PSYCHOLOGY 181 ASSIGNMENT #4
1. Imagine that you are in class and have a sudden urge to gulp down a hot fudge sundae. Some part
of you really wants to just grab a giant sundae and start eating it right this second. But then,
another part of you realizes that a giant hot fudge sundae has lots and lots of calories in it, and
makes you feel weak for even considering eating one. Ultimately, you decide to wait until class
is over, and go to Dairy Queen. You make sure that you have enough money, and even then you
only decide to order a small sundae. PSYCHOLOGY 181 ASSIGNMENT #4.
a) This scenario describes 3 interacting structures (aspects) of personality, according to Freud.
Name the 3 aspects, and relate each one to its description in the above scenario. Also, which of
these structures is considered the “Executive of Personality” and (briefly) why? [2 POINTS]
b) Using the same scenario as above (i.e. an urge for a sundae, and guilt over that urge) imagine
that different people engage in each of the different behaviors listed below (rather than simply
buying a small sundae after class). Which of the Freudian defense mechanisms best describes
each example? [0.5 points each = 4 POINTS TOTAL].
i) Instead of having a sundae, goes and runs a 10-km “fun run”
ii) Instead of eating at Dairy Queen, goes home and eats a giant bowl of frozen yogurt.
iii) Eats a large sundae at Dairy Queen, but has no memory of the event afterwards
iv) Eats a large sundae, but believes that Dairy Queen has left out all the calories from
that serving. PSYCHOLOGY 181 ASSIGNMENT #4.
v) Eats the sundae at Dairy Queen, while having a very rational discussion about “how
interesting it is that our bodies have evolved to consider certain foods more
appealing than others, and why that might be”.
vi) Drives past the Dairy Queen and sneers at all the people inside who are “so weak”
that they have the urge to eat hot fudge sundaes.
vii) Eats a large sundae but tells people that it was “because it helps all of the migrant
farm workers who harvest the cocoa beans in making the hot fudge”.
viii) Gets a job as a “product development specialist” to help an ice cream company
develop the best flavors of ice cream. PSYCHOLOGY 181 ASSIGNMENT #4.
c) Lastly, one person develops paralysis of their hand so that they cannot hold the hot fudge
sundae at all. Oddly, though, there is nothing physically wrong with the person’s hand or nervous
system. What would Sigmund Freud’s official diagnosis be? [0.5 POINTS]
2. In class, I provided a demonstration of the Forer Effect with respect to criminal profiling.
Generally speaking, what does the Forer Effect refer to (in any circumstances – whether criminal
profiling or otherwise)? How do some criminal profilers use this effect to increase their number
of total correct statements, and thereby attempt to increase their credibility within the public
domain? As someone who seeks to not be duped by such claims, what should we pay attention to
with respect to the number of correct claims? [2 POINTS]. PSYCHOLOGY 181 ASSIGNMENT #4.
3. Briefly outline 3 reasons that “Personality Scores” – which are based on Trait Theories of
Personality – still have a difficult time predicting whether a person will act in a specific way.
That is, these scores often fail to predict specific behaviors. Why? [1.5 POINTS]
**these are outlined in the slides**
4. For each of the statements below, identify which of the 4 Achievement Goals best describes the
example (i.e. performance-approach, mastery-avoidance, etc…). [2 POINTS (i.e. 0.5 each)].
a) “I'm motivated by the thought of getting a better mark in my math class than anyone else.”
b) “I study after every class. I’m afraid that, if I don’t, the teacher will call on me the next
day and I might not know the answer. That would be so embarrassing!”
c) “I want to learn as much as possible because I want to know all there is to know!”
d) “I try really hard in school because it always frustrates me when I see the mistakes that I
made on a test”
5. For each of the statements below, identify which of the 4 Motivational Conflicts best describes
the example (i.e. approach-approach, approach-avoidance, etc…). [2 POINTS (i.e. 0.5 each)].
a) Joe has one elective course to choose. He wants to take Art History, but at the time it is to be
given a course in Psychology is being offered, taught by a professor who was highly
b) Joe is required to take a course in physics or biology. He feels physics is more interesting,
but he is afraid his poor background in mathematics would keep him from doing well in
it. Biology is dull, but he could manage it. PSYCHOLOGY 181 ASSIGNMENT #4.
c) Joe is required to take a course in mathematics. He can choose a survey course that he
considers dull or an algebra course that he anticipates will be quite difficult.
d) Joe wants to take the Cognitive Psychology course next year but it’s taught by a
professor he thinks is obnoxious