PSYC 4750 Lecture Notes - Heredity, Zeitgeber, Psychoactive Drug

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5 Feb 2013
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PERSONALITY DISORDERS
Antisocial Personality Disorder
It is characterized by a failure to conform to standards of decency; repeated lying and stealing; a
failure to sustain lasting, loving relationships; low tolerance of boredom; a complete lack of
guilt.
Description
The adult forms antisocial behaviour include inability to sustain consistent work
behaviour; lack of ability to function as a responsible parent; repeated criminal activity;
inability to maintain enduring attachment to a sexual partner; volatility and violence;
failure to honour financial obligations; impulsiveness and failure plan ahead; habitual
lying or use of aliases; and consistent reckless or drunken driving. Psychopaths do not
easily learn adaptive behaviour from experience and tend to continue getting in trouble
throughout their lives.
Possible Causes
o Physiological Causes and Learning. Psychopaths show less reactivity in
emotional situations and their speech tends to be emotionless and very
monotone. As well, they have poor learning skills in avoiding aversive stimuli.
o Genetic Causes. These people often come from grossly disturbed families that
contain alcoholics and other psychopaths.
o Environmental CausesParenting. Children whose parents ignore them or who
leave them unsupervised for prolonged periods develop patterns of misconduct
and delinquency.
o Cognitive Causes. Children who have conduct problems tend to view their
environments differently from well-adjusted children. They perceive the world
as hostile and interpret others’ actions as aggressive and threatening.
PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES USE DISORDERS
They are mental disorders that are characterized by addiction to drugs or by abuse of drugs. They
include psychoactive substance dependence (addiction) and psychoactive substance abuse.
Description
Possible Causes
o Genetic and Physiological Causes
Not everyone is equally likely to become addicted to a drug. There are only two possible
sources of individual differences in any characteristic: heredity and environment. Raised
in a poor environment can play a role. Genetics doesn’t play a major role in alcoholism
but does in other drugs such as cocaine and heroin.
o Cognitive Causes
Cooper, Russell, and George (1988) argued that people develop patterns of heavy drug
use because of what they believe about the personal benefits of using drugs perceived
positive effects. The influence of alcohol or other drugs provides an escape from any
negative feelings and the relief negatively reinforces the use of drugs. However, this
effect is temporary.
SCHIZOPHRENIC DISORDERS
Description
Schizophreniaa group of psychological disorders involving distortions of thought, perception,
and emotion; bizarre behaviour; and social withdrawalis a problem of enormous proportions.
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