Practice Test 1 - Barron's AP Psychology, 7th Edition

Barron's AP Psychology, 7th Edition (2016)

Practice Test 1



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.

1.Neural transmission is often described as an electrochemical process. Which of the following is most directly involved in the electrical aspect?

(A)the synapse

(B)terminal buttons




2.The “c” in the word cat is best described as a






3.When first born, humans’ dominant sense is






4.Ryan suffers from nearly constant, low-level arousal of his autonomic nervous system. Ryan is most likely to be classified as suffering from


(B)major depressive disorder.


(D)obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.


5.Which psychological perspective was most popular at the turn of the twentieth century in Western Europe?






6.Pascale is interested in the processing strategies children use to learn new information. Pascale would best be classified as what type of psychologist?






7.Cyan has come up with a test to identify people with the potential to be great civil rights lawyers. Such a test would be classified as a(n)

(A)speed test.

(B)achievement test.

(C)EQ test.

(D)IQ test.

(E)aptitude test.

Use the following information to answer questions 8 and 9.

Whenever Marva has a difficult day at work, she slams her car door and screams at her children as soon as she enters her house. The children now cringe whenever they hear the sound of a car door.

8.The learning process described would best be labeled

(A)classical conditioning.

(B)instrumental learning.

(C)observational learning.

(D)operant conditioning.

(E)latent learning.

9.The fact that the children now cringe when they hear any car door slam is an example of



(C)spontaneous recovery.




10.Your girlfriend dumps you. “I knew you shouldn’t have gone out with her,” says your best friend, who has never uttered this sentiment before. Your friend’s comment best illustrates


(B)a theory.

(C)hindsight bias.

(D)response bias.

(E)a hypothesis.

11.A low level of glucose in Sam’s bloodstream is most likely to make him want to

(A)engage in risky behavior.

(B)pursue a romantic interest.

(C)eat a meal.

(D)study to improve his grades.

(E)make new friends.

12.What kind of personality theorist would be most interested in the results of the MMPI?






13.Light enters the eye through an opening in the




(D)blind spot.


14.In people, rods, unlike cones,

(A)are located in the center of the retina.

(B)synapse with bipolar cells.

(C)respond more quickly to bright colors.

(D)have a low absolute threshold for light.

(E)are unable to detect motion.

15.Which term describes the phenomenon of like-minded groups taking more extreme positions than the individuals that comprise the group?

(A)social facilitation



(D)group polarization


16.Julie is more alert in the morning and her brother Jack is more alert in the afternoon. This difference stems from a difference in the siblings’

(A)sleep cycles.

(B)circadian rhythms.

(C)daily activities.


(E)ultradian rhythms.

17.To treat Zoe’s anorexia nervosa, her doctors put her on intravenous feeding tubes, tried to change her irrational belief that she was too fat, and discussed how her early family relationships may have contributed to her current problems. This approach would best be classified as

(A)cognitive behavioral.





18.Counterconditioning lies at the heart of which therapeutic approach?


(B)systematic desensitization


(D)token economies

(E)stress inoculation

19.Which personality theory is criticized for having an unrealistically optimistic view of human nature?






20.Which of the following is LEAST likely to contribute to prejudice?



(C)out-group homogeneity

(D)superordinate goals


21.Which of the following is a key difference between the experimental method and naturalistic observation?

(A)Experiments yield qualitative data, whereas naturalistic observation yields quantitative data.

(B)Naturalistic observation involves surveys, whereas experiments measure behavior.

(C)Naturalistic observation takes place in the field, whereas experiments take place in a lab.

(D)Researchers can exercise greater control over experiments than in naturalistic observation.

(E)Experiments can yield statistically significant results and naturalistic observation cannot.

22.According to humanistic psychologists, psychological disorders are most likely caused by

(A)neurochemical imbalances.

(B)unhealthy attributional styles.

(C)learned associations.

(D)unfulfilled needs.

(E)genetic predispositions.

23.A fetus with the genotype XXY will most likely

(A)result in a miscarriage.

(B)suffer from sterility as an adult.

(C)be color blind.

(D)grow into a depressed adult.

(E)develop into a passive, withdrawn woman.

24.Of the following, most children will develop which skill first?

(A)write with a pencil

(B)cut with a knife

(C)say a sentence

(D)turn pages of a book

(E)clap their hands

25.Antonia has a cat. The first time she sees a rabbit, she calls it a cat. Her mistake is due to the process of






26.Which of the following terms is most closely associated with creativity?

(A)hypothesis testing

(B)contextual intelligence

(C)divergent thinking


(E)echoic memory

27.The somatic nervous system is part of the

(A)central nervous system.

(B)peripheral nervous system.

(C)autonomic nervous system.

(D)parasympathetic nervous system.

(E)sympathetic nervous system.

28.Which part of the brain is the newest in an evolutionary sense?


(B)cerebral cortex


(D)reticular formation


29.Which of the following disorders responds best to cognitive behavioral therapy?

(A)disorganized schizophrenia

(B)bipolar disorder

(C)dissociative identity disorder

(D)catatonic schizophrenia

(E)major depressive disorder

30.Which structure is found in the inner ear?


(B)basilar membrane

(C)tympanic membrane


(E)auditory canal

31.What type of psychologist would assert that a key motivation for people is the desire to spread their genetic material?






32.After Suzy decided to go to the prom with Dylan, Max was unconsciously furious. Max then channeled all his energies into his artwork. Which defense mechanism is Max using?






33.Which of the following graphs best represents the relationship between arousal and performance?


34.Which of the following statistics provides the most information about how spread out a distribution of scores is?






35.Because Jake, the team’s starting, star center, is late to basketball practice, Coach Peterson sits him out for the first quarter of the next game. Jake is on time for the rest of the season. Coach Peterson has used

(A)positive punishment.

(B)negative reinforcement.


(D)positive reinforcement.

(E)omission training.

36.Some contemporary intelligence researchers like Howard Gardner and Robert Sternberg complain that schools focus too much on

(A)nonessential subjects like art and music.

(B)encouraging creative thought.

(C)the environmental factors that influence the expression of intelligence.

(D)traditional subjects and methods.

(E)meeting the needs of students with disabilities.

37.Delusions of grandeur are most characteristic of



(C)conversion disorder.

(D)antisocial personality disorder.

(E)dissociative identity disorder.

38.Faye believes that victims of natural disasters are foolish because they should have developed better advance detection and warning systems. Faye is manifesting the

(A)false consensus effect.

(B)self-fulfilling prophecy effect.

(C)self-serving bias.

(D)just-world bias.

(E)Barnum effect.

39.Four-year-old Kate positions herself squarely in front of all the other kids to watch a magician. Piaget would attribute this to Kate’s


(B)lack of object permanence.

(C)inability to conserve.



40.Someone who is unable to encode new memories is said to suffer from


(B)belief bias.

(C)state-dependent memory.

(D)retroactive interference.

(E)anterograde amnesia.

41.The brainstem is comprised of the

(A)forebrain and RAS.

(B)hindbrain and midbrain.

(C)cerebellum and cerebrum.

(D)right and left hemispheres.

(E)cortex and the limbic system.

42.The limbic system plays an important role in

(A)maintaining balance.

(B)regulating emotion.

(C)monitoring arousal.

(D)processing sensory information.

(E)planning for the future.

43.In a number of experiments, Elizabeth Loftus has shown that the wording of a question can affect participants’ recall of an incident. These studies best illustrate

(A)the reconstructive nature of memory.

(B)the serial position effect.

(C)the rate at which people forget information.

(D)the role of the cerebellum in memory.

(E)the influence of hindsight bias on memory.

44.Erikson’s initiative versus guilt stage is most closely related to Freud’s

(A)oral stage.

(B)anal stage.

(C)phallic stage.

(D)latency period.

(E)adult genital stage.

45.Daniel is a toddler who lags behind his peers in terms of speech development. He avoids eye contact with people and resists alterations to routine. Daniel is most likely to be diagnosed with

(A)Down syndrome.

(B)fetal alcohol syndrome.

(C)mental retardation.


(E)Klinefelter syndrome.

46.Approximately what percent of the population scores between 70 and 130 on the WISC?






Use the following information to answer questions 47 and 48.

The school librarian wants to encourage children to read over the summer. Therefore, she sets up a system where students get a prize for every five books they read over the summer.

47.The librarian is using

(A)continuous reinforcement.

(B)a fixed ratio schedule.

(C)a variable ratio schedule.

(D)a fixed interval schedule.

(E)a variable interval schedule.

48.The librarian is pleased to find that students report reading more books over the summer than ever before. However, the number of books borrowed from the library decreases in the fall. Psychologists would likely explain these findings with

(A)the overjustification effect.

(B)social learning theory.

(C)the Premack principle.

(D)the law of effect.

(E)latent learning.


49.In order to prove a psychological theory,

(A)you need to run an experiment.

(B)you need to find statistically significant results.

(C)you must replicate your findings.

(D)you have to first prove your hypotheses.

(E)it is impossible to prove a theory.

50.Lupe has been dating Craig for a few months. She’s attracted to him and has fun with him, but she can’t stand his friends or his family. Lupe’s conflict would best be classified as

(A)an approach-approach conflict.

(B)an approach-avoidance conflict.

(C)an avoidance-avoidance conflict.

(D)a multiple approach-avoidance conflict.

(E)Lupe does not have a conflict.

51.Ani believes that her attitudes and behavior play a central role in what happens to her. Such a belief is likely to be associated with

(A)a strong superego.

(B)low self-esteem.

(C)low self-efficacy.

(D)an internal locus of control.

(E)an extraverted personality.

52.The fact that people’s ears are located on opposite sides of their heads is most adaptive because it helps us

(A)sense a greater range of frequencies.

(B)gauge the intensity of a stimulus.

(C)identify the origin of a sound.

(D)respond to noises behind us.

(E)figure out what sounds to ignore.

53.Young Tina had never seen the space shuttle until her parents pointed out a picture of it ready to launch. When she next saw a picture of it flying, she had difficulty recognizing it. Which concept best explains this problem?

(A)autokinetic effect



(D)shape constancy


54.Sal meets Petunia for the first time. She is outgoing and funny. He walks away with the opinion that Petunia is a fun person, whereas in actuality Petunia is temporarily gleeful because she just won the lottery. Sal’s opinion that Petunia is funny is best explained by

(A)the mere-exposure effect.

(B)self-serving bias.


(D)the fundamental attribution error.

(E)cognitive dissonance.

55.As part of her campaign for school president, Edy personally gives out cookies that say “Vote for Edy” on them. Which of the following is one reason that this approach might improve Edy’s chances in the election?


(B)mere-exposure effect

(C)central route of persuasion

(D)pluralistic ignorance


56.Alyssa presents one group of shoppers with an advertisement for milk that is 99 percent fat free and another group of shoppers with an advertisement for milk that is 1 percent fat. What is Alyssa most likely testing?

(A)representativeness heuristic

(B)confirmation bias


(D)mere-exposure effect


57.Eli is just beginning to sit up. Assuming he is developing at a typical pace, how old is Eli?

(A)1 month

(B)3 months

(C)6 months

(D)9 months

(E)12 months

58.Harlow’s monkey experiment illustrated

(A)the importance of physical contact to development.

(B)that language is a uniquely human skill.

(C)that primates can make and use tools.

(D)the danger of separating babies from their natural parents.

(E)that shyness is highly heritable.

59.Disorganized language like clang associations or neologisms is associated with

(A)autism spectrum disorder.


(C)dissociative identity disorder.

(D)bipolar disorder.

(E)obsessive-compulsive disorder.

60.Jupiter pilots his newly created perfectionism scale on a high school psychology class. He returns one month later to administer the same test to the same students, and then he correlates the two sets of results. What is Jupiter probably doing?

(A)checking for outliers

(B)standardizing the test

(C)looking to see if the mean level of perfectionism has changed

(D)assessing the test’s validity

(E)measuring the test’s reliability

61.Albert Bandura’s work evidenced that children who witnessed aggressive behavior on the part of adults would be likely to imitate the aggressive behavior later on. This phenomenon is known as

(A)instrumental learning.


(C)the copycat effect.



62.Coach Perry is training Lana to be the kindergarten soccer team’s goalie. Coach Perry starts by rolling the ball to Lana slowly so she can stop it; he gradually begins to roll the ball faster and to different parts of the goal, all the while praising her successful attempts. The technique Coach Perry is using is called

(A)the law of effect.

(B)the partial reinforcement effect.


(D)second-order conditioning.

(E)a token economy.

Use the following information to answer questions 63–65.

Matt wants to contrast girls’ and boys’ views about leadership. He selects a random sample of 100 students from Northeastern High School in Maine and administers a standardized leadership survey. Scores range from 5 to 20.

63.What type of number will tell Matt whether or not there is a significant difference between how the boys and girls scored?

(A)standard deviation


(C)p value

(D)chi square value

(E)correlation coefficient

64.Matt’s research design could best be classified as a(n)


(B)ex-post facto study.

(C)case study.

(D)naturalistic observation.

(E)content analysis.

65.What was the population in Matt’s study?

(A)the 100 students who took the survey

(B)American students

(C)high school students in Maine

(D)students at Northeastern High School

(E)high school students throughout the world


66.Which part of the brain was thought to play the most important role in the Cannon-Bard theory of emotion?




(D)association areas


67.One month before finals, Conrad makes a study schedule and begins to review his notes. Two weeks before finals, Conrad is studying for hours each day to prepare. Right after finals at the start of summer vacation, Conrad comes down with the flu. Which of the following theories best explains this chain of events?

(A)Selye’s general adaptation syndrome

(B)Yerkes-Dodson law

(C)Thorndike’s law of effect

(D)Festinger’s cognitive dissonance theory

(E)James-Lange theory of emotion

68.Learned helplessness is most likely to be directly related to

(A)the Barnum effect.

(B)self-serving bias.

(C)an external locus of control.

(D)unconditional positive regard.

(E)an Oedipal complex.

69.Which of the following are found in Jung’s collective unconscious?

(A)fictional finalisms



(D)feelings of inferiority

(E)bad memories

70.What color are the shortest electromagnetic waves humans can see?






71.People who are able to be hypnotized easily are likely to score high on which of the following dimensions of the big five personality traits?




(D)emotional stability


72.Due to brain damage, 10-year-old Genna underwent surgery to remove nearly the entire right hemisphere of her brain. Which of the following observations the day after the operation best illustrates the brain’s plasticity?

(A)Genna was able to understand what was said to her.

(B)Genna was able to speak.

(C)Genna was able to move her left hand.

(D)Genna was able to move her right leg.

(E)Genna was able to solve a logic problem.

73.Which of the following is the strongest piece of evidence for the idea that animals are capable of developing and using a sophisticated language?

(A)The discovery of physical structures in animal brains are analogous to the language acquisition device in humans.

(B)Primates quickly learn words that result in food rewards.

(C)Systems of communication have been documented in species from honeybees to dolphins.

(D)Apes have been able to use the words they know to express novel concepts.

(E)Young apes and young humans pick up new vocabulary at similar rates.

74.Research has shown that people who read a job description written only with male pronouns (e.g., he, his) are more likely to think of an employee as male than people who read a description that uses gender-neutral language (e.g., he or she). This finding is most closely linked to

(A)the linguistic relativity hypothesis.

(B)gender schema theory.

(C)the social role hypothesis.



75.In the nature versus nurture debate, nature is most closely associated with






76.If the College Board neglected to put any questions that had to do with neuroscience on the AP Psychology exam one year, the test would lack

(A)construct validity.

(B)predictive validity.

(C)concurrent validity.

(D)content validity.

(E)face validity.

77.Kohler’s studies with apes are seen as demonstrating

(A)the apes’ ability to communicate.

(B)that apes are able to use objects from their natural environment as tools.

(C)latent learning in primates.

(D)that learning can occur via insight.

(E)Thorndike’s law of effect.

78.Mr. Maji gives a test to his class of 25 students. All but three students score between 82 and 94. The other three students score 47, 55, and 62. These scores are potential





(E)standard deviations.

79.What area of psychology focuses on the study of subjective well-being, optimism, and happiness?


(B)human factors psychology

(C)social psychology

(D)positive psychology

(E)health psychology

80.After taking AP Psychology and doing well in the class and on the exam, Donald goes to college. If Donald is interested in psychology and has high achievement motivation, as a first-year student, he is most likely to

(A)take an introductory psychology class in which he knows that he will excel.

(B)enroll in an upper-level graduate seminar in which he will be exposed to a lot of new information but is likely to struggle to pass.

(C)avoid psychology classes since he has already mastered the material.

(D)sign up for an upper-level undergraduate course in which he will have to work hard to succeed and will learn new things.

(E)take the AP test again and see if he can earn an even better score.

81.Which of the following models of personality is the least deterministic?






82.Vance’s therapist believes Vance is psychotic. From which of the following medications would he most likely believe Vance would benefit?






83.Sperling’s partial report technique was designed to test the

(A)serial position effect.

(B)capacity of sensory memory.

(C)duration of working memory.

(D)difference between STM and LTM.

(E)misinformation effect.

84.Which of the following has been linked to a deficit of dopamine?

(A)major depressive disorder


(C)Parkinson’s disease

(D)Alzheimer’s disease


85.Runners in a park were found to pick up their pace when another runner came into view; this finding illustrates the phenomenon of

(A)social facilitation.





86.The Rosenhan study of mental institutions showed that

(A)treatment at private institutions tends to be better than treatment at public institutions.

(B)men are diagnosed at higher rates than women reporting the same symptoms.

(C)it is difficult to convince medical professionals that one has a disorder when one does not.

(D)people are overly concerned about the stickiness of diagnostic labels.

(E)confirmation bias may influence clinicians’ views and treatments of mental patients.

87.An American teenager’s prototype of a chair is most likely to include

(A)a desk and/or table.

(B)four legs and a seat.

(C)a feeling of anxiety associated with school.

(D)an armchair, a chairlift, and a wheelchair.

(E)pens, pencils, books, and a computer.

88.According to Kohlberg, in order to reason at the postconventional level, people must

(A)be generous.

(B)believe in God.

(C)be able to take another person’s perspective.

(D)have had a successful resolution of the integrity versus despair stage.

(E)have been exposed to good, moral role models.

89.The incidence of schizophrenia in the population is closest to

(A)1 in 10.

(B)1 in 100.

(C)1 in 1,000.

(D)1 in 10,000.

(E)1 in 100,000.

90.It has been suggested that learned helplessness may be related to

(A)major depressive disorder.


(C)obsessive-compulsive disorder.


(E)somatoform disorder.

91.Tired after a long, hard day at school, Cyrus decides to take a nap. An hour later, his Dad wakes him to let him know it’s time for dinner. Cyrus feels worse than when he went to bed and can hardly drag himself to the table. An EEG of Cyrus right before he was awoken would most likely have shown a preponderance of

(A)alpha waves.

(B)beta waves.

(C)delta waves.

(D)sleep spindles.

(E)K complex waves.

92.En route to the brain, information from the two eyes’ retinas crosses at the

(A)optic nerve.

(B)optic chiasm.


(D)lateral geniculate nucleus.

(E)basal ganglia.

93.In studying for the AP Psychology exam, good advice would be to

(A)store as much as possible in your short-term memory.

(B)read this book over and over as many times as you can.

(C)rely heavily on the serial position effect.

(D)study from multiple sources.

(E)minimize interference by staying up the night before the exam to study.

94.A lesson from Janis’s research on groupthink is that

(A)unanimity is important.

(B)small groups function better than large ones.

(C)groups function well under pressure.

(D)it is important for people to voice dissent.

(E)homogeneous groups come to better decisions than diverse groups.

95.Information from the optic nerve is initially processed in what part of the brain?

(A)occipital lobe





96.Which theory of emotion are cognitive psychologists most likely to support?

(A)social facilitation theory

(B)two-factor theory

(C)thalamic theory

(D)James-Lange theory

(E)opponent process theory

97.Odette is nearing her 70th birthday. Over the last year, she has suffered a loss of appetite and began to experience difficulty sleeping. She has lost interest in her favorite pastimes, gardening and bridge. Odette is most likely to be diagnosed as having

(A)Alzheimer’s disease.

(B)seasonal affective disorder.

(C)insomnia and bulimia.

(D)major depressive disorder.

(E)antisocial personality disorder.

98.One cause of the deinstitutionalization of many psychiatric patients in the mid-1900s was

(A)an increase in government funding.

(B)the movement for the rights of the mentally ill.

(C)the creation of new medications.

(D)an improvement in psychotherapy.

(E)the recognition that too many healthy people had been institutionalized.

99.What part of Phineas Gage’s brain was damaged by his accident while laying the railroad track?

(A)corpus callosum

(B)temporal lobe

(C)medulla oblongata

(D)prefrontal cortex


100.Approximately what percentage of participants in Milgram’s obedience experiments thought they delivered the maximum amount of shock possible?






image If there is still time remaining, you may review your answers.



Directions: You have 50 minutes to answer the TWO questions that follow. Your answer should present an argument rather than a list of facts. Make sure to incorporate psychological terminology into your answers whenever possible.

1.Two-year-old Eli dislikes green vegetables and often refuses to eat them.

(A)How could each of the following theories help explain Eli’s behavior?

■Evolutionary psychology

■Erikson’s psychosocial stage theory

(B)How could Eli’s parents use each of the following psychological phenomena to increase Eli’s

consumption of green vegetables?

■Mere exposure effect

■Eli’s lack of Piagetian conservation



■Positive reinforcement

2.Ten-year-old Pooja plays the trumpet. Her school band teacher assigns the students to practice at least 20 minutes a night and to keep a log of their practice time. At her weekly group lesson at school, Pooja notices that some students improve much more rapidly than others, and she decides to conduct a study for the 5th grade science fair to see why that might be. She surveys the other five students in her lesson group and finds a correlation between time spent practicing and improvement as measured by a rating from 1 (little improvement) to 10 (tremendous improvement) that she gives the students based on listening to their monthly playing tests. The data appear in the chart below.


Average Weekly Practice Time (in hours)

Playing Test
Score (1–10)
















(A)■Draw and label a scatter plot to show this finding.

■Describe the type of correlation Pooja found.

(B)Pooja decides to do a follow-up study in which she surveys all 42 members of her elementary school band and rates their performance on the monthly playing tests. In addition to asking how long they practice, Pooja asks about whether they take private lessons, how they divide their practice time over the week, and how nervous they feel during their playing tests.

Explain how Pooja could relate each of the following phenomena to her research topic or findings when presenting at the science fair.

1.Distributed practice

2.Experimenter bias

3.Social desirability

4.Yerkes-Dodson law

(C)One of Pooja’s findings was that students who take private lessons average a score of 4.7 on their monthly playing test, while students who do not take private lessons average a score of 4.5. Pooja concludes that taking private lessons accelerates improvement.

■Draw and label a bar graph to show this result.

■Explain why you agree or disagree with Pooja’s conclusion.

Multiple-Choice Error Analysis Sheet

After checking your answers on the practice test, you might want to gauge your areas of relative strength and weakness. This sheet will help you to classify your errors by topic area. By circling the numbers of the questions you answered incorrectly, you can get a picture of which areas you need to study the most.



Question 1 Scoring Rubric

This is an 8-point question with two distinct parts. Part A asks you to explain how the two terms provided might explain Eli’s aversion to green vegetables. Part B asks you to discuss how the additional five terms might be used to encourage Eli to eat green vegetables.

1.Two year-old Eli dislikes green vegetables and often refuses to eat them.

Part A


Evolutionary Psychology

Evolutionary psychologists believe that human behavior is motivated by the desire to ensure the survival and proliferation of our genes. By age two, children are able to move about on their own and will therefore encounter new plants, some of which may look like vegetables but, in fact, be dangerous to eat. Therefore, an evolutionary psychologist might say that Eli’s refusal to eat green vegetables is due to a natural avoidance that arises about the time children become independent enough to eat things without supervision.


Erickson’s Psychosocial Stage Theory

According to Erikson, from ages one to three children are in a stage that revolves around a conflict between autonomy or shame and doubt. As such, children of this age often try to assert their will, and the word no becomes a common part of their vocabularies. Eli’s refusal to eat the green vegetables his parents so desperately want him to eat may therefore just be a way of asserting his independence.

Part B


Mere Exposure Effect

The mere exposure effect says that the more one is exposed to something, the more one comes to like it. Therefore, Eli’s parents could simply serve him green vegetables frequently hoping that with repeated contact, he will come to like them more.


Eli’s Lack of Piagetian Conservation

According to Piaget, children learn to conserve upon entering the concrete operations stage around age six. Until then, children are typically unable to solve problems that ask them to compare quantities. Eli’s parents may be able to take advantage of this cognitive limitation in how they present his vegetables. For instance, instead of serving Eli many small pieces of celery, they could ask Eli to eat just one (large) celery stalk.



People have a natural desire to fit in with others. If Eli’s siblings or cousins or friends eat green vegetables, Eli’s parents may be able to increase his consumption of vegetables by serving them to Eli among a group of people all of whom will eat their green vegetables.



Modeling is when someone observes someone else’s behavior and then copies it. While conformity involves fitting into a group, modeling can be done by an individual. Eli’s parents can model eating green vegetables themselves hoping that Eli will notice and copy them.


Positive Reinforcement

A reinforcer is a consequence that increases the likelihood of a behavior. Eli’s parents can use positive reinforcement by giving Eli something he wants when he eats his green vegetables. For instance, each day that Eli finishes his vegetables he could be rewarded with a half hour of watching television.

Question 2 Scoring Rubric

Note: In both 2014 and 2015, the AP Psychology Exam included a free-response question in which students were asked to create and label a bar graph. In this question, we included a bar graph to mimic that style of the question and also asked for a scatter plot in an effort to anticipate what the exam might include in years to come.

This is an 8-point question with three parts that focus on a student research project. Part A of the question asks you to graph a small data set in a scatter plot and describe the correlation found. Part B requires that you relate four psychological concepts to the research described in the question. Part C presents one of the findings of the research and asks that you graph it and evaluate the student researcher’s conclusion.

Part A


Draw and Label a Scatter Plot

No text is necessary to earn this point other than the axis labels on the graph below. A scatter plot is used to show a correlation; it depicts one variable on the x-axis (horizontal) and the other on the y-axis (vertical). Typically, the independent variable is plotted on the x-axis and the dependent variable on the y-axis. As you may remember, in a correlational study like this one, there is no true independent variable because neither variable is manipulated by the researcher. Thus, you would score the point regardless of which variable you plotted on either axis.

I used Excel to make the graph shown below. However, on your exam, you will not be expected to exhibit the precision of a graphing program. You will not even have graph paper. So long as you draw and label your axes and make a reasonable effort to plot the points in approximately the correct places, you will earn the point.



Describe the Type of Correlation Pooja Found

Pooja found a positive correlation between weekly practice time and playing test score.

Part B


Distributed Practice

Musicians who distribute (spread out) their practice time are more likely to improve than musicians who use massed practice.


Experimenter Bias

A problem in Pooja’s study was experimenter bias—the tendency of researchers to inadvertently influence their work in such a way as to confirm their hypotheses. If Pooja is aware of how much practice time the students have reported as she listens to their playing tests, she may be subconsciously inclined to interpret what she hears so as to support her predictions.


Social Desirability

Social desirability is the tendency of people to report the “right” kind of data. In Pooja’s case, the students all know they are supposed to practice, and may, therefore, not be entirely honest in their reports of their practice time.


Yerkes-Dodson Law

The Yerkes-Dodson law says that optimal performance is related to moderate levels of arousal. Pooja may find that students who report being a little nervous during their playing tests perform better than students who report very high or very low levels of nervousness.

Part C


Draw and Label a Bar Graph

Again, you don’t need a ruler to earn this point. Just draw the two bars and label the axes as shown below.



Explain Why You Agree or Disagree with Pooja’s Conclusion

You should not agree with Pooja’s conclusion, but to earn the point you need to say something about why you do not agree. There are two main problems with Pooja’s conclusion, and describing either one would earn you the point. One problem is that Pooja confuses causation with correlation, and you could score this point by explaining that problem in one of two ways. It may be that taking private lessons causes students to improve, but it also may be that students who are improving are more likely to seek out private lessons. Alternatively, you could explain that because Pooja does not run an experiment and randomly assign students to take private lessons or not, it could also be that some third factor (such as, practice time) is responsible both for the improvement and for the decision to take private lessons.

The second major problem with Pooja’s conclusion is the size of the difference between the groups—4.5 versus 4.7. This small difference is unlikely to be statistically significant—that is, such a small difference is very likely to be due to chance.


*Remember: All directions on the Diagnostic and Practice Tests will look similar to those you may see on test day. Since this is an eBook, all responses should be recorded separately.