When I quit an application, Finder is automatically brought up rather than the last application I was using. Why does this happen, and is there any way to change this? Thanks.
I don't work for Apple, so I can't say so authoritatively, but I think the Mac works this way because Apple considered it the most intuitive; that it follows the "principle of least surprise." I am not aware of any easy way to change this behavior, although I suspect with some scripting it might be possible.
There is no reason to quit apps that you switch between frequently. The Mac does a good job of managing its own memory. That and shutting down are the only reasons to quit apps.