Monday, April 6, 2009

Psychology GRE Study Guide Page 9

I’m too lazy to link all of the previous pages, but you can find them in the archives and under the label “GRE”. Page 1 has a link to the official Practice GRE from which this guide is developed.

64. The central tendency is the value around which most scores are clustered. The mean is the average, the mode is the measure that occurs most frequently, and the median is the middle point of a set of measurements. For example, for a set of numbers (4, 4, 5, 8, 9), the mean is 15, the mode is 4, and the median is 5 (half the scores are less than and half the scores are greater than 5). The mean can be a misrepresentative average if one subject behaves quite outside of the distribution; if the above set of numbers was instead (4, 4, 5, 8, 9, 30), the mean would now be 30 which varies greatly from the mode (4) and the median (6.5). However, with a large enough sample, this skewed effect would become less obvious.
c. A ratio scale is used when there is an absolute zero point which represents the absence of the thing being measured and consists of equidistant measurement points (e.g. length, age, salary – $10 is twice as much as $5).

65. The sensorimotor period occurs from birth to about two years of age when infants learn that movements and sounds can be used to interact with the world. At about 1 year of age, the infant begins to develop the symbolic thought process of object permanence which means they recognise that an object still exists even when it is out of sight.

66. Social learning theory describes the belief that personality traits are the result of environmental imitation or behavioural learning through observation.
a. Psychoanalytic.
b. Psychoanalytic.
c. Psychoanalytic and social learning theory.
d. Psychoanalytic.
e. Psychoanalytic.

67. Vygotsky theorised that cognitive abilities are the direct result of social interactions and as such, social interaction is necessary to intellectual development and the understanding of an individual must include considerations of the person’s social circle.

68. A unidimensional test provides a single score to a series of related tests or questions which are related and can be combined in some way (such as an average total score for the number of correct responses on a math test).

69. The myelin sheath is an insulating material which surrounds the axons of some neurons and aids in increasing the speed of neural transmission.

a. Dual coding is the theory that visual and auditory information are processed separately.
b. Conceptual reorganisation is the restructuring of already possessed knowledge and labels to fit into new models or categories.
c. Spreading activation basically states that the ability to recall a word, or association of two words, depends on how often that word was seen and how recently it was seen, or how often those words were seen together and when they were last seen together. For example, if four letter (A B C D) are shown repeatedly in pairs (AB, AD, BC, BD, BB, AB, BA CD), B would have the greatest activation level and its association would be greatest for A.
d. Concept formation is the ability to respond to common features of categories requiring a person to compare a group containing one item to another group not containing that item.
e. Retrieval inhibition is the inability to recall some learned event because of a distractor (cognitive - trauma or environmental – dancing monkey).

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