Advanced Placement Psychology

Unit 1 Chapter 1

History and Methods

Study guide


1. Professor _____ told one class that alcohol consumption has been found to increase sexual desire. He informed another class that alcohol consumption has been found to reduce sexual appetite. How could neither class be surprised by the information?

2. Explain the best strategy Dr. _____ would use to reduce students’ perception that psychological experiments merely document the obvious.

3. Formulating testable hypotheses before conducting research is most directly useful for restraining what thinking error?

4. The scientific attitude of humility is most likely to be undermined by what issue?

5. Which personality flaw is most likely to inhibit critical thinking?

6. _____ was certain that she would never live far away from her family. However, in order to further her career, she decided to move. What concept does this experience best illustrate?

7. When you question whether anecdotal evidence can be generalized to all people, you are applying what concept?

8. What must a scientist do to ease the process of replication?

9. Surveys indicate that people are much less likely to support “welfare” than “aid to the needy.”  These somewhat paradoxical survey results best illustrate the importance of what?

10. _____, who is opposed to capital punishment, was extremely surprised to learn that the results of a survey indicated that the majority of the population approved of capital punishment. Her surprise best illustrates the power of what?

11. In order to learn about the TV viewing habits of all the children attending Oakbridge School, Professor _____ randomly selected and interviewed 50 of the school’s students. What term would apply to all the children attending the school?

12. In order to assess reactions to a proposed tuition hike at her college, _____ sent a questionnaire to every fifteenth person in the college registrar’s alphabetical listing of all currently enrolled students. What technique is she using?

13. In order to compare the pace of life in different countries, investigators measured the speed with which postal clerks completed a simple request.  Which research method is this?

14. For what purpose is correlational research most useful?

15. What is measure by a correlation coefficient?

16. Which statistical measure is most helpful for indicating the extent to which high school grades predict college grades?

17. If college graduates typically earn more money than high school graduates, what relationship would this indicate?

18. Represent numerically the correlation between annual income and education level you would believe true.

19. Following the scientific discovery that a specific brain structure is significantly larger in violent individuals than in those who are nonviolent, a news headline announced: “Enlarged Brain Structure Triggers Violent Acts.” The headline writer should most clearly be warned about what dangers?

20. Because she had a serious traffic accident on Friday the 13th of last month, _____ is convinced that all Friday the 13ths will bring bad luck. What is illustrated by her belief?

21. The King James Version of the Bible was completed when William Shakespeare was forty-six years old. In Psalm 46 of this translation, the forty-sixth word is “shake,” and the forty-sixth word from the end is “spear.” Before concluding that the biblical translators were trying to be humorous with these specific word placements, you would be best advised to recognize what danger?

22. In a test of the effects of sleep deprivation on problem-solving skills, research participants are allowed to sleep either 4 or 8 hours on each of three consecutive nights. What type of research is this?

23. What is the most foolproof way of testing the true effectiveness of a newly introduced method of psychological therapy?

24. To assess the effect of televised violence on aggression, researchers plan to expose one group of children to violent movie scenes and another group to nonviolent scenes. In order to reduce the chance that the children in one group have more aggressive personalities than those in the other group, the researchers should make use of what conditions?

25. _____ has volunteered to participate in an experiment evaluating the effectiveness of aspirin.  Neither he nor the experimenters know whether the pills he takes during the experiment contain aspirin or are merely placebos. The investigators are apparently making use of what condition?

26. What situation best illustrates the healing power of positive expectations?

27. In an experiment designed to study the effectiveness of a new drug, research participants who receive a placebo are participating in the ________ condition.

28. What do experimenters make use of In order to provide a baseline against which they can evaluate the effects of a specific treatment?

29. In order to study the effects of noise on worker productivity, researchers have one group of subjects work in a noisy room and a second group work in a quiet room. To ensure that any differences in the productivity of the two groups actually result from the different noise levels to which the groups are exposed, the researchers would use what?

30. Complete the analogy: Random sampling is to ________ as random assignment is to ________.

31. Which technique most clearly minimizes the likelihood that any outcome differences between the experimental and control conditions can be attributed to age or personality differences in research participants?

32. Knowing the difference between an experimental condition and a control condition is most relevant to understanding the nature of what?

33. When you read a bar graph, on what it is most important for you to focus?

34. When Mr. _____ calculated his students’ algebra test scores, he noticed that two students had extremely low scores. Which measure of central tendency is affected most by the scores of these two students?

35. Seven members of a boys’ club reported the following individual earnings from their sale of cookies: $2, $9, $8, $10, $4, $9, and $7. Figure the mean, median and mode.

36. What is the most commonly reported measure of central tendency?

37. In order to understand the British newspaper headline “Income for 62% Is Below Average,” it is necessary to appreciate the distinction between the ________ and the mean.

38. When is the median most clearly a more appropriate measure of central tendency than the mean?

39. Which measure of variation is affected most by a few extreme scores?

40. _____ wants to know how consistent her bowling scores have been during the past season.  Which measure would be most relevant to this specific concern?

41. What information is indicated by an extremely small standard deviation?

42. _____, a member of his college’s golf team, has an opportunity to play against a nationally acclaimed professional golfer. How many holes of golf should _____ choose to play with the professional in order to maximize his own slim chances of winning?

43. Why is an awareness of extensive cultural differences in attitudes and values extremely important?

44. Slender women are considered especially beautiful in one country; in another country, stout women are seen as particularly attractive. In both countries, however, women perceived as very beautiful receive preferential treatment. This best illustrates that ________ often underlie cultural differences.

45. Analyze psychological differences between the genders.

46. Explain the American Psychological Association and British Psychological Society ethical principles.

Free Response Questions :

47. When your best friend hears that you are taking a psychology course, she asserts that psychology is simply common sense. Explain why your awareness of both the limits of everyday reasoning and the methods of psychological research would lead you to disagree with your friend’s assertion.

48. The table below lists the scores of eight subjects on a test to measure anxiety, as well as the typical number of cigarettes each person smokes daily. Scores on the anxiety test can range anywhere from a low of 0 (indicating very low anxiety) to a high of 30 (indicating very high anxiety).

Anxiety Cigarettes

Subject Test Score Smoked Daily


1 8 11

2 9 3

3 15 11

4 14 16

5 21 26

6 12 10

7 22 24

8 17 18

Construct a scatterplot to represent the correlation between smoking and anxiety. Describe the direction of the correlation and give two possible explanations for it.

49. Speaking at a college graduation ceremony, Professor Robson compared college graduates with adults who are less educated. She correctly noted that college graduates pay more taxes, vote more frequently, engage in more volunteer activities in their communities, and are less likely to go to jail than less-educated adults. The professor concluded that colleges obviously do great things for society. How might you reasonably challenge the way the professor reached her conclusion?

50. Design an experiment to test whether alcohol consumption influences people’s tendency to become socially aggressive. Be sure to specify your experimental hypothesis and identify your dependent and independent variables, as well as your experimental and control conditions. Identify any experimental procedures that would help to ensure the validity of your research.

51. Five students received the following test scores: 7, 11, 5, 6, and 11. Calculate the mode, median, mean, and range of this distribution of scores. Which measure of central tendency would change the most if an additional test score of 2 was included in the distribution?