AP Psychology Practice Test: Testing & Individual Differences

This AP Psychology practice test covers testing & individual differences. You will need to be familiar with contemporary theories of intelligence and how culture influences definitions of intelligence. You must also understand the basics of intelligence testing along with the validity and reliability of these tests. Our practice questions will help you learn this important AP Psych topic.

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Question 1
A student notes that she scored a lot higher on the AP Psychology exam than she did on her psychology teacher's tests. She would be justified in claiming that the teacher's tests lack

A
Reliability
B
Criterion validity
C
Content validity
D
Predictive validity
E
Factor analysis
Question 1 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Predictive validity refers to a test's ability to predict an outcome in some other area. Since the student's scores on the teacher's tests were very different than her scores on the AP Exam, the teacher's tests failed to accurately predict the student's performance on the AP Exam and therefore lack predictive validity.
Question 2
Katherine is a gifted psychotherapist who connects well with her patients. Which type of intelligence would she likely use most in her work?

A
Linguistic
B
Intrapersonal
C
Interpersonal
D
Spatial
E
Musical
Question 2 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C) . Howard Gardner described multiple intelligences, including interpersonal intelligence which refers to the ability to understand other people and interact well with them. People who demonstrate high levels of interpersonal intelligence are generally good communicators with high levels of empathy. These characteristics would be very helpful to a psychotherapist.
Question 3
Assessments that evaluate a person's potential to learn a new set of skills are designed to determine the person's _______ in that area.

A
Intelligence
B
Achievement
C
Aptitude
D
Bias
E
grit
Question 3 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Aptitude refers to the potential ability to learn something a person hasn't already learned. For example, a person with speed, strength, good eye-hand coordination, and quick reflexes would have an aptitude for learning to play baseball, and would learn it quickly even though they have never played before.
Question 4
A researcher compares participants' scores on multiple administrations of the same assessment. The researcher is trying to determine whether the assessment demonstrates

A
Reliability
B
Validity
C
Factor Analysis
D
Aptitude
E
Standardization
Question 4 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). Reliability refers to the consistency of scores on an assessment. If the participants' scores varied a lot from one administration to the next, the researcher would conclude that the assessment lacked reliability.
Question 5
A score of 100 on a standard intelligence test means that the person taking the test

A
Scored well below average
B
Got a perfectly average score
C
Scored slightly above average
D
Scored well above average
E
Answered every question correctly
Question 5 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). Intelligence tests are normed so that 100 always indicates an average score.
Question 6
Stephanie knows that many people believe that women are not as skilled at math as men. When she takes a math test, this awareness causes her to perform below her actual abilities due to

A
Researcher bias
B
Stereotype threat
C
Construct validity
D
Criterion validity
E
Variance
Question 6 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). Stereotype threat occurs when people who know that others who share their demographic characteristics ( gender, ethnicity, age, etc.) are expected to do poorly on a particular assessment experience a decrease in their scores on that assessment.
Question 7
Approximately what percentage of people obtain scores between 85 and 115 on a standard intelligence test?

A
2%
B
14%
C
34%
D
68%
E
97%
Question 7 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Intelligence scores fall in a normal distribution. In a normal distribution, approximately 34% of scores fall within one standard deviation above the mean and another 34% fall within one standard deviation below the mean. The mean score for intelligence is 100 and the standard deviation is 15 points. Therefore, a score of 85 would be one standard deviation below the mean and a score of 115 would be one standard deviation above the mean. So 34% of people's scores would fall between 85 and 100 and another 34% would fall between 100 and 115. When these are added together, the result is 68%.
Question 8
Cattel defined this type of intelligence as "the ability to perceive relationships independent of previous specific practice or instruction concerning those relationships."

A
Mathematical intelligence
B
Spatial intelligence
C
Fluid intelligence
D
Crystallized intelligence
E
Analytic intelligence
Question 8 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Cattel described 2 types of intelligence: crystallized intelligence which is accumulated knowledge and vocabulary, and fluid intelligence which is the ability to reason abstractly and solve novel problems.
Question 9
In his famous longitudinal study, Lewis Terman hoped to show that

A
Gifted children experience higher than average rates of mental illness.
B
Gifted children fall behind their peers when they reach adulthood.
C
Gifted children grow up to be happy and successful
D
Gifted children are more likely to become criminals in adulthood.
E
Gifted children tend to earn less money in adulthood than their peers.
Question 9 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). When Terman began his study in 1921, there was a widespread belief that people who were gifted as children would be more likely to grow up to have problems in adulthood ("first to ripe, first to rot"). Terman wanted to show that this was not the case. Although none of his 1528 "Termites" grew up to win the Nobel Prize, they grew up to be better educated and more successful on average than their nongifted peers.
Question 10
Mrs. Smith gives a psychology test and finds that the scores form a normal distribution where the mean is 80 and the standard deviation is 12. About what percentage of Mrs. Smith's students scored at or above a 92%?

A
2%
B
12%
C
14%
D
16%
E
20%
Question 10 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). In a normal distribution, if the mean is 80 and the standard deviation is 12, then a score of 92 would fall one standard deviation above the mean. In a normal distribution about 84% of scores would fall below one standard deviation above the mean, leaving 16% at or above one standard deviation above the mean. Therefore, since a 92% is one standard deviation above the mean in this scenario, 16% of the scores would be at or above a 92%
Question 11
Ten year old Matthew takes the Stanford-Binet intelligence test and it indicates that he has a mental age of eleven and a half. Using the Stanford-Binet formula to calcultate his IQ, what would Matthew's IQ be?

A
87
B
97
C
100
D
115
E
117
Question 11 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). To calculate IQ using the Stanford-Binet formula, divide Mental Age by Chronological age, then multiply by 100. 11.5 divided by 10 = 1.15. 1.15 x 100 = 115. To double check your answer, remember that 100 is an average score. So if the mental age is higher than the chronological age, you should get an answer that is above 100.
Question 12
If the variance of a set of scores is 16, what is the standard deviation?

A
4
B
16
C
32
D
64
E
256
Question 12 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). The standard deviation is the square root of the variance. The square root of 16 = 4.
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