The Nature & Nurture Of Aggression
Does The Media Influence Social Behavior?

Note: These questions are part of a larger data base of questions on module 24 & 25. The questions 
are selected to represent the type of question you should expect on unit exam three. You can, in fact, 
expect to see many of these very same questions on that exam. Exam questions, however, may deal 
with topics not covered in the self 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. It is the near consensus among social psychologists today that the catharsis hypothesis of aggressive 

 has not been confirmed.
 works for women but not for men.
 is well supported in most conditions & circumstances.
 works with aggressive action but not with aggressive fantasy.

2. Aggression is any physical or verbal behavior that 

 is intended to hurt someone. 
 springs from anger or hostility. 
 results in harm regardless of intent. 
 may result in physical or psychological damage. 

3. Sigmund Freud argued that aggression ultimately comes from 

 an innate sexual drive. 
 a primitive death wish. 
 blocking of goal-directed behavior. 
 observation of aggressive adults. 

4. Who of the following argued that there is an inborn aggressive drive? 


5. How intense & reactive we are in infancy reflects our 

 social learning. 
 serotonin levels. 
 aggressive instinct. 

6. Studies of hormonal influences on aggression indicate that 

- hormonal influences are minimal. 
- after age 25, testosterone & rates of violent crime decrease together. 
- hormonal influences are as strong in humans as they are in lower animals. 
- variations in testosterone seem to have no effect on behavior within the normal range of 
  adolescence boys & adult men. 

7. The blocking of goal-directed behavior is called 

 hostile aggression. 
 instrumental aggression. 

8. The redirection of aggression to a target other than the source of frustration is called 

 instrumental aggression. 

9. We are most likely to displace our aggression onto a target that 

 is nonhuman. 
 can't retaliate in kind. 
 is similar to the person who provoked our anger in the first place. 
 is nothing like the person who provoked our anger in the first place. 

10. According to Albert Bandura, an important influence on one’s tendency to be aggressive is 

 hormonal factors. 
 observations of other peoples' behavior. 
 how much anger or frustration has built up. 
 one’s hereditary predisposition to be aggressive. 

11. According to social learning theory, aversive experiences 

 arouse us emotionally. 
 lead directly to aggression. 
 lead to anticipated negative consequences. 
 lead directly to constructive problem solving. 

12. A manufacturing plant in a small town downsizes & fires a most of its employees. According to Frustration-Aggression 
theory, the unemployed workers are likely to: 

•  attack those who still have jobs. 
 •  aggress against the owners of the plant. 
  •  aggress against lower-class residents of the town. 
   •  write their congressmen demanding changes in federal subsidies.


1. Positive, constructive, helpful social behavior is called 

 excitation transfer. 
 social facilitation. 
 prosocial behavior. 
 instrumental behavior. 

2. TV violence can affect social behavior in all but which of the following? 

 Viewing violence produces arousal in viewers. 
 Media portrayals of violence evoke imitation. 
 Viewing violence produces disinhibition in viewers. 
 Viewing violence produces a catharsis or release of aggressive energy. 

3. The relationship between violence in TV & real-life aggressive behavior is best stated 
in which of the following? 

 TV is not correlated with social violence. 
 TV is a primary cause of social violence. 
 TV is a controllable cause of social violence. 
 TV violence & social aggression are correlated but are not causally linked. 

4. The antisocial effects of viewing violent media are strongest when 

 a minority person commits justified violence that goes unpunished. 
 an attractive person commits justified violence that goes unpunished. 
 an adult male commits justified violence that shown no pain or harm. 
 a deviant, antisocial person commits justified violence that shows pain & harm. 

5. “Watching violence on TV gives people a harmless opportunity to release their aggression.” 
This statement is most clearly consistent with the unsubstantiated ________ hypothesis. 

 social learning 

6. In an experiment by Albert Bandura, children watched an adult attack a Bobo doll. The children 
were then shown some attractive toys they were forbidden to play with. When they were taken to
another room, they 

 attacked a Bobo doll. 
 verbally attacked the adult experimenter. 
 chose to watch a violent rather than a nonviolent film. 

7. Sexually aggressive men typically 

 desire dominance. 
 are sexually promiscuous. 
 exhibit hostility toward women. 
 All of the above. 

8. As an alternative to strict censorship of pornography portraying sexual violence, many 
psychologists favor 

 a heavy tax on the sale & distribution of pornographic materials. 
 media awareness training designed to promote critical viewing skills. 
 more adequate control of who is allowed to purchase pornographic materials. 
 federal registration of all those producing and distributing pornographic materials. 

9. Viewing fictional scenes of male sexual violence against women has been shown to 

 have no effect on behavior. 
 result in men becoming less violent against women. 
 result in women become more aggressive toward men. 
 distort perceptions of how women actually respond to sexual coercion. 

10. What are some of the negative affects of to much TV?

•  It increases a child's risk of being overweight. 
 •  It increases a child's later risk of using alcohol & drugs & engaging in sexual activity earlier than the average age. 
  •  Lower reading scores & lower overall academic ability, having more problems playing with peers, & having fewer hobbies. 
   •  All of the above.
                                                                    Social Psychology
                                                                      Robert C. Gates