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Psych 257 - Lecture 1 lecture.docx

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Uzma Rehman

I. Abnormal behavior and Historical Context 1. What is Psychological Abnormality?  Many definitions have been proposed, yet none are universally accepted  Most definitions, however, share some common features… (mentioned about DSM)  “The Three Ds” - Deviance – Different, extreme, unusual - Distress – Unpleasant & upsetting - Dysfunction – Causes interference with life  None of these alone were sufficient to define psychological dysfunction. 2. Statistical Deviance  A person has a mental disorder when their behavior, ability, or experience is significantly different from average.  One question is where do we draw the cut off? (One limitation of using statistical anomaly in defining psychological dysfunction)  A very limited way of thinking about psychopathology 3. Distress  According to many clinical guidelines, behavior must be personally distressing before it can be labeled abnormal  Not always the case  Examples: Maniac/ Manic depressive illness; social abnormality* disorder 4. The Elusive Nature of Abnormality Toward a Definition of Abnormal Behavior  Breakdown in cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning  Distress or Impairment  Difficulty performing appropriate and expected roles  Impairment is set in the context of a person’s background  Atypical or Unexpected Cultural Response  Reaction is outside cultural norms II. How was Abnormality viewed and treated in the past? (textbook) III. Models of Abnormal Behavior  Models why abnormal behavior occurs 1. What is a theory?  A psychological theory is a set of logically consistent statements about some behavioral phenomenon that: - best summarizes existing empirical knowledge; has to account on existing knowledge on a certain study - organizes this knowledge in the form of precise statements of relationships among variables - provides a tentative explanation for the phenomenon  additive factor/ model – adding  risk factor - multiplied - serves as the basis for making predictions 2. A scientific theory should be  Consistent  Parsimonious – provide the simplest explanation  Correctable  Empirically Testable/ Falsifiable  Useful – generative; be able to generate research; a good research paper is able to inspire other research works 3. Psychodynamic Models  Disorders in adulthood come from trauma in childhood; childhood factors and early experiences are considered important in a Freudian trademark  Popularized by Freud  Personality Structure (id – force of nature, ego – balancing id and super ego, super ego) and Personality Development from the Psychodynamic perspective - When the ego can’t contain id and super ego, disorder occurs - Psychosexual stages of development – a person has disorder because they do not completely succeed all the stages according to Freud. 4. Characteristics of Psychodynamic therapy  Unconscious factors play a very important role in disorders  A psychodynamic therapist brings out unconscious factors  One technique being used is Free association  Hypnosis - helps bring out unconsciousness  Catharsis – getting relief by understanding why their symptoms are occurring  What problems are with this theory? - Interpretations are subjective - We don’t have a lot of evidences that a free association is very helpful; evidence is an issue 5. Behavioral Models  Key Idea: Disorders in adulthood come from learning Classical Condiitioning  Learning by temporal association - When two events repeatedly occur close together in time, they become fused in a person’s mind; before long, the person responds in the same way to both events  Father of classical conditioning: Ivan Pavlov (1849 – 1936) - Classic study using do
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