The Hand: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language, and Human Culture Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Frank R. Wilson
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does David control the horses he raises?

2. For what does the thumb have to be long enough?

3. How does the brain teach itself in order to juggle?

4. What is one puzzling concern the author mentions in this chapter?

5. What is one very important problem-solving strategy?

Short Essay Questions

1. What type of therapy is used in many cultures and to what does it go back?

2. What does practice after learning do?

3. How does Seymour Sarason believe education can succeed?

4. What has to happen in order for the thumb to be useful?

5. What are Australopithecines and what is an example of one?

6. What does the addition and transport of weight to the body cause?

7. What does Wilson propose as the juggling riddle, and why do children not aspire to juggle?

8. What does Wilson say about stone knapping?

9. What do medicine and magic have in common?

10. What does eating at LuLu teach Wilson?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Wilson has cited a number of people in this book. Discuss he following:

1. Choose three people whom Wilson mentions positively and give a brief idea of his opinions about those three people (or stereotypes). Use examples from The Hand to support your answer.

2. Choose three people whom Wilson mentions negatively and give a brief idea of his opinions about those three people (or stereotypes). Use examples from The Hand to support your answer.

3. Judging what Wilson says about different people in his text, how would you characterize him as a friend? As a colleague? Use examples from The Hand to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Greenfield proposes a hierarchical rule generator in the human brain that overcomes naive childhood impulses. She claims to know how a child will solve her stick puzzle simply by knowing the child's age. The MIT Professor Jeanne Bamberger corroborates Greenfield's opinion referring to a "felt path" that she describes as "exactly how chimps would do it." Older children pass the "chimp stage" so that by eleven they are not orderly solvers but improvisers who behave with intelligence.

1. Do you think human children are as predictable as Greenfield asserts? Why or why not? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. The MIT Professor Jeanne Bamberger corroborates Greenfield's opinion referring to a "felt path" that she describes as "exactly how chimps would do it." What do you think is meant by this statement. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

3. Explain why improvising in solving problems is a higher form of intelligence than being orderly in solving a problem. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Through the ages of human history Wilson explores cultural transformation of human paths and posits the "permanent immaturity" of a human brain. Wilson's underlying thesis is that people are born resourceful. Over time and experience, they adapt and evolve to become skillful and thoughtful.

1. Explain, in detail what is meant by "permanent immaturity" of a human brain. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. Discuss two ways in which humans have adapted to their environment. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

3. Explain how becoming more skillful and thoughtful is related to evolution. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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