AP Psychology : Psychological Abnormalities

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #71 : Treatments

Which of the following psychologists developed a treatment for anxiety that introduced a stimulus at gradually increasing levels until it no longer produced a fearful response in the subject?

Possible Answers:

Carl Rogers

Joseph Wolpe

B. F. Skinner

Albert Ellis

Sigmund Freud

Correct answer:

Joseph Wolpe

Explanation:

Joseph Wolpe, possibly influenced by the work of Mary Cover Jones, created a technique called systematic desensitization to treat South African soldiers suffering from what is now known as post-traumatic stress disorder. Combining gradual stepping-up or -down of an anxiety-producing stimulus with a modified form of Edmund Jacobson's muscle relaxation techniques, Wolpe's treatment became the gold standard in treating acute anxiety disorders for more than 50 years.

Example Question #71 : Psychological Abnormalities

Which of the following psychological techniques is associated with an emphasis on personal responsibility—the relationship between the therapist and client—and a focus on process rather than content?

Possible Answers:

Person-centered therapy

Psychoanalysis

Gestalt therapy

Transactional analysis

Existential therapy

Correct answer:

Gestalt therapy

Explanation:

Gestalt therapy focuses on the idea that each person is best understood against the background of their relationships with other people, ideas, and even their own past and expected future selves. Hallmarks of the gestalt technique include the following: the empty chair technique, the paradox of change, and the recognition that all clients wish to be psychologically healthy. 

Example Question #73 : Treatments

A transactional analyst would most likely make which of the following therapeutic statements?

Possible Answers:

All of these

People function best when they can embrace their own subjective experience of the world around them without guilt or fear

The goal of therapy is to get people to recognize the motivations behind their routines

People continue to play out their expected roles in childhood strategies even when these lead to defeat or frustration

None of these

Correct answer:

People continue to play out their expected roles in childhood strategies even when these lead to defeat or frustration

Explanation:

In transactional analysis, the person is often described as reliant upon ritualistic games. These games are defined as a series of rule-bound transactions between two or more people that are directed towards an end. The goal of therapy is often seen as getting people to change the games that they play by coming to a higher awareness of their own end goals in life. Ultimately, the person is expected to be able to objectively view their role in the world they live in.

Example Question #74 : Treatments

A child is rewarded for good behavior in public and given a time-out for public outbursts. Over time, the child behaves well without reward or punishment. This is an example of which of the following therapeutic approaches?

Possible Answers:

Gestalt therapy

Operant Conditioning

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Existential therapy

Cognitive therapy

Correct answer:

Operant Conditioning

Explanation:

Operant conditioning as a therapeutic technique covers a wide range of possible therapeutic objectives. Operant condition uses a common strategy consisting of reward/punishment mechanisms that reinforce desired behavior and eliminate or reduce undesired behavior. 

Example Question #75 : Treatments

Which of the following is true about historical perspectives on the causes and treatment of psychological disorders?

Possible Answers:

The Enlightenment led to harsher conditions in mental institutions

During the Dark Ages, demons and spirits were often assumed to be the cause of psychological disorders

During the Dark Ages, there was an emphasis on treating mental institution patients humanely

Philippe Pinel and Dorothea Dix pushed for better conditions in mental institutions in the 17th century

The Ancient Greek Galen believed that psychological disorders were caused by negative social interactions

Correct answer:

During the Dark Ages, demons and spirits were often assumed to be the cause of psychological disorders

Explanation:

During the Dark Ages, people assumed that mental illnesses were caused by demons and evil spirits, which led them to treat psychological patients very cruelly and try to cure them through beatings and other tortuous methods. The Enlightenment led to better conditions for people in mental institutions, and Dorothea Dix and Pinel advocated for better conditions in the 19th century. Some Ancient Greeks, such as Galen, were some of the first to believe that psychological disorders were caused biologically.

Example Question #72 : Psychological Abnormalities

Barry washes his hands as soon as he touches anything outside of his home. His excessive hand washing negatively affects his life, but he continues to obsess over the prevention of germs. Which of the following would be an appropriate treatment for Barry to help him overcome his compulsive hand-washing behavior?

Possible Answers:

Benzodiazepines

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Flooding

Repeated exposure to the anxiety paired with response prevention

Exposure and cognitive coping strategies

Correct answer:
Repeated exposure to the anxiety paired with response prevention
Explanation:

Repeated exposure to the anxiety (e.g. germs) paired with response prevention (e.g. not allowing Barry to wash his hands) allows the individual to recognize that thoughts are separate from actions. It also allows the individual to find new, more adaptive ways of relieving anxiety. The goal is to gradually extinguish the compulsive anxiety response over time.

 
 

Example Question #77 : Treatments

"Flooding" is a therapeutic technique used in the treatment of __________.

Possible Answers:

Insomnia

Mania

Phobias

Depression

Schizophrenia

Correct answer:

Phobias

Explanation:

Flooding, also known as Immersion Therapy or Prolonged Exposure Therapy, refers to the process of exposing patients to the stimulus or situation that they fear (sometimes, even just by asking the patient to imagine that experience) while explaining or demonstrating that they are in no danger, and that their fear is irrational.

Example Question #78 : Treatments

Emotions are a result of cognitions and by changing cognitions, you can change emotions.

The previous statement defines which psychological model regarding mood disorders?

Possible Answers:

Model of Negative Thinking

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Perception Shift Model

Negative Cognitive Triad

Cognitive Behavioral Model

Correct answer:

Cognitive Behavioral Model

Explanation:

The Cognitive Behavioral model creates a platform for therapy. It encompasses the idea that thoughts lead to emotions and by changing cognition, one can change emotions. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on replacing negative behaviors and thought-patterns with action, as opposed to focusing on the underlying causes of those behaviors and thought-patterns.

Example Question #79 : Treatments

What was the approach that Carl Jung took to the treatment of the mentally ill? 

Possible Answers:

That dream analysis could lead to a recovered psyche 

Giving patients the opportunity to discover and tell their personal story 

That some people who were considered "normal" were even sicker than the mentally ill 

All of these 

That every mentally disturbed person was labelled as such due to their having and telling a story that society rejected

Correct answer:

All of these 

Explanation:

Carl Jung had a generally compassionate attitude towards the mentally ill, who had traditionally been punished and mistreated by the societies they inhabited, especially with the development of industrial society. He believed that the mentally were labelled by society as disturbed due to the fact that they may have stories, beliefs, or attitudes that society as a whole rejects. This could be a number of things-people who are not Christian, who believe in the paranormal, or who have customs and practices that aren't acceptable. He thought the key to healing the mentally ill was through dream analysis and giving an attentive ear to their personal stories that have been suppressed.

Example Question #80 : Treatments

Which of the following is the name for an old treatment of mental illnesses in which holes are drilled in the patient's skull?

Possible Answers:

Atrophying

Trepoding

None of these

Trephining

Dissection

Correct answer:

Trephining

Explanation:

"Trephining" is the name for an old treatment of mental illnesses in which doctors made holes in the afflicted person's skull. This treatment was popular in the Middle Ages, and although by modern standards it is considered cruel and ineffective, at the time there was little alternatives. Also mental illness was seen as the intervention of demonic forces, which did little to promote scientific thinking to come up with an effective cure.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors