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Foundation Quiz 1

The reading for this quiz is Habits of a Happy Brain Chapters 1-3 and the Slide Show The Science of Happiness

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Question 1

Your brain responds to the world with life-or-death feelings because:

A
things are bad and getting worse
B
you are sensitive
C
you are knowledgable
D
our brains are inherited from a world where survival rates were low and these responses were valuable
Question 1 Explanation: 
We've inherited an operating system that meets its needs by responding to information from its environment with positive and negative impulses that feel urgent.
Question 2

 The mammal brain defines survival in quirky ways, including all of the following EXCEPT:

A
Your brain cares about the survival of your genes, even if you are not focused on that.
B
Your responses depend on circuits built in youth, when your survival knowledge was quite limited.
C
Your brain is self-destructive and doesn’t really care about your survival.
D
Your brain assumes things that feel good are good for your survival.
Question 2 Explanation: 
The brain is always trying to survive, so a behavior that appears self-destructive is fired by a pathway that met a survival need in your past.
Question 3

Each happy chemical motivates a specific survival behavior. For example:

A
oxytocin motivates you to invest effort in steps toward rewards
B
endorphin motivates you to seek social importance
C
dopamine motivates you to find safety in numbers
D
serotonin motivates you to ignore pain
E
none of the above
Question 3 Explanation: 
Good feelings evolved to reward specific survival-relevant behaviors, not to make you happy all the time.
Question 4

How does the big human cortex work together with the mammal brain?

A
They take turns cooperatively unless a person has a disorder.
B
The cortex has extra neurons to store experience that fine-tunes the mammalian impulse to “go toward” or “avoid.”
C
The reptile brain mediates between them, turning one on and the other off when that choice is best for your survival prospects.
D
They don’t work together - they are always competing with each other for the electricity in your brain.
Question 5

It useful to do nothing in a moment of cortisol for all of the following reasons EXCEPT:

A
Doing nothing is the highest step in a long path of personal development.
B
When cortisol gives you the feeling that you will die if you don’t make it stop, doing nothing teaches your brain that you will not actually die.
C
When cortisol gives you a “do something” feeling, you're tempted to do something that comes easily even though it has bad consequences.
D
Doing nothing gives your brain time to send electricity down an alternate path that is less well developed.
Question 5 Explanation: 
Doing nothing is an intermediate step on the way to building a new pathway supporting a new habit.
Question 6

Love makes you happy for all the following reasons EXCEPT:

A
Dopamine turns on when you expect to meet a need.
B
An association that raises your status stimulates serotonin.
C
Touch and trust stimulate oxytocin.
D
Laughing stimulates endorphin.
E
Love rewires your brain so you will always be happy.
Question 6 Explanation: 
Alas, disappointed expectations trigger cortisol, which rewires you to anticipate bad feelings instead of good ones.
Question 7

Dopamine can cause excitement about preparing vegetables or preparing a mind-altering substance. All of the following explain why EXCEPT:

A
some vegetables are high in dopamine and some drugs are too
B
steps toward things you expect to meet your needs trigger dopamine
C
anything that met your needs in the past built a pathway to your dopamine, which turns it on when you see something similar today
D
electricity flows easily down pathways carved by things that excited you before
Question 7 Explanation: 
Your expectations about what will meet your needs are pathways built from past experience.
Question 8

Your natural endorphin turns on when:

A
someone hurts your feelings
B
you’re physically injured
C
you feel pride in your exercise regimen
D
you take heroin
Question 8 Explanation: 
Endorphin evolved to mask pain briefly so a mammal can do what it takes to reach safety.
Question 9

Oxytocin causes the good feeling of

A
touch by someone you trust
B
building social alliances
C
safety in numbers
D
being surrounded by your herd
E
all of the above
Question 9 Explanation: 
Oxytocin causes mammals to feel safe when they form attachments.
Question 10

Serotonin makes you feel good when you:

A
initiate conflict
B
avoid conflict
C
gain a social advantage
D
compare yourself unfavorably
Question 10 Explanation: 
Serotonin is the good feeling of pride, but each squirt is soon metabolized and you have to do more to get more.
Question 11

Cortisol promotes survival in all of the following ways EXCEPT:

A
It helps you anticipate pain so you can avoid it.
B
The bad feeling motivates you to do something fast to make it stop.
C
It prevents you from stressing over minor threats such as social disappointments.
D
It connects neurons that help the bad feeling turn on quickly when you see things that hurt you before.
Question 11 Explanation: 
We stress over minor threats such as social disappointments because the mammal brain is always scanning for ways to avoid harm.
Question 12

Mirror neurons activate when:

A
you realize you are more empathetic than others
B
you see another person get a reward or face a threat
C
you decide to be authentic instead of imitating others
D
you look at yourself
Question 12 Explanation: 
We are designed to learn from the survival experiences of others, both positive and negative.
Question 13

We humans have social pain because:

A
social isolation was a survival threat in the world of our ancestors
B
we are born fragile and unable to meet our own needs, so a lack of social support is a real survival threat during the formative years of our brain
C
our big brain anticipates threats, so a potential future threat to your social bonds feels urgent now
D
all of the above
Question 13 Explanation: 
Social disappointments trigger cortisol, so you feel threatened even when you don't consciously believe you are threatened.
Question 14

Your brain has ten times more neurons going into your eyes than it has coming from your eyes. That shows we are designed to:

A
tell our senses what information to look for
B
open our minds to new information
C
scan the world for information with our sensory receptors
D
process a huge quantity of information
Question 14 Explanation: 
We can't process the overload of detail reaching our senses, so we're designed to scan for information relevant to our needs, as defined by past experience.
Question 15

Expectations are powerful because:

A
of the effort and analysis you put into creating them
B
they are real physical pathways, so a mismatch between expectations and reality prompts us to question reality and reconcile it with expectations
C
they free you from the preconceptions of past experience and help you interpret new inputs in new ways
D
all of the above
Question 15 Explanation: 
Sometimes your expectations are more true than reality, like when you read a word with a typo. But sometimes your expectations are unrealistic and you have to re-wire them to best meet your needs.
Question 16

Mammals cannot produce a huge number of offspring the way reptiles can, so in order to keep their genes alive they have to:

A
invest effort in each individual offspring
B
form attachments with their young to keep them safe
C
form attachments with peers to protect their young from threats
D
all of the above
Question 16 Explanation: 
Most reptiles die before puberty, but more mammals survive to reproduce.
Question 17

Living in groups brings potential for conflict, but natural selection built a brain that resolves conflict by:

A
comparing itself to others
B
restraining itself in the presence of more powerful individuals
C
going for it when it seems safe
D
all of the above
E
none of the above
Question 17 Explanation: 
We strive to transcend this way of thinking, but it's important to know why our brain goes there.
Question 18

Reproductive success is relevant to modern life for all of these reasons EXCEPT:

A
We've inherited our brains from individuals who did what it took to keep their genes alive.
B
As we strive to feel good, it helps to know that natural selection built a brain that saves the good feelings for things that promote reproductive success.
C
People who reproduce the most are considered the most successful.
D
We react strongly to things that affect reproductive success, such as appearance and status.
Question 18 Explanation: 
Maximizing reproduction is a BAD survival strategy today, but we have to work with the brain we've got.
Question 19

The cortex can restrain neurochemical impulses in order to:

A
adjust for new information that better promotes survival
B
substitute goals unrelated to survival
C
feel good now without regard for long-term consequences
D
all of the above
Question 19 Explanation: 
New information often brings a better way to meet survival needs, but new neural pathways struggle to compete with your old superhighways.
Question 20

The brain learns from its neurochemical experience. Which example is NOT true?

A
Oxytocin experience wires a mammal to know who to trust.
B
Serotonin experience wires a mammal to know when to seek social dominance.
C
Dopamine experience wires a mammal to know where to invest effort.
D
Cortisol experience wires a mammal to know what to avoid.
E
Endorphin experience wires a mammal to feel pain.
Question 20 Explanation: 
Endorphin masks pain (with an oblivion that interferes with other survival needs, which is why it evolved for emergencies only).
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