October 24, 2017

CLEP Human Growth and Development Exam Answer Key

1. D
2. B
3. C
4. A
5. C
6. B
7. E
8. D
9. E
10. A

Answer Explanations

1. Answer (d) is correct.
Evolutionary theories are based on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Darwin stated that certain genetic traits in certain individuals of a population were more adaptive, so that these individuals would be more likely to survive and pass on these traits to their offspring. As a result, the traits of a species overall will gradually change or evolve. Darwin termed this process natural selection, so choice (a) is a part of evolutionary theory.

Ethology is also based on Darwin’s theory. Ethologists identified critical periods in the development of species. A critical period is a short time during which there is potential for a specific behavior to develop. It is critical because if the behavior does not have a chance to occur during this time period, it never will. The classic example of this is the imprinting of baby ducks upon their mother—or upon the first being or object they see during their critical period. Since ethology is considered a type of evolutionary theory, and critical periods represent an ethological concept, choice (b) is a concept associated with evolutionary theory.

When scientists apply the concept of critical periods to human beings rather than ducks or other animals, they favor the term “sensitive periods” rather than “critical.” This is because even though certain times are ideal for developing certain behaviors, humans are more likely than animals to still be able to acquire the behavior outside of that ideal time. They may not develop the behavior as well as they would have during the sensitive period, but unlike ducks, it is not true that humans will never develop a behavior outside the sensitive period. So answer (c) is a concept associated with evolutionary theory.

Social learning is a concept introduced by Albert Bandura in his social-cognitive, or social learning, theory. This theory combines the conditioning processes of behavioral/learning theory with the idea of observational learning, wherein people learn by observing and then by imitating the behavior of another person who is the model (hence the term modeling). Social learning, answer (d), is the term least associated with evolutionary theory.

Survival of the fittest is another way of expressing Darwin’s concept of natural selection. Those individuals or species best adapted to their environment are the fittest to survive. Therefore, answer (e) is a concept associated with evolutionary theory.

2. Answer (b) is correct.
Albert Bandura developed social-cognitive theory, also called social learning theory. His theory emphasizes behavioral conditioning and social modeling. As such, his theory is not considered developmental. Answer (a), Bandura, is not associated with cognitive developmental theory.

Jean Piaget is famous for his stage theory of cognitive development. He focused on cognitive (thinking) development, and his theory describes how learning progresses through predictable stages. Answer (b), Piaget, is the theorist associated with cognitive developmental theory.

Sigmund Freud is famous for psychodynamic theory; he is considered the founding father of psychoanalysis. He focused on psychosexual development rather than cognitive development. Answer (c), Freud, is not associated with cognitive developmental theory.

Erik Erikson is known for his psychosocial theory of development. He focused on the relationship between the individual and society. Answer (d), Erikson, is not associated with cognitive developmental theory.

Ivan Pavlov is famous for his theory of classical conditioning. He was one of the first psychologists to do work in the field of behaviorism, or learning theory. Learning theory does not view learning as developmental but as environmental. Answer (e), Pavlov, is not associated with cognitive developmental theory.

3. Answer (c) is correct.
Adaptation (a) is the process by which Piaget said people learn. Adaptation is made of (b) assimilation, whereby individuals fit new experiences into their existing schemas or cognitive structures, and (d) accommodation, whereby individuals change their existing schemas or form new schemas to accommodate new experiences. Generalization (c) is not a hallmark of Piaget’s theory. It is a behavioral term identified by Ivan Pavlov, which other behaviorists such as John Watson and B.F. Skinner also used. It refers to the process of a response conditioned to one stimulus being elicited by other similar stimuli. Equilibrium (e) is the state of balance that Piaget said all humans seek. When new experiences cause disequilibration, individuals engage in the processes of assimilation (b) and accommodation (d), which result in the restoration of equilibrium.

4. Answer (a) is correct.
Pavlov termed an automatic or reflexive behavior as (a) an unconditioned response, meaning it is a response that has not been learned or conditioned. He termed a stimulus that automatically evokes this kind of response, such as putting meat on the dogs’ tongues, as (b) an unconditioned stimulus. He termed a stimulus, such as a ringing bell, which he conditioned or trained the dogs to salivate at by regularly pairing it with the meat, (c) a conditioned stimulus. Once the dogs would salivate at the bell, even without meat, he deemed their salivation (d) a conditioned response, meaning it was a learned response. Since answer (a) is correct, answer (e) is incorrect.

5. Answer (c) is correct.
Answer (a) is a description of Pavlov’s classical conditioning rather than Skinner’s operant conditioning. Antecedents (b) serve to elicit the behavior the scientist desires to shape, but behavior is not primarily shaped by these. Skinner said that the consequences (c) following the behavior are the primary force in shaping behavior. These consequences can be in the forms of positive reinforcement, punishment, negative reinforcement, or any combination of the three, not just positive reinforcement (d). The view that behavior is mainly shaped by random events in the environment and cannot be shaped by the psychologist’s control (e) is a view that is very uncharacteristic of behaviorists like Skinner, who felt and demonstrated that they could shape all kinds of behaviors by controlling their consequences.

6. Answer (b) is correct.
Denial (a) is refusing to admit that something bad has happened. An example might be a refusal to believe a doctor’s diagnosis of cancer. Julie is not denying her trauma; rather, she has no memory of it. According to Freud, pushing something into the unconscious so that one is no longer consciously aware of it, which is what Julie has done, is repression (b). Regression (c) refers to a person’s reverting to earlier, less mature behaviors. Displacement (d) refers to shifting threatening feelings from an unsafe target to one that is safer, such as being angry at one’s parent but taking it out on one’s sibling. Sublimation (e) involves channeling an impulse that is not socially acceptable into a more acceptable, even laudable, activity, such as a man with high levels of aggression becoming a professional boxer instead of beating up people outside of the ring.

7. Answer (e) is correct.
According to Freud, the id is the pleasure principle, the source of unconscious impulses. The ego is the reality principle; it tells a person realistically what will happen as a consequence of acting on one’s id impulses, but it does not distinguish between right and wrong. The superego is the conscience and determines what is right or wrong. The id and the superego do not deal with reality as the ego does. Therefore, answer (e) is correct: Johnny’s id tells him to take what he wants and satisfy his impulse; his ego tells him his mother will yell if he does; and his superego tells him that stealing is wrong. Answers (a), (b), (c), and (d) are all incorrect in pairing each personality structure with its corresponding function.

8. Answer (d) is correct.
According to Bandura, self-efficacy (d) is an individual’s personal assessment whether s/he can successfully imitate the actions of a model or not. Self-efficacy is evidenced by both Rachel’s confidence that she can dance like her mother did and by Joel’s feeling that he will not be able to dance like his father did. Self-esteem (e) in psychology refers to the level of a person’s own feelings that s/he is of value, is competent, is loved, etc., but it is not used as a term in Bandura’s social learning theory. Vicarious learning (a), or learning by observation of another; vicarious reinforcement (b), or being more likely to imitate a model after observing the model’s behavior being reinforced; and social modeling (c), or imitating the behavior of a model, all refer to elements of Bandura’s theory, but they do not specifically describe each child’s sense of self-efficacy in this example.

9. Answer (e) is correct.
Generativity versus stagnation (e) is one of Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development and is not related to sociocultural theories. Reciprocal determinism (a) is the sociocultural view that both the child and the environment mutually affect one another through their interactions. In Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory of cognitive development, the zone of proximal development (b) refers to a task a child is able to do, in that the child can do it alone at a lower level, but that the child can perform at the highest level when accompanied by a slightly older, slightly more skilled child. Vygotsky named scaffolding (c) as a means of temporary support supplied to children by parents and/or older children in accomplishing tasks that they are learning; as a child becomes more proficient in the task, the scaffolding can be withdrawn. The microsystem and macrosystem (d) are two parts of Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, another sociocultural theory. He defined the systems influencing development as microsystem, or immediate environment, like family; macrosystem, or cultural context; mesosystem, or interactions between microsystems; exosystem, or indirectly influential social systems; and chronosystem, or the element of time.

10. Answer (a) is correct.
A case study is a descriptive method of research that focuses on only one subject in great depth (a). It is not exactly the same as naturalistic observation (b), in that naturalistic observation is not limited to a single participant, although observation is one technique that may be used in a case study. The case study is classified as a non-experimental method of research, not as experimental research (c). Case studies are not correlational (d); correlational research seeks to establish whether two or more variables are related, and, if so, whether that relationship is positive or negative. Case studies focus on one subject and do not look for correlations among variables. Case studies may include observations, interviews, and test results as well (e); test results are not excluded.