reasons to study psychology




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Indicate the answer choice that best completes the statement or answers the question.

1. One of the reasons to study psychology is to

a. better understand human behavior.

b. learn how to manipulate others for personal gain.

c. utilize it in combination with the field of astrology in predicting human behavior.

d. have the answers to all of life’s questions.

2. An industrial-organizational psychologist conducts an experiment to determine whether having control over difficult

tasks reduces stress for game designers and finds this explanation to be true. Drawing on the results of similar

experiments, this psychologist explains these overall findings by creating a

a. hypothesis.

b. testable observation.

c. theory.

d. law.

3. The more general the prediction a fortune teller or palmist makes, the more believable are the results. This fact has been

called the

a. Guilford effect.

b. phenologist’s fallacy.

c. Barnum effect.

d. Gall fallacy.

4. Simister and Cooper decided to find out if there is a relationship between crime and the weather. They obtained data on

temperatures and criminal activity in Los Angeles over a four-year period. When they graphed air temperature and the

frequency of aggravated assaults, they found that assaults and temperatures rise and fall more or less in parallel.

Therefore, knowing the temperature in Los Angeles now allows us to

a. predict the number of aggravated assaults.

b. explain why aggravated assaults occur.

c. prevent aggravated assaults from occurring.

d. do all of these.

5. Which of the following is NOT one of the six elements of the scientific method?

a. making observations

b. intuitive analysis

c. proposing a hypothesis

d. theory building

6. In an experiment to determine if meditation increases mental concentration, the group of subjects who would be

required to meditate would be the __________ group.

a. dependent

b. independent

c. experimental

d. control

7. Which of the following psychological approaches is matched correctly to its view of human nature?




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a. behaviorist——————positive, philosophical view

b. humanistic——————neutral, scientific, somewhat mechanistic view

c. psychodynamic————somewhat negative, pessimistic view

d. cognitive——————–positive, philosophical view

8. A person who praises his or her dog for its loyalty and devotion to its master is committing a(n)

a. deductive-inductive confusion.

b. scientific generalization.

c. the Barnum effect.

d. anthropomorphic error.

9. You have discovered a new vitamin that you believe will improve memory in the elderly. Your best bet for accurately

testing the effectiveness of the vitamin would be to use

a. naturalistic observation.

b. the experimental method.

c. case histories.

d. the survey method.

10. The study of similarities and differences in the behavior of different species is called

a. biology.

b. comparative psychology.

c. environmental psychology.

d. differential psychology.

11. Many teachers underestimate the abilities of ethnic minority children in their classes, which may hurt the students’

chances for success due to the occurrence of a(n)

a. Barnum effect.

b. anthropomorphic error.

c. placebo effect.

d. self-fulfilling prophecy.

12. Regarding psychology and cultural diversity, which of the following statements is FALSE?

a. Currently, over 100 million Americans are African American, Hispanic, Asian American, Native American, or

Pacific Islander.

b. In some large cities, “minority” groups are already the majority.

c. In the past, psychology was based mostly on the cultures of North America and Europe.

d. The interactionist view of human nature that emphasizes that behavior is related to one’s environment is

referred to as the evolutionary perspective.

13. Which of the following is the best description of a research method?

a. an intuitive process by which cause and effect can be established

b. a systematic process for answering scientific questions

c. any experiment that lacks a control group

d. an investigative observation that relies on commonsense reasoning




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14. Which of the following psychological professionals is allowed to prescribe drugs in all 50 states of the United States?

a. counselor

b. therapist

c. psychiatrist

d. psychologist

15. An environmental psychologist helps redesign a college dorm to reduce feelings of crowding. The psychologist’s

work reflects which of psychology’s goals?

a. description

b. control

c. prediction

d. understanding

16. Placebos have such a strong effect on people because

a. only medical doctors can prescribe them.

b. their impact is immediate.

c. their impact is long-term.

d. they alter conscious and unconscious expectations.

17. Brain mechanisms involved in hunger and thirst would most likely be studied by a

a. personality theorist.

b. sensory psychologist.

c. learning theorist.

d. biopsychologist.

18. To assess your personality, a graphologist would want to

a. study your handwriting.

b. examine the shape of your skull.

c. study your palm.

d. record your brain waves with an EEG.

19. After a football game, several well-respected citizens of this town participate in tearing down the goal posts. This

behavior that occurs in groups would be of primary interest to __________ psychologists.

a. comparative

b. developmental

c. social

d. community

20. Experiments can determine cause-and-effect relationships with the effects being measured by the __________variable.

a. extraneous

b. independent

c. correlational

d. dependent




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21. Jake is a psychologist, who is interested in how people’s behavior is affected by the language they speak, the foods

they eat, the laws they obey, and how their families disciplined when they were children. Jake is most likely a

__________ psychologist.

a. learning

b. cultural

c. community

d. cognitive

22. In an experiment, if the obtained results would occur by chance in less than five experiments out of 100, the results

a. were randomly assigned.

b. cannot be replicated.

c. were statistically significant.

d. were part of a meta-analysis.

23. The functionalists were interested in how thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and habits help people and animals

a. form meaningful Gestalts.

b. introspect and experience the phi phenomenon.

c. adapt to their environment.

d. form connections between stimuli and responses.

24. Which psychologist said, “Give me a dozen healthy infants … and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train

him to become any type of specialist I might select …”?

a. William James

b. Ivan Pavlov

c. Sigmund Freud

d. John Watson

25. You see a psychologist and tell her that you are feeling depressed. The psychologist talks to you about your past and

attempts to link your present situation with unconscious patterns developed in your childhood as you interacted with your

parents. The psychologist would probably belong to which school of psychology?

a. humanistic psychology

b. behaviorism

c. psychoanalytic psychology

d. Gestalt psychology

26. Psychology’s history as a science began in

a. 1848 at Harvard University.

b. 1879 in Leipzig, Germany.

c. 1895 in Vienna, Austria.

d. 1905 in Paris, France.

27. A study at the U.S. Air Force Academcy Preparatory School demonstrated that students’ performances can be affected

by teachers’ expectations. These results are best explained by the fact that

a. studies in the field are more unpredictable than those in the laboratory.

b. naturalistic observation pointed out differences not controlled by a laboratory experiment.




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c. the teachers subtly communicated their expectations to the students, which created a

self-fulfilling prophecy.

d. the two groups were really not equal in their ability at the start of the experiment.

28. In a study of effects of alcohol on driving ability, the control group should be given

a. a high dosage of alcohol.

b. one-half the dosage given the experimental group.

c. a driving test before and after drinking alcohol.

d. no alcohol at all.

29. Which of the following involves basic research?

a. designing an easily read display screen for space capsules

b. determining the optimal rate for presenting information to a computer keyboard

c. measuring the average storage capacity of the human short-term memory system

d. measuring the average rate of dark adaptation to set night flying rules for pilots

30. The study of human strengths, virtues, and optimal behavior is called __________ psychology.

a. positive

b. psychodynamic

c. sociocultural

d. cognitive

31. Sid believes his dreams forecast the future. He describes all the dreams that came true in the last month. His friend

Joey asks him about all the times his dreams did not come true. Sid’s tendency to remember the times his dreams came

true and forget the times they did not is known as

a. the confirmation bias.

b. the Barnum Effect.

c. the observer effect.

d. critical thinking.

32. In observing the changes in their clients during therapy, psychologists often believe they get better results when using

the type of therapy they favor. This illustrates the

a. Barnum effect.

b. observer effect.

c. observer bias.

d. anthropomorphic error.

33. Which of the following statements concerning psychodynamic psychology is FALSE?

a. Freud’s ideas have been altered so much that few strictly psychoanalytic psychologists are left.

b. Like Freud’s theory, psychodynamic theories continue to emphasize internal motives, conflicts, and

unconscious forces.

c. Neo-Freudians revised parts of Freud’s theory, often placing less emphasis on sex and aggression and more on

social motives and relationships.

d. Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers were two well-known neo-Freudians.




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34. An advertisement promising to “unlock your hidden potential in just two hours!” should be suspect because

a. it is an oversimplification.

b. it is based on single cases and testimonials.

c. the experience is not repeatable.

d. correlation does not mean causation.

35. Your best friend passes you in the school hallway and glares at you without speaking. You think, “Now, why did she

do that?” One possible explanation could be that she saw you flirting with her boyfriend. Within the framework of the

scientific method, this possible explanation for your friend’s behavior will remain tentative until it is tested by your asking

your friend why she did not speak. Thus, this tentative, possible explanation would be considered a(n)

a. theory.

b. operational definition.

c. hypothesis.

d. relative certainty.

36. The findings from naturalistic observations allow us to

a. describe behavior.

b. predict behavior.

c. explain behavior.

d. establish clear cause-and-effect relationships.

37. A small, randomly selected part of a larger population that accurately reflects characteristics of the whole population

is known as a

a. correlation group.

b. control group.

c. representative sample.

d. balance-bias sample.

38. Psychology became a science in 1879 when psychologists began to

a. avoid deductive thinking.

b. understand the relationship between humans and animals.

c. use machines to record the behaviors of organisms.

d. make observations, perform experiments, and seek information.

39. To solve problems in your life, a Gestalt psychologist might

a. recommend the use of rewards and punishments.

b. suggest that you explore patterns in your behavior as a whole rather than analyzing each individual action.

c. suggest that you analyze the psychological events in your life into pieces, or “elements.”

d. recommend that you examine the unconscious conflicts in your life through a free association exercise.

40. Which psychologists would most likely equally engage in both applied and basic research?

a. developmental

b. clinical

c. cultural

d. sensation and perception




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41. A practitioner with an M.D. or Ph.D., who receives further training in the theories and therapy techniques developed

by Sigmund Freud is probably a

a. psychiatrist.

b. psychoanalyst.

c. clinical therapist.

d. counseling psychologist.

42. Psychologists study behavior directly by systematically collecting data, or __________ facts.

a. commonsense

b. deduced

c. observed

d. inferred

43. Students who do better in high school tend to do better in college. This is an example of a __________ correlation.

a. negative

b. zero

c. positive

d. perfect

44. Simister and Cooper decided to find out if there is a relationship between crime and the weather. They obtained data

on temperatures and criminal activity in Los Angeles over a four-year period. When they graphed air temperature and the

frequency of aggravated assaults, they found that assaults and temperatures rise and fall more or less in parallel. Simister

and Cooper conducted a(n) __________ study.

a. naturalistic observation

b. statistical inventory

c. correlational

d. experimental

45. Regarding placebos, which of the following statements is FALSE?

a. In a drug study, the participants in the experimental group get the placebo and those in the control group get

the real drug.

b. Doctors sometimes prescribe placebos, especially for complaints that seem to have no physical basis.

c. If a placebo has any effect, it must be based on suggestion, rather than chemistry.

d. Placebos have been shown to affect pain, anxiety, depression, alertness, tension, sexual arousal, and cravings

for alcohol.

46. Edward Titchener called Wundt’s ideas structuralism because he tried to analyze the structure of mental life into

a. archetypes.

b. behavioral principles.

c. five stages of “psychosexual” development.

d. basic “elements” or “building blocks.”

47. In-depth studies of the brain injuries of Phineas Gage and Michael Melnick are examples of

a. correlational studies.




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b. field experiments.

c. natural clinical tests.

d. surveys.

48. To assess your personality, a person who practices palmistry would want to

a. study your handwriting.

b. examine the bumps on your head.

c. study the lines and creases on your palm.

d. place you into a trance-like state.

49. Jane goes to a phrenologist. What can she expect from this pseudopsychologist?

a. He will predict her future by reading the lines on her palms.

b. He will explain her personality traits by feeling the bumps on her skull.

c. He will explain her personality traits by analyzing a copy of her handwriting.

d. He will explain how her life is influenced by the position of the stars and planets at her birth.

50. We can draw conclusions about a larger group of people by randomly selecting a smaller group. The entire larger

group of people is known as the

a. natural clinical trial.

b. representative sample.

c. population.

d. conglomerate.

51. Psychology is best defined as the

a. empirical study of the human personality.

b. study of individual differences in the group behavior of humans and animals.

c. scientific study of overt behavior and mental processes.

d. scientific study of the relationship between mind and body.

52. A researcher has surveyed several thousand introductory psychology students across the country regarding their views

of dating. Because all of his participants were introductory psychology students, this researcher’s findings

a. are totally invalidated.

b. will have limitations regarding their meaning.

c. are completely valid because all college students have to take introductory psychology.

d. cannot be published until they have been replicated at least two more times.

53. In survey studies, answers to questions regarding sex, drinking, drug use, income, and church attendance tend to be

less than truthful, indicating a distinct

a. courtesy bias.

b. actor-observer bias.

c. halo effect.

d. Barnum effect.

54. Critical thinking includes which of the following?

a. a strong reliance on commonsense reasoning




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b. the sincere and convincing testimony of a recognized expert

c. the ability to admit that one can be wrong about one’s ideas

d. being persuaded more by the amount of evidence presented

55. Which of the following popularized the pseudopsychology known as phrenology?

a. Wilhelm Wundt

b. Max Wertheimer

c. Franz Gall

d. Edward Titchener

56. In keeping an observational record, which of the following methods tends to be the most objective?

a. video recording

b. rating scale used by a single observer

c. behavioral assessment by a single observer

d. at least three intersubjective observers

57. The correlation between shoe size and intelligence would be

a. -1.00.

b. +1.00.

c. 0.00.

d. impossible to calculate.

58. In their attempts to analyze consciousness into its elements, the structuralists used a method called

a. conditioning.

b. Gestalt synthesis.

c. natural selection.

d. introspection.

59. The scientific method is NOT based on which of the following?

a. a careful collection of evidence

b. accurate descriptions and measurements

c. repeatable results

d. theoretical projection and intuitive analysis

60. A researcher is testing the effectiveness of a new math program. The extraneous variables, such as temperature and

lighting, will best be controlled by

a. randomly assigning students to rooms of varying temperature and light intensity.

b. randomly selecting the rooms in which the students will be taught.

c. making the temperature and the amount of light the same for all the rooms.

d. letting the students select the room temperature and lighting in which they are most comfortable.

61. Patrick borrows his mother’s car keys and tries to start the car as he has seen his parents do so often. Their neighbor,

who is a psychologist, explained that Patrick modeled his parents’ driving behavior because he had the expectation of

being rewarded with the fun of driving. This explanation best fits which psychological viewpoint?

a. psychobehaviorism




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b. Gestalt psychology

c. psychoanalysis

d. cognitive behaviorism

62. Which broad perspective in modern psychology seeks to explain behavior in terms of brain processes, evolution, and


a. sociocultural

b. behavioristic

c. psychodynamic

d. biological

63. Kevin is a law student, who reads an advertisement for a sleep-learning device that claims to have helped a law

student pass the state bar exam. Kevin should

a. immediately order this device because the correlation is evidence of the device causing the law student to pass

the bar.

b. immediately order this device because a correct inference can be made from this observation.

c. order the device because systematic research has shown that these devices really work.

d. not order the device because an individual case tells nothing about what is true in general.

64. Systems, such as astrology and graphology, enjoy wide popularity because of their

a. uncritical acceptance.

b. scientific basis.

c. accuracy in predicting people’s future behavior.

d. cost.

65. Inez Beverly Prosser is best known

a. for writing the first American psychology textbook.

b. as the first African-American female to be awarded a Ph.D. in 1933.

c. as the first woman President of the American Psychological Association.

d. as a comparative psychologist, who wrote an influential book on animal behavior, titled The Animal Mind.

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