University of California, Berkeley
Department of Psychology

Psychology 1
Fall 1998

Midterm Examination 1

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.

1. The "Doctrine of Mentalism" states that :

a. mentalists and other magicians are fakes.
b. action is caused by thoughts, feelings, and desires.*
c. actions cause thoughts, feelings, and desires to occur.
d. nonhuman behaviors are caused by reflexes, but human behaviors are caused by mental states.

2. Psychology, as a social science, most closely resembles:

a. neuroanatomy and neurophysiology.
b. endocrinology.
c. ecology.*
d. evolutionary biology.

3. The psychological level of analysis involves:

a. reducing the laws of mind and behavior to the laws of physics.
b. understanding the operation of biochemical structures and processes.
c. understanding the individual's mental states.*
d. describing the sociocultural influences on behavior.

4. Psychology shares with sociology an interest in :

a. the nature of human existence.
b. the relation of individuals to society.*
c. the relations of humans to nonhuman animals.
d. the nature of the physical universe.

5. Studies of the rate at which blood flows through the brain show:

a . that blood flow is uniform.
b . that the rate depends on physiological function. *
c . that reading silently and aloud produce the same pattern.
d . none of the above

6. The major goal of contemporary psychology is to:

a . understand the causes of deviant behavior.
b . elucidate general principles of behavior. *
c . produce therapies for mental illness.
d . understand the biological mediators of behavior.

7. William James argued that psychological science should be functionalist in nature. By that he meant that:

a. anatomy and physiology were irrelevant to psychology.
b. psychology should be concerned only with stimulus inputs and response outputs.
c. the workings of the brain should be studied for their own sake, not for what they can tell us about mind and behavior.
d. psychology is the relations between mind and environment.*

8. At the tissue level of biological organization:

a. neurons correspond to cells.
b. nerves are composed of afferent and efferent neurons.*
c. ganglia and nuclei are composed of nerves.
d. the nervous system is the only way that organs in the body communicate with each other.

9. The word "reflex" has its origin in:

a Descartes's belief that the energy from the outside is reflected back by the nervous system to the animal's muscles.*
b . Descartes's belief that animals act as automatons but people are rational and have souls.
c . Descartes's desire to explain coughing and sneezing without reference to the soul.
d Descartes's idea that the pineal gland mediates the relation between the nonmaterial mind and the material brain.

10. Afferent is to efferent as:

a . under is to over.
b . central is to peripheral.
c . voluntary is to automatic.
d . coming in is to going out.*

11. Drugs can act on neurons in a variety of ways. Which is a fairly UNCOMMON way?

a . blocks conduction down the axon*
b . stimulates release of a neurotransmitter
c . blocks receptor sites, thus making neurotransmitters less effective
d . interferes with the recycling of neurotransmitters

12. A rat can walk, chew, swallow, and track moving objects with its eyes, but it cannot find food or water for itself. These observations most suggest that:

a . the limbic system and lower regions are intact, but the cerebral cortex is damaged.
b . the midbrain and lower regions are intact, but the forebrain is damaged.*
c . the medulla and cerebellum are intact, but the midbrain is damaged.
d . the spinal cord is intact, but the medulla and cerebellum are damaged.

13. In which of the following would you expect neurons to be most reliably activated by stimulation of a nerve coming in from the skin of the knee?

a . frontal lobe
b . parietal lobe*
c . occipital lobe
d . temporal lobe

14. Suppose a spoon is felt only by the left hand of a blindfolded right-handed split-brain patient. After the blindfold is removed, he will be most able to:

a . point to a picture of a spoon with the left hand.*
b . say the word "spoon."
c . recognize the word "spoon" flashed on a screen off to his left.
d . write the word "spoon."

15. The action of the parasympathetic nervous system:

a. mobilizes the entire body for flight or fight.
b. decreases emotional responses to environmental stresses.*
c. is directed toward the muscles and tendons, rather than the internal organs.
d. increases the sympathetic activation in the face of prolonged exposure to stress.

16. In paraplegia, responses mediated by sections of the spinal cord above the site of the break are:

a. not possible.
b. available to direct conscious awareness.*
c. involuntary but not voluntary.
d. exaggerated, compared to normal.

17. The brain of the very young human fetus resembles that of a snake or frog in that:

a. the cerebral cortex is barely visible.*
b. forebrain structures are larger than hindbrain structures.
c. most brain tissue is devoted to cerebral cortex, rather than subcortex.
d. none of the above.

18. Damage to the hippocampus and related subcortical structures can cause:

a. deficits in perceiving, but not expressing, emotion.
b. deficits in remembering recent events, but not in remembering new information.
c. deficits in eating and drinking behavior.
d. problems in speech and language.

19. Damage to frontal lobe structures near the lateral fissure would be most likely to cause:

a. problems in speaking but not understanding language.*
b. problems in reading but not writing.
c. problems in understanding language but not in speaking.
d. problems in writing but not in reading.

20. A sharp blow near the _____ lobe might well cause a person to "see stars".

a. frontal
b. temporal
c. parietal
d. occipetal*

21. When we say that motives potentiate some feelings and behaviors, we mean that they:

a . make some feelings and behaviors more likely than others.*
b . act as positive feedback systems for those feelings and behaviors.
c . set up opponent processes for those feelings and behaviors.
d . are essentially like the input component of Descartes's machines.

22. Which brain structure is responsible for temperature regulation?

a . pituitary
b . hypothalamus*
c . pons
d . medulla

23. Which of the following produces drinking?

a . decrease in total blood volume*
b . an increase in blood glucose concentration
c . heating of the posterior hypothalamus
d . a and c

24. One plausible reason that some people are constitutionally predisposed to become obese is that they:

a . absorb calories more efficiently than normal. *
b . have more neurons than normal in particular areas of their hypothalamus.
c . live in a culture in which food for most people is abundant.
d . burn nutrients less efficiently than normal.

25. The _____ of the autonomic nervous system is responsible for preparing the body to spend energy for an emergency.

a . homeostatic branch
b . activating branch
c . sympathetic branch*
d . parasympathetic branch

26. Why might REM sleep sometimes be called "paradoxical" sleep?

a . The EEG appears like that of deep sleep, but the person is almost awake.
b . Alpha waves intrude into an EEG record that otherwise looks very similar to that during wakefulness.
c . The sleeper's postural muscles are tense, yet she is sound asleep.
d . The EEG resembles that of wakefulness, yet the person is definitely relaxed and asleep. *

27. A drug addict will need more of a drug than a first-time drug user to get the same effect. This most specifically illustrates:

a . addiction.
b . tolerance. *
c . withdrawal symptom.
d . learning.

28. Fixed-action patterns are normally elicited by genetically pre-programmed:

a . pair-bonding.
b . sexually arousing photographs.
c . releasing stimuli. *
d . aggressive behavior.

29. Physical battles between animals usually end when one of the combatants:

a . is dead, or too badly injured to continue.
b . communicates submission with an appeasement signal. *
c . intimidates the other with a threat signal.
d . finds himself in his own territory.

30. In which of the following situations should the male be choosier than the female about whom he mates with?

a . when the male must show colorful plumage and a complex courtship display
b . when several males in succession mate with one female
c . when the reproductive group is a dominant male and several females
d . when the male cares for the infants *

31. The young of many bird and mammal species become "attached" to their mothers. Certain ethologists believe that this phenomenon is the product of a basic biological fact, namely:

a . that the mother-infant relationship helps the infant to learn how to acquire later social ties.
b . that animals who are alone are most vulnerable to starvation and predators. *
c . that all infants must be fed.
d . that imprinting can only occur during a "critical period."

32. Comparisons of blind and normally sighted human infants strongly suggest that facial expressions of emotions are:

a . learned primarily by imitation.
b . learned mostly through social reinforcement.
c . learned during a critical period from 6 months to 3 years.
d . largely built-in responses. *

33. On the face of it, altruism seems to go against evolutionary principles. Why?

a . because there is little or no apparent personal gain for the altruist *
b . because altruistic animals are usually less "fit"
c . because altruism is unrelated to genetic inheritance
d . because it is rare and most animals engage in it to about the same degree

34. The adaptive significance of habituation is that it:

a . greatly attenuates the effects of sensitization.
b . allows animals to ignore familiar but harmless stimuli.*
c . paves the way for associative conditioning.
d . keeps neurons active that otherwise might degenerate.

35. In classical conditioning an unreinforced trial is one in which:

a . the CR does not appear.
b . the CS is not presented.
c . the US is not presented. *
d . the orienting action does not appear.

36. Instincts and fixed action patterns are limiting because:

a. the organism cannot respond if its spinal cord is damaged.
b. the organism cannot respond to new stimuli in a changed environment.*
c. the organism spontaneously produces new behaviors which interferes with the established ones.
d. the are available only to reptiles and birds, not mammals.

37. When a classically conditioned response is extinguished:

a. it will occur even when the conditioned stimulus is not presented.
b. it has been forgotten by the organism and must be relearned.
c. it can recover spontaneously after a period of time.*
d. savings in relearning occurs in the absence of spontaneous recovery.

38. According to Thorndike's Law of Exercise:

a. animals must be able to move about the environment in order to learn.
b. the organism can learn only when its physiological needs (e.g., hunger and thirst) have been met.
c. responses which have been punished may extinguish, but they will spontaneously recover.
d. stimulus-response connections must be practiced or they will be lost.*

39. Which of the following conditioning procedures will yield the fastest acquisition?

a. The onset of the conditioned stimulus is simultaneous with the onset of the unconditioned stimulus.
b. The unconditioned stimulus precedes the conditioned stimulus, so that the organism will pay attention.
c. The offset of the conditioned stimulus precedes the onset of the unconditioned stimulus by several seconds.*
d. The unconditioned stimulus is occasionally presented in the absence of the conditioned stimulus.

40. An animal is presented with a conditioning procedure in which tone is followed by shock after 1 second. After acquiring a conditioned fear response, the animal is then presented simultaneously with a tone and a light, followed by no shock. After several trials, the animal's responses to the tone and light are tested separately. The most likely result of the experiment is:

a. The animal will respond to the tone but not the light.*
b. The animal will respond to the light but not the tone.
c. The animal will show fast acquisition on subsequent trials when the light is paired with shock.
d. The animal will respond to neither the tone nor the light.

41. Observational learning:

a. can occur for unprepared but not prepared stimulus-response associations.
b. occurs only when the learner has direct experience of reinforcement.
c. shows that reinforcement is necessary for learning to occur.
d. none of the above.*

42. A big difference between classical and operant conditioning is that in classical conditioning the UCS is presented:

a . on each trial.
b . shortly after the other crucial event.
c . no matter what the subject does.*
d . more often in the early training than later.

43. In order to shape an animal to perform a difficult response, which of the following procedures should NOT be followed?

a . provide a clear signal for the arrival of reinforcement
b . present the reinforcement immediately after the response is performed
c . initially reinforce approximations to the desired response
d . work with the most difficult component in the response sequence first *

44. A dog receives twenty trials on which he gets a tone and meat powder in various combinations. On nine of the trials, he gets tone and meat powder; on one trial, he gets tone and no meat powder; on one trial, he gets meat powder and no tone; on nine trials, he gets no tone and no meat powder. In this situation, there is:

a . a contingency between tone and meat powder. *
b . a contingency between tone and absence of meat powder.
c . a negative contingency.
d . a zero contingency.

45. Which of the following is the most convincing evidence that an animal has learned by insight rather than by trial and error?

a . smooth, continuous performance
b . absence of errors
c . sudden drop in learning curve
d . wide and appropriate transfer *

46. An experimenter examines the effects of food deprivation on the sensory thresholds for sweet tastes. To this end, the experimenter deprives different groups of rats of food for various lengths of time and then determines their thresholds for sweet solutions. In this experiment, the number of hours of deprivation constitute the:

a . independent variable. *
b . dependent variable.
c . frequency distribution of the deprivation variable.
d . central tendency of the variable.

47. In the following distribution, 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 5, number 3 is the:

a . mode.
b . median.
c . average.
d . all of the above*

48. To evaluate her baseball ability relative to the other members of her team, Jill and the other team members take a baseball skills test. After taking the test, Jill calculates her z-score and finds that it equals zero. Therefore:

a . Jill is the worst player on her team.
b . Jill is the best player on her team.
c . Jill is average in ability relative to her teammates. *
d . Jill's ability cannot be determined from the above data.

49. A scatter diagram of two variables shows that the line of best fit slopes downward from left to right. This tells us that the correlation between the two variables is:

a . sizable.
b . negligible.
c . positive.
d . negative. *

50. The null hypothesis states that:

a . an obtained score, although different in magnitude from the mean, is not significantly different from the mean.
b . all scores must fall within two standard deviations about the mean.
c . an obtained score falls within the normally expected variability about a mean.
d . a and c *