AP Psychology : Depressive Disorders

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #51 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which of the following is not hypothesized as a contributing factor of depression?

Possible Answers:

Learned helplessness

Low levels of serotonin in the brain

The cognitive triad

Excess levels of dopamine in the brain

Genetic predisposition

Correct answer:

Excess levels of dopamine in the brain

Explanation:

Genetics, low serotonin, learned helplessness, and the cognitive triad are all hypothesized to be contributing factors to depression; however, excess levels of dopamine contribute to schizophrenia, not depression.

Learned helplessness is the idea that a person has learned from past experiences that they cannot control parts of their life, which can contribute to depression. Beck's cognitive triad examines the explanations people make about themselves, their future, and their world. When something happens, someone can decide that it was either caused by them or caused by an external factor (internal/external), generalize the event to all events or keep it specific to the event at hand (global / specific), and decide whether he or she thinks it will continue in the future or will end soon (stable/unstable). When someone is depressed, they tend to believe that good events are external, specific, and unstable, while bad events are internal, global, and stable.

Example Question #52 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Sarah has been experiencing sadness, loss of appetite, disinterest in activities, weight loss, and insomnia for several years. Which of the following could be the reason these symptoms are occurring?

Possible Answers:

Major depressive disorder

Anemia

Generalized anxiety disorder

Anorexia

Correct answer:

Major depressive disorder

Explanation:

Sarah displays all of the classic symptoms of a major depressive disorder. The fact that her condition is long-term makes it more likely to be a major depressive disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder is the persistence of a feeling of uneasiness or that something bad will occur over a long period of time, with no specific trigger. Anorexia is an eating disorder. Anemia is a decrease of oxygen in the blood.

Example Question #53 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which of the following is not a reason that females are twice as likely as males to experience depression?

Possible Answers:

Women do not live as long as males

Females experience more stress about weight and body image than males

Females face more discrimination than males

Changes in hormones make females more susceptible to depression

Correct answer:

Women do not live as long as males

Explanation:

Note that the question asks which answer option does not help explain the prevalence of depression in females. The correct answer is actually a false statement: on average, females have longer lives than males. This increased lifespan can result in a greater sense of loss and loneliness in old age, which can contribute to depressive symptoms in females. The other answer options are all considered plausible reasons that females experience depression more frequently than males.

Example Question #54 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Karen is showing signs of depression. 

Which is most likely NOT a symptom that Karen is experiencing?

Possible Answers:

Psychomotor retardation

Lack of motivation 

Low self-esteem

Inability to experience pleasure

Signs of aggression

Correct answer:

Signs of aggression

Explanation:

Depression is accompanied by an overall decrease in energy, pleasure, motivation, and positive thoughts. Aggression is not a common symptom of depression.

Example Question #55 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Sherry's cognitive behavioral therapist tends to talk with her about her general way of thinking that guides her perceptions and interpretations of events. For Sherry, this general way of thinking tends to be underlying negative beliefs and attitudes. Her therapist wants her to be able to focus on these negative thoughts and alter them to be more positive.

What does Sherry's therapist want her to work on?

Possible Answers:

Negativity

Sadness

Delusions

Depressed schemas

Disorganized thoughts

Correct answer:

Depressed schemas

Explanation:

Depressed schemas are how an individual views the world and sees events around them. They guide perceptions are tend to be negative beliefs and attitudes. In this case Sherry's therapist is focused on here "general underlying negative beliefs," which is synonymous with "depressed schemas."

Example Question #56 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

In the past two months, Ann has had very little motivation to get out of bed. She sleeps upwards of twenty hours a day and is no longer interested in activities that she used to enjoy. She has very little energy to care for herself, and also has lost a significant amount of weight. Which of the following is a likely diagnosis for Ann?

Possible Answers:

Major depressive disorder

Dysthymic disorder

Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder

Major depressive episode

Correct answer:

Major depressive episode

Explanation:

Major Depressive Episode is correct, because going off of the description we do not know if Ann has had a manic episode in the past or not. In order to have Major Depressive Disorder, an individual cannot have had a manic episode in the past. The answer would not be Dysthymic Disorder, because those symptoms must persist for two years or more, and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder is characterized by outbursts of severe temper in addition to depressive symptoms. 

Example Question #61 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Depression is associated with low levels of which of the following neurotransmitters? 

Possible Answers:

Dopamine

Epinephrine 

Serotonin 

GABA

Correct answer:

Serotonin 

Explanation:

Low levels of serotonin or abnormalities with serotonin receptors are generally associated with depression and other mood disorders. 

Example Question #62 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Major depressive disorder falls under which of the following categories of psychological disorders?

Possible Answers:

Mood disorders

Somatoform disorders

Anxiety disorders

Dissociative disorders

Personality disorders

Correct answer:

Mood disorders

Explanation:

"Mood disorders" is the correct choice. Mood disorders are characterized by disturbances in the emotional state. Mood disorders tend to be episodic. 

 

Example Question #63 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which of the following is not a common symptom of depression?

Possible Answers:

Sleep problems (hypersomnia or insomnia) 

Recurrent thoughts of death

Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities

Impaired concentration

Increased energy levels

Correct answer:

Increased energy levels

Explanation:

When a person suffers from major depression, it can be very difficult for the individual to maintain normal levels of functioning in school, work, and at home. Major depression is associated with decreased energy levels and fatigue, not "increased energy levels." All of the other answer choices are common symptoms that are indicative of depression.

Example Question #64 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which of the following is a mood disorder?

Possible Answers:

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Schizophrenia

Major depressive disorder

Correct answer:

Major depressive disorder

Explanation:

Mood disorders are a class of disorders that involve gross changes in mood such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder, OCD and PTSD are also not mood disorders.

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