EPPP Coverage Specifics

Approximately 12% of the EPPP exam is made up of questions focused on the Biological bases of behavior. This includes knowledge of the biological and neural bases of behavior, psychopharmacology, and the methodologies supporting this body of knowledge.

Candidates should be able to answer questions on the correlates and determinants of the biological and neural bases of behavior (the neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuroendocrinology of patients) and pertaining to perception, cognition, personality, and mood and affect in normal, acute and chronic disordered states and/or acute and chronic disease.

Additionally, candidates need to be able to correctly answer questions relating to the drug classification of therapeutic agents and drugs of abuse, including anxiolytics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, cognitive-‐enhancing agents, opiates, psychostimulants. Additionally, candidates should prepare for questions about pharmacokinetics (administration, distribution, metabolism, elimination) and pharmacodynamics as they relate to the desired and non-desired, acute and chronic effects of therapeutic drugs, abused drugs, and common interactions with other drugs, foods, and herbal or alternative remedies.

Questions will be asked about the results from multi-center trials and guidelines for pharmacological, somatic, and combined treatment of psychological and neuropsychological disorders.

The fourth coverage area in this section includes multiple-choice questions about behavioral genetics, the transmission and expression of genetic information and its modification (e.g., gene-‐environment interactions) and the role of this information in understanding diseases and disorders (e.g., substance abuse disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, pervasive developmental disorders). Special attention should be paid to the consideration of these disorders and co-morbidities and population differences in genetic information.

Additionally, questions relating to the Interaction of developmental, gender, ethnic, cultural, environmental, and experiential factors with the biological and neural bases of behavior will be covered by the exam.

Finally, this section covers the applications of brain imaging methods that describe structure and function, electrophysiological methods, therapeutic drug monitoring techniques, and genetic screening methodologies, and the evidence for their effectiveness.

Candidates can test their knowledge by covering these sample questions:

The central ingredient of the most effective behavioral treatment for agoraphobia is:

  1. Deep muscle relaxation.
  2. Prolonged exposure in vivo.
  3. Shaping of the desired behavior with an implemented reward system.
  4. Exposure in fantasy.
  5. Cognitive Affective Bases of behavior
  6. Social & Multi-cultural bases of behavior
  7. Growth & Lifespan development
  8. Assessment & Diagnosis, Treatment, Intervention & Prevention
  9. Research Methods & Stats
  10. Ethical Legal & Professional Issues
  11. What roles do psychologists play?

The content of the EPPP is separated into eight domains as described below. More specific information on the topics covered under each domain may be found on the ASPPB website.

Domain 1 – Biological Bases of Behavior (12%) – knowledge of:

Domain 2 – Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior (13%) – knowledge of:

Domain 3 – Social and Cultural Bases of Behavior (12%) – knowledge of:

Domain 4 – Growth and Lifespan Development (12%) – knowledge of:

Domain 5 – Assessment and Diagnosis (14%) – knowledge of:

Domain 6 – Treatment, Intervention, Prevention, and Supervision (14%) – knowledge of:

Domain 7 – Research Methods and Statistics (8%) – knowledge of:

Domain 8 – Ethical/Legal/Professional Issues (15%) – knowledge of:

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