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Free Custom «Final Exam» Sample Essay

«Final Exam»

Part I


Select five (5) of the following terms and provide concise, yet thorough, definitions. Good luck! (5 points maximum)

a) Nature vs. nurture debate - is one of the longest standing disputes concerning the effects of social systems (environment and experiences) and biology on people and their behavior. The nature side of the argument asserts that individuals are principally shaped by biology and genetics while the nurture side argues that experiences and interactions with the environment as well as participation in social life are the most important factors that determine who individuals are and how they behave.

b) The Pleasure Principle —according to Freud’s analytical theory of personality, it refers to the force driving the id (that is, the deepest level of consciousness or the animalistic, primitive and instinctual components of the mind) that tends to seek immediate pleasure and satisfaction of all wants, needs, desires and urges. The pleasure principle seeks to satisfy the most primitive and basic urges that include thirst, sex, and hunger.

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c) Oedipus complex — is a term used by Sigmund Freud in his psychosexual stages of development theory to refer to the feelings of desire by a boy towards the mother and of anger and jealousy towards the father because he feels like he is competing with the father for the mother’s possession. Thus, the child views the father as a competitor for the mother’s love and attention. The equivalent phenomenon in girls is termed as Electra complex.

d) Psychoanalysis — is referred to as a complex and comprehensive theory of personality and motivation. That is what makes individuals do the things they do. It entails the exploration of the unconscious thought processes of a person through ways such as free association that involves analysis of dreams and one saying whatever comes to his/her mind with the aim of finding and overcoming the areas of resistance. These areas cause mental illnesses and prevent mental growth and development.

e) Arranged marriages — are weddings that are organized by one or more people other than those getting married since it is believed that nuptials are of the same concern to the families as they are to those who are getting married. Debates that favor such marriages include the conviction that young people are inexperienced, immature and impulsive and thus cannot suitably consider all factors required for a successful union.

Part II

Short Answer

Write your answers in the space provided. Good luck! (58 points total)

1. Name three things that the personality bears the imprint of (3 points)

  1. The inherited potentialities of an individual.
  2. The culture of an individual’s society.
  3. Unique personal experience.

2. Name the most important socialization mechanism in U.S. society (1 point)

  1. Belief systems.

3. Name the four stages of Piaget’s cognitive development model (4 points)

  1. The sensorimotor stage. This phase starts from birth and lasts till the age of two years. A child is principally concerned with learning about physical objects.
  2. The preoperational stage. It begins from the age of two years and ends about the age of six or seven years. Here the child learns about symbols in dreams, language, and fantasy.
  3. The concrete operational stage. This phase lasts from the age of six to around twelve years. At this stage, the child starts to learn about abstract concepts such as numerals and the relationships between them.
  4. The formal operational stage. This step begins from twelve years and ends around fifteen years. At this stage, the child learns to understand dual messages such as irony and begins to master purely logical thoughts.

4. Name the three types of operant conditioning (3 points)

  1. Positive reinforcement occurs when a behavior becomes strengthened as a result of receiving a productive condition. For example, if each time a child screams the parents pay attention, and the child is pleased, he/she will scream more often to get his/her parents attention.
  2. Negative reinforcement arises when a behavior becomes strengthened by avoiding an adverse condition. For example, when a child is thirsty and finds water in the kitchen, he/she will always go to the kitchen whenever he/she is thirsty.
  3. Punishment happens when a behavior becomes weakened through the experience of a harmful condition. For instance, if a child hits the sibling and is made to sit time-out in a corner, he/she will hit the sibling less in the future because he/she will associate it with corner time.

5. Name the most well-known of the cognitive approaches to understanding behavior (1 point)

  1. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality.

6. Name the five levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in order (5 points)

  1. Basic physiological needs. These necessities are the most significant and instinctive ones that are required for survival and include food, water, air, and sleep. All other needs are secondary to basic physiological ones.
  2. Safety and security needs. Examples of these necessities are safe neighborhoods, health care, shelter from the environment, and a desire for a steady job.
  3. Love and belongings needs. These are social necessities and include love, affection and a sense of belonging. Relationships such as friendships, families and romantic attachments assist in satisfying these needs.
  4. Self-esteem needs. They involve the things that reflect on personal worth, self-confidence, social recognition, and achievements among other things.
  5. Self-actualization is the highest level of needs. In attempts to satisfy them, individuals are concerned with personal growth paying less attention to what other people say or think about them. They are only interested in reaching their potential. Traits such as creativity, spontaneity, morality, and problem solving define the individuals attempting to fulfil these needs.


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