AP Psychology : Defining Abnormalities and Disorders

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #121 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which of the following neurotransmitters is thought to be abnormally functioning in Schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

Glutamate

Dopamine

Serotonin

Norepinephrine

GABA

Correct answer:

Dopamine

Explanation:

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder hallmarked by "psychosis" - losing touch with reality. The major neurotransmitter implicated in this disorder is dopamine. Imbalances in dopamine are responsible for the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

Example Question #24 : Schizophrenia

What is a speech indicator of schizophrenia? 

Possible Answers:

Disorganized speech, otherwise known as "world salads"

All of these

Paranoia

High anxiety

Organized speech, otherwise known as "good salads"

Correct answer:

Disorganized speech, otherwise known as "world salads"

Explanation:

One of the characteristics of speech of the paranoid person is disorganized ranting. There is no logical sequence to what's being said and it will often sound like the person is speaking to or of an imaginary entity. The speech is often tangential and off-topic.

Works Cited:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, 1999. (https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/NNBBHS.pdf).

Example Question #31 : Schizophrenia

Which of the following are examples of disorganized speech?

Possible Answers:

Tangentiality

All of these

Derailment

Neologisms

Clanging (i.e. rhyming)

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

All of the choices represent manifestations of disorganized thoughts in the speech associated with a paranoid schizophrenia. This described as "disorganized speech" and represents a symptom that is characteristic of paranoid schizophrenia. "Tangentiality" is steering away from the topic at hand. For instance: 

Q: Have you been nervous or tense lately?

A: No, I got a head of lettuce.

"Derailment" occurs when the topic is constantly being changed. If asked whether or not they like TV, then a paranoid schizophrenic might respond with "My sister likes TV. I dance to what's on the TV. I like to draw and read stories." The patient can also cleverly coin new terms on the spot, which are called "neologisms." Last, excessive rhyming or almost poetic-like speech is calling "clanging." 

Example Question #31 : Schizophrenia

Which of the following are considered to be cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

Poor memory

Poor concentration

Disorganized thinking

Difficulty expressing thoughts

All of these

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

All of the answer choices represent cognitive symptoms commonly associated with paranoid schizophrenia (i.e. symptoms regarding thinking, focus, and memory). Negative cognitive symptoms include a lack of concentration, memory, and an inability to express one's thoughts. On the other hand, positive cognitive symptoms include disorganized thinking that is generally chaotic and irrational.

Works Cited:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, 1999. (https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/NNBBHS.pdf).

Example Question #33 : Schizophrenia

Which of the following is a positive symptom of schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

Affective flattening

Alogia

Hallucinations

None of these

Avolition 

Correct answer:

Hallucinations

Explanation:

Positive symptoms are defined as behaviors or patterns that are "added" to an individual possessing a mental disorder as opposed to symptoms that are taken away. "Affective flattening," "avolition," and "alogia" are all defined by the absence of certain aspects of cognition that a non-affected person would possess. On the other hand, "hallucinations," that is distortions in perception of what is real, are a positive symptom of paranoid schizophrenia. 

Works Cited:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, 1999. (https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/NNBBHS.pdf).

Example Question #122 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

What is "alogia"? 

Possible Answers:

The coining of new terms

Derailment of conversational topics

None of these

A poverty of speech production and processing

Tangential speech

Correct answer:

A poverty of speech production and processing

Explanation:

Alogia can be one of the symptoms that paranoid schizophrenic experiences. It is a negative symptom characterized by a lack of language production as a result of "blocked thought." This is often manifested in short, empty phrases.

Example Question #123 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which of the following is the best definition of "delusions" as a symptom of paranoid schizophrenia?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Lies to oneself to make believe that he or she is sane

Beliefs in a higher power or deity

Thoughts that make one believe that he or she is an exception to the rules that govern society

Irrational misconceptions of perceptions of experiences

Correct answer:

Irrational misconceptions of perceptions of experiences

Explanation:

Delusions are firmly held erroneous beliefs that are a product of distortions or exaggerations of reasoning and/or misinterpretations of perceptions or experiences. When someone has paranoid schizophrenia, delusions of being followed or watched are common; furthermore, those suffering from this disorder may believe that radio or TV programs are sending them special messages. This is paranoid thinking, which is the identifying pattern of the illness. It creates a world for the affected person where everyone is "out to get them."

Works Cited:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, 1999. (https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/NNBBHS.pdf).

Example Question #33 : Schizophrenia

Which of the following is an example of clanging? 

Possible Answers:

I don't like her, she has too much "paucity"

I don't bike lats. ("I don't like bats")

None of these

I like fishing. Fish are creatures of the sea. Creatures can be fantasy or fiction, my brother really likes fantasy. He's tall.

I had my lunch when it's brunch it makes a crunch in a bunch

Correct answer:

I had my lunch when it's brunch it makes a crunch in a bunch

Explanation:

Clanging is a positive symptom of schizophrenia where the affected person will rhyme words despite the resulting utterance meaning nothing. For instance, although "I had my lunch when it's brunch it makes a crunch in a bunch" may convey meaning it will often not mean anything in context. The other answers are examples of a neologism, tangentiality, and an unrelated speech production error common among non-affected people (e.g. "I don't bike lats").

Example Question #31 : Schizophrenia

Which of the following is a type of delusion typical of paranoid schizophrenics? 

Possible Answers:

Delusions of reference

Somatic delusions

All of these

Paranoid delusions

Delusions of grandeur

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

All of the answer choices are kinds of delusions that a paranoid schizophrenic typically experiences. "Paranoid delusions" are "beliefs of persecution" typified by a conception of the world as a place where everyone is out to get you. "Delusions of grandeur" involve beliefs that you possess special powers such as the ability to see the future. "Somatic delusions" involve false beliefs about abnormalities in the individual's body. Last, "delusions of reference" involve beliefs that things in your environment are directly related to you somehow, like believing someone built a random building for you. 

Works Cited:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, 1999. (https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/NNBBHS.pdf).

Example Question #124 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which of the following are kinds of hallucinations a paranoid schizophrenic may experience?

Possible Answers:

Tactile

Visual

Auditory

Olfactory

All of these

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

All of these are kinds of hallucinations a paranoid schizophrenic may experience, an additional one being gustatory hallucinations (i.e. tasting things that aren't there). "Visual," "auditory," "tactile," and "olfactory" hallucinations are when one believes they are seeing, hearing, touching, and smelling things that are not there. Hallucinations are disturbing experiences that perpetuates the paranoid schizophrenic's sense of fear.

Works Cited:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, 1999. (https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/NNBBHS.pdf).

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