AP Psychology : Defining Abnormalities and Disorders

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #181 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which of the following is true about the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF)?

Possible Answers:

The GAF does not take social functioning into account

It is on Axis 5 on the DSM criteria

A patient uses the GAF to determine their own diagnosis and treatment plan

Higher numbers correspond to lower levels of functioning

It is on Axis 2 of the DSM criteria

Correct answer:

It is on Axis 5 on the DSM criteria

Explanation:

The GAF is included on Axis 5 in the DSM in order for psychologists/therapists to classify a patient's overall level of functioning, including physical, social, occupational, and psychological functioning. It is a 1 to 100 scale and higher numbers correspond to higher levels of functioning. All of the other answer options are true statements about the GAF.

Example Question #22 : Theories Of Abnormal Psychology

Mark frequently goes on nature walks after work, but whenever he encounters certain kinds of rocks, he feels compelled to ingest them. Which of the following eating disorder diagnoses best describes this behavior?

Possible Answers:

Pica

Bulimia nervosa

Binge eating disorder

Anorexia nervosa

Correct answer:

Pica

Explanation:

Pica refers to persistent and excessive intake of substances with no nutritional value. Pica cannot be explained by other factors, like developmental stage (e.g. a six-month-old putting a rock in her mouth) or cultural norms (e.g. religious or ritual ingestion of a certain substance). Since Mark apparently has a job (“after work”) he is not a child young enough to accidentally eat rocks. Assuming that this behavior has been occurring for over a month and it is not related to Mark’s cultural beliefs, he meets the diagnostic criteria for pica.

Example Question #182 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

The "syndrome" where one tends to see the characteristics of disorders about which one is learning as being applicable to themselves is __________.

Possible Answers:

The Patient's Syndrome

The Intern's Syndrome 

The Therapist's Syndrome 

The Doctor's Syndrome

None of these

Correct answer:

The Intern's Syndrome 

Explanation:

The Intern's Syndrome is the the tendency to see in oneself the characteristics of disorders about which one is learning. It is not a disease for which one requires treatment. It is simply a form of warped or fallacious thinking where one starts to think of themselves as similar to the object of their study. Someone who is studying post-traumatic stress might, for instance, that their lack of sleep is due to post-traumatic stress instead of drinking too much coffee at night.

Example Question #23 : Theories Of Abnormal Psychology

Is insanity a medical or legal term? 

Possible Answers:

Neither; insane is considered an offensive derogatory remark. 

Neither; insane is a slang term

Legal

Both

Medical

Correct answer:

Legal

Explanation:

"Insanity" is not a medical term used to diagnose a patient, it is purely a legal term. It serves a very important purpose in legal affairs, since it is used to differentiate between what a person can be held responsible for. A person who is legally adjudicated as "insane" is, in the opinion of the court, unable to understand the consequences of their actions and, usually, unable to effectively assist their counsel in their legal defense.

Example Question #183 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which of the following is not considered to be a common trait of an individual with a psychological abnormality?

Possible Answers:

Disturbing others

Harmful, disturbing behavior

Traits not shared by many members of the population

Talking to onself

Behaviors that do not make sense to the average person

Correct answer:

Talking to onself

Explanation:

"Talking to oneself" is the correct answer. While some individuals who suffer abnormalities do indeed talk to themselves, this is not considered one of the common traits. This answer is an example of finding the answer that is most correct. 

Example Question #181 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Name some of the modes of diagnosis for various types of dementia:

I. fMRIs

II. brain tissue sample

III. DNA test

IV. conversation analysis

V. CT scans

Possible Answers:

II only

I, II & III

I, IV & V

I & V

I, III & V

Correct answer:

I, IV & V

Explanation:

Although brain tissue samples are the most accurate way to determine diagnosis, this is only done during autopsies. Brain scans, including both fMRIs and CTs, are some of the most accurate and non-invasive modes of diagnosis. Combined with conversation analysis, specialists are able to connect particular neurological degeneration with inappropriate social behavior and cognition.

Example Question #182 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

What is the leading cause of death in Alzheimer's patients?

Possible Answers:

Internal bleeding

Infection

Heart attack

Stroke

Organ failure

Correct answer:

Infection

Explanation:

Infection, especially pneumonia, is the leading cause of death in Alzheimer's patients. In the late stages of the disease the body's immune system and overall health is severely compromised, putting the individual at risk for infection and other types of illness. It is almost impossible for disease to progress enough that the brain shuts down before some type of ailment has occurred.

Example Question #22 : Defining And Diagnosing Disorders

Which of the following statements about the DSM-V is true?

Possible Answers:

The DSM-V has five axes that must be considering during the assessment process.

The DSM-V acknowledges that symptom severity may vary within a single disorder.

The DSM-V is widely used across the world to diagnose psychiatric disorders.

The DSM-V is only effective in diagnosing psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. 

The DSM-V is lauded by most psychologists, psychiatrists, and physicians.

Correct answer:

The DSM-V acknowledges that symptom severity may vary within a single disorder.

Explanation:

The DSM-V marked the first time that the manual included "symptom severity" in the assessment of many psychiatric disorders, including substance use and autism. All of the other statements are false. The DSM-5 is predominantly used in the United States, does not have axes (the DSM-IV did), it is highly criticized by most healthcare professions, and can be used in assessing children, adolescents, and adults.

Example Question #23 : Defining And Diagnosing Disorders

Which of the following is NOT an example of a mood disorder?

Possible Answers:

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Major depressive disorder

Bipolar disorder

Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder

Seasonal affective disorder

Correct answer:

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Explanation:

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that can occur following the subject witnessing or experiencing of a traumatic event (e.g. war, famine, death). All of the other answer choices are mood disorders, which entail a serious change in mood.

Example Question #24 : Defining And Diagnosing Disorders

Which of the following are characteristics clinicians take into account when deciding whether or not a person has a mental disorder?

Possible Answers:

personal distress

deviance

All of these

maladaptive behavior

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

Clinicians take into account all three of these factors when diagnosing mental illness. Deviance refers to behavior or beliefs that are substantially different (deviant) from the majority of people in that society or culture. Maladaptive behavior refers to behavior that is not healthy or in some way harms them. Personal distress is also taken into account and is a subjective report of how much the patient is upset.

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