AP Psychology : Psychological Abnormalities

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #9 : Medications

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOs) are one form of treatment for depression. How do MAOs work?

Possible Answers:

They stimulate GABA receptors through MAOs.

They stimulate brain nerves.

They inhibit monoamine axidase which normally inhibits serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

They inhibit monoamine axidase which normally encourage serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

Correct answer:

They inhibit monoamine axidase which normally inhibits serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

Explanation:

MAO medication inhibits MAOs, which normally inhibit serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, so that these neurotransmitters can increase in concentration.

Example Question #10 : Medications

SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors) work in which of the following ways?

Possible Answers:

They stabilize mood by shutting down the amygdala.

They increase dopamine within the brain.

They work to enhance GABA's inhibitory role.

They block reuptake of serotonin so that it can work within the brain to inhibit the anxiety pathway.

Correct answer:

They block reuptake of serotonin so that it can work within the brain to inhibit the anxiety pathway.

Explanation:

SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are used to treat depression because they block the reuptake of 5-HT serotonin, allowing it to remain in the locus coeruleus (LC) to block anxiety there.

Example Question #41 : Psychological Abnormalities

Often, psychiatric medications are used for non-FDA-approved or "off-label" treatment of symptoms. While not typically illegal, these treatments are not as well studied as the approved treatments and often not covered by health insurance plans.

Which of the following conditions is commonly treated using an "off-label" treatment of tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)?

Possible Answers:

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Panic disorders

Bedwetting

Post-partum Depression (PPD)

Correct answer:

Panic disorders

Explanation:

While the other conditions—MDD, bedwetting, OCD, and PDD—are all FDA-approved for various first-generation and second-generation tricyclic medications, panic disorder is still an off-label use for TCAs. Currently, FDA approval favors selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for treatment of panic disorders.

Example Question #11 : Medications

Until recently, which of the following classes of drugs were often used only as a last resort in the treatment of psychological disorders due to longstanding research showing potentially fatal side effects?

Possible Answers:

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

Atypical antipsychotics (AAPs)

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)

Tetracyclic antidepressants (TeCAs)

Correct answer:

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

Explanation:

MAOIs have long held a stigma of being associated with fatal dietary and adverse drug reactions—including phenylamines and anesthetic medications. Despite this stigma, recent studies have indicated that some of this longstanding research was based on outmoded or misinterpreted methodology.

Example Question #43 : Psychological Abnormalities

What are the two main classes of drugs used to treat anxiety disorders?

Possible Answers:

Barbiturates and SSRIs

Barbiturates and benzodiazepines 

Barbiturates and MAO inhibitors

MAO inhibitors and lithium

SSRIs and benzodiazepines 

Correct answer:

Barbiturates and benzodiazepines 

Explanation:

Barbiturates and benzodiazepines are the two main types of anti-anxiety medication-- one you might have heard of is Valium. SSRIs (serotonin reuptake inhibitors) block the reuptake of serotonin into the neuron, therefore increasing the amount of serotonin in the synapatic cleft and making people feel happier since serotonin is a "feel good hormone." MAO inhibitors block monoamine oxidase from transporting "feel good hormones" from the brain, thereby increasing their availability and making people feel happier. SSRIs and MAO inhibitors are used to treat major depressive disorder and lithium is used to treat bipolar disorder. 

Example Question #12 : Medications

What do SSRI's lead to?

Possible Answers:

The reabsorption of serotonin into synaptic vesicles

An increased amount of serotonin in brain

A decrease in amount of serotonin in brain

Serotonin absorption by surrounding neurons

Reabsorption of serotonin into synaptic vesicles and decrease in amount of serotonin in brain

Correct answer:

An increased amount of serotonin in brain

Explanation:

SSRI's, or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, inhibit reuptake of serotonin, and therefore increases the availability of serotonin in the brain. SSRIs are the most common treatment for clinical depression.

Example Question #13 : Medications

Benzodiazepine is a psychoactive drug whose core ring is a fusion of benzene and diazepine. It is most commonly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, agitation, and seizures. Benzos achieve this effect by doing which of the following in the brain?

Possible Answers:

Increasing the number of synaptic connections in the brain.

Inhibiting the release of dopamine in neurotransmitter synapses

Enhancing the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA

Increasing serotonin reuptake

None of these

Correct answer:

Enhancing the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA

Explanation:

Benzos enhance the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA. The GABA neurotransmitter suppresses the activity of nerves. By enhancing it's function, overactive nerve signals that are believed to increase anxiety are calmed down.

Example Question #14 : Medications

Which of the following neurotransmitters is most effective for treating disorders associated with mood, sleep, and motivation?

Possible Answers:

Beta 

Glutamate 

Dopamine 

Norepinephrine 

Serotonin 

Correct answer:

Serotonin 

Explanation:

Serotonin is most effective in treating disorders associated with mood, sleep, and motivation. When serotonin levels are too low, patients are at risk of developing depression and OCD tendencies. When serotonin levels are too high, patients lack motivation.

The other choices are incorrect. Glutamate's function is to register pain and store new information in memory. Norepinephrine is a major part of the autonomic nervous system and is important for attention and regulation of the flight-or-fright response. Last, dopamine is the neurotransmitter involved in rewards, motivation, executive functioning, and motor control. 

Example Question #15 : Medications

Which neurotransmitter affects the brain's reward system and executive functioning in the frontal lobes?

Possible Answers:

Dopamine 

Glutamate 

Gamma-amino butyric acid 

Noradrenaline 

Serotonin 

Correct answer:

Dopamine 

Explanation:

Dopamine works with the brain's reward system, motivation, and executive functioning in the frontal lobes. A lack of dopamine can lead to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, while too much can lead to aggression. Hyperactive, damaged, or a lack of dopamine receptors can lead to addictions, which attempt to increase dopamine levels in the brain.

Example Question #16 : Medications

Which of the following neurotransmitters possesses functions related to mood, sleep, and motivation? 

Possible Answers:

Gamma- amino butyric acid 

Serotonin 

Dopamine 

Glutamate 

Noradrenaline 

Correct answer:

Serotonin 

Explanation:

Serotonin is the major neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, and motivation. A lack of serotonin can lead to depression, OCD, and eating disorders. Too much serotonin can decrease motivation. Serotonin levels can be regulated through selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, and other drugs.

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