GRE Subject Test: Psychology : Causes & Development of Disorders

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Causes & Development Of Disorders

Increased melatonin production by the pineal gland and a lack of sunshine can cause which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Generalized anxiety disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Seasonal affective disorder

Major depression

Bipolar disorder

Correct answer:

Seasonal affective disorder

Explanation:

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder associated with episodes of depression in the fall and winter months. It appears to be related to a lack of sunshine, causing increased melatonin production by the pineal gland. Seasonal affective disorder can be helped by phototherapy with bright white fluorescent lights. 

Example Question #2 : Causes & Development Of Disorders

When a person has experienced a life-threatening accident, loss of a loved one, abuse, or a natural disaster they may present with __________.

Possible Answers:

posttraumatic stress disorder

situational phobias

somatoform disorder

panic disorder

generalized anxiety disorder

Correct answer:

posttraumatic stress disorder

Explanation:

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs when a person who has gone through a significant trauma shows stress symptoms that impair the person's ability to function. The trauma can be combat, torture or abuse, a life-threatening accident, a natural disater, or loss of a loved one.

Generalized anxiety disorder consists of persistent, excessive worrying that is not focused on one particular situation. Panic disorder is characterized by sudden, brief attacks of intense fear that rise abruptly, often for no reason. Situational phobias involve a fear of specific situations; crowded spaces, heights, flying, and confined spaces. Somatoform disorder occurs when there is no identifiable physical cause to explain physical symptoms. 

Example Question #2 : Causes & Development Of Disorders

The double-bind hypothesis in clinical psychology offers an etiological explanation for which of the following disorders?

Possible Answers:

Bipolar disorder 

None of these

Major depressive disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder

Schizophrenia

Correct answer:

Schizophrenia

Explanation:

The double-bind hypothesis suggests that in childhood, individuals with schizophrenia received disorganized and contradictory messages from his or her mother. For instance, a child may have been told to eat as much as he wanted, but punished after he finished eating. According to the theory, these individuals internalize the disorganized messages and lead to a warped perception of reality.

Example Question #3 : Causes & Development Of Disorders

Which of the following are considered factors of sensation seeking?

Possible Answers:

Thrill and adventure seeking

Disinhibition

All of these

Experience seeking

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

Sensation seeking is an important factor in understanding the cause and development of addictions—including substance abuse. When sensation seeking is elevated in a given individual, it can sometimes be channeled into healthy avenues that include competitive sports and leadership; however, it often results in seeking pleasurable experiences that end up becoming harmful habits. Individuals with elevated sensation seeking tendencies require more stimulation than the average individual to feel the same amount of pleasure or satisfaction.

Example Question #5 : Causes & Development Of Disorders

Which of the following theorists developed theories associated with the concept of the cognitive triad of depression?

Possible Answers:

Carl Jung

Aaron Beck

Sigmund Freud

Albert Ellis

Correct answer:

Aaron Beck

Explanation:

Aaron Beck—a cognitive psychologist—hypothesized that depression was the result of cognitive errors. In other words, depressed people were more likely to interpret the world in a maladaptive way. They have negative thoughts about themselves, the world around them, and the future. He hypothesized that all three of these cognitive beliefs feed into one another and fuel depressive thoughts that produces a vicious cycle.

All GRE Subject Test: Psychology Resources

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