Possible Exam 3 Questions

1. Describe how propinquity (it's even fun to write!) can perpetuate and increase perceived similarity in our friendships. Describe how similarity can perpetuate propinquity in our friendships.

2. Using variables suggested by research, write an altruism equation that describes when people are likely to be altruistic. Keep it simple like the aggression equation. Briefly defend your equation as being somewhat accurate without it being too complicated.

3. Do genetics play a significant role in human aggression? Defend a position (yes or no). Use evidence to support your position. Identify the evidence you present as causal, correlational or of some other type.

4. a) Use two sources of prejudice described in the text to explain why one might expect more prejudice toward African-Americans in this country than toward homosexuals.

b) Use one source of prejudice from the text not mentioned in a) to explain why one might expect more prejudice toward homosexuals than toward African-Americans in this country.

5. Ch. 11 discusses five factors that research suggests help initiate friendships. Some of those factors appear to be more consistent with an "attitude causes behavior" perspective and some of the factors appear to be more consistent with a "behavior determines attitudes" perspective. Choose one of the five factors and explain how it could be interpreted as more consistent with attitudes cause behaviors. Choose another factor and explain how it could be interpreted as more consistent with behaviors lead to attitudes.

6. Do genetics play a significant role in human altruism? Defend a position (yes or no). Use evidence to support your position. Identify the evidence you present as causal, correlational or of some other type.

7. A friend of yours asks, "Hey, did you learn anything in that Social Psychology course you took?" What would be one significant lesson that you have learned about human social behavior from this course you can tell your friend about? Use at least three course concepts to support your point.

8. Do genetics play a significant role in human attraction? Defend a position (yes or no). Use evidence to support your position. Identify the evidence you present as causal, correlational or of some other type.

9. Choose a specific prejudice other than one discussed in class (e.g., don't choose racism, Islamophobia, or prejudice towards homosexuals). Explain how three of the factors mentioned in class or the text that initiate prejudice do or do not apply to the form of prejudice you chose.

10. There are more social motives than the three we discussed at the beginning of the term. Name a different social motive that you believe is quite important in understanding social interaction. Use three different concepts, each from a different chapter/topic, to illustrate why you believe this "new" motive is important.

11. How is deindividuation's effect on social loafing similar to its effect on aggression?

12. a) Choose two of the factors discussed in class that often maintain one group's prejudice towards another group. Explain how one of those two factors can enhance or increase the impact of the other factor.

b) Choose a third factor discussed in class that maintains group prejudice. Select any strategy or concept discussed this term that is involved in influencing behavior or reducing conflict. Explain how that strategy could be used to diminish the impact of the factor you identified that maintains prejudice.

13. Name three concepts (each coming from a different chapter) discussed this term that support the statement, "It is our perception of reality, not reality itself, that influences our behavior." Briefly explain how each of the three concepts supports the statement.

14. Researchers hypothesized that increasing a woman's level of arousal would increase her perceptions of attractiveness of members of the opposite sex. To test this, eighty females were randomly selected to participate in a study. First, participants were asked to ride an exercise bike for as long as they could at a predetermined high rate of speed. Then, after a brief rest period, participants were asked to rate the physical attractiveness of a series of pictures of males. Researchers found that the longer the participants rode the bike the more attractive they rated the males in the pictures.

a) Did the researchers select an appropriate methodology given the stated hypothesis? Yes or No?

b) If you answered Yes, explain why the methodology was appropriate for the hypothesis. If you answered No, explain why the methodology was inappropriate for the hypothesis.

Questions 15-18 refer to the following situation.

You were at work quite late last night organizing some important files. You left the files stacked on your desk for a subordinate to pick up in the morning to deliver right away to an important meeting. When you arrive in the morning you see the subordinate is "picking up" the files, but not as you had intended. The subordinate dropped the files! All your hard work lies in disarray on the floor. The subordinate is hurrying to pick them up and is apologizing profusely. Your thoughts are fleeting between altruism and aggression! To determine which you might choose, answer the following questions:

15. Choose two aversive incidents described in the text that increase aggressive behavior. Explain how those two incidents could very possibly be present in the above description (even though they are not mentioned), and explain how the two incidents could increase your likelihood of being aggressive in the above situation.

16. On the other hand, you might choose to help pick up the papers. Identify three variables given in the above description that research says could increase or decrease your helping behavior. Briefly explain how each might affect your likelihood of helping.

17. Add to the above description to increase the likelihood that you would help. Specifically, change the above description to include three other conditions (beyond those mentioned in Question 16) that research has found would usually increase your helping behavior.

18. Use two of the three theories presented in class on why people sometimes refuse or don't want help to explain why the subordinate might reject your offer of help in the above situation.