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Student Center Psychology: Frontiers and Applications
Michael W. Passer and Ronald E. Smith
Student Center

Chapter 1: Psychology: The Science of Behavior

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Learning Objectives

These questions, with a few additions (indicated with an asterisk), are taken from the directed questions found in the margins of the chapter. After reading the chapter, you should be able to answer these questions.

1. Define psychology and indicate what kinds of behaviors it studies.
2. How do the goals of basic and applied research differ?
3. How do the Robber’s Cave experiment and the jigsaw classroom program illustrate the relation between basic and applied science?
4. What are the four goals of psychology? How are these goals related to one another?
5. How were the four goals of scientific psychology illustrated in the Robber’s Cave study?
6. At what three levels of analysis were possible causes for Charles Whitman’s violent outburst explored?
7. What are perspectives on behavior? Cite four ways in which they can influence psychological science.
8. Contrast the positions of dualism and monism as they apply to the "mind-body" problem.
9. What three classes of causal factors does the biological perspective focus on?
10. What was the importance of Galvani’s discovery for (a) the mind-body puzzle, and (b) the development of psychology as a science?
11. What subsequent technical developments were important in the study of brain-behavior relations?
12. What is meant by natural selection? What is its role in physical and behavioral evolution?
13. According to evolutionary psychology, how do biological and behavioral evolution influence one another?
14. According to sociobiology, what is the ultimate importance of evolved social behaviors? On what bases has this position been criticized by other theorists?
15. What methods do behavior geneticists use to investigate the role of genetic factors in animal and human behavior?
16. What is the conception of human nature advanced by the cognitive perspective?
17. Compare the goals and methods of structuralism and functionalism.
18. What does gestalt mean? How does this meaning relate to the goals and findings of Gestalt psychology?
19. What were the methods used and the conclusions reached by Piaget in his studies of cognitive development?
20. How have Beck and Ellis advanced our understanding of emotional problems?
21. What is studied in the cognitive science areas of artificial intelligence and cognitive neuroscience?
22. What do social constructivists says about the nature of "reality?"
22.1* Summarize the "They Saw a Game" study by Hastorf and Cantril (1954).
23. What causal factors are the focus of the psychodynamic perspective?
24. What observations convinced Freud of the importance of unconscious and childhood determinants of adult behavior?
24.1* According to Freud, why are people afraid of and anxious about their sexual desires? What are defense mechanisms and what is repression?
25. In what sense is the human in continuous internal conflict, according to Freud?
26. What influences does Freud’s theory have on contemporary psychology?
27. What are the important causal factors in behavior within the behavioral perspective? How was this school of thought influence by British empiricism?
27.1* What is behaviorism? What important people are associated with this movement?
28. What is cognitive behaviorism? How does it differ from radical behaviorism?
29. How does the humanistic conception of human nature and motivation differ from that advanced by psychoanalysis and behaviorism?
30. How does terror management theory draw on humanistic concepts? What are some of its major findings?
31. Define culture and norms. What functions does a culture serve?
32. Contrast individualistic and collectivistic societies.
32.1 Summarize the research of Margaret Mead.
32.2 What does the term eugenics mean?
33 Why is the distinction between originating and present causes important in the nature-nurture focus on evolutionary and cultural factors in behavior?
34. In what sense has psychology come "full circle" from its early focus on mental events?
34.1 For each of the psychological perspectives, differentiate between their conceptions of human nature, major causal factors of behavior, and predominant focus and methods of behavior.
35. What three levels of analysis allow us to incorporate causal factors suggested by each of the perspectives?
36. What does the biological level of analysis tell us about the causes of depression?
37. What kinds of psychological causal factors have been identified in depression?
38. Which causal factors in depression are seen at the environmental level of analysis?
39. What is meant by the interaction of causal factors?
40. In what sense do depressive behaviors have biological, psychological, and environmental consequences?
40.1 What are the principles that are widely accepted by psychologists?
40.2 What are the four general classes of academic performance enhancement skills?
41. Describe three important principles of time management.
41.1 What are two important suggestions for improving study habits?
42. What does educational psychology research tell us about the effects of directions questions on retention of information? Why do they have these effects?
43. What kinds of strategies are used by test-wise students when they take tests?

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