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Lecture

PSYCH257 Lecture Notes - Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Consistency, Psychopathology


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH257
Professor
Uzma Rehman

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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
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