Ready to give it a shot? Dive into the 10 question quiz below to get a feel for how prepared you are! Once you’ve written down your answers, hover over (or tap on a phone) the question to see the answers and explanations.
WarningPlease do keep in mind that we can’t guarantee the accuracy of this quiz, so we do recommend you also run through a full-length practice exam. The CollegeBoard offers a good one that we’ll share in the resources section below.
Question 1: A study showed that there is a positive correlation (meaning that both observed phenomena grow in frequency together) between how much children play violent video games and how aggressive they tend to behave. Should there be a ban on violent games based on these results?
a) No, the researchers were biased to believe that children are more aggressive as they play more video games and this contaminated the results
b) No, the children were selected to be more aggressive than usual and this sampling error is responsible for the results
c) Yes, playing violent video games obviously causes aggressive tendencies
d) No, correlation does not mean causation
Children that are more aggressive might tend to play more violent video games, therefore the cause of one variable might be the other or the other way around in correlational studies. Furthermore, there can exist moderating or mediating variables which influence the relationship between two correlated variables. Experimental studies are always needed to determine causation.
Question 2: The most valuable information regarding the extent to which a behavioral or mental phenomenon is transmitted genetically comes from studies performed on:
a) Dizygotic (fraternal) twins
b) Monozygotic (identical) twins
c) Monozygotic twins that were raised in different families
d) Parents and children
Identical twins share almost 100% of their DNA (they are genetically nearly identical) which means that when the environmental influence of the family is different but a trait still appears in both, it can be concluded that the main determinant of that trait is genetic in nature. However, the environment is rarely if never completely different, so the nature versus nurture debate can never be exactly answered.
Question 3: How would most people describe the following set of circles:
a) Four pairs of red and blue circles
b) Two pairs of red circles interspersed with two pairs of blue circles
c) Four red circles and four blue circles
d) A red and a blue circle surrounded by three red and blue altering circles on each side.
According to the Gestalt principle of proximity, subjects tend to group stimuli based on their closeness. Therefore, most subjects would describe the above set as four pairs of red and blue circles, even if all the above options are correct objectively speaking. Notice that even though the first couple of pairs are closer to each other and the last couple of pairs as well, option two is less considered because the principle of similarity also influences perception. As such, there are multiple Gestalt principles and sometimes these compete with each other. The law of Prägnanz clarifies this by mentioning that people interpret stimuli so that the simplest configuration will result.
Question 4: What is a good method of retrieving repressed memories?
a) Psychoactive drugs
c) Dream interpretation
d) None of the above
Even though hypnosis was used extensively to make subjects retrieve repressed memories in order to alleviate suffering, this practice is now considered obsolete and risky especially because research has shown that it may induce false memories through suggestion. The question of whether or not repressed memories even exist is still debated by scientists, but there is consensus that suggestive methods should not be used to retrieve such memories.
Question 5: Jean asks Martha to turn down the music volume and Martha says that she will do so only after Jean does the dishes. What is Martha doing in order to determine Jean to do the dishes?
a) Martha is positively reinforcing her
b) Martha is negatively reinforcing her
c) Martha is punishing her
d) None of the above
Negative reinforcement refers to a negative stimulus which is withdrawn after the person does the action which is aimed to be reinforced.
Question 6: Are intelligence and creativity associated?
a) Yes, the more intelligent a person is the more creative he/she tends to be as well (positive correlation)
b) No, there is no correlation between the two
c) Yes, the more creative a person is the less intelligent he/she tends to be as well (negative correlation)
d) Yes, but only to a point.
Although correlations between intelligence and creativity consistently appear in research, these tend to be weak and manifest themselves especially in the lower spectrums of intelligence and creativity. The higher the intelligence or creativity levels in people, the less the two concepts are associated.
Question 7: Choose if the following statement is true or false:
In order to achieve maximum performance on a complex task, one should be highly motivated to complete it.
a) True. The more motivation one feels, the more his performance will increase.
b) True unless one is motivated mainly by avoiding failure, in which case performance anxiety sets in and the relationship is completely inversed, with the most performance coming out of the least motivation
c) False. There is no relationship between performance and motivation.
d) Neither true nor false. The most adequate performance in complex tasks is achieved by a relatively medium level of motivation
According to the Yerkes–Dodson law, too little arousal (a commonly used indicator for motivation) as well as too much arousal will lead to lower performance, especially in complex tasks, while an optimum level of motivation is found around the middle point of arousal.
Question 8: John is shown two glasses, a shorter and wider one and a taller and thinner one. He is also shown two identical glasses with water, one being poured into the tall glass and the other into the short glass, all in front of John. If John is asked which of the two initial glasses has more water and he answers one or the other (typically the taller one), what is John’s stage of cognitive development, according to Piaget’s theory?
a) Formal operational
b) Concrete operational
In the preoperational stage, children have not yet acquired the ability to understand that the properties (e.g. volume, number, weight) of an object or substance remain constant even if their shape, position, or length is modified. This ability is called conservation.
Question 9: Which personality trait from the Big Five model is most consistently related to workplace performance?
Conscientiousness is defined as the tendency to be well-organized, punctual, and disciplined. Increased levels of this trait have been associated with increased performance across multiple workplace environments and jobs, making it the most reliable personality related predictor of performance.
Question 10: What is the most important type of factors which are causal to psychological disorders?
a) Biological factors
b) Psychological processes
c) Sociocultural context
d) All of the above
The biopsychosocial model for the etiology of mental disorders is the most accepted model and it states that all three classes of factors and their interactions are relevant in the formation of mental disorders, with certain types of disorders being impacted more by one or the other.
Question 11: What method of treating mental disorders has generally the most effectiveness?
a) Psychopharmaceutic drugs.
c) A combination of the first two.
d) None of the above.
For disorders like major depression, the most increased reduction in depression is usually registered when both drugs and psychotherapy is administered. The same holds for most mental disorders for which there are drug options.
Question 12: If a person is asked to conduct behavior that runs contrary to his beliefs (such as recommending a product he doesn’t believe in) what is more likely to happen with his beliefs?
a) He/She will modify his beliefs so that they may better fit his behavior (i.e. he/she will view the product in a more favorable light).
b) Nothing will change about his/her beliefs.
c) His/Her beliefs will be even stronger as a reaction (i.e. his/her view of the product will be even more unfavorable).
d) He/She will eliminate any belief (i.e. he/she will say they do not have an opinion anymore on the product).
According to cognitive dissonance theory, discrepancies between incompatible attitudes or between attitudes and behavior cause a tension which results in the modification of one or the other until consonance is achieved. As such, experiments have observed that the attitudes of participants on an object were more favorable after asking them to talk about the qualities of that object to someone else, recommending it. Moreover, the less money participants received for their participation in this experiment, the more their attitudes changed favorably because they couldn’t justify their behavior as being caused by their interest in receiving money.
Question 13: Which quality is more important in an instrument?
Since a psychological instrument cannot have validity without reliability, it can be considered that reliability is more important. Reliability refers to how much a measure will provide the same results if it is applied multiple times and to how much that measure is stable at all its levels (e.g. across the items of a questionnaire). This is not to say that validity isn’t important since a tool is truly useful only if both criteria are met, just that reliability is primordial in the value of an instrument.
More CLEP Study Resources
Looking for a study guide to fill a couple gaps, or just want a full length practice exam? You can find a few of my favorite resources below. Note that some of the links are affiliate – meaning I’ll make a few dollars if you purchase, but I’m only sharing resources that were genuinely helpful during my own CLEP journey.
Official CLEP Study Guide: It’s quite short on the study side of things, but this is the go-to practice test bank. I don’t think I’ve done a single CLEP test without taking the practice test in this book first.
REA CLEP Introductory Psychology: I’m not huge on reading, but this book series is fantastic if you’re into that kind of thing. It also includes some nifty online practice tests, though I always found the official practice tests more reassuring.
InstantCert Academy: The website looks like it was made before the internet, but it’s legitimately the single most useful study guide I’ve found. Basically it’s a series of flashcards that help you learn about Intro to Psychology in a fast paced and fun way.
Plenty of other resources exist – just do a quick internet search – but these are the three that I’ve personally found the most helpful back when I did CLEP.