Practice Test  - Social Psychology

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Remember! The final is a comprehensive exam over the entire course.

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

1. Which of the following topics would be most likely studied by a 
social psychologist?

 sexism, attribution, obedience, attitudes
 unconditional positive regard, hypnotic amnesia
 systematic desensitization, UCR, dieting, superego
 formal operations, Korsakoff’s syndrome, fight-or-flight response

2. Forming impressions & making judgments about the traits of 
others is called:

 social reasoning
 person perception
 social facilitation
 person polarization

3. Stereotypes are widely held beliefs that people have certain 
traits because:

 of their observable behavior
 they hold utilitarian attitudes
 they belong to a particular group
 of the fundamental attribution error

4. Prejudice is to discrimination as:

 attitude is to behavior
 attribution is to schema
 schema is to stereotype
 underestimation is to overestimation

5. Stereotypes can best be described as

 cognitive tools
 beliefs validated by fact
 the effects of aggression
 examples of misplaced attributions

6. Schemas are:

 attitudes resulting in prejudice and discrimination
 errors in attribution caused by cognitive dissonance
 mental categories representing an organized collection of knowledge
 factors that co-vary with the behavior we are trying to explain

7. Which of the following statements concerning a schema is not accurate?

 Schemas persist.
 Schemas change easily.
 Information supporting a schema is attended to.
 Information inconsistent with a schema is discounted.

8. An attribution is a(n):


9. The covariation principle says that in deciding between dispositional 
& situational explanations, we should look for three factors:

 person, role, and event schemas
 stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination
 consensus, consistency, and distinctiveness
 behavioral, affective, and cognitive components

10. In explaining a friend’s behavior, you decide that there is high 
consistency, low distinctiveness, & low consensus. You are most 
likely to make a(n) _______ attribution.

a external
b internal
c situational
d fundamental

11. According to the cognitive miser model, people conserve time & 
energy in making attributions by:

 forming utilitarian attitudes
 taking cognitive shortcuts
 basing judgments on schemas
 using the peripheral route for persuasion

12. The tendency to overestimate the importance of dispositional factors 
& underestimate the importance of situational ones is known as:

 schema-driven processing
 fundamental attribution error

13. The actor-observer effect suggests that, as actors, we attribute our 
behaviors to _________, but, as observers, we attribute 
others’ behavior to ____________.

 motivation; conformity
 consensus; consistency
 self-schema; event schema
 the situation; their disposition

14. "When I beat my average shooting score, I attribute it to my skill, but 
if I score below my average, I blame it on the gun sight." 
This is an example of the:

 self-serving bias
 covariation principle
 actor-observer effect
 fundamental attribution error

15. In order to convince a freshman that academic problems can be 
overcome, a teacher must get the freshman to:

 attribute problems to innate abilities
 attribute problems to temporary factors
 believe that college success is attributable in part to good luck
 let the instructor assume responsibility for the student’s success for a while

16. Any belief that includes a positive or negative evaluation of some target 
which predisposes us to act in certain ways toward the target 
can be defined as a(n):


17. Which of the following is not a component of an attitude?


18. With regard to attitudes: cognitive component is to _______ 
as affective component is to ________.

 beliefs; actions
 behavior; actions
 emotions; feelings
 thoughts; emotions

19. Attitudes can serve 3 functions. Which of the following is not 
one of them?


20. The state of unpleasant psychological tension that motivates 
people to reduce our inconsistencies and return to a more 
consistent state is referred to as:

 cognitive dissonance
 the self-serving bias

21. When a person takes a public position that is different from their 
private belief, they are engaging in ___________ behavior.


22. Self-perception theory suggests that we:

 strive to reduce inconsistencies between our attitudes & behavior
 observe our own behavior and then infer attitudes from the behavior
 feel motivated to conserve time and effort by taking cognitive shortcuts
 attempt to control and regulate the information that we present to others

23. Central routes for persuasion generally work on the __________, whereas 
peripheral routes for persuasion work primarily on the ___________.

 disposition; situation
 person schema; role schema
 cognitive component; affective component
 fundamental attribution error; self-serving bias

24. If an audience is known to be initially opposed to a persuasive message, 
which of the following types of communication will be most effective 
in changing the audience’s attitudes?

 a one-sided message
 a two-sided message
 a fear-inducing message
 a message from a non-credible source

25. “A behavior performed because of group pressure even though that pressure 
involves no direct requests” is the definition of:


26. According to the decision-stage model of helping, most people don’t 
help other who are in trouble because they don’t:

 notice the situation
 carry out the assistance
 choose a form of assistance
 assume personal responsibility

27. Which theory proposes that we join groups to be able to measure 
the correctness of our attitudes & beliefs?

 attribution theory
 social comparison theory
 Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
 informational influence theory

28. Which of the following is associated with a greater likelihood of taking 
on an antisocial role?

 social facilitation
 informational influence

29. What does deindividuation provide an individual in a crowd?

 an identity
 social inhibition

30. Which statement is most related to the diffusion of responsibility theory?

 “Someone else will probably help.”
 “How are these other people reacting?”
 “That individual is a legitimate authority figure.”
 “It seems whenever I am with others I do a lot better.”

31. Ingroup is to outgroup as ________ is to _________.

 us; them
 them; us
 conservative; liberal
 difference; similarity

32. In groupthink, the decision is _______ than ______.

 more important; reaching agreement
 more important; having a spirited debate
 less important; reaching agreement
 less important; having a spirited debate

33. The frustration-aggression hypothesis was modified because 
of research which indicated that:

 aggression is genetic
 cognitive factors can override aggression
 ggression is an innate, biological phenomenon
 people always respond to frustration with aggression

34. The majority of rapes are committed by:

 anger rapists
 power rapists
 sadistic rapists
 rapists out to physically hurt someone

35. The study & understanding of temperament / personality belongs in the

 physical domain.
  biosocial domain.
   cognitive domain.
    psychosocial domain.

36. When we make the "fundamental attribution error" we blame somebody’s misfortunes on

  an evil leader.
   historical factors.
    their personal qualities.
     factors beyond their control.
37.  In Asch's study of conformity involving the length of lines, naïve participants conformed 
___ of the time

•  20 percent 
 •  47 percent 
  •  37 percent 
   •  61 percent

38.  What is group polarization?

•  The strength of the liking and commitment group members have toward each other and to a group 
 •  The tendency for a dominant point of view in a group to be strengthened to a more extreme 
      position after a group discussion 
  •  The tendency of a close-knit group to emphasize consensus at the expense of critical thinking 
       and rational decision making 
   •  A situation in which one harms oneself and others by acting in one’s self-interest

39.  Research shows that romantic attraction is determined primarily by which characteristic?

•  Partners’ personality 
 •  Partners’ commitment 
  •  Partners’ intimacy 
   •  Partners’ physical attractiveness

40.  Attraction is influenced by which of the following?

•  Whether people live or work in the same neighborhood 
 •  How similar people are to each other 
  •  Whether liking is reciprocated 
   •  All of these

                            Topics in Psychology
                               Robert C. Gates