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Cognitive Psychology Final Exam Study Guide with Answers

Updated on October 20, 2014

Cognitive psychology is a sub-discipline of psychology exploring internal mental processes. It is the study of how people perceive, remember, think, speak, and solve problems.

— Princeton University

Maintenance vs. elaborative rehearsal is primarily associated with __________.

Correct Answer: Correct depth of processing

Retrograde amnesia exhibits __________.

Correct Answer: Correct Ribot’s Law

Which of the following is a critical failure of the depth of processing account?

Correct Answer: Correct defining levels independently of retention

According to the HERA model, which part of the brain is more involved in semantic retrieval?

Correct Answer: Correct left hemisphere

What is the name of the principle that captures the idea that, with retrograde amnesia, newer memories are more likely to be disrupted, and older memories are more likely to remain intact?

Correct Answer: Correct Ribot’s Law

Consolidation in memory is __________.

Correct Answer: Correct a process of making memories more permanent over time

If people are given pieces of information and asked to report the rest, this is called a __________ test.

Correct Answer: Correct cued recall

Connectionist models of memory are inspired by what?

Correct Answer: Correct the nervous system

Loftus and Palmer’s (1974) research showed that eyewitness reports varied as a function of the wording of a question. This suggests that __________.

Correct Answer: Correct semantic memory knowledge biases how we remember events

In semantic memory tasks, response time is speeded up or judgments are made more easily when the concepts are closer together in semantic distance—that is, when they are more closely related. The effect is reversed when the comparison is false; that is, RT is longer for the comparison “a whale is a fish” vs. “a whale is a bird.” This is an example of __________.

Correct Answer: Correct semantic relatedness effect

“ROBIN is a BIRD” is NOT an example of __________.

Correct Answer: Correct spreading activation

Rips (1975) reported an experiment in which subjects read a story about an island inhabited by only eight species of animals: sparrows, robins, eagles, hawks, ducks, geese, ostriches, and bats. The evidence indicated __________.

Correct Answer: Correct evidence for prototype effects

Which is NOT true?

Correct Answer: Correct Regardless of SOA, implicit priming will overwhelm explicit priming.

Schemata aid in what aspect of memory?

Correct Answer: Correct reconstructive processes

Three variables are relevant to the production of consonants in English. They include all of the following EXCEPT __________.

Correct Answer: Correct authorization

The idea that the words in a sentence influence each other in terms of their meaning and relate to the concepts conveyed by other words is best captured by the theory of __________.:

Correct Answer: Correct semantic cases

Which is NOT true?

Correct Answer: Correct Transformational grammar assumes that we are aware of the semantic content before deriving phrase structures.

ERP studies investigating syntactically anomalous sentences reveal that these sentences produce a distinctive __________.

Correct Answer: Correct P600 ERP Pattern

ERP studies investigating semantically anomalous sentences reveal that these sentences produce a distinctive __________.

Correct Answer: Correct N400 ERP pattern

Which does NOT provide evidence for top-down processing in auditory language comprehension?

Correct Answer: Correct trichromatic theory (Young, von Helmholtz)

Which of Miller’s (1973) five levels of language analysis is the analysis of phrase and sentence meaning with reference to knowledge in semantic memory?

Correct Answer: Correct conceptual analysis

Which of the following is NOT associated with online eye movement research?

Correct Answer: Correct displacement

What is the labor in vain effect?

Correct Answer: Correct when people spend time trying to learn information that is beyond their current level of knowledge

What is the region of proximal learning?

Correct Answer: Correct information that is just beyond one’s current level of knowledge

The idea that each person in a conversation implicitly assumes that all speakers are following the rules and that each contribution to the conversation is a sincere, appropriate contribution—the most basic conversational postulate, stating that participants cooperate by sharing information in an honest fashion—is __________.

Correct Answer: Correct the “Cooperative” principle

What is a speech act?

Correct Answer: Correct the intended consequence of what is said

Alluding to a concept using another name is __________.

Correct Answer: Correct reference

Conceptual knowledge is important for comprehension because comprehension is about __________.

Correct Answer: Correct meaning

Recent research suggests that what sort of reasoning might be influencing how people make decisions?

Correct Answer: Correct causal

A three-statement logical form is called __________.

Correct Answer: Correct a syllogism

The bias or heuristic that includes the law of small numbers is __________.

Correct Answer: Correct representativeness heuristic

Form errors in reasoning occur because __________.

Correct Answer: Correct people use invalid logical forms, such as affirming the consequent

What is a belief bias in reasoning?

Correct Answer: Correct drawing conclusions based on one’s prior beliefs

Decisions about size differences are sped up when the stimuli differ by a greater amount. This reflects __________.

Correct Answer: Correct distance effect

The amount of change required for people to detect the change is __________.

Correct Answer: Correct JND

What is distinctive about the General Problem Solver (GPS)?

Correct Answer: Correct It was one of the first computer programs made to solve problems.

It can be helpful to break a problem down into smaller components called __________.

Correct Answer: Correct subgoals

Problem solving by assessing the relationship between two similar situations or problems involves __________.

Correct Answer: Correct analogy


Cognitive therapy is based on the idea that when you change the way you think, you can change the way you feel and behave. In other words, if we can learn to think about other people in a more positive and realistic way, it will be far easier to resolve conflicts and develop rewarding personal and professional relationships.

— David D. Burns

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind

— William James

People typically __________ analogies to solve problems.

Correct Answer: Correct do not spontaneously use

Following a systematic plan is most useful for __________.

Correct Answer: Correct long, multi-step problems

Which is TRUE of Gestalt psychology?

Correct Answer: Correct It led researchers to think about how a person perceives the whole of a problem.

Wasting a lot of time opening junk mail, even when the envelope is obviously not a real bill, might reflect __________.

Correct Answer: Correct functional fixedness

Performing below one’s normal level of performance because of emotional stress is called __________.

Correct Answer: Correct choking under pressure

The weapon focus effect is __________.

Correct Answer: Correct poorer memory for other event details when a weapon is present

Compared to neutral information, emotional information is remembered __________.

Correct Answer: Correct better

How is emotion processed at the situation model level of language comprehension?

Correct Answer: Correct People track it and update it when it changes.

Emotional information in a story is strongly tied to character __________.

Correct Answer: Correct goals

Processing emotion in language can be impeded if the __________ is damaged.

Correct Answer: Correct amygdala

Emotional stress can result in __________.

Correct Answer: Correct decreased cardiovascular efficiency

Flashbulb memories are always highly accurate.

Correct Answer: Correct false

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so

— Shakespeare

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Cognitive psychology tells us that the unaided human mind is vulnerable to many fallacies and illusions because of its reliance on its memory for vivid anecdotes rather than systematic statistics.

— Steven Pinker

Statistical terms and symbols include: F (m1, m2 = degrees of freedom in ratio of two chi2 distributions. Shows effect when within-groups variance is more than between-groups variance. F(1, 72) = 4.04 show positive effect; p (probability) < .05 is significant; r (correlation): r = .22, shows modest relation accounting for 22% of the variation; ŋ2 (eta squared) shows effect sizes with .1 =small (sizes in article), (near .4=medium and .8=large effects; one measure of the single ANOVA proportion of total variance accounted for by between-groups variance). And of course, M = mean, SD = Standard Deviation from the mean.

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