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Chapter 17.docx

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PSYC 100
Meredith Chivers

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Chapter 17: Nature and Causes of Psychological Disorders p. 544-587 - etiology (causation) of psychological disorders influenced by interactions between genotype, brain chemistry, and childhood environment, as well as environmental factors Classification and Diagnosis of Psychological Disorders What is Abnormal? - psychological disorders are characterized by abnormal behaviour, thoughts or feelings - most important feature of a psychological disorder isnt whether behaviour is abnormal, but whether is it maladaptive Perspectives on the Causes of Psychological Disorders - multiple causes: interaction of hereditary, cognitive, and environmental factors - perspectives differ on explanation of etiology or origin of psychological disorders Psychodynamic Perspective - psychological disorders originate in the intrapsychic conflict produced by the three components of the mind (id, ego and superego) - conflicts may centre on attempts to control potentially harmful expressions of sexual or aggressive impulses or attempts to cope with external dangers and traumatic experiences - when conflict is too severe to be resolved by minds defense mechanisms, result is distorted reality or person functions in some ways in earlier developmental stages than they are at Medical Perspective - Hippocrates formulated the idea that excesses 4 humours (black bile, yellow bile, blood and phlegm) led to emotional problems - idea was extended and concept of mental illness was developed - confinement centres were created for people with psychological disorders (asylums) - perspective is a major influence in treatment of psychological disorders - medical model based on ideas that psychological disorders are caused by specific abnormalities of the brain and nervous system; should be approached in the same way as physical illness - not all disorders can be traced to physical (biological) causes so other perspectives have emerged Cognitive-Behavioural Perspective - psychological disorders are learned maladaptive behaviour patterns; focus should be on environmental factors and persons perception of those factors - disorder is developed through a persons interactions with the environment - therapists encourage clients to replace maladaptive thoughts and behaviours with more adaptive ones Humanistic Perspective - proper and natural personality development occurs when people experience unconditional positive regard - psychological disorders arise when people perceive that they must earn the positive regard of others ie. they become overly sensitive to demands/criticisms of others and define their personal value in terms of others reaction to them - goal to persuade people that they donor have intrinsic value and to help achieve their own positive, unique potential Sociocultural Perspective - cultures in which people live play a significant role in the development of psychological disorders - treatment requires an understanding of cultural issues - cultural variables influence the nature and extent to which people interpret their behaviour as normal or abnormal - culture-bound syndromes: psychological disorders that exist only in certain cultures Biopsychosocial Perspective - view that the causes of psychological disorders can best be understood in terms of the interaction of biological, psychological and social factors; combines multiple perspectives - diathesis-stress model: genes/early learning experience may produce vulnerability (diathesis) + sufficient life stressor (stress) = psychological disorder DSM-IV-TR Classification - most common classification system of disorders - provides descriptions of an individuals psychological condition using 5 axes Axis I- major psychological disorders requiring clinical attention Axis II- personality disorders Axis III- acute medical conditions and physical disorders Axis IV- severity of stress experienced (in last year) Axis V- overall level of psyc, social, occupational functioning (/100) - comorbidity: presence of more than one disorder - DSM-IV-TR provides a systematic means of compiling and evaluating a variety of personal & psychological info about an individual Problems with DSM-IV-TR Classification - tends to be more influenced/consistent with medical perspective - reliability issue beause disorders dont have distinct borders which allow complete accuracy in diagnosis all the time - validity of the system questioned by Rosenhan experiment (faked symptoms to see if he would receive diagnosis of a psychological disorder) - labelling issue, when person is labelled they are likely to be perceived as having all characteristics under the label; behaviour will be perceived selectively and interpreted in terms of the diagnosis - diagnosing a disorder only describes the symptoms, not the underlying causes and psychological processes The Need for Classification - usually the recognition of a specific category precedes the development of successful treatment for the disorder Prevalence of Psychological Disorders - 11% of Canadians suffer from psychological disorders or substance abuse Clinical vs. Actuarial Diagnosis - diagnosis classifies a persons behaviour, feelings and emotions and predicts future behaviour - collection and interpretation of data are 2 contributing activities to diagnoses and predictions - clinical diagnosis based on experts knowledge and experience - actuarial diagnosis based on numerical formulas derived from analyses of prior outcomes works well when applied to large groups and to predict average outcomes - hundreds of studies comparing clinical to actuarial shows actuarial judgments are superior because: reliability- actuarial method makes decision on precise rule producing same judgment for particular set of data - clinical method is used more often by mental health professionals because actuarial ignores the fact each person is unique Disorders Diagnosed in Childhood - ADHD (insuff. of dopamine and social factors) - Autistic Disorder:lack of interest in normal child activities and abnormal development of social interaction and communication (one theory of causation is theory of mind: children w. autism fail to make connection between thoughts and actions; other theories focus on role of mirror neurons in development delays associated with autism) Anxiety, Somatoform & Dissociative Disorders - often referred to as neuroses (partic. from psychoanalytic perspective) - pathological increases in anxiety - psychoanalytic perspective believes pathological anxiety results from inadequate number of defence mechanisms, immature defences that cant cope with the anxiety, or defence mechanisms applied so rigidly turning maladaptive - people with these disorders (neuroses) experience anxiety, fear, depression; differ from people with psychoses who experience delusions or severely disordered thought processes; as well people with neuroses recognize they have a problem - usually characterized by avoidance rather than confrontation of problems Anxiety Disorders - sense of apprehension or doom that is accompanied by certain physoloigcal reactions (ie. increased HR, sweaty palms, etc.) - most common psychological disorders (affect 12% of Canadians) - 3 important anxiety disorders Panic Disorder - unpredictable episodic attacks of acute anxiety accompanied by high levels of physiological arousal lasting seconds to hours
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