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Lecture 15

PSYC 1002 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Demonic Possession, Biogenic Substance, Mental Disorder

Course Code
PSYC 1002
Christopher Gibbs

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Chapter 15:Clinical Psychology
Medical Student Syndrome
Self diagnose themselves, and start thinking they have something they don’t actually
It is somewhat typical for students who are learning about an illness/disorder to feel they
are exhibiting the disorder.
Hardy (1997)
Found students majoring in psychology to be more worried about their
psychological health than those majoring in other fields
She also found that learning about psychological disorders was helpful in
reducing students’ fears about their own psychological status. (we later reassure
ourselves we’re fine)
However, these same students reported an increase in fear about their families’
mental health.
Clinical Psychology Terms/Definitions
Abnormal Psychology (Unusual? Rare?)
clinical psychology used to be called this
Pathology (the study of disease)
Psychopathology (the study of mental diseases/disorders)
Mental Illness, Mental Disease or Mental Disorder (all same thing)
Etiology the cause or origin of a disease
“Genic” – formed from
Biogenic formed from (or caused by) biology
Psychogenic originating from the mind
Symptomatology the study of, or the treatment of, the symptoms of a disease
Theories of Etiology (explaining disordered behaviour)
The presence of the supernatural witches, or demonic possession
Early “evidence” of demonic possession or witchcraft (confessions) was
obtained through torture of individuals with psychological disorders
The movement of the moon and the stars hence, “lunatic” is derived from the
latin word for moon (luna)
Early Biological Model
Hippocrates (and later, Galen) recognized that psychological disorders could
be treated like any other disease
Assumed that normal brain functioning is related to four bodily humours
(fluids): blood, black bile, yellow bile and phlegm.
These fluids need to be balanced, if you had to much of one it
would change your behaviour
Disease resulted from too much or too little of one or more of these
The Medical Model (the disease model)
Believes that disordered behaviour is similar to a disease
Disordered behaviour is biogenic

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Each type has specific causes & specific symptoms
Turned individuals displaying disordered behaviour over to the medical
Had some success at finding underlying biological etiologies for some behaviour
patterns, but not for most
And…this treated individuals who may have been experiencing “problems in
living” as “sick” and hence, in need of a cure
Not helping with coping or mental processing, just turning them to the med field
The Psychological Approaches
Various theoretical perspectives that attribute etiology for disturbed behavioural
patterns to psychological processes resulting from the person’s interaction with
the environment
The Psychodynamic perspective (Freud) disordered behaviour issues
from unconscious conflicts originating in childhood
The Behavioural perspective disordered behaviour is the result of
inappropriate learning (has been rewarded for bad behaviour)
The Cognitive perspective disordered behaviour is the result of
maladaptive ways of perceiving & thinking about self and environment
(rooted in healthy ways of thinking about ourselves and our world)
The Social-Cognitive perspective disordered behaviour is the result of
environmental experiences and cognitive/processing factors.
(experiences with our social environment, how we interact and process
The Interpersonal perspective disordered behaviour is the product of
disordered relationships (relationships within our lives)
The Sociocultural perspective disordered behaviour is the result of
broad social and cultural forces (emphasis on cultural, gender,
socioeconomic and ethnic factors, and identity on behaviour)
The Neuroscience perspective (similar to the medical model)
focuses on the neurological (or biological) factors that may underlie
disordered behaviour
The Humanistic Perspective disordered behaviour is a reflection of an
inability to achieve one’s potential, possibly caused by social pressures or
Interactionist (biopsychosocial) Approach incorporating biological,
psychological and sociocultural factors (giving them meds, but also
How do we define Disordered Behaviour?
Norm Violation
Based on what goes against norms, but social norms vary over time and across
cultures, so who gets to define “normal”?
Statistical Rarity (unusualness)
based on what is unusual, but does not distinguish between desirable and
undesirable rarities

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Personal Discomfort
Individual is their own judge but this has no standards
Person comes to you and says I need help
Does Not have an objective standard and some don't recognize their behaviour is
Maladaptive Behaviour
Is the individual able to meet the demands of their life?
Combining standards
Facts statistical rarity & clearly dysfunctional behaviour
Values adaptation and adherence to social norms
Most societies identify the same categories of behaviour as indicating “mental disorder”:
Behaviour that is harmful to the self/others without serving the interests of the
Poor reality contact (beliefs/sensory perceptions that most others do not have)
Inappropriate emotional reactions (for the person’s situation)
Erratic behaviour behaviour that shifts unpredictably
Assessing and Diagnosing
Psychological Assessment
Psychological Assessment:
Gather as much information as possible, and then make sense of it
The collection, organization, and interpretation of information about a client and
his or her situation
A process whereby a sequence of questions/steps aid in systematically gathering
data on the client for the purpose of coming to a decision
Involves gathering/integrating multiple types of data from multiple sources
We want to get a complete accurate picture of our client
Purpose of Assessment
Intervention-focused Assessment
Creating a comprehensive/accurate description of client’s current state and
needs, with the intent of determining the appropriate treatment actions.
Therapy- purpose is to assess so we can pick best type of intervention/therapy
Identifying individuals who may have problems that require clinical attention.
Or, identifying individuals who may be at risk for developing problems.
Instead of being after the fact, it gets ahead of time
Combining assessment data with the research literature to make predictions
about the patient’s future course of psychological functioning.
Trying to figure out how this is going to play out, this worked for someone else,
this will probably work for them too
This is going to happen so let's predict how its going to play our
labeling process
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