1. Briefly discuss the phenomenon of drug abuse in the context of five different psychological perspectives.
2. Describe the basic structure of a research experiment. Include the definition and purpose of the hypothesis, independent variable, dependent variable, control group, experimental group, and random assignment.
3. Explain what behavioral geneticists mean by the term heritability and why it is frequently misunderstood. Provide one example of low heritability and one example of high heritability.
4. Psychologists have described the human nervous system as the communication and control center for the body. The nervous system allows us to take in information from the environment, communicate the information to different parts of the body, and coordinate the body’s response. The nervous system itself is made up of neurons, or nerve cells, that communicate with each other by receiving and transmitting electrochemical signals, called neurotransmission. All human behavior is made possible by the activity of individual neurons working together in the nervous system. Think about a simple action you do every day, like answering your phone. When you perform this routine act, what are the individual neurons in your nervous system doing to make it possible?
In a multi-paragraph essay, explain how the activity of individual neurons enables you to perform a simple action like answering your phone. Be sure to describe the main parts of a neuron, explain the unique function of each part, and describe how neurons use electrochemical signals for neurotransmission. Include details from class materials, readings, and research on the nervous system to support your discussion.
5. Current research is revealing new relationships between sleep and memory formation. Discuss prior views and current research regarding the role of sleep. How might this apply to your own preparation for exams?
6. Psychologists have identified five main personality traits, often called the “Big Five” or the five-trait model. Think about the “Big Five” personality traits we studied in class. Then select a real or fictional character from literature, film, television, or public life. How could the “Big Five” model be used to understand the character’s personality?
In a multi-paragraph essay, explain what is meant by a “personality trait” according to the “Big Five” model, define each of the “Big Five” traits, and describe the character’s personality using the “Big Five” traits. For each trait, be sure to provide evidence from the character’s thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Include details from class materials, readings, and research on personality to support your discussion.
7. Social psychologists like Solomon Asch have studied the conditions that affect how people act in group situations, especially the ways in which people conform to the attitudes and behavior of others. Drawing on your personal experience, think of a situation in which you either did or did not conform to the attitudes and behavior of others in a group.
In a multi-paragraph essay, describe the situation and discuss the factors that influenced you to conform or not conform. Be sure to include information from class materials, readings, and research on group conformity to support your discussion.
8. Describe the controversy over whether routine vaccinations in children cause autism. What is the current interpretation of the scientific evidence? What has been a consequence of parental concerns about a potential link between routine vaccinations and autism?
9. For centuries, people have believed myths and misconceptions about psychological disorders and the people who suffer from them. Modern psychological research has allowed us to correct some of these misconceptions. As a result, many people have changed their ideas about mental and emotional disorders. Think of a common misconception you have observed in society or in your personal experience. How could information from research be used to change people’s views of psychological disorders? How can this information help us to better understand people who experience mental and emotional disorders?
In a multi-paragraph essay, describe the misconception you observed and discuss how information from research could be used to change this misconception about psychological disorders and the people who suffer from them. Be sure to include details from class materials, readings, and research on psychological disorders to support your discussion.
10. Imagine that you are an experienced mental health professional. Choose a psychological disorder and describe the type of treatment plan that you would initiate for such a disorder. Describe how you would modify your treatment plan for certain patients, if they do not respond well to your typical treatment paradigm.
11. Give an example of a highly stressful circumstance that you have experienced (or you may create a fictitious scenario) and discuss the various physiological changes that would occur at each stage of Selye’s general adaptation syndrome as a result of that event.