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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 Part 2 For those of you who missed class, these notes have all the lecture slides and my own notes taken integrated together in one neat word document. Great for last minute studying!

Course Code
Ayesha Khan

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Chapter 3: Causal Factors & Viewpoints in Abnormal Psychology Part II
Methods for Studying Genetic Influences
You want to be able to formulate a relationship that heredity plays an important role in
Three traditional methods:
Family history (pedigree) method
Twin method
Studies the genetic influence of abnormal behaviour.
Monozygotic twins (identical)
Dizygotic (not identical, share 50%)
Shared env’t of the twins. (doesn’t matter if they are genetically
Adoption method
Studies the influence of env’t on individual
See if the biological mother has a disorder.
Concordance rate = Higher rate=high relationship. Ex: 100% = both twins will show the
More recent methods:
Linkage Analysis:
Genetic markers located on particular chromosomes
Ex. See if the schizophrenics in a family share eye colour. Maybe the
genes for schizo is located near the genes for eye colour.
Done in families
Association Studies:
Include individuals with and without the disorder
Focus not only on relatives but the entire populration.
Characteristic ways of self-regulation
5 dimensions: fearfulness, irritability, frustration, positive affect (mood),
activity level, attentional persistence
Can make guesses on what the child is going to be like as an adult
Adult personality: neuroticism (negative emotionality), extroversion (positive
emotionality), constraint (conscientiousness and agreeableness)
Our early temperament is thought to be the basis from which our personality develops
Behaviourally inhibited
Fearful across many situations
Type of child that is fearful of participation
Heritable component
Goes on to exhibit anxiety disorders
Anxiety disorders
Behaviourally uninhibited
Showing little fear across many situations
Difficulty in learning moral standards
More aggressive and delinquent behaviour
Conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder
Brain Dysfunction and Neural Plasticity
Subtle deficiencies of brain function are implicated in many mental disorders
Don’t need significant damage to show changes in behaviour.

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Chapter 3: Causal Factors & Viewpoints in Abnormal Psychology Part II
It appears that genetic programs for brain development are not as rigid and deterministic
as was once believed
The brain is plastic, can change based on the right experience.
Need to document stressors, diseases, experiences, drugsimpacts on healthy
maturation/ functioning.
Providing stimulating env’ts for pregnant rats to enrich VS another group that is
deprived of stimulation.
The offspring were subjected to brain injury.
Those reared in stimulating env’t recovered MORE than ones in
deprived env’t.
Primate studies; mothers were exposed to loud sound (stressed out) during
Offspring showed jittery movements (prenatal experiences)
The Developmental Systems Approach
-Research on neural/behavioural plasticity in combination with work described
earlier on genotype-environment correlations all contribute to the developmental
systems approach
-This approach acknowledges that genetic activity influences neural activity, which
in turn influences behaviour, which in turn influences the environment, but also that
these influences are bidirectional
-Genetic activity is NOT one directional
-Behaviour exhibits itself in env’t which also influences developt.
Bi-directional influences = nature/nurture debate.
Impact of the Biological Viewpoint
Drugs can dramatically alter the severity and course of certain mental disorders (e.g.,
What constitutes a mental disorder still rests on subjective opinion
Still revisiting the DSMIV be patient
Dysfunction is exclusively mediated through the activities of the central nervous system
Psychosocial Viewpoints
Behavioural behaviourism
Cognitive-behavioural mental processes
Psychodynamic Perspectives
Consciouness contains…
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