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Psychology 2310A/B
Rod Martin

Theoretical Perspectives on Abnormal Psychology (cont’d) Integrative Approaches - Systems Theory: Biopsychosocial Holism (vs. reductionism) Different levels of analysis Biological - biochemistry, neurotransmitters, hormones, physiology, brain structures, genetics Psychological – the “mind” – memory, learning, cognition, schemas, behavior, emotions, self-concept, early life experiences Social – relationships, family, culture, SES, gender, societal values Emergent properties – higher levels cannot be completely explained by lower levels Disturbance at one level affects other levels Intervention at one level affects other levels Multiple causality Example: Emotion E.g., depression, anxiety, anger Causes of emotion at all levels of the hierarchy: Social – emotions help us maintain interpersonal connectedness, fulfill social needs, respond to changes in our social environment (family, peer group, workplace) Psychological – learning, memories, cognitions evoke particular emotions in particular situations based on past learning experiences Biological – brain systems, neurons, neurotransmitters, biochemistry underlie all emotions Emotional disturbance can occur at any level Interventions at higher levels can affect lower levels, and vice versa Psychoanalytic vs. Behavioural Approach Psychoanalysis Focus on inner mental events Unconscious determinants Focus on past “Symptoms” Treatment: insight, resolve conflicts Behaviorism Focus on external behavior Environmental determinants Focus on present “Problems” Modify behavior – change environment Psychoanalytic Theory - Freud Evolutionary Basis of Freudian Theory Id – ancient animal legacy Limbic system Sexuality – reproduction Aggression – competition Ego – evolved thinking capacities Neocortex – reasoning, problem-solving Superego – culture Norms, rules, prohibitions Drives, defense mechanisms Therapy: “make the unconscious conscious” Insight-oriented More Recent Developments in Psychodynamic Approach Object Relations Theory Rejection of “drive” theory Focus on Relationships (esp. parents) “Objects” – internalized representations of self and others (cf. schemas) The Self Concept – develops in early relationships Resistant to change Abnormal emotional reactions – derive from faulty “objects” due to faulty relationships Behavioral disturbances – re-enactments of earlier relationship issues Attachment Theory John Bowlby Attachment styles: Secure Attachment Anxious-ambivalent attachment
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