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Chapter 10
Psychophysics and the Formal Founding of Psychology
1. The term psychophysics refers to
a. the study of the relationships between readings of physical scales and readings on measures
of physiological processes (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, etc.).
b. the study of the effects of physical variables (e.g., atmospheric pressure, gravity, light
intensity, etc.) on behavior.
c. the study of physiological psychology in all of its manifestations.
d. the study of the relationships between the properties of stimuli as measured on a physical
scale and the psychological or subjective impressions of those stimuli.
Answer: d. the study of the relationships between the properties of stimuli as measured on a
physical scale and the psychological or subjective impressions of those stimuli.
Rationale:
Psychophysics specifically focuses on quantitatively measuring the relationship between
physical stimuli and psychological sensations or perceptions, making option d the most
accurate definition.
2. Thresholds are typically defined operationally as
a. that minimal or maximal (for upper thresholds) stimulus intensity that is detected 50% of
the time.
b. the initial appearance in consciousness of any given phenomenon.
c. the theoretical doorkeeper between the unconscious and consciousness.
d. mere awareness as opposed to an interpretive cognition.
Answer: a. that minimal or maximal (for upper thresholds) stimulus intensity that is detected
50% of the time.
Rationale:

Thresholds are operationally defined as the stimulus intensity at which a particular sensation
is detected 50% of the time, making option a the correct definition.
3. A difference threshold is defined as
a. that minimal stimulus intensity that is detected 50% of the time.
b. the initial appearance in consciousness of any given phenomenon.
c. the theoretical doorkeeper between the unconscious and consciousness.
d. the minimal stimulus difference that is detectable 50% of the time.
Answer: a. that minimal stimulus intensity that is detected 50% of the time.
Rationale:
The difference threshold, also known as the just noticeable difference, is defined as the
smallest change in stimulus intensity that can be detected 50% of the time, aligning with
option a.
4. The formal beginnings of psychophysics are found in the work of
a. Wilhelm Wundt.
b. Rudolph Hermann Lotze.
c. Ernst Heinrich Weber and Gustav Theodor Fechner.
d. Hermann von Helmholtz.
Answer: c. Ernst Heinrich Weber and Gustav Theodor Fechner.
Rationale:
Psychophysics as a formal discipline began with the work of Weber and Fechner, who laid
the foundation for studying the relationship between physical stimuli and psychological
responses.
5. _____ systematically mapped the cutaneous sensitivity of the human body.
a. Ernst Heinrich Weber

b. Hermann von Helmholtz
c. Rudolph Hermann Lotze
d. Gustav Theodor Fechner
Answer: a. Ernst Heinrich Weber
Rationale:
Ernst Heinrich Weber systematically mapped the sensitivity of the human body to touch and
pressure, contributing significantly to the early understanding of sensory perception.
6. The just noticeable difference (difference threshold) is a constant mathematical function of
the existing amount of stimulation. In its most basic form, this was first proposed by
a. Ernst Heinrich Weber
b. Hermann von Helmholtz
c. Rudolph Hermann Lotze
d. Wilhelm Wundt
Answer: a. Ernst Heinrich Weber
Rationale:
Ernst Heinrich Weber was the first to propose the concept that the just noticeable difference
is a constant fraction of the existing stimulus intensity, known as Weber's Law.
7. Fechner’s night view of life is found in ________ whereas his day view of life is found in
________.
a. extreme materialistic positions . . . panpsychism
b. beliefs in unbridled free will . . . determinism
c. idealism . . . empiricism
d. empiricism . . .rationalism
Answer: a. extreme materialistic positions . . . panpsychism

Rationale:
Fechner's "night view of life," characterized by extreme materialistic positions, is found in his
work "Zend-Avesta," while his "day view of life," emphasizing panpsychism, is evident in
his book "Little Book of Life after Death."
8. Fechner used the pseudonym “Dr. Mises” to support
a. extreme materialistic positions.
b. determinism.
c. solipsism.
d. panpsychism.
Answer: d. panpsychism.
Rationale:
Fechner used the pseudonym "Dr. Mises" to advocate for his belief in panpsychism, the idea
that consciousness is inherent in all things.
9. Elements of Psychophysics, a classic in psychology, was written by
a. Ernst Heinrich Weber.
b. Hermann von Helmholtz.
c. Rudolph Hermann Lotze.
d. Gustav Theodor Fechner.
Answer: d. Gustav Theodor Fechner.
Rationale:
"Elements of Psychophysics" is a seminal work in psychology written by Gustav Fechner,
outlining the fundamental principles of psychophysics.
10. You now employ a method in which comparison stimuli are simply presented with a
standard stimulus in a random fashion and the subjects task is simply to report whether the

comparison stimulus is equal to, greater than, or weaker than the standard. You are now using
the method of
a. constant stimuli.
b. limits.
c. average error.
d. sign stimuli.
Answer: a. constant stimuli.
Rationale:
The described method involves presenting comparison stimuli randomly with a standard
stimulus, which is characteristic of the constant stimuli method in psychophysics.
11. You wish to measure brightness discrimination. Your subject views a standard light
source and attempts to match the standard by turning a knob that controls the brightness of a
comparison stimulus. You use an ascending and descending series. You are using the method
of
a. average error.
b. limits.
c. constant stimuli.
d. fixed intervals.
Answer: a. average error.
Rationale:
In brightness discrimination, the subject is adjusting the comparison stimulus to match the
standard. By using an ascending and descending series, the researcher can calculate the
average error, which represents how close, on average, the subject's matches are to the
standard. This method helps in assessing the accuracy of the subject's brightness
discrimination abilities.

12. The first textbook claiming to be about physiological psychology was written by a
German scholar who was also known for an approach to depth perception that involved a
theory of local signs. He was
a. Gustav Theodor Fechner.
b. Ernst Heinrich Weber.
c. Rudolph Hermann Lotze.
d. Hermann von Helmholtz.
Answer: c. Rudolph Hermann Lotze.
Rationale:
Rudolph Hermann Lotze was a German scholar who wrote one of the earliest textbooks on
physiological psychology. He also proposed a theory of local signs in depth perception,
which suggested that the brain interprets sensory input based on the location of stimulation
within the sensory field.
13. The vision of _______ regarding the unity of the sciences was so great that he hardly
knew when he was doing psychology, physiology, or physics. He believed there were no
mysterious forces or unknowable energies that activate the organism.
a. Herman von Helmholtz
b. George Berkeley
c. Wilhelm Wundt
d. Ernst Heinrich Weber
Answer: a. Herman von Helmholtz
Rationale:
Herman von Helmholtz had a holistic view of science, seeing a unity among various
disciplines. He believed that the phenomena observed in psychology, physiology, and physics
were interconnected, rejecting the idea of mysterious forces and advocating for a scientific
approach to understanding natural phenomena.

14. The ophthalmoscope, invented by ______ made it possible to gain visual access to the
retina of the eye.
a. Gustav Fechner
b. Ernst Weber
c. Hermann von Helmholtz
d. Wilhelm Wundt
Answer: c. Hermann von Helmholtz
Rationale:
Hermann von Helmholtz invented the ophthalmoscope, a device used to examine the interior
structures of the eye, including the retina. This invention revolutionized ophthalmology and
allowed for direct observation of the retina, leading to significant advancements in
understanding eye anatomy and pathology.
15. _____ possessed an intense interest in vision research, particularly in the areas of color
vision, depth perception, and the physical structure of the eye.
a. Gustav Fechner
b. Ernst Weber
c. Hermann von Helmholtz
d. Rudolph Hermann Lotze
Answer: c. Hermann von Helmholtz
Rationale:
Hermann von Helmholtz was deeply involved in vision research, contributing significantly to
the understanding of color vision, depth perception, and the anatomy of the eye. His work
laid the foundation for many principles still relevant in vision science today.
16. Helmholtz's explanation of depth perception was based largely on
a. the innate capacities of the organism.

b. abstract reasoning ability of the organism.
c. binocular cues.
d. early associations of visual and kinesthetic cues, “unconscious inferences,” and, in general,
an empirical approach.
Answer: d. early associations of visual and kinesthetic cues, “unconscious inferences,” and,
in general, an empirical approach.
Rationale:
Helmholtz proposed that depth perception is based on unconscious inferences drawn from
early associations between visual and kinesthetic cues. He emphasized an empirical approach
to understanding perception, rejecting the idea of innate capacities or abstract reasoning as
the sole determinants of depth perception.
17. Helmholtz explained depth perception in terms of monocular cues and binocular cues. To
more adequately study binocular cues for depth perception, he invented the
a. ophthalmoscope.
b. aesthesiometer.
c. stereoscope.
d. prism.
Answer: c. stereoscope.
Rationale:
Helmholtz invented the stereoscope to study binocular cues for depth perception. The
stereoscope presents slightly different images to each eye, simulating the slight disparity
between the two retinal images that the brain uses to perceive depth in stereoscopic vision.
18. The trichromatic theory of color vision grew largely out of the work of
a. Hermann von Helmholtz, Thomas Young, and Wilhelm Wundt.
b. Gustav Theodor Fechner, Hermann von Helmholtz, and Thomas Young.

c. James Clerk Maxwell, Thomas Young, and Hermann von Helmholtz.
d. Thomas Young, Ernst Heinrich Weber, and Hermann von Helmholtz.
Answer: c. James Clerk Maxwell, Thomas Young, and Hermann von Helmholtz.
Rationale:
The trichromatic theory of color vision was developed based on the contributions of James
Clerk Maxwell, Thomas Young, and Hermann von Helmholtz. This theory suggests that the
human eye has three types of color receptors, each sensitive to a different range of
wavelengths, which together enable color vision.
19. The formal beginnings of experimental psychology are generally traced to the year _____
when _______.
a. 1834 . . . Weber published his work on the Sense of Touch
b. 1879 . . . Wundt established a laboratory at Leipzig
c. 1881 . . . Lotze published his Outlines of Psychology
d. 1873 . . . Wundt published volume I of his classic Principles of Physiological Psychology.
Answer: b. 1879 . . . Wundt established a laboratory at Leipzig
Rationale:
The formal beginnings of experimental psychology are often traced back to 1879 when
Wilhelm Wundt established the first experimental psychology laboratory at the University of
Leipzig. This event marked the separation of psychology from philosophy and physiology
and the beginning of psychology as an experimental science.
20. Wundt’s broad interests were evident in his 10-volume work
a. Völkerpsychologie.
b. Elements of Psychophysics.
c. Principles of Psychology.
d. Handbook of Physiological Optics.

Answer: a. Völkerpsychologie.
Rationale:
Wilhelm Wundt's 10-volume work, Völkerpsychologie, focused on cultural psychology and
the study of the collective or shared aspects of human experience. This work demonstrated
Wundt's broad interests beyond experimental psychology, encompassing cultural, social, and
anthropological dimensions of human behavior.
21. Prior to ________, psychology was often thought of as a branch of philosophy. Following
his work, psychology became a separate discipline and an experimental science in its own
right.
a. Helmholtz
b. Wundt
c. Fechner
d. Weber
Answer: b. Wundt
Rationale:
Wilhelm Wundt is considered the father of experimental psychology and the founder of
psychology as a separate discipline. His establishment of the first experimental psychology
laboratory in 1879 at the University of Leipzig marked the beginning of psychology as an
experimental science distinct from philosophy.
22. Hylozoism is the view that
a. mind is manifested in all material movement.
b. mind, per se, does not exist. It is only a manifestation of more basic material events.
c. mind is restricted to human beings. Animals have no minds.
d. mind is purely a formal concept, an abstraction that has a basis only in language.
Answer: a. mind is manifested in all material movement.

Rationale:
Hylozoism posits that all matter possesses life or mind, and therefore, mind is manifested in
all material movement. It suggests a close connection between mind and matter, seeing mind
as an inherent property of material substances.
23. According to Wundt, the origin of mental processes dates to
a. the emergence of the first human beings
b. the emergence of language among early prehuminoid types
c. the origin of life itself
d. the emergence of human consciousness
Answer: c. the origin of life itself
Rationale:
Wundt believed that mental processes, including consciousness, originated with the
emergence of life itself. He viewed mental processes as fundamental aspects of living
organisms, tracing their origins back to the earliest forms of life.
24. In terms of his mind-body position, Wundt's position is most similar to that embraced by
a. Descartes.
b. Leibniz.
c. La Mettrie.
d. Spinoza.
Answer: d. Spinoza.
Rationale:
Wundt's mind-body position is most similar to Spinoza's philosophy, which emphasizes the
unity of mind and body as different aspects of the same substance. Both Wundt and Spinoza
rejected Cartesian dualism, advocating for a monistic perspective that sees mind and body as
inseparable.

25. The name Wundt preferred for his system of thought was
a. Structuralism.
b. Voluntarism.
c. Existentialism.
d. Functionalism.
Answer: b. Voluntarism.
Rationale:
Wundt's preferred term for his system of thought was "Voluntarism." Voluntarism
emphasizes the active, willful nature of mental processes, contrasting with the more passive,
receptive view of consciousness associated with structuralism.
26. Which of the following statements best characterizes Wundt's approach to methodology?
a. He relied exclusively on introspection
b. He relied largely on naturalistic observation
c. Most of his laboratory studies employed a rigorous form of introspection, but he
recognized other methods such as naturalistic observation, historical methods, etc.
d. He relied exclusively on the phenomenological method
Answer: c. Most of his laboratory studies employed a rigorous form of introspection, but he
recognized other methods such as naturalistic observation, historical methods, etc.
Rationale:
Wundt's approach to methodology involved primarily introspection, but he also recognized
the importance of other methods such as naturalistic observation and historical analysis.
While introspection was central to his laboratory studies, he acknowledged the need for a
diverse range of methods in psychology.
27. According to the text, which of the following statements is true regarding Wundt and
Darwin?

a. Darwin was the major inspiration for Wundt
b. Wundt was especially fond of Darwin's concept of adaptation
c. Wundt openly credited Darwin for inspiring his concept of creative synthesis
d. References to Darwin's work in Wundt's writings are sparse and often critical and Wundt
pointed out that the concept of adaptation, as advanced by Darwin, was passive.
Answer: d. References to Darwin's work in Wundt's writings are sparse and often critical and
Wundt pointed out that the concept of adaptation, as advanced by Darwin, was passive.
Rationale:
Wundt's references to Darwin's work in his writings were sparse and sometimes critical.
Wundt disagreed with Darwin's concept of adaptation, arguing that it was too passive and
deterministic. Instead, Wundt emphasized the active, creative role of the mind in shaping
behavior and experience.
28. Wundt defined psychology as
a. the science of experience and behavior
b. the science that studies actions and movements
c. the science that studies the facts of consciousness
d. behavioral science
Answer: c. the science that studies the facts of consciousness
Rationale:
Wundt defined psychology as the science that studies the facts of consciousness. He focused
on understanding the structure and processes of conscious experience through empirical
investigation, emphasizing introspection as a method for studying consciousness.
29. For Wundt, an element is
a. psychologically and physiologically complex.
b. simple psychologically but complex physiologically.

c. a simple unit both psychologically and physiologically.
d. not a useful construct.
Answer: b. simple psychologically but complex physiologically.
Rationale:
Wundt considered elements to be simple psychologically, meaning they were basic units of
conscious experience. However, he recognized that these psychological elements were often
complex physiologically, involving intricate neural processes and physiological mechanisms.
30. According to Wundt, perception is more _____ whereas apperception is more _____.
a. passive . . . active
b. intelligent . . . reflexive
c. ordered . . .disorderly
d. directional . . . random
Answer: a. passive . . . active
Rationale:
Wundt distinguished between perception, which he viewed as a passive process involving the
registration of sensory stimuli, and apperception, which he saw as an active process involving
the organization and interpretation of those stimuli by the mind.
31. Which of the following was NOT a dimension in Wundt’s tridimensional theory of
feeling?
a. anger and peace
b. pleasure and pain
c. strain and relaxation
d. excitation and quiescence
Answer: a. anger and peace

Rationale:
Wundt's tridimensional theory of feeling proposed three dimensions: pleasure-displeasure,
tension-relaxation, and excitement-depression. "Anger and peace" do not directly correspond
to any of these dimensions in Wundt's theory.
32. Wundt’s doctrine of creative synthesis refers to the idea that
a. creativity can be learned or conditioned.
b. motives can be functionally autonomous.
c. there is real novelty and creativity in higher mental operations.
d. creativity is entirely lawful.
Answer: c. there is real novelty and creativity in higher mental operations.
Rationale:
Wundt's doctrine of creative synthesis suggests that higher mental operations involve real
novelty and creativity. It emphasizes the idea that the mind can generate new combinations
and forms beyond mere association or reproduction of past experiences.
33. The heterogony of ends, according to Wundt, refers to
a. unconscious processes that interfere with ongoing behavior.
b. the idea that there is no such thing as a pure motive or emotion.
c. the emergence of new motives during the course of a chain of activities.
d. the functional autonomy of motives.
Answer: c. the emergence of new motives during the course of a chain of activities.
Rationale:
Wundt's concept of heterogony of ends describes the phenomenon where new motives may
emerge during the course of a chain of activities, leading to shifts in behavior or goals. It
highlights the dynamic and evolving nature of human motivation.
34. Emil Kraepelin coined the term dementia praecox, which was later renamed to

a. bipolar
b. depression
c. schizophrenia
d. anxiety
Answer: c. schizophrenia
Rationale:
Emil Kraepelin coined the term "dementia praecox" to describe a group of psychotic
disorders characterized by early onset and cognitive decline. This term was later replaced by
"schizophrenia" to reflect a broader understanding of the disorder.
35. According to the text, which of the following is NOT a contribution associated with Emil
Kraepelin?
a. One of the first psychiatrists to claim that criminal behavior should be considered a mental
illness.
b. One of the first psychiatrists to conduct clinical research on the disorder that would later be
named (by Kraepelin) as “Alzheimer’s Disease.”
c. One of the first psychiatrists to become a vigorous opponent of the death penalty.
d. One of the first psychiatrists to conduct clinical research on individual differences in
intelligence.
Answer: d. One of the first psychiatrists to conduct clinical research on individual differences
in intelligence.
Rationale:
While Emil Kraepelin made significant contributions to psychiatry, including his
classification of mental disorders and research on conditions like dementia praecox
(schizophrenia) and Alzheimer's disease, there is no evidence to suggest that he conducted
clinical research on individual differences in intelligence.

36. Wundt made numerous references to pathological psychology, and _____, one of his
students, studied special learning problems of children with disabilities, opened the first clinic
headed by a psychologist, and founded the formal discipline of clinical psychology.
a. Emil Kraepelin
b. Lightner Witmer
c. Edward Scripture
d. Rudolph Hermann Lotze
Answer: b. Lightner Witmer
Rationale:
Lightner Witmer, a student of Wundt, made significant contributions to clinical psychology.
He opened the first psychological clinic in the United States, where he assessed and treated
individuals with learning disabilities and other psychological disorders. Witmer is often
regarded as the founder of clinical psychology as a formal discipline.

Test Bank for A History of Psychology: Ideas and Context
Brett D. King, Wayne Viney, William Douglas Woody
9780205987184

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