Chapter 3 - part 8: The Evolutionary Bases of Behaviour

Vincent Voltaire
Quiz by Vincent Voltaire, updated 8 months ago
Vincent Voltaire
Created by Vincent Voltaire 8 months ago


Psychology Quiz on Chapter 3 - part 8: The Evolutionary Bases of Behaviour , created by Vincent Voltaire on 02/08/2020.

Resource summary

Question 1

Which of the following statements about Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution is NOT accurate?
  • He suggested that variations in hereditary traits might affect organisms’ ability to obtain resources.
  • He identified natural selection as the mechanism that orchestrates the process of evolution.
  • He was the first person to describe the process of evolution.
  • He noted that some of the characteristics of organisms are passed down from one generation to the next.

Question 2

Imagine that you and Charles Darwin are looking at a newborn litter of kittens, and the kittens are all a bit different from one another. As you observe the kittens, you ask Mr. Darwin which of the kittens will be most “fit” in terms of natural selection. What would Mr. Darwin be most likely to say in response to your question?
  • “The one who has the most kittens of its own.”
  • “Because they are related and carry the same genes, they all have equal fitness.”
  • “The one that is the strongest and the most aggressive.”
  • “The one that requires the smallest amount of resources.”

Question 3

If our planet were a place where each individual has the opportunity to acquire all necessary resources, and each individual produces exactly one offspring in his or her lifetime, what impact would this have on the process of evolution by natural selection?
  • It would not occur, because there would be no opportunity for some traits to be passed on more often than other traits.
  • It would not change, because there would still be some individuals who were better than others.
  • It would not occur because there would be no differences between individuals.
  • It would have no impact on natural selection, but it would lead to an increase in mutations.

Question 4

Which of the following is the key factor in evolutionary change, according to Darwin’s theory of evolution?
  • interaction of heredity and the environment
  • genetic transmission of learned behaviour
  • relative success of aggressive predators
  • variations in reproductive success

Question 5

What do we call the process by which genes that lead to a survival or reproductive advantage become more frequent in the next generation?
  • natural selection
  • polygenic transmission
  • epigenetics
  • genetic dominance

Question 6

Which of the following aspects of evolution is mainly based on chance alone?
  • natural selection
  • adaptations
  • gene flow
  • genetic drift

Question 7

If an individual is born with a genetic mutation, what will happen to that mutation in an evolutionary sense?
  • The individual will die, so the mutation cannot be passed on to subsequent generations.
  • If the mutation is beneficial, then it will be selected for and become more common.
  • It is an isolated genetic anomaly, so it cannot be spread to others in the population.
  • Mutations are part of the phenotype, not the genotype, so they won’t affect fitness.

Question 8

What occurs when gene frequencies in a population shift because some individuals leave the population and others enter it?
  • genetic drift
  • mutation
  • natural selection
  • gene flow

Question 9

Which of the following is most likely to contribute to the emergence of new species?
  • minimal gene flow between populations
  • genetic drift within a single generation
  • increases in gene flow between populations
  • multiple mutations within a population

Question 10

What do we call an inherited characteristic that solves a survival problem?
  • dominant gene
  • genetic mutation
  • adaptation
  • fitness

Question 11

Humans’ taste preferences for fatty substances would have conferred a survival advantage for our ancestors, but in our modern environment, where we have an overabundance of food, that preference can end up causing obesity and illness. What would an evolutionary psychologist say about this trend?
  • It tends to occur when recessive genes mutate into dominant traits.
  • It is an example of an adaptation that has become a liability.
  • It is a consequence of genetic drift across several generations.
  • It represents the paradox of inclusive fitness.

Question 12

Why is it more difficult to study the evolution of behaviour compared to studying the evolution of physical traits?
  • Behaviours may occur infrequently and may not last very long.
  • Natural selection generally does not operate on behaviours.
  • Behaviours are more susceptible to genetic drift.
  • Behaviours tend to evolve more slowly.

Question 13

What makes a behaviour adaptive, according to evolutionary theory?
  • It decreases the amount of genetic drift in the population.
  • It increases the likelihood of favourable mutations.
  • It aids the survival or reproduction of an organism and its offspring.
  • It increases the probability of natural selection.

Question 14

Which of the following statements most accurately reflects the roles of heredity and environment in shaping our behaviour?
  • Heredity plays an indirect role by influencing the physiology that interacts with the environment.
  • Heredity affects most physical behaviour, and environment affects most psychological behaviour.
  • Genes exert their influence on behaviour with little impact from environmental factors.
  • Genetic factors have surprisingly little influence on behaviour.

Question 15

In your text, we saw that schizophrenia may be a function of abnormalities in neurotransmitter activity, structural defects in the brain, and genetic vulnerability. Which of the following unifying themes of your text do these findings support?
  • Behaviour is determined by multiple causes.
  • Psychology is empirical.
  • Psychology evolves in a sociohistorical context.
  • Behaviour is shaped by our cultural heritage.

Question 16

Much of what we know about left brain/right brain differences would not be known without systematic research and analysis. The current interest in the right brain/left brain phenomenon highlights the importance of approaching topics such as this from which point of view?
  • conjectural
  • empirical
  • anecdotal
  • subjective

Question 17

Kim is good at reading maps and enjoys listening to music. What would some researchers suggest about Kim, according to the Personal Application, Evaluating the Concept of “Two Minds in One”?
  • She is “leftbrained.”
  • She is “midbrained.”
  • She is “hemispheric.”
  • She is “rightbrained.”

Question 18

In the Personal Application, Evaluating the Concept of “Two Minds in One,” what was the conclusion regarding left-brain and right-brain thinking?
  • Right-brain people benefit most from learning to do more left-brain activities.
  • There is strong evidence to support modification of school curriculum to support both types of thinking.
  • Career choice is strongly correlated with which side of the brain is most dominant.
  • The link between hemispheric lateralization and ability is speculative and unsupported.

Question 19

Which of the following features do all of the studies highlighting the possible importance of early experience in animals have in common?
  • The researchers used very small samples.
  • They used species that cannot be logically compared to humans.
  • They used relatively crude measures of brain growth.
  • They used extreme conditions to make their comparisons.

Question 20

Dr. Sandra Witelson found that Einstein’s brain was similar in terms of size and weight to most other brains, but that it had certain exceptionalities, including a wider parietal region and a distinct sylvian fissure. Which of the following is a reasonable statement about Einstein’s brain given what we know about the role of environment for brain plasticity?
  • Einstein was born with brain anomalies that led to his mathematical genius, and those anomalies were clearly visible in the autopsy. His experience would not change the actual structure of the brain.
  • It must be due to the effects of practice that Einstein was so mathematically brilliant, given that he had brain damage in an area that is particularly important for mathematical reasoning.
  • Einstein may have been born with a predisposition toward mathematical genius, or his brain may have been changed as a result of so much practice, but his genius is likely to have been the result of some combination of genetics and experience.
  • There is no relationship between the structure of the brain and intelligence, because learning changes the function of the brain rather than the structure.

Question 21

Which of the following is a valid hypothesis, considering both the Hebbian Learning Rule and evidence that there is a decline in the number of synapses in the human brain after about age 1?
  • Because we use only 10 percent of our brain at any given time, the decline in synapses after age 1 has no impact on functioning.
  • We create new connections in infancy, and unless all the necessary connections are made before we are a year old, we will have difficulty learning for the rest of our lives because we start losing brain cells so early.
  • Although the number of synapses decreases throughout the life span, the number of neurons does not decrease, and having a large number of neurons is more important than having a large number of synapses.
  • Although creating new connections between neurons is important, it is also important to get rid of unnecessary or outdated connections in order to enhance the efficiency of processing within our brains.

Question 22

Drug 8K43 is a stimulant drug that acts by blocking the reuptake of dopamine in the nervous system. This means that dopamine stays in the synapse longer and continues to stimulate the postsynaptic neuron. Based on this information, what can we infer about the effects of dopamine on the postsynaptic neuron?
  • It produces excitatory postsynaptic potentials.
  • It blocks the receptor channels in the postsynaptic neuron.
  • It cancels out excitatory potentials generated by other neurons.
  • It reduces inhibitory postsynaptic potentials.

Question 23

Which of the following does NOT belong with the others?
  • stereotaxic instrument
  • computerized tomography scan
  • electroencephalograph
  • reticular activating system

Question 24

Which of the following does NOT belong with the others?
  • hemispheric lateralization
  • positron emission tomography
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • electroencephalography

Question 25

Trevor (next few questions will come from this) Trevor is going for a run. He starts thinking about all the things that he needs to do throughout his day, and he decides that after he showers he will study for his midterm for a little while before he goes to work for the evening. As Trevor rounds the corner near home, he sees something move near his feet and then feels a sharp pain in his right leg. At this point, Trevor’s heart rate increases substantially, as he spins away from the dog that just bit him. As the dog’s owner apologizes and puts the dog back on its leash, Trevor’s heart rate slows down and he then makes his way home. As Trevor’s heart rate is coming back down after the dog bite, he is feeling less fear. Which division of the nervous system is responsible for the physiological changes associated with calming back down?
  • peripheral
  • sympathetic
  • somatic
  • parasympathetic

Question 26

As Trevor is running, what area of his brain is sending signals to his muscles so that they will move?
  • motor cortex in the parietal lobes
  • somatosensory cortex in the parietal lobes
  • motor cortex in the frontal lobes
  • somatosensory cortex in the frontal lobes

Question 27

When Trevor feels the pain in his right leg, what area of the brain responds to this sensation?
  • left parietal lobe
  • right temporal lobe
  • left frontal lobe
  • right prefrontal cortex

Question 28

As Trevor plans out his day, which area of his brain is processing these higher-level thoughts?
  • limbic system
  • prefrontal cortex
  • medial temporal lobes
  • Wernicke’s area

Question 29

What would an evolutionary psychologist say about Trevor’s physiological responses to the frightening experience of being bitten?
  • Fight or flight responses are adaptations that evolved through natural selection.
  • The increase in heart rate is caused by an overactive hypothalamus.
  • Such responses put Trevor at risk for developing an anxiety disorder.
  • Fight or flight responses are a maladaptive consequence of exposure to danger.
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