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Canada (511,218)
Psychology (6,282)
Rod Martin (58)


6 Pages

Course Code
Psychology 2310A/B
Rod Martin

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Theoretical Perspectives on Abnormal Psychology (cont’d) Integrative Approaches - Systems Theory: Biopsychosocial Holism (vs. reductionism) - Reductionism (biological); always looking at the lowest level of analysis to try and get answers (e.g., abnormality in the biochemistry of the brain would be the best explanation for why someone is having a mental health problem) - Holistic - there are different levels of analysis, and the sum is greater than the individual investigation of its parts 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 - At a psychological level, that cannot be fully explained at the biological level Disturbance at one level affects other levels Intervention at one level affects other levels - If you have some sort of abnormality in the brain (genetic or biochemical abnormality) this is obviously going to affect the way you think and feel - But, the reverse is also true - the attitudes that we have, the behaviours that we have, can also affect the biological level of the brain Multiple causality - It could be different factors causing the disorders in certain people/more than one factor causing it 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 - Freud argued that everything we do comes from the drives of sex and aggression - Freud was very influenced by Charles Darwin‟s theory of evolution - When we think from an evolutionary point of view, the most important thing we can do is reproduce and pass on your genes to the next generation (through sex) - In order to reproduce, you have to compete with other people of your own species and other species (aggression) 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 - Influenced by Freud in the way people think about psychological problems - almost identical to Jung‟s schema theory - don‟t put emphasis on sexual and aggressive drives, but instead on relationships (particularly with our parents) influence the kind of person that we are - Parents are the most powerful people in your life and have the most influence on you when you are growing up 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 (specifically relationship with mother, and father as well): - Develops within the first year of life - People with un-secure attachment have more psychological problems later in life (anxiety, depression) than those who were securely attached to their parents early in life Secure Attachment Anxious-ambivalent attachment Avoidant attachment Research evidence Summary of Psychodynamic Approaches Unconscious processes Early childhood development Importance of personal relationships Internalized mental representations Defenses Resistance Emotional “working through” Classification and Diagnosis Classification Terminology Taxonomy***** - Any kind of a classification system is a taxonomy - E.g., taxonomy of animals, taxonomy of birds, taxonomy of books, etc - The DSM is a taxonomy of mental disorders (a classification system) Nosology - A branch of medicine that refers to the classification of diseases Diagnosis - The act of identifying which classification an individual fits into Assessment - Gathering the information that is needed to arrive at a diagnosis - I.e., when a patient comes to a clinical psychologist for the first time, they need to do an interview, and assessment (personality testing, self report questionnaires, medical testing, etc) The Nature of Classification Example: Books in a library Reliability - Does someone else who uses the classification system classify the books in the
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