AP Psychology : Defining Abnormalities and Disorders

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Depressive Disorders

Depression is associated with low levels of which of the following neurotransmitters? 

Possible Answers:

GABA

Serotonin 

Epinephrine 

Dopamine

Correct answer:

Serotonin 

Explanation:

Low levels of serotonin or abnormalities with serotonin receptors are generally associated with depression and other mood disorders. 

Example Question #15 : Depressive Disorders

Major depressive disorder falls under which of the following categories of psychological disorders?

Possible Answers:

Dissociative disorders

Personality disorders

Mood disorders

Somatoform disorders

Anxiety disorders

Correct answer:

Mood disorders

Explanation:

"Mood disorders" is the correct choice. Mood disorders are characterized by disturbances in the emotional state. Mood disorders tend to be episodic. 

 

Example Question #16 : Depressive Disorders

Which of the following is not a common symptom of depression?

Possible Answers:

Recurrent thoughts of death

Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities

Increased energy levels

Sleep problems (hypersomnia or insomnia) 

Impaired concentration

Correct answer:

Increased energy levels

Explanation:

When a person suffers from major depression, it can be very difficult for the individual to maintain normal levels of functioning in school, work, and at home. Major depression is associated with decreased energy levels and fatigue, not "increased energy levels." All of the other answer choices are common symptoms that are indicative of depression.

Example Question #12 : Depressive Disorders

Which of the following is a mood disorder?

Possible Answers:

Major depressive disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Schizophrenia

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Correct answer:

Major depressive disorder

Explanation:

Mood disorders are a class of disorders that involve gross changes in mood such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder, OCD and PTSD are also not mood disorders.

Example Question #21 : Depressive Disorders

Which of the following psychological disorders are affective disorders?

Possible Answers:

Depression, schizophrenia, and obsessive compulsive disorder

Depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders

None of these

Narcisssistic, histrionic, and dependent disorders

Schizophrenia, sociopathy, and obsessive compulsive disorder

Correct answer:

Depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders

Explanation:

Affective disorders are defined by heightened and prolonged emotional states. In the instance of anxiety, which can manifest in many forms, one experiences a consistent state of fear that may or may not have a specific set of triggers. Depression is a prolonged state of sadness and apathy, which often involves a general lack of motivation or pleasant emotions, irritability, difficulty focusing, and, in extreme cases, suicidal thoughts. Bipolar disorder includes this kind of depressive state, yet also a manic one. During the manic state, there is a general feeling of euphoria, an "on top of the world" kind of feeling that may invite impulsive decision-making and an inflated sense of self-importance.

Psychological disorders that are not affective have to do with delusional thinking patterns, personality, attention deficits, addictions, psychosexuality, or developmental problems. While they may share commonalities and even intersect, affective disorders have distinctly to do with prolonged and extreme emotional states, which can be caused by biological or environmental factors.

Example Question #1 : Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

Which of the following is not a common symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?

Possible Answers:

Intense stress when objects are not in order

Compulsions to reduce anxiety

A fear of contamination

Anxiety stemming from a traumatic injury

Avoidance of situations that may trigger obsessions

Correct answer:

Anxiety stemming from a traumatic injury

Explanation:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric illness characterized by excessive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive, maladaptive behaviors (compulsions). Common obsessions include a fear of contamination and/or a need to keep things orderly. Common compulsions include obsessive handwashing and counting in certain patterns.

OCD does not arise from a traumatic injury; it results from a combination of psychological and biological factors.

Example Question #61 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

When John leaves his house in morning, he always has to check multiple times to make sure that he has locked his front door. If John tries to leave his house without checking his door, or after only checking it once, he is filled with such anxiety and dread that he must abandon whatever else he is doing to return home and check his front door again. John is most likely struggling with a(n) __________.

Possible Answers:

mania

stigma

ethical dilemma

obsession

compulsion

Correct answer:

compulsion

Explanation:

A compulsion is a behavior that one feels driven to perform repeatedly, aiming to reduce stress or prevent the occurrence of something horrible. These compulsive behaviors are quite often linked to obsessive thoughts in cases of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Example Question #1 : Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

Joanna feels that she needs to run up and down the stairs exactly 12 times before she leaves for school or else someone she loves will get hurt. What is the name for this type of intrusive, irrational thought?

Possible Answers:

a heritability

an obsession 

a compulsion

a disturbance

a fear

Correct answer:

an obsession 

Explanation:

The two parts of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are the obsessions and the compulsions. Obsessions are the irrational, intrusive thoughts that distress the person with OCD, and compulsions are the actions that the person takes to try to alleviate the distress of the obsession. In Joanna's case, the fear of someone getting hurt is the obsession and the running up and down the stairs is the compulsion.

Example Question #1 : Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

What is OCD?

Possible Answers:

Organized-compulsive disorder

Obsessive-chaotic disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Obtuse-carotene disorder

Other non-categorized disorder

Correct answer:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Explanation:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by obsessions (intrusive thououghts) and compulsions (intense needs to fulfill specific actions). A common obession is cleanliness, which can lend itself to compulsive hand washing or scrubbing.

Example Question #3 : Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

Which of the following is the best example of a compulsion?

Possible Answers:

Excessive handwashing

Refusing to eat

Difficulty counting

Fear of stealing things

Intrusive preoccupation over one's appearance

Correct answer:

Excessive handwashing

Explanation:

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that are undertaken to reduce anxiety. Some of the most common compulsions in those with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) are counting, handwashing, collecting, and organizing at a clinically problematic level. 

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors