DSST Life-Span Developmental Psychology Practice Questions Answer Key

1. B: Correlative methods try to determine which variables go together. Such a method seeks to make connections, such as “at what age do children first make eye contact regularly?” or “how many words do children speak at a given age?” The correlation coefficient can range from -1.00 to +1.00, and the outcome of a correlational study is either positive, negative or has no correlation.

2. A: Time sampling is a type of systematic observation that involves the researcher noting the number of times a particular behavior occurs within a given time frame. There are different types of time sampling, including momentary time sampling (MTS) and partial interval (PI) sampling.

3. D: Piaget describes answers that are from the depths of the child’s mind as liberated conviction. These are very useful types of responses. On the other hand, romancing (making up an answer without thinking), suggested conviction (answers to please the researcher) and answers at random, are three types of reply that are of little value.

4. A: Field dependent and field independent are cognitive styles. A field independent child might be said to be able to deal with distracting, external stimuli more effectively than the field dependent child, who is significantly affected by external distractions.

5. C: Jean Piaget focused on cognitive development, and formulated a series of four stages to explain a child’s level of ability at certain age ranges. The stages are sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operations and formal operations. He also focused on the role of maturation and experience in a child’s development.

6. C: Erikson was a psychoanalyst who developed the only major theory that covered normal human development and also took into account the entire human lifespan. He formulated eight stages of development, each of which is dependent upon the resolution of a crisis. His stages are “basic trust vs. basic mistrust”, “autonomy vs. shame and doubt”, “initiative vs. guilt”, “industry vs. inferiority”, “identity vs. role confusion”, “intimacy vs. isolation”, “generativity vs. stagnation” and “basic integrity vs. basic despair.”

7. A: The cultural drift hypothesis considers the possibility that one particular variable may be the effect of another variable, rather than the assumed cause. For example, individuals with lower than average intellectual abilities may often be seen in a lower socioeconomic class. One might assume that the intellectual level is caused by the economic conditions in which the person lives. However, cultural drift hypothesis would suggest that those with low intellectual ability may “drift” toward the lower socioeconomic status, making the economic situation an effect of the lower intellect.

8. D: Put simply, you can dispense with informed consent if the research won’t cause harm, or where permitted by law or the regulations of the institution. Within these simple guidelines are more specific specifications, but those are the general considerations.

9. D: The zygote produces cells and moves down the fallopian tubes until it eventually attaches itself to the uterine wall. The zygote then produces structures, such as the chorion, to provide nourishment and growth.

10. C: An infant’s bones are softer and shaped differently at birth than those of an adult. The fontanelle is a soft spot on the top of an infant’s head where the bones of the skull are not yet fully fused together. The bones will fuse together between nine months and a year of age, forming a completely hard skullcap.


Last Updated: June 4, 2019