Sample Exam Questions for "Language and Social Constructionism"

Last updated:
12 Nov 2005


  1. What is social constructionism?
  2. What are the elements of modernist psychology?
  3. What is the social constructionist view of social psychology?

Multiple choice

Social constructionism does NOT draw significant theoretical and methodological influence from:

a. Philosophy
b. Sociology
c. Linguistics
d. Behaviourism

Burr (1995) describes postmodernism can be described as the __________ for social constructionism.

a. underlying framework
b. forerunner
c. back-cloth
d. origin
e. intellectual basis

Kenneth Gergen has argued that the experimental method may be inappropriate for social psychology because:

a. social events are complexly determined
b. the meaning of social events changes across cultural history
c. experiments are quantitative
d. both a and b
e. a, b and c

Discourse analysis is:

a. a form of qualitative analysis
b. a research method associated with critical social psychology
c. never used in social psychology
d. both a and b
e. none of the above

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, concerns that social psychology was falling prey to reductionism and positivism reflect what is now called:

a. post-modernism
b. the feminist critique
c. the crisis in social psychology
d. discourse analysis
e. social constructionism

Social constructionism argues:

a. that research findings gain meaning by being interpreted
b. that it is important for researchers to acknowledge their own biases and values
c. that events in the social world are historically and culturally constructed
d. all of the above
e. none of the above

Which of the following most closely captures the meaning of norms in psychological discourse?

a. are required standards of behaviour
b. are both prescriptive and descriptive shared beliefs about what is appropriate conduct
c. are descriptive of a society’s standard of conduct
d. are stable attitudes
e. are standard behaviours

One of the following statements is inconsistent with New Social Psychology. Identify it.

a. social life is a cultural achievement
b. many acts in social life are achieved by the following of social rules
c. biographies establish moral careers
d. character is a sole accomplishment of the individual
e. reputation is an important element of social life

The ‘turn to language’ in the humanities and social sciences can be best characterised as ____________________________________.

a. an increased academic emphasis on punctuation and grammar
b. a recognition that language and representation is implicated in the act of constituting knowledge
c. a realisation that the objective world can be portrayed by making accurate statements about it
d. an acknowledgement of the importance of media studies
e. a new way of studying media violence

For Hayakawa (1930), language _________ our world.

a. is
b. becomes
c. mediates
d. moderates
e. colours

______ wrote that "societies, both animal and human, might almost be regarded as huge cooperative nervous systems", echoing the sentiments of the "Global Brain".

a. Darwin
b. Burr
c. Foucault
d. Hayakawa
e. none of the above