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Chapter 1 History, Background, And Basic Concepts
1. B. F. Skinner used white rats in his early experiments because
a. they exhibit only the simplest learning abilities
b. they had been frequently used in medical research
c. he felt it did not matter what species he studied
d. none of the above
Answer: c
Skinner's choice of white rats wasn't based on their learning abilities or their common use in
medical research. Rather, he believed that the species being studied was irrelevant to
understanding the principles of behavior, as his focus was on observable behavior and
environmental influences.
2. Aristotle's rules of association included all of the following except
a. contiguity
b. recency
c. similarity
d. contrast
Answer: b
Aristotle's rules of association encompassed contiguity, similarity, and contrast, but not
recency. Recency is a concept more closely associated with memory processes rather than
Aristotle's theories of association.
3. Nativism is
a. a more extreme position than Empiricism
b. the view that all knowledge comes from experience
c. the view that no knowledge comes from experience

d. none of the above
Answer: d
Nativism posits that certain knowledge or capabilities are innate rather than learned from
experience. It stands in contrast to Empiricism, which asserts that all knowledge comes from
experience. However, it doesn't necessarily claim that no knowledge comes from experience,
making option d the correct choice.
4. If a child learns the concept of house before the concept of floor, this learning
a. is evidence for Aristotle's principle of contiguity
b. is evidence against Aristotle's principle of contiguity
c. is evidence for James Mill's theory of complex ideas
d. is evidence against James Mill's theory of complex ideas
Answer: d
James Mill's theory of complex ideas posits that complex ideas are formed by combining
simpler ideas, suggesting that learning the concept of "floor" before "house" aligns with this
theory. Aristotle's principle of contiguity, on the other hand, emphasizes the association
between temporally or spatially contiguous events, which isn't directly applicable in this
5. According to Thomas Brown’s secondary principles of association, learning is affected by
a. the length of time two stimuli are presented together
b. the liveliness or vividness of the stimuli
c. how frequently two stimuli have been presented together
d. all of the above
Answer: d

Thomas Brown's secondary principles of association include frequency, contiguity, and
intensity (or liveliness/vividness) of stimuli. Therefore, all options listed contribute to
learning according to Brown's principles.
6. Ebbinghaus used nonsense syllables in his list learning experiments primarily because
a. they were relatively free from prior associations
b. they were difficult to learn
c. they were all three letters long
d. he needed a supply of hundreds of different list items
Answer: a
Ebbinghaus chose nonsense syllables because they were devoid of prior associations,
allowing him to control for interference from pre-existing knowledge or associations, thus
ensuring purer results in his experiments.
7. If a subject memorizes a list perfectly in 10 trials, and then takes 6 trials to relearn the list
the next day, the amount of savings is
a. 33.3%
b. 40%
c. 60%
d. 66.7%
Answer: b
Savings in memory refers to the reduction in the number of trials needed to relearn
information. In this case, the subject took 10 trials initially but only 6 trials to relearn,
indicating a savings of 4 trials. This represents a 40% reduction in the number of trials
required (4/10 x 100).
8. Ebbinghaus discovered that continuing to study a list of nonsense syllables after he could
already recite the list perfectly

a. increased the savings on a later relearning test
b. did not change the savings on a later relearning test
c. actually decreased the savings on a later relearning test
d. increased the strength of backward associations
Answer: a
Ebbinghaus found that continued study of a list even after perfect recitation increased the
savings on a later relearning test. This phenomenon is known as the "overlearning effect,"
where additional study beyond mastery enhances long-term retention and retrieval.
9. Ebbinghaus's results suggest that studying a large number of names and dates immediately
before an exam
a. is a good strategy
b. is a poor strategy
c. will neither help nor hurt
d. will help only if this information has also been studied at some earlier time
Answer: a
Ebbinghaus's findings support the idea that cramming immediately before an exam can be
effective in retaining information. However, for optimal retention, it's beneficial if the
information has been studied at an earlier time as well.
10. If the savings in a serial learning experiment is 75% after a delay of one hour, the savings
after a delay of two hours will probably be
a. more than 75%
b. more than 50%
c. about 50%
d. less than 50%

Answer: b
Typically, the rate of forgetting follows a pattern where more is forgotten initially and then
the rate of forgetting slows down over time. Therefore, if the savings after one hour are 75%,
it's likely that after two hours, the savings would still be more than 50%, but likely less than
75%. Thus, option b is the most plausible choice.
11. Ebbinghaus's experiments in which a previously learned list was systematically
rearranged and the new list was learned provided evidence supporting
a. the recency principle
b. the contiguity principle
c. the similarity principle
d. none of the above
Answer: b
Ebbinghaus's experiments demonstrated that the ability to remember items was influenced by
their proximity or contiguity to each other in the list. This supports the contiguity principle,
which states that items that are close together in time or space are more likely to be
associated with each other and thus remembered better.
12. Ebbinghaus’s results suggest that continuing to recite a poem after you have learned it
a. will improve your ability to remember it later
b. will harm your ability to remember it later
c. will have no effect on your ability to remember it later
d. will interfere with your ability to learn other poems
Answer: a

Ebbinghaus's research indicates that overlearning, or continued rehearsal even after mastery,
can enhance long-term retention. Therefore, continuing to recite a poem after learning it
perfectly is likely to improve one's ability to remember it later.
13. One disadvantage of using animals in research on learning is that
a. they are more likely to display “subject effects” than humans
b. some complex learning abilities are unique to humans
c. it is difficult to control their environments
d. all of the above
Answer: b
The use of animals in learning research may be limited because some complex learning
abilities are unique to humans and may not directly translate to other species.
14. Laws in the United States require that research animals have
a. adequate food and water
b. a clean living environment
c. veterinary care
d. all of the above
Answer: d
US laws mandate that research animals receive humane treatment, including access to
adequate food and water, a clean living environment, and veterinary care to ensure their wellbeing.
15. A psychologist develops a theory that failure produces frustration, and frustration
frequently leads to aggressive behavior. In this theory, frustration is
a. an independent variable
b. a dependent variable

c. an intervening variable
d. a confounding variable
Answer: b
In the given theory, frustration is posited to lead to aggressive behavior, indicating that
frustration is dependent on failure and aggression is dependent on frustration.
16. Which of the following is an example of an intervening variable?
a. hunger
b. food
c. eating
d. not eating for 10 hours
Answer: a
An intervening variable comes between the independent and dependent variables in a causal
chain. Hunger, in this case, serves as an intervening variable between not eating for 10 hours
(independent variable) and its effect on behavior or cognition (dependent variable).
17. Skinner has argued against the use of intervening variables in psychological theories
a. because they make the theories more complex
b. because he believed that the causes of many behaviors can be found in the environment,
not inside the individual
c. both a and b
d. neither a nor b
Answer: c

Skinner rejected the use of intervening variables in psychological theories because he
believed they made theories more complex and preferred explanations based solely on
observable environmental factors.
18. To account for all the relations between two independent variables and three dependent
variables, a theory without intervening variables would have to describe
a. two relations
b. three relations
c. five relations
d. six relations
Answer: d
Without intervening variables, each independent variable would have to be related to each
dependent variable separately. With two independent variables and three dependent variables,
this would require six separate relations to account for all possible combinations of
19. Neal Miller argued that intervening variables are helpful when dealing with many
independent and dependent variables because they make a theory
a. simpler
b. more realistic
c. more testable
d. fruitful
Answer: a
Miller suggested that intervening variables simplify complex theories by providing a
conceptual bridge between observable variables, making the overall theory more manageable
and comprehensible.
20. A neuron's transmitter is released from its

a. cell body
b. axon terminals
c. dendrites
d. nucleus
Answer: b
Neurotransmitters are released from the axon terminals of a neuron into the synaptic cleft to
communicate with other neurons or target cells.
21. The __________ of a neuron receive(s) the transmitter released by other neurons.
a. cell body
b. axon terminals
c. dendrites
d. nucleus
Answer: c
Dendrites are the structures of a neuron that receive neurotransmitters released by other
neurons. They contain receptors that detect these chemical signals, initiating electrical
impulses that travel through the neuron.
22. The activity of a cone on the retina can provide other parts of the visual system with
information about
a. the color of a stimulus
b. the size of a stimulus
c. the shape of a stimulus
d. all of the above
Answer: a

Cones in the retina are responsible for color vision. Different cones are sensitive to different
wavelengths of light, allowing them to provide information about the color of a stimulus to
other parts of the visual system.
23. The "simple cells" discovered by Hubel and Wiesel, which respond to lines of particular
orientations, can be found in
a. the retina
b. the cornea
c. the visual cortex
d. the hippocampus
Answer: c
Hubel and Wiesel discovered "simple cells" in the visual cortex that respond to lines of
particular orientations. These cells are responsible for processing basic visual information
such as edges and lines.
24. A particular cell in a cat's visual system might respond most strongly to a line with an
angle that is 60o from the horizontal. Available evidence suggests that a cat's previous visual
a. have no effect on the characteristics of such angle detectors
b. have no effect except to keep the detectors from deteriorating because of a lack of use
c. can affect to some extent the best angle for a given cell
d. are totally responsible for determining the best angle for a given cell
Answer: c
Studies suggest that previous visual experiences can influence the orientation preferences of
neurons in the visual system, indicating that these preferences are not solely determined by
genetic factors.

25. Studies with rats raised in enriched environments have shown that their brains
a. have larger synapses
b. have more branching of dendrites
c. are heavier
d. all of the above
Answer: d
Rats raised in enriched environments exhibit brain changes such as larger synapses, increased
branching of dendrites, and heavier brains compared to rats raised in standard laboratory
26. Long-term potentiation
a. is an increase in an animal's ability to learn
b. is an increase in the strength of an excitatory synapse
c. is a decrease in a neuron's rate of firing
d. never lasts for more than a few hours
Answer: b
Long-term potentiation refers to the persistent strengthening of synapses based on recent
patterns of activity. It is characterized by an increase in the strength of excitatory synapses,
which enhances synaptic transmission and neuronal communication.
27. During the course of brain operations with human subjects, Penfield found that electrical
stimulation of specific areas of the cerebral cortex
a. caused patients to report vivid visual and auditory sensations
b. produced irreversible damage to the neurons that were stimulated
c. caused patients to experience pain
d. led to dreams that the patients described in detail when they awoke

Answer: a
Penfield's experiments showed that electrical stimulation of specific areas of the cerebral
cortex could elicit vivid sensations, including visual and auditory experiences, indicating the
localization of sensory functions in the brain.

Test Bank for Learning and Behavior
James E. Mazur
9780205864812, 9780205246441

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