CLEP Introductory Psychology Practice Test Questions

1. Margaux listened to two CD players in a department store. She noticed that the first CD player sounded slightly clearer than the second CD player. The difference in sound that Margaux noticed is called:

(a) just noticeable difference (JND)
(b) perception
(c) sensation
(d) sensory adaption
(e) signal detection theory

2. People often misjudge how far an approaching train is from them. They usually think it is farther away than it is. This is because the farther away parallel objects such as train tracks are, the closer they appear to be to one another, distorting the distance perception. This is an occurrence of:

(a) difference threshold
(b) interposition
(c) linear perspective
(d) motion parallax
(e) Weber’s law

3. The train tracks seemed to be moving as I drove by the stationary train. Which of the following terms would explain this?

(a) Difference threshold
(b) Interposition
(c) Linear perspective
(d) Motion parallax
(e) Weber’s law

4. What prevents a person from physically acting out his dreams?

(a) The brain stem prevents the transference of messages originating in the motor cortex.
(b) The occipital lobes do not function during “s” sleep state.
(c) The parietal lobes are in a temporary immobile state during REM sleep.
(d) All of the above
(e) None of the above

5. The dream state is usually characterized by:

(a) alpha waves
(b) delta waves
(c) hypnogogic sensation
(d) REM
(e) slow-wave sleep

6. Which sleep disorder causes a person to involuntarily fall into sudden sleep modes throughout the day?

(a) Activation-synthesis theory
(b) Insomnia
(c) Narcolepsy
(d) REM rebound
(e) Sleep apnea

7. According to Sigmund Freud, repressed sexual or aggressive desires that manifest themselves in dreams are referred to as:

(a) activation-synthesis theory
(b) dissociation
(c) latent content
(d) manifest content
(e) REM rebound

8. Margie is under hypnosis, but she is fully conscious of all activities. This is known as a split in consciousness or ______________.

(a) activation-synthesis theory
(b) dissociation
(c) latent content
(d) manifest content
(e) REM rebound

The following questions relate to how learning takes place in organisms. Use the following concepts to answer questions 9-10.

(a) classical conditioning
(b) observational learning
(c) operant conditioning
(d) all of the above
(e) none of the above

9. Associative learning can be summed up as:

10. A person who learns by connecting two stimuli is a product of:

CLEP Intro Psychology Practice Question Answer Key

  1. The correct answer is (a), just noticeable difference (JND). Just noticeable difference is also known as the difference threshold. It is the noticeable difference that a person senses between two similar stimuli.
  2. The correct answer is (c), linear perspective. Linear perspective is a type of depth perception in which only one eye is required. Our depth perception cues us to the distance between ourselves and visible objects. When we need only one eye to perceive distance, this is known as a monocular cue. Likewise, when two eyes are used to perceive distance, this is called a binocular cue. The monocular cue in linear perspective is that we perceive parallel lines as converging as they lie farther away.
  3. The correct answer is (d), motion parallax. Motion parallax is also known as relative motion. It is a monocular cue that causes stable objects to appear to be in motion when a person is in motion. Objects closer to the fixation point (the thing the person is looking at) appear to be moving backward. The closer the object is to the fixation point, the faster the object would seem to be moving. Things that are farther from the fixation point will appear to be moving with the person at a slower pace as the object gets farther away.
  4. The correct answer is (a), the brain stem prevents the transference of messages originating in the motor cortex. This prevents people from acting out their dreams. The body becomes basically paralyzed when the brain stem does not allow messages from the motor cortex to reach the brain. The brain stem is located where the spinal cord connects to the skull. It regulates the heartbeat and breathing. It has the capacity to stop messages from getting to other parts of the brain.
  5. The correct answer is (d), REM. The dream state is generally characterized by rapid eye movement (REM). This state of sleep is also referred to as paradoxical sleep because the person sleeping seems to be in a relaxed state, yet cortical activity is extensive. REM sleep is typically about ten minutes during the first cycle of sleep. REM sleep tends to get longer each time a sleeper passes through this stage in a cycle.
  6. The correct answer is (c), narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder in which a person involuntarily falls into sudden sleep modes throughout the day. Insomnia is another sleep disorder in which a person is consistently unable to fall asleep or stay asleep. Likewise, sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which a person intermittently stops breathing while sleeping. This can happen as many as one hundred times a night. Each episode causes the sleeper not to get enough oxygen, which wakes the person up enough to gasp for more oxygen.
  7. The correct answer is (c), latent content. Latent content, according to Sigmund Freud, is repressed sexual or aggressive desires that manifest in dreams. The manifest content of dreams, according to Freud, consists of the actual pictures that the dreamer sees. Activation-synthesis theory suggests that dreamers make up dreams based on random pictures that were generated by the brain during sleep time. According to activation-synthesis theory, the construction of dreams is an attempt on the part of the dreamer to make sense out of the random pictures. When people miss dreaming for a length of time, they typically engage in what is known as “REM rebound,” where they experience longer REM sleep periods at a later time.
  8. The correct answer is (b), dissociation. Dissociation occurs when a hypnotized person is still aware of all activities while under hypnosis. This is often called a split in consciousness. Hypnosis is said to be a relaxed state that is characterized by the ability to accept suggestions. There is no known research that proves that a hypnotized person would do something contrary to the person’s nature.
  9. The correct answer is (d), all of the above. Classical conditioning, observational learning, and operant conditioning are all techniques used to produce associative learning. Classical conditioning is a procedure whereby learning takes place by connecting two stimuli, while operant conditioning is a procedure that associates a stimulus with a response in order to stop or cause a behavior. Observational learning is where operant behavior can be learned indirectly by watching what happens to the person being conditioned.
  10. The correct answer is (a), classical conditioning. Classical conditioning occurs when a person learns by associating a conditioned stimulus to an unconditioned stimulus. An unconditioned stimulus gets a certain response. The goal of classical conditioning is to get the same response from a neutral stimulus that an unconditioned stimulus gets. The neutral stimulus then becomes a conditioned stimulus.


Last Updated: June 3, 2019