PRAXIS II Psychology Exam (5391)

The PRAXIS II Psychology Exam (5391) is designed for individuals who would like to teach psychology at the secondary school level. You will be given two hours to complete this 120 multiple-choice question exam. The test can be broken down into six sections:

Methods, Approaches, Ethics and Assessment – 20 questions
Biopsychology, Sensation and Perception, and States of Consciousness – 19 questions
Life Span Development and Individual Differences – 15 questions
Learning, Memory, and Cognition – 19 questions
Personality, Social Psychology, Motivation and Emotion, and Stress – 28 questions
Psychological Disorders and Treatment – 19 questions

Methods, Approaches, Ethics and Assessment
This section of the exam will require you to know contemporary approaches to the study of psychology, the major psychological subfields and careers, basic psychological research principles, basic statistical concepts, the ethical issues in research with humans and animals, and basic principles of assessment.

Biopsychology, Sensation and Perception, and States of Consciousness
Your knowledge of biopsychology, sensation and perception, and states of consciousness will be assessed in this section of the exam. Questions regarding states of consciousness will cover drug states, sleep, hypnosis, and being awake. Questions regarding biopsychology will cover basic neuronal structures and their functions, the organization of the nervous system, and the concept that heredity, evolution, and environment influence behavior.

Life Span Development and Individual Differences
This section includes subjects such as the major themes in development, the principles and theories of cognitive and linguistic development, heredity and environmental factors that
interact in the process of development, and the limitations of intelligence testing.

Learning, Memory, and Cognition
This section includes topics like basic principles of learning, the principles of classical conditioning, the principles of operant conditioning, the roles of cognition and culture in learning, the characteristics of memory, and the concept of constructive memory.

Personality, Social Psychology, Motivation and Emotion, and Stress
This section involves subjects such as personality approaches and theories, the basis of attributions and attitudes, group and interpersonal influences on thought and behavior, major social categories, basic motivational concepts and theories of motivation, and physiological reactions to stress.

Psychological Disorders and Treatment
This section includes subjects like the characteristics of psychological disorders and the factors that contribute to their development, major categories of psychological disorders, and common methods used to treat individuals with disorders.

PRAXIS II Psychology Practice Questions

1. Regular risky behavior by adolescents can lead to:

A. delinquency
B. alcohol and drug abuse
C. poor academic performance
D. All of the above

2. Techniques associated with brain-based learning are:

A. orchestrated immersion
B. relaxed alertness
C. active processing
D. All of the above

3. Which of the following is not a function of the brain?

A. Input
B. Integration
C. Breathing
D. Output.

4. Which of the following is not a classification of behaviorism?

A. Adolescent
B. Methodological
C. Theoretical
D. Interbehaviorism

5. Which of the following is not part of middle-adolescent social development?

A. Social world shifts from family to friends
B. Tolerant of individual differences
C. Peer group acceptance fades in importance.
D. Dating begins.

Answer Key For Psychology

1. Answer: D

One of the developmental goals in adolescence is learning to behave in an appropriate manner in different situations. As a result, an adolescent tries on different personalities and experiments with various behaviors. He gradually learns to use his newly acquired decision-making skills to assess himself and his abilities.

All adolescents engage in risky behavior. It’s a normal part of development, but for some, risk-taking becomes problematic and goes beyond the norm. Red flags include regular instead of occasional incidents and involvement with peers who participate in the same dangerous activities. This behavior can lead to delinquency, crime, and violence, alcohol and drug abuse, early pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, poor academic performance, and dropping out of school.

Parents and other responsible adults must explain the possible consequences of these actions, make rules, and enforce them. Caring adults should channel that drive into more acceptable pursuits, like taking up a sport, trying out for the school play, learning to play an instrument, or a myriad of other choices that challenge his mind, stretch his abilities, and keep him out of potentially troublesome situations.

2. Answer: D

The principle of brain-based learning is based on a belief that everyone learns just because he exists and learns best by being challenged, not threatened. He learns as long as he is born with a brain that functions normally and is not inhibited by discouraging, ignoring, or punishing the brain’s natural capabilities. The brain is an amazing information processor than can perform several functions at the same time. Each brain is unique and learns through focused attention and peripheral perception using conscious and unconscious processes. The brain has two types of memory: spatial (natural) and rote (memorizing). The brain remembers best when learning is spatial rather than rote. The three techniques associated with brain-based learning are:

  • ORCHESTRATED IMMERSION is learning by complete absorption in the subject.
  • RELAXED ALERTNESS tries to eliminate the fear of learning while providing challenges to figure out and work through.
  • ACTIVE PROCESSING encourages the student to consolidate and internalize data.

3. Answer: C

In order to truly understand learning disabilities and their many manifestations, it is helpful to understand how the brain functions. In addition, the different professions that deal with students who have learning disabilities may use the same words but apply different meanings as the terms relate to their area of expertise.

There are four basic steps the brain must take for learning to happen. Each is important. If one is missing or doesn’t work properly, learning may be delayed, difficult, or disabled. The first step is to get the data from the eyes and ears into the brain (input). The brain then must make sense of the data received (integration). Once received, the data must be stored and kept ready to be retrieved (memory). When needed, the brain must make sense of the data and send the message to the nerves and muscles (output).

The process:


4. Answer: A

Behaviorism is based on the concept that behavior can be studied without knowledge of the subject’s mental state. Different scientists use different methods to study behavior. Some merely observe an individual subject, others investigate the mental process, while still others study the behavior between people. Since there is no definitive classification of behaviorism, this list includes the most commonly accepted versions:

  • Classical: objective study of behavior (Skinner’s approach)
  • Methodological: verifiable objective study of third-person behavior
  • Radical: study of observable behavioral processes
  • Logical: human beings’ ability to strategize and hypothesize, as shown in observable behavior
  • Theoretical: emphasizes simple assumptions about observable internal states
  • Biological: studies behavior systems
  • Interbehaviorism: emphasizes the study of behavior between individuals

5. Answer: A

According to the American Psychological Association, adolescent social development follows a discernible pattern. The ages given are approximate. Each youngster will progress at his or her pace, in his or her way, and in his or her timeframe:

EARLY ADOLESCENCE: eleven to thirteen

  • Social world shifts from family to friends
  • Tends to be involved with a same-sex peer group
  • Strong desire to conform and be accepted by chosen peer group

MIDDLE ADOLESCENCE: fourteen to sixteen

  • Peer group acceptance fades in importance.
  • Peer groups include both boys and girls.
  • More tolerant of individual differences
  • One-on-one friendships develop.
  • Romance becomes important and dating begins.

LATE ADOLESCENCE: seventeen to nineteen

  • Intimate one-on-one relationships form.
  • Peer groups begin to lose their importance.