Practice Test 3: Answers and Explanations
Part VII: Additional Practice Tests
MULTIPLE-CHOICE SECTION: ANSWERS AND EXPLANATIONS
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Circle heritability and environment. Predict the Answer: (A), the nature versus nurture debate, wins the prize. Don’t overcomplicate it. If you need help, turn to POE. Besides (A), only (B) is about the relationship between two things, really—and it’s between consciousness (the mind) and the body, so it isn’t about your key words. Choices (C), (D), and (E) aren’t related to heredity or the environment either. Choice (C) is the concept that humans are born with a blank slate. Choice (D) is about neurons going to and from the brain. Choice (E) is a term from psychoanalytic psychology.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle sympathetic nervous system. Predict the answer: What does it do for us? Primes us to fight or run away in response to perceived danger, that’s what. Choice (B) is the answer. Look to POE if you can’t remember. Choices (C) and (D) are both stages in response to stress, but not associated primarily with the sympathetic nervous system. Neither is (A), chronic stress. Although the immune system can be affected by prolonged stress, (E), impaired immune systems, is an outlier.
Understand the Question/Circle Key Words: The test that measures intelligence is…Predict the Answer: The Stanford-Binet Test, so (E) is the answer. Use POE to immediately strike out (C), as achievement tests measure achievement (such as knowledge of a subject, like an AP test!). Ditto (D), which is a method of determining validity, not a test itself. Choices (A) and (B) are both popular tests of personality, rather than intelligence.
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Circle founder and science of psychology. Predict the Answer: Who founded psychology as a science? The answer is (A), William Wundt. The others were important to a part of the discipline, but not founders of it. They all fall when you use POE. Titchener, (B), brought psychology to the U.S. Freud, (C), was certainly a founder of psychoanalysis, but not of the entire discipline of psychology. Skinner, (D), is well-known for his research into conditioning, another part. And (E), Rene Descartes, was a philosopher about body and mind interaction—important to the beginnings of psychology, but not a founder of the discipline.
Understand the Question/Key Words: The words to circle are eats and vomits. Predict the Answer: What’s going on when eating and vomiting are conjoined? (D), bulimia nervosa. Choice (C), binge eating disorder, is the only other thing that even comes close, and in it, people don’t purge. Choice (B) is characterized by not eating, while (A), pica, is an eating disorder characterized by a craving for non-nutritive substances like chalk. Choice (E) is a type of disorder that is not related to eating at all.
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Circle cell and color. Predict the Answer: Cones enable color vision, so (D) is the answer. All of the others are about visual anatomy, yes, but not about color vision, so they can all be eliminated.
Understand the Question/Key Words: What do we experience when we feel a conflict between inner beliefs and outer behavior? Circle Festinger and conflict. Predict the Answer: cognitive dissonance! Festinger theorized that a difference between our inner beliefs and our outer behavior caused dissonance, or conflict, within our minds. Use POE. Does (A), general adaptation syndrome, have to do with conflict? No. Cross it off. Does (B), learned helplessness, have to do with inner conflict? Nope. Choice (D), fluid intelligence, bites the dust because it doesn’t have anything to do with conflict and neither does (E), mere exposure effect. Choice (C) rings the bell!
Understand the Question/Key Words: What’s the reflex when a baby grabs an object placed in their hands? Predict the Answer: It’s (B), the palmar reflex. Think palmar = palm and you’re close. If you came up empty, eliminate what you can. You can guess it’s not (C) or (D), right? The term gives away what the baby does (turns her head and sucks, respectively). Don’t think it’s (D) because babies suck a pacifier—that’s falling for a trick. Choice (A), the Moro reflex, is splaying out limbs in response to loss of support. Choice (E), the Babinski reflex, is splaying out toes in response to strokes on the soles of the feet.
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Circle behaviorist. Predict the Answer: Behaviorists seek to impact behavior through conditioning, such as reward and punishment, so (A) is the answer. Choice (B) is associated with humanistic psychology, and (C) would interest a psychoanalyst. In (D), thoughts are characteristic of cognitive psychology, and (E) would be of interest to behavioral geneticists.
Understand the Question/Key Words: You’re looking for why students who are excellent as individuals would produce a less than excellent group project. Predict the Answer: Social loafing, (D), refers to the tendency of people to expend less effort if they’re in a group. Bingo. You can eliminate (B) right off the bat because a mindguard is a person who polices group opinions in groupthink. Role exit means someone is leaving one role for another, and role conflict means that there is tension between two or more different roles; neither is relevant, so (C) and (E) can be eliminated. There is no explicit language about anyone making anyone else feel inhibited, so (A) can be eliminated.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle hospital and mentally ill. Predict the Answer: Choice (E), Dorothea Dix, was instrumental in establishing a hospital for the mentally ill in the U.S. Choice (D), Edward Titchener, is often credited with bringing psychology to the U.S., but not specifically associated with the mentally ill. All the other choices are significant women in psychology, but have nothing to do with a focus on mental illness: (A) was a significant developmental psychologist; (B) was the first woman psychology graduate student; (C) was the first to earn a PhD.
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Circle master gland. Predict the Answer: It’s (A), the pituitary gland. POE and keywords can slay this one if you’re not sure. Only (B) and (E) are glands. Are they as primary as the pituitary? No, so out they both go. Choice (C) is part of the brain and (D) is a neurotransmitter, so they both bite the dust too.
Understand the Question/Circle Key Words: Circle Gardner and intelligence. Plus EXCEPT, of course. Predict the Answer: Gardner is well-known for believing there were many different types of intelligence. The one he didn’t name is (C), creative. All the others are types he did posit existed. Although some of these, like musical, are forms of creativity, he didn’t specifically name creative as a type.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle the words social psychologist and obedience. Predict the Answer: Milgram, (B), is known for research experiments in which people were instructed to give shocks to “learners,” to test obedience. If you don’t recall, use POE to get rid of the ones who aren’t social psychologists. B.F. Skinner is a behaviorist who focused on conditioned responses. He’s off the list. Abraham Maslow is a humanistic psychologist, and Mary Ainsworth and Jean Piaget are both developmental psychologists who focused on personality development in children. The answer is (B).
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle psychoanalytic theory. Also the three-letter word NOT, of course! Predict the Answer: The only one that isn’t part of psychoanalytic treatment is (D), incongruence, which is what Carl Rogers, a humanistic practitioner, posited we feel when encountering discrepancies between our self-concept and actual thoughts and behaviors. In other words, (D) is from a different school than psychoanalytic theory, so it’s the right answer.
Understand the Question/Circle Key Words: Circle Pavlov. Predict the Answer: Pavlov is known for his experiments with what? Dogs! Pavlov’s dog has entered the lexicon as a famous phrase. The discovery led him to classical conditioning, where an initially neutral stimulus takes on meaning. Right away hone in on (B) as your answer. Everything else can immediately be eliminated.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle over and over and remember. Predict the Answer: Doing something over and over to remember it is a form of maintenance rehearsal, so (B) wins the prize. Doing anything over and over to remember is a type of rehearsal, so right away POE should have led you to zoom in on (A) or (B) as the only potential answers, eliminating (C), (D), and (E). And it’s not (A) because that requires more, well, elaborate cognitive processes of organizing information.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Hanna is rewarded after a specific, or fixed, number of times she does something. Predict the Answer: Choice (E), fixed-ratio, is the answer. Use POE if you don’t recall. The reward isn’t (A), continuous, so that falls by the wayside. It’s not variable, either, so get rid of (B) and (D). Did (C), fixed-interval, seem enticing? An interval is a time period, not a fixed number, like fixed-ratio is. (E) is the answer.
Circle the Keywords/Understand the Question: Circle conventional and moral development. Predict the Answer: In the conventional stage, people follow the moral rules of society, especially those dictated by authority figures. Yep, (E) is the answer. Not sure? Look at those key words and get your POE on. Conventional often equals following what everybody else does, so neither (A) nor (B) fit, because they’re about avoiding or obtaining a specific thing. (Plus, they’re the preconventional stage.) Maintaining order, (C), doesn’t fit either. Defining for oneself doesn’t sound like conventional at all, so strike out (D). (It’s postconventional.)
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle Lazarus, first stage and stress. Predict the Answer: Lazarus believed that the first thing we do when encountering a stressor is evaluate it. What would that be called? Yep, primary appraisal, so (A) is correct. POE on this should lead you to get rid of (B) and (E) right off the bat, because neither exhaustion or resistance could be first-stage responses. Choice (C), corticosterone, is activated when we feel alarm, (D). Hmmm. Did either of these seem like potential answers? Think key words. Lazarus was a cognitive researcher who didn’t focus on biology, so that should lead you to reject (C). Alarm is one of the stages in Selye’s general adaptation syndrome, not Lazarus’s theory, so (D) is out too.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle characteristics and disordered behavior. Predict the Answer: All of the answers are components of psychologically disordered behavior except for (D), patient’s history of trauma. Be sure to notice the word EXCEPT. But all these answers may seem like reasonable characteristics. Use POE to help. Remember that schizophrenics, for example, do show perceptual dysfunction, so it can’t be (A). Do psychological disorders affect a lot of people, statistically? No. If someone has a psychological disorder, are they thought of as abnormal? Yes. You can cross off both (B) and (C). Finally, disordered patients do have difficulty adjusting to society, so it’s not (E).
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: What part of the brain receives information about temperature? Predict the Answer: It’s (C), the parietal lobe. Use POE to eliminate the others by thinking about what they do. The occipital lobe, (A), is all about visual information. The temporal lobe, (B), is about sound. The frontal lobe, (D), is about higher level thought and reasoning, and the cerebellum, (E), is about balance and muscular strength and tone.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Sean is advised to create a visual narrative to help him learn academic content. Predict the Answer: Choices (A), (B), and (E) refer to different sorts of memory, rather than aides to learning new information, so they can be eliminated. Choice (C) refers to a strategy of short-term memory. Choice (D) refers to an active technique used to store information in long-term memory, and that’s the correct answer.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle anorexia nervosa. Predict the Answer: One of the characteristics of anorexia is that sufferers weigh below their ideal body weight and are primarily female, so you’re looking at (C). Every other answer choice is incorrect.
Circle the Keywords/Understand the Question: Circle Freud and latency. Predict the Answer: What happens during the latency period? Children move from focusing on certain parts of their bodies (oral, anal) to focusing on people who are the same gender as themselves. Boys think girls have cooties, and vice versa. The answer is (E). All the others can be struck through.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle regulating and eat. Predict the Answer: The hypothalamus regulates eating and feeding behavior, so the answer is (A). POE is your friend if you don’t remember. Choice (B), the amygdala, is related to emotions, and (C) is related to the senses—you can tell that by pulling apart the word! Hunger is a primary drive, whereas taste, touch, and smell are not. Choice (D) has more to do with the functioning of organs, and (E), the hippocampus, is all about memory.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle memory. Predict the Answer: What type of memory is used when we remember facts? Semantic, that’s what. (B) is the answer. If you don’t recall, remember that semantic relates to words and their meaning; that’s what we’re recalling when we recall facts. Use POE to get rid of (A) because procedural memory recalls skills and habits, not facts. It’s also not (C) because recalling facts is explicit, not implicit. Episodic memory, (D), is something we remember from our own lives. Do you have personal memories of Queen Elizabeth I kicking it in Merrie Olde England? Probably not. Chunking is a memory device, so it’s not (E).
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle unconditional positive regard. Predict the Answer: Carl Rogers is closely associated with this concept, a humanistic approach: (C) is therefore the answer. POE should cause you to strike out (D), Beck, because he’s associated with cognitive treatment and (E), Jung, because he’s all about the collective unconscious. Both (A), Maslow and (B), Perls, are also humanistic therapists, but Maslow is closely associated with the hierarchy of needs and Perls with Gestalt therapy.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle motivations. Predict the Answer: Motivations are (C), extrinsic, when they stem from factors outside ourselves, as Jordan’s do. Both (B) and (E) refer to motivations from within ourselves, so they are immediate strike-outs. Choice (D) is biologically based and (A) is a humanistic theory of motivations; neither is relevant here.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle repression, conscious, and unconscious. Predict the Answer: Ding, ding, ding! Your brain should associate these key words with (A), the psychoanalytic perspective pioneered by Sigmund Freud. If your brain doesn’t, POE is your friend. Choice (B), cognitive psychologists, believe that the cause of disorders is illogical thoughts. That doesn’t jibe with the unconscious mind, or with repression. Eliminate it. Behaviorists, (C), believe the cause is reinforced behavior. That doesn’t have anything to do with your key words either. Neither does (D), the humanistic perspective, because it focuses on self-esteem, positive self-regard, and sensitivity to criticism. Choice (E), the biological perspective, is an outlier because the key words are clearly not from biology. Choice (A) is the only one that could fit the key words.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle ethical and NOT. Predict the Answer: Only (D) fits the bill as a correct NOT answer. The answer is a choice in research design and has nothing to do with ethics. All the other choices are standard parts of ethical research.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle interpersonal attraction. Predict the Answer: When do we feel attracted to someone? When they live, study, or work close by, are attractive, have shared opinions, and think highly of us. Although (D) may seem like it could be a force in interpersonal attraction, (E) is the answer.
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Circle perception. Predict the Answer: What is going on when we see a color that isn’t there? Opponent process theory, (E), tells us that we perceive colors through opponent pairs of receptor sets. Green/red are one potential pair; so are black/white and blue/yellow. If you’re using one color in the set, the other is “turned off”—but after a period of time, the receptors for the one you’re using get fatigued, and you’ll see the other. Hence (E) is the correct answer. Having trouble remembering? POE comes to the rescue. Choice (A) should bite the dust immediately, because Caleb can see both red and green—you have no evidence that he’s color blind. So should (C), which is about optic nerve biology, and (D), which is about how the brain computes received information. Nothing in either of these is about color perception. Choice (B) is also a theory of how we perceive color, but posits that we mix the colors, not that they are in opponent pairs of receptor sets.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle modal model and memory. Predict the Answer: The modal model says that memory is stored in sensory, short-term, and long-term areas. Once you’ve got this, the answer is (E). You can knock (D) out immediately with POE, because the modal model is not about brain biology. Choices (A), (B), and (C) can all be crossed out too, because they are either types of memory or models of how memory takes place—they don’t represent the modal model.
Understand the Question/Circle Key Words: Circle observational learning and Bandura. Plus, NOT, of course. Predict the Answer: Bandura worked with children and posited that they modeled the behavior they saw adults performing, as in the Bobo doll experiment. Choice (A) is the only condition NOT in his experiment; all the others can be eliminated, as they are the conditions Bandura deemed essential for observational learning to take place.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle research method and group. Which method compares similar tasks, but in different age groups? Predict the Answer: Choice (A), cross-sectional, is correct. The rest can eliminated by hanging tight with your key words and using POE. Choice (B), longitudinal, doesn’t compare between groups, but follows the same people; (C) is a method of analysis, not a research method. Correlational, (D), has to look at two or more variables. Choice (E), case studies, follow just one person, not a group.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle internal validity. Predict the Question: Internal validity, by definition, is the certainty with which results can be attributed to the independent variable in an experiment: (B) is the correct answer. POE to the rescue if you don’t recall. Choice (A) represents external validity, not internal. Choices (C), (D), and (D) all fall by the wayside because internal validity has to do with research design, not with standard deviations or with hypotheses and conclusions about them.
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Circle neural firing and NOT. Predict the Answer: You need something that has nothing to do with neural firing or the biology of the brain. Choice (D), the Moro reflex, is one of the reflexes of a newborn baby. It fits the bill to be the answer. All the other choices are involved in neural firing.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle negative triad and medication. Predict the Answer: You’ll need to recall what the negative triad is. The word negative is a clue if you don’t remember. In depression, people are negative, right? The triad is depression about yourself, the world, and the future. Once you’ve got that, (B) is pretty clearly the answer. Lithium salts are for bipolar disorder and anxiolytics treat anxiety. Antipsychotics treat major disorders such as schizophrenia. While anticholinergics work by blocking acetylcholine, they aren’t used for psychological disorders.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle on time, best, and irritated. You’re being asked what these all add up to. Predict the Answer: this is classic type-A pattern behavior; (C) is the answer. POE should cause you to eliminate (D), because the negative triad pertains to depression. Andre wouldn’t be such a go-getter if he was depressed. People with (A), Type-B pattern behavior, are relaxed, so that’s incorrect. Choice (E) doesn’t fit: the pituitary gland controls hormones, but it’s too broad to be the answer. Choice (B), chronic stress, could be tempting only if you see his behavior as maybe a stress response—but stress is more directly related to anxiety-provoking situations or danger.
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Weber’s law is about thresholds in sensation and perception. It holds that the greater the magnitude of the stimulus, the larger the difference needs to be to be noticed. Predict the Answer: In (A), a great difference between two weights would make the difference noticeable to someone who picked up the dumbbells, but a lesser difference in weights may not. Choice (A) is the correct answer. Use POE if you need to! Choice (B) may seem tempting because Weber’s law is part of how we ascertain differences between stimuli, but it’s too broad. You can immediately eliminate (D) and (E) because they are not about noticing differences. Choice (D) is all about sensory adaptation and (E) is about selective attention, in which we can pay attention to one thing while ignoring others. Choice (C) is an example of priming, which is subconscious perception.
Solomon Asch’s study tested perceptions of line length in a study about conformity. It didn’t have anything to do with brain physiology, so eliminate (C). Asch is a social psychologist, so strike out an individual condition like (A), schizophrenia. Because his purpose was to test conformity in a group. No one in Asch’s study was playing roles (except perhaps the confederates, but they weren’t the people being studied), so eliminate (D). Although there was a group of naïve participants, they were not an outgroup, so (B) is not part of this experiment. The correct answer is (E).
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle Type I error. Predict the Answer: A Type I error is by definition deciding that a difference exists as a result of your experiment when it fact it doesn’t. And the correct answer is…(E). When in doubt, use POE. Choices (B), (C), and (D) should all fall to the strikeout of your mighty pencil, because standard deviations, confounding variables, and sample sizes, respectively, all have nothing to do with Type I errors. Choice (A) is the opposite of Type I: it’s a Type II error.
Understand the Question/Circle Key Words: Circle electroencephalogram and REM. Predict the Answer: Which type of waves and movement occurs when we dream? Choice (A), theta and beta waves, are most common in REM sleep, which is when most dreams occur. You can get rid of all the others via POE.
Understand the Question/Circle Key Words: Circle praise and off-season. Predict the Answer: Harriet continues doing something even after there is no specific request to do so, because she’s been rewarded with praise. This is (A), operant conditioning, which tells us that a rewarded subject will continue doing the task even when the reward stops. Use POE to immediately get rid of (D) and (E); (D) isn’t relevant and it’s clearly not (E). Choice (B), vicarious reinforcement, is watching someone else receive a reward. Choice (C), classical conditioning, is about the pairing of two stimuli, one neutral and one unconditioned. That is not going on here.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle fear. Predict the Answer: Fear of heights is a common phobia. The treatment being used to treat the phobia starts slow, which makes it what kind of treatment? It’s (A), systematic desensitization. If you can’t remember, immediately eliminate (C) because treatment with medication is irrelevant in this example. Is it (B), flooding? That’s the opposite of (A), because you start with a big phobia trigger that floods you with stimuli. You might be tempted by (D), implosion. It’s partly right, but it’s only imagining without progressing into the real world. Choice (E), extinction procedures, might also be tempting, but it’s too broad. Choice (A) is correct.
Understand the Question/Circle Key Words: Frank isn’t saying the complete, grammatically correct sentence of “I go to school.” Predict the Answer: What’s that called? Choice (E), telegraphic speech, is the correct answer. You could guess this by the abbreviated quality of the sentence if you don’t remember. You should realize (A) is too broad by the time you see (E). None of the others are correct: (B) is the stage in which children communicate in sentences of just one word; (C), overextension, is when a child applies one word to a broad category (“rose” to any flower); and (D), under extension, is when a child thinks, for example, that a rose is the only type of flower.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle behaviorist. Predict the Answer: What do behaviorists believe? That behavior can be changed by outside stimulus, both positive and negative. They might use counterconditioning, for instance, by prescribing a medication to alcoholics that makes them sick if they drink. Punishment! And the answer is…(D). POE away if you can’t recall. Hmmm, (A) seems not that relevant, but is it wrong? Keep it for now. Choice (B) is what a humanistic psychologist would think, and (C) is the classic psychoanalytic view. You might be tempted by (E).but then you see the word thought and eliminate it, because that’s cognitive. Compared to (D), you can tell that (A) is not relevant.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Ken wants two things, but they could be in conflict with each other. Predict the Answer: What happens when what we want is in conflict? It’s (B), approach-avoidance behavior. POE can come to your aid if you’re unsure. Approach-approach is two things we want, while avoidance-avoidance is two things we don’t want. Strike out both (A) and (C). Choice (D) might seem possible, but it involves more than one positive and one negative choice. Out it goes. Choice (E) is about the interplay of body and mind in emotion, not about choosing between two motives.
Circle the Keywords/Understand the Question: Circle responsibility, parenting style, friends. Which type of parenting style has those traits? Predict the Answer: A permissive parenting style, (C), will often result in the child’s not taking responsibility. The parents are also likely to think of themselves as friends rather than parents. If you can’t remember, common sense and POE should cause you to get rid of (A) and (B), just by looking at the meaning of the words. Both these type of parents would be concerned about poor grades—and not be friends, in the bargain. Both (D) and (E) are children’s attachment patterns, not parenting styles. Remember your key words!
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle contact hypothesis. If you don’t remember what it is, use POE. Is it related to being attracted to a person, as (A) indicates? While proximity may increase interpersonal attraction, it’s not quite the same as contact. Also, there’s no “two weeks” involved. Choice (B) could be partially true. But (B) could also be untrue, because sometimes contact lessens biases or leaves them the same. Also, the contact hypothesis was designed to reduce prejudice, and biases are not necessarily negative. Choice (C), hmmm, is partially correct. Leave it, but see if there are answers that more fully summarize the entire hypothesis. Ah, (D) is a fuller summary, because it gets at more key facts about the contact hypothesis. Choice (E) is incorrect, because contact is not a form of altruism.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle Eysenck Personality Inventory. Predict the Answer: What does this tool measure? Traits, so (E) is the answer. Trait theorists are far more likely to use assessment measures like this than any other group, so you could have guessed that (A), (B), and (C) could be eliminated. Only (D) even comes close.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle psychoanalytic. Predict the Answer: When you think psychoanalytic, think things like free association, unconscious mind—techniques intended to spur insight. Even if you don’t remember the specific terms, all their techniques are grounded in insight. So the answer has to be related to that. Is (B) related? No. Plus, prescribing anything would be more likely for a biological-based clinician. Choices (C) and (D) are both about changing behavior more than gaining insight. While (E) could lead to insight as well, its use is more typical of a humanistic practitioner, not a psychoanalytic one.
Understand the Question/Circle Key Words: Circle Broca’s area. Predict the Answer: Broca’s area affects our ability to speak, so (E) is the correct answer. It’s the left side of the frontal lobe of the cortex. Activate POE if you’re stumped. Choice (A), loss of ability to visually integrate information, results from damage to the occipital lobe. Choice (B), loss of ability to hear, would originate in the temporal lobes, in the auditory cortex. Choice (C), loss of ability to understand what she hears, is the only other loss associated with a researcher’s name; it would originate in Wernicke’s area of the temporal lobes. Choice (D) is sometimes referred to as echolalia, and has nothing to do with Broca’s area.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Because Aidan is very good at many things, the team leader assumes he’ll be very good at house-building tasks, too. Predict the Answer: When being good in several areas leads people to think we’ll be good at everything, it’s (E), halo effect. If you’re stumped, try POE. Does (A), intersectionality, mean we’ll always be good at everything? No. Does (B), behavioral dissonance means we’ll always be good at everything? Nope. Neither does (C) or (D). Don’t be thrown by the words “dissonance” or “bias” or even by Aidan’s being a boy in the other questions. None of these are relevant to your understanding of the question.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle none of these people offered her any assistance. Predict the Answer: A lot of people stand around when someone is hurt. That’s (C), bystander effect. Use POE if you can’t recall the answer. Assistance is a helping behavior and so it’s linked with altruism, yes? They’re not aggressive toward her; they just don’t lift a finger even though she’s hurt. Choice (A), outgroup homogeneity, is the assumption that every member of a group not our own is like each other. It’s not that one. Choice (B), social inhibition, explains why you perform worse if people are around than when they’re not. Did Karen fall due to the presence of so many people? She may be embarrassed by a large group seeing her fall, but there’s no indication that she’s inhibited—and their presence didn’t have anything to do with causing her fall. Choice (D), dehumanization, means seeing people as less than human. No indication of that, so cross it out. Choice (E), the Rosenthal Effect, is a type of self-fulfilling prophecy. This is not relevant at all.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Peter remembers information more when he’s physically in the place where he learned it. Predict the Answer: Context-dependent memory predicts that we are more likely to recall information when we’re in a situation similar to the one where it was first encoded. The answer is (E). Don’t remember? Use POE. All of the others can be crossed off because they have nothing to do with place or similar situations.
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Two people think something is twice as far away as it is in the fog. What’s going on? Predict the Answer: Aerial perspective, (C), occurs when atmospheric moisture and dust obscures objects in the distance, making them seem further away than they are. Don’t be fooled by the word aerial into believing it has something to do with you (and your eyes) being in the air. It’s things (fog, snow, dust) in the air. POE will tell you that none of the others cover the situation, so all can be eliminated.
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Circle single-blind. Predict the Answer: In a single-blind experiment, who doesn’t know whether they are in a control group or an experimental group? The subjects. The correct answer is therefore (B). Use POE to eliminate the rest. Choice (D) describes a double-blind experiment, which is often done so the experiment isn’t compromised in some way by either group’s knowledge of who’s in the control group and who’s in the experimental group. In (C), the word both means that there is no single side possible; it can be eliminated. Choice (A) is not a research design and (E) wouldn’t make any sense in an experiment.
Understand the Question/Circle Key Words: Circle narcotics and pain. Predict the Answer: What occurs naturally in the body to relieve pain? Endorphins, that’s what! Choice (C) is the answer. All the others can be eliminated with POE. Did (A) tempt you? Serotonin can make us feel good, but it doesn’t relieve pain.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle attributes. Predict the Answer: Paula attributes reasons for the score: to herself, when the score is good, and to the judges when the score is low. This is classic self-serving bias, (E), when we attribute the cause to ourselves when outcomes are good and to outside forces when they are negative. Situational attribution, (A), happens when we believe only the environment matters and (C), dispositional attribution, happens when we think only internal factors (like hard work) matter. Get rid of both. You might be tempted by (B), fundamental attribution error, but that occurs when we are more likely to overestimate the role of internal behavior rather than the situation. There’s no evidence here that Paula does that. This situation also isn’t a self-fulfilling prophecy, (D), because no one has predicted success or failure for her—which would have to happen for the prophecy to fulfill itself.
Understand the Question/Key Words: What shows that one element causes another? Predict the Answer: Only (C) is the way to show causation. While (A) might mean a successful experiment, by itself it doesn’t demonstrate causation. Choice (B) doesn’t show causation either. Careful with (D); that’s just correlation, and remember that correlation does not mean causation! Choice (E) would be unethical.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle anxiety and replace every thought. Predict the Answer: Which type of therapists counsel replacing one type of thought with another? Cognitive therapists, that’s who. Choice (D), rational-emotive behavior therapy, is the only cognitive approach here. Everything else can be eliminated through your friend POE. It’s definitely not (E) because anxiolytics are a biological treatment for anxiety. Yes, Julio is stressed, but his therapist isn’t using any medications. A psychoanalyst, (C), would be interested in insight into the subconscious. A behaviorist, (B), would focus on behavior reinforcement or change, and (A), humanistic therapists, would focus on positive regard and self-esteem. None of those are going on here.
Understand the Question/Circle Key Words: What is the therapist likely trying to do? Predict the Answer: Make sure Jayden doesn’t start associating feeling sick to his stomach with his favorite foods. If that happens, he may start to feel nauseous thinking about pizza and chocolate. So the answer is…(C), conditioned taste aversion. Choice (A), aversion therapy, may sound similar, but isn’t—it’s when something a person wants to stop is linked to an aversive stimulus, like alcoholic patients being given medication that makes them ill if they drink. Every other choice doesn’t fit at all, so eliminate through POE.
Understand the Question/Circle Key Words: What happens when we tune out a frequently occurring stimulus? Predict the Answer: Habituation, so (A) is correct. POE should have led you to immediately eliminate (B), (D), and (E), as none of them are relevant to becoming so accustomed to something that happens all the time that you don’t notice it. Choice (C) is very related and may seem tempting. But desensitization is more a process of being less and less sensitive to a stimulus through repeated exposure. You can become less and less afraid of thunder by gradually letting yourself experience loud noises. That’s becoming desensitized. But you don’t stop hearing the thunder.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle two standard deviations. Predict the Answer: In a normal statistical curve, about 95 percent of all scores fall within two SDs of the mean, including those scores that fall above and below the mean. Choice (D) is the correct answer. Use POE and common sense to eliminate if you can’t recall. Choice (A) is too high—it’s the figure likely at three standard deviations, not two. All the others are too low. Choice (C), 68 percent, is the number than will fall within one standard deviation, while (E) is the percentage that would occur between the mean and one standard deviation above or below it only.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle remember. Thomas is middle-aged and can’t remember information more up-to-date than what he originally learned. Predict the Answer: What happens when older information pushes out newer information? Choice (E), proactive interference, is correct. You can immediately eliminate (B) because retroactive interference is the opposite; newer information pushes out old. You can also get rid of (C) because it means remembering something relevant to us personally. Did (A) and (D) give you pause? Decay is one of the ways we forget. Thomas hasn’t forgotten completely, he just remembers the older rule rather than the newer one. Choice (D) describes how short-term memories get to be long-term ones. Yes, there’s some encoding going on here, but once you read (E), you should realize (D) is too broad to be the correct answer.
Circle the Keywords/Understand the Question: A 6-year-old is likely in first grade, and enjoying rewards for doing well. Predict the Answer: Choice (B), Erikson’s industry versus inferiority stage, is the only answer that comes close to the situation described. Everything else can be eliminated with POE.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle drugs and psychotherapeutic. Predict the Answer: You need to find the one NOT used for psychological disorders. Note the trickiness of the question here; it’s all too easy to read past that three-letter NOT. Be sure to read all of each question carefully throughout the test; traps like this are just lying in wait. Which of these have you not read about in AP Psych? That would be (B), antineoplastics. All of the others are part of psychopharmacological treatment.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle anxiety disorder. Predict the Answer: Remember, this is asking which isn’t an anxiety disorder. Choice (B), conversion disorder, is a somatic disorder, in which people have bodily symptoms for which there is no physical cause. That makes (B) very definitely not an anxiety disorder, and thus the answer. If you need help, go POE! Choices (A) and (C) are specific types of phobias. Phobias are triggered by things that make us stressed or fearful, so (D) and (E) both can be ruled out as potential correct answers. (And note that “-phobia” is part of “agoraphobia,” of course.)
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle win and election. Both have to do with persuading people to vote for a specific candidate. Predict the Answer: The answer needs to be about how people are persuaded. The elaboration likelihood model explains when we are persuaded by content, such as the logic of the argument, and when we are swayed by more superficial factors, like appearance (those clothes!). Choice (A) is therefore the answer. If you don’t remember, whip out POE. What do these models focus on? Piaget’s development model, (B), is about childhood development. Modal model, (C), is about memory. Kohlberg’s models, (D) are all about morality. The Hawthorne effect, (E), is about organizational psychology. None of these fit.
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Circle forebrain. Predict the Answer: What goes on in the forebrain? Emotions, memories, sensory relay. And those are found in (B), the thalamus, hippocampus, and amygdala. Look at the components of each answer carefully as you wield POE. Choice (A) looks good until you hit cerebellum. That controls muscle tone and balance, and it’s hindbrain. Remember, if one component in a string is wrong, the whole answer is wrong. Choice (C) should give you pause with medulla oblongata. That’s also part of the hindbrain, and controls functions we don’t even think about, like breathing. In (D), the reticular activating system is hindbrain, controlling sleep and wakefulness. Choice (E) is mostly midbrain, with cerebellum making a guest appearance from hindbrain.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Ashleigh is remembering scenes from a movie as if they actually happened to her. Predict the Answer: Hmmm, thinking material from a source (like a book or movie) is part of our own personal memory is (B), source confusion, so (B) is the correct answer. “Source” should have helped you if it wasn’t clear. Wield POE to eliminate (D) immediately because it has nothing to do with remembering. Choice (A), retrograde amnesia, refers to forgetting what happened before an accident. Retroactive interference, (E), occurs when new information pushes out old. Eliminate both (A) and (E). Is it (C), framing? That’s false memory too, but it occurs because of questions and suggestions, not a source. Eliminate (C).
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Circle skin. Predict the Answer: Choice (A) is the answer, because both tactile and cutaneous cells respond to stimuli on the skin. POE should lead to a complete elimination of all other choices, because none of them are about skin. (B) and (C) are both related to the ear. (D) and (E) are both related to vision.
Understand the Question/Key Words: What explains why she isn’t as happy now as when she was 10? Predict the Answer: Choice (B) occurs when something we once loved becomes more like a job. Did you choose (E)? It’s partly there, because her motivations have shifted from intrinsic (this is fun!) to extrinsic (can’t let the team/sponsors/TV announcers down). But (B) explains the shift itself. POE should have gotten rid of (A), (C), and (D).
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle positive symptom and schizophrenia. Predict the Answer: What are positive symptoms in schizophrenia? Symptoms a patient has, while typically, people don’t. Hone in on that rat specter, because hallucinations are a schizophrenia symptom that others don’t tend to experience; (C) is the answer. All other answers are tricks, because they all use positive as a synonym for “good”—signs that indicate a patient is getting better.
Circle the Keywords/Understand the Question: Why would a couple want to go work with the poor? Predict the Answer: Larry and Pat are in midlife and thinking about how they can contribute. That’s (D), Erikson’s theory of generativity vs. stagnation. If you weren’t sure, use keywords and POE to immediately get rid of (C) and (E), neither of which fit the situation. Choice (A) occurs during old age, so that’s not applicable to 50-year-olds. Does (B) fit the situation? Not really. It’s gotta be (D).
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle unable to form attachments. Predict the Answer: Which answer is most about the key words? If you choose (B), reactive attachment disorder, you hit the nail on the head. Did it seem like (A), attachment anxiety, was possible? It’s related, but (A) refers to some difficulty or inhibition in forming attachments, not something close to inability. It pays to circle those key words! Choice (C) describes the stage in development psychology when children realize objects don’t disappear just because they can’t see them anymore. Choice (D) refers to anxiety when children are separated from caregivers to whom they’ve formed attachments and (E), detachment adaptation, isn’t relevant.
Understand the Question/Circle Key Words: Circle cigarettes and heart. Predict the Answer: We’re talking about nicotine and why it may cause a faster heartbeat. It’s the release of (C), acetylcholine, which causes faster heart contractions. Are any of the others about heart rate? You may be tempted by (D), norepinephrine, which also deals with heart rate. But it’s a part of fight-or-flight response, and not related to nicotine, so you can eliminate it. All the others can be eliminated via POE.
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Sophie is doing a type of brainstorming. Predict the Answer: What type of thinking is brainstorming? It’s (D) for divergent! POE rides to the rescue if you can’t remember. Choice (B), inductive, is a form of reasoning. That’s not what Sophia is doing here. (C) isn’t it, because in convergence, you’re trying to converge on just one answer. Fixed, (E), sounds like the opposite of the type of creative thinking the teacher suggests. Did (A) seem possible? Well, brainstorming can be creative, but that’s too broad an answer; (D) is correct.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle phobia and biological basis. Predict the Answer: If a clinician believes in a biological basis for disorders, what do they do? Prescribe medication. The only possible correct answer is (C). Eliminate everything else. Don’t be thrown by the desensitization also in this answer; medication is often combined with other forms of treatment.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle theory of emotion. Predict the Answer: Only two of these are theories of emotion, so eliminate (C), (D), and (E). Sebastian is undergoing a physiological response, but cognitively interprets it, in accordance with (A), the two-factor theory advanced by Schachter and Singer. Choice (B) doesn’t fit because James-Lange theory posits that the physiological response happens before emotional experience (and we don’t cognitively label it).
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle deductive reasoning. Predict the Answer: Henry is a social media manager at Company X, and all social media managers at Company X use Instagram. Thus, Henry uses Instagram. This is the only thing you can definitely know through deductive reasoning.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle anger and resistance. Predict the Answer: What happens when we feel like we’re being forced to go along with something against our will? Psychological reactance, so (D) is the correct answer. If you don’t remember, use POE. Choice (A) may seem tempting because anger is linked with aggression, but it has nothing to do with resistance to any kind of store’s behavior. Choice (B) is a compliance technique in which a large request is made first, to soften you up for smaller requests; eliminate it. Conflicting motives, (C), may seem tempting if you read this situation as one of “want to buy/don’t want to jump through the store’s hoops.” Remember your key words, though; conflicting motives has nothing to do with anger or resistance. Choice (E), systematic desensitization, is a method of gradually minimizing responses via repeated small exposures to a stimulus. Nothing to do with anger or resistance here.
Understand the Question/Key Words: You’re looking for what a cognitive therapist would think about a psychoanalyst. Cognitive = focused on thinking. Eliminate anything that doesn’t focus on thinking. Choice (A) looks really good on that score, but quickly make sure you’re on the right track. Choice (B) is about behavior—that’s more likely to be from a behaviorist. Choice (C) isn’t relevant to thoughts. Choice (D) is a likely criticism from a humanistic therapist. While (E) might be a criticism from a cognitive therapist, (A) is much closer.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Megan may have felt the test was too daunting and Zach didn’t care. Tamika was in the middle. Predict the Answer: The Yerkes-Dodson law indicates that tasks of moderate difficulty will elicit the best performance, rather than tasks that are too hard or too easy: (C) is the answer. Choice (B) is about methods of influencing behavior and (E) is about assessing temperament, and neither apply to this situation. POE should have led you to eliminate them. Did (A) or (D) seem appealing? Type B behavior is easy-going, but doesn’t cover the scenario under which the other two students don’t perform as well. Choice (D) refers to belief in one’s self, but (C) is still more comprehensive.
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Circle gustatory. It’s taste, right? Predict the Answer: And our tastes are…(B) is the correct answer. POE should lead you to eliminate (C) and (D) immediately, because (C) lists the way foods feel, and (D) lists food groups. Neither is related to taste. Then, if you don’t remember what the 5 tastes are, look carefully at each component in your choices. In (A), tangy gives the game away. That’s not a taste by itself. In (E), acidic gives the game away. It’s not a taste by itself either. Both can be eliminated.
Understand the Question/Circle Key Words: Circle Content validity and test. Predict the Answer: Content validity in a standardized test is how much it actually measures what it is said to measure: (D) is the answer. Use POE if you don’t remember: (A) isn’t relevant; (B) defines predictive validity; and (C) and (E) are both measures of reliability rather than validity.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle remembers. Which type of memory aid relies on rhymes or short phrases? Predict the Answer: Choice (C), mnemonic device, is what you’re looking for! If in doubt, use POE. It’s definitely not (B), procedural memory, because that’s memory of tasks and skills. Nor is it (E), framing, because that’s a method of creating false memories. The self-reference effect, (D), is the tendency to remember stuff that’s relevant to us personally. That doesn’t fit. Framing, (A), is too broad to be the answer.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle behavior of the subjects. Predict the Answer: the control and independent variables here are the learning of words with and without picture cues; the behavior is that which is being measured. The behavior will depend on which way the subjects learn the words, so it’s the dependent variable, (C). Turn to POE if you need to: (A), the correlation coefficient, doesn’t apply here; (B) applies to one set of subjects, not their behavior. There may be, (D), categorical variables here, but they wouldn’t be the subject’s behavior. Choice (E), the working hypothesis, is something the experimenter sets, but is not the behavior of the subjects.
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Circle Gestalt and symmetry. Predict the Answer: What did Gestalt folks have to say about symmetry? Choice (B) is correct; that we have a tendency to perceive forms that are mirror images. Use POE to help if you need it. Reading carefully would have caused you to eliminate (A) because it’s, well, the Gestalt concept of similarity. Choice (C) is related to the Gestalt concept of closure. Choice (D) is the Gestalt concept of proximity. And (E) refers to a central tenet of Gestalt psychology generally, but is not specific to symmetry.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle Maslow and Rogers. Predict the Answer: Both were humanistic psychologists, so (D), self-actualization, fits the bill. If (E) seems familiar, it’s because it’s associated with Rogers—but not with Maslow, so it’s a trap answer. Both (A) and (B) are associated with Freud and with a psychoanalytic approach. Choice (C) is associated with Alfred Adler, who was also a psychoanalyst.
Understand the Question/Circle Key Words: Circle dream. Predict the Answer: What explains why some things in dreams seem to symbolize, or stand for, things happening in our lives, even though they’re not directly related? It’s (E), latent content. If you don’t remember, use POE. You can eliminate (A) immediately because, even though REM is the stage where most dreams occur, it has nothing to do with this kind of one-thing-meaning-another. Neither does (D), which is a sleep disorder in which a person wakes up periodically. Choice (C), night terror, refers to a sleep disorder that takes place during slow-wave sleep. This is totally different from a nightmare! Did (B), paradoxical sleep, give you pause? This term refers to the paradoxical nature of REM sleep, in which our bodies aren’t moving but our brain waves resemble those when we’re awake.
Understand the Question/Circle Key Words: Circle negative reinforcement. Predict the Answer: Negative reinforcement is the removal of an unpleasant stimulus to increase a behavior. In reinforcement world, negative means something is being removed and positive is adding something. What fits the bill? It’s (A), where Tom doesn’t have to do the negative stimulus, washing the dishes, if he gets a good grade, a positive development. (B) and (E) are both examples of positive punishment. (C) isn’t negative reinforcement. (D) is positive reinforcement, a reward for an achievement.
Predict the answer: Tamara’s belief that she isn’t very good at math indicates low self-efficacy, so get rid of (A) and (C). But she also believes that she’s in control of raising her grades—and that’s an internal locus of control. That eliminates (B) and also (E). Choice (D) is the answer.
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Circle IQ score and normal score distribution. Where does a score of 135 fall? Predict the Answer: Since the mean, median, and modal scores of IQ tests along a normal distribution curve are 100, 135 is high. The answer is (E). You could have used POE to immediately eliminate (B) and (D). The standard deviation is approximately 15-16 points on IQ tests; (C) thus wouldn’t be high enough for Jenny’s 135 score. Choice (A) is a trick, because it intends to make you think of the original definition of IQ tests, as mental age divided by physical age times 100.
Circle the Keywords/Understand the Question: Five-year-olds can’t understand that differently arranged liquid is actually the same amount, but 10-year-olds can. What theory accounts for that? Predict the Answer: (C), Piaget’s theory of conservation! We can only understand that what looks like different amounts are the same once we understand conservation, which happens once we reach Piaget’s concrete operational stage, which occurs from roughly ages 7 to 11. The 10-year-olds are in it; the kindergarteners aren’t. Don’t remember? POE should lead you to eliminate (B), (D), and (E), which are all irrelevant to the situation. Choice (A) comes later than understanding conservation, so eliminate it too.
Circle the Keywords/Understand the Question: Carmen will be punished if she does something, so she doesn’t. Why? Predict the Answer: Choice (D), Kohlberg’s theory of preconventional morality, says children don’t do prohibited things out of fear of punishment (no trip to Grandma’s) or desire to benefit in some way (going to Grandma’s). Ding, ding, ding! But what if you don’t know? Well, (B) is about when we realize that objects are still there even if we can’t see them, as with a ball rolling under a bed; that definitely doesn’t match. In (C), do you see any avoidance here? It would be a stretch. So would seeing initiative or guilt, (E). Cross them both off. Choice (A) might seem tempting, but Gilligan is all about caring relationships as the basis for moral decisions, not punishment, so she’s out.
Understand the Question/Circle the Key Words: Circle test and standardized. Predict the Answer: Standardization of tests involves determining norms for a given population, which are then utilized to compare test results. To define norms, the test is given to a sample thought to be representative of the population. The answer is thus (E). Use POE if you can’t recall. Standardization is all about populations. The other answers aren’t, and can be eliminated. Choice (A) describes the measurement of validity, not standardization. Choice (B) has more to do with consistency, not standardization (and graders means the scoring is not done via computer). Choice (C) is about format rather than standardization, and (D) has to do with the types of questions and answers.
Understand the Question/Key Words: Circle temperament, assessed, Rothbart. Predict the Answer: Rothbart assessed temperament on a child’s surgency (positive affect/activity), negative affect (frustration/sadness), and effortful control (ability to self-regulate). The answer is (E). All the other answers include one of her scales, but mix them up with terms that are not related to temperament scales, so they can all be eliminated.
FREE-RESPONSE SECTION: ANSWERS AND EXPLANATIONS
1.Essay number one is worth seven points. Points are given based on a student’s ability to explain behavior and apply theories and perspectives in authentic contexts. Each essay is unique, but here is our run-down of what a student should definitely address in his or her Free Response Essay for this question:
· A correlational study observes the degree of association between two or more variables that occur naturally, such as 1) plans to go to college and 2) siblings with student loan debt. It’s worth noting, however, that correlation does not equal causation.
· Approach-avoidance is a concept in motivation: a given element has both pluses and minuses that need to be considered, such as the value of a college education in gaining certain types of employment and the cost of that education.
· Type I error is what occurs when a study concludes that a difference exists when it in fact doesn’t.
When the seminar discusses the research design, here is a rundown of what needs to be addressed:
· Self-selection bias exists when the subjects of a study control whether they are included, such as people very interested in an issue desiring inclusion—potentially, like the students who see the ad online. Students whose motivation is affected may be much more prone to respond than those whose motivation isn’t affected.
· The elaboration likelihood model refers to the tendency of people to be persuaded by the logic of an argument or by some more superficial characteristic, such as looks or clothes. Seminar participants might be persuaded by several different aspects of Jonas’s presentation.
· Type II error is what occurs when a study concludes no difference exists when in fact it does.
· A confounding variable is an unknown variable that might play a role in the experiment. For example, each group of students may have multiple motivations to attend college (or not), besides just the existence of a sibling’s student loan debt. The experiment may not be valid if potential confounding variables aren’t addressed.
2.Essay number two is worth seven points. One point is awarded for explaining each term and giving a relevant example of each. Points are given based on students’ ability to analyze psychological research studies, including analyzing and interpreting quantitative data. This is what our “student” chose to do for her essay. Use this as a sample of a high-scoring essay.
A frightening experience can leave people with a phobia, which is anxiety about the threat of danger, rather than the actual presence of danger itself. Melody’s anxiety indicates she has a phobia. It also means that her amygdala, the portion of the brain that processes negative emotions like fear, is activated.
Phobias can be treated with several different forms of psychological therapy. Behaviorist approaches such as systematic desensitization, for example, might help Melody. Systematic desensitization occurs when one response (such as Melody’s anxiety) is replaced with another, such as a feeling of deep relaxation, while being exposed to anxiety-provoking stimuli in manageable doses.
A behaviorist therapist, for example, might suggest that they begin with pictures of an airplane on the ground. Melody will look at them and breathe deeply to relax. This will continue until she can look at it calmly. Then they might progress to a picture of an airplane in the sky and repeat the process. Then they might go to an airport to look at planes taking off and landing. Here, too, Melody will practice deep breathing until she is calm in a busy airport.
A therapist using a cognitive approach seeks to replace unrealistic thinking with more constructive thinking. The therapist might suggest, for example, that every time Melody thinks “It’s going to crash!” when seeing a plan, she immediately replace the thought with “Very few planes actually crash. Planes are safer than cars.”
A psychoanalytic therapist, on the other hand, might help Melody by providing insight into her fear. Psychoanalytic practitioners believe that the unconscious mind exerts a significant influence over our waking life. Psychoanalysts are highly interested in dreams, for example, because they use dreams to gain insight into what is making phobic patients anxious.
Melody might be asked to free associate to see if she thinks a plane crash has any symbolic relationship to anything in her life. It’s a potentially great thing (a trip) suddenly turning negative, after all. A psychoanalyst might, for instance, believe it relates to the fact that Melody came in fourth in a choir competition last year, which resulted in her just missing out on a scholarship. The therapist will work to affect her behavior more positively with the insight she gains through dream analysis.
All these therapists could also work with medications to affect behavior. Melody might be prescribed anxiolytics, anti-anxiety medication, to help relieve her fear when she flies.
There are positive sides to all these approaches. But for Melody to be able to fly again, cognitive therapy approaches might be too easy, because she’s anxious, and they may not desensitize her to fear enough. Psychoanalytic therapy might be too hard, in the sense that this type of therapy can take a long period of time to reach an insight that will actually affect behavior.
The Yerkes-Dodson Law says that moderately difficult tasks are more likely to succeed than tasks that are either too easy or too hard. It could be that the behaviorist approach of desensitization is that moderately difficult task. Ultimately, the behaviorist approach, combined with anxiolytics to actually make Melody feel less anxious, might be the middle ground between all the approaches, and thus most likely to succeed.