Back to sample exams


POS 101                                              
R. R. Pope

Citizens & Governance                                                                                              
Fall  2000



1.  Based on what the instructor has said in class, which of the following, if any, is not  a realistic goal of this course?

a)     Help students learn to think critically about what is "realistically possible" in politics"and what is not.


b)    Help students identify and understand the strengths and weaknesses of different "political cultures" and different political systems.


c)     Provide students with the key to understanding which type of political system is clearly the best for everyone.


d) All of the above are realistic goals of this course.


2.  Which of the following, if any, probably does not  involve "politics" to any significant extent?

a)     Members of a fraternity (or sorority) discussing the election of new officers.


b)    Members of a political science class discussing the difference between "power" and "influence."


c)     Members of a non profit organization"s Board of Directors discussing changes in the organization"s policies.


d)    None of the above"they all involve a significant amount of "politics."


3.  Based on the discussion in class, which of the following can reasonably be seen as supporting (or encouraging) the development of "government""whether or not specifically mentioned in class?

a)     The perceived greater effectiveness, in general, of an "organized group" vs. an unorganized group of people, especially when dealing with problems.


b)    The ability of "government" to provide security more effectively than an unorganized group.


c)     The general "need" people seem to have for some sort of "order" in their relations with other people.


d)    All of the above.




4.  Which of the following, if any, is not  a function of government, especially in a political system like we have here in the U.S.?

a)     Taking the initiative in identifying and solving problems that affect the community as a whole.


b)    Providing assistance to citizens with their individual problems, such as helping families with handicapped children..


c)     Providing security for the community from, for example foreign military threats, international terrorism, and communicable diseases


d)    Providing "order" in society, for example, through passing and enforcing traffic and other laws and regulations.


e)     All of the above are functions of an American-style government.



5.  People who feel that the only acceptable "political system" is a "voluntary collective" with little or no government structure are called:

a)     Democrats"with a small "d."


b)    Reformists.


c)     Anarchists.


d)    Totalitarians.


6.  Which of the following statements is least  compatible with the explanation of "human nature" we have discussed?

a)     A "perfect" political system is possible in theory but not in practice.


b)    Improvements can almost certainly be made in dealing with major issues such as health care and environmental protection.


c)     At least some major problems can be completely solved to everyone"s satisfaction


d)    A political system with limited governmental power and "checks and balances" is in fact possible.


7.  Which of the following statements, if any, is not  compatible with "human nature" as discussed in this class?

a)     If people were nearly perfect, we probably wouldn"t need laws forbidding specific types of behavior.


b)    Despite the imperfections of our nature, we are capable of organizing reasonably effective democratic political systems.


c)     Even the "very best and brightest" people are going to make significant mistakes"and at least some of the time they are going to find it difficult to recognize the fact that they are wrong.


d)    All of the above statements are compatible with "human nature" as discussed in this class.


8.  Which of the following statements is not  something the author of the article "Deeper Into the Brain" would be likely to agree with?

a)     The more we learn about the way our brain functions, the more we realize that it is impossible to fully comprehend "what makes us tick."


b)    Scientists should eventually be able to unravel the key elements of the brain"s functions and we should finally be able to understand "human nature."


c)     We should eventually be able to "correct" problems that lead to antisocial behavior.


d)    We should be able to greatly improve society based on our increased knowledge of how the brain functions.


9.  Which of the following is discussed in all three articles on "perception" on the class web site?

a)     The "halo effect."


b)    Projection.


c)     Sterotyping.


d)    Contrast effects.


10. Based on our discussion in class, which of the following, if any, is most likely not  a defensible statement?  It is reasonable to assume that "selective perception"

a)     helps to explain why society is imperfect.


b)    frequently interferes with our ability to fully understand other people"s point of view.


c)    always seriously distorts our understanding of other people"s political views.


d)    can be partially"but never fully--controlled for, provided we are aware of this tendency.


e)     All of the above are equally defensible statements.


11. Which of the following is the best example of "selective attention"?

a)     Concluding that when a "fellow Democrat" and someone whose opinion we respect is talking about George W. Bush"s proposal for Social Security reform, that he/she fully agrees with our complete rejection of the plan"when this is not in fact the case.


b)    Not attending a rally against "hate crimes" because it is being sponsored by an organization we don"t agree with.


c)     Not noticing the fact that a fellow student who usually just tries to crack jokes has just made a good point in class discussion.


d)    Laughing at a professor"s jokes"even when they are not funny.


12. Based on our discussion of "political culture," which of the following is the least  defensible statement?

a)     Large numbers of people in one society can be expected to frequently have different views on issues such as gun control, abortion, and healthcare in comparison with the views on these issues held by people in other societies.


b)    Different historical experiences tend to result in at least somewhat different views on what is "right" and what is "wrong," for example, with regard to "telling the truth" or taking something that doesn"t belong to you.


c)     Sighting "cultural differences" is nothing more than an attempt to justify attitudes or behaviors, such as a serious alcoholism problem in a society, which are counterproductive "and often immoral.


d)    An example of differences in "political culture" is the fact that no other political system is identical to the American system"and most, including the other major democratic systems, are in fact substantially different in at least some respects.


13.  According to the article, "Tribal Divisions Extend to the U.S.,"

a)     The "heart of darkness" is not a place in Africa, it is the "human condition."  (In other words, there are people everywhere who are capable of unspeakable brutality toward their fellow human beings.)


b)    It is possible to find "tribal behavior" everywhere in the world, that is some people treating others as "inferior" just because they are from a different group.


c)     The extreme mass brutality that can be found in places like Rowanda and Bosnia probably won"t happen in the U.S."provided we are sufficiently vigilant against discrimination..


d)    All of the above are stated"or at lease clearly implied"in this article.


14. Which of the following, if any, does Robert Bierstedt not  argue in his essay, "On Power"?

a)     Power (which is coercive) and influence (which is persuasive) can exist independently of one another, that is, one can have power but not influence, and influence but not power.


b)    Students do their assignments in large measure because teachers have the ability to fail them if they do not.  (This is an example of power and not influence.)

c)     Power is the ability to employ force.


d)    While power is not easy to define, if we carefully analyze this concept we can come up with a clear and precise idea of its meaning.


e)     Bierstedt argues all of the above.


15. Which of the following, if any, is not  an example of "power" as defined for the purposes of this class?

a)     The manager of a bar informing some loud patrons that it is time for them to either quiet down or the bouncer will have to escort them to the door.


b)    A professor informing students that they need to read a specific article"because there will be a question from that article on the test.


c)     A teachers" union threatening to go on strike if their demands for better pay and working conditions are not met.


d)    Students at a junior high school who have been complaining about the quality of the hot lunches trying to "get the attention" of the people in charge of the cafeteria by bringing their lunches instead of buying them at school.


e)     All of the above are examples of "power" at work.


16. Which of the following is an example of both  power and influence?

a)     A professor discussing with students the general value of reading a good newspaper in a course where the exams include questions on current events.


b)    A popular teacher who is monitoring the hall between classes reminding students of the stricter policy on tardiness that the new principal is insisting on enforcing.


c)     The President of the United States trying to persuade Congress to compromise on a bill designed to reform the Social Security system, threatening to veto the bill if the legislature doesn"t accept some amendments.


d)    All of the above are examples of both power and influence, that is, there is a degree of both persuasion and coercion involved in each case.


17. Which of the following, if any, is the best example of "influence"?

a)     A candidate for the U.S. Congress holding a "town meeting" at which he attempts to answer critical questions concerning his attitude toward "privitizing" a part of the Social Security system.


b)    A teacher attempting to persuade her class that she is in fact prepared to give all of them a low grade on the upcoming test if they don"t in fact know the material.


c)     A store owner discussing whether or not to add a new product line with a company representative.  [This answer can be questioned.   -R.P.]


d)    All of the above are equally good examples of "influence."


18. Which of the following, if any, is essential to democracy"both in theory and in practice?

a)     More than one political party.


b)    Holding competitive elections with a secret ballot for all major offices at least every four years.


c)     Allowing citizens to participate directly in all major decisions.


d)    Making a serious effort to protect the basic rights of groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi party.


e)     None of the above are essential to the long term preservation of democracy.


19. Which of the following, if any, in not  a significant strength of democracy?

a)     It provides a political arena in which it is possible to identify and respond to specific problems.


b)    It makes it possible to replace leaders who are not responding effectively to issues that most concern the majority of the public.


c)     It facilitates the development of a variety of ideas, some of which may eventually have a positive impact on society.


d)    All of the above can reasonably be considered strengths of democracy.


20. According to the Washington Post article on democracy in China,

a)     under the watchful eye of the Chinese Communist Party, local government officials are consistently doing a good job of managing truly democratic local elections"for the first time in recent Chinese history.


b)    none of the recent local elections have been conducted in a truly open and fair fashion.


c)     while the goal of Communist Party leaders in promoting these local elections is to strengthen the Party"s control over the population"by using the elections to oust corrupt and/or ineffective local leaders"the end result may very well be more "real democracy" than they intend.


d)    None of the above are in fact stated"or implied"by this article.




Back to sample exams