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. Which of the following is not a photo that Antonio Damasio shows Elliot to elicit an emotional reaction?

2. What terms does Brooks use at the beginning of Chapter 1 to describe the upper-middle class liberal socialites of today?

3. Which of the following ridiculous items is listed in the homework requirements in Chapter 5?

4. In Chapter 5, Brooks states that Harold left to his own devices does not seem what?

5. Whose parents are Rob and Julia?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. According to Brooks, what separates us from other animals?

3. What is Brooks' stated political reason for writing "The Social Animal"?

4. How does Ms. Taylor guide Harold's reading in Chapter 6?

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

6. Why does Timothy Wilson think that the unconscious mind does the majority of the work in thinking?

7. What is the Composure Class?

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

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

10. How does Brooks describe the day-to-day life of the Composure Class?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about Raymond. What role does he have at Intercom when Erica meets him? How does his history with the company give him a unique understanding of its failings under Taggert? Explore his relationship with Erica. What does he teach her about how to relate with other people and how to lead a group? What non-quantitative skills does he display in his dealings with the brunch club?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about Rationalism as David Brooks presents it in the book. What historical antecedents does Brooks discuss in "The Social Animal"? What events did Rationalism engender? What works did it produce? Discuss what essential truth of human society Rationalism ignores, according to Brooks. What useful information can be gleaned from this philosophy, and what should be discarded?

(see the answer keys)

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