Practice test for The Science of Psychology 

Note: These questions are part of a larger data base of questions & are selected 
to represent the type of question you should expect on exams. Exam questions, 
however, may deal with topics not covered in the self tests or in lectures but are discussed in 
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lectures, interactive activities, & material on the web site.

Use these sample questions to test yourself & to practice for the test. 

1. Autism is more prevalent by this much, than it was in the 70's. 
(It's now occurs once in 68 births.) 

•  2 times as prevalent 
  •  4 times as prevalent 
    •  8 times as prevalent 
      •  10 times as prevalent 

2. Professor Bates is lecturing on the definition of psychology. Which example of “behavior” 
should he use to most effectively communicate the definition? 

•  “Acts like eating, walking, & running are examples of behavior.” 
 •  "Behavior consists of activities such as thinking, forgetting." 
  •  “Behavior is synonymous with internal processes like memory & learning.” 
   •  “We make no distinction between the observable & the unobservable - anything 
        that a person does is behavior.” 

3. Professor Smith is presenting the modern approaches to psychology. As a well-prepared 
student, you notice an error Professor Smith makes in his lecture. Which of the following 
do you notice? 
 - He says, “The different approaches have different perspectives.” 
 - He writes on the chalkboard, “Different approaches, same research methods.” 
 - He says, “All of the modern approaches in psychology look at the same 
   psychological phenomenon from different viewpoints.” 
 - He says and writes on the chalkboard, “The six common approaches include 
   biological, cognitive, behavioral, psychoanalytic, humanistic, & cross-cultural.” 

4. A cognitive psychologist may study the way we memorize a telephone number by: 
 - analyzing the rewards available for successful memorization 
 - investigating how we process and store the number in memory 
 - researching the extent to which good memory skills are common in a family 
 - interviewing to determine what unconscious motives may be associated with 
   certain telephone numbers that a person has memorized 

5. The behavioral approach was influenced greatly by the work of ___________ 
who stressed the study of observable behavior and reinforcement and punishment. 
 Erik Erikson 
 Sigmund Freud 
 B. F. Skinner 
 Abraham Maslow 

6. If Kurt has thoughts which make him feel fearful and guilty, Freud would 
say these thoughts would be: 
 classically conditioned 
 reinforced by negative thoughts 
 pushed into Kurt’s unconscious 
 totally normal and have no effect on Kurt’s actual behavior 

7. “I am a procrastinator. According to the psychoanalytic approach, my 
parents must have: 
 ignored my successes.” 
 gave me their procrastinating genes.” 
 loved me only when I did well in school.” 
 set goals that were too easy when I was a child.” 

8. Which school of thought discusses behavior in terms of a person’s potential 
for growth and self-fulfillment? 

9. With regard to the six modern approaches to psychology, psychologists are 
most concerned with: 

 - which approach gives the best answer 
 - the methodology by which the approach is tested 
 - which approach is more accepted by the psychological community 
 - the likelihood of successfully reaching the goals of description, explanation,   
   prediction, and control 

10. Once you understand the six approaches to psychology, you should 
 combine and use information from all six approaches. 
 make a personal decision about which approach is best. 
 place our trust in the approaches that have stood the test of time. 
 judge each approach by the famous people who have supported it. 

11. Structuralists focused on ________, whereas functionalists focused on _________. 
 - adaptability of the mind; introspection 
 - objective measurements; subjects’ self-reports 
 - elements of the mind; adaptability of the mind 
 - the continuous flow of mental activity; breaking down mental structures  
   into smaller units 

12. Which of the following relationships best illustrates introspection? 
 trees to leaves 
 letters to words 
 cars to airplanes 
 females to males 

13. The term “Gestalt” refers to 

 whole pattern 
 observable behaviors 

14. The three goals that should be used with regard to studying are: 
 rewarded goal, concrete goal, time goal 
 cognitive goal, specific goal, specific time goal 
 time goal, general goal, specific performance goal 
 time goal, specific goal, general performance goal 

15. In reference to savant syndrome, ____________ 

 - approximately one in ten (10%) of persons with autistic disorder have 
   some savant skills. 
 - in forms of development disability other than autism, such as mental retardation 
   or brain injury, savant skills occur in less than 1% of such persons. 
 - not all savants are autistic, and not all autistic persons are savants. 
 - 50% of persons with savant syndrome have autistic disorder, and the other 50% 
   have some other form of developmental disability,  mental retardation 
   or brain injury or disease. 
 - all of the above statements are true. 

16. The humanistic viewpoint emphasizes

 Natural selection & practical skills.
 Free will, self-image, & self-actualization.
 Determinism, the unconscious, & self-actualization.
 The idea that "the environment is the key causal matrix."

17. Which of the following is not a major goal of psychology?


18. Which of the following people is associated with the gestalt approach?

 William Wundt
 William James
 Max Wertheimer
 John B. Waston

19. Which of the following people is associated with behaviorism?

 William Wundt
 William James
 Max Wertheimer
 John B. Waston

20. Which of the following people is associated with functionalism?

 William Wundt
 William James
 Max Wertheimer
 John B. Waston

21. Which set of words best fits with the cognitive perspective?

 process, memory, think
 unconscious, fears, guilty
 cerebellum, brain, biology
 reinforcement, punishment, learning

22. What is the primary difference between a clinical psychologist & a counselor? 

•  a counselor can prescribe medication, a clinical psychologist can not. 
 •  a counselor does not prescribe medication, and clinical psychologist does. 
  •  a counselor deals with serious mental illnesses, a clinical psychologist does not. 
   •  a counselor does not deal with serious mental illnesses, & clinical psychologist does. 

23. In an attempt to learn something about his conscious experience, Bob looked 
at an abstract painting and wrote down all of his impressions as they came to him. This 
technique of looking inward to determine the elements of the mind is called: 

•  empiricism 
 •  retrospection 
  •  introspection 
   •  psychoanalysis 

24. The father of modern psychology is considered to be

•  B.F. Skinner. 
 •  William James. 
  •  Sigmund Freud. 
   •  Abraham Maslow.
25. James is to functionalism as

•  Skinner is to ethnology. 
 •  Wundt is to structuralism. 
  •  Freud is to experimentation. 
   •  Rogers is to psychotherapy.

26.  Approaches such as structuralism & functionalism were principally 
concerned with the ___________ self, whereas the psychoanalytic approach emphasized 
the influence of ___________ processes.

•  subjective; objective 
 •  sensation; perception 
  •  introspection; adaption 
   •  conscious; unconscious
27. In the definition of psychology, the term behavior means 

•  internal, covert processes. 
 •  outward behavior. 
  •  overt actions & reactions. 
   •  only animal behavior.

28. A psychologist is interested in finding out why married couples seemingly 
begin to look like each other after several years of marriage. This Psychologist is most 
interested in the goal of 

•  description. 
 •  explanation. 
  •  prediction. 
   •  control.

29. Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis focused on 

•  observable behavior. 
 •  Gestalt perceptions. 
  •  introspection. 
   •  early childhood experience. 

30. Which psychologist dared to ignore the whole conscious issue and return 
to a study of scientific inquiry by focusing on abservable behavior? 

•  Ivan Pavlov 
 •  John Watson 
  •  Sigmund Freud 
   •  William James

31. Which perspective is often referred to as the "third Force" in psychology and 
focuses on a person's freedom of choice in determining their behavior?

•  biopsychological perspective 
 •  behaviorism 
  •  cognitive psychology 
   •  humanism

32. If Dr. James uses an eclectic approach to her clinical treatment of children, what
is it that she is doing?

•  She is relying primarily on one psychological perspective to treat all of her patients. 
 •  She is using medications with all her patients, especially those suffering from 
  •  She relies heavily on the Freudian psychodynamic perspective to help children who 
      show abnormal behavior. 
   •  She is using a combination of perspectives to treat different clients.
33.  Dr. Smith identifies himeself with the largest subfield of psychology? 
What kind of psychologist is he?

•  counseling 
 •  clinical 
  •  school 
   •  experimental

34.  Ed has recently diagnosed with a psychological disorder that is best 
addressed initially with medication. He would likely benefit the most by first seeing 
a _________.

•  psychiatrist 
 •  psychoanalyst 
  •  psychiatric social worker 
   •  psychologist

35.  Which step in the scientific method is derived from the goal of description.

•  reporting your results 
 •  perceiving the question 
  •  drawing the conclusion 
   •  forming a hypothesis

36.  Brianne wants to find an explanation for the behavior of her lab rats in her study. 
Which step in the scientific method is she currently focusing on?

•  testing a hypothesis 
 •  perceiving the question 
  •  drawing conclusions 
   •  reporting her results

37.  The famous study of Phineas Gage, who survived when a metal rod
pierced his skull, is an example of a

•  laboratory experiment. 
 •  correlation. 
  •  case study. 
   •  survey.

38.  A researcher finds that as her subjects increased the number of hours
they spent exercising, the overall weight of her subjects decreased. This would be an 
example of a _______ correlation.

•  positive 
 •  negative 
  •  zero 
   •  causal
39.  A researcher wants to study the effects of texting on driving. Student in Group A drive 
a car in a computer game and see how many virtual accidents they have. Student in Group B are 
asked to drive the same virtual car but they must respond to and send at least three texts. The 
number of virtual accidents is measured for each group. What is the independent variable? 

•  the virtual car 
 •  texting 
  •  the number of virtual accidents 
   •  the group assignment

40. Double-blind studies control for

•  the placebo effect. 
 •  the experimenter effect, 
  • the placebo effect and the experimenter effect.  
   •  extrinsic motivation.

41.  Who is considered to be the father of African American psychology?

•  Charles Henry Thompson 
 •  Robert V. Gurthrie 
  •  Francis Cecil Summer 
   •  Howard Hale Long
42.  Which perspective best explains the bystander effect whereby individuals will be less 
likely to help someone in need because of the presence of others close by?

•  psychoanalysis 
 •  behaviorism 
  •  cognitive psychology 
   •  sociocultural
                              Robert C. Gates