Lecture 3

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18 Apr 2012
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Lecture 3 psychological trauma
April-17-12
4:44 PM
A sampling of recurrent, big idea-- themes and controversies-- in psychology concerning the nature of
humankind (this list is not exhaustive!)
The impact of social influence: we are social beings
Situationism debate, ex.
The impact of cognitive templates, assumptions, etc.: we are thinking beings
Nature vs. Nurture, and the debate over biological reductionism: we are 'embodied' beings who
are particularly sensitive to experience, especially early experience
Everything is reduced to biology
Experience also in intrauterine (in womb)
Idiographic vs. nomothetic approaches: just how unique are we as individuals?
(uniqueness) (universal principles)
The 'goodness' or lack thereof of human nature (and the place of moral values in psychology)
Limits to self knowledge and the extent to which we have a dynamic, unconscious mind
Society has a tendency to stay to the right, favor the right side
Free will vs. determinism
Science believes in randomness, no room for free will
The irreducible complexity of the 'determinants' of human behavior
All of these are illustrated in the study of trauma and stress…
Eg. Debates concerning the 'goodness' of humanity
Issue of value labels in psychology
Evidence from interpersonal and societal conflict
Defintions: what makes trauma traumatic?
Events vs. experience
People can experience the same event, yet have a different reaction/ experience to that
similar event
Types of traumatic events
Events that disrupt social bonds usually are the most traumatic
Betrayal of a trusted/loved one
First the bad news…
I. Negative outcomes from trauma:
PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
Intrusive recall
Avoidance and numbing (avoid traumatic situation, numbing emotions)
Hyper arousal
A negative circle (cycle)
PTSS (post traumatic stress symptoms)
Includes everything included in PTSD
Depression
Anxiety
Anger
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