AS Psychology Unit 2: Abnormality Sample Questions and Answers
1. Caroline reads her horoscope every morning, and spends lots of money regularly telephoning premium numbers to get updates. She does exactly what her horoscope says, and on some days she doesn't leave the house at all if she thinks that the horoscope is unfavourable.
(a). Use one definition of abnormality to explain whether or not Caroline is exhibiting abnormal behaviour. (3 marks)
Ans) According to the failure to function adequately definition Caroline's belief in horoscopes is affecting her day-to-day living and therefore the behaviour is maladaptive. There is nothing wrong with believing in horoscopes, but Caroline's belief has maybe gone too far in that many aspects of Caroline's personal life are being affected.
(b). Give one limitation of the definition used in (a). (3 marks)
Ans) The failure to function definition cannot be used in the same way in different cultures. What is adequate functioning in one culture might not be in another. For example, different cultures have different ways of grieving so that a `normal` way of grieving in one culture might be viewed as `abnormal` in another.
2. Mark has not been feeling too good lately. He seems to be anxious all the time and can't seem to concentrate on important things like his family or work. His doctor has given him some pills to take and has asked to see him again in a month.
(a). What name is given to this sort of therapy? (1 mark)
Ans) Drug therapy
(b) Assess the effectiveness of this kind of therapy. (4 marks)
Ans) Drug therapies have been shown to be effective for a range of mental health problems, for example many schizophrenics experience fewer extreme symptoms after taking antipsychotic drugs. Also, antidepressant drugs have been shown to be reliably reduce symptoms of depression with only mild side effects. However, some people do not respond to drugs, or drugs provide only temporary relief. Drugs can sometimes also be made more effective when they are combined with psychological therapies.
3. John is obsessively tidy. Whenever anybody visits his house and puts something down he immediately tidies it away. John doesn't realise he's doing this but his friends find it irritating.
Using the basic assumptions of the psychodynamic approach explain the origins of John's problem. (4 marks)
Ans).The psychodynamic approach assumes that our unconscious drives our behaviour. John's obsession with tidiness has a number of possible origins. It may be a symptom of an unconscious conflict between the three psychic forces - the id, ego and superego. On the other hand, it might have more to do with some traumatic childhood experience that has become part of his unconscious but is still influencing behaviour.
4. Derek is afraid of dogs. He freezes in terror when he encounters one an doesn't go anywhere where there might be a dog.
How might systematic desensitisation be used to help Derek with his problem? (4 marks)
Ans) The first step for Derek is to create…