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MCAT Content / AAMC Sample Test Ps Solutions

AAMC Sample PS [Web]

AAMC Sample Test P/S: Passage 1

1) We want to be careful with the verbiage as we jump into this question. We’ll look at the data in Figure 1, then we’ll jump into our answer choices. Three of the answer choices will be supported by the data in Figure 1, while our correct answer will NOT. 

Figure 1 tells us the number of words recalled and recognized by participants in the four groups.

  1. As people grow older, their ability to recall declines. We can look at the recall task bar for the three age groups and notice that black bar gets smaller as age increases. This statement is supported by the data in Figure 1.
  2. Recognition is relatively stable in adults without memory impairments. Recognition is given by the gray bars in Figure 1. We can see the bars are all relatively close together in height. That means recognition is stable in adults without memory impairments.
  3. The memory problems in Alzheimer disease are an acceleration of the aging process. We note that recall gets tougher as individuals age, but recognition is relatively stable, regardless of age. In the Alzheimer’s patients, we see the recall numbers decrease significantly (which is partly expected), but we also see recognition numbers decrease significantly. This is not something that normally happens. This statement is not supported by the data in Figure 1.
  4. Participants without memory impairments perform better in the recognition task compared to the recall task. This is supported by the gray bars in Figure 1 being taller than the black bars in Figure 1. Recognition is easier than recall for the adults. This is supported by the data in Figure 1, so the best answer here is going to be answer choice C. 

2) To answer this question, we can quickly look back at the passage and note where the author talks about retrieving words related to the words on the list.

We want to relate this finding to one of the four statements shown as answer choices. We’ll end up defining those terms and seeing which one best ties into the passage.

  1. spreading activation. Spreading activation is a theory proposed that relates storage of memories to the activation of a series of nodes. These nodes create an activation pattern of other related nodes and this is how singular events are remembered. For example, at the mention of the color red and the word “vehicle,” two nodes that may be activated at the same time to relate a personal memory of a car they owned, or a fire truck. That is very similar to what is happening in the passage. The participants are retrieving words that are related to the words on the list
  2. depth of processing. Depth of processing involves how much an individual thinks about specific information. For example, if the participants skimmed over a word on the list, that is a shallow level of processing. A deeper level would involve paying greater attention to the word. That’s not what’s happening in that last paragraph. Answer choice A remains the best option. 
  3. the serial position effect. The serial-position effect is the tendency of a person to recall the first and last items in a series best, and the middle items worst. While we see that in Figure 2, we’re not going to get tricked! We’re focused on the last paragraph and the retrieval of related words. The serial-position effect is not related to that.
  4. the existence of visuospatial sketchpad. A visuospatial sketchpad refers to holding visual and spatial information. It’s not going to be as relevant to the retrieval of related words. We can eliminate this answer choice. Answer choice A remains our best answer. 

3) This question is similar to Question 1 because we have to go back to the passage and go through the visual we’ve been given. 

This visual is comparing the percentage of words recalled as a function of position in the list. We’re focused on the group of Alzheimer’s patients, which is the solid black line. We can see the percentage of words recalled is nonexistent until the middle words in the list, then we have a much higher percentage increase. The Alzheimer’s patients were able to best recall the items at the end of the list. Let’s define the four terms in our answer choice and see which term is consistent with Figure 2.

  1. primacy effect. Primacy effect is when the items that were presented first are recalled well as they have already been encoded into long-term memory. The opposite is happening with the Alzheimer’s patients. 
  2. recency effect. Recency effect is when the items that were presented last are also recalled well as they are still being held in the working short-term memory. This is exactly what’s happening in Figure 2. This is a strong answer choice.
  3. interference effect. All memories interfere with the ability to recall other memories. Often if you are unable to recall information, another memory is interfering with the memory. 
  4. continuity effect. This is added as a distractor. AAMC does not mention the continuity effect in the content outline. Answer choice B is going to be the best option of the four listed.

4) This is going to tie into Question 3 as we’re looking at the same figure to answer this question. 

This visual is comparing the percentage of words recalled as a function of position in the list. This time we’re focused on participants without memory impairments. We notice a higher percentage of words recalled at the beginning and end, with a dip in percentage in the middle. We talked about some reasons for this. Primacy effect is when the items that were presented first are recalled well as they have already been encoded into long-term memory. Recency effect is when the items that were presented last are also recalled well as they are still being held in the working short-term memory. The words in the middle see a lower percentage as a result.

  1. Short term memory is the activated part of sensory memory. Sensory memory, just like its name suggests, is information that’s coming in through sensory receptors. We’re not focused on sensory memory here. We’re focused on short- and long-term memory and recall.
  2. Short term memory is the activated part of long term memory. This is once again something we cannot conclude from Figure 2 in the passage. We’re explicitly asked to draw a conclusion from the figure, so we have to try and do so.
  3. Short term memory and long term memory are uniform and function similarly. We went through recency effect and primacy effect in our breakdown. The two are not uniform, but rather separate. We can see the beginning portion of the graph influenced by long term memory. The end portion of the graph is influenced by short term memory.  
  4. Short term memory and long term memory represent separate memory systems. This is exactly what we see in Figure 2. Primacy effect is when the items that were presented first are recalled well as they have already been encoded into long-term memory Recency effect is when the items that were presented last are also recalled well as they are still being held in the working short-term memory. This is why we see higher percentages of words recalled at the beginning and end-it’s because of the separate memory systems. We can pick answer choice D as our best answer.

5) Proactive interference occurs when old memories hinder the ability to make new memories. In this type of interference, old information inhibits the ability to remember new information, such as when outdated scientific facts interfere with the ability to remember updated facts. We can jump into the results from Figure 2 to help us answer this question.

In the case of the Alzheimer’s patients, there is minimal long-term memory here. There are going to be no old memories getting in the way of making new memories because there are no old memories. Primacy effect is when the items that were presented first are recalled well as they have already been encoded into long-term memory. In the case of the Alzheimer’s patients, there were words encoded into long-term memory.

  1. Yes, because their memory is weaker than all other groups, making them most vulnerable to proactive interference. Even if their memory is weaker, they are still not vulnerable to proactive interference because there are no old memories hindering the ability to make new memories.
  2. Yes, because their working memory appears to be functioning, and that is where proactive interference takes place. Working memory is also known as short term memory. It is true that short term memory works better in Alzheimer’s patients. However, proactive interference takes place when old memories hinder the ability to make new memories. Not with short-term memory.
  3. No, because proactive interference requires information, previously stored in long term memory, which can impede the learning of new information. This is consistent with our breakdown of the question. I mentioned in proactive interference, old memories hinder the ability to make new memories. If we have no stored memories, there’s no interference.
  4. No, because proactive interference requires an intact temporal cortex, and Alzheimer patients have damage to the temporal cortex. Damage to the temporal cortex involves losing understanding of certain words and losing understanding of language. However, damage to the temporal cortex is not what prevents the Alzheimer’s patients from committing information to long term memory. Answer choice C remains our best option.

 

AAMC Sample Test P/S: Passage 2

6) The author presents us with the stories of Alice and Bill in the very beginning of the passage.

We’re going to keep this information in mind and find the concept that is LEAST applicable to these stories. That means three of the answer choices will be applicable, and the one that is least applicable will be our correct answer. 

  1. Meritocracy A meritocracy is an ideal system based on the belief that social stratification is the result of personal effort—or merit—that determines social standing. High levels of effort will lead to a high social position, and vice versa. From the stories in the passage, we can assume the work that Alice and Bill put in is what got them success. 
  2. Intergenerational mobility refers to the phenomenon whereby a child attains higher or lower status than their parents. This is the case with both Alice and Bill. This is applicable to both stories.
  3. Social reproduction refers to the emphasis on the structures and activities that transmit social inequality from one generation to the next. In the cases of Alice and Bill, they managed to overcome social reproduction and had substantial success. 
  4. Relative poverty. Relative poverty is a measure of wealth inequality, describing an individual or group’s wealth relative to another individual or group. We got to see the struggle Alice had to go through compared to others, just to get to school. Relative poverty was applicable to the stories of Alice and Bill.

7) The research design is covered in the second and third paragraphs of the passage. The author says the research design utilized a snowball sampling selection method. Snowball sampling includes participants recruiting additional subjects for the study. The author actually says “new participants were enrolled in the study using the contacts of existing participants.” Let’s go through the four statements and find a potential weakness in this design.

  1. The researchers did not assess demographic variables, such as age or gender. This likely would not have been assessed prior to getting any sample of people. The biggest thing the researchers needed was a group of Pathmakers and a path of Followers. This is not a weakness in the study’s research design.
  2. The subjects are linked through social networks, leading to sampling bias. This is the biggest risk in snowball sampling. The participants are enrolled in the study using the contacts of existing participants. There is sampling bias which occurs when the study population is not representative of the general population.
  3. In-depth interviews are time consuming, which results in researcher fatigue. This is not something that is a potential weakness of snowball sampling. The in-depth interviews would happen regardless of the recruiting method. Answer choice B remains a superior answer choice.
  4. A small sample does not allow for quantifiable data, which limits data analysis. This is not a potential weakness. The sample is still the same size, regardless of how the subjects were obtained. In this case there are 100 subjects. There is no indication there would have been more than 100 subjects if snowball sampling wasn’t used. Answer choice B is our best option. 

8) First thing we’re going to do is find out what the author says about Followers in the passage. 

Followers originated from favorable socioeconomic backgrounds, unlike Alice and Bill. Ultimately, the researchers compared internal loci of control and emotional well-being of Followers and Pathmakers. A likely reason would be for comparison purposes, but we will go through our four options and see which one would be the main purpose.

  1. to provide an additional set of variables for the researchers to analyze. While this is a true statement, this is not the main purpose for including the Followers in the study. The variables actually mean something in the context of the study which is what we’re looking for in an answer.
  2. to allow the researchers to increase the study’s sample size. Reasoning here is going to be similar to answer choice A. There is a reason behind the larger sample size. The Followers weren’t included just for the sake of increasing the sample size. 
  3. to allow comparisons for testing hypotheses related to paths to success. This is the answer we’re looking for. The Followers were included for a specific purpose-to actually compare to the Pathmakers and to test hypotheses related to paths of success. The Followers provided valuable data.
  4. to provide a different operational definition of the dependent variable. Adding additional subjects to the study is not going to change the definition of the dependent variable, or change the dependent variable at all. The locus of control was the dependent variable in this study. That did not change by including the Followers. Our best answer here is going to be answer choice C.

9) First thing we’re going to do to answer this question is recall the hypothesis stated in the last paragraph of the passage.

Locus of control is the extent to which someone believes they control the events that affect them. Alice came from very little and eventually became the CEO of a large corporation, so we want a comment from Alice’s perspective, and within the context of the hypothesis.

  1. I worked very hard because I came from a poor family. This answer choice is attributing success to an external factor. Pathmakers, like Alice, have stronger internal locus of control. 
  2. I did well in school because I had excellent teachers. This is once again attributing success to an external factor. Remember that Pathmakers have stronger internal locus of control. 
  3. I got my first job because I was very lucky. This is once again attributing success to an external factor. Pathmakers have stronger internal locus of control. We can eliminate this answer choice.
  4. I am successful because I am a responsible person. This is the only answer choice that is consistent with Alice having stronger internal locus of control. The other answer choices attributed success to external factors, but answer choice D correctly lists a statement that would likely be attributed to a subject like Alice.

 

AAMC Sample Test P/S: Passage 3

10) The author went through many different consequences of child maltreatment in the passage. Three of the answer choices were described in the passage, while our correct answer was not. 

The highlighted list of adverse outcomes is expansive. These adverse outcomes will fall within three of the outcomes listed in the answer choices. 

  1. chronic diseases. Chronic diseases include heart and liver disease. 
  2. mood disorders. Mood disorders can include depression.
  3. chronic stress. Chronic stress is linked to depression, anxiety, and heart disease. Unemployment and unintended pregnancy can contribute to chronic stress.
  4. personality disorders. A personality disorder is a state in which an individual displays patterns of cognition, behavior, and emotion that differ from cultural norms, cause distress and impairment, apply across many contexts, and have been exhibited over a long duration of time. The list of adverse outcomes is extensive, but does not include personality disorders. Answer choice D is our best option.

11) We can handle this question like we did with Question 10. First thing we’ll do is reference where in the passage the author mentions incidence rates.

We’re told the problem of child maltreatment cuts across all demographic groups. This contradicts the perception that child mistreatment occurs only in some classes. 

  1. social reproduction. Social reproduction refers to the emphasis on the structures and activities that transmit social inequality from one generation to the next.
  2. institutional discrimination. Institutional discrimination targets specific, easily stereotyped, and generalizable attributes of individuals, such as race and gender. It often exists within governments, though it can also occur in any other type of social institution. Some countries around the world practice some form of institutionalized discrimination. For example, in some countries, women cannot vote, drive, or work certain jobs.
  3. social stratification. Social stratification is a system of ranking individuals and groups within societies into socioeconomic tiers based on factors like wealth, income, race, education, and power. In this case there was no difference in child maltreatment across different ranked individuals within society. The problem of child maltreatment cuts across all demographic groups, so this contradicts the perception that child maltreatment is subject to social stratification. 
  4. cultural relativism. Cultural relativism is the practice of trying to understand a culture on its terms and to judge a culture by its standards, and an awareness of the differences in norms, values and practices between cultures. Answer choice C is going to be the best option.

12) Confirmation bias is a barrier to problem-solving. This exists when a person tends to look for information that supports their idea or approach instead of looking at new information that may contradict their approach or ideas. We want information from the passage that is LEAST relevant for determining the influence of confirmation bias on child abuse diagnosis. Three of the options will be relevant, while our correct answer will be the least relevant. 

  1. Parental concealment of child abuse from physicians. If the parent conceals any signs of child abuse from physicians, we don’t see traditional confirmation bias from the physician. Confirmation bias exists when a person tends to look for information that supports their idea. The physician may have a belief about child abuse, but hiding information from the physician has nothing to do with the physician’s ideas or approach.  
  2. Physician attention to evidence of child abuse. If a physician is inclined to believe children are subject to more or less abuse than they actually are, we can see confirmation bias come into play. The physician may interpret evidence of child abuse differently based on beliefs. 
  3. Challenges posed by interpreting child abuse symptoms. Child abuse symptoms are difficult to identify, but it is also a challenge to interpret symptoms. For example, a physician might assume most children are abused and may misinterpret every bruise as physical child abuse. Answer choice A remains the best option. 
  4. Emotional sensitivities around child abuse as a subject. Emotional sensitivities could cause someone to have a strong opinion on child abuse. They could look for information that supports their idea or approach instead of looking at new information. Similar to answer choice C, someone might assume most children are abused and may misinterpret every bruise as physical child abuse. We can stick with answer choice A as our best option.

13) First thing we’re going to do here is define an organization. Then we’ll find which of the four developments in the answer choices illustrates an organizational change in the context of child abuse diagnosis and prevention. A collection of individuals joining together to coordinate their interactions toward a specific purpose is known as an organization. A formal organization has its own set of distinct characteristics, including well-defined rules and regulations, an organizational structure, and determined objectives and policies.

  1. The addition of a pediatric subspecialty in child abuse pediatrics. Child abuse pediatricians are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of children and infants. It’s an organization that’s working toward diagnosing and treating child abuse. Adding a pediatric subspecialty is an organizational change. This answer choice is consistent with what we needed in the question stem.
  2. The increase in research on child abuse since the influential 1962 article. While this is a change and proliferation of necessary knowledge, we don’t have any evidence this is an organizational change. Answer choice A is going to be superior.
  3. The passage of state laws in the 1960s that mandate child abuse reporting. This is going to be similar to answer choice B. A legal change like this is great for fighting child abuse, but this is not an organizational change.
  4. The continued debate over how to understand the problem of child abuse. Public discourse can be beneficial, but the individuals debating are not currently working together toward a specific purpose. Only answer choice A mentions an organizational change in the context of child abuse diagnosis and prevention. 

 

AAMC Sample Test P/S: Questions 14-17

14) We’re going to think about group dynamics and how groups can affect views. We want to be careful here to focus on one key wrinkle: all of the students already agree on the topic. These students aren’t debating one another on controversial topics, but rather all of the students already oppose the policy to ban alcohol on campus. This is going to be a classic example of group polarization. Group polarization is the tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclination of its members. These students already opposed the policy, but they will really hate it after spending an hour discussing it!

  1. The students’ views will be unchanged. While this is possible, it is not the most likely. We want to remember group polarization. Presumably, the group will leave the room with an extreme dislike for the university policy they already opposed.
  2. The students will oppose the campus policy more strongly. This is consistent with our breakdown and group polarization. We expect the students will oppose the campus policy more strongly. This is going to be our best answer.
  3. The students will no longer oppose the campus policy. This is the opposite of what we expect to happen. The students will most likely oppose the campus policy more strongly after spending an hour in the room. 
  4. The students’ views will become more moderate. This is unlikely. We expect the views of the students to become more extreme. Our best answer is going to be answer choice B.

15) First thing we’re going to do to answer this question is define conflict theory. Conflict theory is a way of studying society by focusing on inequality between different groups and sees social life as a competition and focuses on the distribution of resources and power between these groups. Conflict theory views change as abrupt and revolutionary; that change and revolution is the result of inequality. In the conflict perspective, change comes about through conflict between competing interests, not consensus or adaptation.

  1. Norms and rituals. Norms can be defined as the shared ways of thinking, feeling, desiring, deciding, and acting. Norms are observable in regularly repeated behaviors and are adopted because they are assumed to solve problems. Rituals are formalized behavior in which members of a group regularly engage. This sounds more relevant to symbolic interactionism which explains how individuals act in society and can be expanded to look at the interactions of larger social groups to explain social change.
  2. Power and status. Conflict theory focuses on the distribution of resources and power between groups. This would have a significant impact on a patients’ relationship with their doctor. This is going to be a good answer that’s consistent with conflict theory. 
  3. Aggression and attachment. Attachment theory describes the dynamics of long-term social relationships between humans. Aggression is behavior that is intended to harm other individuals. These are social psychological concepts, and answer choice B remains the most relevant answer within the context of conflict theory.  
  4. Conformity and assimilation. Conformity is the most common and pervasive form of social influence. It is informally defined as the tendency to act or think like members of a group. Assimilation is the process by which an individual or group becomes part of a new culture. These have more to do with social influence and not conflict theory. We can stick with answer choice B as our best answer. 

16) This is a standalone question that relies on knowing the definition of anomie. We’ll define anomie then find the statement that best illustrates anomie. Anomie describes the alienation one feels from a lack of social norms, or the breakdown of social bonds between an individual and his community ties, resulting in the fragmentation of social identity. Anomie can lead to feelings of aimlessness or purposelessness, and occurs more frequently in periods of rapid social change.

  1. A group promotes polarized thinking among its members. Anomie involves alienation from a lack of social norms and not from group ties, even ones that promote polarized thinking. This is going to be the opposite of what we’re looking for. 
  2. An individual feels disconnected from the larger community. This is almost verbatim what we said in our breakdown of the question. This is consistent with the concept of anomie. This is a strong frontrunner for the best answer choice.
  3. A group overemphasizes consensus among its members. Verbiage here is going to be similar to answer choice A. Anomie involves alienation from a lack of social norms and not from consensus among a group. This is going to be the opposite of what we’re looking for. Answer choice B remains the best option. 
  4. An individual feels too influenced by the larger community. This is the opposite of our prediction. Anomie describes the alienation one feels from a lack of social norms, or the breakdown of social bonds between an individual and his community ties. We can stick with answer choice B as the best answer. 

 

AAMC Sample Test P/S: Passage 4

17) We’re told AS is characterized by difficulties in social relationships, communication, and imagination. There is also a deficiency in attributing mental and emotional states to others and explaining and predicting behaviors based on these states. Despite this, AS is marked by intact language and cognitive abilities.

  1. Spearman’s idea of general intelligence. Spearman believed intelligence consisted of a general factor, g factor, that can be compared among individuals. There is also a specific ability, s. Individuals with AS may not have the highest g or s because of of their deficiencies.
  2. Gardner’s idea of eight intelligences. Howard Gardner published a book on multiple intelligence that breaks intelligence down into at least eight different modalities: logical, linguistic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, naturalist, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligence. Individuals with AS have deficiencies in some aspects, but have intact language and cognitive abilities. By splitting intelligence into eight categories, we can separate the deficiencies and intact abilities. This is going to be our best option. 
  3. Galton’s idea of hereditary genius. Francis Galton was the first to propose a theory of intelligence. Galton believed intelligence had a biological basis that could be studied by measuring reaction times to certain cognitive tasks. We would need biological information to consider this as our best option. Answer choice B remains superior.
  4. Binet’s idea of mental age. Binet came up with mental age which is a measure of intelligence based on ability of an age group. For example, a young child that exceeds the average score on an intelligence test compared to his peers is said to have a higher “mental age.” Mental functioning of individuals with AS is not related to age. Answer choice B is going to be our best answer.

18) To answer this question, we can reference the part of the passage that talks about MN.

We can use our general knowledge about mirror neurons as well. Mirror neurons have been identified in various parts of the human brain and are thought to be involved in biological processes that affect observational learning. In monkeys, mirror neurons fire when the monkey performs a task, as well as when the monkey observes another monkey performing the task. This ties into what the passage suggested. In humans, some believe mirror neurons are activated by connecting the sight and action of a movement (that is, they are programmed to mirror). Some believe that mirror neurons help us understand the actions of others and help us learn through imitation.

  1. Operant conditioning is a type of associative learning process through which the strength of a behavior is modified by reinforcement or punishment. That’s not what we’re seeing with mirror neurons.
  2. Classical conditioning involves learning in which the stimulus or experience occurs before the behavior and then gets paired or associated with the behavior. This also does not reflect our breakdown or what the author mentioned about MN in the passage.
  3. Observational learning is learning that occurs as a function of seeing, retaining, and, in the case of imitation learning, replicating novel behavior executed by other people. This is consistent with our breakdown. We said mirror neurons are thought to be involved in processes that affect observational learning. This is going to be our best answer. 
  4. Latent learning is when something is learned, but not expressed as an observable behavior until it is required. Information is retained subconsciously. Not what we’re looking for, so we can stick with answer choice C as our correct answer. 

19) To answer this question, we can go back to the second paragraph of the passage. The author talks about investigating the genetic component in the development of AS. I want to emphasize the results from this study.

As I mentioned, the study was investigating the genetic component in the development of AS. We want to find an element of the study in our answer choices that limits the conclusion that genetic makeup plays a causal role on AS. 

  1. The participants in the study have varying levels of genetic relationships with individuals who have AS. This is objectively not true. We’re told the participants either had siblings with AS, or normally developing siblings. There is no variation beyond that. The normally developing siblings group is a control group.
  2. The participants are siblings of individuals who have AS rather than individuals who themselves have AS. This ties into our previous answer choice as well. Because these participants are siblings of individuals with AS, they will share a substantial amount of their genes with their siblings. This does not discount or limit the conclusion.
  3. The researchers do not control for possible differences between same sex versus opposite sex siblings in the AS sibling group. The author actually says the participants were matched in terms of both age and sex. Sex is not going to limit the conclusion in this case.
  4. The participants in the AS sibling group likely share the same environment with individuals who have AS. This is a true statement. Even though the siblings in the AS sibling group have not been diagnosed with AS, they still grew up in the same environment and that can’t be ignored. That similar environment can have a bigger influence than genetic makeup even. Answer choice D is going to be our best answer.

20) To answer this question, we’ll go through four different intervention designs and find one that makes use of extrinsic motivators. The goal of each intervention is to increase emotional processing of children with AS. Extrinsically motivated behaviors are performed in order to receive something from others—such as a promotion, praise, candy, money, or attention. We associate extrinsic with external.

  1. Playing pleasant music while engaging the children in a task that requires recognizing emotional expressions. Playing pleasant music is not an external reward for certain behavior. The music is playing regardless of how the children perform on the task and is not motivating them.
  2. Putting emotionally expressive faces on the toys that the children play with. This is similar to answer choice A. The faces on the toys do not provide an extrinsic motivator. If the children got toys for completing a task, this answer might be a more fitting one.
  3. Giving the children ten minutes of play time every time they correctly name an emotional expression. This is a proper extrinsic motivator. The children correctly name an emotional expression and are rewarded with an external reward: play time. This is going to be our best answer. It matches what we said in our breakdown and what we’re looking for based on the question stem.
  4. Having the children play a memory game that requires matching emotional expressions with labels. This does not include any extrinsic motivators. There is no external reward here for doing well on the memory game. The only answer choice here that makes use of extrinsic motivators is our correct answer: answer choice C. 

 

AAMC Sample Test P/S: Passage 5

21) First thing we want to do as we jump into this question is break it down into smaller, workable chunks. We can reference the passage to find the age groups in the study. The author says boys and girls from two different age groups (ages 5–6 years and 8–9 years) were randomly assigned to the experimental group or the control group. Kohlberg defined three levels of moral development: preconventional, conventional, and postconventional.

According to Kohlberg, an individual progresses from the capacity for pre-conventional morality (before age 9) to the capacity for conventional morality. The participants are all age 9 or younger and in the pre-conventional stage of moral development. Their behavior is driven by avoiding punishment and by self-interest and rewards.

  1. Lengthening the videos the participants viewed to one hour, with a 10-minute play break in between each 6-minute segment. There’s no real reason a play break would decrease aggression in the children. The test-maker may be implying that the participants release excess energy, but that does not tie into pre-conventional morality.
  2. The addition of a segment to the violent video that portrays the actors being put in prison for their illegal violent behaviors. This change would tie into the behavior of the participants being driven by avoiding punishment. If the participants see there are consequences to negative behaviors, they are likely to try and avoid these consequences. This is a good answer choice.
  3. The addition of a segment to the violent video that portrays the negative impact of violence on the victims. This ties into post-conventional morality in which behavior is driven by individual rights and the balance of social order. This typically happens later in life (if at all) and not at the current stage in which the participants are according to Kohlberg’s theory.
  4. Having the participants work on an interactive task with other children before and after watching the video. This might increase the behavior driven by social approval, but the participants are not yet in the conventional morality stage. We can stick with answer choice B as our best answer here. 

22) The biggest thing I want to be aware of here is the verbiage. We want to test the hypothesis that frustration causes aggression. The frustration-aggression hypothesis claims that frustration produces an aggressive urge and that aggression is the result of frustration. We’ll make sure we’re relating frustration and aggression in our answer.

  1. Keeping the independent variable in Study 1 with the addition of telling the participants that the child they are helping or hurting is the same sex as they are or a member of the opposite sex. Independent variable in Study 1 is either the violent program or coloring book. In this case, we’re also telling the participants the gender of the child playing in the other room. This additional change to the design of Study 1 does not necessarily cause frustration, but rather would test the in-group/out-group hypothesis. We don’t know how gender affects frustration levels, so we cannot test the frustration-aggression hypothesis.
  2. Replacing the independent variable in Study 1 with placing an attractive toy in the room and telling half of the participants that they are not allowed to play with this toy. If half the participants are not able to play with an attractive toy, they will undoubtedly get frustrated. The participants want to play with this toy, but they cannot. The researchers can test if frustration leads to additional aggression in this case.
  3. Using the same experimental method but also assessing participants’ frustration levels before and after they are given the opportunity to help or hurt the other child. This is simply changing how the researchers are observing the participants. There is no change to the design of the study here that is testing that frustration is causing aggression. The aggression can still be coming from watching violent television or coloring. Answer choice B remains the best option.
  4. Using the same experimental method but also taking measures of physiological arousal to ensure that the experimental and control groups differ on these measures. This is going to be similar to answer choice C. The experimental method has to change to actually test that frustration is causing aggression. There cannot be ambiguity about what is causing the aggression, so the method should change to account for this.

23) Like a lot of the questions we come across, this is multiple sentences long and we have to focus on a few things. First thing we’ll want to do is break down the James-Lange theory of emotion. The James–Lange theory of emotion asserts that emotions arise as a result of physiological arousal —i.e., that the self-perception of changes in the body produces an emotional experience. 

Participants experience physiological arousal from watching violent programs and emotions will subsequently arise as a result of this physiological arousal. Let’s jump into our four answer choices and see which one is consistent with this thinking.

  1. this arousal is followed by aggressive emotions. This is exactly what we said in our breakdown and what we see in the visual above. Participants experience physiological arousal from watching violent programs, and aggressive emotions will subsequently arise as a result of this physiological arousal.
  2. they simultaneously experience aggressive emotions. The timing here is crucial. Aggressive emotions will subsequently arise as a result of this physiological arousal. The two do not happen simultaneously. This is the Canon-Bard theory.
  3. they interpret their arousal, which results in aggressive emotions. It is not the mental interpretation of the arousal or thinking, but rather the physiological arousal itself that causes aggressive emotions. 
  4. this leads to fight-or-flight responses that are perceived as aggressive emotions. There is not a sympathetic vs parasympathetic dichotomy going on here. This is not an explicit theory of emotion we have to know that is consistent with answer choice D. We can stick with answer choice A as our best answer. 

24) Norms are rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its members. Values are culturally-defined standards that serve as broad guidelines for social living. Both are elements by which a society defines its culture. We’re focused on media exposure specifically and the role it plays.

  1. Assimilation. Assimilation is the process by which an individual or group becomes part of a new culture. This is not relevant to the question stem or media influence in this sense. 
  2. Discrimination. Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on his or her membership, or perceived membership, in a certain group or category. This is not relevant to the question stem or media influence in this sense.
  3. Socialization. Socialization is essentially learning how to interact with others. Socialization includes the norms and values that are instilled in us by media exposure (and other exposure). This is going to be our best answer choice. 
  4. Stratification. Social stratification refers to a society’s categorization of its people into rankings of socioeconomic tiers based on factors like wealth, income, race, education, and power. This is not relevant to the question stem or media influence in this sense. We can stick with answer choice C as our best answer.

25) We can reference the passage to find the age groups in the study. The author says boys and girls from two different age groups (ages 5–6 years and 8–9 years) were randomly assigned to the experimental group or the control group. The younger group is in the preoperational stage (ages 2-7). In this stage, children do not yet understand concrete logic and cannot mentally manipulate information. The child can form stable concepts as well as magical beliefs. The child, however, is still not able to perform operations, which are tasks that the child can do mentally, rather than physically. In this stage, children’s perspectives are limited by egocentrism, meaning they cannot understand a perspective other than their own.

The older group is in the concrete operational stage (ages 7-11). The concrete operational stage is characterized by the appropriate use of logic. The two important processes in the concrete operational stage are logic and the elimination of egocentrism.

  1. Looking for an object that the researcher hides from the participant’s sight. Object permanence develops in the sensorimotor stage which is only until 2 years old. Both groups have mastered this.
  2. Using accommodation to acquire knowledge about novel experiences. Reasoning here is going to be similar to answer choice A. Both groups mastered this in the sensorimotor stage which is only until 2 years old. 
  3. Deciding whether a given quantity of a liquid changes if it is poured from a narrow container to a wide container. The concrete operational stage is when children learn the idea of conservation. The liquid volume example is a classic one used by instructors. Only the older group in the study has learned the idea of conservation, so this is a good answer choice.
  4. Reasoning about how the end result of a story might have changed if the main character had acted differently. This happens in the formal operational stage after the age of 11. At this point, the person is capable of hypothetical and deductive reasoning. This is older than both groups in our passage. We can stick with answer choice C as our best answer.

 

AAMC Sample Test P/S: Questions 26-29

26) This question is going to come down to knowing World-Systems theory and the different classifications of countries. Let’s go through our four answer choices and see which one applies to Country A:

  1. core nation. Core nations are developed and contain a lot of wealth and power. They have a strong economy and are economically diversified. This describes Country B more than Country A
  2. semi-periphery nation. This is between a core nation and a periphery nation. There is a diversified economy, but it is not dominant in international trade. The naming system is fluid, so countries may have some aspects of the three different divisions.
  3. periphery nation. Periphery nations have relatively weak economies and government. They depend on core nations like Country A depends on Country B. The description in the question stem for Country A is of a periphery nation.
  4. developed nation. This refers more to Country B which has a strong economy and Country A is dependent on it. The strong economy is our biggest clue here. We can stick with answer choice C. Country A is a periphery nation. 

27) This is going to come down to knowing which nonverbal behaviors are interpreted universally and which nonverbal behaviors may vary across cultures. There is substantial evidence for seven universal emotions that are each associated with distinct facial expressions: 

While these are considered “universal emotions,” other nonverbal behaviors like body cues and gestures are not considered universal.

  1. adults’ facial expressions. Adults’ facial expressions fall under the universal emotions category. Regardless of culture, facial expressions can be interpreted similarly. 
  2. children’s facial expressions. Children’s facial expressions fall under the universal emotions category. Regardless of culture, facial expressions can be interpreted similarly
  3. postures and gestures. Some facial expressions are considered universal emotions, but other nonverbal behaviors like postures and gestures are not considered universal. Postures and gestures can be interpreted differently. We can pick answer choice C as a good option.
  4. frowns and smiles. Frowns and smiles are facial expressions. Similar to answer choices A and B, we can say these facial expressions fall under the universal emotions category. Regardless of culture, facial expressions can be interpreted similarly. That means we’re left with answer choice C as our best answer. 

28) First thing we’re going to do is establish a definition for altruism. Altruism is often referred to as selflessness. It’s the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others. Specifically, altruism is the desire to help others even if the costs outweigh the benefits of helping. Within the context of this question stem, we want to find the one statement that is not supported. Three of the statements are supported, while our correct answer is NOT.

  1. Participants’ concerns about impression management could influence their survey responses. This is entirely possible. Impression management involves presenting ourselves as we hope to be perceived. If the participants were worried about how they were perceived, they might alter their responses to be looked upon more favorably. 
  2. The researchers could determine whether age is directly responsible for altruistic behaviors. We know there was a correlation between younger participants and altruistic behavior, but we don’t know if age is the direct cause. There are too many factors in play to make a definitive statement. This is a strong choice for this question.
  3. Variables such as gender and socioeconomic status could affect participants’ responses. This is entirely true as participants of a certain gender or socioeconomic status might answer differently. These variables could certainly affect the responses.
  4. Altruism was operationalized as the participants’ responses on the survey. This is certainly supported. Altruism isn’t something that can be quantified; operationalization involves measuring something that isn’t inherently measurable. In this survey, that’s exactly what the researchers have done. We can stick with answer choice B as our best option.

29) Mead studied the self, a person’s distinct identity that is developed through social interaction. In order to engage in this process of “self,” an individual has to be able to view him or herself through the eyes of others. That’s not an ability that we are born with. “Me” is more society’s view. Me is what we learn and form into through social interaction. “I” is an individual identity that is spontaneous and autonomous. “I” is the less social component of the self. The actual self is the combination between the I and the me.

  1. id. This is a distractor and is a term used by Freud, not Mead
  2. ego. Reasoning here is going to be the same as answer choice A. This is a distractor and is a term used by Freud, not Mead.
  3. I. This is consistent with our breakdown. We said. “I” is an individual identity that is spontaneous and autonomous. “I” is the less social component of the self. This is going to be our best answer. 
  4. me. “Me” is more society’s view. Me is what we learn and form into through social interaction. Answer choice C is going to be the best answer choice here.

 

AAMC Sample Test P/S: Passage 6

30) To answer this question, we can go back to the passage and pick out some key information. We start the first paragraph learning about the event that inspired Jay’s fear. The author then tells us some important information about Jay today.

Despite not being in any obvious danger, Jay is still fearful whenever he’s in any confined environments. Any time Jay is in a similar situation to the traumatic event, he feels the same danger. At first glance, this sounds like stimulus generalization. Let’s keep this prediction in mind and go through our four answers. 

  1. stimulus discrimination. Stimulus discrimination is the ability to respond differently to similar stimuli. This is different than what we see in Jay. With Jay, when there are similar stimuli he responds similarly.
  2. stimulus generalization. Stimulus generalization involves demonstrating the conditioned response to stimuli that are similar to the conditioned stimulus. This actually matches our breakdown and the predicted answer we came up with. Answer choice B is going to be a good answer for us.
  3. second-order conditioning. Second-order conditioning is a classical conditioning term. A first stimulus is made meaningful, then that stimulus is used to learn about a second stimulus. Jay’s fear of confined spaces is from stimulus generalization, not from second-order conditioning.
  4. spontaneous recovery. Spontaneous recovery is the return of a previously extinguished conditioned response following a rest period. That means after a break or pause from conditioning, the conditioned response reappears. Once again, this does not describe Jay’s situation. We can stick with answer choice B as our best option.

31) First thing we want to do as we dive into this question is define an unconditioned response. An unconditioned response is a natural (unlearned) behavior to a given stimulus. For example, if you smell a delicious meal, you may begin to salivate. We’re going to look at the four answer choices and find one that is an unconditioned response. 

  1. Intense panic reaction in an elevator. This represents a conditioned response. Jay had the traumatic event in the subway car, and now is conditioned to be fearful in confined spaces and public transportation methods. 
  2. Physiological arousal in confined spaces. This is similar to answer choice A. Confined spaces are considered a conditioned stimulus. A conditioned stimulus is typically neutral and produces no particular response at first, but after conditioning, it elicits the conditioned response. 
  3. Emotional arousal during the commotion. The emotional arousal during the commotion was a natural, unlearned behavior by Jay. By definition, that is an unconditioned response. This is going to be our best answer choice.
  4. Vivid memory of the event. Memories are not a response, so this answer choice is out of scope. We can stick with answer choice C as our best answer. 

32) To answer this question, we can go back to the passage and find the hypothesis of the study. Then we can go through our four options and look for the finding that the researcher most likely expects.

The researcher hypothesized that negative emotions would be associated with higher confidence in memories. 

  1. A positive correlation between the participants’ scores on the confidence scale and the number of events they recall from the last year. There is no mention of the number of events these participants recalled from the last year. Instead, the hypothesis revolves around the emotions felt during these events. 
  2. A positive correlation between the participants’ scores on the emotion scale and their scores on the confidence scale. This is the opposite of what the researcher hypothesized. The researcher hypothesized that negative emotions would be associated with higher confidence in memories.  
  3. A negative correlation between the participants’ scores on the confidence scale and the number of events they recall from the last year. Reasoning here is going to be similar to answer choice A. There is no mention of the number of events these participants recalled from the last year. Instead, the hypothesis revolves around the emotions felt during these events. 
  4. A negative correlation between the participants’ scores on the emotion scale and their scores on the confidence scale. This answer choice matches our breakdown and what we read in the passage. The researcher hypothesized that negative emotions would be associated with higher confidence in memories. Answer choice D is going to be our best answer. 

33) To answer this question, we can recall Jay’s physiological symptoms in confined spaces. 

Physiological arousal involves increased blood pressure, increased respiration, and less GI activity. When Jay experiences a confined environment, which is a stressor for him, he experiences physiological arousal to deal with that stressor. 

  1. Parasympathetic nervous system The parasympathetic nervous system works in opposition to the sympathetic; during periods of rest, it slows the heart rate, lowers the blood pressure, stimulates digestion, and moves blood flow back to the skin. This is the opposite of what Jay feels. Jay felt his heart pound, shortness of breath, and sweating. 
  2. Central nervous system The central nervous system includes the spinal cord and the brain. The brain is the body’s main control center. The main function of the CNS is the integration and processing of sensory information. It synthesizes sensory input to compute an appropriate motor response, or output.
  3. Somatic nervous system The somatic nervous system controls voluntary movements such as those in the skin, bones, joints, and skeletal muscles. This is not what we’re looking for in this question, we can eliminate answer choice C.
  4. Sympathetic nervous system The sympathetic nervous system controls the body’s automatic response to danger, increasing the heart rate, dilating the blood vessels, slowing digestion, and moving blood flow to the heart, muscles, and brain. It regulates fight-or-flight responses. The sympathetic nervous system is directly involved in Jay’s physiological symptoms in confined spaces.

34) Jay experiences increased heartrate, physiological arousal, fear and anxiety when it comes to leaving home, and he feels fear. We’re going to find the hormone that is at the highest level as a part of Jay’s conditioned response.

  1. Oxytocin is a hormone that stimulates contractions during labor, and then the production of milk. This is out of scope
  2. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep–wake cycle. This is also out of scope
  3. Leptin is a hormone that decreases appetite. This is also out of scope
  4. Cortisol Epinephrine and cortisol are released from the adrenal glands mainly in response to stress. We were effectively looking for one of these two answers. Cortisol also promotes gluconeogenesis and increases blood sugar level, but we’re focused on the response to stress. Answer choice D is going to be our best answer.

 

AAMC Sample Test P/S: Passage 7

35) To answer this question, we can reference important information from the passage. The author mentions the follow-up study in the last paragraph of the passage. The frequency with which the participants engaged in coping strategies was assessed daily over a period of three weeks and participants were eventually given rewards for their behavior. That sounds like operant conditioning. 

We want to match that procedure with one of the four vocabulary terms in our answer choices. 

  1. Extinction Extinction, in operant conditioning, refers to when a reinforced behavior is extinguished entirely. This occurs at some point after reinforcement stops. This is not the procedure being applied. 
  2. Spontaneous recovery Spontaneous recovery is the return of a previously extinguished conditioned response. Engaging in coping strategies is not a previously extinguished conditioned response. This also does not apply to the follow-up study.
  3. Classical conditioning Classical conditioning is learning in which the stimulus or experience occurs before the behavior and then gets paired or associated with the behavior. This is not what’s happening in the passage. The participants exhibit a behavior and that behavior is reinforced.
  4. Operant conditioning Operant conditioning is a type of associative learning process through which the strength of a behavior is modified by reinforcement or punishment. That’s what we’re told is happening in the last paragraph of the passage. Answer choice D is our best answer. 

36) This question is referring to the follow-up study including the participants with high anxiety symptoms. The frequency with which the participants engaged in coping activities was assessed. During the third week of assessment, participants received a prize in a random fashion, only on some of the occasions when they engaged in a learned coping strategy. The prizes can vary throughout the week and if the participant engaged in a behavior. 

  1. variable ratio. In a variable-ratio schedule, the number of responses needed for a reward varies. The author mentions participants receive prizes in random fashion, only on some of the occasions when they engaged in a learned coping strategy. This is consistent with a variable-ratio schedule. The number of responses between reinforcements is random.
  2. fixed ratio. In a fixed-ratio schedule, there are a set number of responses that must occur before the behavior is rewarded. This is not the case in week 3 as the participants received a prize in a random fashion, only on some of the occasions when they engaged in a learned coping strategy.
  3. variable interval. In a variable-interval schedule, the subject gets the reinforcement based on varying and unpredictable amounts of time. The prizes came in a random fashion, but based on a random number of occasions when they engaged in a learned coping strategy. 
  4. fixed interval. A fixed-interval schedule is when behavior is rewarded after a set amount of time. This is not the case in week 3 as the participants received a prize in a random fashion, only on some of the occasions when they engaged in a learned coping strategy. We can stick with answer choice A as our best answer. 

37) Biggest thing we want to remember for a question like this is that we’re looking for a cause. There might be a correlation between genes and anxiety disorders, or there might be a different reason for the anxiety disorders entirely. We’re trying to determine if the results show genes play a causal role in anxiety disorders. Let’s look at the results of the study.

At first glance, we certainly see a correlation in the left side of the Figure between parental history of anxiety disorders and percentage of children with anxiety symptoms. However, we also want to look at the right side of the Figure. We see that there’s also a correlation between high levels of parental criticism and percentage of children with high anxiety symptoms. The results present two sets of variables: one is genetic, while the other is environmental.

  1. Yes, because the results revealed that children whose parents had anxiety symptoms were more likely to show these symptoms themselves. While this certainly looks to be true, we do not know for sure if the increase in anxiety symptoms if entirely due to parents having anxiety symptoms, or of it’s also due to environmental factors. Children may have increased anxiety symptoms due to criticism from parents, or from observing these symptoms in their parents. We have a correlation here, but we can’t definitively say this is causation. 
  2. Yes, because the participants were randomly selected and the researchers controlled for parental history of anxiety. This may be a true statement as well, but this is not sufficient to claim genetics cause anxiety disorders. Once again, the high anxiety symptoms could have come from environmental or social factors. Children may have increased anxiety symptoms due to criticism from parents, or from observing these symptoms in their parents.
  3. No, because high parental criticism, which is an environmental factor, was also related to an increase in anxiety symptoms. Second part of the answer is a true statement, but this is discounting the role that genetics plays. It is certainly possible genetics cause anxiety disorders and they are simply correlated to high criticism. We can’t conclude one way or the other.
  4. No because although parental history of anxiety predicts childhood anxiety, this may also be a result of social learning. This answer choice matches our thought process. Children may have increased anxiety symptoms due to genetics, criticism from parents, or from observing anxiety symptoms in their parents. We cannot definitively make a conclusion based on the information we’ve been given. We can pick answer choice D as our best answer. 

38) The author went into great detail about this in the last paragraph of the passage.

The frequency with which the participants engaged in coping strategies was assessed daily over a period of three weeks. We want to know how the frequency of engaging in coping strategies is likely to change over these three weeks based on what we know. Note, in the first week there were no rewards, but in the second and third weeks the participants received prizes. As the study progressed, there was positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcers add a wanted or pleasant stimulus to increase or maintain the frequency of a behavior.

  1. Decrease over the course of the study. The children received positive reinforcement as the study went on, so presumably they are more likely to engage in coping strategies as time goes on. 
  2. Increase over the course of the study. This is consistent with our through process. As the study progressed, there was positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcers add a wanted or pleasant stimulus to increase or maintain the frequency of a behavior. We expect the frequency with which the child engages in coping strategies increases over time.
  3. Increase over the first two weeks of the study and decline on the third week. From week two to week three, the researchers switch from consistent, structured reinforcement to a variable ratio schedule. Despite the change, a variable ratio schedule has been shown to effectively reinforce behaviors. We don’t expect a decline in the third week. Answer choice B remains superior.
  4. Be stable over the first two weeks of the study and fluctuate on the third week. As we jump into reinforcing behavior, we expect the frequency with which each child engages in coping strategies will increase. This answer choice goes against our breakdown. We can stick with answer choice B as our best option.

 

AAMC Sample Test P/S: Passage 8

39) To answer this question, we’re going to focus on the second half of the passage where the author talks about Study 2. We know Study 2 was conducted to explore the role of anxiety on cognitive performance. We want to know about the actual training procedure. We’re given 4 different types of memory procedures as our answer choices. Participants were required to memorize target words then read sentences and report as many of the target words as they could remember shortly thereafter. 

  1. implicit memory. Implicit memory involves long-term memories that are not consciously remembered, including procedural memories and emotional conditioning. In this study, the participants are consciously trying to remember information. 
  2. procedural memory. Procedural memories are a type of implicit memory and they include memories on how to do specific tasks. Some examples include riding a bike and emotional conditioning. These are not consciously remembered. In this study, the participants are consciously trying to remember information.
  3. sensory memory. Sensory memory is the system that actively holds multiple pieces of information in the mind for the execution of verbal and nonverbal tasks and makes them available for further information processing. This is related to senses, so what you may hear or see, not necessarily recalling information like we have in Study 2. 
  4. working memory. Working memory is the system that actively holds multiple pieces of information in the mind for the execution of verbal and nonverbal tasks and makes them available for further information processing. The participants in the study had to learn and recall information in Study 2 in a short duration of time. That’s consistent with working memory. Answer choice D is going to be our best answer. 

40) First thing we’re going to do to answer this question is reference the skin conductivity results.

The author introduces Study 2 and then goes into the skin conductivity results at the very end of the paragraph. We’re focused specifically on participants in the self-doubt condition, meaning they read sentences containing words that triggered self-doubt. These participants had higher levels of skin conductance and cortisol. Typically, an involuntary increase in sweating increases skin conductivity, which is an indication of psychological and physiological arousal. Cortisol is released from the adrenal glands mainly in response to stress. Given this information, we want to know which of the characteristics these participants are UNLIKELY to display. Be careful to not get tripped up by the verbiage! Three of the options we’ll expect to see in the participants, while our correct answer we will not.

  1. increased sympathetic nervous system activity. The sympathetic nervous system controls the body’s automatic response to danger and stress. That involves increasing the heart rate, dilating the blood vessels, slowing digestion, and moving blood flow to the heart, muscles, and brain. Given the psychological and physiological arousal and the stress experienced by the participants, we expect increased sympathetic nervous system activity. 
  2. increased blood sugar through gluconeogenesis. This answer choice is going to tie into cortisol increase. Cortisol promotes gluconeogenesis and increases blood sugar level. This is also expected as we know we have higher levels of cortisol from the passage.
  3. increased dilation of the pupils. We mentioned we expect increased sympathetic nervous system activity which includes increased dilation of the pupils. Remember, we’re looking for a characteristic the participants are unlikely to display. No great answer choices so far.
  4. increased peristalsis along the digestive tract. We expect the opposite to happen. In a stressful situation, the body doesn’t want to be spending resources on digesting food. We expect digestion will slow down at the expense of increased heart rate, dilated blood vessels, and increased blood flow. We do not expect to see increased peristalsis along the digestive tract, so we can pick answer choice D as our best answer. 

41) To answer this question, we don’t even have to know many details about stereotype threat. This question is focused more on analyzing the data presented in the passage. We can quickly give an overview of stereotype threat, but we’ll ultimately answer this question by using the data. Stereotype Threat is the experience of anxiety or concern in a situation where a person has the potential to confirm a negative stereotype about their social group. If negative stereotypes are present regarding a specific group, they are likely to become anxious about their performance, which in turn may hinder their ability to perform at their maximum level. Let’s jump into Figure 1.

The biggest discrepancy we see between in the average percent correct in an assessment is between the men and women taking the math assessment. The math assessment group was told that their scores were going to be used to study sex differences in mathematical ability. The women in the group scored significantly lower than the men, and comparatively lower than their counterparts in the other groups. We can see the effect of stereotype in the women in the math assessment group who had significantly lower scores.

  1. the women in the problem-solving group. The women in the problem-solving group scored similarly to the men, and similarly to the women in the teaching intervention group. We don’t see a significant increase or decrease relative to the other groups.
  2. the men in the teaching intervention group. The men in the teaching intervention group scored similarly to the women, and similarly to the men in the other groups as well.
  3. the women in the math assessment group. The women in the math assessment group scored significantly lower than the men, and comparatively lower than their counterparts in the other groups. We can see the effect of stereotype in the women in the math assessment group who had significantly lower scores. This is going to be our best answer. 
  4. both the men and women in the teaching intervention group. Both the men and women scored similarly in the teaching intervention group. This was also in line with their problem-solving group counterparts. Answer choice C is going to be our best answer.

42) This is a fairly open-ended question, so we’re not going to spend a ton of time breaking it down. Biggest thing we want to remember is one of the predictions will be best supported by findings in the passage. The passage takes priority over any external knowledge.

  1. Anxiety is an unlikely explanation for the effect of stereotype threat. In both Study 1 and Study 2 we see signs that anxiety is an explanation for the effect of stereotype threat. For example, in Study 2, the participants in the self-doubt condition read sentences containing words that triggered self-doubt. The anxiety felt by the group affected what the researchers found about electrical skin conductance and salivary cortisol levels. They found that the participants in the self-doubt condition had higher levels of skin conductance and cortisol than those in the self-confidence condition.
  2. Given the results from Study 2, stereotype threat is caused by the arousal of the sympathetic nervous system due to self-doubt. This is where the passage comes into play. The passage takes priority over any external knowledge, and there is no mention of self-doubt causing stereotype threat, or relate that directly to the sympathetic nervous system.
  3. Given the results from the teaching intervention group, stereotype threat is not likely to be due to self-fulfilling prophecies. Self-fulfilling prophecies refers to a phenomenon in which the expectations of a person or event unknowingly influence outcomes, leading the realization of those expectations. Stereotype threat, therefore, is likely to be due to self-fulfilling prophecies. Once the participants became aware of stereotype threat, results changed.
  4. The effect of stereotype threat may be eliminated if individuals are made aware of it. This comes from looking at the teaching intervention group in Study 1. The teaching intervention group was given the same information as the math assessment group, but they were also instructed on what stereotype threat is and how it may affect performance. After learning this information, the women in the group performed significantly better than their counterparts in the math assessment group. Answer choice D is a good answer choice.

43) Similar to question 42, this is a fairly open-ended question. We’re not going to spend a ton of time breaking down the question. We can pull up Figure 1 here, then dive into the conclusions presented as possible answer choices. Be careful with the verbiage here because we want a conclusion NOT supported by Figure 1.

  1. Participants’ performance in the problem-solving and teaching intervention conditions was comparable. We can see from Figure 1 that participants’ performance in both the problem-solving and teaching intervention conditions is comparable. We have similar average percent correct in both groups and among men and women.
  2. Women in the teaching intervention condition outperformed the women in the math assessment condition. This is consistent with Figure 1. We see the white bars represent women. We can see the women in the teaching intervention group all the way to the right of Figure 1 had a higher average percent correct than did women in the math assessment group in the middle of Figure 1. 
  3. Women performed significantly worse than men only in the math assessment condition. This answer choice is also consistent with the results in Figure 1. The average percent correct by both women and men in the problem-solving and teaching intervention group is similar. In the math assessment condition, the women performed significantly worse. 
  4. Teaching intervention instructions improved both men’s and women’s performance. This answer choice is inconsistent with what we see in Figure 1. Teaching intervention instructions led to comparable results as the problem-solving group. Men in the teaching intervention group performed similarly to the math assessment group as well. This conclusion is not supported by Figure 1. Answer choice D is our correct answer. 

 

AAMC Sample Test P/S: Questions 44-47

44) This is a standalone question that asks us to explain what we see in the question stem. Seeing the characters as 6 units instead of 12 individual characters is explained by Gestalt principles, and we want to identify the specific one. At first glance, I want to say this is likely the Law of Proximity. The Law of Proximity posits that when we perceive a collection of objects, we will perceptually group objects that are physically close to each other. That’s exactly what we do with each XO unit. Let’s define the additional principles and see if we can find a superior answer.

  1. similarity. The Law of Similarity states that people will perceive similar elements will be perceptually grouped. This allows us to distinguish between adjacent and overlapping objects based on their visual texture and resemblance. This might be the case if we grouped the X’s together and the O’s together, but that’s not the case.
  2. proximity. The Law of Proximity posits that when we perceive a collection of objects, we will perceptually group objects that are physically close to each other. This allows for the grouping together of elements into larger sets and reduces the need to process a larger number of smaller stimuli. That’s exactly what happens we perceive the characters in the question stem as 6 units instead of 12 individual characters.
  3. continuity. The Law of Continuity explains that lines are seen as following the smoothest path. This might be the case if we had 6 units of lines, but answer choice B remains the best explanation. 
  4. common fate. Law of Common Fate says that objects that function or move in the same direction appear to belong together as a unified group. The classic example is the flock of birds moving together in the sky. We can stick with answer choice B as our correct answer. 

45) A nightmare situation here! We’ve all been in a similar situation where things are going so wrong already, but the negatives continue to compound. In this case, we want to know when a student that falls down would be most likely to receive help from others. We can go through our four situations presented as possible answers and pick the one that is most likely. 

  1. only one other student was present when the accident occurred. This is describing the bystander effect. It refers to cases where individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim in an emergency when they believe that others are present. The probability of helping victims is inversely related to the number of bystanders; the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that anyone of them will help. Therefore, a single student would be most likely to help.
  2. the stairway was crowded when the accident occurred. This is the opposite of answer choice A. The probability of helping victims is inversely related to the number of bystanders. A single student being present would be the highest chance of receiving help. Answer choice A is the superior answer. 
  3. the accident occurred at the end of the day. The accident occurring at the end of the day is not going to make the student more likely to receive help. You could potentially make the argument students have more time to help out, but that’s a stretch. Answer choice A is going to remain the best option. 
  4. the college was in an urban neighborhood. There’s no real way to correlate being in an urban neighborhood and the student being more likely to receive help. We can stick with the answer that demonstrates the bystander effect: answer choice A.

46) This is a standalone question that relies on external knowledge. We can define meritocracy in terms of status then find the applicable answer choice. 

A meritocracy is an ideal system based on the belief that social stratification is the result of personal effort, or merit, that determines social standing. High levels of effort will lead to a high social position, and vice versa. The concept of meritocracy is an ideal—because a society has never existed where social rank was based purely on merit. Because of the complex structure of societies, processes like socialization, and the realities of economic systems, social standing is influenced by multiple factors—not merit alone.

  1. master status rather than achieved status. A master status is a status that dominates over the other statuses you might own. For example, Dr. Phil’s status as a doctor can dominate over his demographic status as a white male. One status is achieved, while the other status is ascribed, but the master status is the one that dominates over others. Achieved status is when one earns their social status through their own achievements. Meritocracy occurs when selections are made based on achieved status. 
  2. achieved status rather than ascribed status. This answer choice is consistent with our definition for meritocracy. Achieved status is when one earns their social status through their own achievements. This describes meritocracy. Ascribed status is when one inherits their position on the social hierarchy. This is not consistent with meritocracy. Answer choice B is our best option.
  3. ascribed status rather than social status. Ascribed status is when one inherits their position on the social hierarchy. This is not consistent with meritocracy. Social status refers to one’s standing in the community and his position in the social hierarchy. This could be achieved or ascribed. Ascribed status is more consistent with meritocracy. 
  4. social status rather than achieved status. Social status refers to one’s standing in the community and his position in the social hierarchy. This could be achieved or ascribed. Ascribed status is more consistent with meritocracy. Achieved status is when one earns their social status through their own achievements. Meritocracy occurs when selections are made based on achieved status. That leaves answer choice B as our correct answer.

47) This is a fairly long-winded question. The first thing we want to do to answer this question is describe discrimination. Discrimination evolves from prejudice where thoughts turn into actions. Discrimination is the differential treatment of an individual or group based on prejudicial thoughts. In other words, the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on his or her membership, or perceived membership, in a certain group or category. We’re told the association between discrimination and health is stronger for US-born members of certain ethnic minority groups than for their immigrant counterparts. That effect is most likely related to our correct answer.

  1. social segregation in the U.S. Segregation is a way of separating groups of people of a society and giving them separate resources. While this may be done based on ethnicity, there likely would not be a difference in how segregation affects the US-born and the immigrant members of the minority group.
  2. length of residence in the U.S. The length of residence in the US could be a possible answer. The US-born members of an ethnic minority group have had more opportunities to experience discrimination and make the association between discrimination and health. This is going to be our best answer for the time being.
  3. place of residence in the U.S. This may or may not affect the association between discrimination and health in ethnic minority groups. We’re not given any information about places of residence in the US. We cannot make this connection. Answer choice B remains superior. 
  4. social integration in the U.S. Social integration involves incorporating into the social structures of a society. The US-born members have done this in many aspects of their lives from birth, so they are more likely to have experienced discrimination and associate discrimination and institutions like health. For example, a US-born individual from an ethnic minority group will have had the chance to see discrimination from childhood, while the immigrant individual may not. The possible effect of discrimination on health is most likely related to social integration in the US. This is going to be a more direct and thorough answer than answer choice B. 

 

AAMC Sample Test P/S: Passage 9

48) At its core, this question is asking us the difference between the functions that are lateralized to the left hemisphere versus those that are lateralized to the right hemisphere. Even though most functions are present in both hemispheres, we’re dealing with split-brain patients which means the corpus callosum has been severed. The corpus collosum normally connects the hemispheres of the brain and facilitates interhemispheric communication.

The participants are shown the target colors on the left side of their visual field. That stimulus is in the patient’s left visual field, and that information goes to the right hemisphere of the brain. Recall that through the optic chiasm, signals from left side of the visual field are sent to the right hemisphere of the brain, while signals from the right side of the visual field are sent to the left hemisphere of the brain. We’ll keep in mind which functions are right and left lateralized.

  1. the patients show CP in the absence of access to color names. This is entirely possible. Language functions such as grammar, vocabulary and literal meaning are typically lateralized to the left hemisphere. If information is not hitting the left hemisphere, there’s no access to the linguistic abilities that are lateralized to the left hemisphere. The procedure would allow researchers to investigate whether the patients show CP in the absence of access to color names lateralize to the left hemisphere.
  2. the corpus callosum plays a significant role in color processing. The corpus collosum connects the hemispheres of the brain and facilitates interhemispheric communication. While they may not have access to the language functions, the patients can still process the colors being seen. Like I mentioned, there’s a stimulus in the patient’s left visual field, and that information goes to the right hemisphere of the brain. That crossing over still happens in the medulla, despite the severed corpus collosum. 
  3. the patients show CP in the absence of access to color perception. The patients are still able to perceive the colors, but they will not have access to linguistic abilities that are lateralized to the left hemisphere. 
  4. the frontal lobe plays a significant role in the recognition of color. The frontal lobe controls specialized motor control, learning, planning, and speech. It’s situated at the front of each hemisphere, not in a particular hemisphere. We can stick with answer choice A as our best answer. 

49) First think we’ll want to do is think back to Study 1. The study examined CP of color as native English speakers were presented with a target color from the blue–green continuum. They had to pick an option that best matched the target color from two color patches. We want to know an impairment that would least likely interfere with a participant’s performance in Study 1. That means 3 of the answer choices will interfere with performance in Study 1, while our correct answer will be least likely. 

  1. Having significantly fewer rods than the average human. Rods are strongly photosensitive and are located in the outer edges of the retina. They detect dim light and are used primarily for peripheral and nighttime vision. Rods obviously affect vision, but Study 1 depended on being able to differentiate color. Fewer rods would not significantly affect that.
  2. Having significantly fewer cones than the average human. Cones are weakly photosensitive and are located near the center of the retina. They respond to bright light, and their primary role is in daytime, color vision. That means unlike answer choice A, fewer cones would significantly interfere with performance in Study 1. 
  3. Having a lesion in the occipital cortex. The occipital lobe is the visual processing center. By having a lesion in the lobe that controls vision, performance in Study 1 would suffer significantly.
  4. Having a lesion in the fovea. The fovea is the region in the center back of the eye that is responsible for acute vision. The fovea has a high density of cones, so a lesion in the fovea would likely be problematic. Answer choice A is going to be our best option. 

50) We know from the passage that the linguistic determinism hypothesis suggests that CP of color is a consequence of language. Language influences the way speakers conceptualize the world and, as a result, people whose languages partition the color spectrum along different lines perceive colors in a different way. The Berinmo language does not have separate color names for blue and green but distinguishes between nol and wor, which are two categories that vary on the yellow–green continuum. Let’s keep this in mind and find the answer choice that would most likely describe the performance of the Berinmo speakers compared to that of the native English speakers.

  1. equal on the nol–wor continuum and worse on the blue–green continuum. The Berinmo language does not have separate color names for blue and green, but distinguishes between nol and wor. We expect the Berinmo speakers will perform worse than the native English on the blue-green continuum because the Berinmo speakers cannot linguistically classify blue and green stimuli separately. Alternatively, we know the nol-wor continuum is similar to our yellow-green continuum. That should mean that native Berinmo and English speakers will be able to discriminate between those colors equally because they have words to distinguish these colors.
  2. equal on both the nol–wor continuum and the blue–green continuum. This goes against our breakdown. We expect the Berinmo speakers will perform worse than the native English on the blue-green continuum because the Berinmo speakers cannot linguistically classify blue and green stimuli separately.
  3. worse on both the nol–wor continuum and the blue–green continuum. We expect the Berinmo speakers will perform worse than the native English on the blue-green continuum. However, both native English and Berinmo speakers should perceptually discriminate equally on the nol-wor continuum.
  4. worse on the nol–wor continuum and better on the blue–green continuum. This goes against our breakdown and the reasoning we used with the other answer choices. We expect equal on the nol–wor continuum and worse on the blue–green continuum. Answer choice A is going to be our best answer. 

51) First thing we’ll do as we attack this question is think back to Study 1. In Study 1, native English speakers were presented with a target color from the blue–green continuum. They were then shown the response options of two color patches. We can think about how we differentiate color. 

We typically break out the visible components of the electromagnetic spectrum to show which wavelength corresponds to different colors and hues. Purity and brightness are used to describe a color itself, not necessarily vary to get different hues. Amplitude is not related directly to different hues. We can stick with answer choice A as our correct answer. 

 

AAMC Sample Test P/S: Passage 10

52) This is something the author mentions at the start of the third paragraph: “The researchers controlled for patient characteristics, such as age and income, and for hospital characteristics, such as hospital revascularization rate.” This is a fairly open-ended question, but researchers often account for confounding variables to account for systematic differences between groups. That’s the main reason the researchers would control for these characteristics. 

  1. received information from the patients and hospitals in order to construct a sample. When constructing a sample, researchers did not account for confounding variables. We were told there was a random sample of Medicare beneficiaries from five states. This sample was not constructed using information from the patients and hospitals beforehand. 
  2. conducted statistical analyses to establish a causal relationship between variables. The researchers found the percentage of patients who did not receive revascularization (when medically indicated) by race and by gender. We do not know if race and gender differences caused any differences in the data. The only thing the author gives us is data that shows different correlations. Correlation does not always equal causation!
  3. determined variations across the sample of patients and hospitals included in the study. The researchers might determine variations across the samples, but that doesn’t actually mean they are controlling for these various factors or decide if they can be confounding variables. We need to account for confounding variables so we can have useful results.
  4. considered various factors in the sample that could be confounding variables. This describes what was done in the study. We know two factors (that are confounding variables) were controlled. That means the researchers clearly considered factors that could be confounding variables. Answer choice D is our best answer.

53) First thing we’ll do to answer this question is define healthcare delivery. Delivery of health care refers to the mechanisms by which a society provides health care to individuals. Health care can be delivered at several levels. Personal health care services for individuals are available at clinics, neighborhood centers, offices, or homes. On a larger scale, public health services are required to maintain a healthy environment to prevent disease spread and other health conditions in the population. We’re using the research from the passage to make the best conclusion about healthcare delivery.

  1. The study provides evidence of individual discrimination in provider attitudes, which confirms racial prejudice in revascularization use. There is no evidence in the passage of individual discrimination in provider attitudes. We’re also not given any results or observations about provider attitudes in the passage. A change in revascularization use would imply discrimination, not prejudice which is an attitude or feeling.
  2. The study provides evidence that some healthcare providers may show racial prejudice when making decisions about revascularization use. This is going to be similar to answer choice A. While we get some broad information, we don’t have any information about individual providers.
  3. The study provides evidence of institutional discrimination in revascularization use, but cannot prove racial prejudice in provider attitudes. This answer choice correctly uses discrimination which evolves from prejudice. Discrimination is the differential treatment of an individual or group based on his or her membership, or perceived membership, in a certain group or category. Discrimination is an action. Prejudice is a positive or negative evaluation of another person based on their perceived group membership. Prejudice has to do with attitude, not actions. This is our best answer choice so far. 
  4. The study provides evidence that disparities in revascularization use are unrelated to quality of care and thus do not show racial prejudice. The passage and study did not provide evidence that disparities in revascularization us are not related to quality of care. Healthcare disparities are caused by inequality in access and quality of medical care received by a class or group. If we have disparities in revascularization use, that could correspond to this inequality in access and quality. Answer choice C remains the best option.

54) A methodological limitation would be something in the research design that’s a negative. A limitation describes a possible restriction or restraint.

  1. The reliance upon medical records as a source of data. Medical records have a lot of useful data and the researchers collected lots of data: utilization and clinical appropriateness of revascularization by race and gender; the proportion of patients for whom revascularization was medically indicated but that did not receive treatment; and mortality rates for coronary revascularization versus medical therapy. 
  2. The lack of interview data with patients or providers. Interview data was not necessary for this particular research. While this could be helpful in different research, it is not a methodological limitation.
  3. The percent from the sample that was excluded from the study. This is a methodological limitation because roughly 1/10th of the randomly sampled beneficiaries were excluded from the final results. This is going to be our best answer so far.
  4. The number of patients who were included in the study. A 5880 patient sample, despite 567 patients eventually being excluded, is a large enough sample to make general conclusions. We can stick with answer choice C as our best answer.

55) This is a hypothesis that is being aggressively explored and researched. Cultural bias can influence healthcare significantly, and we want to find the concept most relevant to the hypothesis that  the healthcare disparities described in the passage are partly due to cultural bias.

  1. Social reproduction. Social reproduction refers to the emphasis on the structures and activities that transmit social inequality from one generation to the next. This contributes to social stratification, especially in regard to (or lack thereof) social mobility. This is not the most relevant to cultural bias.
  2. Stereotype threat. Stereotype Threat is the experience of anxiety or concern in a situation where a person has the potential to confirm a negative stereotype about their social group. This is not related to the cultural bias described in the question stem.
  3. Social mobility. Social mobility involves a shift in one’s social status. Social mobility between social classes can be enabled to varying extents by economic capital, cultural capital, human capital, and social capital. This is out of scope as well. This is not related to the cultural bias described in the question stem.
  4. Ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s group is of central importance and includes the tendency to judge the practices of other groups by one’s cultural standards. Cultural bias is consistent with this definition. Healthcare providers can tend to judge people in terms of their own cultural assumptions. Answer choice D is going to be the most relevant concept.

 

AAMC Sample Test P/S: Questions 56-59

56) This is a very unfortunate reality at busy clinics. We’re going to define the 4 terms given as answer choices and relate them to the difference in wait time between normal patients and the acquaintance of the clinic’s physician. 

  1. social status. Social status refers to the honor or prestige attached to one’s position in society. It may also refer to a rank or position that one holds in a group, such as a son or daughter, playmate, pupil, etc. One’s social status is determined in different ways. One can earn his or her social status by his or her own achievements; this is known as achieved status. Alternatively, one can inherit his or her position on the social hierarchy; this is known as ascribed status. We don’t know if the acquaintance has a higher social status than the other patients.
  2. social capital. Social capital is the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively. The relationship between the physician and acquaintance is the reason the acquaintance got an appointment on short notice. This is a great answer choice.
  3. cultural capital. Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviors, and skills that a person can tap into to demonstrate one’s cultural competence and social status. This answer choice is out of scope. This is not applicable to the situation presented in the question stem.
  4. charismatic authority. Charismatic authority, like the name suggests, is a leadership concept. Authority comes from how charismatic a leader is. This is not the case in the situation described in the question stem. Answer choice B is going to be the correct answer. 

57) I love when the author gives us strong descriptions like this! It really makes the question easy to visualize. We can all relate with the employee trying to make a good impression but getting frustrated by learning something new. Let’s define the four answer choices and pick the one that applies to the employee in the question stem. 

  1. projection. Psychological projection is a defense mechanism that involves displacing feelings onto something else. That can be a person, animal, or object. The employee in the question stem is frustrated and maybe feeling inadequate so he is projecting his feelings onto the computer.
  2. reaction formation. Reaction formation is also a defense mechanism where the employee would do the direct opposite of a what he feels. He overcompensates for the thought by doing the opposite of his feeling. This is not what is happening in the question stem.
  3. regression. Regression is another defense mechanism in which the employee would revert back to an earlier stage in development. This typically happens after a traumatic or stressful event. That is not what happened to the employee. Answer choice A is superior.
  4. sublimation. Just like the other answer, sublimation is also a defense mechanism. The employee may have socially unacceptable impulses but transforms these impulses into socially acceptable actions and behavior instead. This is not what is happening with the employee. We can stick with answer choice A as our best option. 

58) First thing we want to do to answer this question is define social constructionism. Social constructionism is a perspective that focuses on how knowledge and experiences are not real, but exist because individuals and society give them meaning. This collective meaning provides the reality we live in. Ideas, like health and disease for example, are defined and shaped over time by society, and therefore subject to different cultural norms. The concept of the self (identity) is created by interactions with other people and our expectations of society. We want to use this definition and relate to technology.

  1. Technology is the predictable application of knowledge. Social constructionism focuses on knowledge not being real, but rather exists because we give things meaning. This is an incorrect answer.
  2. Technology is built from the collective effort of innovators. A social constructionist would say technology is built, developed, and shaped over time by society and interactions between people. This is also an incorrect answer.
  3. Technology is the human response to environmental pressures. This ties into what we said in answer choice B. It implies technology is a response to environmental pressure, but a social constructionist would say technology is built, developed, and shaped over time by society and interactions between people. 
  4. Technology is embedded with the values of groups who create it. This is going to be a correct answer. Technology is a social creation that is built, developed, and shaped over time by society and interactions between people. It is embedded with the values of society. Answer choice D is our best answer.

59) This is a standalone question that relies on knowing the content. We’re going to focus on Content Category 6A which contains the subject “Vision.” If you want to review vision, make sure to check our content outline: https://jackwestin.com/resources/mcat-content/vision. Specifically, we’re going to consider the fovea in this situation. The night vision example is one AAMC likes to use. Usually these questions relate to the fovea.

From our content outline: The fovea is the region in the center back of the eye that is responsible for acute vision. The fovea has a high density of cones. When you bring your gaze to an object to examine it intently in bright light, the eyes orient so that the object’s image falls on the fovea. However, when looking at a star in the night sky or other object in dim light, the object can be better viewed by the peripheral vision because it is the rods at the edges of the retina, rather than the cones at the center, that operate better in low light. In humans, cones far outnumber rods in the fovea.

  1. two images of the object are sent to the brain, which results in a clearer image. While two images of the dimly lit object are sent to the brain, this does not result in a clearer image. This is factually incorrect.
  2. its image falls in the periphery of the retina, which is denser in rods. This answer choice is consistent with our breakdown. When looking at a star in the night sky or other object in dim light, the object can be better viewed by the peripheral vision because it is the rods at the edges of the retina, rather than the cones at the center, that operate better in low light. This is our best answer.
  3. its image falls on the fovea, which results in the clearest image. When you bring your gaze to an object to examine it intently in bright light, the eyes orient so that the object’s image falls on the fovea. However, looking to the side of the object does not make the image fall on the fovea. Answer choice B remains the best option.  
  4. a single image of the object is sent to the brain, which results in a clearer image. This answer choice is also factually incorrect. Looking to the side will result in two images and not one. The two images are sent to the brain, but this does not result in a clearer image. We can stick with answer choice B as our best answer.


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