AP Psychology : Defining Abnormalities and Disorders

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #25 : Defining And Diagnosing Disorders

The process that involves distinguishing one illness from another is called ___________________.

Possible Answers:

prognosis

diagnosis

etiology

epidemiology

Correct answer:

diagnosis

Explanation:

Diagnosis involves determining what illness a patient might have, usually accomplished by comparing the patient's reported symptoms with a set of criteria for a particular illness. Prognosis sounds similar but is actually a forecast about the probably course of an illness. Etiology refers to the apparent causation and development of illnesses. Epidemiology is an area of study that involves the incidence, prevalence, and distribution of illnesses.

Example Question #35 : Theories Of Abnormal Psychology

Mental illnesses are currently classified into a __________________ diagnostic system, which has created some difficulties for clinicians due to the fact that many symptoms appear on a spectrum of severity.

Possible Answers:

dimensional

subjective

epidemiological

categorical

Correct answer:

categorical

Explanation:

Current classification systems are categorical in nature, meaning that there are distinct categories for each mental illness that does not necessarily overlap with other diagnoses. A dimensional system that takes into account the overlapping nature of mental illness along a spectrum of severity has been proposed, but it has limited utility.

Example Question #36 : Theories Of Abnormal Psychology

Stacy is a 15 year old female who reports constant worry. Her fears are greatly impacting her daily functioning, and she cannot get through a task without focusing on many different worries in her life. She reports numerous worries about things such as relationships, school work, money, and her future career. Stacy likely suffers from which condition?

Possible Answers:

Specific phobia

Schizophrenia

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Correct answer:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Explanation:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a disorder marked by excessive worry about multiple domains within one's life. These worries greatly distress an affected individual, and interfere with normal functioning. GAD is also accompanied by several physical symptoms including restlessness, decreased sleep, muscle tension, and weakness.

Example Question #21 : Defining And Diagnosing Disorders

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is predominantly characterized by which of the following?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Periods of general confusion, accompanied by heightened levels of anxiety

Turbulent relationships, in which the afflicted individual feels extreme love or hate at different times

Incessant distrust of other people, especially relatives and others in close contact

Ritualistic behaviors that are meant to avoid dangerous things from happening

Correct answer:

Turbulent relationships, in which the afflicted individual feels extreme love or hate at different times

Explanation:

BPD's main symptoms involve turbulent relationships, extreme emotional reactions to everyday situations and self-harm. It is usually comorbid with anxiety and/or depression. Additionally, BPD patients have been reported as very difficult to treat (in comparison to other psychological disorders). This is because the typical subject is resistant to intervention.

Example Question #26 : Defining And Diagnosing Disorders

Which of the following have exact known causes:

I. Alzheimer's disease

II. Frontotemporal dementia

III. Dementia with Lewy bodies

Possible Answers:

II only

None of these

II & III

All of these

III only

Correct answer:

None of these

Explanation:

Exact causes have not yet been confirmed, but there are currently many risk factors that have been linked. Alzheimer's, for example, is linked to several genetic polymorphisms. APOE-e4 has the strongest correlation so far, but not everyone with this genetic marker develops the disease. Some scientists believe that we have not yet identified the responsible genes.

Example Question #27 : Defining And Diagnosing Disorders

Which of the following are early warning signs of Alzheimer's disease:

I. Feeling confused about time and location

II. Changes in personality

III. Multiple personalities

IV. Inhibited coordination

V. Increased blood pressure

Possible Answers:

II, III, & IV

I, II, & III

IV & V

II only

I, II, & IV

Correct answer:

I, II, & IV

Explanation:

Early warning signs of Alzheimer's disease include feeling confused about time and location, changes in personality and inhibited coordination. The disease follows a set of stages, but everyone expresses the symptoms differently. Alzheimer's can be easily misdiagnosed in early stages because of such deeply internalized symptoms.

Example Question #41 : Theories Of Abnormal Psychology

What percentage of Alzheimer's cases are considered early-onset?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Estimates vary, but early-onset cases make up somewhere between four to six percent of all cases. In the past, early-onset was considered the same disease as Alzheimer's because of the symptomatic similarities. However, scientists now believe Alzheimer's disease encompasses more than one distinct disease.

Example Question #42 : Theories Of Abnormal Psychology

What age of Alzheimer's diagnosis is considered to be early onset?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The lines are rather blurry, but cases are considered early onset Alzheimer's when diagnosis occurs in the 40s or 50s. Along with the age of onset, early-onset diagnosis is based on symptomatic criteria. Unfortunately, the only way to determine the exact class of dementia, an autopsy is required to examine brain tissue.

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