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Western University
Psychology 2310A/B
Rod Martin

Lecture Week 2 Historical Views of Abnormal Psychology (Ch. 1) Supernatural / Spiritual Biological / Medical Sociocultural / Environmental Psychological / Cognitive Integrative approaches – Biopsychosocial NB – for a study guide to this section of chapter 1, see the course website Contemporary Emphases Emphasis on biomedical approach in the general culture, media – drugs, genetics, medical science - “mental illness” Biopsychosocial model in psychology Pharmaceutical industry – profit motive Quick and easy solutions Cost savings Deinstitutionalization – Community care Theoretical Perspectives on Abnormal Psychology (Ch. 2) Major Theoretical Models Biological-medical (Biomedical)  The approach that focuses on the biology of the brain , approach taken by medicine and psychiatrists  Focus on abnormality in the brain  All of these disorders have to do with a disease or problem going on in the brain  Solutions are biological interventions; drugs, surgery etc. Psychological  Focuses more on the mind, the way people think, their schemas, relationships with other people etc  Interventions are psychological therapies Psychodynamic o Sigmeund freud, psychoanalytic approach Behavioural Cognitive Humanistic / Existential Environmental  Taken primarily by sociologists and anthropologists Sociocultural Integrative theories Diathesis-stress model Systems theory: Biopsychosocial o Looks at biology, psychology, and sociocultural factors o No one factor is enough to looking at these disorders The Biomedical Approach  People taking this approach are assuming that psychological disorders are essentially abnormalities of the brain, medical conditions Computer analogy: Hardware vs. Software  Hardware – the brain, the neurons, electrochemical and biological processes going on in the brain  Software – programs running on the brain, our thoughts, memories, attitudes, beliefs that we have acquired throughout our lifetime  Psychological looks as software and biological looks at hardware 3 step sequence researchers go through to identify illness: 1. Identify a syndrome  A number of symptoms that lead to a specific syndrome  Has led to diagnostic systems Eg. DSM 2. Determine the cause(s) e.g., infection, genetic abnormalities, hormone imbalances, neurotransmitter imbalances Multifactorial causes – eg, cancer, heart disease 3. Develop treatments e.g., Antibiotics, vaccines, drugs, surgery, etc. Lifestyle changes – diet, smoking, exercise  We now know these can prevent cancer Prevention – awareness, social attitudes  The more we know about prevention the better Example: General Paresis  Syphilis was causing general paresis and people were losing their memories and people at the hospitals were catching it  Eventually penicillin was found to treat this and we never hear about it anymore How Neurotransmitters Might Contribute to Psychopathology Too much of a neurotransmitter Eg, Mania – norepinephrine Too little of a neurotransmitter Eg, Anxiety – GABA, calms down the brain Too few or too many receptors Eg, Schizophrenia – excess dopamine receptors Too much or too little of the enzymes that deactivate  Too many enzymes may deactivate neurotransmitter activity Reuptake may be too fast or too slow  If its too fast or too slow you may get too much or not enough neurotransmitter activity Neurotransmitters involved in Psychological Disorders Dopamine – movement(particularly fine movement and control), attention, reward (pleasure centre of the brain) ↑ Schizophrenia; ↓ Depression, Parkinsons (lose fine motor movement and the ability to form facial expressions, El Dopa is a medicine for parkinson‟s) o Schizophrenia patients take medication that reduces their dopamine o Patients that take too much of the medicine may get parkinson‟s Norepinephrine – alertness, energy, appetite ↓ Depression; ↑ Mania Serotonin (5HT; 5-hydroxytryptamine) – mood, sleep, appetite, aggression ↓ Depression, OCD o Increase serotonin levels in the brain with depression GABA (Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid) – inhibits excitation and anxiety ↓ Anxiety disorders, don‟t have enough GABA in anxiety disorders, drugs increase GABA Effects of Psychoactive Medications Inhibit reuptake eg, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa  Many modern drugs for depression inhibit reuptake of serotonin Inhibit enzymes eg, Monoamine Oxydaze Inhibitors (MAOIs) Nardil, Parnate, Marplan  Inhibit enzymes that break down neurotransmitters meani
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