Psychology 371 Midterm Study Questions Fall, 2009
9-12 questions will be chosen from this list, and you will be expected to answer 6 of them.
- Hans Eysenck has developed a theory of personality which ranges from physiological differences to social behavior. Briefly summarize his theory of introversion-extraversion.
- How can Eysenck's arousal theory of extraversion be applied to treatment of hyperactivity?
- How does Eysenck's theory relate to the paradoxial effect of amphetamines when used for treating hyperactivity?
- How does Eysenck's theory explain anti-social behavior such as that found in psychopaths?
- Jeffrey Gray has claimed that "Revelle's data are a dagger in the heart of Eysenck's theory". What are these data and why are they relevant to Eysenck's theory?
- Social psychologists and some personality psychologists (e.g., Mischel) frequently suggest that individual differences as commonly measured are not important. Are they right, or is there some reason to study individual differences in personality? Alternatively, is there a better way to conceptualize individual differences in personality?
- What do coffee, impulsivity, and time of day have to do with each other?
- "Personality is the coherent patterning of affect, behavior and cognition." Apply this statement to the study of introversion-extraversion, impulsivity, or achievement motivation.
- "All people are the same, some people are the same, no person is the same" is a basic tenent of personality research. Apply this to the study of introversion-extraversion, impulsivity, or achievement motivation.
- John Atkinson's theory of achievement motivation has evolved from a theory of risk preference to a theory of cumulative achievement. Briefly summarize the important parts of his theory.
- Atkinson's theory predicts different patterns of behavior for people who are approach motivated than those who are avoidance motivated. Explain what predictions the theory makes that are different for these two groups of subjects.
- What are contingent paths, and why are they important to our understanding of human achievement?
- What is the distinction between traits and states? Why is this important? How does Fleeson's research bear on this question?
- Atkinson and Eysenck are both concerned with the interaction of personality with the environment. Is it possible to integrate their respective models into one?
- Some theorists have attempted to distinguish between effort and arousal as two components of motivation. Is this a legitimate distinction? Is it a useful one? Explain.
- How do effort and arousal affect cognitive performance? How do these effects relate to individual differences in personality or to situational manipulations?
- Suppose a friend asks why you are studying personality. Your friend suggests that most of what psychologists in general and personality researchers in particular say is trivial and obvious. Your friend says that personality theory is merely common sense. How do you answer this person, do you agree or disagree?
- It has long been argued that there are two different disciplines in the study of psychology: the study of general laws and the study of individual differences. How do these two approaches differ? Is there a way to reconcile these two approaches in the study of personality?
- Dynamic models of personality allow us to integrate theories of affect with theories of stable personality. Explain.
- Recent work has tried to integrate personality descriptions within framework of Affect, Behavior, Cognition, and Desire. Taking any one of the major traits we have discussed, apply this ABCD model and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this approach.
- If people prefer acting extraverted to acting introverted (Fleeson), why isn't everybody extraverted?
- If anxiety is unpleasant and hurts performance, why are people anxious?
Revised October 21, 2009.