The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

David H. M. Brooks
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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. Regarding our ability to process emotion and stimuli, to what does Brooks compare human beings?

2. According to Brooks in Chapter 1, what surprises all people when they meet a possible mate?

3. What idea for a topic does Harold come up with his first night of writing?

4. According to Timothy Wilson of the University of Virginia, how many pieces of information can the unconscious mind take in?

5. How much more likely are people to laugh with others than by themselves?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Damasio determine about living without emotion in Chapter 1?

2. What is Harold's goal from conception on?

3. What did John Bowlby's research reveal about childhood?

4. How did Julia and Rob find marriage in the early years?

5. What great skill does Harold have in high school?

6. Describe Ms. Taylor.

7. How does Ms. Taylor permanently affect Harold's life?

8. What wisdom about teaching teenagers does Ms. Taylor possess?

9. What is the Composure Class?

10. How does Ms. Taylor shape Harold's interest in the classical world?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about Erica's consulting firm. What compels her to start her own business, and what understanding of business and humanity does she bring to it? Discuss the path to success she has, and what role Harold plays in this success. How does her business grow, and how does it suffer as a result of the Great Recession? What personal toll does the death of her company have on Erica?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about the teaching style that Ms. Taylor employs while assisting Harold with his senior paper. What are the five steps that are involved in this process? How does this teaching style internalize the knowledge? What role does Harold's journal have in this internalization? Discuss how this style of learning forever changes the way Harold takes in information.

Essay Topic 3

Throughout "The Social Animal", David Brooks explains the unconscious processes that are involved in the choice of a sexual mate. Write a three-part essay about these processes:

Part 1) What processes do both Rob and Julia go through when they first meet each other? Why are they attracted to one another? Discuss how the two make unconscious choices as they have dinner together for the first time.

Part 2) Discuss the meeting and initial relationship between Harold and Erica. What is the nature of this relationship, and how does Erica work to maintain this stasis? What changes occur that allow it to develop romantically?

Part 3) Discuss the subconscious processes that lead Erica to sleep with Mr. Make-Believe. What does she feel about this tryst as it occurs, and how does her subconscious mind react to it after the fact?

(see the answer keys)

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