This is a sample of the Test for the Second Segment of the Course. Because questions are randomly drawn from a large master list, some of these questions may appear on your test. Please note that is some cases, similar appearing questions actually may be modified versions of the question with different correct answers.

1.    Which of the following best summarizes what is meant by the Darwinian phrase “survival of the fittest?”

(a) When two different species compete with one another, the stronger species will dominate the weaker species.

(b) The traits and characteristics that make an individual more successful at surviving and rearing offspring will be passed on to the next generation.

(c) Within a species, it is the largest, healthiest, strongest individuals who will live the longest and acquire the most resources.

(d) In situations where an animal’s life is threatened, the best response to is for it to behave aggressively and selfishly.


2.    The single most important variable in determining an organism’s evolutionary “fitness” is:

(a) the factors that contribute to the organism's health.

(b) the ability of the organism to cope with its habitat and acquire resources

(c) the number of healthy, viable offspring that the organism successfully produces.

(d) the length of the organism’s life.

(e) all of the above are equally good ways to describe "fitness."



3.    Fixed-action patterns are:

(a) behavioral tendencies that are shared by a number of different species.

(b) a pattern of influence that the environment exerts on the acquisition of new behaviors.

(c) genetically pre-programmed behavior sequences.

(d) stimuli with certain distinctive colors and patterns (such as herring gull’s red beak) that elicit species-specific responses from other members of the species



4.    Why is crying universal among normal human infants? Sociobiologists would answer by saying:

(a) Early learning experiences do not differ substantially between cultures, so infants in all cultures acquire this same behavior.

(b) Crying by infants is an example of an appeasement signal which is unique to our species.

(c) Babies are at a stage where only the id is in control.

(d) Early in life the neural controls of basic drives are disorganized and poorly developed.

(e) Infants who cry have a higher fitness.  They are more likely to survive and reproduce, and that characteristic is passed on.


5.    According to the kin-selection hypothesis:

(a) animals are more likely to choose related rather than unrelated animals as mates.

(b) altruistic behavior should be more likely among relatives than among unrelated individuals.

(c) reciprocal altruism is observed only between closely related individuals.

(d) none of the above



6.    The phenotype of an individual:

(a) is his or her overt behavior or visible appearance.

(b) is the individual's genetic blueprint.

(c) is completely determined by the individual's genotype.

(d) both a and c



7.    Territoriality, dominance hierarchies, and appeasement signals all serve to:

(a) assist parent-offspring bonding.

(b) reduce aggression and combat within a species.

(c) ensure equal division of resources among a group.

(d) ensure that undesirable characteristic are not passed to the next generation



8.    The seahorse is a small fish.  The male seahorse has a brood pouch in which he incubates the fertilized eggs and cares for them until they are hatched.  The female seahorse does not assist in caring for the fertilized eggs.  Based on this information, you would expect that:

(a) male seahorses are much more aggressive than males of other species of fish.

(b) the sexual behavior of male seahorses is governed by estrogen rather than testosterone.

(c) the male seahorse is much more discriminating when choosing a mate than are the males of other fish species.

(d) there are no courtship rituals among seahorses.



9.    Which of the following statements about animal courtship rituals is false?

(a) They help ensure that members of one species do not attempt to mate with members of a different species.

(b) They assist a female in determining whether another animal of the same species is male or female.

(c) They reduce aggression between males and females of a species, sometimes involving appeasement signals.

(d) They ensure that males and females of a species have an equal choice about which partner to mate with.



10.  You have discovered a new species of mammal that has never been observed before.  You notice that the males and females are about the same size and have the same coloration.  You also notice that both males and females participate in caring for the young.  Based on this information, you would predict that this species has a         mating system.

(a) polygynous

(b) polyandrous

(c) monogamous

(d) dimorphous



11.  Cross-cultural studies of emotional expressiveness have shown that:

(a) members of pre-literate cultures who have had little contact with Westerners tend to have very different facial expressions, which are unique to their tribes, for happiness and anger

(b) children who are born blind and deaf do not smile or laugh until much later in development than children with normal hearing and eyesight

(c) members of pre-literate cultures have difficulty understanding the emotions being expressed in a photograph of a person from another culture

(d) all of one of the above

(e) none of the above



12.  Altruistic behavior in animals:

(a) may actually increase the altruist’s chances of personal survival

(b) is more often (but not always) directed towards individuals who are closely related to the altruist, and thus share more genes than unrelated individuals

(c) may be most common in species that have a tendency for reciprocal altruism

(d) all of the above

(e) a and c only



13.   In Asch's social pressure experiments, when the confederates said that a six-inch line is equal to an eight-inch line, most real subjects:

(a) did not yield.

(b) yielded, but were sure that the group was wrong even though they pretended to agree.

(c) yielded, and were not sure who was right even though they still saw the eight-inch line as bigger than the six-inch line.

(d) yielded, because the group pressure changed their perception so that they saw the eight-inch line as equal to the six-inch line.



14.   In Asch’s social pressure experiments, when the judgments were made very difficult, the real subjects:

(a) yielded more to group pressure than they did when the judgements were easy, but were more upset about it.

(b) yielded less to group pressure, because they were more convinced of their own answers.

(c) yielded more to group pressure, but were less upset about it than they were when the judgements were easier.

(d) behaved the same way as they did when the judgements were easy, showing that uncertainty has little effect on social pressure.

15.   Which of the following statements about attitudes is true?

(a) An attitude is based on objective interpretation of reality, while beliefs and opinions are not.

(b) An attitude does not involve an emotional component.

(c) Attitudes can be changed by rational arguments, but not by emotional arguments.

(d) The way a person interprets social situations or social information is influenced by that persons attitudes.


16.   How would cognitive dissonance theory attempt to explain the tendency of some fraternities to make pledges do difficult, embarrassing, or dangerous  things in order to gain membership?

(a) Making pledging difficult ensures that people who are unlikely to be loyal to the fraternity do not bother to pledge.

(b) Once a person successfully completes the pledge process, they will value their membership more, because of how difficult it was to achieve.

(c) Making pledging difficult makes it less upsetting for potential pledges who cannot successfully complete the pledge process.

(d) The high value that pledges place on fraternity membership makes them less intimidated by the pledge process.



17.   A defense attorney must defend a client accused of murder, even though she is almost certain that the client is guilty. According to dissonance theory, under what conditions would she be more likely to come to believe that her client is really innocent?

(a) The client agrees to pay her twice her normal fee.

(b) The client’s behavior when she meets with him is inconsistent with the police’s description of how he behaved when arrested.

(c) The murder victim was someone known to be a dangerous, violent criminal.

(d) The client tells her that he cannot afford to pay her fee, so she agrees to take the case for free.



18.   In impression formation, the primacy effect refers to the observation that:

(a) our initial impression of an individual tends to be positive, regardless of the information we are given about him or her.

(b) our initial impression of a person tends to be unfavorable, and it is only with repeated exposure to the individual that we form more favorable impressions.

(c) our first impression of an individual tends to color our judgment of that individual more than does later information.

(d) none of the above



19.   We tend to attribute an individual's behavior to dispositional qualities if we believe that:

(a) the behavior was heavily influenced by the demands placed on the individual by the situation.

(b) the individual is not aware of the reasons for his or her actions.

(c) the behavior was based on some underlying characteristic or quality of the individual.

(d) the individual's behavior was more influenced by emotional than by rational factors.

20.   People have a tendency to believe that actors are really like the roles that they play. This is an example of:

(a) the resolution of cognitive dissonance.

(b) the fundamental error of attribution.

(c) the primacy effect in impressions.

(d) the distinction between the bodily self and the social self.



21.   Consider the following experiment:  Three groups of subjects (Groups A, B, and C) are all given an inactive pill that really has no physiological effect. Group A is told that the pill will make them excited and nervous.  Group B is told that the pill will make them calm and relaxed.  Group C is told that the pill is inactive and will have no effect.  Then all the groups are shown a exciting scene from a horror movie, and are asked how exciting they think the scene is.  According to the Schacter & Singer theory of emotional attribution, which group will say that the movie is most exciting?

(a) Group A. The “imaginary” effects of the pill and the real effects of the movie would combine to produce intense arousal.

(b) Group B. They expected to feel relaxed because of the pill, so they attribute their excitement to the movie, thinking that it must have been very exciting to have overcome the effects of the pill.

(c) Group C. This group is the only group affected by the excitation transfer effect.

(d) Groups A and B will both think that the movie is more exciting than Group C.



22.   After failing a recent exam you exclaim that the questions were too difficult and the professor is terrible. You are making a(n)_________ attribution for your failure.

(a) situational

(b) dispositional

(c) emotional

(d) physical

(e) none of the above



23.   The self-serving attribution bias refers to the observation that we tend to:

(a) attribute our successes to dispositional factors and our failures to situational factors.

(b) attribute both our successes and failures to situational rather than dispositional factors.

(c) attribute our successes to situational factors and our failures to dispositional factors.

(d) attribute both our successes and failures to dispositional rather than situational factors.

(e) none of the above



24.   An experiment was described in your text that illustrated the “foot-in-the-door” effect. Homeowners were asked to put a small sign concerning auto safety in their window. Several weeks later they were asked to place a large billboard on their front lawn. The study showed that:

(a) compliance with the second request was higher among those who had agreed to the first request.

(b) compliance with the second request was lower among those who had agreed to the first request.

(c) those who had agreed to the first request tended to refuse the second, while those who had refused the first tended to agree to the second.

(d) none of the above



25.   The reciprocity principle can be turned to one's favor by using it in bargaining. In order to do this one must:

(a) give a small concession to create a feeling of obligation in the other member of the transaction.

(b) give a large concession to get a deal consummated.

(c) give a large concession to force the other bargainer's hand.

(d) give a small concession to make the other bargainer feel small.



26.   Pluralistic ignorance refers to the fact that:

(a) if nobody knows what to do in an emergency, no action will be taken.

(b) when there are a large number of people present, there is a tendency for bystanders to pretend that nothing is happening.

(c) when other bystanders do not take action, those present are likely to define the situation as a non-emergency.

(d) in an emergency, large groups of people are easily swayed by a single dominant individual.

(e) none of the above



27.   Diffusion of responsibility refers to the fact that:

(a) people are more likely to intervene in an emergency if they know they will not be held responsible for the results of that intervention.

(b) people are less likely to act in an emergency if there are others present, since they feel less responsible for taking action.

(c) when others do not act in an emergency, the bystander is less likely to define the situation as an emergency requiring action.

(d) people are likely to follow the lead of a single dominant individual in the group.



28.   What are some of the factors involved in people's inaction in emergency situations?

(a) Situations are often ambiguous.

(b) People look to other observers and see that they are calm.

(c) Responsibility for action is diffused among all observers.

(d) all of the above



29.   Familiarity may be one factor involved in the relationship between proximity and attraction. We know that:

(a) the closer two people live, the more likely that they will be familiar to one another.

(b) familiarity breeds liking.

(c) the more often a person encounters most anything, the more he will like it.

(d) all of the above



30.   Given several dimensions on which one might choose a date, the most influential seems to be:

(a) physical attractiveness.

(b) intelligence.

(c) mutual interests.

(d) All of the above are equivalent.



31.   If unanimity of opinion is broken in a group by one dissenter, a second dissenter is:

(a) less likely to be influenced by the group.

(b) more likely to be influenced by the group.

(c) much more likely to be influenced by the group.

(d) unaffected by the dissent of the first person.



32.  Which of the following examples illustrates the scarcity principle?

(a) A stereo store advertises a very low price for a particular CD player even though they don’t have it in stock.  People are disappointed when they find out that it is unavailable, which makes it easier to talk them into buying a different (more expensive) CD player.

(b) You are watching an infomercial for a piece of exercise equipment, trying to decide whether or not to buy it.  You quickly make up your mind and rush to the phone to order it when you hear that if you don’t call before the end of the commercial you may not get the special low low price of $19.95.

(c) You are buying mayonnaise, and have a choice between a 10 ounce jar for $1.00 or a 50 ounce jar for $2.00.  You buy the 50 ounce jar because it is cheaper per ounce, even though you’ll never eat 50 ounces of mayonnaise before it goes bad. 

(d) A well-known soda company invents a new carrot-flavored soda.  They go out onto city streets and give away hundreds of cans for free, knowing that people are more likely to buy it after they see a lot of other people drinking it.



33.   Which of the following best summarizes the conclusions from Milgram’s experiments on obedience?

(a) Most people secretly enjoy the opportunity to hurt other people.

(b) People will only reject authority if they find the authority figure’s commands to be emotionally upsetting.

(c) Certain situations will compel normal people do inhumane or cruel things that they otherwise would not do.

(d) If a person is commanded to do something inhumane, it is less emotionally upsetting if the command comes from a trusted authority figure.

34.   In general, Milgram found that people are least likely to obey inhumane orders when:

(a) they are assured that the experimenter is in charge.

(b) they are furthest removed from the consequences of their actions.

(c) they regard themselves as anonymous members of a team.

(d) they feel personally responsible for their actions.



35.   Which of the following would tend to reduce obedience in a situation of the type that Milgram studied?

(a) making a person feel like the agent of another

(b) dehumanizing the person being punished

(c) describing the experiment as a scientific enterprise

(d) decreasing the psychological distance between the subject and the person being punished



36.   The concept of a social exchange implies:

(a) that one partner in a relationship will give something to the other.

(b) that an opponent in a relationship will exchange his animosity for a favor.

(c) that each partner in a relationship gives and expects something in return.

(d) none of the above



37.   You step on a large rusty nail as you are walking across campus. You discover that your foot is bleeding profusely, and you are feeling faint. Your chances of getting help are best if:

(a) you sit quietly and pretend that the injury is not very bad

(b) you are in a crowded place

(c) you pick one individual and direct a request for help to him/her ("You in the blue coat and sunglasses, will you please help me?!)

(d) you threaten anyone who doesn't help you



38.   In a general sense, the most effective way of changing attitudes is to:

(a) employ fear tactics

(b) use the same tactics that established the attitude

(c) alter the attitude's defense role

(d) use appropriate rewards and punishments



39.   According to a conditioning theory of attitude change, you would be _____ likely to change your attitude about abortion if you were paid $5.00 to read a speech that conflicts with your current attitude than if you were paid $100.00 to read that speech.


(a) more

(b) less

(c) equally



40.  Which of the following is an example of diffusion of social impact?

(a) One person is painting a room, and it takes him one hour.  Four people are working together to paint a similar room, and it takes them 45 minutes.

(b) A person may be less likely to steal if in a group of strangers than if in a group of friends.

(c) If a bystander sees an accident, he will be more likely to help if he notices that no one else is bothering to help.

(d) You will feel worse if a co-worker criticizes your performance than if your boss criticizes your performance.




1.      B

2.      C

3.      C

4.      E

5.      B

6.      A

7.      B

8.      C

9.      D

10.  C

11.  E

12.  D

13.  C

14.  C

15.  D

16.  B

17.  D

18.  C

19.  C

20.  B

21.  B

22.  A

23.  A

24.  A

25.  A

26.  C

27.  B

28.  D

29.  D

30.  A

31.  A

32.  B

33.  C

34.  D

35.  D

36.  C

37.  C

38.  B

39.  A

40.  A