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 #2 : Personality Disorders

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

Possible Answers:

Depression

Autism

Schizophrenia

ADHD

Antisocial personality disorder

Correct answer:

Depression

Explanation:

Women are more likely to suffer from internalizing disorders, including depression and anxiety. Men are more likely to suffer from externalizing disorders, including antisocial personality disorder, substance abuse disorder, and conduct disorder.

Example Question #2 : Personality Disorders

On which axis of the DSM-IV are personality disorders diagnosed?

Possible Answers:

Axis III

Axis IV

Axis I

Axis II

Axis V

Correct answer:

Axis II

Explanation:

Personality disorders are diagnosed on axis II of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). However, the multiple axes have been abolished in the latest version of the DSM, called the DSM-V. Some of the most common personality disorders include antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.

Example Question #1 : Personality Disorders

Which of the following is characteristic of histrionic personality disorder?

Possible Answers:

Dependency on others' approval and attention for a sense of self-worth, often manifesting in a dramatic presence and flirtacious behaviors

Disorganized and delusional thinking, which is often reflected in incomprehensible and erratic behavior and speech

A lack of regard for others' feelings, accompanied by the belief that the world is a cruel place

Fluctuating periods of extreme sadness and euphoria

Chronic dependency on family members, friends, or spouse for emotional needs, decision making, and general support with an inability to independently support one's own needs

Correct answer:

Dependency on others' approval and attention for a sense of self-worth, often manifesting in a dramatic presence and flirtacious behaviors

Explanation:

Histrionic personality disorder is characterized by a strong need for attention from others, and manifests in dramatic, exaggerated, and potentially overly flirtacious actions and behaviors. One who suffers from histrionic personality disorder may be uncomfortable if not the center of attention, and may even threaten to commit suicide in order to get it. This disorder is thought to be mainly the result of parenting, where the child may have never received negative attention or received positive attention inconsistently. The disorder tends to run in families, so a genetic component is possible, but this could also be a result of learned behavior from the parents.

Example Question #1 : Personality Disorders

What is a common occurrence amongst those diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder?

Possible Answers:

Exaggerated or dramatic behavior

Obsessive thought patterns

None of these

Criminal deviance

Intense mood swings between mania and anger

Correct answer:

Criminal deviance

Explanation:

Antisocial personality disorder is ultimately defined by a lack of empathy for other people and egocentrism, which entails a wide range of destructive symptoms. Many of those diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder disregard the division between right and wrong, and tend to tailor ethics to their own impulses, which can be destructive. As such, they can make harmful choices for which they could be incarcerated.  

Example Question #81 : Types Of Disorders

The term insanity is __________.

Possible Answers:

None of the other answers is correct.

a legal definition

a medical diagnosis

a colloquial term with no medical or legal significance

very common

Correct answer:

a legal definition

Explanation:

Insanity is NOT a medical diagnosis, rather it is a legal definition used to evaluate a person's capacity to be legally held accountable for their actions. While "insanity" is often used colloquially, it DOES have legal significance.

Example Question #1 : Personality Disorders

Which of the following would least likely be true of a person with Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Possible Answers:

He or she would feel and fear nothing.

He or she would show little regret.

He or she would most likely maintain low levels of cortisol while committing a crime.

He or she would not necessarily be a criminal.

He or she would show concern for his friends and family.

Correct answer:

He or she would show concern for his friends and family.

Explanation:

Antisocial Personality disorder is characterized by long-term patterns of behavior that disregard the rights and well-being of others. The individuals are known to show a lack of conscience when it comes to wrongdoing, regardless of their relationship to the wronged party. 

Example Question #81 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

People who experience intensely unstable relationships, highly impulsive behaviors, aversion to abandonment, idealization and devaluation of people in relationships, and inappropriate anger or paranoid may be diagnosed with __________.

Possible Answers:

Delusional Schizophrenia

Bipolar disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder

Correct answer:

Borderline Personality Disorder

Explanation:

Borderline Personality Disorder is categorized by traits such as unstable relationships full of distrust and/or idealization, issues with abandonment fears, emotions such as emptiness and anger at inappropriate times, paranoia, and impulsiveness.

Example Question #11 : Personality Disorders

A client is presented for psychological evaluation with the following symptoms:
-Need for social isolation
-Anxiety in social situations
-Odd behavior and thinking
-Unconventional beliefs
-Odd reactions to conversations
-Misinterpreting situations or believing situations to have a strange meaning

Which of the following diagnoses might be appropriate for this individual?

Possible Answers:

Generalized anxiety disorder

Schizophrenia

None of these

Major depressive disorder

Schizotypal personality disorder

Correct answer:

Schizotypal personality disorder

Explanation:

Schizotypal personality disorder affects about 3% of the population. It can be a precursor for Schizophrenia but often has a stable course and can be diagnosed by the symptoms provided in the question. Schizotypal personality disorder can be confused with schizophrenia. The main difference between the two disorders is that people with schizotypal personalities may experience brief psychotic episodes accompanied by delusions or hallucinations; however, these delusional episodes are not as frequent, prolonged, or intense as the psychosis experienced by individuals with schizophrenia.

Example Question #11 : Personality Disorders

According to the DSM-V, which of the following statements is true regarding personality disorders?

Possible Answers:

Personality disorders are not included in the DSM-V because the DSM-V focuses on developmental psychiatric illnesses. 

Personality disorders are easily treatable with cognitive behavioral therapy.

Personality disorders are not comorbid with other psychiatric illnesses. 

Personality disorders are more commonly seen in indigenous countries.  

Personality disorders are typically diagnosed in adulthood.

Correct answer:

Personality disorders are typically diagnosed in adulthood.

Explanation:

Personality disorders are not typically diagnosed until age 18. Children with symptoms of certain personality disorders may be diagnosed with other developmental psychiatric illnesses like conduct disorder (CD). 

Example Question #81 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which personality disorder is characterized by unstable moods, behaviors, and relationships?

Possible Answers:

Histrionic personality disorder

Avoidant personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder

Schizoid personality disorder

Antisocial personality disorder

Correct answer:

Borderline personality disorder

Explanation:

The essential components of "borderline personality disorder" include a pattern of impulsivity and instability of behaviors, interpersonal relationships, and self-image. This personality disorder typically begins in early adulthood (ages 18-25), but has temperamental underpinnings in childhood and adolescence. 

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors