May 13, 2016
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I have a lot of questions on the Psych/Soc section bank that I just don't understand the explanations for. I know there's a lot here, but even if you can only answer a few please do so.

53) Based on the study results, how is the relationship between inadequate sleep and hunger best described?
Why isn't the correct answer B? Can't we automatically rule out A and C because correlation =/= causation

57) If the researchers were focused on an evolutionary perspective of human motivation, what aspect of the study results would be of most interest to them?
What outside knowledge do I need to use to answer this question?

60) Which concept CANNOT explain the ability of the participants in both studies to visually process the faces they were shown?
How does answer choice C ("accomodation") involve the visual system?

68) A manuscript reviewer requested that the researchers in this study justifycounterbalancing the tasks. Which of the following is NOT an appropriate justification for counterbalancing?
I don't get what makes the correct answer right and the wrong answers incorrect.

76) Which concept takes into account the negative impact of long-term exposure to stressful events addressed in the first paragraph?
No idea how to answer this.

78) Working with depressed patients, a therapist wishing to implement a treatment framework based on the SG hypothesis, will likely pay a great deal of attention to:
No idea how to answer this.

79) Which statement best characterizes how a proponent of the SG hypothesis will describe the direction of the relationship between stress and depression?
No idea how to answer this.

82) A patient being treated for chronic pain receives weekly doses of morphine from the same doctor, with whom the patient enjoys conversing. On another occasion, the patient is treated at another location and finds that the same dose is ineffective. What may have caused this change in effectiveness?
Can't B and D both be correct?

86) The aggression scale in Study 1 allowed the researchers to isolate socially-influenced aggressive behaviors. Which alternative method would best determine if aggression was actually being modeled as opposed to already learned?
Why isn't B correct?

90) Which statement is consistent with a symbolic interactionist interpretation of the findings in Study 2? The stigmatizing example:
No idea how to answer this. I picked D.

94) As described in the passage, performance-approach outcomes:
Why is B incorrect? Isn't recognition a latent function of being a doctor. As for option A why is it correct?

99) An individual who previously worked as a salaried corporate attorney loses his or her job. Subsequently, the individual now works as an hourly wage employee at a retail store. This individual has experienced which type of social mobility?
Can't A and D both be correct?
 

theonlytycrane

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53) Based on the study results, how is the relationship between inadequate sleep and hunger best described?
Why isn't the correct answer B? Can't we automatically rule out A and C because correlation =/= causation
The experimental design of changing X (sleep deprivation) and observing Y (increased hunger ratings) allows for the stronger causation statement to be made. We still don't know if the cause is direct though (ruling out choice A). Good explanations here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Mcat/comments/4b9q2u/section_bank_ps_53/

57) If the researchers were focused on an evolutionary perspective of human motivation, what aspect of the study results would be of most interest to them?
What outside knowledge do I need to use to answer this question?
Nothing in particular. This is just one of those value-judgement questions. I choose fasting blood glucose concentrations thinking it might be interesting to measure the sugar levels and see how the hunger ratings correlate. AAMC thinks the hunger ratings sound cool though.

60) Which concept CANNOT explain the ability of the participants in both studies to visually process the faces they were shown?
How does answer choice C ("accomodation") involve the visual system?
Accommodation is fairly general. As you learn new things you accommodate new ideas into your working knowledge. The participants may accommodate new faces they are exposed to into their working memory or faces they are familiar with. Once you see choice D (place theory) though, go with that since place theory is only related to auditory processing.

68) A manuscript reviewer requested that the researchers in this study justifycounterbalancing the tasks. Which of the following is NOT an appropriate justification for counterbalancing?
I don't get what makes the correct answer right and the wrong answers incorrect.
They perform two tasks with half the participants doing one task first and the other half doing the other task first. If they didn't counter balance, maybe the first task would have some impact on the participants performance on the second task. Choices A-C give valid reasons why counterbalancing is used, but choice D describes counterbalancing as a method to ensure all of the variables are the same. This isn't true. In general we want to keep all of the variables the same for the participants in any experiment except for anything we explicitly manipulate. Counter balancing just helps to ensure the internal validity of the setup by controlling for the fact that doing one task before another may skew results. Maybe if task A is super hard, it would make the participants less confident in doing task B, for example.

76) Which concept takes into account the negative impact of long-term exposure to stressful events addressed in the first paragraph?
No idea how to answer this.
General adaptation syndrome describes a longer term stress response composed of three stages (alarm, resistance, exhaustion). This matches the question-stem the best, though the question is still kind of vague and crappy. Fight-or-flight is a nervous system response, activation synthesis model describes a theory about why we dream during REM sleep, and long-term potentiation talks about how memorizing stuff is aided by studying it in pieces over a long period of time. For crappier questions like this, just try to pick the answer that is the most related to what they're talking about.

78) Working with depressed patients, a therapist wishing to implement a treatment framework based on the SG hypothesis, will likely pay a great deal of attention to:
No idea how to answer this.
The SG hypothesis says that depressed people might act in ways that keep making them more stressed. For example, if I'm stressed, I might become more stressed if I yell at my brother, go eat bad food, or drink a lot of booze. So my behavior isn't helping me. The question asks what a therapist that believes in the SG hypothesis might try to focus on. We want to pick an answer that focuses more on the person's behavior, but this is another value-judgement type of question. I went with choice D because I thought that learning about the unique stress of each person might help me to prevent their behaviors associated with that stress. AAMC thinks that preventing the recurrence of depressive episodes (maybe involved with their behavior) would help more.

79) Which statement best characterizes how a proponent of the SG hypothesis will describe the direction of the relationship between stress and depression?
No idea how to answer this.
Independent stressors are things we can't control, like an earthquake or the weather. These would be unidirectionally (one direction) related to depression. Independent stressor -> depression.

Dependent stressors are things we can control. Like above ^, if I'm stressed I can either get some guidance, rest, and exercise or go on a rampage. In this way, dependent stressors are reciprocally (both directions) related to depression. Stressors can cause depression, and depression can cause even more stress.

82) A patient being treated for chronic pain receives weekly doses of morphine from the same doctor, with whom the patient enjoys conversing. On another occasion, the patient is treated at another location and finds that the same dose is ineffective. What may have caused this change in effectiveness?
Can't B and D both be correct?
Choice D is possible, but the question stem makes the point that the patient went to another location and didn't have the same effective response. Focusing on that new location helps to choose B, which implies that the new environment might throw off the response from the patient.

86) The aggression scale in Study 1 allowed the researchers to isolate socially-influenced aggressive behaviors. Which alternative method would best determine if aggression was actually being modeled as opposed to already learned?
Why isn't B correct?
Obedience (doing something that someone asks) isn't really talked about in the passage so I would be more wary of this choice. I personally went with choice A. I thought that new teachers might be able to have an unbiased opinion as to whether the kids are copying aggressive behavior or if they are already aggressive. It's another value-judgement type of question.

90) Which statement is consistent with a symbolic interactionist interpretation of the findings in Study 2? The stigmatizing example:
No idea how to answer this. I picked D.
Symbolist interactionism is a micro-level perspective where symbols or labels are given meaning by people and can influence their behavior. It's kind of hoky-poky IMO, but in study 2 the participants watched the "scoundrel" and might label him as a "bad guy" then administer more shocks to dish out some punishment. Whenever you see symbolic interactionism, look out for symbols or labels and influenced behavior. Like if you go to a store and see a guy wearing a NIKE sweatshirt, you might think he likes outdoor sports more than a guy that wears a CHESS sweatshirt. There's some labeling / meaning / attachment that this theory focuses on.

94) As described in the passage, performance-approach outcomes:
Why is B incorrect? Isn't recognition a latent function of being a doctor. As for option A why is it correct?
It's my manifest function... j/k. Maybe not. I could see how choice B would work here. As for choice A, sanctions are like praises or penalties and can be formal (gold medal awarded / jail sentence) or informal (pat on the back / verbal warning). So "rewards or recognitions" from the passage fits this description.

99) An individual who previously worked as a salaried corporate attorney loses his or her job. Subsequently, the individual now works as an hourly wage employee at a retail store. This individual has experienced which type of social mobility?
Can't A and D both be correct?
Yeah, I think so. But AAMC says that vertical is shorter term (like losing a job!) whereas intragenerational is more over a lifetime.
 
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betterfuture

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This literally answered most of the questions I had but still leaves me thinking the reasoning behind the answer choices is really wishy-washy. Here's to AAMC for not doing such a great job in their explanations.:mad:
 

Prometheus123

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I realize this thread is old, but for posterity's sake, this is my perspective on Question 57 of Section Bank P/S:

Question 57) If the researchers were focused on an evolutionary perspective of human motivation, what aspect of the study results would be of most interest to them?
What outside knowledge do I need to use to answer this question?

I couldn't think of any specific information to answer the question either, so I tried to think from the perspective of evolutionary biology about the answers. I eliminated C (activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus) because that sounded more like something a neuroscientist would be interested in. B (Fasting plasma glucose concentrations) just didn't stand out to me either way.

Thinking about the answers from the perspective of evolutionary biology, A and D jumped out to me as interesting. D jumped out a little because emotions are evolved ways of guiding human behavior towards adaptive behaviors (feeling bad -> go get food, comfort eating).

I chose A because I thought hey, that is really interesting that people felt more hungry even though their blood glucose levels were the same as the other group. This suggests the hunger isn't just due to hypoglycemia--it's more than just normal physiological hunger if you will--there's something else at play here. Maybe the body has accumulated more damage because the sleep deprivation prevents healing, glymphatic drainage, probably autophagy, etc. Maybe we need more nutrients (raw building blocks of the body) than normal to repair the damage. Maybe this extra-physiological hunger is a mechanism we evolved to drive us to facilitate that process.

What enabled me to come to this conclusion was intuitive, rather than rational, processing, combined with previous experience and a genuine personal interest in applying the perspective of evolutionary biology to questions. I was also able to enter this frame of mind because I did the question untimed, relaxed, at home, literally lolling in the sun. Not sure I could the same on test day lol.

Is that a fair level to test at on the MCAT? No, not really. But isn't that what the Section Bank is all about? Scaring us ****less with the most obscure factoids, poorly-worded questions, questions about specific TCA cycle intermediate structures, etc?