Department of Psychology
Midterm Examination 2
In the exam that follows, correct answers are marked with an asterisk (*).
Initial scoring of the exam revealed three bad items:
#8, 17, and 28.
When these three items were rescored correct for all responses, the average performance on the exam increased from M = 35.72 (71.4% correct), which is already very good, to 37.81 (75/6%), which is really very good indeed.
In what follows, I provide the % of the class who got each item correct, and the item-to-total correlation (technically, the point-biserial correlation, or rpb) between performance on each item and performance on the exam as a whole. As always, items that had pass percents < .50 andrpbs < .20 were identified as bad items and rescored.
A later version of this feedback will contain explanations for each item.
Individual exam scores will be posted over the next few days. In the meanwhile, students who retained a record of their answers will be able to calculate their own scores.
Choose the best answer to each of the following 50 questions. Questions are drawn from the text and lectures in roughly equal proportions, with the understanding that there is considerable overlap between the two sources. Usually, only one question is drawn from each major section of each chapter of the required readings; again, sometimes this question also draws on material discussed in class. Read the entire exam through before answering any questions: sometimes one question will help you answer another one.
Most questions can be correctly answered in one of two ways: (1) by fact-retrieval, meaning that you remember the answer from your reading of the text or listening to the lecture; or (2) inference, meaning that you can infer the answer from some general principle discussed in the text or lecture. If you cannot determine the correct answer by either of these methods, try to eliminate at least one option as clearly wrong: this maximizes the likelihood that you will get the correct answer by chance. Also, go with your intuitions: if you have actually done the assigned readings and attended the lectures, your "informed guesses" will likely be right more often than they are wrong.
Be sure you are using a red Scantron sheet.
Fill in the appropriate circles with a #2 pencil only.
Be sure you put your name on the front of the red Scantron sheet.
Be sure you put your Student ID# on both sides of the red Scantron sheet.
Indicate Exam 001 on the reverse side of the red Scantron sheet.
Retain this exam, along with a record of your answers.
1. Though Fez cannot name all fifty states, he insists that he knows them. Which type of test will most likely allow Fez to demonstrate that knowledge?
90% correct, item-to-total rpb = .27. The "feeling of knowing" or "tip of the tongue" experience (they're different, but related) usually occurs on tests of free or cued recall, and reflects a failure of retrieval. Recognition tests, by providing more retrieval cues, usually overcome whatever barrier prevented retrieval in the first place.
2. The capacity of a normal person's working memory
A. depends substantially on what particular type of items are in store.
B. is practically unlimited.
C. is limited primarily by the capacities of the long-term storage system.
D. is roughly seven items.*
97%, rpb = .34. Remember what George Miller called "the magical number 7, plus or minus 2" -- referring to the capacity of working (then called short-term or primary) memory. The limit is 7 chunks, not 7 individual items, so the capacity of STM can't be increased infinitely. Each chunk probably can't have more than 7 items in it.
3. A group of subjects hears a list of 15 words, after which there is a delay of 30 seconds before they are asked to recall the words. During this delay period, rehearsal is prevented. When asked for free recall of the words, which of the following will be affected the most?
A. Recency effect*
B. Primacy effect
C. Memory span
D. Long-term memory
80%, .23. Remember the bowed serial-position curve, in which items from the beginning and end of the list are recalled better than items from the middle of the list. The primacy effect is generally attributed to retrieval from long-term (secondary) memory and the recency effect to retrieval from short-term (working or primary) memory. The 30-second delay would be enough to produce forgetting from short-term memory, by virtue of decay or displacement. So, the delay would be expected to affect the recency effect more than the primacy effect.
4. How does implicit memory differ from explicit memory?
A. The extent to which a subject thinks about the meaning of words to be remembered is more relevant for explicit than implicit memory.*
B. Superficial characteristics of words to be remembered, such as the way the words are written, are more relevant to explicit than implicit memory.
C. Explicit memory effects are stimulus-specific; implicit memory effects are not.
D. All of the above.
44%, .30. Implicit memory is, for all intents and purposes, unconscious memory -- "the effect of a past experience on current experience, thought, or action in the absence of, or independent of, conscious recollection of that experience". Conscious recollection, whether recall or recognition, is related to elaborative and organizational processing at the time of encoding, but implicit memory is relatively independent of these factors. Most (but not all) implicit expressions of memory are related to the item's physical appearance, rather than its meaning; for this reason, implicit memory most often retains information about the physical characteristics of a word; and also for that reason, implicit memory is fairly specific to the particular stimulus presented during encoding. In most forms of implicit memory, subjects do not go far "beyond the information given" in the stimulus.
5. Which of the following is a major reason that many researchers doubt that there is anything really special about "flashbulb memory"?
A. Very few people say that they have experienced such memories.
B. Although people seem to have them, they are not very confident in their recall.
C. Much of what is recalled has been subsequently rehearsed.*
D. It seems impossible in terms of what we know about encoding in the brain.
62%, .41. Flashbulb memories are extremely vivid recollections of highly significant, emotionally arousing events -- such as when you learned about the 9/11 terror attacks. Almost everyone has such memories, because they generally occur for experiences -- like 9/11 -- that were widely shared (at least vicariously). Because they are so vivid, people are generally very confident that they are also extremely accurate -- even though studies show that their accuracy is usually overestimated. Flashbulb memories get their name from the hypothesis that there is a photography-like process in the brain that takes a mental "snapshot" of the event at the time it occurs. But, again, studies have shown that most such memories are the product of extensive rehearsal, rather than of some one-shot process.
6. Remembering that Columbus discovered the New World in 1492 is an aspect of _____ memory.
84%, .24. This is semantic (or what Gleitman calls generic) memory, because it is knowledge of a more or less abstract fact -- an entry in your mental dictionary or encyclopedia. If you remembered the experience in which you first learned this fact, that would be an episodic, or autobiographical memory. Both episodic and semantic memories are declarative memories. If you were to give directions to someone to follow Columbus' voyage to the New World, that might qualify as a piece of procedural knowledge: If you're in Barcelona, then sail west through the Strait of Gibraltar; if you're in the Atlantic Ocean, then sail south to Cape Verde; if you're at Cape Verde, then turn right and sail due west; if you're sailing west, then keep going until you hit land). Basically, that's what Columbus told Ferdinand and Isabella he was going to do.
7. "Depth of processing" is an example of _____ rehearsal.
92%, .24. Remember the distinction between maintenance and elaborative rehearsal. Maintenance rehearsal suffices to maintain an item in an active state in working (short-term, primary) memory; but encoding into long-term (secondary) memory requires more by way of elaborative and organizational processing.
8. The time-dependency of "long-term" episodic memory is most likely caused by:
A. decay from memory storage.
B. consolidation failure during encoding.
C. displacement from memory storage.
D. interference at the time of retrieval.*
24%, .09. A bad item. I don't know why, though. Most of the class (65%) went for A. Forgetting in sensory and "short-term" memory may be caused by decay, but not forgetting from long-term memory, which is caused by interference among memories which makes it difficult for retrieval processes to gain access to memories that are available in storage. Consolidation failure takes place during the retention interval, after encoding. Consolidation failure might account for some instances of time-dependency, as in some forms of amnesia, but interference is by far the more common mechanism for forgetting from long-term episodic memory (or semantic memory, too, for that matter).
9. According to the schematic processing principle:
A. memory is best for information which is irrelevant to current knowledge and beliefs.
B. memory for schema-congruent information interferes with memory for schema-incongruent information.
C. memory is best for information which is incongruent with the subject's expectations.*
D. memory is better for diagrams than for propositions.
87%, .31. Schemas (or schemata) refer to organized bundles of knowledge, expectations, and beliefs that form the cognitive background for perceiving and remembering events. Information that is relevant to current schemata is remembered better than information that is not; and information that is incongruent with current schemata is better remembered than information that is congruent with them. This is because processing an unexpected event elicits more elaborative processing -- deeper processing, if you will -- at the time of encoding, as the person tries to understand how this incongruent thing could have happened.
10. The post-event misinformation effect shows that:
A. memories are encoded once and for all at the time events occur.
B. memories, once encoded, remain permanently available in storage.
C. Memories accessible in memory storage are not necessarily available at the time of retrieval.
D. we reconstruct memories in a manner that is consistent with all our knowledge about an event.*
87%, .28. Memories are not faithful copies of events as they occurred. Our memories can change in light of subsequent events. When we remember an event, we reconstruct that event in light of everything we know about it -- not just what we personally experienced at a particular moment in historical time.
11. Patients with anterograde amnesia:
A. can learn lists of words for a later recognition test.
B. can learn to identify people and recognize them later.
C. get better at some motor skills with practice.*
D. All of the above.
70%, .40. In anterograde amnesia, the patient cannot remember "post-morbid" events that happened since the accident (disease, whatever) occurred; in retrograde amnesia, the patient cannot remember "pre-morbid" events that occurred before the accident. However, the anterograde amnesia chiefly affects conscious recollection of episodic memory, explicit memory, and spares implicit memory. Among the implicit memories spared by amnesia are items of procedural knowledge, such as motor skills. Thus, an amnesic patient like H.M. can show improvement with practice on certain motor skills, such as mirror-drawing and jigsaw-puzzle assembly, even though he can't remember the practice sessions themselves.
12. Subjects are asked to estimate the distance between a city on the East Coast of the United States and one on the West Coast of the United States, and next a city on the East Coast of the United States and one in the Midwest. What will the results show?
A. Subjects take about the same amount of time to make each judgment, and are more accurate for the first judgment.
B. Subjects take about the same amount of time to make each judgment, and are more accurate for the second judgment.
C. Subjects take slightly longer for the second judgment than the first.
D. Subjects take slightly longer for the first judgment than the second.*
81%, .34. This item is based on classic experiments that showed that we really do have something like mental images -- analog representations -- in our minds. If we asked you to scan a physical map of the United States, it would take longer to move your eyes between an East Coast city and a Midwest city than between two cities on the East Coast. This is also true if we ask you to scan a mental image of such a map. Therefore, memory must contain analog representations that reproduce, in some scale, the physical properties of the objects they represent.
13. According to the network model of generic memory, to which of the following questions would you probably respond most slowly?
A. "Is a cat an animal?"
B. "Is aluminum a metal?"
C. "Is a pine a tree?"
D. "Is a penguin a bird?"*
93%, .15. According to typical network models of memory, semantic knowledge is represented in hierarchical structures with superordinate levels (like animal, vegetbale, or mineral) at the top, basic levels (like bird, tree, and metal) in the middle, and subordinate levels (like cat, aluminum, pine, and penguin) at the bottom. In a category verification task, the mind has to move between levels. It takes longer to move between three levels than between just two. However, response latencies are also subject to typicality effects, such that it takes longer to identify atypical than typical category members. Penguins are highly atypical birds. So, even though activation only has to move between two levels, it will take longer than usual to verify that a penguin (an atypical bird) is a bird.
14. There are two main states that exist in problem solving: the _________ state and the _________ state.
A. initial; goal*
B. primary; secondary
C. ill-defined; well-defined
D. puzzle; solution
82%, .45. All well-defined problems specify an initial state and a goal (or final) state, as well as some obstruction that prevents an immediate transition from the former to the latter (if there's no obstruction, then there's no problem). If the statement leaves out a specification of either state, than it is ill-defined. According to the means-end algorithm, problem-solving proceeds by calculating the difference between the initial and goal states, and then performing some action that will reduce that difference by at least one step.
15. The task in deductive reasoning is to
A. consider a number of instances and try to determine a rule that covers them.
B. remove extraneous information until only key information remains.
C. determine whether conclusions can logically be drawn from premises.*
D. remove implausible premises until only plausible premises remain.
53%, .39. In induction, we arrive at general conclusions from observation of specific instances. So, observing that many birds fly, I conclude that all birds fly. In deductive reasoning, we arrive at specific conclusions from knowledge of general premises. So, knowing that all birds fly, I conclude that penguins are not birds. Of course, conclusions are only valid if the premises from which they are deduced are valid.
16. What is responsible for automaticity?
A. Extended practice with a task*
B. Conscious awareness of the routine required for a common task
C. A conscious and exact replication of a difficult task
D. Boredom with a particular task
82%, .33. Some automatic responses may be innate, but most automatic responses are only like reflexes. They acquire their automatic, reflex-like qualities by virtue of extended practice. When a task is automatized, it frequently is performed unconsciously, so that the person is often unable to describe precisely what he is doing to another person. Automatic processes, by the way, are elements of procedural knowledge.
17. According to the normative model of human judgment and decision making:
A. thinking usually follows the principles of logical inference.
B. people usually act in such a way as to maximize their likelihood of reproducing.
C. reasoning proceeds by means of algorithms which guarantee that we achieve the best solution.*
D. people's choices tend to follow a strategy of "satisficing" rather than "optimizing".
43%, .11. A bad item. This one was my fault, bad writing. A lot of you (32%) went for A, and it's true that the normative model assumes that thinking usually follows logical principles. I guess if I were really being tricky I'd fall back on the claim that the normative model assumes that thinking always follows logical principles. But that would be tricky, and I don't want to be tricky. C is a better answer than A, I suppose, because the principles of logic are algorithms, and there are other algorithms that aren't exactly logical principles. But A should get some credit, too, so it's better just to drop the item.
18. According to the classical view of categories as proper sets:
A. the horizontal relations between categories are governed by perfect nesting.
B. the vertical relations between categories are governed by an "all or none" rule.
C. all members of a category are equally good examples of the category.*
D. categorization proceeds by means of feature-matching process.
59%, .37. It's the vertical relations between categories that are governed by perfect nesting (robins and sparrows are subordinate to the category birds, which like fish are in turn subordinate to the category animals); and it's the horizontal relations between categories that are governed by an "all-or-none rule" (a bird is either a robin or a sparrow; an animal is either a bird or a fish). The thing about proper sets is that they are homogeneous, in that all instances of a category are equivalent with respect to category membership: robins and sparrow are equally good examples of the category birds. It's also true that, according to the classical view, categorization proceeds by a feature-matching process; but that doesn't distinguish the classical view from the revisionist prototype, or fuzzy-set, view.
19. Which of the following creates uncertainty in judgment and decision-making?
A. The problem is well-defined.
B. An appropriate algorithm is not available.*
C. There is sufficient information to apply a heuristic.
D. There is ample opportunity to apply means-end strategies.
90%, .31. Well-defined problems exemplify judgment under conditions of certainty. In fact, they hardly require judgment at all -- just the proper application of the appropriate algorithm. Judgment comes into the picture under conditions of uncertainty -- as when problems are ill-defined, so that an appropriate algorithm is not available. But even when an appropriate algorithm is available, uncertainty can be created by lack of information, or lack of opportunity, to apply the algorithm.
20. People who are unemployed tend to overestimate the unemployment rate, compared to people who are employed. This bias probably reflects the use of the _____ heuristic.
D. anchoring and adjustment
55%, .28. People who are unemployed tend to know lots of other people who are unemployed -- not least because they meet them at the unemployment office. So, it's easy for them to retrieve, from memory, instances of people who are also unemployed. This ease of retrieval from memory is what the availability heuristic is all about.
21. Our "first impressions" of other people often tend to persist. This bias probably reflects the use of the _____ heuristic.
D. anchoring and adjustment*
65%, .45. First impressions anchor personality judgments, because we tend not to correct (adjust) them to take account of subsequent information.
22. The word "breadwinner" contains _________ morphemes.
96%, .37. Phonemes are the smallest units of sound in a language; they make up syllables. Morphemes are the smallest units of meaning in a language; they make up words. In breadwinner, there are three morphemes: bread, meaning something you eat; win, meaning to get; and er, meaning the person who does the thing.
23. According to the definitional theory of word meaning, we see a group of words as having similar meaning when the words
A. sound the same.
B. share features of meaning.*
C. refer to the same object.
D. elicit similar mental images.
57%, .30. According to the definitional theory of word meaning, the meaning of each word is specified by a number of features. Bread means a flour-based product, often containing yeast, that is baked and then eaten. So, things like cookies and crackers are similar in meaning, because they share similar features.
24. What observation contradicts the idea that imitation is the method by which children acquire language?
A. Children are not capable of imitation at the age they acquire language.
B. Reinforcement, not imitation, appears to be the mechanism by which children acquire language.
C. Children utter sentences that they have never heard spoken by the people in their environment.*
D. Children who frequently imitate others tend to acquire language more quickly than children who do not imitate.
80%, .37. The most important characteristic of human language is creativity, by which we mean the capacity of the speaker to generate meaningful sentences that he or she has not heard before. If language were acquired simply by imitation, children would never say anything new.
25. Genie, a fourteen-year old child, was abused all her life and never exposed to language. As a result, she was never able to develop normal language skills. Isabelle, a six-year-old child, was given only minimal attention and never exposed to language, yet was able to learn normal language skills within a year. In what aspect of their lives did these two children differ that so affected the eventual outcome of their language development?
A. Genie was past puberty when she was first exposed to language; Isabelle was prepubescent.*
B. Genie's parents could neither speak nor hear; Isabelle's mother could do both.
C. Genie was born with a lower than normal IQ; Isabelle was born with a nearly normal IQ.
D. Genie suffered severe physical abuse; Isabelle did not.
95%, .38. This question is really about critical periods: apparently, Genie had passed the critical period for first-language acquisition when she was first exposed to language. Although most children become fluent speakers of their native language by the time they are five or so, the critical period apparently extends up to about the onset of puberty.
26. Which of the following statements is false?
A. Chimpanzees can learn manual signals as "words."
B. Chimpanzees are capable of some propositional thought.
C. Chimpanzees can learn complex syntactical rules.*
D. Chimpanzees can communicate socially.
93%, .23. Chimpanzees can learn the meanings of individual symbols, which therefore serve some of the same functions as words in natural language. So, they have the capacity for semantics. But apparently they don't have the capacity for syntax - -the ability to use grammatical rules to string words and other symbols together into meaningful sentences. Or, if they do have this ability, it is extremely limited: for example, they might be able to "say" something in the active voice, but not the passive voice.
27. Which of the following research findings is inconsistent with Whorf 's hypothesis about the relationship between language and thought?
A. The Dani people of New Guinea have only two color names, but they tend to agree with American observers about which colors are particularly good examples of their categories.*
B. The Mayan people who speak Tzeltal have no language labels for "left of " or "right of," nor do they distinguish between mirror images.
C. The Australian people who speak Guugu Yimithrr only speak of objects as positioned north, south, east, or west of other objects, and they regard layouts of objects as similar only if they are aligned in these ways.
D. All of the above.
55%, .32. The Whorf (or Sapir-Whorf) hypothesis concerns linguistic relativity -- the idea that the language we use constraints the thoughts we can have. In its strongest version, the hypothesis states that we cannot think about objects and events for which we have no words. But (as UCB's own Prof. Eleanor Rosch showed) the Dani can perceive lots of different colors for which they have no names. Therefore, in this case, language does not constrain thought. Options B and C would be consistent with the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.
28. According to Bowers' "Doctrine of Interactionism"
A. behavior is governed by the joint effect of the individual's behavioral and emotional dispositions.
B. behavior is elicited by features of the social environment, acting in combination with features of the physical environment.
C. people influence the situations to which they respond.*
D. causality is bidirectional, producing complex relations among personality, environment, and behavior.
24%, .16. A bad item. Most of you (60% of the class) went for D, but this is Bandura's Doctrine of Reciprocal Determinism. Bowers' Doctrine of Interactionism has to do with the ways that persons affect the situations to which they in turn respond -- though evocation, selection, behavioral manipulation, and cognitive transformation. A and B, of course, represent the doctrines of Traits and of Situationism, respectively.
(Here's a case where the correct answer is clearly correct, and the others are clearly wrong. If I were simply responding to this impressionistically, I'd never rescore this item, not in a million years. But the statistical analysis tells the tale: appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, it's a bad item, and it must be dropped. This is why we prefer objective statistical analysis to subjective impressionistic judgments.)
29. According to the James-Lange theory of emotion:
A. people can express their internal emotional states in their facial displays and other bodily gestures.
B. emotion follows from the individual's perception of his or her behavioral response to a stimulus.*
C. "putting on a happy face" will typically result in a negative emotional state, due to opponent-process principles.
D. there are no reliable psychophysiological correlates of different emotional states.
82%, .45. According to the common-sense view of emotion, emotions cause action: we run from the bear because we're afraid of it. According to James's view (and Lange's), it's just the opposite: we're afraid of the bear because we perceive ourselves running from it; responses cause emotions. Actually, James later disavowed the "bear" example, because he was really talking about autonomic rather than skeletal responses. Still, the James-Lange theory of emotion is a prime example of feedback from the person's behavior changing that person's emotional states. The James-Lange theory was criticized because there did not appear to be any specific autonomic or skeletal correlates of specific emotions; this question remains a point of controversy to the present day. But the James-Lange theory assumes that there are reliable physiological correlates of different emotional states.
30. Research on "bystander intervention" and altruism effects illustrates how:
A. we tend to look to other people to clarify ambiguous situations.
B. an individual's behavior in a situation can change that situation for other people.
C. emergency situations can be characterized by both diffusion of responsibility and pluralistic ignorance.
D. All of the above.*
88%, .16. Here's an example of behavior feeding back to alter the situation in which it occurs, rather than the person who engaged in it. We look to others to clarify ambiguous situations, they in turn are looking at us, and the whole situation of pluralistic ignorance tends to define the situation as not an emergency. Pluralistic ignorance isn't the only thing that's going on, though. Through diffusion of responsibility, we also assume that someone else will help, and we won't have to.
31. The "mere exposure effect" illustrates the principle that:
A. opposites attract.
B. friendships are more likely to occur between people who are similar to each other in personality and interests.
C. environmental contingencies can influence people's attitudes and preferences.*
D. operant behavior changes the environment in some way.
79%, .22. The mere exposure effect is a classic example of how features of the environment -- whether the environment exposes us to certain objects, people, or events -- can affect our internal emotional states -- in particular, our attitudes and preferences with respect to those objects, people, and events. Opposites don't attract, and attraction increases with perceived similarity. But these facts don't have anything to do with the mere exposure effect. It's an open question, and eminently researchable, whether opposites can become attractive by virtue of mere exposure.
32. Mischel's studies of impulse control show that:
A. delay of gratification in children is mostly affected by situational variables; in adults, it is more powerfully affected by established personality traits.
B. children who do not receive immediate gratification of their desires tend to grow up to become anxious, depressed adults.
C. situational variables are more important than cognitive transformations in increasing delay of gratification.
D. even young children can control their behavior by changing the way they perceive a situation.*
79%, .51. Mischel's social-cognitive theory of personality emphasizes the effects of the social situation, and in particular the perceived social situation (that's what makes his theory cognitive, and not just another example of situationism), on the individual's behavior. So, even when we can't control the actual situation, we can control the way we perceive the situation, and thus alter our behavior in that situation. And this is true even of young children, like the children who served as subjects in Mischel's "delay of gratification" studies.
33. According to cognitive dissonance theory, justification of effort is responsible for the fact that we
A. tend to downplay the amount of effort we exerted to reach a goal.
B. have fewer negative emotions while engaging in an effortful task.
C. value a goal more highly if it was difficult to reach.*
D. are willing to work hard for goals that we value.
70%, .29. Dissonance occurs when we engage in behaviors that appear to be inconsistent with our attitudes. There are three ways to reduce dissonance. One is to deny that we engaged in the behavior. Another is to alter our attitudes so as to be consistent with our behavior. The third is to discount our behavior as not representative of our attitudes. In any event, the more effort involved in the behavior, the more we will tend to adopt behavior-consistent attitudes. So, we will value a goal more highly if it was difficult to achieve.
34. Self-serving bias
A. applies only to an individual's interpretation of his or her own successes or failures.
B. occurs only in the context of clearly defined successes or failures (e.g., winning versus losing, or passing versus failing).
C. is extended to our family members, friends, and others with whom we identify.*
D. occurs in laboratory settings, but does not seem to be relevant to behavior in real-world contexts.
46%, .50. In the fundamental attribution error, we tend to attribute others' behavior to their internal trait dispositions, rather than to situational factors. In the self-other difference in causal attribution, we tend to attribute others' behavior to their traits, but our own behavior to the situation. In the self-serving bias in causal attribution, we tend to attribute good outcomes to our own efforts, and bad outcomes to external factors. However, the self-serving bias also extends to other people, particularly those who are close to us, who we know well, or whom we like.
35. In evaluating information about a person in order to form an impression of his personality we tend to
A. form an impression on the basis of the most recent information we have about him.
B. integrate initial and later information in order to form a well-rounded impression of his personality.
C. rely most heavily on the information which we first received about the person.*
D. rely most heavily on recent information in forming an impression of the person, especially if our initial impression was unfavorable.
93%, .28. Remember Question #21, on first impressions and the anchoring-and-adjustment heuristic?
36. When people attempt to determine why an individual behaved as he or she did, they tend to
A. be equally likely to infer situational or dispositional causes.
B. infer dispositional causes more readily than situational causes.*
C. infer situational causes more readily than dispositional causes.
D. overlook both situational and dispositional causes in assigning reasons for behavior.
84%, .46. This question is about the fundamental attribution error (see Question #34).
37. People are most likely to seek social comparison when
A. decisions are easy and obvious in order to confirm their choices.
B. decisions are difficult and a situation is not fully understood.*
C. a situation is well-understood and social consensus is needed.
D. they have sufficient time to gather information.
95%, .29. People are especially prone to seek social comparison under conditions of uncertainty.
38. Historians often question whether historical events were determined primarily by a confluence of circumstances or by the leadership of particular individuals. These questions are analogous to issues of _________ in social psychology.
B. social impact theory
C. diffusion of responsibility
D. social facilitation
44%, .34. The confluence of circumstances would constitute the environment, or the situation; the effects of individual leadership would constitute personal dispositions. So, attributing an event to circumstances or to leaders is analogous to attributing that event to the situation or to the person. Of course, great leaders often create their own circumstances, which is why we need to supplement the Doctrine of Traits and the Doctrine of Situationism with the Doctrine of Interactionism.
39. Which of the following factors makes groupthink more likely?
A. A highly cohesive group*
B. A group in constant communication about their discussions with people outside of the group
C. A group structured to require the examination of all sides of each issue
D. All of the above
68%, .38. People are more likely to think alike when -- well, when they are already similar in other respects as well. A tightly knit group, with little input from the outside, is most likely to devolve into groupthink.
40. The finding that two variables are highly correlated allows a scientist to conclude
A. that the first causes the second.
B. that the second causes the first.
C. that a third factor causes both.
D. nothing about causal relationships.*
73%, .32. Correlation does not imply causation, because both variables may be effects of a third, causal variable. But that doesn't mean that there isn't sometimes a causal relation between two correlated variables. Although causes and effects should be correlated with each other, in the final analysis the fact that two variables are correlated tells us nothing about the causal relations between them.
41. Charles Spearman inferred the existence of a general intelligence g factor from
A. the positive intercorrelations for tests of different intellectual skills.*
B. the fact that different tests tap different specific abilities.
C. the tendency for people to score well on either verbal or mathematical tests, but not on both.
D. high reliability coefficients for the results of individual tests.
83%, .49. Spearman is famous for postulating the existence of a general intelligence, or g factor, that underlies performance on all specific tests of intelligence. He did so based on the observation that all tests of intelligence are positively correlated with each other, suggesting g as the common factor uniting them. Other theorists, like Thurstone and Guilford, have suggested that the correlations between different tests, such as verbal and quantitative intelligence, while positive, are simply too low for g to be very meaningful, if indeed it exists at all. And still others, like Gardner, assert that there are multiple intelligences that are uncorrelated with each other, and that g simply does not exist.
42. The results of studies relating intelligence to reaction time show that
A. simple reaction time is more strongly related to intelligence than is choice reaction time.
B. choice reaction time is more strongly related to intelligence than is simple reaction time.*
C. the correlation between choice reaction time and intelligence decreases with the number of choices.
D. the correlation between choice reaction time and intelligence is unrelated to the number of choices.
55%, .32. The correlation between IQ and reaction time increases with the difficulty of the task -- the addition of choice, and increasing the number of choices.
43. Practical intelligence seems to differ from analytic intelligence because tasks demanding
A. practical intelligence typically require some amount of information gathering.*
B. analytic intelligence typically require a great deal of tacit knowledge.
C. analytic intelligence are typically poorly defined initially.
D. All of the above.
16%, .31. A hard item, but the item-to-total correlation shows that it's nevertheless a good item. A lot of you (44%) went for B, but all intelligent activity requires tacit (implicit, unconscious knowledge). It is possible that people were misled by the term tacit, which is not part of everyday vocabulary. But while analytical intelligence requires the person to analyze information that is put before him or her, in the form of a problem, practical intelligence requires the individual to be much more pro-active in gathering relevant information. A lot of you (26%) also went for D, which is sometimes a good guess in psychology, because its subject matter is so complicated. But not in this case!
44. The importance of environmental factors in the development of intelligence is illustrated by the fact that
A. the intelligence scores of adopted children are correlated with the intelligence scores of their adoptive mothers.
B. the intelligence scores of fraternal twins are more highly correlated than those of non-twin siblings.
C. the longer children are in impoverished environments, the lower their intelligence scores are likely to be.
D. All of the above.*
53%, .22. There does appear to be a genetic component to intelligence, as revealed by twin studies; but there is also a clear environmental component, as reflecting in the following facts: (A) adopted children do resemble their adoptive parents in IQ, even if they also resemble their biological parents; (B) fraternal twins, who are raised in the same environment, are more alike in IQ than nontwins, even though fraternal twins are no more similar, genetically, then nontwins are; and (C) increasing exposure to an impoverished environment is associated with lower IQ scores.
45. The best available predictor of future behavior in a particular situation is
A. the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory.
B. the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test.
C. the Rorschach Inkblot Test.
D. past behavior in similar situations.*
93%, .32. Objective and projective personality tests are not particularly good predictors of behavior in specific situations, because personality tests measure traits, and traits are not powerful determinants of behavior. And projective tests like the Rorschach are especially crummy in that respect. That's what Mischel's "personality coefficient" is all about. But people do tend to behave the same way across situations that they perceive to be similar. It's the perception of the situation -- how it is categorized, how it is judged similar to other situations encountered in the past -- that really counts. If we want to predict a person's behavior, we have to know how he's behaved previously, and how he perceives the current situation.
46. Personality tests have low predictive validities because
A. these tests were designed to yield construct validity rather than predictive validity.
B. these tests are based on the assumption that behavior is consistent across situations.*
C. these test scores contain numerous errors of measurement.
D. Subjects try to hide personality flaws when taking the tests.
66%, .31. See Question #45. Personality tests assume that traits exist, and that they are powerful determinants of behavior, rendering the individual's behavior consistent across various situations. In fact, traits might not exist in any meaningful way; but even if they do, they're not powerful predictors of behavior, because behavior varies with the individual's perception of fine details of the situation.
47. In his studies of delay of gratification in children, Mischel found that
A. the length of time that children could delay a desired reward did not depend on whether the reward was visible while the child was waiting.
B. children delayed gratification longer if they spent the time imagining the pleasures they would get from the reward.
C. children delayed gratification longer if they distracted themselves from thinking about the reward.*
D. children's ability to delay gratification was not related to thoughts or behaviors during the delay interval, but was highly correlated with personality characteristics such as introversion and responsibility.
95%, .32. See Question #32. Thinking about a reward in a non-comsummatory way increases the ability to delay gratification. Thinking about the consummation itself, however, decreases delay.
48. Sigmund Freud believed that unconscious conflict arises from
A. latent and manifest dreams.
B. the pleasure principle and wish fulfillment.
C. hypnosis and free association.
D. anxiety and repression.*
63%, .27. The core assumption of Freud's psychoanalytic theory is that behavior results from unconscious sexual and aggressive drives that have been repressed to diminish the anxiety caused by the conflict between these drives ("monsters from the Id", in the words of a character in "Forbidden Planet", my favorite science-fiction movie of all time) and the demands of reality (the ego) and conscience (the superego). See? A complete summary of Freudian theory in one simple sentence that could even have been shorter than it is. The only other thing you have to know is that the theory is wrong in every detail.
49. According to Abraham Maslow a major prerequisite for becoming self-actualizing is having
A. all of one's lower-order needs fulfilled.*
B. a major altruistic streak.
C. a very selfless nature.
D. suffered in the past so you can truly appreciate the good aspects of life.
84%, .40. Self-actualization is possible, in Maslow's view, only after the individual has already satisfied other, more basic, biological needs. That doesn't mean that you have to suffer -- only that you have to be satisfied in other respects. Whether this is true or not is another matter. Do we really think that people who live in poverty and deprivation are thereby denied any opportunity for self-actualization? Seems unlikely to me, though I admit it's an empirical question.
50. In discussing the cross-cultural studies conducted by Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead,
A. Benedict's studies of three preliterate cultures revealed striking similarities in basic personality patterns.
B. Mead's studies of preliterate New Guinea tribes found marked differences in male and female sex roles and personality.*
C. both Mead and Benedict argued that culture has only a minor effect on innate foundations of human personality.
D. All of the above.
41%, .29. The whole point of cultural psychology is that members of different cultures may adopt quite different modes of thinking and behaving -- so much so that sex roles, and basic patterns of personality and adjustment, characteristic of one culture may be quite different in another culture.
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