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Topics for Final Exam Short Answer Questions
(Psychology 110.03, Prof. Alex Genov)


1. According to a number of distinguished psychologists, a major purpose of the defense mechanisms described by Freud is the protection of self-esteem.  Give an example of how repression, reaction formation, projection, rationalization, displacement, and sublimation could each be used to protect or even enhance a positive self-image.

2. Although Susan is a brilliant pianist and highly acclaimed ballet dancer, her high school intelligence test scores were only average.  What does Susan's experience suggest regarding (a) the reliability and validity of intelligence tests, and (b) the nature of intelligence.

3. Tranquilizing drugs that inhibit sympathetic nervous system activity often effectively reduce people's subjective experience of intense fear and anxiety.  Use one of the major theories of emotion to account for the emotion-reducing effects of such tranquilizers.

4. David's history teacher asked him why so many German people complied with Hitler's orders to systematically slaughter millions of innocent Jews.  David suggested that the atrocities were committed because the Germans had become unusually cruel, sadistic people with abnormal and twisted personalities.  Use your knowledge of the fundamental attribution error and Milgram's research on obedience to highlight the weaknesses of David's explanation.

5. What is social cognition?  Describe Asch’s famous experiment on the social basis of physical reality.  In your own words, state why subjects became upset in this study.

6. How is the reciprocity principle used in bargaining and persuasion?  What are reciprocal concessions?  What is the door-in-the-face technique?  How would you use the door-in-the-face technique to get someone to get what you want? Make sure you define all the terms.