Sept 19, 2012
Abnormal Behaviour can be defined in 4 ways
Frequency, intensity, duration
Looking for behaviours that interfere with daily functioning
Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Etiology: The study of the causes and prevalence of abnormal behaviour
Etiological models of abnormal behaviour
Medical-disease models (aka the Biological model)
There is a clear genetic component to some of these disorders.
Schizophrenia vs. Depression
Schizophrenia (and depression) are genetically tied and if you have
someone in the family with one of these, the chances of you getting it is
Zeitgeist: The way of the
times The concordance rate in schizophrenia is 50%, the rest is up to
Homeostasis is the function environmental factors (most importantly, it’s stress)
of the thalamus.
The only mental disorder that is CLEARLY biological and clearly understood is
First insane asylum: used to schizophrenia. (This also has a genetic component)
charge admission, it was an Depression is similar (and is also genetic.)
entertainment event Schizophrenia CANNOT be treated with psychotherapy like depression can; it is
VERY CLEARLY a biological disorder.
Malingering: trying to loo Depression: The concordance rate is 80% (higher than it is for schizophrenia)
Doesn’t always respond well to the same drug for each person, unlike
Schizophrenia meds: They are molecules that are mimicking neurotransmitters and
manipulating their levels in the brain. There is too much dopamine in the brain of a
schizophrenic, while the drugs most important in treating depression is serotonin
(depressed people have too little serotonin).
These two neurotransmitters are very similar, slightly different,
Can be studied through monozygotic twin studies through concordance
Stress is a SIGNIFICANT contributing factor to psychopathologies
Neurophysiological models Psychoanalytic models
Emphasises social and cultural determinants. The “stressors”
#1 stressor in the environment: Death in the family
There is a scale from 1-100 and death in the immediate family gets a score of 100
Other significant stressors:
Ending/Starting a significant relationship
Losing or obtaining a job (Socio-Economic Status= SES)
Evidence for these stressor models come from depression studies
Work form Pavlov and Thorndike
And Skinner that showed that our environment molds who we are
This model views behaviour as primarily determined by learning
I.e. we believe that we are worthless because it’s what we’ve learned, so
the therapy for this would be to relearn (Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy=
The humanistic paradigm of human psychology; the touchy-feely part
This is where you are taught that you are worthy, good, and loved.
This explores the individuals’ reaction to themselves and the individuals around
Explores the exploration of feelings and such
Carl Rogers is a leading figure in this stuff.
Assessment in Psychology
What are the tools that we use to assess what it is?
Come in 3 major “categories”
1. The Interview
Most prominent in the assessment of adult psychopathology
The most telling way of determining psychopathology is what’s called “self-report’; an
The biggest issues here are deception, of course
The process of being seen by a mental health professional is brought about by the first
In an emergency room, this is called a ‘triage’.
There is usually an indication from the dedication level of the person coming in to
If someone is being brought by a law enforcement officer, their
motivation/dedication would be very low. Co-morbit means that there are more than one psychopathologies at the same time.
Literally means “many sicknesses”, and it’s quite common.
The most telling way of psychopathologies in children, which can be obscured by bias
from the observer
The chief method of gathering info in children- through observation, with there being 2
You’re looking at behaviour in a specific point in time, in a specific space (anyone
would act differently in a new, strange environment such s a doctor’s office:
Observer bias: be aware that you are looking for behaviours that conform to that
initial diagnosis, and this makes misdiagnosis unfortunately frequent
Observational categories to note:
1. General appearance and attire
This can tell a lot about their physical, social, and environmental characteristics.
2. Emotional gestures, facial expressions
Commonly, you see anxiety at an initial assessment
If you don’t pick up on this right away, they might shut down and you’ll get
3. Gross (big) and fine (little) motor acts
Responsivity of the assessed person may be affected by psychological,
pharmacological, neurological, physiological problems.
If the person is unusually over/underactive
E.g. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, some [catatonic] forms of
Manic episode? Drug abuse?
Depression, some [catatonic] forms of schizophrenia
4. The quality of the client’s relationships
Can be indicated by the relationship with the person who brought them in
(assuming that someone else brought them in)