AP Psychology : Defining Abnormalities and Disorders

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #12 : Personality Disorders

When John returned from the war in Iraq, he began to experience intense symptoms of anxiety without improvement over time. Which of the following is John most likely exhibiting? 

Possible Answers:

Agoraphobia

Social phobia

Generalized anxiety

Panic

Post-traumatic stress

Correct answer:

Post-traumatic stress

Explanation:

"Post-traumatic stress" is an anxiety disorder characterized by intense periods of anxiety after intense trauma. Examples of such trauma include warfare, car accidents, assault, etc. They are known to continue for long periods of time. As John has returned from warfare and his anxiety seems to be continuing, it is likely that he is experiencing post-traumatic stress. 

Example Question #12 : Personality Disorders

A pervasive and inflexible pattern of maladaptive behavior is the defining feature of which class of disorders?

Possible Answers:

Mood disorders

Anxiety disorders

Trauma-related disorders

Personality disorders

Correct answer:

Personality disorders

Explanation:

Personality disorders are set apart from other disorders due to their inflexible nature over time. The theory is that the dysfunction/distress stems from deviations in personality that are much more difficult to change compared to the causes of other kinds of mental disorders. 

Example Question #93 : Types Of Disorders

Who would be most likely to experience hallucinations and/or delusions?

Possible Answers:

A woman who has selective mutism

A man experiencing a schizophrenic episode

A child who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

A woman experiencing a depressive episode

A child who has conduct disorder (CD)

Correct answer:

A man experiencing a schizophrenic episode

Explanation:

Many people afflicted with schizophrenia report having hallucinations (hearing voices in one's head) and/or delusions (erroneous beliefs about being persecuted) while having a schizophrenic episode. Hallucinations and delusions are significantly less common in depressed, ADHD, CD, and selective mutism patients. 

Example Question #1 : Schizophrenia

What is the average age of onset for schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

50-65

25-34

13-18

18-25

34-49

Correct answer:

18-25

Explanation:

Men tend to develop schizophrenia earlier than women, in that the average age of onset of schizophrenia for men is 18 and the average age of onset for women is 25. Many other psychological disorders come to fruition during the "young adult" period, including antisocial personality disorder and various mood disorders.

Example Question #1 : Schizophrenia

Which of these is a negative symptom of schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

Delusions

Hallucinations

Disorganized speech and behavior

Lack of emotion

Correct answer:

Lack of emotion

Explanation:

A negative symptom is one that dispells attention from a subject. Alternatively, positive symptoms attract attention to a subject. While a lack of emotion is a negative symptom, hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized speech are all positive symptoms.

Example Question #2 : Schizophrenia

What does the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia claim?

Possible Answers:

Schizophrenia is caused by a hormonal imbalance

Schizophrenia is caused by abnormalities in pre- or perinatal development, which are expressed in the mature brain.

Schizphrenia is caused by abnormalities in the development of the ceberal cortex, often beginning in young adulthood

Schizophrenia appears in adolescence or young adulthood

Correct answer:

Schizophrenia is caused by abnormalities in pre- or perinatal development, which are expressed in the mature brain.

Explanation:

The main tenet of the neurodevelopmental hypothesis is that schizophrenia is the result of early brain insult during either pre- or perinatal development, which is later expressed in the mature brain. Many have suspected that this insult could be due to environmental factors that mothers endure or are exposed to, as evidenced by the many schizophrenic children born from starving mothers during World War II, or from mothers exposed to toxins. The insult could also be due to genetic inheritance.

 

Example Question #1 : Schizophrenia

Which of these symptoms does not commonly occur among schizophrenics?

Possible Answers:

Hallucinations

Disorganized speech

Mania

Disorganized behavior

Delusions

Correct answer:

Mania

Explanation:

Mania (a period of especially high activity and euphoria) is not directly associated with schizophrenia; it is commonly associated with bipolar disorder. The other answer choices are four of the most common symptoms of schizophrenia.

Example Question #1 : Schizophrenia

Delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech and behavior are symptoms of which mental disorder?

Possible Answers:

Bipolar disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Schizophrenia

Antisocial personality disorder

Correct answer:

Schizophrenia

Explanation:

People with schizophrenia perceive things without a stimulation, which are termed hallucinations. These people also suffer delusions, which are mistaken beliefs that are contrary to facts. Their speech is disorganized and can be incoherent.

In obsessive-compulsive disorders, people have obsessions, which are recurrent thoughts, and compulsions, which are recurrent, irrestible actions. People who experience episodes of depression with mania are considered to have bipolar disorder. Antisocial personality disorder describes people who lie, cheat, and steal, and have no sense of responsibility and no guilt about their behavior. Post-traumatic stress disorder occurs when a person who has gone through a significant trauma shows stress symptoms that impair the person's ability to function. 

Example Question #1 : Schizophrenia

If Lucy believes that every plane flying overhead is trying to bomb her, and every whispering stranger is plotting to kill her, what type of schizophrenic symptom is she having?

Possible Answers:

delusion of grandeur

delusion of persecution

hallucination

delusion of reference

blunting

Correct answer:

delusion of persecution

Explanation:

A delusion of persecution is when a person believes everyone is trying to hurt (persecute) him or her; Lucy's belief about random planes bombing her and strangers plotting to hurt her are two examples of such perceived persecution. 

Example Question #1 : Schizophrenia

Which is an example of a negative symptom of schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

Hallucinations

Catatonia

Delusions

Flat affect

Impaired executive functioning

Correct answer:

Flat affect

Explanation:

Positive symptoms are the presence of emotions or behaviors that are usually absent in a healthy patient. Negative symptoms are the absence of emotions or behaviors that are usually present in a healthy patient.

Flat affect is a negative symptom of schizophrenia, since it is a disruption in normal emotional functioning. Delusions, hallucinations, and catatonia are examples of positive symptoms, whereas impaired executive functioning is an example of a cognitive symptom.

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