Practice test for Cognition: thinking, intelligence, and language 

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 practice tests or in lectures but are discussed in 
your textbook. You are responsible for the content of your text book plus the content of 
lectures, interactive activities, & material on the web site.

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

1. Kahnerman describes System 1 process as 

•  mental actions that are completely involuntary. 
 •  mental actions that require conscious focus. 
  •  mental actions that result from unconscious forces. 
   •  mental actions that are based off internal biological changes.

2. Research suggests we engage mental images in our mind __________ 
the way we engage or interact with physical objects. 

•  a little like 
 •  much like 
  •  not at all like 
   •  randomly and completely different than
3. A psychologist asks people to envision a circle. Next he asks them to draw the circle 
they envisioned. When comparing the pictures almost all the circles look identical. The 
fact that a circle typically fits a specific and rigid set of rules is an example of a 

•  formal concept. 
 •  natural concept. 
  •  fuzzy concept. 
   •  prototype.
5. A rule of thumb that is derived from experience and used in decision making and 
problem solving, even though there is no guarantee of its accuracy or usefulness is a(n)

•  heuristic. 
 •  norm. 
  •  algorithm. 
   •  pragmatic approach.
6. The tendency to apply a familiar strategy to the solution of a problem without carefully 
considering the special requirements of that problem is a(n)

•  prototype. 
 •  concept. 
  •  morpheme. 
   •  mental set.

7. John and Karen bought a new house with an unfinished basement. To determine how they 
want to finish it, they lay down tape on the floor showing where the walls will go and rooms will 
be. This process of problem solving is known as 

•  representativeness heuristic. 
 •  trial and error. 
  •  working backward from the goal. 
   •  algorithms.

8. One day at work, Pauline's earing fell on the floor and she was unable to find the back. 
To keep from losing her earing,  Pauline reinserted it and used part of a pencil eraser to 
keep her earing in place. Using a pencil eraser as a temporary earing back showed that 
Pauline overcame

•  a mental set. 
 •  functional fixedness. 
  •  confirmation bias. 
   •  transformational bias.

9.  _________________ are concepts that people form not as a result of the application of 
strict rules, but as the result of their experiences with concepts in the real world.

•  Super-ordinate concepts 
 •  Basic level type concepts 
  •  Formal concepts 
   •  Natural concepts 
    •  Prototypes
10. ____________ is the method of problem solving in which a person uses a “rule of thumb” 
or a simple rule or principle to solve a problem that they may apply to many situations.

•  Mechanical solution 
 •  Algorithm 
  •  Insight 
   •  Means-ends analysis 
    •  Heuristic
11. Which of the following questions would be more likely to produce divergent thinking?

•  "What is a clothes hanger?" 
 •  "How do you spell clothes hanger?" 
  •  "How many uses can you think of for a clothes hanger?" 
   •  "What does a clothes hanger typically look like?"

12. The process of stimulating divergent thinking that involves starting with a central idea 
(e.g., animals) and drawing lines to other related ideas (e.g., bird, horse) to form a mental 
image of the concepts and their connections is called_____________________. 

•  brainstorming 
 •  journal 
  •  mind mapping 
   •  free-writing 
    •  creativity

13. Which type of intelligence, according to Howard Gardner, would most likely be present 
in farmers, landscapers, and biologists? 

•  naturalist 
 •  visual/spatial 
  •  existentialist 
   •  movement
14. According to Sternburg, "book smarts" is another way of talking about which kind 
of intelligence?

•  analytical 
 •  creative 
  •  practical 
   •  emotional

15. According to Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory, ____________ intelligence consists 
of the ability to see the “big picture” of the world by asking questions about life, death, and 
other major issues. 

•  naturalistic 
 •  logical/mathematical 
  •  interpersonal 
   •  intrapersonal 
    •  existentialist 

16. Which of the following tests came first? 

•  the Wechsler tests 
 •  the Standford Binet 
  •  the ACT 
   •  Binet's mental ability test
17. Dr Davenport gives all her classes 45 minutes to complete their psychology test 
regardless of if the class meets for 50 minutes, 75 minutes, or even 3 hours. Such a 
technique ensures test 

•  reliability 
 •  validity 
  •  norms 
   •  standardization

18. In contrast to comparing mental age to chronological age, most modern tests of 
intelligence use __________. 

•  Stern's formula 
 •  age-group comparison norms 
  •  creative assessments 
   •  emotional assessments

19. The goal of all test developers is to __________ cultural bias in their intelligence tests. 

•  maximize 
 •  eliminate 
  •  minimize 
   •  hide
20. ______________ refers to the degree to which a test actually measures what it is 
supposed to measure. 

•  Reliability 
 •  Validity 
  •  Standardization 
   •  Norms 
    •  Consistency

21. Dr. Miller works with children who grew up in poor socioeconomic conditions. Many of 
her clients come from homes that do not emphasize education or social involvement, and 
opportunities for advancement are practically nonexistent. Many are malnourished, have 
been exposed to a variety of environmental toxins, and have multiple infections without 
adequate or timely health care. What might these children be at risk for?
•  intellectual disability 
 •  genetic inhibition 
  •  organically induced deprivation 
   •  increased emotional intelligence
22. Dr. Thomas has found that William, her patient, has a defect in a gene on the X 
chromosome of his 23rd pair, which has resulted in a deficiency of a protein needed 
for William's brain development. William most likely suffers from 

•  Down syndrome 
 •  cretinism 
  •  fragile X syndrome 
   •  fetal alcohol syndrome

23. All of the following are potential causes of mental retardation EXCEPT 

•  Fragile X syndrome 
 •  Fetal alcohol syndrome 
  •  Lack of oxygen at birth 
   •  Maternal disease or drug use 
    •  Immunizations 
24. In Terman's study of gived children, mental health issues and relationship problems 
only occurred in those with IQs of 

•  150 or higher. 
 •  180 or higher. 
  •  100 or lower. 
   •  45 or lower.

25. At an IQ ranging from 40-55, a person 

•  can reach a 6th grade skill level and can be capable of living independently with 
   some training. 
 •  can reach a 2nd grade skill level and can live and work in supervised environments. 
  •  can learn to talk and perform basic self care. 
   •  has a very limited ability to learn, and may only be able to perform very simple tasks. 
    •  can reach a 9th grade skill level and can learn to live independently on their own 
        without special training. 
26. What may be the best predictor of why some people do not excel in school but 
essentially succeed in their life and career choices?

•  cretinism 
 •  phonemes 
  •  one's intelligence quotient 
   •  emotional intelligence

27. What does the Flynn effect theorize?

• Intelligence scores are steadily increasing in modernized countries. 
 •  Intelligence scores are decreasing due to an overreliance on technology. 
  •  Intelligence scores are relatively stable in contrast to improvement in 
      our educational system. 
   •  Intelligence scores are meaningless and should be abandoned.
28.  Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf theorized that __________, a concept reflected 
in their linguistic relativity hypothesis.

•  language shapes thoughts 
 •  thoughts shape language 
  •  language and thoughts develop independently 
   •  language and thoughts influence each other

29. Cognitive universalism tends to __________ the linguistic relativity hypothesis. 

•  contradict 
 •  support 
  •  add further proof to 
   •  mildly downplay
30. _______________ involves knowing things like how to take turns in a conversation, the 
use of gestures to emphasize a point, and the different ways that one speaks to different people. 

•  Syntax 
 •  Grammar 
  •  Pragmatics 
   •  Morphemes 
    •  Semantics

                              Robert C. Gates