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Psy340 Lec 1 Notes

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Hywel Morgan

Psy340 > Lec 01 The science of psychology is what people do, questions what is the norm of the behavior In order to understand what abnormal is, we have to understand what normal is Abnormality is defined by: 1. Statistical criteria 2. Cultural norms 3. Developmental milestones Statistical criteria Abnormality with respect to the statistical criteria is behavior that deviates statistically from the norm, meaning that the behavior deviates from behavior that is found in the majority of the population, it can include common behaviors that are unfavorable (ex. Substance abuse— smoking) One aspect of abnormal behavior is that it is infrequent in the general population In the bell shaped curve, the frequency of the most number of people with respect to a characteristic are placed in the middle of the curve, and the frequency of the least number of people with respect to a characteristic fall at either extremes of the curve Normality implies the person doesn't deviate much from the average trait/behavior Statistical infrequency is used to diagnose mental retardation IQ of 100 is considered to be normal IQ of below 70 is classified as having mental retardation IQ of above 130 is classifies the person as being gifted Cultural norms In some cultures, having delusions and hallucinations is considered as abnormal, but with one exception—that there are subsets of humans where delusions and hallucinations are considered normal (ex. Children, psychics) Developmental milestones Normal and abnormal can be defined according to whether developmental stages have been met by a certain age (ex. Age to be able to speak is 2 years, if toddler doesn’t speak by age 2 then that is considered abnormal, however, some kids have a delay in speaking—start speaking at age 3, and yet they still have a complete vocabulary when they are adults) Fast development is considered as positive behavior and slow development is considered as negative behavior The criteria used to determine abnormality is frequency, duration and intensity—behavior has to fit at least 1 criteria If the behavior from the criteria occurs only once, that’s normal If the behavior from the criteria occurs many times, that is considered abnormal Abnormal frequency Quantifies how many times a particular behavior occurs, if it occurs once in a while or if it occurs numerous times Ex. Pulling one grey hair as compared to staring in the mirror knowing that a grey hair can pop up and needs to be removed Abnormal intensity The extreme of the behavior Ex. Pulling chunks of grey hairs out of one side of the head Abnormal duration How long the behavior persists Ex. Waiting in front of the mirror for grey hair to grow back Behavior is considered abnormal if it disrupts normal day to day functioning DSM classifies abnormality based on mostly duration How are abnormal behaviors understood? Epidemiology looks at the causes and prevalence of pathology both mentally (psychological) and physically (biologically) Etiology is the study of causation, causes or origins Etiological models are ways of understanding pathology Psychopathology is the study of mental illness, mental distress, and abnormal/maladaptive behavior Psychopathology has 2 etiological models which help in understanding it 1. Biological (biomedical)—focuses on internal variables 2. Environmental (socio-cultural-environmental)—focuses on external variables Zeitgeist- is the current way of thinking, current common way of understanding The common etiological model used for psychopathology is biomedical model, which follows the assumption that abnormal behavior is rooted in organic psychology Biomedical etiologial model includes casual models that explain what biologically cause a behavior 1. Genetics 2. Biochemical 3. Neurophysiological Genetics Genes determine abnormal/normal behavior Twin studies can be done on monozygotic twins to examine their behavior, idea is the separate the twins by exposing them to different environments—this allows to look at the genes affecting the behavior and neglects environmental influences In the above twin studies, w
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