GRE Subject Test: Psychology : Diagnostic Systems

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Diagnostic Systems

Which of the following is not usually associated with psychological disorders?

Possible Answers:

A marked break with reality

Personal distress

Violation of social norms

Maladaptive behavior

Correct answer:

A marked break with reality

Explanation:

There remains a stigma attached to mental illness and all too often common parlances mixes "going crazy" with having a mental illness. "A marked break with reality" is not often involved in having a mental illness while the other three options are almost always present. In other words, maladaptive behavior can be thought of as including the loss of full functioning in a given area of life (e.g. getting to work on time and performing well on exams at school).

Example Question #2 : Diagnostic Systems

Which of the following is not a characteristic of enuresis?

Possible Answers:

Repeated voiding of urine into bed or clothes (involuntary or intentional)

Intense emotional tantrums occuring at least once per week and lasting at least 5 minutes followed by an episode of elimination

All of these

The voiding of urine attributable to the physiological effects of a substance

None of these

Correct answer:

Intense emotional tantrums occuring at least once per week and lasting at least 5 minutes followed by an episode of elimination

Explanation:

Enuresis is characterized by an elimination or urine. While children with elimination disorders often experience disregulated emotional states, Enuresis is not characterized by an emotional tantrum prior to elimination.

Example Question #3 : Diagnostic Systems

Ellen has a pattern of unstable relationships. She tends to idealize new friends until they anger her, and then completely shuts them out of her life. Which of the following is most likely to be her diagnosis?

Possible Answers:

Bipolar disorder

Borderline personality disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder

Antisocial personality disorder

Schizoid personality disorder

Correct answer:

Borderline personality disorder

Explanation:

Ellen's symptoms are consistent with “borderline personality disorder,” which involves instability in relationships, mood, and self-image. “Antisocial personality disorder” includes disregard for and violations of the rights of others. “Narcissistic personality disorder” also involves difficulty in relationships, but its primary feature is grandiosity. “Schizoid personality disorder” includes a restricted range of emotions and detachment from others. Last, “bipolar disorder” may have a negative impact on relationships, but its primary feature is the presence of at least one manic episode. 

Example Question #4 : Diagnostic Systems

Autism spectrum disorder is not characterized by which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Significant impairments in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning

Communication problems

Deficits in social interactions

Excessive distress upon separation from attachment figures

Stereotyped movements

Correct answer:

Excessive distress upon separation from attachment figures

Explanation:

Autism spectrum disorder is a pervasive developmental disorder that includes all of the following: deficits in social communication and interactions and restrictive or repetitive behaviors, interests, or activities. In order for a diagnosis to be made, symptoms must be present early in development and cause impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. "Excessive distress upon separation from attachment figures" is one of the criteria for separation anxiety disorder, and does not fit with the criteria for autism spectrum disorder. Separation anxiety disorder involves excessive anxiety about actual or possible separation from a major attachment figure, like a parent. 

Example Question #5 : Diagnostic Systems

Based on their symptoms, who is least likely to receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

Joe hears voices that tell him that his neighbors are watching him. Other people do not hear these voices. 

Bryan falsely believes the television is talking to him. 

Mark is very impulsive, often engages in dangerous behavior that harms others, and lacks remorse for his behavior. 

Jason shows little motivation or emotional interest in anything, and rarely speaks. 

Peter's speech is incoherent to others. He often goes off on tangents that make little sense. 

Correct answer:

Mark is very impulsive, often engages in dangerous behavior that harms others, and lacks remorse for his behavior. 

Explanation:

Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder characterized by hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behavior, and/or negative symptoms. Joe is experiencing hallucinations in which he hears voices that are not actually there. Bryan is experiencing a delusion of reference, where he believes that the television is falsely referencing him. Peter is displaying disorganized speech. Jason is experiencing negative symptoms, including anhedonia, lack of motivation, and poverty of speech. Mark would be least likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. His symptoms are more consistent with antisocial personality disorder, which is a disregard and violation of the rights of others. 

Example Question #6 : Diagnostic Systems

Which of the following is not considered a symptom of hypomania in the DSM-V?

Possible Answers:

Decreased sleep

Increased talkatively

Inflated sense of self

Racing thoughts

Paranoia

Correct answer:

Paranoia

Explanation:

While many Bipolar I patients do experience paranoia in their manic states, the hypomanic periods experienced by Bipolar II patients is characterized by a reduced severity of manic symptoms and an absence of any psychotic symptoms (including paranoia).

Example Question #7 : Diagnostic Systems

Which of the following classes of disorder is incorrectly paired with its defining symptom?

Possible Answers:

Amnesia: Difficulty recalling information from memory

Agnosia : Difficulty processing sensory information

Apraxia : Difficulty organizing movement

Aphasia : Difficulty processing the passage of time

All of these are correct pairings

Correct answer:

Aphasia : Difficulty processing the passage of time

Explanation:

Aphasia is a class of language disorders that affect a person's ability to communicate. In Broca's aphasia, damage to Broca's area in the left frontal lobe impairs a person's ability to speak (though their capabilities of understanding speech are not affected); in Wernicke's aphasia, damage to Wernicke's area in the left temporal lobe impairs a person's ability to correctly choose the words they wish to say (though their physical capabilities of speech are unaffected).

Example Question #8 : Diagnostic Systems

Which of the following is not considered a negative symptom of mental disorders?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Flat Affect

Anhedonia

Delusions

Apathy

Correct answer:

Delusions

Explanation:

Negative symptoms are defined as the absence of feelings, thoughts or behaviors that are present in healthy individuals. Delusions, on the other hand, are a positive symptom of mental illness- something that healthy individuals do not experience.

Example Question #9 : Diagnostic Systems

According to the DSM-5, which criteria is not associated with major depressive disorder?

Possible Answers:

Change in sleep

Loss of interest

Anxiety 

Change in appetite

Correct answer:

Anxiety 

Explanation:

In order to be diagnosed with depression, you need to exhibit a certain number of diagnostic criteria. Change in sleep (insomnia or hypersomnia), suicidal thoughts and plans, and loss of interest in things you previously found interesting are among the criteria. Though anxiety is often co-morbid with depression, it is not one of the diagnostic criteria listed in the DSM-5.

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