After The Student Council Election, A Friend Tells You He Could Have Guessed Who Would Be Elected President

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After the student council election, a friend tells you he could have guessed who would be elected president. What psychological phenomenon might this illustrate?

  • Common sense
  • Critical thinking
  • Hindsight bias
  • Overconfidence
  • Perceiving order in random events


Hindsight bias. Hindsight bias is the tendency to believe after an event has occurred that one would have foreseen it. This phenomenon is often referred to as “the I-knew-it-all-along” effect. People tend to underestimate the role of chance and overestimate their ability to predict an outcome. In other words, people think that they know more than they actually do. Hindsight bias can lead people to inaccurate conclusions about past events and can have harmful consequences for decision-making in the present and future.

AP Psychology Thinking Answers

  1. The tendency to exaggerate the correctness or accuracy of our beliefs and predictions is called:
    hindsight bias.
    critical thinking.
  2. To find Tabasco sauce in a large grocery store, you could systematically search every shelf in every store aisle. This best illustrates problem-solving by means of:
    the availability heuristic.
    functional fixedness.
    an algorithm.
    the representativeness heuristic
  3. Pablo vainly searches for a screwdriver while failing to recognize that a readily available coin in his pocket would turn the screw. His oversight best illustrates:
    functional fixedness.
    the availability heuristic.
    belief perseverance.
    the representativeness heuristic.
  4. A defense attorney emphasizes to a jury that her client works full-time, supports his family, and enjoys leisure-time hobbies. Although none of this information is relevant to the trial, it is designed to make the defendant appear to be a typical local community member. The lawyer is most clearly attempting to take advantage of:
    confirmation bias.
    functional fixedness.
    belief perseverance.
    the representativeness heuristic.
  5. Advertisers know that a thirty-three percent discount sounds like a better deal than a discount of one-third. This best illustrates:
    belief bias.
    representativeness heuristics.
    confirmation bias.
  6. Maintaining one’s conceptions even after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited is known as:
    the representativeness heuristic.
    belief perseverance
    confirmation bias.
    functional fixedness.
  7. The use of heuristics rather than algorithms is most likely to
    save time in arriving at solutions to problems.
    avoid the issue of functional fixedness.
    yield more accurate solutions to problems.
    involve greater reliance on language skills.
  8. Confirmation bias refers to the tendency to:
    allow preexisting beliefs to distort logical reasoning
    cling to one’s initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited
    search randomly through alternative solutions when problem-solving
    look for information that is consistent with one’s beliefs
  9. A strategy in which the likelihood of an event is estimated on the basis of how easily other instances of the event are available in memory is called the:
    availability heuristic
    availability algorithm
    representativeness heuristic
    representativeness algorithm
  10. Rudy is 6 feet tall, weighs 210 pounds, and is very muscular. If you think that Rudy is more likely to be a basketball player than a computer programmer, you are a victim of:
    belief bias
    the availability heuristic
    a mental set
    the representativeness heuristic
  11. Airline reservations typically decline after a highly publicized airplane crash because people overestimate the incidence of such disasters. In such instances, people’s decisions are being influenced by:
    belief bias
    the availability heuristic
    the representativeness heuristic
    functional fixedness
After the student council election, a friend tells you he has known for weeks who would be elected president. What does this seem to illustrate?
Hindsight bias
While taking a standardized test with randomly scrambled answers, you notice that your last four answers have been “c.” Which of the following is true concerning the probability of the next answer being”c”?
It is unaffected by previous answers. It is as likely to be “c” as any other answer.
What do we call the tendency to exaggerate the correctness or accuracy of our beliefs and predictions prior to testing?
Which of the following is an example of hindsight bias?
Mary cannot recognize a definition on a flashcard. After turning the card over and viewing the term, she tells herself she knew what the answer was all along.
Why is an operational definition necessary when reporting research findings?
An operational definition allows others to replicate the procedure.
A researcher looking for gender differences in 3-year- olds observes a preschool class and records how many minutes children of each gender play with dolls. She then compares the two sets of numbers. What type of descriptive research is she conducting?
naturalistic observation
Which of the following questions is best investigated by means of a survey?
Are students more likely to be politically liberal or
A testable prediction that drives research is known as a(n)
Researchers are interested in finding out if winning Congressional candidates display more positive facial expressions than losing candidates. The researchers attend political debates and record how frequently each candidate displays positive facial expressions. Which research method are the researchers using?
naturalistic observation
An individual with an exceptional memory is identified. She is capable of recalling major events, the weather, and what she did on any given date. What research method
is being used if a psychologist conducts an in-depth investigation of this individual including questionnaires, brain scans, and memory tests?
Case Study
Which of the following is most important when conducting survey research?
Choosing a representative sample
Which of the following is an example of negative correlation?
People who spend more time exercising tend to weigh less.
Which of the following is used only in correlation studies?
scatter plot
Researchers have discovered that individuals with lower income levels report having fewer hours of total sleep. Therefore,
income and sleep levels are positively correlated.
Which of the following correlation coefficients represents the strongest relationship between two variables?
The purpose of random assignment is to
reduce potential confounding variables.
Which of the following is a measure of variation?
Which statistical measure of central tendency is most affected by extreme scores?
A researcher calculates statistical significance for her study and finds a 5 percent chance that results are due to chance. Which of the following is an accurate interpretation of this finding?
This is the minimum result typically considered statistically significant.
Descriptive statistics , while
while inferential
Summarize data; determine if data can be generalized to other populations.
In a normal distribution what percentage of the scores in the distribution falls within one standard deviation on either side of the mean?
68 percent
Which of the following is more likely to be emphasized in individualist cultures than in collectivist cultures?
personal achievement
What must a researcher do to fulfill the ethical principle of informed consent?
Allow participants to choose whether to take part.
Which ethical principle requires that at the end of the study participants be told about the true purpose of the research?
Which of the following beliefs would most likely be held by an individual in a collectivist culture?
Children should be encouraged to develop harmonious relationships.
Which descriptive statistic would a researcher use to describe how close a student’s SAT score is to a school’s average SAT score?
standard deviation
Which method should a psychology researcher use if she is interested in testing whether a specific reward in a classroom situation causes students to behave better?
When a distribution of scores is skewed, which of the following is the most representative measure of central tendency?
A researcher wants to conduct an experiment to determine if eating a cookie before class each day improves student grades. He uses two psychology classes for the experiment, providing daily cookies to one and nothing to the other.
At the end of the semester, the researcher compares the final grades of students in the two classes. What is the independent variable for this experiment?
The presence or absence of cookies
Which of the following represents naturalistic observation?
Researchers watch and record how elementary school children interact on the playground.
“Monday morning quarterbacks” rarely act surprised about the outcome of weekend football games. This tendency to believe they knew how the game would tum out is best explained by which psychological principle?
Hindsight bias
Researchers studying gender have found that
There are more similarities than differences between the genders
Which of the following is a positive correlation?
As study time decreases, students achieve lower grades.
Why is random assignment of participants to groups an important aspect of a proper designed experiment?
If the participants are randomly assigned, the researcher can assume that the people in each of the groups are pretty similar.
Which of the following demonstrates the need for psychological science?
Our intuitions about human thinking and behavior are not always accurate.
Which of the following is a potential problem with case studies?
They may be misleading because they don’t fairly represent other cases.
Which of the following is not an ethical principle regarding research on humans?
Participants should always be informed of the hypothesis of the study before they agree to participate.
There is a negative correlation between TV watching and grades. What can we conclude from this research finding?
We can conclude that a student who watches a lot of TV is likely to have lower grades.
A scientist’s willingness to admit that she is wrong is an example of

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