Test #2 - Psych
L0101 MW 11-12 [room 2072] Test 2 2003
1. Give a definition for, and an example of, sensation. [2 marks]
- Sensation is the stimulation of sensory organs by energy sources in the environment. An
example would be light particles being captured in the retina of the eye or differences in
air pressure being detected by the ossicles in the ear.
2. What is a Just Noticeable Difference? [2 marks]
- A JND is the smallest difference in the amount of stimulation that a specific sense can
3. Describe the main visual pathway in the brain. [3 marks]
- Neural impulses travel from the eye along the optic nerve and down the optic tract to
the thalamus, which then sends the messages to the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus (LGN).
Visual information is sent from the LGN to the primary visual cortex. Here the main
pathway splits in two directions to the “what” and “where pathways”.
4. Explain the Opponent-Process theory of color vision. What areas of the brain
are associated with this theory? [4 marks]
- Color perception depends on receptors that make antagonistic responses to three pairs of
colors: red-green, yellow-blue, and black-white. Evidence for this theory is found in
ganglion cells in the retina, lateral geniculate nucleus, and visual cortex that respond in
opposite ways to red versus green and blue versus yellow. For example, some ganglion
cells are excited by green and inhibited by yellow and vice versa.
5. Brain waves that occur when relaxed and calm are called _____________
waves. [1 mark]
6. Identify and explain three ideas of the functional significance of the
unconscious. [3 marks]
- Unconscious processes are rapid and efficient, so we can act without having to
consciously think and analyze the situation. Also, unconscious processes can operate
simultaneously with conscious processes so we can do more than one thing at a time, e.g.,
think about psychology while driving a car. Finally, the unconscious will operate in the
absence of consciousness, such as when we are sleeping. 7. What is the name of the sleep disorder characterized by episodes of intense
panic that occur during deep sleep early in the night? [1 mark]
- Night Terrors
8. Explain the Cognitive view of dreaming. [4 marks]
- The Cognitive view believes that dreams are constructed from the daily issues faced by
the dreamer and that much of what we dream about is simply processing the information
that we have attended to throughout the day. This view does not see dreams as
particularly insightful or meaningful, rather, dreams are simply a way to clean out the
brains memory storage units to make room for new information to be processed the next
day. [I will accept the Problem-solving view of dreams here also]
9. 9. Explain the terms Acquisition, Extinction, and Spontaneous Recovery, as
they pertain to classical conditioning. [4 marks]
- Acquisition refers to repeated pairings of an unconditioned stimulus with a neutral
stimulus that converts the neutral stimulus into a conditioned stimulus that elicits a
conditioned response. Extinction refers to the weakening of the conditioned response
when the conditioned stimulus is presented repeatedly without the unconditioned
stimulus. Spontaneous recovery refers to the reemergence of a previously extinguished
10. 10. What is instinctive drift? [2 marks]
- Instinctive drift occurs when an animal’s innate response tendencies interfere with
11. 11. Explain and give examples for positive and negative punishment.
- Positive punishment is when a negative or aversive event follows a behavior and
weakens the tendency for that behavior to occur again. An example is a child who gets
scolded for throwing their food. Negative punishment is when a positive or pleasant
stimulus is removed following some behavior in order to weaken the tendency of that
behavior to occur again. An example is when a child stays out past curfew so the parent
takes away their TV for a week.
L0301 MW 3-4 [K 137] Test 2 2003
1. What is the difference between sensation and perception? [2 marks]
- Sensation is the stimulation of sensory organs by energy in the environment, whereas
perception is the selection, organization, and subjective interpretation of sensory input.
2. What is an absolute threshold? [2 marks] - An absolute threshold is the minimum amount of energy needed for a specific sensory
system to detect a stimulus in the environment at least 50% of the time.
3. Explain how light is converted into electrochemical impulses in the brain.
- Light travels through the pupil to the retina where it contacts the photoreceptors (rods
and cones) and bleaches a pigment in the photoreceptors, which creates graded receptor
potentials that eventually lead (through bipolar and amacrine cells) to action potentials in
the ganglion cells.
4. Explain the Young-Hemholtz theory of color vision and provide two
examples of phenomena that could not be explained by this theory. [4 marks]
- The human eye has three types of receptors with differing sensitivities to different light
wavelengths (red, green, and blue). This theory does not account for why afterimages of
objects that are stared at, are seen in complimentary colors. It also does not account for
why dichromats have trouble distinguishing either red from green or blue from yellow. [it
does not account for why people prefer to use four colours (red, green, blue, and yellow)
to describe different color shades].
5. Brain waves that occur during alert wakefulness are called ____________
waves. [1 mark]
6. Identify and explain three attentional processes. [3 marks]
- When focusing our attention we can orient ourselves to what is important in our
environment by concentrating on important stimuli and ignoring unimportant stimuli. We
can also control the content of our consciousness by determining what we think about and
finally we can maintain alertness to be extra aware of our surroundings.
7. What is the name of the sleep disorder characterized by vivid, fear-evoking
dreams that occur during REM sleep? [1 mark]
8. Explain the Psychoanalytic view of dreaming. [4 marks]
- This view believes that dreams are a window into the unconscious, where we can
express our deepest, darkest desires without fear of scorn, ridicule, or punishment, and
fulfill wishes that cannot otherwise be fulfilled in waking life. This view also believes
that dreams contain important information from the unconscious that needs to be
transferred to the conscious mind and that dream information is often expressed in
symbolic language that must be interpreted to find the true meaning. 9. 9. Describe the process of classical conditioning using an example from
your own life. [4 marks]
- Pair an unconditioned stimulus [meat powder] that elicits an unconditioned response
[salivation] with a neutral stimulus [a bell tone] over a period of several trials.
Eventually, the neutral stimulus [bell tone] will become a conditioned stimulus as it alone
will elicit a conditioned response [salivation] the same or similar to the unconditioned
10. What is the Law of Effect? [2 marks]
- Behavior is controlled by its consequences such that any response that is rewarded or
reinforced, will be more likely than if not reinforced, to occur again in the future.
11. Explain the difference between fixed ratio and variable interval
reinforcement schedules. Which works best? Explain why. [4 marks]
- In a fixed ratio schedule an organism is reinforced at a constant rate, such as every third
response or every fifth response. In a variable interval schedule a different amount of
time passes before each reinforcer, such as after 2 minutes, then after 1 min. then after 3
min. (average 2 min.) In general, ratio schedules produce more rapid responding,
however, variable schedules produce steadier rates of responding and greater resistance to
L0201 TR 1-2 [K 137] Test 2 2003
1. Give a definition and an example of perception. [2 marks]
- Perception is the selection, organization, and subjective interpretation of sensory input.
An example would be looking at a picture and perceiving what the picture is about and
what it means or hearing a sound and perceiving it to be the telephone ringing, meaning
someone is calling you.
2. What is a Weber fraction? [2 marks]
- Weber’s law states that the size of a just noticeable difference is a constant proportion
of the size of the initial stimulus. This constant proportion is called a Weber fraction.
3. Explain the structure and function of the “what” and “where” pathways in
the visual system. [3 marks]
- After information is processed in the primary visual cortex signals are then shuttled
along two pathways through the secondary visual cortex. The first pathway, called the
parvocellular or “what” pathway, travels to the temporal lobes where information is
processed regarding the color, form, and texture of objects. The second pathway, called the magnocellular or “where” pathway, leads to the parietal lobes where information is
processed regarding the motion and depth of objects.
4. What are negative color afterimages and why are they significant to the
trichromatic theory of color vision? [4 marks]
- When you stare at an object for a long time it will imprint the image onto the retina so
that when you then stare at a blank space you can see an afterimage of what you were
staring at, however, the afterimage is seen in complementary colors, which are the colors
that would mix with the original color to form gray. The phenomena of negative
afterimages cannot be accounted for using the trichromatic theory of color vision.
5. Brain waves that occur during deep sleep are called ______________ waves.
6. Define and give an example of subliminal perception. [3 marks]
- Subliminal perception occurs when we sense and perceive stimuli that do not reach the
threshold of conscious awareness. For example, stimuli flashed on a computer screen for
less than 33 milliseconds can influence behavior but when subjects are asked if they saw
anything, they report that they did not. [Elderly people walk slower when subliminally
primed with a negative stereotype about the elderly being slow, OR people state that they
prefer a certain geometric shape, or character, or nonsense word, when it is subliminally
flashed to them before being asked to pick their favorite from a group.]
7. What is the name of the sleep disorder characterized by nighttime
awakenings brought on by the cessation of breathing during sleep? [1 mark]
- Sleep Apnea
8. Explain the Biological view of dreaming. [4 marks]
- The Biological view states that dreams represent the attempt of the cortex to interpret
the random neural firing of the brain during sleep and that any images or themes found in
our dreams are merely random occurrences. This theory, called the activation-synthesis
model, believes that dreams are not particularly meaningful and it downplays the
importance of emotional factors influencing the content of our dreams.
9. What is biological preparedness and what phenomena does it account for?
- Preparedness involves a species-specific predisposition to be conditioned in certain
ways or to certain things and not others. Preparedness explains why certain phobias are
easier to condition than others (e.g., snakes vs. rabbits), why taste aversions only occur with novel foods and will not be conditioned using visual or auditory neutral stimuli, and
why instinctive drift can interfere with the operant conditioning process.
10. What is stimulus generalization and discrimination? [2 marks]
- Stimulus generalization occurs when an organism that has learned a response to a
specific stimulus responds in the same way to new stimuli that are similar to the original
stimulus and discrimination is when the organism does not respond in the same way to
new stimuli that are similar to the original stimulus.
11. Explain the difference between variable ratio and fixed interval
reinforcement schedules. Which works best and why? [4 marks]
- In a fixed interval schedule an organism is reinforced at a constant rate of time, such as
every two minutes. In a variable ratio schedule an organism is reinforced following a
varying number of responses, such as after 2 desired responses, then after 1, then after 3
(average after every 2 desired responses). In general, ratio schedules produce more rapid
responding, however, variable schedules produce steadier rates of responding and greater
resistance to extinction.
L6001 TR 5-6 [K 137] Test 2 2003
1. Give an example of how context can affect perception. [ 2 marks]
- With the “ratman” drawing, those who first saw drawings of animals saw a rat, whereas
those who first saw drawings of faces saw an old man with glasses. OR in the 2 women
illusion, elderly subjects tend to see the older woman first, whereas younger subjects tend
to see the young woman first.
2. Give two examples of a Weber fraction. [2 marks]
vision = 1/60, kinesthesis = 1/30, pain = 1/30, hearing = 1/10, pressure = 1/7, smell = 1/4
3. Describe the “secondary” visual pathway in the brain. What function does it
serve? [3 marks]
- Neural impulses travel from the eye along the optic nerve to the optic chiasm, where
input from the inner half of each eye is sent to the superior colliculus before being routed
through the thalamus and on to the occipital lobes. The secondary pathway reaches
different areas of the thalamus and occipital lobe than the primary pathway and the
principal function seems to be the coordination of visual input with other sensory input.
4. Explain how the Young-Hemholtz and Opponent-Process theories work
together to explain color vision. [4 marks] - The Y-H theory or trichromatic theory of color vision states that the human eye has
three types of receptors with differing sensitivities to different light wavelengths (red,
green, and blue). The Opponent-Process theory states that color perception depends on
receptors that make antagonistic responses to three pairs of colors: red-green, yellow-
blue, and black-white. These theories work together as the trichromatic theory explains
color perception in the cones of the retina, whereas the Opponent Process theory explains
color perception in the ganglion cells, lateral geniculate nucleus, and visual cortex.
5. Brain waves that occur during REM sleep are called ______________ waves.
6. Identify and explain three theories concerning the function of sleep.
[3 marks] [any three]
- Memory consolidation: we sleep in order to consolidate our experiences during the day
into our long term memory. Energy conservation: we sleep in order to lower our core
body temperature to conserve energy for activity in the day. Preservation from predators:
we sleep to lessen the chances of being out and about when predators may be around.
Restoring bodily functions: we sleep to rest and maintain our cognitive and perceptual-
7. What is the name of the sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling
asleep at night? [1 mark]
8. Explain the Evolutionary view of dreaming. [4 marks]
- The Evolutionary view believes that dreams evolved as a way for humans and animals
to rehearse behavioral patterns to threatening stimuli without actually having to confront
the dangerous situation in real life. In essence, dreaming is a virtual reality threat
simulation exercise that allows us to practice behaviors that will help us in real life
emergencies without being exposed to any real threat.
9. Explain how a conditioned taste aversion develops and state why it is unique
from other types of classical conditioning. [4 marks]
- If someone gets viral gastroenteritis or “stomach flu” [the unconditioned stimulus] and
becomes violently ill [the unconditioned response], a food that was eaten that day can
become associated with being ill [unconditioned response] such that the specific food
becomes a conditioned stimuli for feeling ill [conditioned response]. Taste aversions are
unique in that it requires only one pairing of the CS and UCS, taste aversions are
extremely difficult to condition to stimuli other than orally ingested substances (biological preparedness or signal relations), and the UCR can follow the CS by up to
many hours later.
10. What is observational learning? [2 marks]
- Observational learning occurs when an organism’s responding is influenced by the
observation of others, who are called models. Essentially, it involves being conditioned
indirectly by virtue of observing another’s conditioning.
11. 11. Explain and give examples for positive and negative reinforcement.
- Negative reinforcement is when a negative or aversive stimulus is taken away by some
behavior thereby strengthening the tendency for that behavior to occur again. An example
is taking an aspirin to reduce a headache will increase the likelihood of future aspirin
taking. Positive reinforcement is when a positive or pleasant stimulus follows some
behavior and strengthens the tendency of that behavior to occur again. An example is
when a child does her homework she gets praise from her mother or gets a gold star from
her teacher increasing the likelihood of doing homework again in the future.
____ 1) When Lindsay was nine years old the neighbor's chihuahua bit her on the ankle.
Today Lindsay is still terrified of chihuahuas, but she likes almost all other types of
dogs. Lindsay's fear illustrates the classical conditioning process of:
A. instinctive drift
B. stimulus discrimination
C. stimulus generalization
D. negative avoidance
____ 2) Rather than provide details about the party she just attended, Patty tried to give
her overall impression, operating on the assumption of __________, that the whole
may be greater than the mere sum of its parts.
B. holistic psychology
C. Gestalt psychology
____ 3) Dissociation refers to
A. a loss of inhibition by hypnotized subjects
B. a hypnotized subject's willingness to act out the hypnotist's suggestions
C. a splitting of mental processes into two separate, simultaneous streams of awareness
D. role playing by hypnotized subjects in response to situational cues
____ 4) In order to maximize visual acuity at night, you should
A. look directly at the object you wish to see
B. turn your head at a slight angle to the object
C. close one eye
D. blink your eyes several times to hasten dark adaptation
____ 5) Primary reinforcers __________, while secondary reinforcers __________.
A. depend on learning; satisfy biological needs
B. satisfy biological needs; depend on learning
C. are associated with classical conditioning; are associated with operant conditioning D. are associated with operant conditioning; are associated with classical conditioning
____ 6) Pitch perception can best be explained by __________ for very low-pitched
sounds, __________ for very high-pitched sounds, and __________ for pitches in the
A. place theory; frequency theory; place theory
B. frequency theory; both theories; place theory
C. place theory; both theories; frequency theory
D. frequency theory; place theory; both theories
____ 7) In classical conditioning, the stimulus that is originally neutral in regard to the
response to be learned is the
A. unconditioned stimulus
B. unconditioned response
C. conditioned stimulus
D. conditioned response
____ 8) Voluntary muscle activity
A. is at its lowest during REM sleep
B. is at its highest during REM sleep
C. does not occur in NREM sleep
D. does not occur during either REM or NREM sleep
____ 9) The electroencephalograph is used in sleep research to measure brain-wave
activity in the
A. corpus callosum
B. cerebral cortex
____ 10) Which of the following is not good advice for combating insomnia?
A. Develop a bedtime sleep ritual.
B. Read a dull textbook before going to bed.
C. Avoid taking naps during the day.
D. Have a cup of warm coffee just before going to bed.
____ 11) An antecedent in a behavior modification program is
A. a source of a reinforcement
B. an event that precedes a behavior
C. a consequent of performing a behavior
D. an emotional component associated with the receipt of reinforcement or punishment
____ 12) Which of the following describes how we hear according to place theory?
A. Different sound frequencies vibrate different portions of the basilar membrane, producing different pitches.
B. Our perception of pitch corresponds to the rate or frequency at which the entire basilar membrane vibrates.
C. We perceive differences in pitch according to the number of hair cells that vibrate at any one time.
D. Different sound frequencies affect the intensity with which the membrane separating the middle ear from
the inner ear vibrates, producing different pitches.
____ 13) Frederick cringes every time he hears a dentist's drill, even when he is sitting in
the waiting room of his dentist's office. In this example, the pain of dental drilling is
A. a conditioned response
B. an unconditioned stimulus
C. an unconditioned response
D. a conditioned stimulus
____ 14) When an animal's innate response tendencies interfere with the conditioning
process, it is referred to as A. learned helplessness
B. instinctive drift
____ 15) Mixing many, varied paints together would tend to produce a __________, while
projecting many varied colored spots on the same area of a screen would tend to
produce a __________.
A. bright, light color; dark, dull color
B. dull, dark color; light, whitish color
C. reddish color; bluish color
D. dull, dark color; dull, dark color
____ 16) The brain receives information about the positions of the various parts of the
body through the
A. vestibular sense
B. kinesthetic sense
C. kinetic sense
D. homeostatic sense
____ 17) Carly used to be afraid of visits to her family doctor because she associated the
sight of his waiting room with the pain of having a blood sample drawn. However,
Carly's new doctor's lab worker is "painless" and the sight of the waiting room is no
longer associated with pain. Consequently, Carly finds her fear of visits to her family
doctor has disappeared. This illustrates the classical conditioning process known as
A. spontaneous recovery
C. second-order conditioning
____ 18) You are watching a pigeon pecking a disk in a small chamber. There is a
cumulative recorder connected to the disk. While you are watching, the pigeon is
pecking at a slow, steady rate. Based on this information, you can predict that the line
on the cumulative recorder will
A. have a steep, upward slope
B. have a shallow, upward slope
C. have a shallow, downward slope
D. have a steep, downward slope
____ 19) Studies indicate that partial sleep deprivation can impair which of the following?
B. reaction time
C. decision making
D. attention, reaction time, or decision making
____ 20) In the __________ culture, dreams are viewed as the focal point of existence that
determines an individual's way of life.
A. Marakesh of Morocco
B. aborigines of Australia
C. Arapesh of New Guinea
D. Parintinin of Brazil
____ 21) Jacob has been working at his computer for the past 2 hours, and the hum that he
found so annoying when he started no longer bothers him. The change in Jacob's
sensitivity to the noise from the computer illustrates the process known as A. perceptual invariance
B. perceptual assimilation
C. adjusting just noticeable differences
D. sensory adaptation
____ 22) Which of the following has been used with modest success in the treatment of
A. group therapy
B. cognitive-behavioral therapy
C. sedative drugs
D. stimulant drugs
____ 23) The sense associated with the perception of smell is
____ 24) Stage 1 sleep is represented by EEG brain-wave patterns referred to as
A. alpha waves
B. REM waves
C. synchronisitic waves
D. theta waves
____ 25) The most widely used recreational drug in the United States is
D. the barbiturates
____ 26) The matching law states that under concurrent schedules of reinforcement,
organisms' relative rate of responding to each alternative
A. tends to increase steadily over time
B. tends to decrease steadily over time
C. tends to match each alternative's relative rate of reinforcement
D. tends to fluctuate randomly across the alternatives
____ 27) Images that occupy more space on your retina are seen as nearer relative to
images that occupy less space. This is a cue to depth perception known as
B. foveal disparity
C. phrenetic search
D. relative size
____ 28) Which of the following drugs is least likely to result in a fatal overdose?
____ 29) What appears to be responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm?
A. amount of time spent sleeping
B. amount of time spent awake
C. cultural practices D. exposure to light
____ 30) If a 100-Hz tone had to be increased to 110 Hz for a subject to just notice the
difference, you would predict that a 1000-Hz tone would have to be increased to
A. 1010 to be noticed
B. 1050 to be noticed
C. 1100 to be noticed
D. 1200 to be noticed
1) ANS: B REF: 230
2) ANS: C REF: 145 Correct = 88%
3) ANS: C REF: 202 Correct = 85%
4) ANS: B REF: 135
5) ANS: B REF: 237
6) ANS: D REF: 161 Correct = 74%
7) ANS: C REF: 223 Correct = 58%
8) ANS: A REF: 185
9) ANS: B REF: 181
10) ANS: D REF: 213
11) ANS: B REF: 257
12) ANS: A REF: 160
13) ANS: B REF: 225 Correct = 23%
14) ANS: B REF: 246 Correct = 80%
15) ANS: B REF: 140 Correct = 86%
16) ANS: B REF: 167 Correct = 86%
17) ANS: B REF: 229
18) ANS: B REF: 234
19) ANS: D REF: 191
20) ANS: B REF: 197 Correct = 41%
21) ANS: D REF: 130
22) ANS: D REF: 194
23) ANS: B REF: 164 Correct = 96%
24) ANS: D REF: 185
25) ANS: B REF: 206 Correct = 95%
26) ANS: C REF: 240
27) ANS: D REF: 149 Correct = 78%
28) ANS: A REF: 209
29) ANS: D REF: 182
30) ANS: C REF: 127 Correct = 87%
____ 1) Breland and Breland's work with "miserly raccoons" demonstrated
A. how principles of reinforcement (derived from studies of rats and pigeons) easily
generalize to raccoons B. differences in appropriate rewards for different species
C. that there are biologically imposed limits to the generality of conditioning principles
D. that raccoons are less conditionable, and therefore less intelligent, than rats and pigeons
____ 2) Simon cringes every time he hears a dentist's drill, even when he is sitting in the
waiting room of his dentist's office. In this example, cringing in the waiting room is
A. an unconditioned response
B. a conditioned stimulus
C. a conditioned response
D. an unconditioned stimulus
____ 3) Which of the following drugs has the greatest number (and most diverse)
negative effects on physical health?
____ 4) The most vivid dreams generally occur
A. during REM sleep
B. during NREM sleep
C. during the early hours of sleep
D. when alpha brain waves are present
____ 5) Continuous reinforcement occurs when
A. reinforcement is delivered continually, regardless of whether or not a response is made
B. it is not known in advance what responses will be reinforced
C. every behavior engaged in by the subject is reinforced
D. every occurrence of the designated response is reinforced
____ 6) The successive blinking on and off of the lights on the neon sign gave the
impression of beer filling a glass. This illusion of motion is the
A. phi phenomenon
B. constancy principle
C. common-fate principle
D. motion parallax effect
____ 7) Petra looked directly into a very bright light and damaged her retina. The
opthamologist has told her that she has sustained massive damage to her cones, but
for the most part her rods have not been affected. One change that you could predict
for Petra's vision is that she will now have
A. poor vision in low illumination
B. poor peripheral vision
C. no color vision
D. more accurate depth perception
____ 8) An electroencephalograph is a device that measures
A. glucose metabolism in the brain
B. muscle tension in the body
C. respiration rates as an index of arousal
D. electrical activity of the brain ____ 9) Ken used to