1996 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.

  1. Discuss how social and biological factors have an impact on each of the following in the individual.
    1. Body weight
    2. Perception
    3. Alcoholism
    4. Extraversion
    5. Schizophrenia


  1. Professor Jackson believes that frustration increases the need for achievement.  She decides to test her hypothesis with her introductory psychology class of about 100 students.  The first 50 students who arrive for class one day are taken to a separate room and given a series of easy puzzles to complete.  Professor Jackson then asks each student about his or her professional goals.  She rates the statement of each on a 7-point scale for strength of achievement motivation.

When they arrive, the remaining students are taken to another room and given a series of difficult puzzles by Professor Jacksonís teaching assistant, Jim.  Jim also asks each student about his or her professional goals and, like Professor Jackson, then rates the statement of each on a 7-point scale.

The group given the difficult puzzles has, on average, higher achievement motivation scores than the group given the easy puzzles.  Professor Jackson concludes that her hypothesis is supported.

Show how each of the following aspects of Professor Jacksonís experimental design is flawed.  Indicate how you would correct the problem.

A.     Sampling

B.     Assignment of participants

C.     Dependent Variable

D.     Control of experimenter bias

E.      Control of confounding variables (You need to cite only one.)