Sample Exam Questions for "Aggression"

Last updated:
03 Nov 2005


  1. What is aggression?  What kinds of aggression are there?
  2. Describe hot and cold aggression and how this relates to physical and psychological aggression.
  3. What are the evolutionary explanations for aggression?
  4. What are the environmental (situational) explanations for aggression?
  5. How does jealousy differ for men and women and why?
  6. What factors seem to contribute to or help prevent e-aggression (internet aggression)?
  7. How does globalisation influence local aggression?
  8. How can aggression be minimised and possibly prevented?
  9. According to Lorenz, what is aggression good for?

Multiple choice

Adorno and colleagues argued that the authoritarian personality was characterised by:

a. prejudice against minorities
b. an obsession with rank, dominance and power
c. conservative political views
d. rigid thinking
e. all of the above

According to Dollard et al.’s frustration-aggression hypothesis:

a. frustration always leads to aggression
b. aggressive people often get frustrated
c. frustration leads to anger that may or may not lead to aggression
d. frustration and aggression are not causally linked
e. children learn aggression and frustration from their parents

Sometimes vandalism is a response by members of a disadvantaged group who feel that they have not received an equitable deal from society. What they are experiencing is called :

a. a primordial aggressive instinct
b. dehumanisation
c. Thanatos
d. relative deprivation
e. deindividuation

A proposition in the sociobiological approach to aggression is that aggressive behaviour:

a. eliminates weaker progeny by an inherited program
b. is based on modelling
c. promotes the survival of an individual long enough to transmit genes
d. is transmitted to the young by excitation transfer
e. is an entirely learned response

In a series of experiments conducted by Zimbardo (1970) participants were required to wear cloaks and hoods, and in one study they gave electric shocks to a female confederate engaged in a learning task. By requiring the participants to dress in this way Zimbardo intended that they should experience:

a. humiliation
b. optimal distinctiveness
c. aggression
d. deindividuation
e. dehumanisation

In relation to aggression, the idea behind catharsis is reflected in one of the following examples about Paul:

a. by practising meditation he is less likely to be violent in other settings
b. by playing football he can let off steam, and is less likely to be violent off the field
c. by playing football he is more likely to be violent off the field
d. by verbally abusing his spouse he is more likely to physically assault her
e. none of the above

Aggression in animals serves ______________ function in relation to the young but __________ in the hunting behaviour of predators.

a. an assertive , is also present
b. an assertive, is not present
c. a protective, is also present
d. a protective, is not present
e. mobbing, is also present

“Fighting like a cornered rat” is motivated by ____________ an animal’s ___________________

a. an invasion of, critical distance
b. the mobbing of, extended family
c. overcrowding in, enclosure
d. overcrowding in, native habitat
e. the destruction of, native habitat

The following statements attempt to summarise the research evidence examining the relationship between viewing media violence and acting in a violent or aggressive fashion. Which one is untrue?

a. Children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others
b. Children frequently mimic what they see their heroes doing on the screen
c. Children may become more fearful of the world around them
d. More violent children may be attracted to violent programs on television
e. Watching television makes children illiterate

When a crowd of disadvantaged citizens start smashing windows and looting shops, the most likely precipitating factor is:

a. Freud’s Id
b. dehumanisation
c. the reciprocity principle
d. relative deprivation
e. deindividuation

A debate over whether children should be allowed to play very violent video games brings into conflict two opposing social psychological views:

a. social learning theory and the cathartic hypothesis
b. psychodynamics and Jungian mysticism
c. the J-curve hypothesis and social identity theory
d. the contact hypothesis and social evolutionary theory
e. social learning theory and Freudian theory

Mike has just failed his mid-term test. He is really annoyed and knows it as he drives home. At an intersection a car in front of him stops at a yellow light. Mike thinks they both could have easily crossed, and angrily blasts his horn long and loud at the Asian driver. The model of aggression that best predicts Mike’s outburst is:

a. prejudice against Asians
b. excitation-transfer
c. social learning
d. frustration-aggression
e. relative deprivation

Lisa has a shower after her daily morning run in humid conditions. She dries off, but still feels sticky and uncomfortable. Aware that she is late she rushes into the kitchen, finds that Jeremy has finished the last of the cereals, and verbally abuses him. Jeremy is taken aback, but remembers from his reading of social psychology that Lisa’s response is accounted for by:

a. the frustration-aggression model
b. discourse analysis
c. the excitation-transfer model
d. evolutionary theory
e. social learning theory

A common element in most social psychological definitions of aggression is:

a. the intent to harm
b. hurting people and destruction of property
c. actual harm or injury to persons
d. all of the above
e. there is no common element across definitions

Which of the following approaches does not view aggression as an instinct?

a. psychodynamic
b. evolutionary
c. social learning
d. ethological
e. both c and d

The view that aggression is a species adaptive strategy to aid the survival of the species is proposed by the:

a. cathartic approach
b. psychodynamic approach
c. neo-Freudian approach
d. evolutionary social approach
e. social learning approach

Will drinking alcohol increase the likelihood of aggression? Taylor and Sears (1988) found that there was __________ between the two:

a. a curvilinear relationship
b. a positive relationship
c. a negative relationship
d. no relationship
e. a inverted U-shaped relationship

Studies of the authoritarian personality revealed someone whose features included both
a. powerfulness, and a capacity for sexual performance
b. rigidity, unreflectiveness, and an admiration for power
c. a tendency toward sexual repressiveness plus a high level of flexibility
d. rigidity and the capacity for sexual performance
e. reflectiveness and a belief in the inferiority of outgroups

An ethological perspective on social behaviour is one which

a. studies character and character development
b. focuses on the study of animal behaviour in natural settings
c. focuses on the study of race
d. studies character, character development and the behaviour of animals in natural settings
e. none of the above

Gottman reports that if the ratio of positive-to-negative interactions and feelings drops below _ to 1, the relationship starts to slide towards problems and even eventual dissolution (when negative acts exceed positive ones).

a. 2
b. 3
c. 4
d. 5
e. 6

The ______________ seems to be the key dynamic in what amounts to the emotional ecology of every marriage [or de facto relationship].

a. degree of similiarity in partners' arousal levels
b. balance between negativity and positivity
c. total amount of conflict between partners
d. similiarity in spirituality beliefs
e. personality match between partners

____________ proposes that people will assess the reward they receive for the input they give, and socially compare that with the level of reward-for-input garnered by a salient comparison other, whether employee or employer.

a. Equity theory
b. Social comparison
c. Organisational theory
d. Social learning
e. The frustration-aggression hypothesis

How has antisocial aggression during and as a result of rugby matches in Australia been reduced since the 1980's?

a. stiffer on-field penalties
b. stiffer off-field penalties
c. a more clear conduct of conduct
d. more rigorous drug-testing

When people learn to expect rewards in a given situation, and those rewards are not subsequently delivered, negative emotions, such as feelings of betrayal, will often result. This is called the ______________, which results from being over-promised and under-delivered.

a. frustration effect
b. negative affect reciprocity effect
c. temperature-aggression hypothesis
d. equity theory