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131 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is abnormal psychology?
the study of abnormal thoughts, emotions, and behaviors by clinical researchers or practitioners
What are the 4 D's that define a psychological disorder?
1) deviance - anyone who strays from the norm
2) distress
3) dysfunction - impairment in some type of life functioning
4) danger
Why do we define "disorders"?
- to provide treatment
- for predicition: to treat people more efficiently
- to comfort patients and families
What are the dangers of diagnoses?
- false/positives (a wrong diagnosis; wrong mediciation)
- self-fulfilling prophecy
- diagnosis could be used as an excuse (ex: legal issues)
- freedom from responsibility (blaming behavior on the diagnosis)
- stigma: may lead to being treated a certain way because of the label of a diagnosis; may lead to stereotypes and discrimination
- published in 1994; revised in 2000
- lists approximately 400 disorders
- describes criteria for diagnoses, key clinical features, and related features which are often, but not always, present
when people are diagnosised with multiple disorders
having several different symptoms
5 Axes of the DSM-IV
- Axis I: anxiety disorders and mood disorders
- Axis II: personality disorders and mental retardation
- Axis III: physical health problems
- Axis IV: social, work, environmental problems
- Axis V: overall rating of functioning (global assessment)
What were some of the spiritual perspectives on cause and treatment of mental disorders?
- trephination: first treatment for mental illness; part of the skull was cracked away by a tool to "release" evil spirits
- exorcisms
- witch hunts (hundreds of thousands of women were killed during the Renaissance because they were believed to be possessed by evil spirits)
What were some of the physical (somatogenic) perspectives on cause and treatment of mental disorders?
- Hippocrates believed that disorders were caused by an imbalance of 4 bodily chemicals, or humors: yellow bile, black bile, phlegm, and blood
- during the Renaissance various physical treatments such as bloodletting, spinning, cold water, and restraints were used in asylums
What were/are some of the psychological (psychogenic) perspectives on cause and treatment of mental disorders?
- prevalent in 18th to 19th century
- natural law: "you get what you deserve"
- hypnotism and mesmerism
Moral treatment
- Philippe Pinel started a movement in the mental hospitals of France for more humane treatment of patients with mental disorders
- William Tuke founded the York retreat in the countryside of Britain
- Benjamin Rush helped mental patients in the US gain rights
- Dorothea Dix reformed mental institutions across the US
What caused the fall of moral treatment?
problem of overpopulation in the centers and not enough funding
- hospitalize people in severe mental states for about a week and then put them on medication (psychotropic medication) and push them back out into society
- problems: revolving door phenomenon, patients sometimes stop treatment because of undesirable side effects, treatment is rushed
- positives: can help more people, medication helps a large amount of people
Who was responsible for the categorization of mental illnesses?
Emil Kraepelin
Who was the first clinical psychologist?
Lightner Witmer
What is a model or a paradigm?
- a set of assumptions and concepts that help us organize, explain, and interpret observations
- influences what investigators observe, the questions they ask, and how they will target treatment
Biological Perspective
- the medical model/somatogenic model
- mental illness is seen as the manifestation of physical problems in the body
- think of people as patients
What are the areas of interest of the biological perspective?
- genetics
- brain/neurotransmitters
- hormones
What are the areas of research on genetic influences?
- personality traits
- attitudes
- behaviors: nature/nurture debate
What are the big 5 personality traits?
1) neuroticism: a tendency to easily experience unpleasant emotions such as anger, anxiety, depression, or vulnerability
2) agreeableness: a tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others
3) extroversion: energy and the tendency to seek stimulation and the company of others
4) conscientiousness: a tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement
5) openness to experience: appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, and unusual ideas; imagination and curiousity
What are the 3 theories of interactions between genes and the environment?
1) passive genotype-environment correlation: one has no say over their genes or their environment at birth
2) reactive genotype-environment correlation: pre-dispositions are reinforced by one's environment
3) active genotype-environment correlation: as one gets older, he/she seeks out situations that will reinforce his/her trait
Somatosensory cortex
Tactile sensation (i.e. touch)
Auditory cortex
Occipital cortex
Motor cortex
Memory consolidation; emotion in context
Emotions (especially fear/anxiety)
Frontal lobe
Higher level of functioning (e.g. planning, reasoning, problem solving, sustained attention); depression (prefrontal cortex)
Fight or flight responses; integration of senses
Caudate nucleus
Obsessional thinking; motor functioning
Cingulate cortex
Linking thoughts and emotions
Treatments following the biological perspective
1) psychotropic medications: agonist (increases neurotransmitters) or antagonist (decreases neurotransmitters)
- anxiolytics: increase GABA
- antidepressants: increase serotonin and norepinephrine
- mood stabilizers (antibipolar drugs)
- antipsychotics: decrease dopamine
2) ECT (electroconvulsive therapy)
3) psychosurgery: used as a last resort; procedure where the corpus calossum (what divides the 2 hemispheres in the brain) is cut to decrease the area in which neurons can fire (causes epilipsy)
How do drugs alter neurotransmission?
1) synthesis of the NT
2) storage of the NT
3) release of the NT
4) reuptake of the NT
5) degradation of the NT
6) reception of the NT (agonist or antagonist)
Weaknesses of the biological perspective
- too simplistic (not enough emphasis on the environment)
- still unclear why the drugs work ("treatment" or merely control of symptoms?)
- adverse side effects of medications
Strengths of the biological perspective
- scientific evidence (can view activity in the brain)
- some disorders are clearly caused by brain malfunction
- medication can be highly effective
- cost and time efficient treatment
- lends itself well to scientific investigation
Behavioral model
- focuses on behaviors; the responses an organism makes to its environment
- most behaviors are learned
- 3 main ways of learning: classical conditioning, operant conditioning, modeling
Classical conditioning
- learning by temporal association
- PAIRING of a neutral stimulus (does not invoke a biological reaction) with a nonneutral stimulus (does invoke a biological reaction) leads one to respond to the neutral stimulus as one would respond to the nonneutral stimulus
- Pavlov's dogs: US - food, UR - salivation, CS - bell, CR - salivation
Operant conditioning
- rewarding or punishing a response until the person learns to repeat or avoid the response in anticipation of positive or negative consequences
- Skinner's pigeons
Behavioral principles of operant conditioning
- positive reinforcement: increase behavior by PRESENTING something desirable
- negative reinforcement: increase behavior by REMOVING something undesirable
- positive punishment: decrease behavior by PRESENTING something aversive
- negative punishment: decrease behavior by REMOVING something desirable
behavioral principle - reinforcing successive approximations of a desired response until that response is gradually achieved
behavioral principle - decline in the tendency to respond to a stimulus once it has become familiar
behavioral principle - decrease behavior by unpairing (a) conditioned and conditioned stimuli or (b) behavior and reinforcement
behavioral principle - learning by observing others, without experiencing conditions of classical or operant conditioning directly (Bobo doll study)
behavioral principle - transferring a conditioned response from the conditioned stimulus to similar stimuli (Little Albert experiment)
Weaknesses of the behavioral model
- too simplistic
- downplays roles of cognition and emotion
Strengths of the behavioral model
- easy to test in a lab
- treatments can be helpful to people with specific fears, compulsive behavior, social deficits, mental retardation and other problems
Cognitive perspective on personality
- views abnormal behavior as a result of problems with thinking
- cognitive appraisals (people's interpretations) determine the response to a stimulus, not the stimulus itself
- cognitive model: negative core beliefs, cognitive disorders, explanatory style
Irrational beliefs model
- psychological problems are caused by people reacting to events on the basis of irrational thinking
- ABC model: 1) Antecedent or Activating Event, 2) Belief or Thought, 3) Consequences (behavioral and emotional)
- core beliefs about the self or others
- self-schemas: mental representation of one's self
- relational schemas: mental representations of others and relationships (important interpersonal relationships define our expectations of others and how relationships should work as well as our reactions in relationships)
Cognitive distortions = thinking errors
- all or nothing thinking
- catastrophizing
- magnification/minimization
- selective abstraction
- mind reading
- overgeneralization
- comparing
All or nothing thinking
cognitive distortion - viewing situations as existing in only two categories instead of on a continuum
cognitive distortion - predicting the future negatively without considering more likely outcomes
cognitive distortion - evaluating yourself, another person, or a situation by magnifying the negative or minimizing the positive (making something mean more than it really does)
Selective abstraction
cognitive distortion - paying attention to one negative detail instead of seeing the whole picture
Mind reading
cognitive distortion - believing that one knows what others are thinking and failing to consider other possibilities
cognitive distortion - making a sweeping negative conclusion that goes far beyond the current situation (applying one experience more globally)
cognitive distortion - judging by others rather than one's own performance, feelings, and values
Explanatory style
- the way someone explains the cause of some event
- 3 dimensions: internal vs external, stable vs unstable, global vs specific
3 P's of Depression = Pessimism (an explanatory style for bad events)
- personal (internal)
- permanent (stable)
- pervasive (global)
Learned helplessness
- the perception, based on past experiences, that one has no control over one's reinforcements
- Seligman's dog experiments
Cognitive treatments
- challenging distorted cognitions
- helping to identify core belief
- cognitive restructuring: changing the appraisals
Psychoanalytic or psychodynamic theory
- psychoanalytic theory: developed by Freud; focuses mainly on aggression and sexual drives
- psychodynamic theory: recognizes other unconscious drives
Key Freudian concepts
- unconscious: belief that the mind can hold information back from awareness
- structural model: id, ego, superego and defense mechanisms
Freud's model of personality structure
- conscious: contact with the outside world
- preconscious: material just beneath the surface of awareness
- unconscious: difficult to retrieve material; well below the surface of awareness
- ego: reality principle; secondary process thinking
- id: pleasure principle; primary process thinking
- superego: moral imperatives
Freud's structural model of personality
- id: instinctual needs, drives, and impulses; operates by the pleasure principle, seeks instant gratification
- ego: operates by the reality principle, makes compromises between the id and the superego; ego defense mechanisms
- superego: the "conscience"; internalized sense of morality; notes the difference between right and wrong and demands moral behavior
Types of psychodynamic therapy
- free association
- dream analysis
- hypnosis
What are the two ways in which Freud describes dreams?
- manifest content: surface content of dreams; easy to remember
- latent content: how the dream relates to past experiences; the dream's symbolic meaning
Ego defense mechanisms
- repression
- denial
- projection
- rationalization
- intellectualization
- overcompensation
- reaction formation
- displacement
- regression
- sublimation
- undoing
ego defense mechanism - not allowing painful or dangerous thoughts to become conscious; forgetting
ego defense mechanism - refusing to acknowledge the existence of an external source of anxiety
ego defense mechanism - attributes own unacceptable impulses, motives, or desires to others
ego defense mechanism - creates socially acceptable reason for an action that actually reflects unattractive motives
ego defense mechanism - resorting to excessive abstract thinking in response to issues that cause conflict or stress
ego defense mechanism - covering up a personal weakness by focusing on a personal strength
Reaction formation
ego defense mechanism - adopts behavior that is the exact opposite of impulses that he/she is afraid to acknowledge
ego defense mechanism - displaces hostility away from a dangerous object and onto a safer substitute
ego defense mechanism - retreats from upsetting conflict to an early developmental stage at which no one is expected to behave maturely or responsibly
ego defense mechanism - expresses sexual or aggressive energy in ways that are acceptable to society
ego defense mechanism - making up for undesirable desires with ritualistic behavior
Types of identification
- anaclitic identification: to emulate the characteristics of a caregiver/individual who one feels positively towards
- counter identification: to reject the characteristics or do the opposite of a caregiver/individual who one feels negatively towards
- identification with the aggressor: to emulate the characteristics (thoughts, beliefs, or actions) of an individual who one is/was hurt or abused by
Humanistic perspective
- arises to counter the pessimism of the psychoanalytic theory
- believe that human beings have the innate capacity to live a fulfilling life and be "good"
- distress, dysfunction, and other psychopathology are due to losing touch with one's sense of self, values, and needs
Carl Rogers
- Father of the humanistic approach
- importance of unconditional positive regard (unconditional love) from parents to children; if children are are faced with conditional positive regard instead of unconditional then they develop conditions of worth, which is the belief that they are only lovable when they conform to certain guidelines
the humanistic process by which people fulfill their potential for goodness and growth
Client-centered therapy
- therapists should facilitate independent decision making by the client
- focus on developing the relationship between therapist and client
- therapist should show unconditional positive regard towards the client
- humanistic therapists do NOT give advice to their clients
Existential perspective
- a therapeutic approach that focuses on concerns rooted in existence
- psychopathology is based on the avoidance of the anxiety associated with existential concerns
Irvin D. Yalom's existential perspective
- death: must accept that death is inevitable
- freedom/responsiblity: people make their own choices in life and must be responsibile for them
- isolation: people are totally alone and must die alone
- meaninglessness: there is no innate meaning in life so people must make a meaning for themselves
Sociocultural model
- abnormal behavior is best understood in light of the social and cultural forces that influence an individual
- focus on family structure and communication, cultural influences, social networks, societal conditions and societal labels and roles
Family systems theory
- views the family as a system of interacting parts whose interactions exhibit consistent patterns and unstated rules
- enmeshed structure: overly involved in one another's lives
- disengagement: rigid boundaries between members
Sociocultural treatments
- culture-sensitive therapy
- group therapy
- family and couple therapy
- community treatment
Types of family therapy
- structural family therapy: therapists try to change the family power structure, the role each member plays, and the alliances between members
- conjoint family therapy: therapists try to help members change harmful patterns of communication
3 types of prevention in community treatment
1) primary prevention: efforts to improve community attitudes and policies to prevent psychological disorders altogether
2) secondary prevention: identifying and treating psychological disorders in the early stages before they become serious
3) tertiary prevention: provide effective treatment as soon as it is needed so that moderate or severe disorders do not become long-term problems
Strengths of the sociocultural model
- raised awareness of the impact of clinical and social labels
Weaknesses of the sociocultural model
- findings are difficult to interpret
- inability to predict abnormality in specific individuals
Biopsychosocial theories
explanations that attribute the cause of abnormality to an interaction of genetic, biological, developmental, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, social, and societal influences
Idiographic understanding
an understanding of the behavior of a particular individual
the process of collecting and interpreting relevant information about a client or subject
3 categories of assessment techniques and tools
1) clinical interviews
2) tests
3) observations
the process in which a test is administered to a large group of persons, whose performance then serves as a common standard or norm against which an individual's score can be measured
- a measure of the consistency of test or research results
- test-retest reliability
- interrater (interjudge reliability)
- accuracy of a test's or study's results
- face validity: appears to be valid because it makes sense and sounds reasonable
- predictive validity: tool's ability to predict future characteristics or behaviors
- concurrent validity: the degree to which the measures gathered from one tool agree with measures gathered from other assessment techniques
Clinical interview
- unstructured interview: clinician asks open-ended questions
- structured interview: clinician asks prepared questions; interview schedule is a standard set of questions designed for all interviews; mental status exam is a set of interview questions and observations designed to reveal the degree and nature of a client's abnormal functioning
- limitations: sometimes lack validity, interviewer biases, may lack reliability (esp. unstructured)
Clinical tests
- projective tests
- personality inventories
- response inventories
- psychophysiological tests
- neurological and neuropsychological tests
- intelligence tests
Projective tests
- a test consisting of ambiguous material that people interpret or respond to
- Rorschach Test: 10 inkblots
- Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): pictorial projective test; usually 30 black-and-white pictures of individuals in vague situations; clients are asked to make up a dramatic story about each card
- sentence-completion tests
- drawings: Draw-a-Person (DAP) Test is the most popular
- have rarely shown much validity; sometimes biased against minority ethnic groups
Personality inventories
- most widely used is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
- orginial MMPI published in 1945; revised version, MMPI-2, published in 1989; MMPI-A, special version for adolescents
- limited validity
Response inventories
- affective inventories: measure the severity of emotions such as anxiety, anger, and depression
- social skills inventories: how would a person react in a variety of social situations
- cognitive inventories: reveals a person's typical thoughts and assumptions
- strong face validity
Psychophysiological tests
- measures physical responses as possible indicators of psychological problems
- polygraph (control and test questions)
- requires expensive equipment, measurements may be inaccurate
Neurological tests
- neurological test: a test that directly measures brain structure or activity
- EEG: records brain waves
- neuroimaging techniques: provide images of brain structure or brain activity (ex: CAT or CT scan, PET scan, MRI)
Neuropsychological tests
- detects brain impairment by measuring a person's cognitive, perceptual, and motor performances
- Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test
- often use a battery, or series, of tests, each targeting a specific skill area
Intelligence tests
- intelligence quotient (IQ)
- intelligence is an inferred quality so it can only be measured indirectly
Clinical observations
- naturalistic observation: a method of observing behavior in which clinicians or researchers observe people in their everyday environments
- analog observation: a method of observing behavior in which people are observed in artificial settings such as clinicians' offices or labs
- self-monitoring: clients observe themselves
- problems: overload, observer drift, observer bias, reactivity, may lack cross-situational validity
a determination that a person's problems reflect a particular disorder
a cluster of symptoms that usually occur together
Rapprochement movement
an effort to identify a set of common strategies that run through the work of all effective therapists
Psychopharmacoloigst (or pharmacotherapist)
a psychiatrist who primarily prescribes medications
What 3 general conclusions have therapy outcome studies led to?
1) people in therapy are generally better off than people with similar problems who receive no treatment
2) the various therapies do not appear to differ dramatically in their general effectiveness
3) certain therapies or combinations of therapies do appear to be more effective than others for certain disorders
Johann Weyer
first physician to specialize in mental illness; founder of the modern study of mental illness
Gheel in Belgium
arose during the Renaissance; forerunner of today's community health programs
Managed care program
a system of health care coverage in which the insurance company largely controls the nature, scope, and cost of medical or psychological services
Nomethetic understanding
a general understanding of the nature, causes, and treatments of abnormal psychological functioning in the form of laws or principles
3 methods of investigation
1) case study
2) correlational method
3) experimental method
Correlational research
- epidemiological study: a study that measures the incidence and prevalance of a disorder in a given population
- longitudinal study: a study that observes the same subjects on many occasions over a long period of time
Experimental research
- blind design: an experiment in which subjects do not know whether they are in the experimental or control condition
- quasi-experiment (mixed design): an experiment which makes use of control and experimental groups that already exist in the world at large
- natural experiment: an experiment in which nature, rather than the experimenter, manipulates an independent variable
- analogue experiment: a research method in which the experimenter produces abnormal-like behavior in laboratory subjects and then studies the subjects
- single-subject experimental design: ABAB (reversal) design
a chemical that, released by one neuron, crosses the synaptic space to be received at receptors on the dendrites of neighboring neurons
Ego theory
the psychodynamic theory that emphasizes the role of the ego and considers it an independent force
Self theory
the psychodynamic theory that emphasizes the role of the self - our unified personality
Object relations theory
the psychodynamic theory that views the desire for relationships as the key motivating force in human behavior
Psychodynamic therapies
- free association: the patient describes any thought, feeling, or image that comes to mind, even if it seems unimportant
- therapist interpretation: 1) resistance: an unconscious refusal to participate fully in therapy, 2) transference: a process that occurs during psychotherapy in which patients act towards the therapist as they did or do towards important figures in their lives, 3) dreams (manifest and latent content)
- catharsis: the reliving of past repressed feelings in order to settle internal conflicts and overcome problems
- working through: process of facing conflicts, reinterpreting feelings and overcoming one's problems
Aaron Beck
developed cognitive therapy
Gestalt therapy
humanistic therapy developed by Fritz Perls in which clinicians actively move clients toward self-recognition and self-acceptance by using techniques such as role-playing and self-discovery exercises
Existential therapy
- encourages clients to accept responsibility for their lives and to live with greater meaning and values
- care more about the goals of therapy than the use of specific techniques
- places great emphasis on the relationship between therapist and client