Preliminary Exams

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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

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

               	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.

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