Testing Your Psychological Knowhow (Misconceptions Test)

The following are statements about topics related to the discipline of psychology. Read each statement and indicate whether or not, to best of your knowledge, that statement is true (T) or false (F).

# Statement T/F
1 The behaviour of most lower animals — insects, reptiles and amphibians, most rodents, and birds — is instinctive and unaffected by learning.
2 For the first week of life, a baby sees nothing but a gray blue regardless of what he or she “looks at”.
3 A child learns to talk more quickly if the adults around him or her habitually repeat the word he or she is trying to say, using proper pronunciation.
4 The best way to get a chronically noisy schoolchild to settle down and pay attention is to punish him or her.
5 Slow learners remember more of what they learn than fast learners.
6 On the average, you cannot predict from a person’s grades at school and college whether he or she will do well in a career.
7 Highly intelligent people — “geniuses”–tend to be physically frail and socially isolated.
8 Most national and ethnic stereotypes are completely false.
9 In small amounts alcohol is a stimulant.
10 LSD causes chromosome damage.
11 The largest drug problem in Australia, in terms of the number of people affected, is marijuana.
12 Psychiatry is a subdivision of Psychology.
13 Most intellectually disabled people are also mentally ill.
14 A third or more of the people suffering from severe mental disorder are potentially dangerous.
15 Electroshock therapy is an outmoded technique rarely used in today’s mental hospitals.
16 The more severe the disorder, the more intensive the therapy required to cure it, for example: schizophrenics usually respond best to psychoanalysis.
17 Quite a few psychological characteristics of and women appear to be inborn in all cultures, for example, women are more emotional and sexually less aggressive than men.
18 No reputable psychologist “believes in” such irrational phenomena as ESP, hypnosis, or the bizarre mental and physical achievements of Eastern yogis.
19 To change people’s behaviour toward members of ethnic minority groups, we must first change their attitudes.
20 The basis of the baby’s love for his/her mother is the fact that the mother fills the baby’s physiological needs for food, etc.
21 The more highly motivated you are, the better you will do at solving a complex problem.
22 The best way to ensure that a desired behaviour will persist after training is completed is to reward the behaviour every single time it occurs throughout training (rather than intermittently).
23 A schizophrenic is someone with a split personality.
24 If behaviour Y is always preceded by stimulus X, then X can be inferred to cause Y.
25 A statistically significant result is sufficient to prove the researcher’s hypothesis.
26 The more people that are present when an individual is in distress, the greater is the likelihood that the distressed person will receive help.
27 After studying you will forget less in the hours immediately following studying than in an equivalent interval of time two days later.
28 Humans can process detailed information from two separate sound sources occurring simultaneously.
29 Humans only employ approximately 10% of their potential brain power.
30 The smallest proportion of change in size of an object that a person can detect depends on the how big the object is.
31 Graphology, the analysis of handwriting is a reliable indicator of personality traits.
32 Cigarette-smoking treatment programs are less successful than individual efforts to quit smoking.
33 Young offenders are often “scared straight” after a structured interaction with older prisoners.
34 The phrase “opposites attract” reflects a successful strategy for choosing a long term partner.
35 Intellectually disabled individuals often show a remarkable skill in one area.
36 Individuals who participate in dangerous or aggressive sports are typically less well-adjusted than those who avoid these sports.
3 Questions about your opinions about psychology:

Please indicate your opinion of psychology as a scientific discipline BEFORE you engaged in any activity in PSYC1040 — that is before you attended a lecture or tutorial.

On a scale of 1 to 100, indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statement (1 = completely DISAGREE and 100 = completely AGREE):

Much of what is known from psychological research is ‘common sense’

Disagree Neutral Agree
1 50 100
Write your answer here:________________

On a scale of 1 to 100, indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statement (1 = completely DISAGREE and 100 = completely AGREE):

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