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Chapter 8.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 1010
Professor
Gerry Goldberg
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 8 Problem solving - refers to active efforts to discover what must be done to achieve a goal that is not readily attainable - types: o problems of inducing structure: the problem solver must discover the relationship among the parts of a problem i.e analogy problems o problems of arrangement: to arrange the parts in a way that satisfies the goal i.e string problem o problems of transformation: carry out a series of moves to reach a specific goals i.e hobbits problem - Barriers: 1. irrelevant information 2. functional fixedness 3. mental set 4. unnecessary constraints - Approaches to problem solving o Using algorithms (a procedure for trying all possible alternatives in searching for a solution to a problem) and heuristics o Forming subgoals o Working backwards o Searching for analogies between new problems and old problems o Changing the representation of a problem - Field dependence: reply on external frames of reference and tend to accept the physical environment as a given instead of trying to analyze to restructure it - Field independent: rely on internal frames of reference and tend to analyze and try to restructure the physical environment rather than accepting it as it is Decision making - Involves evaluating alternatives and making choices among them - Simon’s theory of bounded rationality asserts that people tend to use simple strategies in decision making than focus on only a few facets of available options and often result in irrational decisions that are less optimal - Making choices o Additive strategy: used when people make decisions by rating the attributes of each alternative and selecting the alternative that has the highest sum ratings o Eliminating: people gradually eliminate alternatives whose attributes fail to satisfy some minimum criteria o When choices are simple they use additive strategies but as choices become more complex they shift toward simpler strategies like elimination - Risky decisions involves making choices under conditions of uncertainty o Subjective utility: represents what an outcome is personally worth to an individual i.e buying lotto tickets allow you to dream about becoming wealthy o Subjective probability: if people don’t know actually probabilities they must rely on their personal estimates of probabilities - Heuristics o Availability heuristic o Representativeness tend to ignore the base rates - The conjunction fallacy: when we estimate that the odds of two uncertain events happening together are greater than the odds of either event happening alone - Dual process theory: positing that people depend on two very different modes/systems of thinking when making decisions. One system consists of quick, simple, effortless, automatic judgements. The second system consists of slower, more elaborative, effortful controlled judgements. - Evolutionary psychologists maintain that many errors and biases in human reasoning are greatly reduced when problems are presented in ways that resemble the type of input humans would have processed in ancestral times Application - The gambler’s fallacy: the belief that the odds of a chance event increase if the event hasn’t occurred recently i.e “i haven’t seen tails in a while so I should bet on tails because it’s bound to come up” - Most people appreciate the value of a large sample as an abstract principle but they don’t fully understand that results based on small samples are more variable and more likely to be a fluke. This misplaced faith in small numbers explains why people often willing to draw general conclusions on a few individual cases. Chapter 14 Abnormal Behaviour: Myths, Realities, and Controversies - In this section we will discuss the medical model of abnormal behaviour, the criteria of abnormal behaviour, stereotypes regarding psychological disorders, the classification of psychological disorders and how common such disorders are - The medical model applied to abnormal behaviour o The medical model proposes that it is useful to think of abnormal behaviour as a disease o Diagnosis involves distinguishing one illness from another o Etiology refers to the apparent causation and development history of an illness o A prognosis is a forecast about the probable course of an illness o In making a diagnosis clinicians rely on many criteria:  Deviance: behaviour is out of the norm  Maladaptive behaviour: everyday adaptive behaviour is impaired  Personal distress: based on individual’s report of great personal distress o Although two or three criteria may apply in a particular case, people are often viewed as disordered when only one criterion is met - Stereotypes of psychological disorders o Psychological disorders are incurable: generally false o People with psychological disorders are often violent and dangerous: modest association o People with psychological disorders behave in bizarre ways and are very different from normal people: true in a small minority of cases  Research by David Rosenhan showed that pseudopatients were routinely admitted to mental hospitals, which were unable to detect the patients’ normalcy. His study showed that the distinction between normality and abnormality is not clear cut - Psychodiagnosis: The classification of disorders o The diagnosis of disorders is made on Axes I and II. Clinicians record most types of disorders on Axes I. They use Axes II to list long running personality disorders or mental retardation. People may receive diagnosis on both Axes I and II. o Page 610 o Axis I: Clinical syndromes o Axis II: Personality Disorders or Mental Retardation o Axis III: General Medical Conditions o Axis IV: Psychosocial and Environmental Problems o Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) Scale - The prevalence of psychological disorders o Such estimates fall in the domain of epidemiology—the study of the distribution of mental or physical disorders in a population o Prevalence refers to the percentage of a population that exhibits a disorder during a specific time period o Psychological disorders in roughly 1/3 of population o About 44% of the adult population will struggle with some sort of psychological disorder at some point in their lives o Estimated lifetime risk of psychiatric disorder to be 51% o Overall rates for male and females are about equal but there is gender variations across categories of disorder Anxiety disorders - Anxiety disorders are a class of disorders marked by feelings of excessive apprehension and anxiety - Five types of anxiety disorders are: generalized anxiety disorder, phobic disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, obsessive compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder (POPPAG) - Generalized anxiety disorder o It is marked by a chronic high level of anxiety that is not tired to any specific threat o People with this disorder worry constantly about yesterday’s mistakes, and tomorrow’s problems. In particular, they worry about minor matters related to family, finances, work and personal illnesses o Their anxiety is commonly accompanied by physical symptoms such as trembling, muscle tension, diarrhea, dizziness, faintness, sweating and heart palpitations - Panic disorders and agoraphobia o Panic disorders: recurrent attacks of overwhelming anxiety that usually occurs suddenly and unexpectedly. o These paralyzing panic attacks are accompanied by physical symptoms of anxiety. After a number of panic attacks, victims become apprehensive, wondering when their next panic will occur. This may lead to agoraphobia - Obsessive compulsive disorder o Marked by present, uncontrollable intrusions of unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and urges to engage in sense less rituals o Four factors seemed to underlie the symptoms: obsessions and checking, symmetry and order, cleanliness and washing and hoarding - PTSD o Often elicited by any of a variety of traumatic events, including a rape or assault, a severe car accident, a natural disorder or the witnessing of someone’s death o In some instances, PTSD does not surface until many months or years after a person’s experience to severe stress o One key predictor of vulnerability: intensity of one’s reaction at the time of the traumatic event. Individuals who had especially intense emotional reactions during or right after the event go on o show elevated vulnerability to PTSD. o If the frequency and severity of post traumatic symptoms usually decline gradually over time - Etiology of Anxiety Disorders o Biological factors  A concordance rate indicates the percentage of twin pairs or other pairs of relatives who exhibit the same disorder  There is a weak genetic predisposition to anxiety disorders  May be more likely in people who are especially sensitive to the physiological symptoms of anxiety. Abnormalities in the neurotransmitter activity at GABA synapses may also play a role o Conditioning and learning  Many anxiety responses may be acquired through CC and maintained through OC  Preparedness: people are biologically prepared by their evolutionary history to acquire some fears much more easily than others. His theory would explain why people develop phobias of ancient sources of threats (snakes/spiders) much more readily than modern sources of threat (electrical plug)  Studies suggest that conditioned fears can be created through OL. I.e parents hide in closet during storm so child learns to do that too o Cognitive factors  Some people are more likely to suffer from problems with anxiety because they tend to misinterpret harmless situations as threatening, focus excessive attention on perceived threats and selectively recall information that seems threatening o Stress  Long held suspicion that anxiety disorders are stress related  Patients with panic disorders had experienced a dramatic increase in stress the month prior to the onset of their disorder Somatoform disorders - Physical ailments that cannot be fully explained by organic conditions and are largely due to psychological factors - Somatisation disorder o Is marked by a history of diverse physical conditions that appear to be psychological in origin o Victims report an endless succession of minor physical ailments that seem to wax and wane in response to the stress in their lives. They usually have a long and complicated history of medical treatment by doctors - Conversion disorder o Is characterized by a significant loss of physical function (with no apparent organic basis) usually in a single organ system o People with conversion disorder are usually troubled by more severe ailments than people with somatisation disorder - Hypochondriasis o They constantly monitor their physical condition, looking for signs of illness o It is characterized by excessive preoccupation with health concerns and incessant worry about developing physical illnesses o They don’t subjectively suffer from physical distress as much as they over interpret every conceivable sign of illness - Etiology of somatoform disorders o Genetic factors do not appear to make much of a contribution o Personality factors:  Histrionic personalities: self centred, suggestible, excitable, highly emotional and overtly dramatic. They thrive on attention when they become ill o Cognitive factors:  People with this disorder tend to draw catastrophic conclusions about minor bodily complaints  They also seem to apply a faulty standard of good health, equating health with a complete absence of symptoms and discomfort which is unrealistic o The sick role  Some people grow fond of the role associated with being sick  They avoid facing up to marital problems, career frustrations, family responsibilities  Being sick is a convenient excuse when you fail or worry about failing  Also get lots of attention from people Dissociative Disorders - Are a class of disorders in which people lose contact with portions of their consciousness or memory, resulting in disruptions in their sense of identity. Includes dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, dissociative identity disorder - dissociative amnesia o sudden loss of memory of important personal information that is too extensive to be due to normal forgetting - dissociative fugue: people lose their memory of their entire lives along with their sense of personal identity - dissociative identity o involves coexistence in one person of two or more largely complete and usually very different personalities o they feel that they have more than one identity. Each personality has their own name, memories, traits and physical mannerisms o most patients have a history of anxiety or mood or personality disorders - eitiology of dissociative disorders o amnesia and fugue are usually attributed to excessive stress o ...believe that people with multiple personalities are engaging in intentional role playing to use mental illness as a face saving excuse for their personal failings o DID is a creation of modern north American culture o Most DID are rooted in severe emotional trauma that occurred during childhood Mood disorders - Mood disturbances often come and go, interspersed among periods of normality. These episodes can vary greatly in length but they typically last 3-12 months - They are a class of disorders marked by emotional disturbances of varied kinds that may spill over to disrupt physical, perceptual, social and thought processes - Unipolar: experience just one end, usually depression; bipolar: experiences both extremes; increasing in prevalence - Major depressive disorder o People
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