AP Psychology : Defining Abnormalities and Disorders

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #5 : Other Psychological Disorders

Which of the following factors is a major contributor to substance dependence?

Possible Answers:

Cultural norms

Self-medicating behavior

All of these factors

Impulsivity

Correct answer:

All of these factors

Explanation:

Substance dependence, or drug addiction, refers to continuing use of a drug despite severe costs. It results from a combination of biological and environmental factors. Impulsivity, for example, is rooted in a person's genetic makeup. Cultural norms, familial values, and pure circumstance also play key roles. Self-medication refers to a person's tendency to use alcohol or other substances to cope with physical pain or mental illness.

Example Question #141 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

What is a somatoform disorder?

Possible Answers:

The medical term for having a disability

A disorder in which patients lie about having physical problems 

A disorder in which patient fears their skin is falling off

A distressing disorder in which there is physical pain that can't be traced to a physical cause

A disorder where a patient has unexplained physical pain but is unconcerned by it

Correct answer:

A distressing disorder in which there is physical pain that can't be traced to a physical cause

Explanation:

A somatoform disorder can be defined as "a distressing disorder in which there is physical pain that can't be traced to a physical cause." People with a somatoform disorder are typically very distressed about their physical health and tend to assume and worry that small symptoms of illness, such as a sore throat, are a sign of a terrible illness, like throat cancer. Somatoform disorders do not have to do with the skin specifically, and people with somatoform disorders are truly convinced of their physical ailments. Furthermore, somatoform disorders can be disabling but somatoform disorders account for a very small percentage of disabilities and are not the medical term for having a disability. 

Example Question #142 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which disorder has many skeptics that question the legitimacy of its existence?

Possible Answers:

Major Depressive Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

Generalized anxiety disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Correct answer:

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

Explanation:

DID occurs when, usually as a result of early childhood trauma and abuse, someone has two or more distinct personalities rather than one integrated one. The media has been fascinated with DID, leading to well-known movies such as Sybil. However, tests conducted on patients with DID have been inconclusive and it is strange that nearly all of the cases of reported DID have been in the US. These factors have led many people to question the true existence of the disorder, unlike the well-documented and well-researched disorders of OCD, PTSD, major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. 

Example Question #143 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which of the following is not a characteristic of people suffering from Bulimia Nervosa?

Possible Answers:

Refusing to eat

Binge eating 

Body weight and shape influences feelings of self-esteem and self evaluation

Purging

Correct answer:

Refusing to eat

Explanation:

Refusing to eat is more common in Anorexia Nervosa cases than in Bulimia Nervosa cases. A person suffering from Bulimia Nervosa typically binge eats—they over-eat and consume a large amount of calories in a short amount of time. Following this eating, they purge—they rid themselves of what they have eaten by using laxatives, diuretics, or making themselves vomit.

Example Question #144 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Camille sometimes wakes up multiple times in the middle of the night, coughing and gasping for air. Based on Camille's symptoms, which of the following sleep disorders could be interrupting her sleep pattern?

Possible Answers:

Sleep talking

Narcolepsy

None of these

Sleep apnea

Insomnia

Correct answer:

Sleep apnea

Explanation:

Camille's symptoms are indicative of sleep apnea, which is characterized by temporary cessations of breathing during sleep that cause repeated momentary awakenings throughout the night. In this way, sleep apnea can disrupt slow-wave, deep sleep.

Example Question #145 : Types Of Disorders

According to the DSM, which of the following is a somatoform disorder?

Possible Answers:

Conversion disorder

Bipolar disorder

Schizoaffective disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder

Dissociative identity disorder

Correct answer:

Conversion disorder

Explanation:

Somatoform disorders involve physical symptoms that have no known physiological cause, which may or may not be due to a psychological problem. Conversion disorder is a somatoform disorder that includes the presence of neurological symptoms without an identified cause. Schizoaffective disorder involves symptoms of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder, such as depression or Bipolar disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder is an anxiety disorder that involves anxiety and worry over a number of things in one's life. Dissociative identity disorder falls under the category of dissociative disorders and includes the presence of multiple personalities. Bipolar disorder involves at least one episode of mania (i.e. high energy, grandiosity, impulsivity), and may or may not include periods of depression.

Example Question #145 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which of the following disorders is more common in men than women?

Possible Answers:

Depression

Separation anxiety disorder

Antisocial personality disorder

Bulimia nervosa

Factitious disorder

Correct answer:

Antisocial personality disorder

Explanation:

"Antisocial personality disorder" (ASPD) is characterized by a disregard for the safety and feelings of others, impulsivity, deceitfulness, and law breaking. ASPD is three times more common in men than in women, while all of the other answer choices are more commonly seen in women.

Example Question #146 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which of the following is true about gender dysphoria?

Possible Answers:

Gender dysphoria involves strongly identifying with and wishing to be another gender.

Gender dysphoria is common in Asian countries.

Gender dysphoria is not included in the DSM-5. 

Gender dysphoria involves regret over the expression of behaviors that go against traditional gender norms.

Gender dysphoria is more likely to occur among heterosexual people as opposed to homosexual people. 

Correct answer:

Gender dysphoria involves strongly identifying with and wishing to be another gender.

Explanation:

As stated in the DSM-5, the correct answer is "gender dysphoria involves feeling that your emotional and psychological identity as a certain gender is different than your biological sex." All of the other answer choices are false regarding gender dysphoria. 

Example Question #147 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

According to the DSM-V, which of the following is not an eating disorder?

Possible Answers:

Bulimia nervosa

Binge eating disorder

Chronic fatigue syndrome

Anorexia nervosa

Pica

Correct answer:

Chronic fatigue syndrome

Explanation:

"Chronic fatigue syndrome" is not an eating disorder; however, this syndrome is more commonly seen in individuals with poor nutritional habits (e.g. those with eating disorders). All of the other answer choices are categorized in the DSM-V as eating disorders. 

Example Question #146 : Types Of Disorders

Consider the following symptoms: a smooth ridge between nose and lips, small head, and an extremely low IQ (that is not associated with a chromosomal abnormality). These symptoms are most consistent with which of the following disorders? 

Possible Answers:

Parkinson's disease

Fetal alcohol syndrome

Huntington's disease

Down syndrome

Correct answer:

Fetal alcohol syndrome

Explanation:

All of these symptoms—in addition to problems with motor coordination, social perception, and cognitive functions and other distinctive facial features—are associated with "fetal alcohol syndrome" (FAS). This results from the individual’s mother ingesting alcohol during pregnancy, leading to abnormalities in fetal development. Down syndrome, while associated with lower IQ, typically involves a higher level of cognitive functioning than FAS. Additionally, Down syndrome is related to three (instead of the normal two) copies of chromosome 21. Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease are both more associated with abnormalities in motor function and muscular coordination; while some cognitive disturbances or slowing may occur, the IQ is not as drastically affected and the distinctive facial features listed have not been observed.

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