Next Step Full Length 10, Psych/Soc Discretes 2

Session 140

Once again, we’re joined by Clara from Next Step Test Prep as we dive into the last section of Psych/Soc, specifically looking into a set of discrete questions.

[02:31] Question 27

What personality trait is most closely associated with an increased negative response to stressful situations?

(A) High conscientiousness

(B) High extraversion

(C) Low perfectionism

(D) High neuroticism

Clara’s insights:

Choices B and C are obviously off. So now, it’s between A and D. And the correct answer here is actually D. You just really need to know the definitions of all these terms with regard to personality. Conscientiousness and neuroticism are two of the big five personality traits. So you have to know all five of these. Neuroticism is the tendency to be prone to stress or anxiety. Someone with this personality trait might encounter a minor stressful situation and would just completely panic about it.

High neuroticism is exactly what the question is talking about. Conscientiousness looks tempting too. But conscientious people tend to be reliable, organized, dependable, detail-oriented, and with a high sense of duty. So high conscientiousness is the opposite of the correct answer.

[05:33] Question 28

Which of the following emotions is considered a universal emotion?

  1. Disgust
  2. Contempt

III. Love

(A) I only

(B) II only

(C) I and II only

(D) I, II, and III

Clara’s insights:

The correct answer here is C. In fact, contempt is listed as the seventh in Ekman’s 7 universal emotions. Every society has been observed to display some similarities in how they display contempt. Love is universal but it’s not an emotion. It’s more complex than that since there are a lot of different processes and responses that go into love.

An emotion is a natural, temporary, instinctive state of mind which comes from the circumstances that somebody might be in. For the MCAT, you need to know the 7 universal emotions – contempt, surprise, anger, sadness, happiness, fear, and disgust.

[09:27] Question 29

Researchers used a symptom list similar to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in order to diagnose psychiatric disorders and screen incompatible subjects from a study. When comparing data from previous studies, it was discovered that the symptoms on the most recent DSM differ from the symptoms on the previous list. Which of the following social theories best explains this discrepancy?

  1. Social functionalism
  2. Social interactionism
  3. Social antipositivism
  4. Social constructionism

Clara’s insights:

The correct answer here is D. Antipositivism is a random answer here where it’s a real term, but it’s not a term you need to know for the MCAT. It’s related to the methods used in sociological research. Social constructionism is a theoretical approach to sociology where the reality as we experience it, is composed of social constructs. For instance, gender is a constantly evolving social construct. Social constructs are almost always subjects of huge debate because society has just constructed them. So they’re not total absolutes and they can just change over time. In this question, the definition of psychiatric disorders changed over time because of its different social constructs.

Social functionalism is a bit tempting to answer here since it’s a sociological approach. But functionalism relates to the fact that society is composed of a lot of parts that work together and they have different functions. An example of this is a business where a lot of people with different jobs work together to get the business to function. Another example is a school or education system. It’s not really relevant to this question.

Social interactionism is another theoretical approach which is also tempting. But it’s very specific to the individual social behaviors and the way individuals interact within society. So it’s not large-scale to relate to the definition of psychiatric disorders.

[14:38] Question 30

To foster the use of problem-oriented strategies with a minimum number of patient-doctor sessions, a clinician would most likely use what modality of therapy?

(A) Psychodynamic therapy

(B) Systems therapy

(C) Cognitive-behavioral therapy

(D) Humanistic/existential therapy

Clara’s insights:

The correct answer here is C. With these therapies, you only need to know a little bit about each of them to get the question right. Cognitive-behavior therapy is a style of therapy that is very focused on overcoming real-life problems like fears or compulsions. Psychodynamic therapy is very Freudian and dates back to the individual’s past. But it’s not going to be problem-oriented. It isn’t going to minimize the number of patient-doctor sessions. Systems therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on teaching the individual about the systems available to them like support systems in their life. But it’s not relevant to the question here. Finally, humanistic/existential is focused on how the person can achieve self-actualization or their full potential. This is not relevant to the question here either.

[17:20] Next Step Test Prep

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