Sample Chapter




Test Bank For Family Theories – An Introduction 4th Edition by James M. White , David M. Klein, Todd F. Martin





Ch. 3 Test Questions


  1. The philosophical perspective referring to rationally weighing the rewards and costs of behavioral choices is

*a. utilitarianism.

  1. motivationism.
  2. unanimity.
  3. minimization.


  1. Which of the following is true regarding utilitarian thinking? It
  2. assumes that people are unable to act for themselves.
  3. focuses on true selflessness.

*c. incorporates what people value.

  1. is no longer a significant influence in family theory.


  1. The text chapter especially explores the following aspects of exchange-related family theory, except
  2. rational choice.

*b. group solidarity.

  1. a voluntarist assumption.
  2. Social Psychology.


  1. Which of the following is not an assumption of exchange theory?
  2. people are motivated by self-interest
  3. prediction is the consequence of understanding one’s motivation
  4. the individual is real

*d. people behave irrationally


  1. The concept that supports the idea that culture is created by individuals is called
  2. macrosocial phenomenon.
  3. individuated collectivism.

*c. methodological individualism.

  1. group-interest.


  1. A basic assumption of exchange theory is that people’s decisions can be understood by understanding people’s
  2. socialization.

*b. motivation.

  1. genetic disposition.
  2. developmental stage.


  1. An assumption of most exchange theory is that ______ is the key motivation for choices.

*a. self-interest

  1. altruism
  2. rationalization
  3. realism


  1. Exchange theory applies the concepts of reward and costs in ways that are most in harmony with
  2. behaviorism.
  3. hedonism.

*c. utilitarianism.

  1. economic theory.


  1. The key idea that sets exchange theory apart from behaviorism and hedonism is
  2. punishment.

*b. profit.

  1. gratification.
  2. benefit.


  1. Compared to “CL,” “CL+” focuses on
  2. how well one is doing compared to others in the same position.
  3. the added benefits of making the same decision again.
  4. decisions that result in benefits outweighing the costs.

*d. the profit of others outside of one’s potion as an alternative to one’s position.


  1. Which of the following is the clearest example of “marginal utility”? You
  2. are hungry but your food options are not equally valuable.
  3. used to love reading a certain book as a child that has little interest for you as an adult.

*c. enjoy spending time with family but after a few days with them it is not as enjoyable.

  1. realize that having a flashlight at nighttime is more valuable than during the day.


  1. Since the value of rewards and costs change, which of the following helps account for their influence in light of their change in value?

*a. salience

  1. comparison
  2. sacrifice
  3. alternatives


  1. From an exchange perspective, equity is not the same thing as
  2. fairness.

*b. equality.

  1. justice.
  2. any of the above.


  1. Skills and capabilities are best considered examples of ____ capital.
  2. economic

*b. human

  1. social
  2. historical


  1. Having a network with other people is best considered an example of ____ capital.
  2. economic
  3. human

*c. social

  1. historical


  1. A parsimonious theory is one that

*a. offers successful explanations with little conceptual baggage.

  1. clearly contradicts modern cultural values and norms.
  2. contains multiple complex, interrelated propositions.
  3. borrows aspects of multiple theories to create a new theory.


  1. The “principle of least cost” best applies to a situation in which
  2. equity is most likely to be achieved.
  3. costs are higher than rewards.
  4. it is common to have inequity.

*d. there are no rewards.


  1. Social capital is lessened when

*a. there is less closure.

  1. groups are larger.
  2. members are all interconnected.
  3. social norms are enforced.


  1. Which of the following is a microexchange theory that postulates that some rewards can only be achieved by groups instead of individuals?

*a. rational choice theory

  1. relative balance
  2. equity theory
  3. norm of reciprocity


  1. Which of the following is a microexchange theory that focuses on the ratio of rewards to costs in relationships in ways that can predict relationship power?
  2. rational choice theory

*b. relative balance

  1. equity theory
  2. norm of reciprocity


  1. Which of the following is a microexchange theory that argues that relationships profit more from fair exchanges than unfair exchanges?
  2. rational choice theory
  3. relative balance

*c. equity theory

  1. norm of reciprocity


  1. The assumption that individuals band together to form social order in ways that exchange personal freedom for security is referred to as a
  2. preferred barrier.
  3. forced alternative.
  4. manipulated exchange.

*d. social contract.


  1. Which of the following is the clearest example of “tautological reasoning” as applied to the family?
  2. Sam gave up a kidney to save his brother because it was better than feeling guilty if he hadn’t.

*b. Linda’s decision to have a child is rational because people make rational choices.

  1. Trent decided to get divorced because he got less and less from his marriage every year.
  2. Malory enjoys the praise she receives as a mother because society values motherhood.


  1. Motivation is the central focus of exchange theory.

*a. True

  1. False


  1. Exchange theory and rational choice theory are typically in opposition to one another.
  2. True

*b. False


  1. A key assumption of exchange theory is that self-interest is a key motivation for people’s behavior.

*a. True

  1. False


  1. One must be able to calculate the ratio of cost to reward in order to behave rationally.

*a. True

  1. False


  1. Understanding rewards and costs is sufficient to explain why someone acts a certain way.
  2. True

*b. False


  1. Exchange theory assumes that for most people in a social group that the weightings of rewards and costs would be very similar.

*a. True

  1. False


  1. One thing all exchange theories have in common is that social relationships are happily maintained when people avoid concerns about equity.
  2. True

*b. False


  1. A key proposition in exchange theory is that people will choose an action with the highest level of reward.
  2. True

*b. False


  1. According to exchange theory, people are willing to give up short-term rewards for the sake of long-term rewards.

*a. True

  1. False


  1. Explain how exchange theory differs from behaviorism and hedonism in its application of costs and rewards.
  2. Answer should include that behaviorism does not focus on cognitive processes and hedonism is overly simplistic in the complexities of decision making.


  1. Explain how the assumptions of exchange theory help deal with predicting the decisions of a family given that each member can potentially weigh the multiple rewards and costs of alternatives differently.
  2. Answer should include the assumption that people are rational so given the same set of circumstances people are interchangeable in what they would be expected to choose, and that people in groups are similar enough so that they are expected to weigh things similarly.


  1. Explain what people are expected to choose in the long-term when the short-term profits are the same for two alternatives, and why.
  2. Answer should include that they will choose the alternative that provides the most profit in the long term since they won’t be sacrificing profit in the short term.


  1. Explain the extent to which exchange theory is deterministic.
  2. Answer should include that it is highly deterministic on the individual level because it asserts that a choice can be predicted by incorporating perceptions and values and calculating profit; for groups, it is a bit less deterministic because of so much variation and fluidity but focuses rather on probabilities.


  1. Describe two common criticism of exchange theory as it applies to families.
  2. Answer could include that it is an individual theory and difficult to apply to families who are arguably more than just a group of individuals, it does not clearly describe how social norms are created from individual self-interest, it does not explain altruistic behavior very convincingly, it assumes rewards are stable but they may vary by gender and cohort, some family decisions like life-long marriage seem counter to propositions regarding profitability over time, meanings of rewards and costs seem to change over time and across culture, and circular reasoning is used to argue that a decision in rational.

    Ch. 11 Test Questions


    1. An ex post facto interpretation
    2. has much to offer because of it being predictive in nature.
    3. describes how two theories complement one another.
    4. means that no theory is used to draw conclusions about the past.

    *d. has value in its potential to lead to theoretical modifications.


    1. Most of the theories in the textbook should be considered
    2. finished products that are ready for complete application.
    3. equally relevant to any particular family topic.

    *c. as still open to modification and refinement.

    1. inadequate in their current state for any therapeutic application.


    1. According to analyses of the use of family theory in published journal articles,
    2. there has been a consistent increase in researchers connecting their findings to theory.

    *b. most of the articles fail to include a theoretical component to them.

    1. more and more researchers are testing theories against one another to further refine them.
    2. very few articles replace the use of theory with a focus on facts and data.


    1. White’s assessment of the current state of family theory is
    2. optimistic because of how well it continues to produce law-like knowledge.
    3. pessimistic because researchers are focusing on only a few of the family theories.
    4. optimistic because of the increasing credibility to the discipline that it continues to add.

    *d. pessimistic because the use of family theory in research is rarely obvious.


    1. The authors argue that it is very important that

    *a. we should not be satisfied with non-theory-based answers to question about family.

    1. publications that focus just on pure theory should be minimized .
    2. journals become more flexible in giving authors more freedom about whether to use theory.
    3. the general public recognize that a good story about families is what theory is all about.


    1. Which of the following dimensions most clearly incorporates the concepts of static and dynamic approaches?
    2. level of analysis
    3. source of causation

    *c. time

    1. none of the above


    1. Which of the following dimensions most clearly incorporates the concepts of individualism and holism?

    *a. level of analysis

    1. source of causation
    2. time
    3. none of the above


    1. Which of the following dimensions most clearly incorporates the concepts of subjectivity and objectivity?
    2. level of analysis
    3. source of causation
    4. time

    *d. none of the above


    1. Which of the following dimensions most clearly incorporates the concepts of endogenous and exogenous phenomena?
    2. level of analysis

    *b. source of causation

    1. time
    2. none of the above


    1. In contrast to individualism, holism
    2. is relevant to the level at which a theory focuses to offer an explanation.
    3. becomes less relevant when predicting outcomes for a child.

    *c. would include a group of people of any size.

    1. incorporates the passage of time in families.


    1. Regarding the use of theory by family researchers, the authors observe that
    2. family research is almost always more explanatory than descriptive.
    3. it is too glamorous for most scholars to refine a well-established theory.

    *c. explicitly tested theories are usually narrower than the theories from the book.

    1. methods researchers use for testing theories are well matched with the theory.


    1. The authors argue that to explain the unique properties of the family as a group, more _____ theory is needed.

    *a. mesolevel

    1. microlevel
    2. exolevel
    3. macrolevel


    1. Regarding getting “family” into family theory, the authors conclude that
    2. about half of the theories in the text were developed specifically with family in mind.
    3. the difference between family and any other group are minor at best.
    4. psychological theories in particular offer very little toward explaining family relations.

    *d. any social science theory dealing with groups could be usefully applied to the family.


    1. The common eclectic approach to theory among family researchers means that they
    2. work toward building a grand theory that encompasses all family theory.

    *b. take parts of a variety of theories and integrate them into a specific focus.

    1. choose their favorite theory and conduct all their research around that theory.
    2. disregard family theory and use theories from other disciplines instead.


    1. The metaphor of the milkshake alludes to the potential for

    *a. the theories in the textbook to become a set of ingredients in a milkshake.

    1. researchers to get fat on one theory and forget the others.
    2. the best family theory to become the cherry on top of a milkshake.
    3. scholars to use theory sparingly because of its high caloric content.


    1. The authors argue in the context of integration that
    2. the most important goal of family theoreticians should be to create a single, grand family theory.
    3. family-focused theories are beginning to dominate other social science theory.
    4. there are no advantages to integrating an array of perspectives from different theories.

    *d. ignoring differences between phenomena creates confusion in social theory.


    1. The tool analogy of theory was used to illustrate each of the following principles, except that theories are
    2. helpful for understanding the world.
    3. appreciated more when they are used.

    *c. products of human thought.

    1. modified as they are used.


    1. Which of the following was used as an illustration of applying knowledge across a range of context?
    2. tools
    3. wilderness
    4. milkshake

    *d. escalator


    1. White argues that the major goal of any discipline is the
    2. sophistication of its founding theories.

    *b. production of knowledge.

    1. number of its adherents.
    2. uniformity of application.


    1. This recent publication offers an outlet for the further promotion of family theory development.

    *a. The Journal of Family Theory and Review

    1. Family Theory Development Journal
    2. The Journal of Theory and Family Issues
    3. Theory of Marriage and Family Journal


    1. It is clear from articles published in family journals that family theory has become a primary component of most family research.
    2. True

    *b. False


    1. A theory is never finished.

    *a. True

    1. False


    1. There appears to be a growing consensus that relativism has been replaced with a new consensus that theory must offer general rather than idiographic statements.

    *a. True

    1. False


    1. An exogenous influence on family originates from outside of the family itself.
      *a. True
    2. False


    1. A dynamic approach theory would tend to view how long someone has been a parent as a relevant factor in making a prediction or offering an explanation.

    *a. True

    1. False


    1. The authors argue that there is one helpful metatheoretical view of family frameworks.
    2. True

    *b. False


    1. There is now consensus that feminism is individualistic, exogenous, and dynamic.
    2. True

    *b. False


    1. The authors argue that mesolevel family theories are necessary to explain the unique and important properties of the family group.

    *a. True

    1. False


    1. Knowledge is clearly dependent on the production of limited propositions that cover the behavior of a phenomenon within a single context.
    2. True

    *b. False


    1. Summarize and explain some key consequences of the under use of theory for social disciplines related to family, as articulated by White.
    2. Answer should include that knowledge production in the discipline is limited, which threatens the usefulness and thus credibility of the discipline; that without theory common sense and folk psychology that appears unscientific, which could lead to less public support for the discipline.


    1. Using the dimension of level of analysis, source of causation, and time, classify exchange theory according to these dimensions, justifying your classifications.
    2. Answer could include that exchange theory is individualistic in that it focuses on the rationality of an individual to act in one’s own interest and make a decision; that it is endogenous in that its root source of cause is the rationality of the individual, and it is static because the decision making process does not use the passage of time explicitly as a process of choosing a behavior.


    1. Describe how most researchers apply theory that is counter to creating one grand theory of the family.
    2. Answer should include that most take an eclectic approach to theory, which is to select certain parts of a variety of different theories that seem to fit the phenomenon of interest and mix them up in unique ways.