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Self-Quiz on Frontiers of Psychology

Revised 11/23/2016. Welcome to the self-quiz on Frontiers of Psychology. These questions accompany Chapter 14 (Frontiers of Psychology) of the online textbook Psychology: An Introduction).

This collection of topics (Psychology and Medicine, Psychology and Law, Stress, Addiction, Sport Psychology) are all frontiers in the sense of being fairly recent and cross-disciplinary. If you are not using the online textbook at intropsych.com, these topics may be covered in several different chapters of your book.

Read the question and click on an answer. You will jump to a correction or (if the answer is correct) a confirmation.

  1. What is psychoneuroimmunology?
  2. What is the emphasis of health psychology?
  3. As a rule, challenging events are stressful if they...
  4. Harmful addictive behaviors all involve...
  5. Which is NOT among typical checklist items for self-diagnosis of alcoholism?
  6. One way cocaine addicts resemble heroin addicts is that, after regular use of the drug...
  7. How does the addictive potential of tobacco compare to that of other drugs?
  8. Which of the following is NOT part of the famous Alcoholics Anonymous approach?
  9. How does a computer enable a forensic psychologist to make detailed "profiles" of a criminal?
  10. Visualization, as used by athletes, was said to work a bit like...

End of multiple choice questions for Chapter on Frontiers of Psychology

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ANSWERS AND DISCUSSION SECTION

[The remainder of the page is not meant to be read sequentially; it consists of answers and explanations separated by stretches of nothing. You will jump back and forth to these as you click on possible answers of the questions.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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an attempt to immunize people against common virally-based mental illnesses

No, as of the early 21st Century scientists do not know of any virally-based mental illnesses, although it may be possible. In any event this is not the definition of psychoneuralimmunology.

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the same thing as psychiatric rehabilitation

No, psychiatric rehabilitation is the process of working with people on a psychiatric ward, in a hospital, to prepare them for a return to the world outside the hospital.

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the same thing as behavioral medicine

No, behavioral medicine may be relevant to psychoneuroimmunology but is not the "same thing." (Behavioral medicine is concerned with the relationship of behavior to medical problems, for example, which exercise programs are useful to help patients live longer after bypass surgery for the heart...and many, many other topics.)

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the study of psychological and neural factors relating to the immune system

Yes; the focus of psychoneuroimmunology is the mutual influence of psychology, the nervous system, and the immune system.

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"specifically the influence of personality variables on immune functioning"

No, psychoneuroimmunologists might be interested in that, among other topics, but the field is not defined so narrowly.

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so-called "disease personalities"

No, "disease personalities" is an obsolete concept from the 1930s which related certain personality types to diseases. There is little research evidence to support such a relationship.

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helpful stimulation of the immune system

No, that topic would interest a psychoneuroimmunologist, but health psychology typically involves other issues affecting health.

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helping people "unlearn" their sicknesses

No, that is not the emphasis of health psychology (although there is a therapy for chronic pain, coming out of the behavioral medicine tradition, in which patients are encouraged to "unlearn" their pain responses).

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promoting healthy lifestyles and behavior

Yes. Health psychologists are concerned with things like smoking, exercise, obesity, and other variables involving personal choice of behavior which influences health.

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the study of "mental attitudes correlated with well being"

No, that might be interesting to some health psychologists, but health psychologists more commonly emphasize behaviors or practices such as exercise and relaxation rather than thinking styles.

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provoke negative emotions

Yes. For this reason, Arnold Lazarus commented that "stress should be a sub-topic of emotion." Events commonly regarded as stressful do not cause ill health effects unless accompanied by negative emotions.

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require a level of exertion unusual for that animal

No, short periods of unusual exertion are not usually damaging and may be healthful in bulding muscle or aerobic capacity.

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cause adrenaline secretion

No. The body's response to adrenaline is not automatically damanging or unpleasant.

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involve some kind of physical pain

No, pain is not necessarily stressful if it is not accompanied by negative emotions. An example is the common laboratory procedure for inducing acute pain by dunking an arm in ice water. This produces pain but not necessarily stress (because the participant realizes the pain can be terminated immediately and will not last long). That is probably the reason this procedure does not stimulate the release of endorphins: a finding which surprised early researchers.

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move the body into a new environment

No, that is not necessarily stressful in itself. To cite one obvious example, some people enjoy travel and are not "stressed" by it.

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behaviors pleasurable over the short term, damaging if repeated too often

Yes. "A poison is too much" as one pharmacologist observed. Repeated, enjoyable behaviors can be considered "harmful addictions" if repeated to the point of causing harm in a person's life, especially if a person tries to stop and has difficulty doing so.

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lack of self-esteem, according to Lazarus

No, the "low self-esteem" theory of addiction actually has little research support, and Lazarus does not promote this view.

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denial

No. Alcoholics and other addicts may sometimes be "in denial" over their addiction, but this is not a defining feature of addictive behavior, and many addicts will admit they are addicted.

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what Ellis called "catastrophizing"

No. Ellis's concept of catastrophizing involves over-reacting to life events (treating them as "catastrophes") which is not a defining feature of addictive behavior.

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a "need for rebellion"

No. Addicts may sometimes be rebelling against something, but that is not what makes them addicts.

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hiding alcohol for personal consumption

No, this is said to be typical of alcoholics who are trying to hide the high amount of their alcohol consumption. It is an item on many checklists for typical alcholic behavior.

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memory blackouts

No, this is widely considered to be an indicator of problem drinking or alcoholism. Blackouts only occur with high levels of alcohol consumption.

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repeated problems such as arrests

No, this item appears on many checklists of problem drinking or alcoholism; in fact, to some experts this is the behavioral definition of alcoholism—repeated, alcohol-related problems of any type, not just arrests.

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dependence or need

No, this is a typical item on checklists for alcoholism. A non-alcoholic does not "need" to drink, but an alcoholic apparently does.

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lack of ability to "hold one's liquor"

Yes, this is the item which would typically NOT be found on a checklist for alcoholism, because it is the opposite of the truth. A person who can "hold their liquor" is starting to adapt to frequent presence of the drug in the body, and this is an early sign of addiction.

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they "invariably" show negative health effects

No. Some heroin addicts manage to grow old while remaining addicted, simply by avoiding overdose. Heroin addicts often look debilitated and "burned out" but this is not an inevitable consequence of using morphine-related drugs in low doses.

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their primary motive is to flee from the pain of withdrawal

No. That is an old view of addiction from the 1930s through 1950s which is now considered misleading by experts. Heroin addicts may experience a painful withdrawal syndrome, but cocaine addicts in withdrawal typically experience boredom or lack of excitement and joy of living, not physical pain as such.

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they typically start pushing it on other people

No. Some addicts might do this, but it is not an automatic response to drug addiction.

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they need it just to feel normal

Yes. All psychoactive drugs resemble natural transmitter substances in the nervous system, or they would not have their effects. When an addict adds these substances to the body, the body's ability to produce similar substances shuts down (in response to the abundance of the chemical). At that point, a person may feel dependent upon the drug to achieve a normal state of mind.

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it becomes a "positive addiction"

Not exactly! A "positive addiction" is one that has healthy effects on an individual, and it is hard to argue that chronic, long-term use of either heroin or cocaine has positive health effects on anybody. This is not to mention the effects of overdose, such as death.

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much less, leading some to question whether it should be called addictive

No, tobacco is actually very addictive, as indicated by the difficulty many long-term users have in quitting the habit voluntarily.

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about the same as marijuana

No, marijuana does not produce cravings after a short period away from the drug, the way tobacco does. However, some experts suggest that a marijuana addict will experience craving for the drug after a longer period such as a week or two (as the drug clears from the body).

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about the same as heroin and cocaine

Yes. Tobacco produces cravings with a timing and intensity similar to those drugs, and people who try to quit a tobacco habit experience "relapses" at about the same rate as heroin and cocaine addicts trying to quit their habits.

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the drug effects are slower to start, so addiction is slower

No, tobacoo consumption produces a quick, strong "spike" of nicotine; it is relatively quick-acting.

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nicotine is not addictive

No, tobacco company executives were widely mocked for making that claim in hearings before the U.S. Congress, because addiction specialists are well aware that tobacco is an addictive drug, and many people are personally acquainted with the difficulty of stopping tobacco consumption even when this is strongly desired for health reasons.

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admitting powerlessness over the drug

No, this is a standard part of the AA approach.

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calling on a Higher Power

No, although the wording varies, the AA approach typically does involve "calling on a Higher Power."

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total abstinence

No, the typical AA approach calls for abstinence which is totally stopping alcohol consumption.

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group support

No, group support is a crucial part of the AA approach. Fellow addicts have "been there" and know all the phenomena of addiction; this makes them effective peer counselors. AA members are encouraged to call on each other for support when needed.

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disciplined or controlled drinking, such as one per day

Yes. This element is NOT part of the AA approach. There was a big controversy over the possibility of "controlled drinking" for ex-alcholics, in the 1970s. Then and now, advocates of the AA approach insisted this is not realistic for alcholics and total abstention is the only answer.

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it looks for patterns in data from similar past crimes

Yes. Unlike the glamorized image of psychic "profilers" on TV, the most accurate form of profiling involves searching computer databases for patterns associated with similar crimes in the past.

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it analyzes the criminal's personality using standardized tests like the MMPI and Rorschach

No, these standardized tests are not particularly useful for generating profiles. They are commonly used to diagnose psychological disorders.

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it allows an image of a face to be constructed from eyewitness reports

No. Face construction kits are sometimes used to help witnesses assemble an image of a suspect, but this has little to do with profiling, which is more likely to involve information such as a person's employment history or past behaviors.

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it provides the statistical likelihood of such a crime being committed

No, computers are used to help in profiling after the crime has already been committed.

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it suggests the types of question that might be asked of suspects

No; one could imagine an computerized "expert system" for this, but this is not profiling.

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shaping: the method of successive approximations

No, shaping is a technique for modifying behavior by reinforcing small steps toward a goal, but it does not typically involve visualization.

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"negative punishment"

No. "Negative punishment" is the reinforcement procedure also called "response cost," but this does not relate directly to visualization.

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differential reinforcement

No. Differential reinforcement means picking out and reinforcing one behavior from among many, but that does not relate directly to visualization unless you really stretch things. (An athlete typically visualizes a positive event, attempting to make it more likely, which arguably resembles differential reinforcement...barely...)

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psychoanalysis

No. Psychoanalysis is specifically the form of psychotherapy based on Freud's theory, which is not very relevant to athletics.

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self-hypnosis

Yes. Self-hypnosis typically involves concentrating on self-suggestions, which are imagined positive scenarios such as kicking a goal during a crucial game. This is the same sort of activity many athletes calls visualization: vividly imagining a situation and one's successful response to it. The intention is to program oneself for success much the same way a hypnotist tries to suggest behaviors or experiences to a client.

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Write to Dr. Dewey at psywww@gmail.com.

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