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North Central Texas College
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General Psychology Honors
EXAM #2 ANSWERS
SHORT ANSWER: Brief answers and bulleted responses are acceptable [40 points]
Answer in space provided; if you use the back, please indicate that.
1. A researcher conducts a typical twin study to determine the genetic and environmental
influences on the etiology of schizophrenia:
a. The researcher recruits 500 pairs of MZ twins and 500 pairs of DZ twins, all of
them raised together? What does MZ and DZ stand for, and what are the
characteristics of these 2 pairs of twins? [2 points]
MZ monozygotic, identical (share 100% of genes)
DZ dyzygotic, fraternal (share ~ 50% of genes)
b. If the concordance rate for schizophrenia among MZ twins is 75% and the
concordance rate for schizophrenia among DZ twins is 30%, what can the
researcher conclude? [2 points]
That genetics influences the onset of schizophrenia, over and above environment.
How does he justify this conclusion? What is it about twin studies that allow us to
make these conclusions? [2 points]
Since both sets of twins were raised with similar background, the only thing that can
account for differences in the similarities between these twin pairs is the fact that MZ
have same genesthus genetics is important.
d. If genetics fully accounted for the development of schizophrenia, what would be
the concordance rate among MZ twins? [1 point]
e. Name at least ONE criticism of this twin study approach. [1 point]
MZ twins are treated more similarly than DZ twins, thus this would mean that environment can
account for differences in the concordance rates of MZ and DZ twins.
Nonshared environmental effects not as apparent.
2. For each of the following scenarios, identify the four major elements of classical conditioning.
Specifiy for each: a) the unconditioned stimulus (US), b) the conditioned stimulus (CS),
the unconditioned response (UR), and d) the conditioned response (CR). [2 points each,
for a total of 8 points]
a. To discourage coyotes from attacking their sheep, ranchers feed the coyotes
small pieces of mutton tainted with poison that, when ingested, cause the
coyotes to experience extreme dizziness and nausea. Later, when the coyotes
are placed in the pen with the sheep, the mere smell of the sheep causes the
coyotes to run frantically away from their former prey.
b. As part of a new and intriguing line of research in behavioral medicine,
researchers give mice saccharine-flavored water (a sweet substance that mice
love) and then follow it up with an injection of a drug that weakens the mices
immune systems. Later when the mice drank saccharine-flavored water, they
showed signs of a weakened immune response. Research is currently underway
to see if the reverse is possible (i.e., if conditioning can be used to increase
immune functioning), a discovery which would surely have important implications
for new medical treatments
A passenger on an airplane was feeling very anxious about an important job
interview the next morning, and as a result he was uneasy and nervous
throughout the flight. Back at home weeks later, he is contemplating a holiday
trip. Though he hadnt previously been afraid to fly, he finds himself suddenly
nervous about flying and decided to cancel his plans to visit out-of-state relatives.
d. Its no secret that people become unhappy when bad weather strikes, but what is
surprising is that weather forecasters are consistently blamed for weather over
which they obviously have no control. Weather forecasters around the country
have been constantly harassed and blamed by people who mistakenly infer a
causal relationship between the forecaster with subsequent foul weather
patterns, like tornadoes.
Classical Conditioning Scenarios
3. For each example below, identify whether positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, or
punishment is illustrated. The behavior that is either being reinforced or punished is in
bold. [1 point each, for a total of 8 points]
a. Police pulling drivers over and giving prizes for buckling up.
b. Not allowing a basketball player from playing in the next 2 games because he committed
a flagrant foul.
c. A soccer player rolls her eyes at a teammate who delivered a bad pass.
d. The teacher finally calls on the student who has been snapping her fingers and making
eager noises to get the teachers attention.
e. Receiving a city utility discount for participating in a recycling program.
A parent nagging a child to clean up her room.
g. A rat presses a lever to terminate a shock or a loud noise.
h. At a party, a husband becomes sullen when his wife flirts with a colleague.
4. A woman is interested in getting her husband to wash the dishes more frequently. Describe
how she can train her husband to do the dishes and what she can do to ensure that he will
continue to do the dishes for a long time in the future, even if she drops her vigilance on his
behavior. Present the scenario, using examples, and also define relevant terms. [2 use points]
Can shaping reinforce increasing approximations of target behavior and increase ante for
reinforcement. Use partial reinforcement schedule to ensure he will continue to wash dishes
even after she has stopped reinforcing him.
5. Using classical and operant conditioning models, explain how (a) phobias develop or
originate, and (b) how they are maintained. When talking about classical conditioning,
describe the US, UR, CS, and CR. When talking about operant conditioning, be sure to
describe what the behavior is and how it is either reinforced or punished. [4 points]
How phobias develop: classical conditioning: traumatic event with feared object. UStrauma,
CS-feared object (snake), UR fear, CR fear
How phobias are maintained: operant conditioning: avoidance is negatively reinforced because
a decrease in anxiety after avoid, but it prevents extinction.
6. Imagine that a lion just walked into the classroom and appeared threatening. Or imagine
yourself taking the final exam in this course. Describe what symptoms you experience
under these situations in terms of these categories: emotional, cognitive, physiological
and behavioral responses. [3 points]
thoughts of upcoming death
increased HR, etc
Run out of room,
7. Describe an example of misattribution, as a reflection of Schachter & Singers Two-Factor
Model. Be sure to explain why this example illustrates misattribution and describe the
components (or factors) of the experience that are involved in this process. [3 points]
Exercise with someone, and start becoming attracted to them. Physiological signals (physiology)
and arousal attributed to the person (environmental cues), so label (cognitive interpretation) the
arousal as attraction or love.
8. Describe how an emotion can serve as an action disposition, to prime behaviors, including
fear-related behavior and even aggression, using an emotion network model of emotion. [2
Aversive events trigger emotion centers that involve connections between feelings, thoughts,
physiology, and behaviors and negative emotions can trigger responses that are consistent
with that emotion, because these are all governed by an aversive motivational system that
evolved to help us survive.
9. Describe how measurement of the startle response differs from measurement of the
autonomic nervous system indices (such as heart rate and skin conductance) in trying to
determine the valence and arousal level of an individuals emotional experience. [2 points]
Startle is an index of the valence of an emotional response whereas autonomic measures do not
tell us much about valence, more about the level of arousal that the person is experiencing,
whether positive or negative arousal.
MULTIPLE CHOICE [10 points]
1. Francis Galton studied intelligence in families, and found that genius congregated within
families (that is, smart people tended to have smart relatives). From these data, Galton
nature and nurture both affect intelligence
heredity mostly determines intelligence
rich families send their children to better schools
identical twins are more alike than fraternal twins
2. During the class lecture on operant conditioning, the poker chip served as a __________ for
conditioned stimulus (CS)
3. The diathesis-stress model of psychological disorders, that the instructor discussed in class,
stresses the importance of:
Obtaining a clear diagnosis of problems.
environmental circumstances that can trigger biological predispositions
genes in causing disorders
familial stress in the development of psychological problems.
4. According to class lecture, in the maintenance of phobias, the behavior that prevents
extinction of the fear is:
screaming at the sight of the feared object
experiencing intense, irrational fear at the sight of the object
taking prescription medications to allay the fear
avoidance of the feared object
In physiological experiments, it has been shown that psychopaths, compared to normal
subjects, show diminished startle responses to
pleasant stimuli only
neutral stimuli only
pleasant and aversive stimuli
6. Following habituation to one stimulus, the tendency for a different stimulus to arouse new
interest in an infant is called:
7. It is probably not coincidental that the development of object permanence is typically
accompanied by the development of
a. egocentric thought
b. separation anxiety
d. telegraphic speech
8. A child who is reading a book upstairs calls to his mother who is downstairs, Mommy, whats
this a picture of? This illustrates that the child is:
a. Concrete operational
d. Experiencing separation anxiety
9. A person does not drive over the speed limit because it is against the law. According to
Kohlberg, acting in such a manner in order to maintain the social order is an example of the
_____ level of moral thought.
10. Reviewing research on how babies react to the behaviors of other babies, Martin Hoffman
has suggested that morality in children is based on:
a. reflex behavior
d. rewards and punishments