1998 AP Psychology Free-Response

1998 AP Psychology Free-Response Questions

Directions: You have 50 minutes to answer BOTH of the following questions.  It is not enough to answer a question by merely listing facts.  You should present a cogent argument based on your critical analysis of the question posed.

Question 1 Read the following abstract of a student research project on bystander intervention and then answer the questions that follow.    The ten participants in the study were unaware of its purpose.  The first five who signed up to be tested were assigned to the Alone condition and the next five were assigned to the With Others condition.  The Alone condition was run in the morning and the With Others condition in the afternoon.

In the Alone condition, each of the five participants was asked to wait alone in a room.  While the participant waited, a female voice in the next room screamed out, asking for help.

In the With Others condition, each one of the five participants was asked to wait in a room with several confederates of the researcher. During this waiting period, a male voice in the next room screamed out, asking for help. 

In each condition, the percentage of participants who responded to the cry for help was recorded.

  • Identify the independent and dependent variables in this study. 
  • Identify four flaws in the design of this study and the recommendations you would make to correct these flaws. 
  • Discuss an ethical issue raised by the design of this study. 
  • Use your knowledge of research in social psychology to describe the likely results of this study if correct methodology had been used.

Question 2 A. Describe fully the distinctive emphasis of the cognitive approach to human behavior and mental processes. In your essay, be sure to specify how the cognitive approach differs from the following psychological approaches.

    • Psychodynamic/psychoanalytic
    • Behavioral
    • Biological

    B. Give an example of the contribution of cognitive theory to the understanding of each of the following.

    • Memory
    • Depression