal include anxiety, insomnia, and muscle spasms or tics.

The most effective psychological treatment for autism spectrum disorder includes early identification and early intervention, which is most likely to have positive effects on symptoms and skills as children grow. Because of the wide variety of symptoms, there can be a smorgasbord of treatments. One such treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on the connections between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The therapist, the person with the disorder, and his/her parents work together to create a therapeutic plan to address specific established goals. The child learns to identify and change thoughts that lead to negative feelings, repetitive behaviors, or instances of social withdrawal. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on creating solutions, encouraging children to challenge distorted cognitions and change their destructive patterns of behavior.

Although autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may have similar symptoms, there are some distinct differences. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a biological condition making it difficult for children to concentrate, focus, or curb impulses. Autism spectrum disorder is a neuro-developmental condition that causes children to have challenges with social skills, communication, and thinking. Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder lose interest and avoid focus on things that require concentration, engage best with others and have difficulty remaining self-occupied, tend to talk non-stop, are likely to interrupt, can talk at length about areas of interest, and do not like doing the same thing, or for long periods of time. Conversely, children with autism spectrum disorder struggle to focus on things they dislike, tend to be self-centered, and can remain occupied by themselves for extended periods, have difficulty putting thoughts and feelings into words, crave order and repetition, and avoid making direct eye contact.

Calculate Your Score

Now you can see how your performance on the complete diagnostic test would translate to an AP score. But beware; this is just a estimate of what your score at this time would be. Use it to track your progress as you begin your preparation for the AP Psychology Exam.