Conquering the AP PSYCH ESSAY *2 Essay questions **Understanding how the tests are graded should provide you insight as to how to use your writing time best. Step 1 – figure out how many points the question will be worth Step 2 – organize your thoughts / create a writing strategy (outline/ bullets etc) Step 3 - Write your ESSAY in p-graph form! Step 4 – Organize your paragraphs in the order that the questions were asked Step 5 – Each p-graph should have a topic sentence – clearly indicates where you are in terms of answering the ?
Step 6 – NO need to have an intro, conclusion etc. – You get points for accurate info (NOT style or aesthetics) …this is different than the type of writing we learn in school! Step 7 – Essay must be LEGIBLE! Step 8 – USE all of the time! Step 9 – SIMPLE – just answer what is asked Step 10 – USE psychological terms (readers are looking for your knowledge!) Use the term, define it, give example (3) Step 11- Name drop! (But …not Silimperi or Gerhauser ) Step 12- Context – make sure your examples are related to the context. Step 13 – You do not get points off for incorrect information. Only IF you CONTRADICT YOURSELF!
Write it – answer the AP ESSAY prompt for homework this Weekend. Be ready for it to get graded on Monday. Question: Part A – Distinguish between short term memory (STM) and long term memory (LTM) and discuss how they interact. Include in your discussion: 1. Retrieval Cues 2. Mood Congruent memory 3. Motivated Forgetting 4. misinformation effect Part B – How might memories be contaminated over time?
USE PSYCHOLOGICAL TERMINOLOGY / VOCAB! Total points = 10 PART A (2 pts) Retrieval Clues – process of getting information out of memory storage STM-only hold onto info very briefly before it is forgotten = >repetition works best…to get into LTM… LTM-permanent limitless storage house => priming, mnemonics, context/ familiarity is best (2 pts) Mood Congruent Memory - associate good/ bad events with their accompanying emotions becomes retrieval cues STM – being depressed sours memories by making negative associations => thus used to explain current mood at the same time…. LTM – ex rose colored glasses => rosy retrospection (2 pts) Motivated Forgetting STM- recall events that we want to => protects self image; cookie jar phenom LTM- we remember our past but revise it => flashbulb memories (2 pts) Misinformation Effect – incorporating misleading information into ones memory of an event STM- leading questions at an accident (crash vs. accident) LTM – time – memory fades, misinformation becomes easier PART B (2 pts) Memory Contamination over time Repression, proactive/ retroactive interference, retrieval failures, decay, encoding failure Define and explain how it contaminates memory - example
SIL’s Helpful HINTS: • 1. USE what you learn in psych class • (think emotions, memory, perceptions chapters) to get the EXAM READER on your side: • Write neatly – make the reader “WANT” to read your essay with a smile=> entry level stimuli = entry level perception • EMOTIONAL CONTEXTUAL EFFECTS • Make the reader ENCODE the material in a meaningful manner! • MAKE EM SMILE; We usually perceive experiences/ stimuli (YOUR ESSAY) that are consistent with our current mood. Emotions, or moods, serve as “HALO ERRORS” • Performance appraisal (a judgment) is vulnerable to BIAS…both in favor and against! • Recency errors – occurs when raters (the exam reader) focuses only on easily remembered info (your writing) or behaviors. • Use these to your advantage! • Simply underline KEYWORDS that you use to explain things. Get the readers attention to the key points= selective attention
Organization – there is none in terms of your typical “essay” = Intro, body, conclusion. HOWEVER – its great practice to go in the order of the prompt…its what the reader has been trained to do! Always use PSYCH VOCAB or BUZZWORDS to prove your point in your application or examples. Always use the key PROMPT concept in your explanation as well…IE. Motivation prompt
HOLY C#$%, I Don’t Even Know what they’re asking me! @#$%$#Now what do I do? Tips for the clueless • Write something! • A Blank Page is Definitely WRONG! • Make an attempt to DEFINE the Terms! • In paragraph form
writing examples! Specific PSYCH example! “Homeostasis occurs when the human body’s internal state is balanced (this is good – earned 1 point). As people we are consistently striving to maintain homeostasis. The drive reduction theory of motivation centers around achieving homeostasis. If a person becomes thirsty, they will be motivated to reduce that drive by taking a drink, and thus their body will return to a balanced state of homeostasis.” (this is good – earned 1 point) Homeostasis… “Homeostasis is the human’s body innate attempt to maintain a balanced neutral level with everyday events changing. (this is good – earned 1 point).“With everyday events changing everyday, This sense of balance can be thrown off causing a lack of motivation. A person in their natural, balanced state is acutely aware of their surroundings and events which allows for that person to be motivated about their tasks based on the fact that they are balanced in control of the situation.” (this is not good – it explains nothing? No specific examples, just rambling. = 0 points) Use of writing overall writing prompt in explanation ties everything together.