MCAT Social and Behavioral Sciences : Social Institutions and Norms

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for MCAT Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Culture

Regarding mores, which of the following is false?

Possible Answers:

Taboos arise from violation of mores

None of these are false

Mores are a result of socialization

Tipping your waiter is considered a more

Anomie can result when an individual acts outside given mores

Correct answer:

None of these are false

Explanation:

Mores, in sociology, refer to social norms and expectations that govern morality and ethics within a given culture. Folkways refer to minor variances in mores, while taboos result from major disruptions. Tipping your waiter would be considered a more; using the air conditioner during winter would be considered a folkway; striking a child would be considered a taboo. Mores develop based on cultural exposure during the process of socialization. Socialization refers to the development of social expectations based on an individual's experiences with their environment. Anomie results when an individual's personal social standards and actions fall outside of the mores of their given society, generally resulting in stigma.

Example Question #1 : Culture

In 1946, the World Health Organization defined "health" at the International Health Conference, held in New York. The definition was entered into force in 1948 and has not been amended since.

According to the World Health Organization, what is the defintion of health?

Possible Answers:

Health is required for human equality. 

Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Health is the building block of human society. 

Health is the right not to be sick. 

Health is the absence of disease. 

Correct answer:

Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Explanation:

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health to include well-being and not just the absence of disease. Thus the answer is not the absence of disease. The WHO believes that health is a right, but does not state that health is the right not to be sick. Everyone becomes sick at one time or another. The WHO would not argue with the notion that health is required for equality (though the WHO would likely prefer the word equity), but would not use this as a definition of health. First and foremost, health is about well-being. 

Example Question #1 : Social Institutions And Norms

Which of the following is not a commonly recognized social institution?

Possible Answers:

Education

Government

Religion

Family

All of these are recognized social institutions

Correct answer:

All of these are recognized social institutions

Explanation:

Social institutions are the various contexts within which individuals participate in social interactions. Each social institution is governed by a slightly different set of rules and expectations; for example, one would act differently when conversing with one's mother than when conversing with a police officer. Government, family, education, and religion are all widely recognized and taught social institutions.

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