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Practice Exam Questions

Psychosocial perspective

1. Describe how object relations theories are similar to and different from Freud's ideas.
2. Describe how adults with secure, avoidant, and ambivalent attachment patterns differ.
3. Briefly describe the two ways in which one's self-concept must evolve in order to acquire a
strong sense of identity following adolescence.
4. Define generativity and give three ways in which it is exemplified.
5. Define the epigenetic principle as applied to Erikson's theory and describe two of its

Narrative identity

1. Describe the characteristics of a ‘good life story’.

2. Contrast the narrative mode of thought with the paradigmatic mode of thought.
3. Summarise the processes involved in a standard life story interview.
4. Apply the eight key episodes of a life story to your own life.
5. Contrast redemption sequences with contamination sequences.

Learning perspective

1. Explain how classical conditioning can affect attitudes and give an example.
2. What is negative reinforcement and what effect does it have on behaviour?
3. Briefly describe vicarious reinforcement.
4. Briefly describe the systematic desensitisation technique.
5. Describe the differences between mastery models and coping models.


1. Explain why Rogers considered conditions of worth to be bad.

2. Briefly discuss the relationship between conditional positive regard and conditions of worth.
3. Identify the two categories of defense people use to deal with incongruence. Then give an
example of a defense from each category.
4. Describe three ways in which needs lower on Maslow's hierarchy differ from needs which are
higher on his hierarchy.
5. Describe three characteristics of self-actualisers.

Cognitive perspective

1. What role do schemas play in recognising and understanding new experiences?

2. Identify three effects of schemas.
3. Contrast how a person who has an entity view of ability views task performance with how a
person with an incremental view of ability views task performance.
4. Identify three of Mischel's "cognitive social learning person variables" and briefly describe
5. Describe three methods of assessment used in the cognitive perspective.

1. Identify and briefly describe three reasons why higher goals lead to higher performance.
2. Describe the major elements of the feedback loop and how they operate to control behaviour.
3. Identify and define the three levels of Powers’ hierarchy that are most relevant to personality.
4. The hierarchical model suggests at least three ways for problems in self-regulation to arise.
Identify these three ways.
5. Briefly describe the steps involved in means-end analysis.


1. Summarise how Leak and Christopher interpret the id, ego, and superego within the
evolutionary framework.
2. Identify three conceptual resemblances between the social-cognitive learning approach to
personality and the cognitive self-regulation approach to personality.
3. Identify three similarities between the phenomenological perspective (e.g., Maslow’s
hierarchy) and the cognitive self-regulation perspective.
4. Explain how traits are viewed from at least three different perspectives (besides the trait
5. Briefly describe the concept of preparedness.