University of California, Berkeley
Department of Psychology

Psychology 1
Fall 2000

Midterm Examination 1
Preliminary Answer Key

Correct answers are marked with an asterisk (*).


1. The doctrine of mentalism states that:

A. behavior, not mental life, is the true subject matter of psychology.
B. emotion and motivation are primitive mental processes.
C. a proper theory in psychology should be programmable on a high-speed computer.
D.* what people do is caused by what they think, feel, and want.

2. Psychology is partly a biological science because:

A.* the brain is the physical basis of mind.
B. psychological principles are ultimately reducible to neurological principles.
C. only natural sciences like biology and physics are testable.
D. it is impossible to quantify social processes.

3. Anecdotal evidence should be viewed skeptically because it does NOT involve:

A. appropriate sample sizes.
B. credible eyewitnesses.
C. testable ideas about behavior.
D.* systematic data collection.

4. Unlike the results of most experiments, correlational studies tend to have:

A. interrater reliability.
B. internal validity.
C. confounds.
D.* causal ambiguity.

5. In a ______________ sample, subgroups are represented in proportions equal to their occurrence in a larger, naturally occurring, group of people.

A.* stratified
B. matched
C. random
D. planned

6. On a certain questionnaire the sex of a subject is indicated as 1 if female and 2 if male. These numbers are an example of a(n):

A.* nominal scale.
B. ordinal scale.
C. interval scale.
D. ratio scale.

7. In the distribution, 1 2 5 7 7 9 10 10 10 12, the mode is:

A. 7.
B. 7.3.
C. 8.
D.* 10.

8. In golf the better one's ability, the lower are one's golf scores. Golfing ability and golf scores are:

A.* negatively correlated.
B. positively correlated.
C. related according to their square roots.
D. too variable to be correlated.

9. If one obtains a critical ratio of 5, then:

A. one can be absolutely confident in rejecting the null hypothesis.
B. one should accept the null hypothesis.
C.* one should accept the alternative hypothesis.
D. the difference between means was less than the standard error.

10. The functionalist perspective in psychology, elaborated by James, Dewey and Angell, asserted that:

A. complex mental states are composed of elementary associations.
B. mental states are assembled from elementary sensations, images, and feelings.
C.* mind is the basis for the organism�s adaptive behavior.
D. psychology is the study of behavior, not the study of mind.

11. A general characteristic of the primary motor areas is that:

A.* the amount of tissue devoted to a specific area is related to that area's function.
B. the primary motor area contains the sensory area that corresponds to the same area of the body.
C. they are localized in only two lobes of the cerebral hemispheres.
D. the location of a neuron in the primary motor area depends on the importance of the body area to which that neuron corresponds.

12. In right-handed individuals, the __________ of the human brain has been shown to be important for recognizing faces, comprehending spatial relationships, and perception of music.

A. occipital lobe
B.* right hemisphere
C. frontal lobe
D. left hemisphere

13. After the spinal cord is disconnected from the brain some spinal reflexes have lowered thresholds. This phenomenon best illustrates the concept of:

A. temporal summation.
B. apraxia.
C. reciprocal inhibition.
D.* disinhibition.

14. Which of the following cannot be used for signaling the intensity of a stimulus?

A. the type of neuron activated (e.g., low vs. high threshold neurons)
B. the number of neurons activated
C.* amplitude of action potentials
D. the frequency of firing along axons

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

A.* blocking conduction down the axon
B. stimulating release of a neurotransmitter
C. blocking receptor sites, thus making neurotransmitters less effective
D. interfering with the recycling of neurotransmitters

16. In young children, recovery of speech and other brain functions following injury is more likely than it is for adults. Thus, we say that a child's brain has:

A. less specificity.
B. more specificity.
C. less plasticity.
D.* more plasticity.

17. Which of the following best exemplifies the concept of positive feedback?

A. panting by a dog, which lowers body temperature on a hot day
B.* the start of an argument, where one person raises his voice, causing the other person to raise his voice, which in turn makes the first person shout
C. vasoconstriction when body temperature drops below a certain level
D. a person who walks two hundred miles through snow to get a beer but is so cold when she gets there she takes cocoa instead

18. Vasoconstriction is a __________ of the blood's capillaries that occurs when your body is too __________.

A. widening; cold
B. widening; hot
C.* narrowing; cold
D. narrowing; hot

19. Which of the following would not be a signal for an organism to drink?

A. a drop in blood pressure
B. an increase in salt concentration in the hypothalamus
C.* a drop in blood sugar level
D. a chemical messenger released by the kidney

20. Decreasing signs of emotion in Selye�s "general adaptation syndrome" are most likely due to:

A. activation of the sympathetic nervous system.
B.* activation of the parasympathetic nervous system.
C. activation of the peripheral nervous system.
D. activation of the somatic nervous system.

21. Predatory attacks and attacks in self-defense:

A. are behaviorally indistinguishable.
B.* are controlled by different areas of the brain.
C. both entail rage.
D. all of the above

22. In order for the cerebral cortex to govern its own level of arousal it seems essential to have neural connections from:

A. one hemisphere to the other hemisphere via the corpus callosum.
B. the cortex to the autonomic nervous system.
C. the hypothalamus to the cortex.
D.* the cortex to subcortical systems in the mid- and hindbrain.

23. A patient loses the ability to speak, but retains the ability to understand what is said to her. She probably has suffered damage in the:

A. frontal lobe, near the cerebral commissure.
B.* frontal lobe, near the lateral fissure.
C. parietal lobe, near the central fissure.
D. temporal lobe, near the lateral fissure.

24. When we compare the brains of humans to those of non-mammalian species, we observe that:

A. proportionally more brain tissue is devoted to cerebral cortex, especially in the occipital lobe.
B. proportionally more brain tissue is devoted to hindbrain structures.
C. proportionally more brain tissue is devoted to midbrain structures.
D.* proportionally more brain tissue is devoted to the frontal lobes.

25. Natural selection refers to the process or principle:

A. whereby organisms can identify mates of their own species.
B. whereby animals avoid potentially harmful foods.
C. that explains how environmental factors limit natural resources.
D.* that explains why organisms with certain hereditary attributes will eventually outnumber organisms who lack these attributes.

26. Fixed-action patterns (instincts) are normally elicited by genetically pre-programmed:

A. pair-bonding.
B. sexually arousing photographs.
C.* releasing stimuli.
D. aggressive behavior.

27. Most truly aggressive encounters take place between:

A.* males of the same species.
B. predator and prey.
C. males and females of the same species.
D. members of different species competing for food.

28. In most animal species the final choice of a mate is made by:

A. the male, who usually initiates courtship.
B.* the female, who bears the major costs of reproduction.
C. both male and female equally, during courtship.
D. the arbitrary mechanisms of chance.

29. One disadvantage of innate stimulus-response tendencies such as instincts is that:

A.* they do not permit rapid adaptation to new environments.
B. they show that evolutionary processes can affect body parts, but not behaviors..
C. they do not support complex behavioral activities.
D. they mediate nonsocial behaviors, but not social interactions.

30. 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

31. An animal is conditioned to salivate to a tone of 400 cycles per second (cps, or Hertz). On further trials, we reinforce a new tone of 350 cps with food, while another new tone of 450 cps is not reinforced. We find that:

A. initially, the animal responds to neither of the new stimuli.
B. it responds more to the tone of 450 cps than to the 350 cps tone.
C. it responds more to a tone of 350 cps than to one of 450 cps.
D.* eventually, the animal will respond to the 350 cps tone but not the 450 cps tone.

32. In a classical conditioning experiment, the magnitude of the response to the __________ varies with the number of CS-US pairings.

A.* CS
C. orienting reflex
D. unconditioned reflex

33. Stimulus generalization is said to have occurred when:

A.* a number of stimuli produce the same response.
B. one stimulus produces several responses.
C. the US produces the CR.
D. the CS produces the UR.

34. In Thorndike's law of effect, what determines whether the response will be strengthened or weakened?

A. latency of the response
B. goal of the animal
C.* consequences of the response
D. animal's noticing the connection between act and consequence

35. In backward conditioning:

A.* the CS is uninformative about the onset of the US.
B. the CR is presented shortly after the UR.
C. there is a fairly high ratio of unreinforced trials.
D. all of the above

36. What general principle of learning was most seriously challenged by the results of learned taste aversion studies?

A. the contingency principle
B. the principle of preparedness
C. the assumption of the passive organism
D.* the equipotentiality (arbitrariness) principle

37. In order to demonstrate that an organism is responding on the basis of a learned concept rather than on the basis of a specific stimulus, one must demonstrate that:

A.* learning transfers to a situation with perceptually different stimuli.
B. learning persists over many trials on many consecutive days.
C. the animal can use symbols to correctly select its response.
D. all of the above

38. In classical conditioning, organisms are learning to _____ their environment; in instrumental conditioning, they are learning to _____ it.

A. habituate to; avoid
B. generalize from; sensitize to
C.* predict; control
D. deduce; induce.

39. Transduction refers to:

A. the point at which a proximal sensory stimulus impinges upon the organism.
B.* the conversion of a proximal stimulus into a receptor process, giving rise to a neural impulse.
C. the psychological sensation associated with a stimulus.
D. the electrical activity in the cerebral cortex associated with by the perception of a stimulus.

40. Suppose you can just tell the difference between lifting 100 grams and 102 grams. According to Weber's law, you would need to add __________ grams to tell the new weight from a standard weight of 1000 grams.

A. 1
B. 2
C. 10
D.* 20

41. Gibson�s "direct " or "ecological" view of perception would be considered to involve:

A. nativism and top-down processing
B. empiricism and top-down processing.
C.* nativism and bottom-up processing.
D. empiricism and bottom-up processing.

42. Most feature-detection processes are _____ while at least some pattern-recognition processes are _____.

A.* innate; culturally bound
B. associated with visual processing; associated with auditory processing
C. processed in the occipital lobe; processed in the prefrontal cortex
D. found in "lower" animals such as frogs and cats; generally confined to "higher" animals such as primates and humans.

43. Compare two tones of 1,000 hertz and 500 hertz. What can we say about the movement of the basilar membrane in response to these tones?

A.* The peak of the vibratory wave will be closer to the oval window for the 1,000-hertz tone than for the 500-hertz tone.
B. The peak of the vibratory wave will be closer to the oval window for the 500-hertz tone than for the 1,000-hertz tone.
C. There will be a peak in the vibratory wave for the 500-hertz tone; but there will be no such peak for the 1,000-hertz tone, which affects the entire membrane equally.
D. There will be a peak in the vibratory wave for the 1,000-hertz tone; but there will be no such peak for the 500-hertz tone, which affects the entire membrane equally.

44. Light of any wavelength will stimulate:

A. all four color receptors, but will do so unequally.
B.* all three color receptors, but will do so unequally.
C. only one or two of the four color receptors.
D. only one or two of the three color receptors.

45. Devices that make photographs appear three-dimensional do so by:

A.* presenting slightly different images to each eye.
B. presenting slightly different images, one right after the other.
C. slowly moving the photograph toward the viewer.
D. quickly moving the photograph toward the viewer.

46. Why does the world seem to move when you push your eyeball through the side of your eyelid?

A. Because the retinal receptors have been stimulated both by what you are looking at and the gentle mechanical force of the finger pressing against your lid.
B.* Because your eye has moved without a corresponding signal that a message has been sent out from the brain to the eye muscles.
C. Because your eye has moved without any corresponding signals that some part of your body is causing your eye to move.
D. Because you have moved some part of your body voluntarily rather than involuntarily.

47. Reversible figures demonstrate that:

A.* perceptual parsing is not inherent in the stimulus.
B. perceptual parsing is inherent in the stimulus.
C. figure-ground relationships are inherent in the stimulus.
D. figure-ground relationships are stable.

48. The perceptual constancies demonstrate that:

A. perceptual organization is determined by "Gestalt" principles such as proximity and good continuation.
B.* perceptual organization is determined by beliefs and expectations, as well as by the proximal stimulus.
C. we have immediate knowledge of the sensory world, by virtue of unconscious inferences.
D. illusions are created by misapplication of motion cues.

49. According to the perceptual problem-solving hypothesis, a viewer:

A. waits to form a hypothesis until the primitive features have been adequately analyzed.
B. examines features for fit, or failure to fit, an expectation.
C. uses both bottom-up and top-down processing.
D.* b and c

50. The Muller-Lyer (arrows and feathers) illusion and the moon illusion are both created by:

A.* misapplication of linear perspective and elevation cues.
B. unconscious magnifications of the retinal image.
C. misapplication of convergence and accommodation cues.
D. an increased ratio between the retinal size of the object and the retinal size of its background.