Human Learning 7th Edition by Jeanne Ellis Ormrod – Test Bank A+

Human Learning 7th Edition by Jeanne Ellis Ormrod – Test Bank A+

Human Learning 7th Edition by Jeanne Ellis Ormrod – Test Bank A+

Human Learning 7th Edition by Jeanne Ellis Ormrod – Test Bank A+
  1. Human beings undoubtedly learn more during the course of a lifetime than any other species on earth. The major result of this capacity to learn is that:
    1. New instincts begin to emerge.
    2. Human thought becomes less logical with each generation.
    3. Humans can benefit from their experiences.
    4. Humans are the only species whose behavior cannot be analyzed in terms of stimuli and responses.

  1. Three of the following are examples of Which one is not?
  2. Abigail cries when she steps on a sharp pebble.
  3. After many hours of heated debate, Brian begins to advocate political practices he has previously opposed.
  4. Cara suddenly recognizes how the division fact “24 ÷ 4 = 6” is related to the multiplication fact “6 x 4 = 24.”
  5. David has been running away from German shepherds ever since he was bitten by a German shepherd two years ago.

  1. Reynelda has trouble tracing a complex shape with a pencil when she is in kindergarten, but she can do it quite well by the time she is in second grade. Is this an instance of learning?
  2. Yes, because her behavior has changed.
  3. No, because the circumstances are too dissimilar.
  4. Maybe, although the change may simply be due to physiological maturation.
  • Maybe, but only if she is being reinforced for tracing accurately.

  1. Three of the following illustrate various ways that learning might be reflected in a person’s behavior. Which one of the following changes does not necessarily reflect learning?
  2. Although it’s a school night, Dean plays video games until well past his usual bedtime. As he becomes more tired, he finds it increasingly difficult to concentrate on what he’s doing.
  3. Even as a young child, Jerry could tell you that his grandparents immigrated to the United States from Ireland. But after a conversation with his grandmother, he can now describe the circumstances of the family’s immigration in considerable detail.
  4. Day after day, Martin practices his basketball skills (shooting, dribbling, etc.) on a basketball court at a local park. With each practice session, his movements become faster and smoother.
  5. Lewis occasionally asks for help when he has difficulty with his classwork, but most of the time he just struggles quietly on his own. After his teacher assures him that asking for help is not a sign of weakness or inability, he begins asking for help much more frequently.

  1. _____________ research examines learning in tightly controlled settings and ___________ research examines learning in real-world settings.
  2. Applied; Basic
  3. Basic; Qualitative
  4. Qualitative; Applied
  5. Basic; Applied

  1. A principle of learning can best be characterized as:
  2. A description of the results of a particular research study
  3. A statement that describes how a particular factor affects learning
  4. The measurement of how much learning has occurred in a particular situation
  5. An explanation of the underlying processes through which learning occurs

  1. A theory of learning can best be characterized as:
    1. A description of the results of a particular research study
    2. A statement that describes how a particular factor affects learning
    3. The measurement of how much learning has occurred in a particular situation
    4. An explanation of the underlying processes through which learning occurs

  1. Three of the following are principles of learning. Which one is a theory of learning rather than a principle?
    1. A behavior that is followed by punishment decreases in frequency.
    2. People learn by making mental associations between new information and their existing knowledge.
    3. A response that is rewarded every time it occurs increases more rapidly than a response that is only occasionally rewarded.
    4. Students tend to remember more of a lecture if they take notes on the lecture’s content.

  1. Which one of the following common sayings best reflects the concept of introspection?
    1. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
    2. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
    3. “A penny for your thoughts.”
    4. “Old habits die hard.”

  1. Which one of the following common sayings best reflects the basic premise underlying social learning theory?
    1. “Monkey see, monkey do.”
    2. “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”
    3. “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”
    4. “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”

  1. Which one of the following statements provides the most credible explanation for the fact that human beings seem to surpass all other animal species in their thinking and learning capacities?
    1. Only human beings have the capability to make tools.
    2. Humans communicate regularly with one another and, in doing so, pass along what they’ve learned to future generations.
    3. Human beings have a huge repertoire of instinctual behaviors from which they can draw when they encounter new experiences.
    4. Human brains are smaller than those of other intelligent species (e.g., elephants, dolphins) and therefore can transmit messages more quickly and efficiently.

  1. Behaviorists and cognitivists tend to focus on different aspects of learning. Which one of the following statements best describes this difference?
    1. Behaviorism focuses on temporary changes; cognitivism focuses on relatively permanent changes.
    2. Behaviorism focuses on relatively permanent changes; cognitivism focuses on temporary changes.
    3. Behaviorism focuses on internal mental changes; cognitivism focuses on external behavioral changes.
    4. Behaviorism focuses on external behavioral changes; cognitivism focuses on internal mental changes.

  1. Theories are advantageous in several ways. Three of the following describe advantages of learning theories. Which one does not?
    1. Theories enable objective, unbiased reporting of research findings.
    2. Theories help to condense large bodies of information.
    3. Theories help practitioners design interventions that facilitate learning.
    4. Theories provide an impetus for new research.

  1. Which one of the following statements is most accurate statement regarding theories of learning?
    1. They have been proven to be true.
    2. They will eventually be replaced by physiological explanations of how learning occurs.
    3. They are often modified as new data emerge.
    4. Any theory can be used to explain virtually every instance of learning.

  1. The textbook’s perspective regarding various theories of learning is that:
    1. Behaviorist theories are probably more accurate.
    2. Cognitivist theories are probably more accurate.
    3. There is currently no “right” theory, but one will eventually be developed.
    4. Different theories may be applicable in different situations.

Essay Questions

  1. Sometimes we know learning has occurred because the learner engages in a new behavior—one that he or she has never before exhibited. But other kinds of behavior changes may also indicate that learning has taken place. Describe three additional ways in which behavior might change as a result of learning. Give a concrete example to illustrate each one.

  1. Distinguish between principles and theories of learning, and give a specific example of each.

  1. Theories of learning have both advantages and disadvantages. Describe at least two advantages and one disadvantage; in each case, explain the particular effect that the advantage or disadvantage has on the advancement of our understanding of human learning.



Multiple Choice Questions

  1. Which one of the following is the best example of the central nervous system (rather than peripheral nervous system) at work?
    1. Parts of the hindbrain are involved in regulating heart rate.
    2. Cells in the retina at the back of the eye transmit information about light.
    3. Some cells in the nose respond to certain kinds of chemicals.
    4. Some cells in the skin are sensitive to heat or cold.

  1. Which one of the following statements most accurately describes a neuron’s threshold of excitation?
    1. A neuron responds when it is stimulated by some of its neighboring neurons, but not when it is stimulated by other neighbors.
    2. A neuron fires only when its electrical charge reaches a particular level.
    3. A neuron is receptive to stimulation from other neurons only at points where there are gaps in its myelin sheath.
    4. A neuron will fire at a maximum rate of no more than once every three seconds.

  1. Which one of the following best describes how neurons transmit messages to one another?
    1. By stimulating the growth of surrounding glial cells
    2. By attaching themselves to the same terminal buttons
    3. By fusing the axon of one with a dendrite of the other
    4. By sending chemical substances across a tiny gap between them

  1. Which one of the following is the best example of a reflex as psychologists define the term?
    1. Going to sleep when you are tired
    2. Feeling sad when a close relative dies
    3. Pulling your foot away from a painful object
    4. Jumping up and down for joy when you get a good grade

  1. Three of the following describe methods what researchers commonly use to determine how the human brain probably functions. Which one is not a commonly used method to study the brain?
    1. Documenting the behaviors of people with various kinds of brain injuries
    2. Recording brain activity through PET scans, CAT scans, and similar technologies
    3. Measuring the levels of various hormones and other substances in the blood
    4. Removing a certain part of an animal’s brain and observing the animal’s subsequent behaviors

  1. After a severe head injury, Mary has exceptional difficulty setting goals and in other ways planning her actions. Without knowing anything else about Mary’s injury, you might reasonably conclude that it affected her:
    1. forebrain
    2. midbrain
    3. hindbrain
    4. reticular formation

  1. Given how the left and right hemispheres of the brain typically specialize, which one of the following activities would be most heavily dependent on the right hemisphere?
    1. Writing a speech for a political campaign
    2. Following the logic of a persuasive argument
    3. Solving for x in a complex algebraic equation
    4. Recognizing human forms in a Picasso painting

  1. Given the roles that the right hemisphere typically plays in language comprehension, which one of the following tasks would rely most heavily on the right hemisphere?
    1. Hearing the rhyme in the words hypocrisy and democracy
    2. Writing precise definitions of abstract words such as hypocrisy and democracy
    3. Realizing that “That blonde is really hot” has as least two possible meanings
    4. Translating Leo Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace into English

  1. Given what psychologists believe to be true about how information is typically stored in the brain, how is the concept dog probably represented in your brain?
    1. As a single neuron located in the prefrontal cortex
    2. As a network of neurons spread across multiple brain regions
    3. As a cluster of interconnected neurons located in the left parietal lobe
    4. As a cluster of interconnected neurons located in one of the occipital lobes

  1. Which one of the following best describes the growth of neurons during the prenatal period?
    1. An overabundance of neurons emerges early in prenatal development, but about half of the neurons die before birth.
    2. Neurons continue to be generated at a rapid rate throughout the last six months of the prenatal period.
    3. Neurons begin to develop in the fifth month of pregnancy, and they proliferate rapidly during the third trimester.
    4. Neurons that will support basic physiological functioning appear in the first two months after conception; those that will be responsible for higher-level thinking processes don’t appear until two or three months before birth.

  1. In the human brain, a great deal of synaptic pruning occurs in early childhood. This pruning appears to be:
    1. The unfortunate result of insufficiently stimulating home environments
    2. An adaptive process that allows children to deal more efficiently with their environment
    3. Due to an imbalance of important nutrients, and especially to low levels of the B vitamins in many children’s diets
    4. Reflective of the fact that the forebrain is slowly taking over responsibility for functions that have previously been regulated by the hindbrain and midbrain

  1. As children grow older, many of their neurons begin to transmit messages more rapidly than they did in the early years of life, thanks to:
    1. synaptic pruning
    2. synaptogenesis
    3. myelination
    4. maturation of the limbic system

  1. During the elementary and secondary school years, much of the brain’s development occurs in regions of the brain that are largely responsible for
    1. thinking and reasoning
    2. generation of emotional responses
    3. muscular strength and coordination
    4. making discriminations among highly similar stimuli

  1. John is an adolescent who makes impulsive decisions (e.g., ditching school) and engages in risky behavior (e.g., driving well over the speed limit). His behavior can best be explained by which of the following?
    1. Adolescents have limited concepts of consequences and punishment.
    2. Adolescents’ brain stems are still not fully developed, and will not be until middle adulthood.
    3. Adolescents’ pre-frontal cortices are still not fully developed and will not be until their late teens and early twenties.
    4. During adolescence, synaptic pruning has stopped.

  1. According to the textbook, which one of the following conclusions is most true regarding factors that influence brain development?
    1. Genetic factors have the strongest influence on brain development, particularly later in life.
    2. Environmental factors and people’s experiences have the strongest influence on brain development in middle childhood.
    3. Together, brain development is shaped by genetic and environmental factors throughout the life span.
    4. Environmental factors are particularly influential in abnormal brain development.

  1. Three of the following statements are consistent with research findings about factors that influence brain development. Which statement has not been supported by research?
    1. Genetic factors predispose some people to learning difficulties or mental illness.
    2. High levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to mental retardation.
    3. High levels of toxic substances (e.g., lead, pesticides) have their greatest negative impact after puberty.
    4. Opportunities to learn certain skills may lead to detectable differences in brain structures or patterns of brain activation.

  1. In which one of the following situations should we be most concerned about missing a critical period in a person’s development?
    1. Rachel is born with a cataract in her left eye that is surgically removed when she is 8 years old.
    2. Phoebe doesn’t learn how to write until she is 12 years old.
    3. Although Ross knows how to count, he gets no formal instruction in mathematics until he is 15.
    4. Joey has his first tennis lesson when he is 25.

  1. Which one of the following best exemplifies experience-expectant plasticity?
    1. Learning how to play the guitar
    2. Mastering one’s native language
    3. Understanding abstract ideas in philosophy
    4. Applying principles of psychology to real-world settings

  1. Which one of the following best exemplifies experience-dependent plasticity?
    1. Hearing subtle differences in similar-sounding words
    2. Learning how to pronounce words like a native speaker
    3. Learning syntactical structures of one’s native language
    4. Learning how to read

  1. Which one of the following research findings is most consistent with the concept of core knowledge as described in the textbook?
    1. Children must have basic knowledge of numbers and counting before they can master arithmetic operations such as addition and multiplication.
    2. Some motor skills are prerequisites for others; for example, children must learn how to walk before they can learn how to run or skip.
    3. Some linguistic knowledge is prerequisite to other knowledge; for example, children must know how to read before they can learn how to write.
    4. Very young infants appear to have more knowledge of the physical world than they could have acquired from their own, limited experiences with objects.

  1. Which one of the following best describes mirror neurons?
    1. They are pairs of neurons that have identical functions on opposite sides of the cortex.
    2. They are the primary reason why infants can recognize their own reflections as early as 3 months of age.
    3. They fire when a person either makes a particular response or observes someone else make that response.
    4. They are the only kinds of neurons that are consistently found in all primate species.

  1. Which one of the following best describes psychologists’ current beliefs about the brain and learning?
    1. Learning involves changes in synapses and possibly also involves the growth of new neurons and astrocytes.
    2. Large doses of certain vitamins promote brain growth and lead to more rapid learning.
    3. Left-hemisphere-dominant individuals are, on average, more effective learners than right-hemisphere-dominant individuals.
    4. The brains of rapid learners are about 20% larger than the brains of slower learners.

  1. Naomi wakes up several hours after a severe blow to her head has rendered her unconscious. She can remember nothing about events leading up to the incident, reflecting the importance of _____________ in learning and memory.
    1. neurogenesis
    2. consolidation
    3. a critical period
    4. the corpus callosum

  1. According to the textbook, which one of the following conclusions is most warranted from research on brain development?
    1. To become truly skilled in such domains as art and music, children should begin systematic instruction in these domains before the age of five.
    2. The ability to think abstractly depends on the development of many synaptic connections during the first five years of life.
    3. Children probably won’t acquire the basic skills essential to succeed in the adult world (e.g., reading, writing, math) unless they begin developing those skills in the early elementary grades at the latest.
    4. Classroom experiences can significantly enhance people’s cognitive development throughout the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary school years.

Essay Questions

  1. The textbook describes five general research methods that scientists use to determine how the brain functions. In three short paragraphs, describe three of them.

  1. Several teachers tell you that they are “teaching to students’ right brains” by spending a lot of time on painting, map interpretation, geometry, and other highly visual and/or spatial activities. Critique their claim using what you have learned about how the human brain functions.

  1. Someone tries to convince you that parents should put their children in enriching preschool environments by their second birthday at the latest. How would you respond to this individual? In your response:
    1. State whether you agree or disagree with the person.
    2. Defend your position given recent findings about brain development. Include the following concepts in your discussion:
      1. synaptogenesis
      2. synaptic pruning
  • experience-expectant and experience-dependent plasticity



Multiple Choice Questions

  1. Which one of the following statements best describes the view of early behaviorists about how learning can best be studied?
    1. Psychologists can determine how learning occurs only if they can identify its physiological basis.
    2. Introspection—reporting what and how one is thinking—is likely to yield the most accurate results.
    3. To study learning scientifically, researchers must confine their investigations to animal research in a laboratory setting.
    4. The study of learning will be more objective and scientific if only observable events are considered.

  1. When behaviorists describe an organism as a “black box,” they mean that:
    1. Many stimuli have no noticeable effect on the organism.
    2. Learning processes occurring within the organism cannot be studied scientifically.
    3. Learning is, by its very nature, something that takes place outside the organism.
    4. An organism makes many responses even in the absence of any observed external stimulus.

  1. Which one of the following statements best reflects behaviorists’ notion of tabula rasa (“blank slate”)?
    1. Organisms inherit few predispositions to behave in particular ways; instead, the behaviors they exhibit are largely the result of environmental experiences.
    2. Stimuli that occur after responses are made are usually more influential on an organism’s learning that stimuli that occur before responses are made.
    3. The things that organisms learn in a new situation largely override the things that they’ve learned in previous situations; as a result, newly learned behaviors often replace previously learned behaviors.
    4. Learning is more a function of what the environment does to the organism than of what the organism does to the environment; in other words, the organism plays a relatively passive role in the learning process.

  1. Ivan Pavlov conducted a series of studies that led him to propose his theory of classical conditioning. In these studies, Pavlov observed how a dog learned to:
    1. Bark when meat was presented
    2. Bark when meat was taken away
    3. Wake up when an auditory stimulus (e.g., a bell) was presented
    4. Salivate to a simple stimulus such as a light or bell

  1. Classical conditioning typically occurs when:
    1. A response is followed by two stimuli
    2. A response is followed by a single aversive stimulus
    3. Two stimuli are presented at about the same time
    4. Two responses occur (usually coincidentally) at about the same time

  1. Which one of the following responses is most likely to be learned through classical conditioning?
    1. Feeling anxious around horses
    2. Taking a walk on a nice day
    3. Doing homework
    4. Waving to a friend

  1. When Julie’s father comes home from work he opens the front door and picks her up to give her a big hug. Before long, Julie starts smiling whenever she hears her father turn his key to open the door. In this situation, Julie’s smiling at the sound of her father’s key turning in the door is a(n) _____; the hugging is a(n) _____.
    1. unconditioned stimulus; conditioned response
    2. unconditioned response; conditioned stimulus
    3. conditioned stimulus; unconditional response
    4. conditioned response; unconditional stimulus

  1. After repeatedly being hugged by her father when he comes through the door, Julie begins to smile when she hears a key turning to open the door opening by any person. Julie’s behavior can be explained by:
    1. spontaneous recovery
    2. generalization
    3. higher-order conditioning
    4. stimulus discrimination

  1. Gina became ill after eating Turkey on Thanksgiving and was unable to look at Turkey without feeling ill for two months. However, during that two-month period Gina was able to look at chicken without feeling ill. Gina’s behavior when presented with chicken is explained by:
    1. Generalization
    2. extinguishing a conditioned response
    3. stimulus discrimination
    4. counterconditioning

  1. At the dentist’s office, Teresa has a painful experience that leaves her tense and fearful. The next time her mother brings her to the dentist’s office, Teresa begins to get tense and anxious. In this situation, the dentist and dentist’s office are _____; Teresa’s fear of pain is a(n) _____.
    1. unconditioned stimuli; conditioned response
    2. unconditioned responses; conditioned stimulus
    3. conditioned stimuli; unconditioned response
    4. conditioned responses; unconditioned stimulus

  1. After a painful experience at one dentist’s office, Teresa’s mother takes Teresa to a different dentist, who takes great care to make her visits painless. Teresa is anxious at first, but after a few visits, Teresa gradually becomes less resistant about going to the new dentist. Teresa’s change in behavior can probably best be explained in terms of _____. But then Teresa doesn’t go to see the dentist again until three years later. On her first visit to the painless dentist after that time interval, she is anxious once again, even though she had not been anxious in her previous visits. The return of this response after it had previously disappeared is known as _____.
    1. extinction; spontaneous recovery
    2. generalization; discriminative learning
    3. higher-order conditioning; discriminative learning
    4. generalization; higher-order conditioning

  1. Jacob is suffering from a mild case of flu and, as a result, is feeling a bit nauseous. He decides that he needs to eat something to keep up his strength, so he gets out of bed, puts on a heavy sweater to keep himself warm, heats up a bowl of leftover chili, and settles down in an easy chair to watch a television game show while he eats. A few days later, after Jacob has recovered from the flu, one of the stimuli in the situation just described elicits a feeling of nausea. With the phenomenon of associative bias in mind, choose the stimulus that is most likely to elicit nausea.
    1. The sweater
    2. The chili
    3. The easy chair
    4. The television game show

  1. Paul is usually successful on the math problems his teacher assigns at school, although he occasionally fails on one or two problems. In contrast, Peter’s experiences with mathematics are almost always associated with frustration and failure. Considering contemporary views of the roles of contiguity and contingency in classical conditioning, who will acquire classically conditioned anxiety regarding mathematics?
    1. Both Paul and Peter will develop a considerable degree of mathematics anxiety.
    2. Only Paul will develop math anxiety, because the relationship between math and failure is unpredictable.
    3. Only Peter will develop math anxiety, because whenever math is presented, failure always follows.
    4. Neither Paul nor Peter will develop math anxiety, because neither situation reflects contingency of the CS and UCS.

  1. If students associate failure with punishment, and then associate playing sports with failure, they may begin to fear playing sports through a process of:
    1. generalization
    2. spontaneous recovery
    3. higher-order conditioning
    4. stimulus discrimination

  1. Which one of the following best describes contemporary theorists’ perspective on classical conditioning?
    1. Cognitive factors, such as mental representations of stimuli and predictions that organisms make, must often be considered in addition to observable stimuli and responses.
    2. Despite Pavlov’s early findings to the contrary, higher-order conditioning and generalization seldom occur.
    3. Classical conditioning typically occurs only in conjunction with operant conditioning; for example, conditioned stimuli elicit conditioned responses only when those responses are followed by reinforcement.
    4. Classical conditioning occurs primarily in artificial laboratory conditions; it rarely occurs in more naturalistic, real-life settings.

  1. David is addicted to a drug that increases his blood sugar level, temporarily giving him more energy. David always takes this drug in the bathroom. He finds that he becomes tired when he enters the bathroom and also that he needs more and more of the drug to maintain the same high energy level. From the perspective of classical conditioning, which one of the following is the most likely explanation of David’s increasing addiction to the drug?
    1. Lowering blood sugar level to counteract the effect of the drug has become a conditioned response to the “bathroom” stimulus.
    2. David has learned to respond to some drugs but not to others through the combined processes of stimulus discrimination and higher-order conditioning.
    3. Taking the drugs provides negative reinforcement, in that David no longer feels tired.
    4. Associative bias has predisposed David to associate the bathroom with fatigue.

  1. Extinction is one method of eliminating undesirable conditioned responses, but there are several problems associated with its use. Which one is not a problem encountered in using extinction?
    1. Some responses extinguish slowly, if at all.
    2. Extinguished responses may reappear through spontaneous recovery.
    3. Extinction often occurs too quickly to be controlled.
    4. Organisms tend to stay away from stimuli they have learned to fear, thus preventing their exposure to the conditioned stimulus in the absence of the unconditioned stimulus.

  1. After being bitten by a neighbor’s dog, Kathy is now afraid of the puppy her family has just adopted. Kathy’s father gives Kathy a hot fudge sundae; then, while she is happily eating it, he brings the puppy about fifteen feet from where she is sitting. On each successive day, Kathy gets another ice cream treat, and her father brings the puppy a little closer than he did on the previous day. Eventually Kathy is able to pet and enjoy the new puppy. Kathy’s father is using a procedure known as:
    1. generalization
    2. stimulus discrimination
    3. extinction
    4. counterconditioning

  1. Nick is extremely anxious whenever he takes a test. From a classical conditioning perspective, a teacher can best reduce his anxiety by:
    1. Giving him a few extremely difficult tests at first, and then gradually giving him easier ones
    2. Giving him a few easy tests while he is feeling relaxed
    3. Reinforcing him for each test question he answers correctly
    4. Reassuring him that he can do well if he tries hard

  1. Which one of the following educational practices is most clearly derived from behaviorist principles?
    1. Having students make overt responses
    2. Teaching students how to apply information
    3. Asking students to generate questions about what they read
    4. Presenting information in a logical sequence that stresses interrelationships among idea

  1. Thorndike’s original law of effect described the ways in which the learning of a response:
    1. has an effect on other organisms
    2. has an effect on stimuli in the environment
    3. has an effect on other responses
    4. is affected by the consequences of that response

  1. A child who was once spanked for running into a busy street no longer runs into the street. This can best be explained by which one of the following?
    1. Pavlov’s concept of extinction
    2. Thorndike’s original law of effect
    3. Thorndike’s revised law of effect
    4. Skinner’s basic principle of operant conditioning

  1. Loosigian is worried about Jerri, a girl who is struggling in his seventh grade class. He thinks about several different reasons why she might be having so much difficulty with her schoolwork. Which one of the possible reasons that he considers is consistent with a behaviorist perspective of learning?
    1. “Maybe she isn’t paying attention as much as she should be.”
    2. “Maybe I don’t praise her enough when she does something well.”
    3. “Maybe she has trouble understanding the things she reads.”
    4. “Maybe she has trouble remembering things from one day to the next.”

  1. When Lily is presented with money after many different behaviors (e.g., cleaning her room, getting a good grade or eating her vegetables) she is more likely to perform each of those behaviors. The fact that this single reinforcer (i.e., money) can increase many of Lily’s behaviors is explained by:
    1. Classical conditioning
    2. Instrumental conditioning
    3. Transituational generality
    4. Secondary reinforcement theory

  1. Six-year-old Jack has recently learned to appreciate the value of money, so his father assigns him some simple housekeeping chores to be performed throughout the week. He tells Jack that completion of these chores will earn him an allowance of one dollar every Saturday. Jack rarely completes his chores. From an operant conditioning perspective, which one of the following is most likely to be the reason why Jack is not doing his chores?
    1. There is a delay in reinforcement.
    2. Reinforcement is not contingent on the desired response.
    3. Money is rarely an effective reinforcer for people.
    4. The “reinforcer” is presented before the response.

  1. Smart tells his students that they can do whatever they want for the first ten minutes of class but must then turn their attention to the day’s assignment. The students are delighted with their ten minutes of free time but they don’t attend to the assignment when it’s time to do so. From an operant conditioning perspective, what mistake has Mr. Smart made?
    1. There is a delay in reinforcement.
    2. He has used negative reinforcement instead of positive reinforcement.
    3. Free time is not an effective reinforcer for the students.
    4. The “reinforcer” is presented before the response.

  1. Classical conditioning and operant conditioning are two learning paradigms within the behaviorist tradition. A major difference between these two paradigms is that:
    1. Classical conditioning deals almost exclusively with stimuli, whereas operant conditioning deals almost exclusively with responses.
    2. Classical conditioning deals almost exclusively with responses, whereas operant conditioning deals almost exclusively with stimuli.
    3. Classically conditioned responses are voluntary, whereas responses learned through operant conditioning are elicited by specific stimuli.
    4. Classically conditioned responses are elicited by specific stimuli, whereas responses learned through operant conditioning are voluntary.

  1. Which one of the following is a primary reinforcer?
    1. A cookie
    2. A good grade
    3. A thousand dollars
    4. A feeling of pride about a job well done

  1. Good grades are reinforcing to some children but not to others. Someone explaining this fact from an early operant conditioning perspective would say that good grades are most likely to be reinforcers to children who:
    1. Have never received a grade above C
    2. Come from middle-income or upper-income backgrounds
    3. Have previously associated those grades with primary reinforcers
    4. Have been told that good grades are important for getting a college scholarship

  1. Bill’s behaviors in Ms. Kennedy’s class are really distracting to other students. For example, he whispers to the boy beside him when Ms. Kennedy is giving directions on how to do any assignment. He flings paper clips at a girl across the room. He makes strange grunting noises that a few classmates find amusing. Ms. Kennedy glares at him or admonishes him whenever he behaves in a distracting way, yet his inappropriate behaviors are increasing rather than decreasing. Which one of the following interpretations of this situation best explains why Bill’s behaviors are increasing?
    1. Kennedy is positively reinforcing him for the distracting behaviors.
    2. Kennedy is negatively reinforcing him for the distracting behaviors.
    3. Kennedy is vicariously reinforcing him for the distracting behaviors.
    4. Kennedy is punishing him for the distracting behaviors.

  1. Which one of the following is the best example of a social reinforcer?
    1. Getting a new outfit you think is “cool”
    2. Being allowed to play basketball at a friend’s house after you finish your homework
    3. Being told that you did a good job
    4. Feeling good about your own generosity toward a less fortunate classmate

  1. Which one of the following is the best example of intrinsic reinforcement?
    1. Getting a new outfit you think is “cool”
    2. Being allowed to play basketball at a friend’s house after you finish your homework
    3. Being told that you did a good job
    4. Feeling good about your own generosity toward a less fortunate classmate
  2. Feedback about one’s performance is most likely to be effective when it:
    1. Is given after a short delay (perhaps 30 minutes after the performance)
    2. Describes only the things that the person has done correctly
    3. Comes from a peer rather than from an authority figure
    4. Provides information about how to improve

  1. Which one of the following is an example of negative reinforcement?
    1. When Kevin does his homework, his teacher praises him profusely, to the point that it embarrasses him.
    2. When Kathleen insults another student while waiting in line for lunch, her teacher moves her to the end of the line.
    3. When Lucas complains about a classmate who is picking on him, his teacher allows him to come in from recess on bitterly cold days.
    4. When Priscilla answers a teacher’s question incorrectly, Mike teases her unmercifully.

  1. David’s mother insists that he vacuum the living room carpet. But when she sees how haphazardly he vacuums (he misses two-thirds of the carpet), she tells him, “Never mind, I’ll do it!” David’s escape of household chores:
    1. positively reinforced
    2. negatively reinforced
    3. punished
    4. an example of passive avoidance learning

  1. Which one of the following best illustrates Skinner’s concept of superstitious behavior?
    1. Alice is praised for her accurate bookkeeping at work. After that, she continues to keep accurate books at work. She also begins to be more careful about balancing her personal checkbook each month, even though she receives no reinforcement for doing so.
    2. Bradley thinks his reinforcement for cleaning his apartment is the good feeling that a clean place gives him. In reality, he cleans only when company is coming, and it is his company that makes him feel good.
    3. Charlotte misinterprets a teacher’s praise as sarcasm and therefore as punishment rather than reinforcement.
    4. David usually struggles with his geography exams, but he recently got high scores on two occasions when he wore a Denver Broncos sweatshirt to school. He now wears his Broncos sweatshirt whenever a geography test is scheduled.

  1. Imagine that you want to improve a distractible child’s ability to sit still and listen in class. Which one of the following procedures illustrates how you might use shaping to do so?
    1. Explain the purpose of sitting quietly before reinforcement begins.
    2. Reinforce the child for sitting still on some occasions, but not on others.
    3. Reinforce the child for sitting still and listening for only a minute, then for progressively longer and longer periods of time.
    4. Frequently change the specific consequence you use to reinforce sitting still-and-listening behavior (e.g., you might use candy a few times, then praise, then privileges, and so on).

  1. A ski instructor is teaching a class of beginning skiers how to do a snowplow turn. She first teaches her students to stand with the fronts of their skis together and the backs of their skis far apart. She then has her students bend their knees slightly and lean forward in this “snowplow” position. After the students can do these two things successfully, the instructor has them add more behaviors to the sequence: gliding across the side of a gentle slope in a snowplow, putting their body weight on the downhill ski, gradually turning downhill, and so on. The instructor praises her students each time they successfully add a new movement to the sequence. In behaviorist terminology, the procedure that the ski instructor is using can best be described as:
    1. the Premack principle
    2. chaining
    3. a differential schedule of reinforcement
    4. higher-level conditioning

Note: Questions 39 and 40 both refer to the same situation.

  1. Warren has earned himself a reputation for being the class clown. His teacher, Ms. Washington, used to laugh at Warren’s funny remarks, but is now trying to discourage Warren’s disruptive behavior by ignoring his jokes. In behaviorist terminology, Ms. Washington is now trying to modify Warren’s joke-telling behavior through:
    1. stimulus discrimination
    2. extinction
    3. shaping
    4. negative reinforcement

  1. Washington tries to ignore Warren when he tells jokes in class. But sometimes Warren tells a joke so funny that Ms. Washington laughs in spite of herself. Rather than decreasing his joke-telling, Warren begins telling even more outrageous jokes. Inadvertently, Ms. Washington is modifying Warren’s joke-telling behavior through:
    1. stimulus discrimination
    2. extinction
    3. shaping
    4. negative reinforcement

  1. In the basement of Marcy’s college dormitory is a Coke machine that dispenses a can of Coke whenever someone firmly pounds the side of the machine. Marcy is delighted when she discovers this fact, because she can now get Cokes from the machine without having to pay for them. One morning a repairman fixes the machine. The next time Marcy goes to get a soft drink from the machine, she finds that her usual pounding strategy doesn’t yield her the Coke she wants. But rather than insert the required coins to purchase a drink, Marcy begins pounding the side of the machine vigorously for several minutes. In behaviorist terminology, Marcy’s behavior at this point can best be described as:
    1. an extinction burst
    2. discrimination
    3. shaping
    4. a response reinforced by an activity reinforcer

  1. Tiffany is a hyperactive child who rarely sits still for more than 30 seconds at a time. Ms. Garcia decides to use positive reinforcement to help Tiffany learn to sit quietly in her seat during class time. Which one of the following approaches will bring about the fastest change in Tiffany’s behavior?
    1. a variable ratio schedule of reinforcement
    2. a variable interval schedule of reinforcement
    3. continuous reinforcement
    4. a fixed ratio schedule of reinforcement

  1. John and Bill have both learned that when they whine and complain, their teacher will hurry over to see what’s wrong. John’s teacher gives him attention every time he complains. However, Bill’s teacher gives him attention only on some of the occasions he complains. Both teachers eventually realize that they are reinforcing the boys for inappropriate behavior and so both stop attending to the boys when they whine and complain. From a behaviorist perspective, we can predict that:
    1. Both boys will whine and complain even more than before.
    2. Both boys will stop their whining and complaining almost immediately.
    3. Bill’s complaining will decrease more rapidly than John’s.
    4. John’s complaining will decrease more rapidly than Bill’s.

  1. At the beginning of the school year, Mr. Webber is concerned that Frances rarely does her independent seatwork. He begins praising Frances for each seatwork assignment she completes, and by January she is completing her assignments regularly. To make sure that the behavior continues in the years to come, what would behaviorists tell Mr. Webber to do now?
    1. Praise her more often than before.
    2. Praise her for only some of her completed assignments.
    3. Punish Frances when she doesn’t complete an assignment.
    4. Switch from a social reinforcer to an activity reinforcer.

  1. George has learned that if he pesters his father about using the family Cadillac enough times, his father will eventually break down and give George the keys to the Cadillac. George’s “pestering” behavior is apparently being reinforced on a ___________ schedule.
    1. variable ratio
    2. variable interval
    3. fixed interval
    4. differential rate of low responding

  1. McDonald wants his students to ask him for help on their geometry problems only after they have tried to solve the problems independently for at least five minutes. Mr. McDonald should reinforce students’ help-seeking behavior on a ___________ schedule.
    1. fixed ratio
    2. variable ratio
    3. differential rate of low responding
    4. differential rate of high responding

  1. Lori has learned that when she wants to say something in class, she must raise her hand before doing so. At home, however, she speaks without ever raising her hand ahead of time. We can say that the classroom has become a(n) ____ for Lori’s hand-raising behavior.
    1. generalized stimulus
    2. antecedent stimulus
    3. positive stimulus
    4. negative reinforce

  1. Sharon has learned that her language arts teacher answers her questions willingly but that her biology teacher discourages questions. Sharon therefore asks questions in language arts but not in biology. In behaviorist terminology, Sharon is:
    1. on a differential rate of low responding schedule
    2. showing generalization
    3. on a fixed interval schedule
    4. under stimulus control

  1. A teacher claps his hands together loudly three times as a way of reminding his students that they need to talk more quietly during their free time at the end of the day. In behaviorist terminology, his strategy can best be described as:
    1. cueing
    2. an intermittent schedule
    3. negative reinforcement
    4. a setting event

  1. A teacher wants to encourage her students to work cooperatively with one another as they study classroom subject matter. If she were to use the concept of a setting event to encourage such cooperative behavior, she would:
    1. Praise her students when they cooperate with one another.
    2. First give students a task in which they can’t work with one another.
    3. Say “I like how Sally and John are helping one another today” loudly enough that other students can hear.
    4. Provide instructional materials that students can use only by working together.

  1. Mark’s previous girlfriend always told him how handsome he looked whenever he wore his green sweater. Tonight Mark is going out with a new girlfriend and puts on the same green sweater. In behaviorist terminology, Mark is:
    1. on a differential rate of low responding schedule
    2. showing generalization
    3. on a fixed interval schedule
    4. showing stimulus discrimination

  1. A physics teacher wants her students to work on several difficult physics problems that involve calculating velocity, acceleration, or time using the formula v = a ´ t. The teacher first has her students work on a few easy problems involving the formula. She then presents the more difficult problems; when she does so, she finds that her students are reasonably persistent in working at the problems, and most of them eventually solve the problems correctly. By using the easy problems to promote persistence in her students during the more difficult ones, the teacher is, in behaviorist terminology, using the concept of:
    1. cueing
    2. behavioral momentum
    3. a DRL schedule
    4. a DRH schedule

  1. Mandy has learned that whenever her father comes home drunk, he is likely to yell at her, so she usually goes to her friend’s house before he has the chance. In this situation, the father’s coming home drunk is:
    1. Punishment I
    2. Punishment II
    3. An unconditioned stimulus
    4. A pre-aversive stimulus

  1. Martin went to two or three school dances but felt uncomfortable and self-conscious at them. Martin no longer goes to school dances. His lack of attendance is an example of:
    1. Passive avoidance learning
    2. Active avoidance learning
    3. Punishment I
    4. Punishment II

  1. Which one of the following statements best describes behaviorists’ two-step theory of avoidance learning?
    1. Avoidance of the aversive stimulus is negatively reinforced by the presence of the pre-aversive stimulus.
    2. Remaining in the situation is punished by the aversive stimulus; avoiding it is positively reinforced by the pre-aversive stimulus.
    3. Fear of the pre-aversive stimulus is classically conditioned, and escape from that stimulus is negatively reinforced.
    4. Escape responses occur prior to avoidance responses.

  1. An avoidance behavior of a previously aversive situation is particularly difficult to extinguish because:
    1. It has typically been reinforced on a fixed ratio schedule.
    2. It has typically been reinforced on a variable ratio schedule.
    3. It has typically been reinforced on a variable interval schedule.
    4. The learner has no opportunity to learn that the situation is no longer aversive.

  1. Which one of the following alternatives best describes instrumental conditioning?
    1. Learning to use man-made tools in order to accomplish difficult tasks more easily
    2. Learning to behave in ways that either bring pleasure or reduce the likelihood of aversive events
    3. Learning that certain stimuli in one’s environment often bring either physical or psychological pain
    4. Learning complex sequences of psychomotor behaviors (e.g., dribbling and then shooting a basketball)

  1. Which one of the following is the best example of punishment as behaviorists define it?
    1. Kelly has been acting up in the classroom all year. Her teacher’s frequent reprimands haven’t made much of a difference in Kelly’s behavior.
    2. Leo is a real distraction to his classmates, often burping in a way that makes other students laugh. His teacher places him in a corner where others can’t hear him burping.
    3. Whenever Marvin has trouble sitting still, his teacher has him run up and down the hall three times to release pent-up energy.
    4. After Nora spends a few minutes in the time-out room for hurting a classmate’s feelings, she is more careful not to hurt her peers’ feelings in the future.

  1. Which one of the following accurately describes the difference between negative reinforcement and punishment?
    1. Negative reinforcement is essentially the same as punishment, but without the negative connotations that punishment has.
    2. Negative reinforcement increases the frequency of behavior, whereas punishment decreases it.
    3. Negative reinforcement always decreases the frequency of behavior, whereas punishment often increases it.
    4. Both consequences decrease behavior, but punishment is more likely to make students angry and defiant.

  1. DeeDee is upset that she has been taken off the basketball team because of a failing grade in her history class. The consequence of DeeDee’s failure in history is an example of:
    1. Positive reinforcement
    2. Negative reinforcement
    3. Punishment I
    4. Punishment II

  1. Tammy is scolded for submitting a messy math homework paper, so she tries to do her math problems more neatly after that. The scolding Tammy received is an example of:
    1. Positive reinforcement
    2. Negative reinforcement
    3. Punishment I
    4. Punishment II

  1. Which one of the following statements best describes research findings regarding the effectiveness of verbally reprimanding (e.g., scolding) children?
    1. Reprimands rarely reduce inappropriate behavior.
    2. Reprimands are more effective when they’re brief and unemotional.
    3. Reprimands are effective only when they embarrass children to some extent.
    4. Severe reprimands are more effective than mild ones.

  1. Julie gets very upset when her mother will not let her help her bake cookies. Julie yells at her mother and throws flour all over the kitchen. Julie’s mother makes Julie clean up all of the flour and do all of the dishes Julie’s mother created from baking the cookies. Her mother’s punishment was a form of:
    1. Positive-practice overcorrection
    2. Response cost
    3. Restitutional overcorrection
    4. Punishment II

  1. When Rochelle has an on-the-road lesson as part of her driver education class, she fails to stop at a school crossing zone, as is required by law. Her instructor has her drive around the block several times and stop each time at the crossing zone. He also insists that, once she has stopped, she must wait at least eight seconds before proceeding. The instructor’s strategy illustrates the use of _______ as a way of bringing about behavior change.
    1. An intermittent reinforcement schedule
    2. Positive-practice overcorrection
    3. Response cost
    4. Restitution

  1. When Judy becomes verbally aggressive toward her peers, she is placed in a quiet and boring room for five minutes. The procedure being used here is most commonly known as:
    1. time-out
    2. systematic desensitization
    3. response cost
    4. in-house suspension

  1. Nadia is an only child who lives on a ranch that is located many miles from the homes of other children. Although she enjoys being with her peers at school, she is often physically aggressive toward them. School personnel have made many small attempts to curb Nadia’s aggression (for example, they have scolded her, kept her in from recess, and put her in a time-out situation) but always without success. They are now thinking about taking more drastic measures. According to the textbook, which one of the following is most likely to be effective?
    1. Putting Nadia in in-school suspension
    2. Giving Nadia extra classwork in school subjects she knows well
    3. Scolding Nadia in front of her peers about her inappropriate behavior
    4. Suspending Nadia from school

  1. In Mr. Marshall’s classroom, students who acquire 10 points in one day can have 20 minutes of free time at the end of the day. Mr. Marshall awards points to his students for good behavior and deducts points if they misbehave. The deduction of points for misbehavior is known as:
    1. time-out
    2. restitution
    3. response cost
    4. in-house suspension

  1. Which one of the following is the major reason why assigning extra schoolwork is not an appropriate punishment for classroom misbehavior?
    1. It gives students the message that classwork is an unpleasant task.
    2. It decreases the likelihood that students will do their assignments appropriately.
    3. It asks students to perform tasks without the support they need to complete those tasks successfully.
    4. It is negative reinforcement rather than punishment.

  1. Jimmy misbehaved in class and his teacher punished him by forcing him to skip recess. Withholding recess is generally an ineffective form of punishment because:
    1. teachers do not consider recess a pleasant stimulus.
    2. many arguments arise during recess making it a negative situation for most children.
    3. recess provides a break from academic activities, which improves children’s concentration.
    4. recess is too short of a time interval.

  1. Three of the following statements reflect contemporary perspectives of instrumental conditioning and reinforcement. Which one does not?
    1. Punishment has a more pronounced effect on behavior than reinforcement does.
    2. Behavior can sometimes be better understood if we look at complex environmental conditions rather than at simple, specific stimuli.
    3. Instrumental conditioning can more adequately be explained when we talk about mental processes as well as observable events.
    4. Any single consequence may be more or less reinforcing depending on a learner’s particular motives at the time.

  1. A mother has been paying her daughter Melissa one dollar an hour to shovel snow off the driveway. At the end of January, the mother raises the rate to two dollars an hour. Based on research related to contrast effects, we can predict that Melissa will probably:
    1. Shovel half as much snow as she would have otherwise, and then she’ll quit.
    2. Shovel the same amount of snow as she would have at a dollar-an-hour rate.
    3. Shovel less snow than if the pay for shoveling snow had always been two dollars an hour.
    4. Shovel more snow than if the pay for shoveling snow had always been two dollars an hour.

Essay Questions

  1. Behaviorist theories tend to share a number of common underlying assumptions. In five short paragraphs, describe five of these assumptions.

  1. On several occasions, Edward is yelled at by his soccer coach. Before long, Edward begins to shake whenever he drives to soccer practice.
    1. Explain this situation in terms of classical conditioning, identifying the UCS, UCR, CS, and CR.
    2. Edward soon shows signs of fearing other men in addition to his soccer coach, even though they have never yelled at him. Identify and describe the classical conditioning process that accounts for Edward’s fear of men.
    3. Explain how you might eliminate Edward’s fear of men through a process of counterconditioning.

  1. Last week Gretel was accidentally hurt in her physical education class when a much larger student ran into her and knocked her to the floor. Gretel is now afraid to go to physical education. Explain this situation in terms of classical conditioning, identifying the UCS, UCR, CS, and CR.

  1. Shelby rarely interacts with her peers. She is obviously quite lonely but apparently has no confidence in her ability to make friends. Using a behaviorist perspective, describe how you might help Shelby develop social skills through shaping. In your discussion, be sure to include:
    1. The specific behavior(s) you would shape
    2. A specific reinforcer you might use, and why you make the choice you do
    3. The sequence of steps you might take as you shape the desired behavior

  1. Explain the difference between continuous reinforcement and intermittent reinforcement. When is each most useful?

  1. You are giving tennis lessons to a beginning tennis player. Describe how you would teach the proper tennis swing. Specify:
    1. A reasonable end result toward which you would work
    2. A reinforcer you might use
    3. When you would use continuous reinforcement
    4. When you would use intermittent reinforcement

  1. Distinguish among positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, Punishment I, and Punishment II. Give an example of each.

  1. Classify each of the following situations as involving either classical conditioning or operant conditioning. In each case, defend your answer by analyzing the situation within the context of the learning paradigm you have chosen.
    1. A father reminds his son James to be quiet at the dinner table. James stops talking, and his father smiles at him.
    2. Ralph’s friend offers him an illegal drug. Ralph takes the drug and finds that it makes him feel euphoric. Ralph begins to buy the drug himself and takes it more and more frequently.
    3. Linda is a bright, academically capable girl. Once, when she was sick, she failed an important test. Now she is very anxious whenever she takes a test.

  1. In each of the following situations, a person is learning through either reinforcement or punishment. Classify each situation as involving one of these four consequences: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, Punishment I, or Punishment II. Then explain why you chose the answer you did.
    1. Because Danielle fails her math class, she is taken off the school dance squad.
    2. Joe always does his homework assignments as soon as he gets them so he won’t have to worry about them anymore.
    3. Lisa and Fran are giggling together in the back of the classroom. Their teacher scowls at them. They are embarrassed and shut up.
    4. A teacher finds that by yelling at her students when they get too rowdy, they will settle down and be quiet for a while. (Focus on what is happening to the teacher.)

  1. Stacey dislikes physical education class because her classmates tease her about her lack of strength and coordination. One day Stacey unintentionally hits one of her classmates, and the teacher sends her to the principal’s office for the remainder of the class time. Stacey becomes increasingly aggressive in class and so spends more and more time in the principal’s office. Use one or more concepts and/or principles from behaviorism to explain why Stacey has become more (rather than less) aggressive.

  1. Avoidance responses are extremely difficult to eliminate. Explain why this is so, and describe two different procedures that can effectively reduce or eliminate avoidance behavior.



Multiple Choice Questions

  1. F. Skinner has criticized traditional educational practices for:
    1. Failing to teach students to work for delayed reinforcement
    2. Using concrete reinforcers more often than social reinforcers
    3. Using intrinsic reinforcers more often than concrete reinforcers
    4. Relying heavily on artificial reinforcement for mastery of classroom topics

  1. Three of the following common criticisms of using behaviorist approaches in the classroom are valid ones. Which one usually is not true about behaviorist approaches?
    1. When a student who enjoys an activity is given extrinsic reinforcement for doing it, the student’s intrinsic interest in the activity may decrease.
    2. If some misbehaviors are reduced through reinforcement or punishment, other misbehaviors will always spring up to replace them.
    3. Reinforcing a student simply for doing a task, without regard for the quality of performance, can encourage the student to do it quickly rather than well.
    4. When a student has cognitive deficits that interfere with performance, simply reinforcing desired behaviors will be insufficient to bring about important changes.

  1. In Mr. Greene’s third-grade class, math problems are easy enough that students always solve them quickly and correctly. From the textbook’s perspective, is this a good situation? Why or why not?
    1. Yes, this is the ideal situation for learning math: Although the students may not move as quickly through the school’s math curriculum as students in other classes do, they will learn that math is an easy and enjoyable activity.
    2. Yes, this is a good situation provided that Greene also warns students that the math curriculum will be more difficult for them once they reach high school.
    3. This might be a good situation if students are solving problems in small, cooperative groups. However, if they’re working on the problems individually, they need harder problems to help them discover whether they have a natural aptitude for math.
    4. If students never have any trouble with math problems, they won’t know how to handle the occasional failure and frustration they’re likely to encounter when they tackle more challenging problems at higher grade levels.
  2. Tracy enjoys reading mystery novels and reads at least two a week. Her mother wants to encourage Tracy’s reading and so begins to pay her daughter one dollar for each completed mystery novel. Considering research regarding the extrinsic reinforcement of intrinsically reinforcing activities, we would expect Tracy eventually to:
    1. Double her rate of reading mystery novels
    2. Triple her rate of reading mystery novels
    3. Lower her rate of reading mystery novels
    4. Stop reading mystery novels altogether

  1. Matthew knows his teacher will give him credit for each assignment he completes on time, without regard for the accuracy of what he does. As a result, Matthew often completes his work quickly, sloppily, and sometimes incorrectly. This situation illustrates which one of the following concerns regarding the use of behaviorist techniques in the classroom?
    1. Reinforcement is a form of bribery.
    2. Reinforcement of some behaviors may impede optimal learning.
    3. Even very mild punishment adversely affects his self-esteem.
    4. Applied behavior analysis ignores the cognitive factors that affect learning.

  1. Teachers and other practitioners must be very careful in their use of punishment as a means of changing behavior. Three of the following are potential disadvantages in using punishment. Which statement about punishment is false?
    1. Punished behaviors typically decrease slowly, if at all.
    2. Punishment can in some instances lead to increased aggression.
    3. Harsh psychological punishment can adversely affect emotional well-being.
    4. Punishment in the classroom can make students fearful of school and/or their teacher.

  1. and Mrs. Mercado don’t allow their daughter Maggie to chew gum at home and have punished her severely on the few occasions they have found her with gum in her mouth. Now Maggie rarely chews gum at home but chews it almost constantly at school, where she is not punished for doing so. Maggie’s different behaviors at home and at school illustrate an effect of punishment known as:
    1. emotional arousal
    2. reversal
    3. behavioral contrast
    4. restitution

  1. Berk gives extra credit to each of his students who pick up 5 pieces of trash in the classroom before the bell rings at the end of the day. Despite the fact that most of the students pick up 5 pieces of trash before the end of the day, some students never participate in the cleanup. Which of the following statements explains why some students do not participate in the cleanup at the end of the day.
    1. The classroom context is a context in which only some children are reinforced.
    2. One reinforcer does not reinforce behavior for every learner.
    3. Some students will never produce socially desirable behaviors.
    4. When a group of students are reinforced together, the reinforced behavior is acquired more slowly than if the students are reinforced individually.

  1. If you were to apply the concept of terminal behavior in teaching a lesson, which one of these things would you do?
    1. Identify the things students should be able to do at the end of the lesson.
    2. Identify the sequence in which you should teach various parts of the lesson.
    3. Reward students who successfully complete the lesson.
    4. Make sure all students have mastered the prerequisite skills on which the lesson depends.

  1. Delahanty has several students who are chronic misbehavers. She meets individually with each student, and together the teacher and student agree to a plan for improving the student’s behavior and a suitable reinforcement for appropriate behavior change. Ms. Delahanty is using:
    1. a contingency contract
    2. Keller’s personalized system of instruction
    3. a token economy
    4. a group contingency

  1. An essential element of a contingency contract in the classroom is that:
    1. Behaviors are reinforced at least once a day.
    2. Every student receives the same reinforcer.
    3. Both teacher and student agree upon the desired behavior and its consequence.
    4. Every student has a contract concerning the same behavior.

  1. Hernandez is concerned about Brian, a student in her high school chemistry class who rarely interacts with other students. Ms. Hernandez decides to smile at Brian on those occasions when she happens to notice him talking with another student. Yet after three weeks she sees little change in his behavior. Based on this information, which one of the following is definitely wrong with Ms. Hernandez’s approach?
    1. Brian has little to gain by changing his behavior.
    2. Brian is receiving intermittent rather than continuous reinforcement.
    3. Social interaction is not an intrinsically reinforcing activity.
    4. A smile is not an effective reinforcer.

  1. In Marcia’s first tennis lesson, her instructor Keith is trying to teach her the correct way to swing a tennis racket. Keith praises Marcia every time she hits the tennis ball over the net and into the “in bounds” area of the opponent’s side of the court using the correct body position. Marcia shows little improvement during the one-hour lesson. From a behaviorist perspective, what mistake is Keith probably making in teaching Marcia to play tennis?
    1. He fails to realize that Marcia has little to gain by changing her behavior.
    2. He is using intermittent rather than continuous reinforcement.
    3. He should shape the behavior rather than expect immediate mastery.
    4. Praise is rarely an effective reinforcer.

  1. Healthier eating habits make people feel better and give them more energy over the long run. Yet many people do not improve their eating habits, especially if healthful foods are difficult and time-consuming to prepare. Three of the following are possible explanations for the lack of improvement (i.e., behavior change) in people’s eating habits. Judging from what you have learned about instrumental conditioning, choose the alternative that is not a likely explanation.
    1. Extrinsic reinforcers are usually more effective than intrinsic reinforcers.
    2. Eating junk food also has its reinforcers.
    3. From a cost-benefit perspective, change is not worthwhile.
    4. Reinforcement (in the form of feeling healthier) is delayed.

  1. Which one of the following examples best illustrates the concept of baseline as behaviorists use the term?
    1. After Louisa notices the attention she gets from boys on days she wears tight clothes, she often wears tight sweaters
    2. Justin talks in class all the time, even though his teacher and classmates do nothing to encourage him.
    3. Dimitri is afraid of the school swimming pool after he almost drowns in it during a swimming lesson.
    4. Marsha starts copying her best friend’s homework assignments regularly after she finds out that she gets better grades if she does so.
  2. If you wanted to encourage kindergartners to delay gratification, research indicates that an effective strategy would be to:
    1. Tell them that how well they behave at the end of the day is really what counts
    2. Ask them to focus on how good it feels to do something nice for a classmate
    3. Talk about how their learning efforts today will pay off in the years to come
    4. Occasionally remind them that they will get a bigger reward if they wait for an hour or two

  1. Sean is a high school student who is angry much of the time. He often vents his anger by swearing at his teacher. One day his teacher decides to extinguish Sean’s swearing by ignoring him whenever he swears. Yet over the next few weeks, Sean continues to swear as frequently as he always has. Three of the following are possible explanations as to why, from a behaviorist perspective, the teacher’s “extinction” strategy is not working. Which alternative is the least likely explanation?
    1. Other students are reinforcing Sean’s swearing.
    2. Sean’s swearing has previously been reinforced on an intermittent basis.
    3. Swearing allows Sean to release pent-up anger, so he is being negatively reinforced.
    4. Sean is being reinforced for swearing by means of the Premack Principle.

  1. Eight-year-old Amy always seems to be in “overdrive”—she has trouble sitting still for any length of time. Her teacher occasionally gives her short breaks in which she can get up and move around a bit as a way of releasing pent-up energy. Such breaks occur unpredictably, without regard for whether Amy is behaving appropriately or inappropriately at the time. Research indicates that such noncontingent reinforcement:
    1. May improve Amy’s behavior somewhat, but she will likely not replace the inappropriate behaviors with appropriate behaviors.
    2. Is likely to make Amy’s behavior worse
    3. Will probably lead to behavioral contrast
    4. Will confuse Amy and significantly increase her anxiety about classroom tasks

  1. Which one of the following statements best characterizes how reinforcement of incompatible behavior can help reduce people’s inappropriate behaviors?
    1. When we reinforce different people for different behaviors, they begin to discover which behaviors are appropriate and which are not.
    2. Negative reinforcement of an incompatible behavior can ultimately reduce the frequency of that behavior.
    3. An undesirable behavior will decrease when a person is reinforced for behaving in an opposite manner.
    4. We can reduce serious behavior problems by allowing people to engage in less serious misbehaviors.

  1. Which one of the following is an example of reinforcing an incompatible behavior as a way of eliminating an undesirable behavior?
    1. Samantha is very shy and socially withdrawn. Her teacher reinforces her with a smile whenever she interacts with her classmates.
    2. Johnny’s wisecracks have become so annoying that his teacher keeps him in from recess whenever he speaks inappropriately.
    3. Mary has learned to reinforce herself whenever she gets all her spelling words correct.
    4. Jerry must stay after school on days when he arrives late.

  1. Loretta has been painting graffiti on the school walls after school hours. The school principal and the school counselor discuss the problem. The counselor thinks they should try to eliminate the graffiti-painting by asking her to chair a clean-up-the-school committee, then giving her school-wide recognition for her efforts. The counselor is suggesting:
    1. extinction
    2. noncontingent reinforcement
    3. the reinforcement of an incompatible behavior
    4. punishment II

  1. Research indicates that when appropriate precautions are taken, the most effective method of reducing inappropriate behavior typically is:
    1. extinction
    2. punishment
    3. reinforcement of incompatible behaviors
    4. an intermittent schedule of reinforcement

  1. Smythe keeps Eric after school whenever he swears in class. Even though Eric has been kept after school each day for the past three weeks, his swearing has increased rather than decreased. Given what we know about the effects of punishment on behavior, Ms. Smythe should probably conclude that:
    1. Her punishment is only temporarily suppressing Eric’s swearing.
    2. The punishment is too severe.
    3. Eric’s swearing will decrease eventually.
    4. Staying after school is not a punishment for Eric.

  1. Three of the following are recommended practices when using punishment to reduce an inappropriate behavior. Which one is not recommended?
    1. Punish the behavior each time it occurs.
    2. Describe the inappropriate behavior to the would-be offender in concrete terms.
    3. Change the environment to lessen the chances that the misbehavior will occur.
    4. Punish frequently to get the point across.

  1. Three of the following are recommended practices when using punishment to reduce an inappropriate behavior. Which one is not recommended?
    1. Threaten punishment several times before administering it.
    2. Explain why the behavior is unacceptable.
    3. Teach the appropriate behavior for the situation.
    4. Whenever possible, punish the behavior as soon as it occurs.

  1. One of the following strategies, in addition to suppressing the punished behavior, is likely to suppress similar misbehaviors as well. Furthermore, it is likely to be effective even when punishment does not occur immediately. Which strategy best fits this description?
    1. Annette is told that she is a “bad girl” because she accidentally broke a window.
    2. Beryl is placed in in-school suspension when she is verbally abusive towards her classmates.
    3. Carmella is sent to her room whenever she talks back to her mother.
    4. Danielle’s mother scolds her for hitting others and explains that hitting can cause pain and injury.

  1. Three of the following are almost always found in applied behavior analysis (ABA). Which one is not necessarily characteristic of ABA?
    1. Altering the consequences of behavior
    2. Measuring behavior before treatment begins
    3. Exploring underlying causes of behavior
    4. Measuring behavior during treatment

  1. Vanessa frequently complains of getting terrible headaches and so ends up at the nurse’s office several times a week. Yet two different physicians have been unable to find a cause for Vanessa’s headaches, and Vanessa’s parents report that their daughter rarely has headaches at home. Vanessa is falling further and further behind in her schoolwork, so Vanessa’s teacher and parents meet with the nurse and school psychologist to brainstorm possible solutions to Vanessa’s problem. The school psychologist suggests that the teacher keep track of the occasions when Vanessa complains about a headache. Two weeks later, the teacher reports that all of Vanessa’s complaints occur just before a test or difficult assignment. Suddenly the teacher and parents begin to suspect that perhaps Vanessa complains of headaches as a way of getting out of having to do difficult assignments. Here we see the initial steps in a process known as:
    1. The use of incompatible behaviors
    2. Behavioral momentum
    3. Functional analysis
    4. Extinction of inappropriate behavior

  1. Three of the following are typical components of positive behavior support in classroom settings. Which one is not typical?
    1. Providing opportunities for a student to make choices
    2. Using in-school suspension to punish dangerous behaviors
    3. Teaching appropriate behaviors that can substitute for inappropriate ones
    4. Changing the classroom environment to make inappropriate behaviors less likely

  1. In applied behavior analysis, it is often important to promote, quite explicitly, the generalization of newly acquired behavior to a variety of contexts. Three of the following are recommended strategies for promoting such generalization. Which one of the following, although possibly beneficial for other reasons, will not necessarily promote generalization?
    1. Teach the desired behavior in a variety of contexts to begin with.
    2. Reinforce desired responses on a variable interval schedule.
    3. Reinforce generalization when it occurs spontaneously.
    4. Teach various forms of the desired behavior.

  1. Richards gives his class fifteen minutes of free time whenever at least 95% of the class gets a passing grade on a test. Mr. Richards is using:
    1. a group contingency
    2. time-sampling
    3. a token economy
    4. a contingency contract

  1. In Mr. Medeiros’s classroom, students are given play money each time they turn in an assignment; they receive additional amounts of money if the assignment is turned in on time and if it is done correctly. At the end of each week, students can use their “money” to purchase special privileges (free time, field trips, etc.). Mr. Medeiros’ approach to teaching can best be characterized as:
    1. programmed instruction
    2. a group contingency
    3. a token economy
    4. a contingency contract

  1. Which one of the following alternatives best describes schoolwide positive behavior support?
    1. Using only reinforcement—never punishment—to improve students’ classroom behavior
    2. Creating conditions that enable students to meet their needs through appropriate rather than inappropriate behaviors
    3. Teaching all students to monitor their own classroom behavior using a checklist taped to the tops of their desks
    4. Meeting regularly with students in one-on-one discussions of chronic behavior problems, with the goal of bringing about more productive behavior

  1. Practitioners who use applied behavior analysis to bring about behavior change in a student or client do not always rely solely on behaviorist principles; in many cases, they also incorporate cognitive elements into the strategies they employ. As examples of such cognitive behavior modification, they may use three of the following strategies. Which strategy is not likely to be part of cognitive behavior modification?
    1. They may give verbal guidance to help the learner execute desired behaviors effectively.
    2. They may model desired behaviors while the learner observes them doing so.
    3. They may ask the learner to think about various ways of solving a social problem and then identify the most effective response.
    4. They may have the learner read case studies about how other people have responded in similar problem situations.
  2. From the standpoint of criteria described in the textbook, which one of the following objectives/goals should be most useful?
    1. “Students will complete the first ten chapters of their textbook by the end of the semester.”
    2. “Students will write poetry using meter and rhyme.”
    3. “The teacher will demonstrate the correct way to use a Bunsen burner.”
    4. “Students will study effective debating strategies.”

  1. “The student will correctly point to the location of all fifty states.” This statement is missing one of the three recommended components of behavioral objectives. Which component is missing?
    1. The method of instruction
    2. An observable and measurable behavior
    3. The criterion for judging acceptable performance
    4. The conditions under which the behavior should be exhibited

  1. Which one of the following instructional objectives most clearly focuses on students’ higher-level thinking skills?
    1. “Students will describe the laws of momentum and inertia.”
    2. “Students will use the laws of momentum and inertia to explain how objects move.”
    3. “Students will take accurate notes during a lecture on momentum and inertia.”
    4. “Students will learn formulas that involve momentum and inertia.”

  1. Using behavioral objectives to describe classroom goals sometimes results in a lengthy list of seemingly trivial behaviors. In such situations, which one of the following is, according to the textbook, an acceptable alternative?
    1. Constructing a small list of abstract objectives, giving examples of behaviors that reflect each one.
    2. Foregoing instructional objectives when a teacher wants to focus on higher-level skills.
    3. Constructing a mixture of behavioral and nonbehavioral objectives.
    4. Emphasizing higher-level rather than lower-level skills.

  1. The use of instructional objectives in instruction has several advantages. Which of the following is not a benefit that objectives provide?
    1. They help a teacher choose appropriate instructional methods and homework assignments.
    2. They facilitate student achievement even in areas not covered by the objectives.
    3. They aid teachers in effectively communicate and coordinating what they are aiming to accomplish.
    4. They facilitate the evaluation of student achievement.

  1. An instructional objective that requires students to recite a definition exactly as it has been presented is at the ________ level in Bloom’s taxonomy.
    1. synthesis
    2. knowledge
    3. comprehension
    4. analysis

  1. An instructional objective that requires students to rephrase a definition in their own words is at the ________ level in Bloom’s taxonomy.
    1. application
    2. knowledge
    3. comprehension
    4. analysis

  1. An instructional objective that requires students to identify the different parts of speech in a sentence is at the ________ level in Bloom’s taxonomy.
    1. analysis
    2. synthesis
    3. knowledge
    4. comprehension

  1. Which one of the following is the best illustration of synthesis within Bloom’s taxonomy?
    1. Angela discovers fallacies in her teacher’s argument regarding the value of an agricultural economy in Africa.
    2. Connie dissects an earthworm in order to examine its digestive system.
    3. Edgar uses a principle that he learned in physics to develop a new tool to lift a heavy object.
    4. Georgette writes a justification for corporal punishment using information from her sociology and psychology classes.

  1. The major advantage of using Bloom’s taxonomy in developing objectives is that the taxonomy:
    1. Helps in the formulation of criteria for judging acceptable performance
    2. Encourages educators to address higher-level skills as well as factual knowledge
    3. Identifies an indisputable order in which various skills should be taught
    4. Specifies the most appropriate instructional method for every topic in the curriculum

  1. A variety of discipline-specific professional organizations have developed context area standards (e.g., Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards) that educators might apply in identifying instructional objectives for a classroom or school district. Three of the following are accurate statements about these standards. Which one is not necessarily true?
    1. They represent the joint efforts of many experts in a particular subject area.
    2. Many of them can be found on the websites of the organizations that have developed them.
    3. Research has clearly and convincingly shown them to be appropriate for the cognitive capabilities of students at different ages.
    4. They tend to omit important objectives outside of a particular discipline—for instance, good study habits or effective interpersonal skills.

  1. Three of the following are disadvantages of taxonomies and standards described in the textbook. Which of the following is not a disadvantage?
    1. They often do not incorporate developmental research, and therefore are not reliably sensitive to the skills of different age groups.
    2. They can miss goals that lie outside of a specific content area.
    3. They are often lengthy lists that are not realistic goals for a single school.
    4. They do not take into account students’ different abilities.

  1. Longman is using programmed instruction in teaching her geography class. Which one of the following are students least likely to encounter in their instruction?
    1. One-on-one interactions with their teacher
    2. A high probability of success when they respond
    3. Immediate feedback about the accuracy of their responses
    4. A series of frames, each of which presents a small amount of new information

  1. In programmed instruction, a branching program is different from a linear program in that a branching program:
    1. Allows students to make choices about the topics they study
    2. Takes smaller steps in teaching new material
    3. Provides remedial work for students who need it
    4. Is more likely to address important instructional objectives

  1. Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) has several advantages over noncomputer-based programmed instruction (PI). Which one of the following is not an advantage of CAI over PI?
    1. CAI provides immediate reinforcement, whereas PI does not.
    2. CAI allows the use of videos and other moving graphics.
    3. CAI allows for the collection of data regarding the progress of each student.
    4. CAI is often found to be more effective than traditional instruction; PI is typically no more effective than traditional methods.

  1. Judging from the brief descriptions below, which of these four teachers is most likely to be using a mastery learning approach?
    1. Andrews lectures each week on different American novels. Students must attend at least 80% of these lectures.
    2. Bennett begins each class by asking students what they would most like to study that day.
    3. Carlton has divided his physics course into 15 discrete units that students study individually at their own rate.
    4. Dominguez teaches children the basics of mathematics by using such concrete objects as blocks and sticks.

  1. Judging from the brief descriptions below, which one of these four teachers is most likely to be using a mastery learning approach?
    1. Alfonso gives examinations in which different students are asked different questions, depending on individual student needs and interests.
    2. Bryant assigns term papers and oral reports rather than in-class examinations.
    3. Carroll uses the highest four of a student’s six exam scores to determine course grades.
    4. Dickson insists that each student in his sociology class pass the first unit exam at the 85% level before beginning work on the second unit.

  1. Research indicates that mastery learning approaches are superior to traditional instruction in several ways. Which one of the following conclusions should not be drawn on the basis of research on mastery learning?
    1. Academic achievement is higher in classrooms that emphasize mastery learning.
    2. High-ability students are the primary beneficiaries of mastery learning approaches.
    3. Students remember material for a longer period of time when taught with a mastery learning approach rather than with traditional instructional methods.
    4. Some forms of mastery learning (e.g., Keller’s PSI) promote regular study habits rather than procrastination and cramming.

  1. A mastery learning approach would probably be most suitable for teaching:
    1. introductory Russian
    2. a philosophy seminar
    3. advanced techniques of photography
    4. controversial issues in history

  1. Sloan wanted to use behaviorist approaches in her classroom. She decided to test the students many times throughout her course. Which assessment practice is she employing?
    1. Backward design
    2. Formative assessment
    3. Summative assessment
    4. High stakes tests

  1. Which of the following statement is not true of high stakes testing?
    1. The tests are often not reflective of the instructional goals.
    2. The results often determine students’ promotion or graduation.
    3. They are most often summative assessments.
    4. They can only be implemented by trained behaviorists.

  1. For which of the following students would behaviorist approaches to instruction be least helpful?
    1. Ann has a learning disability.
    2. Bobby is very anxious about his academic work.
    3. Carl would rather socialize with his friends than do his homework.
    4. Dana has always been one of the top students in her class.

Essay Questions

  1. Over the years people have voiced many concerns about the use of behaviorist techniques in the classroom. Some of these concerns are legitimate, but others are not. What might you say in rebuttal when someone makes each of the following complaints?
  2. “Why are you bribing students to learn their math facts?”
  3. “Punishing children for inappropriate behavior will make them feel badly about themselves.”
  4. “When you reward a student for good behavior, you teach other students to misbehave so that they, too, can earn rewards.”

  1. Greg has terrible study habits: whenever he is given an assignment to be done either in class or at home, he doesn’t begin the assignment until he has been repeatedly nagged by either his teacher or his parents. Furthermore, Greg seems unable to complete assignments without constant prodding to stay on task. Explain how you might use instrumental conditioning to help Greg develop better study habits. Be concrete and specific in your explanation of what you would do, and be sure to include each of the following in your description:
  2. The baseline
  3. The terminal behavior
  4. A secondary reinforcer you might use
  5. Shaping
  6. Some means of preventing extinction

  1. The director of the local boys’ club is concerned about the hostility exhibited by Jeremy, a 14-year-old boy who comes to the club frequently with his friends. Jeremy uses obscene language at the club, and he sometimes displays physical aggression toward the club facilities (he kicks furniture, punches the walls, and so on). Use an instrumental conditioning framework to address the following questions.
  2. The director first decides to eliminate Jeremy’s hostile behaviors by ignoring them. In behaviorist terminology, what is the director trying to do?
  3. This ignoring strategy does not seem to lead to any reduction in Jeremy’s hostility. Using an instrumental conditioning framework, give at least two possible explanations for the failure of the director’s approach.
  4. The director then begins to praise Jeremy on those rare occasions when he does behave appropriately. In behaviorist terminology, how is the director now trying to eliminate the hostility?
  5. This second approach does not seem to work any better than the first one did. Using an instrumental conditioning framework, give at least two possible explanations for the failure of this approach.

  1. Ursula is always getting out of her seat at inappropriate times. As her teacher, you scold Ursula every time she does this, but her behavior seems to be getting worse rather than better.
  2. From a behaviorist perspective, why is Ursula’s getting-out-of-seat behavior increasing rather than decreasing?
  3. How might you decrease her behavior by reinforcing an incompatible behavior? Describe your procedure in detail, specifying the reinforcer and the behavior you will reinforce.

  1. Many people object to the use of punishment in educational and/or therapeutic settings. But sometimes other means of discouraging inappropriate behaviors simply don’t work. In five short paragraphs, describe five specific strategies you would use to (a) maximize the effectiveness of punishment and/or (b) minimize the occurrence of adverse side effects. Base your strategies on the textbook’s discussion of punishment.

  1. Develop an applied behavior analysis program to teach a 13-year-old girl to be more assertive. In your description, be sure to include and identify:
    1. The target behavior
    2. The method of measuring the target behavior
    3. How an appropriate reinforcer will be selected
    4. The treatment plan

  1. Develop a token economy for a classroom of unruly third-grade children. In your description, be sure to include and identify:
    1. At least two target behaviors
    2. The method(s) of measuring the target behaviors
    3. Token and back-up reinforcers, and how they are dispersed
    4. The treatment plan

  1. Describe the three components of traditional behavioral objectives. Write a behavioral objective that includes all three of these components, and identify each component within the objective you have written.

  1. Describe at least three benefits of instructional objectives for teachers, students, or both. Also identify at least one downside of using instructional objectives to evaluate students’ achievement, especially when used in conjunction with high-stakes tests.

  1. Describe three major characteristics of programmed instruction, and relate each one to a principle or concept from behaviorism.
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