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Sample Questions for Positive Psychology Test #1 (January 29, 2015)


In discussing the relationship between positive psychology and abnormal psychology we noted that:
a. abnormal psychology looks at what can cause individuals distress and dysfunction.
b. positive psychology looks at what can enhance happiness, life satisfaction, and relationships
with others and with society
c. we can use the same criteria to judge positivity - mental order - that we use to assess or
evaluate mental disorder.
d. both areas deal with statistically abnormal qualities in individuals.
e. all of the above


Although positive psychology has roots in the humanistic tradition, it differs from the humanistic
tradition in that positive psychology:
a. is more likely to adopt a scientific approach to the issues of positive psychology than is the
humanistic approach.
b. is more likely than the humanistic approach to take an idiographic approach to the study of
positive traits and qualities.
c. is more likely than the humanistic approach to be concerned with the individual's relationship
with others, and with society at large.
d. is less likely than the humanistic approach to focus on the functioning of groups, in addition to
e. all of the above


There are two basic views of the 'good life': the hedonic and the eudaemonic. One difference
between these two is that the hedonic view _____, while the eudaemonic view _____.
a. sees the good life as only personal pleasure or happiness ... sees the good life as involving both
personal pleasure and harmonious relationships with others.
b. sees the good life as involving both personal pleasure and harmonious relationships with others
... sees the good life as only personal pleasure or happiness
c. takes a nomothetic view of the good life .... takes an idiographic view of the good life.
d. is associated with Aristotle ... is associated with Aristippus
e. both a and d


In discussing the good life, Aristotle argued that:

a. the good life involved living virtuously.
b. we could distinguish two different kinds of virtue: personal and civic.
c. the good life involved being non-judgmental about our passions and impulses.
d. the good life could be achieved or led only be a small number of individuals born to fam ilies of
'good breeding'.
e. all of the above


Freud argued that a satisfactory life is one in which the individual is capable of:
a. love and work
b. cathexis and decathexis
c. insight and rational control
d. sex and aggression
e. none of the above

Positive Psychology, Sample Questions: Page 2 of 5


In his Presidential address to the American Psychological Association in 1998, Martin Seligman
argued that before World War II, psychology had several main missions. Which of the following is
NOT one of them?
a. curing mental illness
b. helping people lead more productive and fulfilling lives.
c. identifying and nurturing high talent.
d. understanding the nature of consciousness
e. All of the above WERE mentioned by Seligman.


In discussing the differences between Eastern and Western philosophical and religious traditions, I
suggested that:
a. both traditions see the material world as an place of suffering and unhappiness.
b. in the West, but not in the East, philosophy and religion are seen as separate.
c. Eastern religious and philosophical tradition has paid much more attention to human
psychology than Western traditions have.
d. Eastern, much more than Western traditions, see transcendence of the material world as an
achievable personal goal.
e. all of the above


In discussing Hinduism we noted that:

a. it is the most recent of the Eastern traditions.
b. it is associated with the writings of Arjuna in the 3rd century B.C.E.
c. it argued that the purpose of life is to attain self-knowledge and strive for self-betterment.
d. it is a modification of earlier Buddhist and Taoist ideas.
e. more than one of the above


The idea that we should act spontaneously and naturally, and adapt our actions to the flows of the
natural world is most characteristic of the ________ tradition.
a. Hindu
b. Confucian
c. Taoist
d. Buddhist
e. None of the above

10. The second of Buddhisms Four Noble Truths indicates that:

a. life provides a wealth of situations in which we suffer unhappiness.
b. our normal perception of reality is a perceptual and cognitive illusion.
c. if we change the way we think, we will change the way the world appears to us.
d. it is ignorance of reality, and our attachment to external things that is the cause of human
unhappiness and suffering.
e. none of the above

Positive Psychology, Sample Questions: Page 3 of 5

11. Right effort as described in the Eight-Fold Path is closest in meaning to which aspect of Maslows
Eight-Fold way?
a. Self-development
b. Growth choices
c. Honesty
d. Self-awareness
e. Concentration
12. Maslow suggests that peak experiences can have affects on the individuals sense of identity in a
number of ways. Which of the following is NOT one of them?
a. The individual feels more integrated, and more individual and unique.
b. The individual feels and acts more spontaneously, expressively, and effortlessly.
c. The individual feels himself, more than at other times, to be responsible for his choices and
d. The individual feels more at one with the world, and with the object of his activities.
e. All of the above ARE affects of peak experiences on the individual
13. One part of Maslows Eight-Fold way is lack of ego defenses. This concept is closest to which
aspect of the Buddhist Eight-Fold Path?
a. right action
b. right view
c. right speech
d. right thoughts
e. right intention
14. Which quality of Rogers fully-functioning person is closest to the Taoist ideal of adapting to the
natural flow of events?
a. a greater openness to experience
b. an existential mode of living
c. organismic trusting
d. greater creativity
e. None of the above
15. Csikszentmihalyi argues that several personality variables are particularly associated with the quality
of flow experiences, and with the amount of time spent in flow. One of these variables is:
a. Low self-centeredness
b. Humility
c. Stimulation-seeking
d. Extraversion
e. Sensation-seeking

Positive Psychology, Sample Questions: Page 4 of 5

16. In describing the state of mindfulness we noted that:

a. mindfulness involves directing one's full attention to inner and outer events as they are
b. in mindfulness, we note and accept negative or maladaptive thoughts as they come into the
mind rather than actively trying to suppress or prevent them.
c. in mindfulness we have an objective, distanced, and non-attached attitude toward our thoughts
and feelings.
d. in mindfulness we try to eliminate all striving, and simply 'be'.
e. All of the above
17. We discussed a number of medical and other conditions to which mindfulness meditation has been
applied. Which of the following is NOT one of them?
a. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
b. Psoriasis
c. Chronic pain
d. Binge eating
e. Relapse from depression
f. All of the above ARE conditions to which mindfulness has been applied
18. Davidson et al (2003) compared meditators (M) with wait-list controls (C) after both had received
a flu vaccine. The authors reported that, compared with Controls, meditators had:
a. increased left-hemisphere activation (associated with positive affect).
b. lower levels of flu antibodies.
c. lower levels of amygdala activity in response to negative or fear-inducing stimuli.
d. greater neural activity between the left prefrontal cortex and the amygdala and cerebellum.
e. All of the above

Positive Psychology, Sample Questions: Page 5 of 5

1. e
2. a
4. a
5. a
6. d
7. e
8. c
9. c
10. d