Monday, May 25, 2009

Psychology GRE Study Guide Page 14

On May 1, registration fees for the GRE were raised by $10. In Canada, the GRE general test is now $180 and the Psychology subject test is $150. If you live in the US, there is a fee reduction program you can apply for (see here for info), but I didn’t find anything similar for Canadians. If any Canadian readers know of any GRE subsidies or bursaries, please share.

In light of this information, unless there is any demand for this study guide to continue, this may very well be the last entry. If anyone has any specific questions, they may feel free to contact me.

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.

89. The actor-observer effect is the tendency to attribute our own behaviour mainly to situational causes but the behaviour of others mainly to internal (dispositional) causes. People are much more willing to ascribe a trait to someone else than they are for themselves.

(From: Human Motivation, Weiner)

90. Bem’s gender schema, similar to other schemas, is a set of beliefs and perceptions about men and women which direct how individuals view others and their own behaviours in relation to sexual stereotypes. For example, neutering bulls may be seen as a masculine activity, ‘man’s work,’ and an individual who is performing this task will be judged differently based on their gender. Gender schemas are acquired in childhood through learning and define people’s expectations of gender behaviour based on these acquired categorisations. These schemas are quite often incorrect, particularly in the modern western culture where gender differences are being equalised.

a. A stimulant increases the activity of the CNS and/or the sympathetic nervous system.
b. A psychoactive agent alters brain function by acting on the CNS to induce changes in cognition, mood, perception…
c. An agonist mimics the action of a neurotransmitter therefore producing a similar response.
d. An antagonist opposes the action of a neurotransmitter preventing the neurotransmitter from performing its normal function.
e. An anxiolytic drug reduces anxiety acting as a sort of mild tranquiliser.

92. How information is recalled will depend on how it was encoded during the memorising part of the task. Though no cue is given by the experimenter, the subject has still stored the information into some sort of organised categories. The categories of words given in this example are quite clearly defined so it is not unreasonable to assume the subject will encode the words based on those categories (even if they do not do so deliberately). When asked to recall as many words as possible, the subject will recall one, say ‘apple,’ which will then cue the subject to recall other items from the fruit category. Similarly for the other categories.

This site has a great overview of the different types of memory.

93. Clusters of related facts about people, events, behaviours, etc., are organised for long-term storage into schemas. Remembering requires the use of these determined, general knowledge packages. Because of the general nature on which schemas are built, incorrect recall may occur. For example, you may know that every Tuesday morning you kill a zombie. Later when asked what you did Tuesday morning, you can confidently answer, ‘I beheaded the undead.’ However, if one Tuesday there were no reanimated corpses around to destroy, and you are later asked what you did Tuesday morning, you may still answer, ‘I beheaded the undead,’ simply because that is what you always do.
b. Rote-memory is learning or memorization by repetition, often without an understanding of the reasoning or relationships involved in the material that is learned. (Like the GRE!)


  1. I just wanted to say thanks for doing this review! I wish you had completed the whole thing! I'm taking this test tomorrow morning and found your blog posts through a google search. They have been super helpful!

  2. Good luck with the test! Feel free to let me know how it went.