Review for the exam

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The AP Psychology exam will be given in May.  With the busy schedules that everyone has, I decided to try this as a way to review for the exam. 

The AP Examination in Psychology is approximately two hours long and includes both a 70-minute multiple-choice section and a 50-minute free-response section.  The multiple-choice section accounts for two-thirds of the student's examination grade and the free-response section for the remaining one-third.  Major areas covered in the examination are as follows:

* Methods, Approaches, History 7-9%

* Biological Bases of Behavior 8-10%

* Sensation and Perception 7-9%

* States of Consciousness 2-4%

* Learning and Memory 7-9%

* Cognition 7-9%

* Motivation and Emotion 7-9%

* Developmental Psychology 7-9%

* Personality 7-9%

* Testing and Individual Differences 5-7%

* Abnormal Psychology 7-9%

* Treatment of Psychological Disorders 6-8%

*Social Psychology 7-9%

* Practice Test



Psychology is the science of behavior and mental processes

A Brief History-

Wilhelm Wundt- founded first research lab in 1879- birth of scientific psychology

Structuralism – studied consciousness- introspection, examining one’s mind and what one is thinking and feeling. Edward Titchener

Functionalism- look at function not structure, stress adaptation to the environment.

William James (Principles of Psychology in 1890) John Dewey

Gestalt psychology – focus on the totality of perception, Max Wertheimer

Psychoanalysis- Sigmund Freud- focus on role of unconscious conflicts, the process of raising these conflicts to a level of awareness is the goal of psychoanalysis

Current Views of Psychology-

Neurobiology- Behavior viewed in terms of biological responses 
Behaviorism- Behavior viewed as a product of learned responses.
Humanism- Behavior viewed as a reflection of internal growth. Free will, self-actualization, Carl Rogers, client-centered therapy
Psychodynamic – Behavior viewed as a reflection of unconscious aggressive and sexual impulses
Cognitive Behavior viewed as a product of various internal sentences or thoughts.Psychology –
Sociocultural – Behavior viewed as strongly influenced by the rules and expectations of specific social groups or cultures


Psychology- the scientific study of the behavior of living things

4 goals- describe, understand, predict and control
– general framework for scientific study; smaller aspects can be tested
Charles Darwin
– theories led to comparative psychology, inspired early functionalists

Wilhelm Wundt
- ‘father of psychology’, first scientific lab

Introspection- the process of looking into yourself and describing what is there
- the first theoretical school in psychology, stated that all complex substances could be separated and analyzed into component elements  
Sigmund Freud
- psychodynamic approach, emphasis on the unconscious
William James
- wrote ‘Principles of Psychology’, a functionalist , coined the phrase‘stream of consciousness’
Functionalist –
asked what the mind does and why, believed that all behavior and mental processes help organisms to adapt to a changing environment  
John. B. Watson
- behaviorist, Little Albert
Gestalt psychology –
emphasized the organizational processes in behavior, rather than the content of behavior, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts
– the process of making your own system by borrowing from two or more other systems.
l approach (medical)- viewing behavior as the result of nervous system functions and biology
approach –view behavior as the product of learning and associations
B. F. Skinner
- behaviorist, operant conditioning
Humanistic approach
- believe people are basically good and capable of helping themselves.
Carl Rogers
- a humanist
- a system of viewing the individual as the product of unconscious forces
Cognitive approach-
emphasizing how humans use mental processes to handle problems or develop certain personality characteristics 
Sociocultural approach –
behavior viewed as strongly influenced by the rules and expectations of specific social groups or cultures
Placebo –
a ‘medicine’ with no active ingredients

Double-blind study- neither participants or researchers know who is in which group  

Hypothesis- a statement of the results that the experimenter expects  
Subjects- people or animals in the experiment  
Independent variable- factor that the experimenter manipulates in a study  
Dependent variable- the factor in a study that changes as a result of changes in the IV  
Confounding variable
- factors that may cause the DV to change other than the IV
Field experiments
- research that takes place outside the laboratory
Experimental group
- the group that gets the changes in the IV
Control group
- this group is for comparison and doesn’t get the changed IV
- method of research using questions on feelings opinions, or behavior patterns
- a group that represents a larger group
Naturalistic observation
- research method that involves studying subjects without their being aware that they are being watched
- a research method that involves studying people face to face and asking questions
Case study method
- research that collects lengthy, detailed info. About a person’s background, usually for treatment
Cross-sectional method
- looks at different age groups at the same time in order to understand changes that occur during the life span
Longitudinal method
- studies the same group of people over a long period of time
– results of a test or study must be reproducible
– measures what the psychologist wishes to measure
Construct validity
– the extent to which a test measures something – a theoretical construct

Criterion-related validity- refers to how effective a test is in predicting an individual’s behavior in other specified situations (ex. SAT)

Informed consent – telling subjects all features of the experiment prior to the study
Inferential statistics
– used to measure sampling error, draw conclusions from data, and test hypotheses (ex. T-test, chi-squares, analyses of variance)
Descriptive statistics
– answer the question what is the data, include measures of central tendency
- average
Median- middle number
– most frequent number
- how the data spreads across a graph (range, standard deviation, Z-
– the relationship between two sets of scores, range between +1.00 and –1.00, the closer to 1 the stronger the correlation
Z-score –
a way of expressing a score’s distance from the mean in terms of the standard deviation  

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