AP Psychology Practice Test: Treatment of Abnormal Behavior

This AP Psychology practice test covers the treatment of abnormal behavior. For this topic you will need to be able to describe major treatment orientations used in therapy and be able to summarize the effectiveness of specific treatments for specific problems. Our free practice questions are excellent for reviewing this subject and preparing for your exams.

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Question 1
John has been prescribed lithium carbonate to treat his symptoms. It is most likely that he is suffering from

A
Schizophrenia
B
Depression
C
Antisocial personality disorder
D
Bipolar disorder
E
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Question 1 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Lithium carbonate is a drug that has been found to be effective in reducing the intense mood swings associated with Bipolar disorder.
Question 2
Dr. Hall is working with a patient who struggles to make eye contact when speaking to others. Each time her patient does make eye contact, she gives him a poker chip. He can then exchange the poker chips for time playing video games. This type of therapy is known as

A
Token economy
B
Rational emotive therapy
C
Psychoanalysis
D
Systematic desensitization
E
Cient-centered therapy
Question 2 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). Token economy is one type of Behavioral therapy based on operant conditioning principles. The patient is given a small "token" (in this case, a poker chip) as a reinforcer each time he demonstrates the target behavior (in this case, making eye contact). The tokens can then be exchanged for activities or other things that the patient enjoys, such as video game time.
Question 3
Billy has an intense and irrational fear of clowns. His therapist is most likely to use which technique to help him?

A
Systematic desensitization
B
Rational emotive therapy
C
Aversion therapy
D
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
E
Client-centered therapy
Question 3 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). Systematic desensitization is an effective behavioral therapy for phobias. In systematic desensitization, the patient is first taught a series of relaxation techniques. He then makes a heirarchy of fears (a list of situations that trigger the phobic reaction, ranking the situations from mildly anxiety producing to absolutely terrifying). The therapist then teaches the patient to relax during each situation on the list, beginning with the least frightening situation (for example, looking at a small photo of a clown) and progressing to the most frightening (for example, actively participating in a circus filled with clowns).
Question 4
Albert is suffering from depression. Albert's therapist believes that Albert's depression stems from unhealthy, illogical thoughts. The therapist uses a technique involving confronting Albert with his illogical thoughts and helping him to replace those thoughts with healthier ones. This technique is known as

A
Psychoanalysis
B
Humanistic
C
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT0
D
Aversion therapy
E
Rational-emotive therapy
Question 4 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (E). Rational-emotive therapy is a form of cognitive therapy pioneered by Albert Ellis. In this type of therapy, patients are confronted with their irrational thinking patterns and encouraged to engage in cognitive restructuring, where they change irrational thoughts (e.g., "my girlfriend dumped me so I am a pathetic unlovable loser") to healthier more rational thoughts (e.g., "my girlfriend dumped me and that makes me sad because I will miss being with her, but I'm still a great person who will eventually find someone who recognizes and appreciates my awesome self"). Cognitive therapies, such as rational-emotive therapy, are most effective for the treatment of depression.
Question 5
Eddie has been seeing a therapist who encourages him to talk at length about whatever comes into his head without censoring himself. His therapist also asks him to keep a dream journal and helps him to figure out what underlying hidden meaning might be found in his dreams. What type of therapy does Eddie's therapist appear to be practicing?

A
Client-centered therapy
B
Cognitive therapy
C
Aversion therapy
D
Psychoanalysis
E
Gestalt therapy
Question 5 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Psychoanalysis (also known as psychodynamic therapy or Freudian therapy) is based on the idea that abnormal thoughts and behaviors stem from unconscious thoughts, fears, desires, etc. The goal of psychoanalysis is to reach the unconscious through a variety of means, such as free association (talking about whatever comes to mind) and dream interpretation (analyzing the patients dreams to find symbolic meaning). Once unconscious issues have been uncovered, the therapist helps the patient to gain insight into what is actually going on so that they can work through it together.
Question 6
Antidepressant medications, such as Prozac, work by

A
Blocking dopamine receptor sites
B
Blocking seratonin receptor sites
C
Increasing the production of dopamine
D
Blocking the reuptake of dopamine
E
Blocking the reuptake of seratonin
Question 6 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (E). Many antidepressant medications, including Prozac, are SSRIs (Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors). SSRIs work by blocking the reuptake of seratonin in the synapse. This leaves more seratonin in the synapse allowing the seratonin to work more efficiently. People who suffer from depression often don't produce enough seratonin, so increasing the activity of seratonin through the use of SSRIs helps to alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Question 7
Carl Rogers' client-centered therapy includes

A
Helping the client to gain insight into his unconscious thoughts, motives, and fears
B
Teaching the client to restructure his thinking
C
Teaching the client to relax in stressful situations
D
Treating the client with unconditional positive regard and actively listening to the client
E
Helping the client eliminate maladaptive behaviors
Question 7 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Client-centered therapy operates from the premise that people have an innate motivation to reach their full potential. The role of the therapist is to accept the client unconditionally so that the client learns to accept himself unconditionally. The therapist engages in active listening techniques so that the client is able to activate his own motivation for growth and positive change.
Question 8
Antipsychotic medications work by

A
Decreasing the activity of dopamine
B
Increasing the activity of dopamine
C
Decreasing the activity of acetylcholine
D
Increasing the activity of acetylcholine
E
Decreasing the activity of seratonin
Question 8 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). People who suffer from schizophrenia experience psychotic episodes involving hallucinations and delusions. These symptoms appear to be related to an excess of dopamine activity. Antipsychotic medications help to alleviate these symptoms by reducing dopamine activity.
Question 9
Dr. Jones helps patients to eliminate maladaptive behaviors, such as smoking or overeating, by pairing those behaviors with something unpleasant like a mild shock. What type of therapy is Dr. Jones using?

A
Behavioral
B
Cognitive
C
Gestalt
D
Psychoanalytic
E
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
Question 9 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). One type of behavioral therapy is aversion therapy. In this type of therapy, patients learn to associate an undesireable behavior with something unpleasant so that they are conditioned to develop an aversion to that behavior.
Question 10
Because she is not responding well to more traditional treatments, Elizabeth's doctor has suggested that she undergo electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). What disorder is it likely that Elizabeth is suffering from?

A
Anorexia nervosa
B
Social anxiety
C
Schizophrenia
D
Major depression
E
Obsessive compulsive disorder
Question 10 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Electroconvulsive therapy involves passing small amounts of electricity through a patient's brain in order to trigger mild seizures. ECT has been found to help alleviate symptoms of depression in some patients. Due to side effects such as memory loss, ECT is only used when other treatments have been unsuccessful or cannot be used.
Question 11
The number of patients in mental institutions was highest in what decade?

A
1930s
B
1950s
C
1970s
D
1990s
E
2010s
Question 11 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The number of patients in mental institutions rose at a fairly steady rate until the mid-1950s. The invention of Thorazine (an antipsychotic medication) in 1954 allowed many patients to be treated outside of mental hospitals and began the trend of deinstitutionalization (removing patients from inpatient institutions and treating them in community based centers). Increased pubic awareness and empathy for those suffering from mental illness, as well as politically motivated budgetary concerns, also contributed to the trend of deinstitutionalization.
Question 12
Tardive dyskinesia is a side effect of medication most often used to treat which disorder?

A
Depression
B
Anxiety
C
Schizophrenia
D
Anorexia nervosa
E
Antisocial personality disorder
Question 12 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Tardive dyskinesia can be a side effect of taking antipsychotic drugs (also known as neuroleptics). These medications are often prescribed to treat the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. The symptoms of tardive dyskinesia include jerky, involuntary movements of the muscles, similar to the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
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