Sociology 03 Culture MCQ


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A panorama of New York Harbor at dusk with a full moon in the sky
Many believe that crime rates go up during the full moon, but scientific research does not support this conclusion. (Photo courtesy of Jubula 2/flickr)

Have you ever wondered if home schooling affects a person’s later success in college or how many people wait until they are in their forties to get married? Do you wonder if texting is changing teenagers’ abilities to spell correctly or to communicate clearly? How do social movements like Occupy Wall Street develop? How about the development of social phenomena like the massive public followings for Star Trek and Harry Potter? The goal of research is to answer questions. Sociological research attempts to answer a vast variety of questions, such as these and more, about our social world.

We often have opinions about social situations, but these may be biased by our expectations or based on limited data. Instead, scientific research is based on empirical evidence    , which is evidence that comes from direct experience, scientifically gathered data, or experimentation. Many people believe, for example, that crime rates go up when there’s a full moon, but research doesn’t support this opinion. Researchers Rotton and Kelly (1985) conducted a meta-analysis    of research on the full moon’s effects on behavior. Meta-analysis is a technique in which the results of virtually all previous studies on a specific subject are evaluated together. Rotton and Kelly’s meta-analysis included thirty-seven prior studies on the effects of the full moon on crime rates, and the overall findings were that full moons are entirely unrelated to crime, suicide, psychiatric problems, and crisis center calls (cited in Arkowitz and Lilienfeld 2009). We may each know of an instance in which a crime happened during a full moon, but it was likely just a coincidence.

People commonly try to understand the happenings in their world by finding or creating an explanation for an occurrence. Social scientists may develop a hypothesis    for the same reason. A hypothesis is a testable educated guess about predicted outcomes between two or more variables; it’s a possible explanation for specific happenings in the social world and allows for testing to determine whether the explanation holds true in many instances, as well as among various groups or in different places. Sociologists use empirical data and the scientific method , or an interpretative framework, to increase understanding of societies and social interactions, but research begins with the search for an answer to a question.


Arkowitz, Hal, and Scott O. Lilienfeld. 2009. "Lunacy and the Full Moon: Does a full moon really trigger strange behavior?" Scientific American . Retrieved December 30, 2014 ( (External Link) ).

Rotton, James, and Ivan W. Kelly. 1985. "Much Ado about the Full Moon: A Meta-analysis of Lunar-Lunacy Research." Psychological Bulletin 97 (no. 2): 286–306.

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Sociology 03 Culture MCQ
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Sample Questions from the Sociology 03 Culture MCQ Quiz

Question: Rodney and Elise are American students studying abroad in Italy. When they are introduced to their host families, the families kiss them on both cheeks. When Rodney's host brother introduces himself and kisses Rodney on both cheeks, Rodney pulls back in surprise. Where he is from, unless they are romantically involved, men do not kiss one another. This is an example of:


culture shock




Question: Cultural sanctions can also be viewed as ways that society:


Establishes leaders

Determines language

Regulates behavior

Determines laws

Question: The terms _________________ and ______________ are often used interchangeably, but have nuances that differentiate them.


imperialism and relativism

culture and society

society and ethnocentrism

ethnocentrism and xenocentrism

Question: The belief that one's culture is inferior to another culture is called:






Question: A nation's flag is:


A symbol

A value

A culture

A folkway

Question: The notion that people cannot feel or experience something that they do not have a word for can be explained by:




Ethnographic imagery


Question: An example of high culture is ___________, whereas an example of popular culture would be ____________.


Dostoevsky style in film; "American Idol" winners

medical marijuana; film noir

country music; pop music

political theory; sociological theory

Question: The American flag is a material object that denotes the United States of America; however, there are certain connotations that many associate with the flag, like bravery and freedom. In this example, what are bravery and freedom?




Material culture

Nonmaterial culture

Question: The existence of social norms, both formal and informal, is one of the main things that inform ___________, otherwise known as a way to encourage social conformity.




social control


Question: The biggest difference between mores and folkways is that


mores are primarily linked to morality, whereas folkways are primarily linked to being commonplace within a culture

mores are absolute, whereas folkways are temporary

mores refer to material culture, whereas folkways refer to nonmaterial culture

mores refer to nonmaterial culture, whereas folkways refer to material culture

Question: Most cultures have been found to identify laughter as a sign of humor, joy, or pleasure. Likewise, most cultures recognize music in some form. Music and laughter are examples of:






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