AP Psychology : Psychological Abnormalities

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #291 : Psychological Abnormalities

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 is only effective in diagnosing psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. 

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

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

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

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 #21 : Defining And Diagnosing Disorders

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

Possible Answers:

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Bipolar disorder

Major depressive 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 #22 : 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:

maladaptive behavior

deviance

All of these

personal distress

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.

Example Question #23 : Defining And Diagnosing Disorders

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

Possible Answers:

etiology

epidemiology

diagnosis

prognosis

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 #291 : Psychological Abnormalities

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:

epidemiological

categorical

dimensional

subjective

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 #292 : Psychological Abnormalities

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:

Bipolar Disorder

Schizophrenia

Specific phobia

Generalized Anxiety 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 #32 : Theories Of Abnormal Psychology

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

Possible Answers:

Periods of general confusion, accompanied by heightened levels of anxiety

Ritualistic behaviors that are meant to avoid dangerous things from happening

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

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

None of these

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 #293 : Psychological Abnormalities

Which of the following have exact known causes:

I. Alzheimer's disease

II. Frontotemporal dementia

III. Dementia with Lewy bodies

Possible Answers:

All of these

III only

II only

None of these

II & III

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 #294 : Psychological Abnormalities

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 only

IV & V

I, II, & III

II, III, & IV

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 #31 : Defining And Diagnosing Disorders

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.

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