Many of you realize that the preliminary examinations are next week. Area professors have been industriously submitting questions on which to test the pre-candidates. We have gotten ahold of an advanced copy of the test, and will be meeting Friday at 4:00 pm at Charlie's to discuss possible answers. All are welcome to provide input. 1998 Preliminary Examination Cognition/Perception 1. For many years, controversy has raged as to which Sternberg is better. Some (e.g. Gardner, In press) argue Saul is the superior Sternberg because he does not have a three-part, dual-facet theory of Intelligence. Others (McClellend, 1986) argue Robert is the better because he does not support serial, exhaustive search. Provide a detailed argument for the superiority of one of the Sternbergs, using appropriate examples. Suggest an empirical test of your hypothesis. 2. Psychological studies of the Stroop effect and olfaction are frequently carried out as if they were two entirely different areas. Provide an argument that these two areas overlap both conceptually and empirically, giving two examples of how theoretical notions that were developed in one of areas can explain well-known phenomena in the other area. Suggest an empirical test of your hypothesis. 3. The recent literature concerned with reasoning is full of examples of how stupid people really are. Examine three of the following situations, and discuss why people in these situations behave more stupidly than you would, why it is normative for them to be less stupid, and how being stupid is actually quite rational, under the given circumstances. Additionally, discuss why the Making-A-Fool-Out-Of-Oneself heuristic can lead to optimal group behavior. Suggest an empirical test of this hypothesis. Situations: Guests on Jenny Jones Letters to the Editor Driving on Interstate The Naked Mile Answering Prelim Exam Questions Asking questions at Pschology Conference Talks 4. Discuss the role of the homunculus in aging. What types of changes does the homunculus undergo as we age? Evaluate Salthouse's claim that all age-related decline in complex behavior can be traced to homunculus slowing. How does this claim differ from the alternate claim that the homunculus is just getting "old and tired". Suggest an empirical test that can discriminate these two hypotheses. 5. Since the dawn of the Cognitive Revolution, many different types of human behavior have been analyzed in the "cognitive" information-processing framework. Summarize the major findings. Be sure to provide in-depth analysis and concrete examples of all experimental and theoretical work. Suggest an alternative framework that explains the major findings more concisely and elegantly than the computer metaphor. Propose empirical tests of this new paradigm. Present preliminary data.