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PSY3171D - Lecture Notes

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Mark Coates

Lecture 1 September 5, 2012 No notes taken today, just went over the syllabus Lecture 2 September 10, 2012 1. Need to take several of these into account. Any one of these alone in isolation is not good enough 2. Something that causes stress to 90% of people is still not considered abnormal a. Most mental illnesses are rare (1-2%) 3. Cut-off for normal is that its so rare its abnormal a. 5-10%? Its a subjective decision, theres no real cut-off and we are never going to have that b. Extreme ends are considered pathological happy or sad? i. This isnt always the case (ex. Intelligence) c. Statistical frequency alone is not enough to define something as abnormal 4. Almost everyone does something that is abnormal a. Statistical frequency alone isnt enough o define something as abnormal 5. If they are feeling that they dont want to feel this way, most of us would be fairly confident in saying that that person is abnormal a. If the person is feeling extremely bad... b. In the middle of a manic episode, a person may not feel any distress and dont want it to ever end, therefore they arent meeting this definition of abnormality because they arent feeling any distress at all c. Every single symptom, weve all experience to some degree at some part so we arent in distress 6. If something is interfering with our life in such a way that it is against a persons wellbeing, then we would categorize it as abnormal a. This could be anything b. Getting so sad that they cant get up in the morning, obsessive rituals, etc. c. Cognitive function someone isnt able to think about things, it can be maladaptive 7. Clinicians cant decide what is best for an individual; we must not impose our own judgement and values as to whats okay and how they should be feeling, etc. a. For minors, need to take into consideration what everyone thinks and to work together in order to figure out what is best i. The role a child plays in deciding what is best is a lot less than an adult b. Anxiety isnt always bad, it can be motivating for us to do a specific behaviour i. Before a test, assignment, first date, its normal and makes us stress a little better in order to do better c. Whether something is dysfunctional depends on what society decides d. What is normal is generally based on majority culture 8. Social norms allows us to make exceptions a. Sometimes we ignore pathological symptoms and that they are at a disservice to an individual if they are so talented/intelligent, then people let it slide b. If society values certain things about you, they will let slide other things c. Drapetomania mental illness that slaves have that make them want to escape slavery i. Pathological desire of slaves to want to be free, they want to escape ii. When we define something as pathological, it gives society the permission to society to enforce punishments 9. Considered that extreme of an abnormal behaviour same category as mass murderers a. 1980s my ego dislikes something about my psychology, something that is causing me distress i. A personality trait that I have that I wish I didnt have ii. Personal distress criteria of abnormality that becomes a defining criteria b. 1987 its not a recognized disorder, it is now an NOS (not otherwise specified) i. Its not a full diagnosis on its own, but they have something pathological about it ii. Homosexuality is not abnormal, but marked distress in relation to it is considered abnormal c. 2001 symbolic but important gesture d. 2012/2013 banning of reparative therapy in California i. Fundamentally wrong, making a move to ban it ii. Banning it completely wont go over, but it will be banned from minors 10. Ads from psychiatric journals 11. Any of these definitions alone cant define abnormality a. Best we can do if we take all of these 12. Practicality, what would we do a. Pretty rare in our society that people go to a mental care professional but dont have any diagnosable/distressing symptoms b. Compared to women, men are way likely to seek treatment of mental illness 13. DSM makes a specific exception that substance abuse cant be diagnosed in the case of nicotine abuse a. You can diagnose dependence though b. Just because of what society considers what is normal 14. Explains why someone became mentally ill and how to fix it a. Each approach explains it in a different way 15. Mental illness itself is a supernatural process something we dont have access to and cant figure it out with science a. Caused by angels/devils/god/demons/other supernatural factors b. If someone has high functioning capabilities and has psychotic behaviours, it is explained as some higher powers i. If they cant take care of themselves, they are harming others or themselves, it is described as a negative force c. Hippocrates was the first to say it was a physical-bio-natural process stated that it wasnt a supernatural practice d. Supernatural explanations dont necessarily mean that someone else put that behaviour into their head i. It could be a punishment in due to something bad ii. Can be with individual responsibility iii. You did something to cause this feeling e. The theory of what caused this leads to a treatment f. Someone is talking gibberish because a demon is in his head? We must exorcise them. 16. Many of the cures were just torture a. Practitioners thought that they were doing what is best b. Bleeding for bad blood c. Immobility if you cant move, you wont spoil yourself 17. Eugenics allows some people to breed and other people to breed a. Sometimes relatively passive give tax credits to upper class and give them more opportunities to breed more b. Some were involuntarily sterilized and some were banned from meeting those of other sexes c. Actually finally stopped this in the 1970s d. Early psychosurgery people sticking things into other peoples brains 18. Resurgence of biology model in the past few decades a. Pharmaceutical companies have a benefit to gain in explaining that it is a very simple biological explanation to cure i. There is a pill that can cure it b. Thinking of things in a pure biological term, we miss out on the fact that we are missing things in society 19. N/A 20. Dont want to be caught up in one-dimensional explanations for each phenomenon a. Gives us a false sense of understanding 21. Taxon vs. Dimension a. Dimensional approach defining something as being an extreme end of a spectrum i. Ex. ADHD b. Taxonomic approach someone who is experiencing the disorder is fundamentally different than what other people have i. Much harder to establish this 22. A lot of disorders dont make the cut for the DSM... a. Parental alienation syndrome couple divorces and one parent will play the children off of the other parent i. One parent says bad things about the other parent ii. Child is caught in the middle, child ends up believing that one of their parents is bad Lecture 3 September 12, 2012 1. N/A 2. N/A 3. N/A 4. Dependent variables are the outcome, independent variables are the things that we may suspect be the causes 5. Basic theories that we use to explain mental illness 6. Biological theories may not just be genetics 7. But they are very important still a. Mitochondrial DNA is passed down through our mother, and just her b. We have slightly more genetics passed down through other mothers c. When genes are present, traits are often more likely are present d. Mutations occasional changes of DNA at population level i. May or may not get passed on to next generation ii. Detrimental, less likely to be present in our next generation 8. 2 people with identical DNA that are separated at birth and live in different environment, if they end up expressing the same trait, it is most likely attributed to genetics a. Concordance how much similarity there is between the two people of an identical twin pair i. If 2 people have the same DNA and have the same outcome, they are in concordance b. Twins share a prenatal environment c. Twins being put up for adoption, generally speaking the mothers are younger, lower income, lower education, more likely to be using substances 9. Heritability how much a trait is due to genetics a. How much of the variability of that trait in a population is due to genetics b. The higher the number as we reach 100%, it shows that more of the variability is explained by genetics 10. GXE genes and their inter
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