Chapter 2: Research in Abnormal Psychology

Practice Questions


The following questions have been selected from the author’s test bank for Abnormal Psychology. Every question on the midterm exam or the final exam concerning this chapter will be selected from the following list.


NOTE: The number in parentheses before the question is the page number in the textbook where the answer can be found.  If you wish to have the key for this set of questions send me an e-mail with your proposed answers in accordance with the schedule provided under the heading “To Obtain Answer Keys” on this web site.  Be sure to specify the chapter number for which you are seeking the key. I will send you the key in response.



1.  (42) A researcher selected a group of 10 men and a group of 10 women to study some gender differences, and treated them exactly the same. Each participant was given a test of psychological function. This study is an example of a(n):

A)  experiment

B)  analogue study

C)  correlational study

D)  quasi-experimental study



2.  (27) If you were a schizophrenic living in the first half of the twentieth century and had a mother who was thought to be schizophrenogenic, she would have been seen as:

A)  cold and domineering

B)  overly involved in your business

C)  hyper-aggressive

D)  a schizophrenic herself



3. (37)  Imagine that a longitudinal study found that children raised by schizophrenics are more likely to commit crimes later. This result tells us that:

A)  children of schizophrenics are at higher risk for criminal behavior

B)  children of schizophrenics inherit a “criminal” gene

C)  criminal children cause their parents to become schizophrenic

D)  schizophrenics teach their children to become criminals



4. (46) In order to conclude that a clinical researcher's conclusions are justified, we must:

A)  make sure the study was done by a psychiatrist if it involves drugs

B)  make sure the study has equal numbers of patients from each ethnic group

C)  make sure the researcher is not also a therapist

D)  make sure there is no legitimate alternative explanation for the results



5. (36)  If the amount of stress people experience and their level of depression are positively correlated, we know that:

A)  stress causes depression

B)  depression is a stressor

C)  poverty causes both stress and depression

D)  stress and depression are related



6. (38)  The following experiment is conducted to study the causes of aggression in children. Half the children eat a sugared cereal; the remaining half eat cornflakes. The number of aggressive acts displayed by the children in one-hour play period after breakfast is then recorded. In this experiment:

A)  sugared cereal is the dependent variable and cornflakes is the independent variable

B)  breakfast is the independent variable, and the group of children is the dependent variable

C)  the type of cereal is the dependent variable, and the number of aggressive responses is the independent variable

D)  the type of cereal is the independent variable, and the number of aggressive responses is the dependent variable



7. (43)  Which of the following is an analogue study?

A)  studying children in their classrooms

B)  studying the effects of stress in nonhumans

C)  studying the effects of metaphors on memory

D)  studying the elderly in nursing homes



8. (34)  “The heavier you are, the more food you are likely to eat.” If it is true, this statement expresses:

A)  no correlation at all

B)  a causal relationship

C)  a positive correlation

D)  a negative correlation



9. (38)  The statement or prediction that we make about a potential causal relationship in a proposed study is called the:

A)  theory

B)  hypothesis

C)  conclusion

D)  explanation



10. (38)  In a scientific experiment, the variable manipulated or controlled by the experimenter is called the:

A)  confounding variable

B)  alternative variable

C)  dependent variable

D)  independent variable



11. (40)  To accomplish random assignment, one could assign participants to groups by:

A)  placing all the participants who share an important characteristic in the same group

B)  making sure there is only one participant in each group

C)  flipping a coin

D)  asking participants to choose the group they prefer



12. (40)  Another term for experimenter bias caused by the experimenter unintentionally transmitting expectations to the research participants is the:

A)  Rosenthal effect

B)  Triple-blind effect

C)  Buffalo Creek effect

D)  Quasi-experimental design



13. (35)  Which of the following is true of the correlation coefficient?

A)  It ranges from 0.00 to +1.00 and indicates the strength of the relationship between two variables

B)  It rangers from –1.00 to +1.00 and indicates the strength and the direction of the relationship between two variable

C)  It ranges from 0.00 to +1.00 and indicates the strength and the direction of the relationship between two variables

D)  It ranges from –1.00 to +1.00 and indicates the strength of the relationship between two variables and the total variability of those measurements



14. (28)  Psychologists who study brain differences in groups of schizophrenics and nonschizophrenics, looking for consistent underlying pathology, are using a(n) ______ approach.

A)  correlational

B)  case study

C)  nomothetic

D)  idiographic



15. (37)  There were ten new cases of schizophrenia in a small town in the Midwest this week. This observation refers to the ______ of schizophrenia in this small population.

A)  risk

B)  incidence

C)  prevalence

D)  epidemiology



16. (34-35)  If the correlation between severity of depression and age is –.05, it means that:

A)  older people have more severe depression

B)  older people have less severe depression

C)  younger people have almost no depression

D)  there is no consistent relationship between age and severity of depression



17. (44)  In a multiple-baseline design involving the treatment of two problem behaviors, the independent variable is:

A)  the first behavior

B)  the second behavior

C)  the treatment

D)  the baseline



18. (34-35)  Which of the following correlation coefficients is of the highest magnitude?

A)  +.05

B)  –.81

C)  +.60

D)  –.01



19. (33)  One problem with using Facebook users for research is that:

A)  Asians are underrepresented on Facebook

B)  those on Facebook are a random sample of all Americans

C)  Hispanics are underrepresented on Facebook

D)  some users have too many friends to make their data useful



20. (43)  Experimenters are generally willing to:

A)  subject humans to more pain than animals

B)  subject animals to excessive pain

C)  subject animals to more discomfort than humans

D)  do analogue studies with humans but not animals



21. (44)  In single-subject experimental designs, the participant is observed and measured before the manipulation of an independent variable. This initial observation period is called the:

A)  reversal period

B)  baseline period

C)  normalization period

D)  standardization period



22. (34-35)  Which of the following correlation coefficients represents the weakest relationship?

A)  –.95

B)  –.06

C)  +.30

D)  +.54



23. (37)  If researchers studied Vietnam veterans for 30 years after their return, the study would be:

A)  epidemiological

B)  longitudinal

C)  incidental

D)  experimental



24. (45)  When more than one research method produces similar results, we:

A)  are suspicious of the results

B)  can have more confidence in the results

C)  suspect that experimenter bias has occurred

D)  conclude that our results are due to confounds



25. (28)  In this research question, “Do children from single-parent families show more depression than those from two-parent families,” there is(are) ______ known variable(s).

A)  0

B)  1

C)  2

D)  3



26. (32)  A psychologist studies memory techniques in adult volunteers and learns how to facilitate memory, then applies the results to a new class of students in a psychology course. This demonstrates faith in:

A)  the internal validity of the study

B)  the external validity of the study

C)  the content validity of the technique

D)  the conceptual validity of memory



27. (37)  Which of the following results most likely came from an epidemiological study?

A)  The rate of suicide is higher in Ireland than in the United States

B)  Autism is caused by influenza vaccinations

C)  Child abuse is often found in the backgrounds of those with multiple personalities

D)  Alcoholism runs in families.



28. (40)  A researcher's expectations about a study can affect its outcome. The type of research design used specifically to address this problem is a(n):

A)  experiment

B)  random-assignment design

C)  matched control group design

D)  double-blind procedure



29. (28)  True experiments involve the study of some:

A)  fact

B)  variable

C)  single case

D)  person



30. (36)  If stress levels and physical health are negatively correlated, we know that:

A)  stress causes people to have poor health

B)  as stress increases, health decreases

C)  poor health causes people to experience stress

D)  mental illness causes both stress and poor health



31. (37)  The incidence of HIV+ results on campus tells you:

A)  one's risk for becoming HIV+

B)  the number of new HIV+ cases measured in a time period

C)  the total number of HIV+ cases at a given point

D)  the HIV+ rate compared to the national average



32. (29)  The idea that children from single-parent families show more depression than those from two-parent families is a(n):

A)  variable

B)  experiment

C)  correlation

D)  hypothesis



33. (44)  A design in which an experimenter selects two or more dependent variables and observes the effect that the manipulation of an independent variable has on those dependent variables in a single participant is called a(n) ______ design.


B)  reversal

C)  multiple-baseline

D)  all of these



34. (39)  The principle of informed consent assumes that:

A)  there is compensation

B)  the benefits outweigh the risks

C)  the participant can understand the explanation

D)  there are no risks in the study under consideration



35. (42)  If researchers using matched control subjects find that abused children are sadder than nonabused children, we know that:

A)  both groups of children showed equal levels of sadness before the study

B)  the nonabused group differed from the abused group in many important ways

C)  there were more girls than boys in the abused group because girls are more likely to be sad

D)  abuse is very likely what is causing the difference in sadness among these groups



36. (38)  Dr. Tim required half of a group of healthy volunteers to study a passage for 1 hour. The other half of the participants studied for 15 minutes. Dr. Tim then administered a test of their memory of details from the passage. What was the dependent variable?

A)  the study time

B)  the memory test

C)  the reading passage

D)  the results of the memory test



37. (46)  Once a study in abnormal psychology finds significant results:

A)  we can conclude that the study is valid

B)  we must ask a number of questions about the details of the study

C)  we can apply the results to clinical practice

D)  we have good information about how to prevent the disorder from occurring



38. (29)  Freud's study of Little Hans involved:

A)  letters sent to Freud by Hans' father

B)  Freud's observation of Hans with horses

C)  use of antianxiety medication

D)  interviews with Hans' mother



39. (38)  Factors other than the independent variable may also act on the dependent variable. If these factors vary systematically with the independent variable, they are called ______ variables.

A)  irrelevant

B)  confounding

C)  blind variables

D)  controlled variables



40. (44)  In a multiple-baseline design involving the treatment of two problem behaviors, when the first behavior is treated (but not the second), what does one expect to happen to the second behavior?

A)  It should decrease

B)  It should stay the same

C)  It should increase

D)  It should be eliminated



41. (33)   The major ethical concern with research on Facebook users is:

A)  there are not enough Facebook users to make the research worthwhile

B)  Facebook users don't always know they are being studied

C)  research projects have not been approved by universities where the research is conducted

D)  it is unethical to observe public behavior



42. (43)  A researcher is interested in the effects of a new drug for treating anxiety and decides to study it in rats by conditioning the fear of a high-pitched noise and then testing rats' reactions with and without the drug. This is an example of a(n):

A)  natural experiment

B)  analogue experiment

C)  quasi-experimental study

D)  correlation



43. (28)  A case study of a patient includes a history, tests, and interviews with associates. A clear picture is constructed of this individual so that her behavior is understood. This approach is:

A)  nomothetic

B)  idiographic

C)  experimental

D)  correlational



44. (40)  A “fake” pill used as the control condition in a drug study is a:

A)  placebo

B)  confound

C)  random variable

D)  dependent variable



45. (44)  In the ABAB (reversal) design, condition “A” is a(n):

A)  independent variable application

B)  dependent variable application

C)  no-treatment condition

D)  experimental condition



46. (42)  Which of the following would be the best design to study the effects of disasters on the survivors?

A)  an experiment

B)  a quasi-experiment

C)  a natural experiment

D)  a double-blind strategy



47. (32)  External validity refers to the extent to which the results of a study:

A)  rule out alternative explanations

B)  are the result of a single variable

C)  apply to subjects and situations other than the ones studied

D)  support the theory being tested



48. (37)  The form of correlational research that seeks to find how many new cases of a disorder occur in a group in a given time period is termed:

A)  longitudinal (incidence)

B)  longitudinal (prevalence)

C)  epidemiological (incidence)

D)  epidemiological (prevalence)



49. (32)  Internal validity reflects how well a study:

A)  rules out the effects of all causes except those being studied

B)  can be generalized to others that are not studied directly

C)  appears to be measuring what it is designed to measure

D)  predicts some future behavior



50. (40)  The use of single-blind design is an attempt to reduce the influence of:

A)  experimenter bias

B)  dependent variables

C)  participant bias

D)  confounding variables



51. (28)  Clinical researchers are usually concerned with a(n) ______ understanding of abnormality, while practitioners focus on a(n) ______ understanding.

A)  nomothetic; idiographic

B)  nomothetic; nomothetic

C)  idiographic; idiographic

D)  idiographic; nomothetic



52. (44)  If a participant's self-stimulation is observed, punished, observed again without punishment, and punished again, the design is a(n):

A)  multiple baseline

B)  analogue

C)  correlation

D)  ABAB reversal



53. (37)  If an epidemiological study shows that eating disorders are more common in Western countries than in Eastern ones, we can appropriately conclude:

A)  that there are special pressures in Western countries that contribute to eating disorders

B)  that Eastern countries have a less stressful approach to life

C)  that adolescence is a more troubling time for Western than Eastern children

D)  nothing about the cause of such a finding