AP Psychology : Defining Abnormalities and Disorders

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Schizophrenia

Which of the following is not a commonly recognized symptom of schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

Incoherent Speech

Hallucinations

Delusions

Flat Affect

All of these are commonly recognized symptoms of schizophrenia

Correct answer:

All of these are commonly recognized symptoms of schizophrenia

Explanation:

While hallucinations, delusions, and incoherent speech are all noted symptoms of schizophrenia- new feelings or behaviors not present in healthy people-, flat affect (a lack of emotional expression and decrease in talkativeness) is a noted negative symptom, something that healthy people have/do that schizophrenia sufferers do not.

Example Question #2 : Schizophrenia

An excess of dopamine is suspected to be the cause of which of the following mental disorders?

Possible Answers:

Schizophrenia

Anxiety

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Depression

Correct answer:

Schizophrenia

Explanation:

The causes of schizophrenia are varied but one of the leading suspected factors is an excess of the chemical dopamine.

Example Question #11 : Schizophrenia

Which of the following choices best describes a negative symptom of schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

Delusions, believing you possess certain powers or abilities that others do not

A flat effect, where one displays no emotion 

Hallucinations, where one believes there are things that are present which are not

Inappropriate effect, where one reacts inappropriately in certain situations such as laughing at someone's death

Correct answer:

A flat effect, where one displays no emotion 

Explanation:

A negative symptom is a symptom that represents something that the sufferer does not have but is regularly found in unaffected people. In the case of a schizophrenic, he or she may not display any emotion where an unaffected person would. This is known as a "flat effect.” 

Example Question #12 : Schizophrenia

Which of the following choices best describes the primary and identifying symptom of paranoid schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

A distorted use of language

Delusions of someone or something "coming to get" the affected person

None of these

Parrot behavior where the affected person repeats whatever is said to them

Correct answer:

Delusions of someone or something "coming to get" the affected person

Explanation:

There are four types of schizophrenia, one of them being paranoid schizophrenia. The identifying and differentiating symptom of paranoid schizophrenia is the delusion that someone or something is “out to get” the person with the disorder.

Example Question #13 : Schizophrenia

Which of the following types of delusions are not associated with schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

Delusions of grandeur

Delusions of reference

All of these

Delusions of persecution

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

A schizophrenic is susceptible to certain kinds of delusions—namely those of grandeur, reference, and persecution. Delusions of grandeur lead the schizophrenic to believe they are greater than they are such as thinking they are a prophet or a god. Those of reference may lead them to believe secret messages are being sent to them and they must decode them. Those of persecution incite the paranoid belief that people are out to get them.

Example Question #101 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which of the following choices best describes a a positive symptom of schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

Obsessive fixation on cleanliness

None of these

Hallucinations where one believes something is there that is not

Catatonia, where one has no body movements

Correct answer:

Hallucinations where one believes something is there that is not

Explanation:

A positive symptom is something that is present in the affected person that is not normally found in unaffected persons. Essentially, it's not positive in the sense of "good" but of something being added. One out of several positive symptoms of schizophrenia is the presence of delusional thinking, where one thinks there are things that are present that actually are not.

Example Question #12 : Schizophrenia

Which of the following is an example of a positive symptom of schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

Withdrawal from social groups

A decrease in self-inflected harm behaviors

A new feeling of paranoia and paranoid behaviors

Flattened affect and decreased social awareness

Correct answer:

A new feeling of paranoia and paranoid behaviors

Explanation:

A positive symptom is a gained behavior, while a negative symptom is a loss of normal function. The gained paranoia behaviors are therefore 'positive.'

Example Question #15 : Schizophrenia

Which of the following is not a structural trait of the brain of an individual with schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

Smaller amygdala

Smaller hippocampus, often disorganized cells

Enlarged ventricles 

Lack of a cerebellum

Correct answer:

Lack of a cerebellum

Explanation:

Schizophrenia is marked by several unique brain traits, including: 

Enlarged ventricles 

Small/disorganized hippocampus

Small amygdala

The absence of a cerebellum would result in serious motor function deficits, but is absolutely not characteristic of the brains of patients with schizophrenia.

Example Question #12 : Schizophrenia

Which of the following is the most common type of sensory hallucination?

Possible Answers:

Olfactory

Tactile

Visual

Gustatory

Auditory

Correct answer:

Auditory

Explanation:

Many people with schizophrenia have hallucinations, which can be defined as sensory experiences without sensory stimulation. Although auditory, visual, tactile (touch), gustatory (taste), and olfactory (smell) hallucinations are all possible, auditory hallucinations, particularly hearing voices that no one else can hear, are by far the most common.

Example Question #15 : Schizophrenia

Which of the following is classified as a positive symptom of schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

Apathy

Flat affect

Delusions

Monotone speech

Avolition

Correct answer:

Delusions

Explanation:

Schizophrenia has positive symptoms (characteristics that do not exist in neurotypical people) and negative symptoms (the lack of something that neurotypical people have). Therefore, hallucinations or delusions are a positive symptom, whereas flat affect (lack of facial expressions), apathy (lack of passion), avolition (lack of motivation), and monotone speech (lack of tone variance in speech) are all negative symptoms. 

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