AP Psychology : Defining Abnormalities and Disorders

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #272 : Ap Psychology

Which of the following is not true of obsessions, as listed in the DSM definition of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Possible Answers:

All of these are true of obsessions

OCD patient recognizes that obsessions are products of his/her own mind

Used to reduce distress or prevent disasters

Can take form of thoughts or mental images

Persistent and recurring

Correct answer:

Used to reduce distress or prevent disasters

Explanation:

Unlike compulsions, which are behaviors that OCD patients feel they must do to prevent disaster or just to reduce their distress, obsessions are unwelcome, unhelpful thoughts that OCD patients actively attempt to ignore or suppress.

Example Question #3 : Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

Samantha must check that her keys are in her purse upon leaving the house exactly seven times. Samantha would most likely be diagnosed with __________.

Possible Answers:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Schizophrenia

A phobia 

Agoraphobia

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder 

Correct answer:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Explanation:

Given that Samantha must check for her keys a certain number of times until she is appeased, this begins to resemble ritualistic repetitive behavior. Repetitive ritualistic behavior is characteristic of obsessive-compulsive disorder. While checking for keys may be a part of everyday life, feeling the need to check for keys a specific and excessive number of times is not. 

Example Question #1 : Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

A patient has obsessive-compulsive disorder, and each morning and night she must spend 45 minutes writing words of praise in her journal so that her mother does not fall ill. The patient has been going to treatment for several years to deal with the issue.

Identify the obsession and the compulsion in this scenario.

Possible Answers:

Obsession: her mother's health . . . Compulsion: the writing ritual

Obsession: constant cleanliness . . . Compulsion: tidiness despite the room being clean

Obsession: the writing ritual . . . Compulsion: going to treatment

Obsession: the writing ritual . . . Compulsion: her mother's health

Correct answer:

Obsession: her mother's health . . . Compulsion: the writing ritual

Explanation:

Obsessions are recurring intrusive thoughts or worries that are characterized by the extreme difficulty patients have suppressing them. The obsession here is the patient's concern with her mother's health. Compulsions are repeated behaviors that a person feels compelled to perform in relation to a given obsession. In this case, the need to write in a ritualistic fashion as as to prevent a realization of the obsessive fear is the compulsive act.

Example Question #2 : Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

Which of the following is not a common compulsion associated with OCD?

Possible Answers:

Excessively checking to make sure a loved one is still breathing

Excessively arranging items in a particular order

Excessive hand washing

Excessively having flash backs to a past event

Excessively checking to make sure the oven is turned off

Correct answer:

Excessively having flash backs to a past event

Explanation:

OCD is a disorder characterized by obsessions (intrusive, distressing thoughts) and compulsions (actions taken to try to "fix" the intrusive thought). Common compulsions include excessive washing, turning items off, checking on loved ones, and arranging items. Flashbacks are a symptom of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and are not associated with OCD.

Example Question #1 : Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

Which of the following is NOT an example of a compulsion someone may have with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Possible Answers:

Check to see if burner off every time walk into kitchen

Cleaning glasses every few minutes to make sure stay clean

Unlock and relock the door multiple times when leaving home 

Excessive hand-washing after touch anything from outside the home

All of these are common compulsions associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Correct answer:

All of these are common compulsions associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Explanation:

All of the answers are examples of compulsive behaviors that result from anxiety, such as being "dirty" or leaving the door unlocked.

Example Question #71 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

90% of people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) often also suffer from another disorder. Which of the following disorders is most likely to co-occur with OCD?

Possible Answers:

Social anxiety disorders 

Panic disorders 

Mood disorders 

Substance abuse disorders 

Body dysmorphic disorders 

Correct answer:

Social anxiety disorders 

Explanation:

90% of people people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) suffer from comorbid disorders. The most common comorbid disorders are social anxiety disorders. Of the 90% of OCD patients with comorbid disorders, 76% have social anxiety disorders. Approximately 63% suffer from mood disorders.

Example Question #71 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Henry has a habit that he wants help breaking. Henry tends to wash his hands in a particular way over a 5-minute period several times per day, sometimes up to 25 times per day. Often, his hands become red and his skin cracks because he washes them so much, but he continues washing because he becomes anxious if he doesn't wash. Based on this information, Henry is most likely to have ___________________.

Possible Answers:

panic disorder

obsessive compulsive disorder

specific phobia

post-traumatic stress disorder

Correct answer:

obsessive compulsive disorder

Explanation:

Obsessive compulsive disorder involves persistent, uncontrollable intrusions of unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and urges to engage in senseless rituals (compulsions). In this case, we know that Henry has compulsions, but we don't have evidence of obsessions. However, compared to the symptoms of panic disorder (recurrent panic attacks), post-traumatic stress disorder (anxiety and avoidance occurring after a traumatic event), and specific phobia (excessive fear over objects or situations that pose no real threat), we can conclude that the most likely diagnosis would be obsessive compulsive disorder.

Example Question #1 : Personality Disorders

Which personality disorder is characterized by attention-seeking behavior and extreme emotionality?

Possible Answers:

Schizoid personality disorder

Avoidant personality disorder

Schizotypal personality disorder

Antisocial personality disorder

Histrionic personality disorder

Correct answer:

Histrionic personality disorder

Explanation:

People with histrionic personality disorder feel highly uncomfortable and/or offended when they are not the center of attention. They have rapidly shifting emotions, which are used to garner attention from others. 

Example Question #1 : Personality Disorders

Which of the following is not considered a personality disorder?

Possible Answers:

Histrionic disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Schizoid disorder

Borderline disorder

Antisocial disorder

Correct answer:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Explanation:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder, not a personality disorder.

The other listed conditions are all personality disorders.

Example Question #1 : Personality Disorders

Which DSM-IV axis includes all personality disorders?

Possible Answers:

Axis V

Axis I

Axis II

Axis III

Axis IV

Correct answer:

Axis II

Explanation:

The multi-axial system of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) was created in 1994 to address the "whole person" when making psychiatric diagnoses.

Axis I refers to the principal disorder in question (e.g., schizophrenia), axis II refers to personality disorders, axis III lists medical disorders that impact a client's psychiatric state, axis IV takes psychosocial factors into account (e.g., recent divorce leading to depression), and axis V gives an overall global functioning score on a scale of 0-100.

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