This is a sample of the Test for the Third Segment of the Course. You should use the test primarily as a guide to the format of the multiple choice tests. 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.    You set your alarm clock for "medium loud" at the start of the semester. On the first few mornings, you awake on the first ring, but after a few weeks you sleep right through the alarm. You then borrow your roommate's clock, which has a somewhat different sound, and it wakes you up on the first try, even though it is less loud than your own clock. What has happened here?

(a) short-term habituation followed by spontaneous recovery

(b) habituation followed by dishabituation

(c) sensory adaptation followed by spontaneous recovery

(d) formation of a memory trace of the sound of your own clock followed by classical conditioning to the sound of your roommate's clock


2.    Testosterone levels rise in male rats if they smell a nearby female rat that is in heat. One male rat was allowed to smell and mate only with females that wore oil of wintergreen "perfume." After several such exposures this male's testosterone levels rose whenever he smelled oil of wintergreen. In this example of "Pavlovian sex," the conditioned stimulus (CS) was the:

(a) opportunity to mate.

(b) testosterone level.

(c) natural smell of the female.

(d) oil of wintergreen.


3.    Four-year-old Jimmy has met his grandmother only once, but that experience was a very positive one. It was so great that every time he sees an older-looking woman, he runs over to her with a big smile and his arms outstretched. Jimmy demonstrates which conditioning phenomenon?

(a) shaping

(b) stimulus generalization

(c) second-order conditioning

(d) reconditioning

(e) counterconditioning


4.    Which of the following phenomena demonstrate conclusively that extinguished CRs are not forgotten?

(a) sharp generalization gradients

(b) the partial reinforcement effect

(c) reconditioning with savings (i.e., fewer trials)

(d) the presence of higher-order conditioning



5.    A recovering heroin addict has been free of the drug for a month, yet when she walks past the location where she used to buy drugs, she feels restless, has an increased sensitivity to pain, and a strong craving for heroin. What has happened here, according to Siegel's theory of drug tolerance and addiction?

(a) The location is a CS for the state usually induced by heroin.

(b) Extinction of the drug habit has resulted in liberation of the body's own opiates, the endorphins.

(c) Seeing the location is a CS for a compensatory mechanism for the arrival of heroin.

(d) Seeing the location has resulted in second-order conditioning.



6.    Concerning the generalization gradient, which of the following statements is true?

(a) The weaker the stimulus, the weaker the response.

(b) The more similar the stimulus is to the original CS, the weaker the response.

(c) The less similar the stimulus is to the original CS, the weaker the response.

(d) The stronger the stimulus, the stronger the response.


7.    Instrumental conditioning differs from classical conditioning in which of the following ways?

(a) In instrumental conditioning, reinforcement is contingent upon a response being performed, but in classical conditioning it is not.

(b) Classical conditioning requires no reinforcement.

(c) Classical conditioning does not involve the central nervous system.

(d) Instrumental conditioning involves learning the relationship between two stimuli, while classical conditioning involves learning the relationship of response to reward.


8.    Gamblers often persist at gambling even when they receive a payoff very rarely. This persistence is predicted by:

(a) the gradual increase in performance with successive approximations.

(b) resistance to extinction when performance is based on schedules of variable reinforcement.

(c) the fact that there is typically a pause in performance after each reinforcement.

(d) research on learned helplessness.


9.    Usually, an association between CS and US is most readily formed when

(a) The CS precedes the US

(b) The CS and US occur at the same time

(c) The US precedes the CS

(d) The US is omitted


10.   In order to shape an animal to perform a difficult response, all but one of the following procedures should be followed. Which procedure is NOT appropriate?

(a) provide a clear signal for the arrival of reinforcement

(b) present the reinforcement immediately after the response is performed

(c) initially reinforce approximations to the desired response

(d) work with the most difficult component in the response sequence first



11.   In a neuron, an electrical impulse travels down the          until it reaches the         , where neurotransmitter is released.

(a) axon; dendrite

(b) axon; synapse

(c) synapse; dendrite

(d) dendrite; nucleus



12.   Which of the following is the best example of transduction?

(a) a node of Ranvier, which has many "gates" for sodium ions

(b) a cell in the ear, which converts pressure into graded membrane potentials

(c) a tendon, which transmits force from muscle to bone

(d) an interneuron that transmits information from one hemisphere of the brain to the other



13.   A neuron is stimulated by a stimulus just stronger than the neuron's threshold. The resulting action potential has a strength of 10 (in some arbitrary units). After an interval of a few minutes, a new stimulus is applied that is half as intense as the previous one. The resulting action potential will have what strength (using the same units as before)?

(a) 2

(b) 5

(c) 10

(d) 20

(e) There will be no action potential.



14.   The action potential:

(a) consists of a transition from a negative charge (inside the neuron) to a persisting positive charge (inside).

(b) consists of a transition from a positive charge (inside) to a negative (inside) and a quick return to a positive charge (inside).

(c) consists of a transition from a negative charge (inside) to a positive (inside) and a quick return to a negative charge (inside).

(d) consists of the flow of negative ions into the cell followed by the pumping out of these negative ions from the inside of the axon.


15.   The greater the stimulus intensity, the greater:

(a) the number of neurons stimulated by a given stimulus.

(b) the frequency with which a stimulus fires a given neuron.

(c) the magnitude of the action potential initiated in each neuron.

(d) a and b



16.   A characteristic of a reflex arc is that:

(a) the behavior it controls is necessarily under voluntary control.

(b) it involves a minimum of 2 neurons.

(c) conduction throughout all elements of the arc is electrical in nature.

(d) the speed of conduction of information throughout all elements of the arc is constant.



17.   If I administer a drug that prevents receptor binding of an excitatory neurotransmitter at a synapse, which of the following is the most likely consequence?

(a) the postsynaptic cell will generate more action potentials than usual

(b) the postsynaptic cell will generate fewer action potentials than usual

(c) the postsynaptic cell will be unaffected

(d) reuptake of the neurotransmitter will be prevented



18.   Antipsychotic drugs typically make the symptoms of Parkinson's disease worse because:

(a) they block dopamine, which is in short supply in Parkinson's disease.

(b) they cause norepinephrine to be released, producing overarousal.

(c) they block acetylcholine, which weakens muscle control of patients with Parkinson's disease.

(d) they kill neurons that secrete dopamine.



19.   A fundamental difference between the endocrine and nervous systems is in terms of the:

(a) distance the chemicals must travel to have an effect.

(b) types of chemicals used as transmitters.

(c) means by which messages travel from one cell to another

(chemical vs. electrical).

(d) presence (endocrine) vs. absence (nervous) of target organs.



20.   A patient sustains a head injury, which results in loss of ability to breathe. Upon autopsy, neural damage will most likely be found in the:

(a) hypothalamus.

(b) medulla.

(c) cerebellum.

(d) midbrain.



21.   A patient sustains a head injury which results in loss of regulation of breathing and heartbeat.  Upon autopsy, brain damage will probably most likely be found in:

(a) the occipital cortex

(b) the medulla

(c) the thalamus

(d) the cerebellum



22.   Following a stroke, a patient shows grossly diminished sensitivity to touch and other stimulation in the right hand and arm. The probable site of the lesion is:

(a) the motor homunculus.

(b) the left somatosensory area.

(c) the right somatosensory area.

(d) the left frontal area.



23.   A patient has a cortical lesion. When shown a drawing of a camel, he painstakingly identifies several parts and then ventures a guess: "Eyes. . . mouth. . . of course, it's an animal." He probably suffers from:

(a) an agnosia.

(b) an apraxia.

(c) an expressive aphasia.

(d) a receptive aphasia.


24.   A person with a severed corpus callosum reaches blindly into a bag with his left hand and feels a comb. After removing his empty hand he will be able to:

(a) say that it is a comb, but not be able to point to a picture of a comb with his right hand unless he hears himself talk.

(b) point to a comb with his left hand, but not be able to say what he felt unless he sees his left hand pointing.

(c) point to a comb with either hand, but not be able to say what he felt unless he sees his hand pointing.

(d) none of the above



25.   According to Weber's Law:

(a) only three types of color receptors are required to see all colors.

(b) a constant and low stimulus intensity produces an absolute threshold.

(c) different sound frequencies trigger different neurons.

(d) the difference threshold is a constant proportion of the stimulus being changed.



26.   Most people can just detect the difference between six spoonfuls of sugar in a gallon of water and five spoonfuls of sugar in a gallon of water. If Weber's law holds, these same people should be just able to tell thirty spoonfuls from              per gallon.

(a) six

(b) twenty-five

(c) thirty-one

(d) fifty

(e) one hundred



27.   In a signal detection experiment, the payoff matrix is changed so as to increase the bias toward saying "yes." This change will lead to an increase in the number of:

(a) hits.

(b) misses.

(c) false alarms.

(d) a and c



28.   Which of the following is NOT a receptor organ or cell?

(a) hair cells of the semicircular canal

(b) taste buds

(c) cochlea

(d) optic nerve



29.   A 2% solution of sugar is given repeatedly to a subject. The subject reports that over time the sugar appears to be less and less sweet. This is an example of:

(a) sensory interaction.

(b) sensory adaptation.

(c) Weber's law.

(d) Fechner's law.



30.   Which of the following ways that light can vary is the most important determinant in the sensation of color?

(a) intensity

(b) accommodation

(c) wavelength

(d) saturation



31.   In what order does transduced visual information travel to the brain?

(a) photoreceptor, bipolar cell, ganglion cell

(b) photoreceptor, ganglion cell, bipolar cell

(c) bipolar cell, ganglion cell, photoreceptor

(d) bipolar cell, photoreceptor, ganglion cell

(e) bipolar cell, rod, cone

32.   We cannot see colors in very dim light because:

(a) receptors for color are not sensitive to dim light.

(b) lateral inhibition is present.

(c) opponent processes cannot operate at low levels of light.

(d) all of the above



33.   The first time you see a friend's new light blue car, it is parked against a black wall. Later you see that same car parked against a white backdrop (at the same time of day) and comment that the car seemed to be much brighter the last time you saw it. This is an example of:

(a) brightness contrast.

(b) adaptation.

(c) temporal interaction.

(d) lightness constancy.



34.   Any wavelength will stimulate:

(a) all four color receptors, but will do so unequally.

(b) all three color receptors, but will do so unequally.

(c) only one (or at most two) of the four color receptors.

(d) only one (or at most two) of the three color receptors.



35.   Which of the following is NOT a cue for depth?

(a) binocular disparity

(b) interposition

(c) motion parallax

(d) induced movement



36.   A horse standing in a meadow is perceived as a distinct entity that stands out against its surroundings. This phenomenon illustrates:

(a) constancy.

(b) the principle of similarity.

(c) the use of binocular cues.

(d) figure-ground relationships.



37.   A subject is asked how he perceives this stimulus:   *-   *-   *-
He says he perceives it as three pairs, each containing an asterisk and a dash.  He has grouped the stimulus using the Gestalt principle of:

(a) subjective contour

(b) closure

(c) proximity

(d) good continuation


38.   The principle of maximum likelihood suggests that:

(a) we use proximal stimuli to make a good guess about distal stimuli.

(b) stimuli that are close together probably go with the same object.

(c) regions that are the same in texture usually go with the same object.

(d) all of the above


39.   As your friend drives away, the image of her car gets smaller and smaller. Yet you do not think that her car is really getting smaller. This best exemplifies:

(a) top-down processing.

(b) figure-ground perception.

(c) perceptual constancy.

(d) motion parallax.



40.   When an irrelevant message contains the sound of the subject's own name in a dichotic listening experiment, the subject notices. This is especially relevant as evidence for:

(a) a filter theory of attention.

(b) attentional selection.

(c) the view that filtering is not all-or-none.

(d) the importance of mental set in comprehension.






1.      B

2.      D

3.      B

4.      C

5.      C

6.      C

7.      A

8.      B

9.      A

10.  D

11.  B

12.  B

13.  E

14.  C

15.  D

16.  B

17.  B

18.  A

19.  A

20.  B

21.  B

22.  B

23.  A

24.  B

25.  D

26.  B

27.  D

28.  D

29.  B

30.  C

31.  A

32.  A

33.  A

34.  B

35.  D

36.  D

37.  C

38.  D

39.  C

40.  B