Exams

Guideline for exams: aim for answers that are 800-1000 words long. Try to write one whole answer in one hour.

Practice Exam 1

  1. What have we learned about morality from neuroimaging experiments, that goes beyond what we knew from behavioral experiments?
  2. Is there a simple “foundation” of morality shared by young human infants and non-human animals?
  3. Do children learn moral values from their families?
  4. Can people who grew up in the same culture, and even the same family, have different “moral personalities”?
  5. If you could do any experiment, using rodents as the model system, to test a hypothesis about the neural mechanisms of morality, what hypothesis would you test, and how?

Practice Exam 2

  1. Pick one fMRI study that we read this semester. Describe the results, and two meaningfully different interpretations of those results. Design an experiment involving TMS or focal lesion patients that would effectively discriminate between those interpretations.
  2. Imagine some friends of yours want to have children, but have just learned about psychopaths. They come to you for advice, asking what they should do (now or when they are parents) to make sure their child does not grow up a psychopath. What would you tell them? (Make it as reassuring as possible, but also be honest and forthright).
  3. Americans used to believe that corporal punishment was obligatory: “to spare the rod” would “spoil the child.” Now, hitting a child is seen as morally wrong. Describe at least three possible differences you might see, if you could look into the minds / brains of people from these different generations as they considered corporal punishment.
  4. Imagine Match.com wants to develop a new tool: men can participate in a neuroscience experiment to measure their oxytocin, and this information can be included in their online profile, to help women find men who will make better husbands. Obviously, this idea is still in progress. Either (a): write a proposal for how you would do this project, outlining what experiment you will conduct, what information will go on men’s profiles, and how this information will be useful. Or (b): write a scientific argument, explaining to Match.com why their idea will not work. Make at least three points — all based on scientific evidence, not prescriptive ideas about dating.
  5. Consider the hypothesis: “People find it rewarding to act “good” and aversive to act “selfish”, but the definition of good and selfish are determined by the context.” How would you use a neuroscientific experiment to test this hypothesis?

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