Homework for principles of psy i


Instructions: Answer the following questions thoroughly in paragraph format (complete sentences).

  1. The text discusses in detail language development among children. How could grammatical errors actually be indicative of language acquisition in children? 

2.Define the term heuristic. How does the availability heuristic lead people to believe that catastrophic events, such as plane crashes, occur more frequently than they actually do?

3. Alfred Binet’s insight regarding a method of measuring mental development had an international  impact in the twentieth century. Explain how Binet’s went about calculating a child’s mental abilities. What scoring system did later researchers base on Binet’s method, and how was it originally calculated? 

4. Compare and contrast the benefits of the Stanford-Binet IQ test and Wechsler’s IQ tests. 

5. What are the cultural implications of IQ test? What is event schemata? Explain why event schemata have so much power over human behavior.

6. What is functional fixedness and how can overcoming it help you solve problems? Similarly, how does an algorithm save you time and energy when solving a problem? 

7. Describe the relationship between learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities to intelligence.


(10 points) Instructions: Develop a “Key Terms” for the following Assignment by defining these terms:

  • classical conditioning
  • operant conditioning
  • observational learning
  • positive reinforcement
  • negative reinforcement
  • punishment
  • neutral stimulus
  • unconditional stimulus
  • unconditional response
  • conditioned stimulus
  • conditioned response

(5 points) Instructions: For each situation below, indicate whether it is an example of :

a.  classical conditioning

b.  operant conditioning

c.  observational learning

1. Susie is a four-year-old child. One day she watches her mother vacuum the living room. Her mother comments to Susie, “Doesn’t the living room look nice now that I’ve cleaned it?” The next day, her mother finds Susie “vacuuming” the living room with her toy vacuum.


2. You are thinking of asking the teacher for an extension on your paper. Just as you are about to go up to the teacher, another student approaches the teacher with the same request. The teacher appears angry, and very loudly and rudely turns down the student’s request for an extension. You decide not to ask for an extension.


3. Until she was eight, Barbara liked cats. When she was eight, she was bitten through the hand by a cat as she tried to get it out from under a bed. This was an upsetting experience. Since that time, Barbara experiences anxiety whenever she is near a cat.


4. Alison, age four, needs to learn to speak up louder in class. Her parents and teacher agree that whenever Alison speaks up loudly in class, she will get a star on her chart. Whenever she accumulates 25 stars, she will get to go to Baskin-Robbins for ice cream. Alison starts speaking up in class more frequently.


5. Tom is hammering nails into planks to build a fence. He experiments with holding the nail a different way and immediately hits his thumb with the hammer. OUCH!  He continues his work, but he never holds the nail that way again.


6. It is summer. Sarah and Jeremy are in love. They enjoy being together and are thoroughly relaxed and content in each other’s presence. The hit song that summer is “Buckets of Love” and they hear that song a lot when they are together. At the end of the summer, they have to return to their separate colleges, which are quite far apart. That fall, every time Sarah hears the tune “Buckets of Love,” she experiences the same feelings of relaxation and contentment that she felt when she was with Jeremy.

(5 points)  Instructions: In the following examples, identify which element is being used to control behavior:

a.  positive reinforcement

b.  negative reinforcement

c.  punishment 

. The smoke detector in Jesse’s house is low on batteries. It emits an annoying chirp every few seconds. Jesse installs a new battery so it will stop making that noise.


9. Dr. Smith, a Doe College instructor, is having difficulty getting students to turn in papers. Previously, he had not assigned credit for homework; rather, he had simply assumed that students would do it for the practice. Dr. Smith establishes a policy that all students who turn in papers will get full credit for their work. Students now turn in papers much more often.


10.  Jeff is playing with his food at the dinner table. His mother tells him to stop playing with his food. When he does not stop, she takes his food away, leaving Jeff hungry all night. Jeff never plays with his food again.


11.  Jeff is playing with his food at the dinner table while his parents are trying to carry on an adult conversation. When his mother notices what Jeff is doing, she stops talking with her husband and directs her attention to Jeff. She yells at him to stop playing with his food, and says that playing with his food is a horrible and disgusting habit. Jeff plays with his food again several times during that meal, and even more frequently the next night.


12.  Jeff is diligently working on an art project at school. His teacher notices how nicely he is working and praises him loudly for his efforts. Jeff immediately seems less interested working on his project. The teacher praises the little bits he completes as time goes on, and Jeff stops working on the art project entirely.



Instructions: Answer the following questions thoroughly in paragraph format (complete sentences).

  1. Provide an example of a stressful situation that may cause a person to become seriously ill. How

would Selye’s general adaptation syndrome explain this occurrence?

  1. Review the items on the Social Readjustment Rating Scale. Select one of the items and discuss 

how it might bring about distress and eustress.

  1. Job burnout tends to be high in people who work in human service jobs. Considering the three 

dimensions of job burnout, explain how various job aspects unique to being a police officer might 

lead to job burnout in that line of work.

  1. Discuss the concept of Type A behavior pattern, its history, and what we now know concerning 

its role in heart disease.

  1. Consider the study in which volunteers were given nasal drops containing the cold virus to 

examine the relationship between stress and immune function (Cohen et al., 1998). How might this 

finding explain how people seem to become sick during stressful times in their lives (e.g., final exam 


  1. Although problem-focused coping seems to be a more effective strategy when dealing with 

stressors, do you think there are any kinds of stressful situations in which emotion focused coping 

might be a better strategy? 

  1. Describe how social support can affect health both directly and indirectly.
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