Department of Psychology
Midterm Examination 2
Scoring Key and Item Analysis
In the scoring key that follows, correct answers are marked with a double asterisk (**).
#s 12, 16, 18, 35, 38, and 40
were rescored "correct for all responses".
No other items met the statistical criterion for rescoring.
After rescoring, the mean score was 35.57, SD = 5.50, approximately 71% correct, which is above the usual average of 65-70% correct.
In this final edition of the feedback I provide more detailed information, including the results of the item analysis and commentary.
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 002 (use all three digits) on the reverse side of the red Scantron sheet.
Retain this exam, along with a record of your answers.
1. Two groups hear a list of 20 unrelated items at the same one-item-per-second rate and are then tested for free recall. For group I, the test comes 1 second after hearing the final item in the list. For group II, the test comes 30 seconds after hearing the final item, with the 30 seconds filled with backward counting. Which of the following should we expect?
a. the same primacy effect for both groups; a greater recency effect for group I **
b. the same primacy effect for both groups; a greater recency effect for group II
c. the same recency effect for both groups; a greater primacy effect for group I
d. the same recency effect for both groups; a greater primacy effect for group II
77% of the class got this item correct; item-to-total rpb = 30. The primacy effect means that items at the beginning of a list are recalled better than items in the middle of a list; it reflects retrieval from long-term memory. The recency effect means that items at the end of a list are recalled better than items in the middle; it reflects retrieval from short-term memory. Any distraction between encoding and retrieval will produce a loss of information from short-term memory. Therefore, we would expect to see no group difference in primacy, but a difference favoring Group I in recency.
2. A sudden blow to the head often causes forgetting of the events in the few seconds or minutes that preceded the blow. This finding is most consistent with which of the following ideas about memory?
a. New memory traces require consolidation. **
b. Temporal contiguity is impressed upon the mind.
c. Memory often depends on organizational factors.
d. There is a limit of about seven items that can be held in working memory at one time.
97% correct; rpb = 20. The effects of head trauma on memory for events leading up to the accident constitute the best evidence for consolidation. Apparently, encoding takes a little time, and any disruption in encoding processes will result in a permanent memory loss for such items.
3. When a piece of information is "on the tip of your tongue", which of the following is true?
a. You are unable to recall anything about that piece of information.
b. That piece of information is irretrievably lost in long-term memory.
c. Some of the aspects of that information are accessible. **
d. It has not been rehearsed effectively.
84%, .24. If you're looking for a word, but can't quite remember it, you can often remember certain properties of the word, such as its first letter or first syllable. The TOT effect is a good demonstration of metamemory -- that is, that we have knowledge about the contents of our memory, even if we can't gain access to it at the moment.
4. The forgetting curve indicates that __________.
a. the rate at which forgetting occurs is highly variable
b. things are forgotten most quickly shortly after they are learned **
c. forgetting occurs at a constant rate
d. forgetting is slow at first; then it speeds up
64%, .30. The rate of forgetting isn't constant across the retention interval. Somewhat surprisingly, perhaps, most forgetting occurs relatively soon after learning. This is true whether we're talking about long-term or short-term memory. Which is one reason why good study strategies involve "spaced" practice, which allows you to make up for some forgetting that occurs immediately after study. If you employ "massed practice", studying everything all at once, it goes out of memory pretty quickly.
5. Which of the following statements best captures the justification for distinguishing between explicit and implicit memory?
a. Explicit and implicit memory function differently, even though they have the same biological underpinnings.
b. Though they function similarly, explicit and implicit memory have different biological bases.
c. Not only do explicit and implicit memory function differently, they also have distinct biological bases. **
d. There is little justification for distinguishing between the two types of memory; psychologists are backing away from the distinction these days.
46%, .35. Explicit memory is conscious recollection; implicit memory refers to the unconscious influence of past experience on current experience, thought, and action. The first reason to distinguish between explicit and implicit memory is that implicit memory effects, such as priming, can occur in the absence of conscious recollection, as in recall or recognition. The second reason is that the two expressions of episodic memory appear to be mediated by different brain systems: hippocampal damage, such as occurred in Patient HM, impairs explicit memory while leaving implicit memory intact.
6. Your knowledge that Columbus discovered America in 1492 constitutes a piece of _____ knowledge.
d. semantic **
62%, .30. This was an example I used in class. There are two kinds of declarative memory: Episodic memory refers to personal experiences associated with a specific place and time, while semantic memory refers to more abstract knowledge. So just saying that this was "declarative" memory wasn't enough -- I was specifically after the episodic-semantic distinction.
7. While learning a list of items Gregor recalled them in a different order than the experimenter presented them. This behavior probably illustrates _____ activity on Gregor's part.
b. organizational **
84%, .35. When the order of recall differs from the order of presentation, that usually means that the subject has reorganized the list -- for example, grouping conceptually or thematically related items together.
8. In "long-term" memory, what process most likely accounts for time-dependent forgetting over the retention interval?
a. Decay of the memory trace.
b. Displacement of the memory trace by information newly arriving from working memory.
c. Interference with long-term consolidation processes.
d. Competition among items available in memory. **
19%, .27. A possibly tricky item, but not a bad one. There are four possible mechanisms for forgetting over the retention interval, but the one that is most important is interference. But not interference with consolidation. Rather, what's critical is interference, or competition, among items available in memory storage.
9. What are the implications of the encoding specificity principle?
a. Encoding, storage, and retrieval are independent processes that can be analyzed separately.
b. Events during storage are irrelevant to the availability of a memory trace.
c. The way in which an item is processed at the time of acquisition determines the cues that will be effective at the time of retrieval. **
d, "Information retrieval" is not adequate as a description of how memory works.
96%, .15. Encoding specificity sets limits on cue-dependency. Gaining access to information available in memory is a function of the richness and informational value of the cues presented during memory retrieval, but they also have to be the right cues -- that is, cues that match those that were processed at the time of encoding. Encoding specificity is responsible for drug state-dependent, emotion-dependent, and environment-dependent learning.
10. Subjects are given an unfamiliar map with several points highlighted and are asked to study it. Later, without looking at the map, they are asked to picture an object moving from one of the highlighted points to another. What will the results of this test most likely show?
a. "Travel" time is unrelated to how far apart the points are.
b. Response times vary, such that points that are farther apart take longer for the object to "travel" than points that are closer together. **
c. This task does not involve analogical processes.
d. This task contradicts findings from other mental rotation studies.
92%, .30. This refers to a classic demonstration that mental images are "real" -- that there really are something like pictures in the head. If you shift your eyes from one part of a scene to another, the amount of "travel time" will be proportional to the distance between the two points. And this is also true when you shift your "mind's eye" from one part of a mental image to another. This is even true for a three-dimensional image!
11. When people are asked which is more common, death by homicide or death by stroke, they often choose the former (homicide) because they simply hear more about it than they do the latter (stroke). This means they are being led astray in their judgment by __________.
a. the representativeness heuristic
b. a mental set
c. the confirmation bias
d. the availability heuristic **
95%, .20. In availability, judgments of frequency and probability are based on the ease with which instances can be retrieved from memory. We're much more likely to hear of a murder than of a death by stroke, and so we're more likely to store memories of murder. But of course, deaths by natural causes such as stroke are much more common than death by homicide.
12. In one version of the selection task, subjects are told to turn over cards to verify the rule "If there is a vowel on one side of the card, there must be an even number on the other". One-third of the subjects turn over only the card showing a vowel. This error may be seen as exemplifying __________.
a. the confirmation bias **
b. the representativeness heuristic
c. the availability heuristic
d. pragmatic reasoning
32%, .15. A bad item.This is a classic demonstration of confirmatory bias in hypothesis-testing, observed in the Wason "card-selection" task. Subjects who make this error simply attempt to confirm the hypothesis, by checking the card showing a vowel, reasoning correctly that if the vowel card has an odd number on the reverse, the hypothesis has been disconfirmed. But note that the hypothesis says nothing about what's on the other side of an odd number, or a consonant. But if a card showing an even number number has a consonant on the other side, that's bad news for the hypothesis. Logically, you should test a hypothesis by looking for both confirmatory and disconfirmatory information. But there's a reason why people make this mistake, and that's what made this a bad item.
13. The public may think the economic situation is not as bad as it really is if the government reports employment at 82% instead of saying that the unemployment rate is 18%. In this situation, what factor is influencing these relatively positive judgments?
a. a confirmation bias
b. framing effects **
c. ignoring base rates
d. the availability heuristic
94%, .31. This is a classic instance of a framing effect: how a problem is worded will determine how it's solved. So focusing on employment, a good thing, makes things look better than they really are, while focusing on unemployment, which is a bad thing, makes things look worse. Even worse.
14. Whenever we try solving a problem, we bring to that effort all kinds of assumptions, habits of mind, and preexisting knowledge and expectations. All these elements together make up one's __________.
a. mental set **
b. representativeness heuristic
c. availability heuristic
d. analogical representation
93%, .29. This is the classic definition of a mental set. There's a problem, with its goals, and conditions, and operations, and obstacles. And then there's everything that the problem-solver brings to the problem. That's his or her mental set.
15. If I define a bird as a warm-blooded vertebrate with feathers and wings", I am behaving in accordance with the _____ view of categories.
a. proper-set **
63%, .45. This is the dictionary definition of a category, which specifies the defining features that make birds birds, and everything else non-birds. If I defined a bird as a small creature that lives in trees, sings, and flies -- that would be a prototypical bird, like a robin or a finch, but none of those features are defining features. Some birds are large. Others live on the ground. Some don't sing. And some don't fly (though they all have feathers and wings, even penguins).
16. It is easier to identify a robin as a bird than it is to identify a robin as an animal; but it is easier to identify a dog as
a mammal an animal than it is to identify a dog as a mammal. This outcome illustrates which problem with the classical view of categorization?
a. Some objects have unclear category membership.
b. Subordinate categories are not perfectly nested under superordinate categories. **
c. Category membership is not an "all or none" affair.
d. Category members vary in "typicality".
51%, .05, a bad item. First, there was a typo (corrected during the exam), and even if this question didn't meet the statistical criterion for a truly bad item, the typo may have confused enough people to spoil it (with a 51% pass rate, a valid item should have a significant item-to-total correlation, and this one isn't). The point of the question is that, according to the classical view of categories as proper sets, it should be easier to identify a robin as a bird than to identify a robin as an animal, because robin and bird are nested more closely to each other in the conceptual hierarchy. But for the same reason, it should be easier to identify a dog as a mammal than as an animal. But it isn't: it's actually easier to identify a dog as an animal than as a mammal. This is an illustration of the phenomenon of "imperfect nesting" which bedevils the classical view of categories as proper sets.According to the classical view, subsets are created by adding defining features, such that subsets "inherit" all the defining features of their superordinate categories, plus the new ones that define the new subordinate category. The result should be that resemblance will be greater between adjacent levels of a hierarchy, than it is between more distant levels. Or, put another way, there is less "mental distance" to be traveled between adjacent levels, than between more distant ones. Either way, it should take less time to identify a robin as a bird and a dog as a mammal (these are immediately adjacent categories), than to identify either one as an animal (a more distant superordinate category. Now, this might occur because robins are more typical birds and dogs are atypical mammals, but that information wasn't in the question, and it's not intuitively obvious that this is the case. Variations in typicality among category members constitute a whole other problem with the classical view. Note:I made the decision to rescore this item on December 10, 2010, in response to a query from a student in the run-up to the Final Examination. We re-ran the Scantrons, and rescored this item correct for all responses, as we usually do for bad items. The result was that 49% of the class (those that didn't choose Option B initially) got one (1) point added to their Midterm 2 scores.
17. The "means-end" strategy for problem-solving illustrates the use of algorithms in thinking because:
a. it takes a short-cut around the obstacles that prevent solution to a problem.
b. it allows people to make reasonably accurate judgments under conditions of uncertainty.
c. it specifies a rule which, if followed correctly, will inevitably lead to the correct solution. **
d. it permits subjects to solve abstract, but not practical, problems.
76%, .33. An algorithm is a step-by-step "recipe" for solving a problem, that's guaranteed to reach a correct solution. There's nothing more "step-by-step" than means-end analysis, which basically says that you get from the initial state to the goal state by reducing the difference, one step at a time.
18. It is commonly believed that sex-education in the schools causes an increase in teen-age sexual behavior, pregnancy, and abortion. This erroneous conclusion illustrates the use of the _____ heuristic in reasoning.
a. representativeness **
d. anchoring and adjustment
28%, -.04. A bad item. A lot of you went for C, the simulation heuristic, and in retrospect I can see why: it's easy to imagine how learning about sex could lead to sexual experimentation. But the answer I was after was A, representativeness. When making judgments about causality, people often assume that causes should resemble effects. But the item didn't work, and we rescored it.
19. Which of the following is an example of a single morpheme?
b. ran **
91%, .31. Phonemes are sound units, while morphemes are the smallest units of meaning. The letter combinations f and tl aren't morphemes at all, because they don't carry any meaning (and tl consists of two phonemes). The word ran consists of a single morpheme; talked consists of two morphemes, talk and the suffix -ed.
20. The prototype theory of word meaning makes which of the following assertions?
a. It is wrong to suppose that we can ever find a set of necessary and sufficient features for a given concept like bird. **
b. Words have intrinsic meanings based on speech sounds.
c. We are born with categories of words that cluster into prototypes.
d. Word meaning derives from a set of necessary and sufficient features.
46%, .46. The prototype view of word meaning, which specifies the characteristic features of a category, is opposed to the dictionary view, which specifies the defining features that are necessary and sufficient to identify an object as a member of a category.
21. In evaluating the idea that children learn language through imitation, which of the following statements is INCORRECT?
a. Children are able to understand sentences they have never heard before.
b. The number of possible novel sentences is too large to ever learn by imitation and memorization alone.
c. Children are able to generate sentences they have never heard before.
d. Children rarely make overregularization errors. **
71%, .36. Children frequently make over-regulation errors, saying things like "I goed" when they should say "I went". But no child ever hears an adult say "I goed", so this can't result from mere imitation. Rather, children are abstracting a rule, like "add -ed", and overgeneralizing it to all verbs. Over-generalization of a rule is the classic counterexample to the idea that language is learned through imitation.
22. What do the results of studies of deaf children who were not taught ASL say with respect to the nature vs. nurture issue?
a. They underscore the importance of nature in language acquisition. **
b. They underscore the importance of nurture in language acquisition.
c. They suggest that language acquisition reflects a complex interaction between nature and nurture.
d. They say little with respect to the contribution of either "nature" or "nurture" to language acquisition.
26%, .25. Deaf children develop sign language to communicate with others even in the absence of any teaching. This shows us that language is an innate human faculty, and not acquired through experience. Sure, learning a specific language, like Russian or Mandarin, requires experience. But we appear to be built by nature to develop a capacity for linguistic communication -- spoken or gestural, whether we can hear speech or not.
23. There is little or no satisfactory evidence to show that chimpanzees can __________.
a. show propositional thought
b. be taught to communicate
c. acquire syntax **
d. learn sign language
85%, .26. Only humans, apparently, have the capacity to use grammatical rules, or syntax, to combine words and phrases into meaningful sentences. Chimpanzees have some capacity for propositional thought, because they can learn symbols that represent things like bananas or tickles. They've got some capacity for semantics, to deal with the meanings of symbols, but not for syntax.
24. Which of the following statements is most reasonable regarding the relationship between language and thought?
a. Language determines the types of thoughts it is possible to have.
b. Language has strong, long-lasting effects on thinking.
c. Language has brief, momentary effects on our thinking. **
d. Language has no effects on our thinking.
21%, .21. Tough one. The relation between language and thought is a topic for vigorous debate, but one thing your textbook makes very clear: there's no good evidence supporting the strong version of the "Sapir-Whorff" hypothesis that language determines or constrains what we can think about, or how we think about it.At best, these effects are brief and transitory, and pretty much disappear once the person takes a moment to think about the situation.
25. The predictive validity of most scholastic aptitude tests is in the neighborhood of 0.55. This suggests that __________.
a. these tests do not really measure scholastic aptitude
b. factors other than scholastic aptitude influence academic performance **
c. such tests have little or no predictive validity
d. such tests provide a near-perfect index of academic ability
88%. .27. A test is reliable if it gives pretty much the same scores on multiple occasions of testing. A test is valid if it measures what it is supposed to measure. And one of the ways we know whether a test is valid is whether it correlates significantly -- predicts -- some independent criterion of the characteristic being measured. So, if scholastic aptitude tests really do predict academic performance, which is what a correlation of +.55 would suggest, that would be evidence that scholastic aptitude tests really test the individual's ability to do schoolwork.
26. Which of the following is most likely to draw on crystallized intelligence?
a. solving a new kind of logic puzzle
b. answering trivia questions **
c. figuring out how to fix an unfamiliar appliance
d. negotiating a social situation completely outside of one's experience (e.g., a state dinner)
90%, .41. Fluid intelligence refers to raw intellectual ability, of the kind that is supposed to be measured by conventional IQ tests. Crystallized intelligence is more like "book-learning" -- what happens when fluid intelligence develops and is applied in particular contexts. Think of molten meal, which is a fluid, which is hen shaped when poured into a mold and cooled.
27. Subjects in a psychological study completed the Raven's Progressive Matrices test, a reaction time task, and a task designed to assess working memory capacity. The correlation between Raven's Progressive Matrices scores and average reaction time was �.70. The correlation between Raven's Progressive Matrices scores and working memory capacity was .76. These results suggest that __________.
a. neither mental speed nor working memory capacity is related to intelligence
b. both mental speed and working memory capacity are related to intelligence **
c. mental speed is related to intelligence, but working memory capacity is not
d. working memory capacity is related to intelligence, but mental speed is not
59%, .35. Raven's test is a culture-fair measure of intelligence, and Intelligence is related to both mental speed and working memory capacity. In the example given, there is a negative correlation between Raven's scores and mental speed -- the higher the intelligence, the less time it takes to answer a question. And there is a a positive correlation between Raven's scores and working memory capacity -- the higher the intelligence, the greater the capacity. Remember, correlations co both ways: a correlation of 0 indicates a total lack of relationship.
28. One piece of evidence supporting Howard Gardner's notion of multiple intelligences is based on the fact that __________.
a. some people have multiple personalities
b. people seem to lose one type of intelligence earlier than others
c. brain lesions may impair some abilities while leaving others unaffected **
d. at different times in our lives, we may excel at one type of intelligence at the expense of others
84%, .49. Gardner's idea was based on neurological evidence -- that there were certain kinds of brain damage that impaired one kind of mental ability (say, verbal intelligence) while sparing another kind (say, mathematical intelligence). In line with the neuroscientific doctrine of modularity, Gardner then speculated that, instead of being a general mental ability mediated by the brain as a whole, or some part of it (such as the prefrontal cortex), there are lots of different intelligences, organized as domain-specific mental modules, each with its own associated brain system.
29. A researcher examines the correlations between identical and fraternal twins' IQ scores in both higher- and lower-SES families. Which of the following pattern of results is she most likely to find?
a. Higher-SES: identical�.85; fraternal�.85. Lower-SES: identical�.60; fraternal�.60.
b. Higher-SES: identical�.85; fraternal�.60. Lower-SES: identical�.60; fraternal�.60. **
c. Higher-SES: identical�.85; fraternal�.60. Lower-SES: identical�.85; fraternal�.85
d. Higher-SES: identical�.85; fraternal�.60. Lower-SES: identical�.85; fraternal�.60.
21%, .31. A difficult question, perhaps, but an important point: calculations of heritability are only good for the particular environment in which heritability is measures. Imagine, for example, that everyone had the same income and access to schooling -- that is, that the "playing field" was equal for everyone. Then, individual differences in intelligence would necessarily be highly determined by genetic factors, because there would be no variance in the environment. Some commentators look at the relatively high heritability of IQ, as indicated by the difference in correlation between identical (MZ) and fraternal (DZ) twins, and conclude that it is largely genetic in origin. But it turns out that this difference depends on socioeconomic status. IQ is highly heritable among children of high SES (for whom the playing field is much more homogeneous), but not nearly as heritable -- perhaps not heritable at all -- for children of low SES (for whom the playing field is much more variable). So it's just not true that "intelligence is genetic" -- the genetic contribution to intelligence depends on the environment.
30. Unconscious processing tends to be __________, while conscious processing tends to be __________.
a. fast and effortless; slower and effortful **
b. slower and effortful; fast and effortless
c. fast and effortful; slower and effortless
d. slow and effortless; fast and effortful
90%, .19. One way of thinking about unconscious processing is that it is automatic -- fast and effortless. And the corresponding way of thinking about conscious processing is that it is controlled -- slow and effortful.
31. Which of the following best describes the organization of the attention in the brain?
a. Attentional mechanisms are probably implemented through mechanisms in the prefrontal cortex, but influences activity in many other areas. **
b. Attentional mechanisms are implemented primarily through the reticular activating formation and do not involve the prefrontal cortex.
c. Attention is very disperse and modulated by most parts of the brain, including the brain stem and cortex.
d. The mechanisms of attention remain unknown, due to the limitations of understanding consciousness.
69%, .21. So-called "higher", executive cognitive functions appear to be mediated by the prefrontal cortex -- which, you'll remember from the lectures on Biological Bases, is the most recent part of the brain to have evolved, and which is proportionally larger in humans than even in chimpanzees. One of the functions of the prefrontal cortex is to guide and maintain attention. The reticular activating system, and other parts of the brainstem, such as the pons, are responsible for maintaining a general state of alertness (which is why damage to the RAS causes coma). But they're not involved in attention per se. Note that I kept my promise, and you didn't have to know about the differential roles of various parts of the PFC -- that's for later courses. But the PFC as a whole -- that's for us.
32. Katrina is curled up in a fetal position, is very hard to wake up, and when awakened is disoriented, incoherent, and even begins to thrash around as you awaken her. She is likely in which stage of sleep?
a. stage 1
b. stage 2
c. stage 3 or 4 **
61%, .34. When you wake up out of Stage REM, which is different from Stage 1 or 2 (because these stages don't involve rapid eye movements) you're probably bright-eyed and bushy-tailed; and you probably remember having a dream. When you wake up out of Stage NREM, which constitutes Stage 3 and 4, you're groggy, disoriented, and you'd rather be dead.
33. When your body is too hot, a process called __________occurs. When your body is too cold, a process called __________ occurs.
a. vasoconstriction; vasodilation
b. vasodilation; vasoconstriction **
c. piloerection; hyperventilation
d. hyperventilation; piloerection
73%, .40. This is about homeostatic regulation, and the process by which the body maintains a relatively constant internal environment. When your body temperature rises, vasodilation occurs, which exposes more of your blood vessels to the surface of the body, which cools the blood, and thus the body. When your body temperature drops, vasoconstriction occurs, which keeps your blood vessels farther from the surface of the body, which keeps the blood warmer, and thus the body as a whole. It's a nice internal thermostat.
34. Evidence shows that people who go on "crash diets" and lose weight tend to return surprisingly rapidly to their starting weight as soon as they go off the diet. Also, dieters do not seem to lose nearly as much weight as one might expect based on caloric intake alone. These findings provide support for the idea of genetically determined bodily __________.
d. set points **
71%, .40. Although people can change their set points -- for example, by eating too many Big Macs and Super-Large Chili-Cheese Fries with Extra Sour Cream at too young an age -- the general idea is that the set point is largely genetically determined, and that weight gains and losses revolve around each individual's set point. When you go on a diet, you can lose weight, but when you go off it, you return to your previous setpoint. When you gorge yourself at your cousin's wedding reception, you gain weight, but as soon as you return to your normal eating habits, you'll return to your previous setpoint. It's another example of homeostatic regulation -- except that that the regulation is oriented around body weight rather than glucose levels.
35. How does aggression differ from such motives as thermoregulation and hunger?
a. The physiological basis of aggression is poorly understood; the physiological foundations of thermoregulation and hunger are clear.
b. Aggression is influenced by cultural factors; thermoregulation and hunger are not.
c. Aggression is regulated primarily by external rather than internal triggers. **
d. Human aggression is very different from aggression in other species; thermoregulation and hunger are similar across species.
43%, .08. A bad item. Don't know why, though. Thermoregulation and hunger operate, mostly, on the basis of homeostatic regulation and negative feedback. But aggression, like sex, isn't homeostatic in nature. More critically, while thermoregulation and hunger are mostly triggered by internal signals (body temperature and blood sugar levels), aggression -- and, for that matter, sex -- is mostly triggered by external stimuli.
36. How do humans and animals differ in their sexual response?
a. Human females are under strict hormonal control, but female animals are not.
b. Female animals are under strict hormonal control, but human females are not. **
c. Human males are reliant on testosterone for sexual arousal, while male animals are reliant on progesterone for sexual arousal.
d. Human males are reliant on progesterone for sexual arousal, while male animals are reliant on testosterone for sexual arousal.
69%, .43. By and large, nonhuman animals mate only in the service of procreation (bonobo chimpanzees might be the exception that tests the rule), so copulation occurs only when the female is "in season", capable of conceiving. But human sexuality is not so strictly tied to hormonal control -- in fact, it's quite likely that most human sexual activity occurs when the female is not capable of conceiving. Testosterone is a "male" hormone, and is important in the regulation of male sexual behavior, whether that of humans or nonhuman animals. And progesterone is a "female" hormone. (The forensic quotation marks are because females have some testosterone running around in them, and males have some progesterone.) But even so, mating among nonhuman animals seems to be under strict hormonal control, and only occurs when the female is physiologically ready to conceive (except for those darn bonobos, who are having more sex than your roommate). But hormonal control is much less critical for human sexuality.
37. Mr. and Mrs. Ozenne punish their children's failures, but rarely reward their successes, as these reflect what the children "are supposed to be doing anyway".
a. No. The Ozennes' parenting style may produce a fear of failure in their children, which may actually impede achievement. **
b. No. The Ozennes' parenting style may stimulate a desire for success in their children, but this is less important than a fear of failure for achievement.
c. Yes. The Ozennes' parenting style may produce a fear of failure in their children, which is critical for achievement.
d. Yes. The Ozennes' parenting style will spur a desire for success in their children, which is critical for achievement.
82%, .34. Something got lost in the wording of the item, but it got corrected, so no harm done. The point of the question was what impact the Ozenne's parenting style would have on their children's achievement motivation. Rewarding success can increase achievement motivation, but punishing failure -- which is not the same thing -- can induce a fear of failure that actually gets in the way of achievement, because the person is afraid of failure, and thus doesn't take the risk of trying. Perhaps the best parenting style, from the point of view of achievement motivation, is rewarding trying, and learning, and improving, which leads the child to develop a mastery orientation.
38. You've had a pounding headache all morning. It seems like it's all over your head, neck, and shoulders. The pain information will travel by the __________ pathway to the thalamus and the __________.
a. fast pain; amygdala
b. fast pain; cortex
c. slow pain; amygdala **
d. slow pain; cortex
32%, .13. A bad item. There are two kinds of pain, fast and slow. Fast pain is exemplified by a pinprick, it travels up the "fast pain" fibers to the thalamus and then to the cortex. Slow pain is exemplified by a headache, it travels up a separate set of "slow pain" fibers to the thalamus, and then to the amygdala. So there are at least two different kinds of pain, and they're mediated by different neural systems.
39. Although the groups in Schachter and Singer's study were exposed to the same angry confederate, one group reported more subsequent feelings of anger than the other. Why?
a. The angrier group had been injected with adrenaline.
b. The angrier group had to wait longer in the confederate's company.
c. The angrier group was not informed about the physical effects of the drug they were given. **
d. The angrier group had been led to expect that they would become angry.
20%, .23. The Cannon-Bard theory postulated that emotion was a state of general, undifferentiated physiological arousal. But Schachter and Singer argued that the different emotional states -- happiness and sadness, anger and fear -- had to come from somewhere. So they argued that our emotions reflected our cognitive appraisal of the environment in which physiological arousal occurred. So, when we become aroused, we look to our environment to understand why. And when we see someone behaving giddily, we feel happy; and when we see someone behave angrily, we feel happy. But that's only when our arousal level is surprising, and we're looking for an explanation. The control subjects in S&Ss experiment, who were told that their injection would cause them to feel aroused, needed no extra information. So they didn't look to the environment for clues as to what they were feeling, and they weren't influenced by the confederate. It's only the experimental group, who weren't told why they would feel aroused, who were influenced by the confederate.
40. Why do peripheral arguments often lead to persuasion?
a. They are forceful because they present critical facts that are persuasive.
b. They lead one to use rules of thumb, such as reliance on experts, to evaluate them regardless of the message.
c. They are more resistant to the effects of distracting events. **
d. All of the above answers are correct.
4%, .00. A really, really bad item. The peripheral route processes information automatically, and automatic processing is resistant to distraction -- the argument just gets right in your head. So Option C is right. But we use the peripheral route to persuasion when we don't care much about the topic, and this lack of motivation can also lead to a heuristic reliance on experts -- "she must know better than I do". So Option B is right, too. Most of you went for B, and most of the remainder went for D. But Option A is definitely wrong, and it was nice that only 3% of the class went for it. Still, it seemed better just to rescore the item correct for all responses. Note: This question was identical to Item #47 from the Summer 2010 Midterm 2, where the correct answer was given as B. And, as I say, Option B is right, too -- which is one of the things that made this a bad item. So what happened to change the correct answer from B to C.? I don't intentionally repeat questions, but I do draw some exam questions from a question bank prepared by the textbook publisher, and they repeated the question. And I thought the question was so nice I chose it twice, without recognizing that I had chosen it previously (this may represent a kind of unconscious priming effect)! The reason the answer changes is that, between Summer 2010 and Fall 2010 the textbook went through a new edition. The old (7th) edition of the text focused more on the role of heuristics, while the new (8th) edition of the text focused more on distraction, and doesn't actually mention heuristics at all. So they're both right, and both answers got credit, because we rescored this item correct for all responses.
41. When is informational influence most likely to result in conformity?
a. when men are conforming in the presence of women
b. when one is confused about what the correct answer to a question might be **
c. when one is worried about appearing foolish in front of others
d. when one is surrounded by people regarded as inferior in status
81%, .31. When we don't know what's going on, and what we should do, as in the Asch conformity experiments or Darley and Latane's experiments on bystander intervention, we look to other people for clues. We're looking for information, and we conform our behavior to that of others. Conformity has other sources, too. We conform so as not to look different, or foolish. But that's not an information influence. In the case of informational influence, we look to other people to help us figure out what's going on.
42. Pluralistic ignorance refers to the fact that __________.
a. if nobody knows what to do in an emergency, no action will be taken
b. when a large number of people is present, there is a tendency for bystanders to pretend that nothing is happening
c. when other bystanders do not take action, those present are likely to define the situation as a nonemergency **
d. in an emergency, large groups of people are easily swayed by a single dominant individual
87%, .26. Technically, pluralistic ignorance is a state of misinformation in which each member of a group believes, wrongly, that the others have more information than he or she does. This can lead to a misinterpretation of the situation -- such as in the bystander intervention experiments, where pluralistic ignorance leads to inaction, because the group seems to have defined the situation as a nonemergency.
43. Walter Mischel has argued that 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
89%, .35. This is about the personality coefficient. The correlation between general traits and specific behaviors is typically rather low, if statistically significant, because a whole host of factors other than traits determine how we will behave in some specific situation. The doctrine of traits assumes a relatively high degree of behavioral consistency across situations. But in fact, the level of consistency is typically quite modest, even low, precisely because other factors, including the perceived situation, influence what we will do and how we will respond.
44. According to Freudian theory, the __________ is governed by the __________ principle.
a. id; reality
b. superego; pleasure
c. ego; reality **
d. superego; pleasure
80%, .42. There was a typo here, in which Option D repeated Option B -- which was probably your first clue that neither one was correct. For Freud, the id is the source of the sexual and aggressive instincts, and operates on the pleasure principle -- it just wants to gratify its urges, and doesn't distinguish between gratification in reality and gratification in fantasy. The ego operates on the reality principle, searching the environment for an object in the real world that will actually satisfy the instinct. The superego searches for an object that is morally acceptable.
45. "People need more than food and sex. Sometimes the joy of doing something is reward enough." The person who says this is probably a __________.
b. humanist **
68%, .42. If humanistic psychology has one over-arching principle, it is that humans are different -- with all due respect to Darwin and the principle of evolutionary continuity, we're not just animals. There are specific human needs (like self-actualization and unconditional positive regard) that don't have a counterpart in the animal world, and psychology needs to take them into account.
46. Attributional style is used to predict which of the following?
a. how people will react in stressful situations
b. if a person is likely to suffer from depression
c. how a person identifies the causes of events in her life **
d. the nature of a person's perceived locus of control
64%, .24. Individual differences in personality go beyond traits such as friendliness and aggressiveness. Some are cognitive in nature. Attributional style refers to a person's characteristic way of thinking about the causes of events. When explaining the negative events that inevitably occur in the ordinary course of everyday living, some people are disposed to make stable, general, ,and internal attributions. They think they're always responsible for everything bad that happens. No wonder they get depressed. But attributional style doesn't just affect people's behavior under stress. It affects people's behavior in general. But again, as with Mischel's personality coefficient, there are limits to what attributional style can predict. It predicts how people will explain things. How they'll actually behave will be determined by a host of factors, not just attributional style or any other aspect of personality. Now how does Option C differ from Option D? Well, in a sense, attributional style is the person's locus of control, so it's not a predictor. Moreover, locus of control varies on only one dimension, internal vs. external. Attributional style goes beyond the internal-external dimension to include stable-variable and global-local as well.
47. Stimulus-response learning theory is an early example of the doctrine of:
b. situationism **
d. reciprocal determinism
57%, .14. Stimulus-response learning theory is the epitome of the doctrine of situationism, and the fundamental viewpoint from which the doctrine was derived. Situationism holds that the situation controls behavior -- not the person, with his traits, desires, feelings, and such (not least because the situation controls feelings and desires as well). S-R theory holds that behavior is controlled by the stimulus, and that all we need to understand what an organism learns, and does, is knowledge of the stimulus situation.
48. Assume for a moment that Mischel is right about the "personality coefficient". What empirical finding constitutes "the exception that tests the rule"?
a. Children's ability to resist temptation is correlated with their teachers' ratings on traits such as ego-control and ego-resiliency.
b. Voting behavior in presidential elections can be predicted by a person's general level of liberalism or conservatism. **
c. People who pretend they are not afraid actually experience less fear in stressful situations.
d. Intelligence tests are remarkably poor predictors of outcome measures such as personal income.
26%, .22. Most of the time, the predictive relationship between general traits and attitudes is quite modest, exemplified by Mischel's "pesonality coefficient" of .30 -- significantly different from zero, but not very strong. The primary exception is in political attitudes and behavior, where the correlation between political attitude (liberal vs. conservative) and behavior (voting for a Democrat vs. a Republican) is unbelievably high, approaching a perfect 1.0. Viewed against that exceptional correlation, the levels of predictive validity usually obtained for traits and attitudes seem modest indeed.
49. The "bystander intervention" studies of Darley and Latane show that:
a. People's behavior is more strongly affected by their personality traits (such as their level of altruism) than it is by features of the social situation.
b. People can change the character of a situation by their behavior in that situation. **
c. People are more likely to help in impersonal compared to personal situations.
d. People are more likely to have positive attitudes toward others who need help.
73%, .35.The bystander intervention studies can be used to illustrate the effect of the situation on behavior: the presence of others seems to deter helping (at least under some circumstances). But it turns out that it's the behavior of the other people that is decisive, not their mere presence. What deters helping behavior is that other people are sitting there doing nothing. They're looking to other people for cues as to what to think and how to behave, and because everybody is doing the same thing, namely nothing, this behavior effectively defines the situation as a nonemergency. Followup studies showed that when the other people actually make a move to help, or otherwise model helping behavior, then bystanders do take action. So, in the final analysis, the bystander intervention effect results from behavior, which changes the character of the situation.
50. In the Prisoner's Dilemma" game, players who perceive their opponent as competitive are more likely to defect than those who perceive him as cooperative. This illustrates the _____ mode of the person-situation interaction.
d. transformation **
21%, .27."transformation" means cognitive transformation, as opposed to behavioral manipulation. So the key term here is perceive. It doesn't matter whether the opponent really is competitive or cooperative. What matters is how he's perceived. And that perception of the opponent is a result of a cognitive transformation. Now, there are other effects as well. Competitive players may create a situation, by their competitive behavior, that elicits reciprocal competitive behavior from their opponents. That would be an example of a behavioral manipulation. And competitive players may choose to oppose another competitive player (or, for that matter, a cooperative one, whom they can play for a patsy). That would be an example of selection. But the question talked about perception, and that entails a cognitive transformation. If the player perceived their opponent as cooperative, they would be less likely to defect.
Retain this exam, along with a record of your answers.
A provisional answer key will be posted to the course website by 3:00 PM today.
The exam will be provisionally scored to identify and eliminate bad items.
The exam will then be rescored with bad items keyed correct for all responses.
Grades will be posted to the course website.
A final, revised, answer key, and analyses of the exam items,
will be posted on the course website when grades are posted.
Requests for rescoring must be received within one (1) week of the posting of grades