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PSYC 100 2012 Online Lesson Module Notes

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PSYC 100
Ingrid Johnsrude

Week 1: The Science of Psychology What do psychologists do?  ½ of them research in neuroscience (perception, learning, memory, language, and thinking), social-personality (how people act in groups), or developmental (childhood growth)  ½ combine scientific training with applied training in the practice of psychology  clinical psychology  behaviour – any action that can be observed, recorded and measured  many psychologists treat people and provide therapy where others have little or no connection  some work as researches, teachers @ universities  others work in advertising, communications, business, human resource, government organizations Rationalism  The pursuit of truth through reason and logic  Early psychologists were often members of the philosophy department as well Empiricism  The gaining of knowledge through observable facts and experiences  The world can be described through rules generated by observation, quantification and the principle of parsimony  Helmholtz, Weber and Fechner – interested in how our perceptual organs gain information about the world o Founded “psychophysics”  Psychophysicists measured the relationship between the energy in the stimulus and the sensation of the changes in the stimulus Enter Psychology  Questions asked by early psychologists o How does the body combine experiences or elements to produce this behaviour? o What possible function could this behaviour have?  Wundt and James – founding fathers of psychology o Wundt – smaller elements that made up human experience o James – purposes associated with various human traits Structuralism  Break complex phenomena down to their smallest components and then study these components, assuming that if they understand all the parts, they will understand the whole  Human experience is built up of elemental sensations Functionalism  Theory – an idea, or a conceptual model that is designed to explain existing facts and make predictions about new facts tha might be discovered  Examine behaviours, traits and perceptions by asking, “What are they for?”  Psychology is the science of behaviour and mental processes o Also the science of the brain and the mental processes it computes o What we attend and how we process information using our sense and perceptions to create and understanding of the information at hand  Result guides our behaviours What is science?  A process or method, a way of asking and answering questions  Cause – the necessary and sufficient for something to occur  Identifies causes through systematic observation and experiment – it is empirical  The researcher will examine what is known about a subject, come up with a testable prediction, then repeatedly test and refine that prediction, gather the data from the research and draw a conclusion How do psychologists use science?  Natural selection o Characteristics vary among individual members of a species o Characteristics are passed from the parents to the offspring o Characteristics that cause greater reproductive or survival success become more common over generations, while characteristics that hinder survival in some way disappear  “How?” – mechanism that causes something to occur  “Why?” – answered from a functional or evolutionary point of view  Key differences between science and technology o Technology – optimizes some relationship o Science – seeks to understand the causes of phenomena What are mental processes?  They are inferred from behaviour Mental Processes are Inferred from Behaviour  The habituation experiment is a very simple example of question and answer  Psychologists study many different areas so everything blurs together Conclusion  Science is an organized method for asking questions and looking for answers  Psychology is the science of behaviour of mental processes, including emptions perceptions and memory Week 2: The Ways and Means of Psychology How do answer psychological questions  Descriptive methods o Naturalistic observation o Laboratory observation o Case studies o Surveys  Correlational Designs o Correlations measure the relationship between two variables  Experimental Methods o Experiments determine cause and effect Theories and Hypothesis  Science is how we learn more about events that can be described precisely and objectively and reliably (repeatedly) observed under similar circumstances  Theory – an idea or conceptual model that is designed to explain existing facts and make predictions about new facts that might be discovered o Ex: Darwin‟s theory of evolution, newton‟s theory of gravity Testing a Hypothesis  Hypothesis – a statement, usually designed to be tested by an experiment, that tentatively expresses a cause-and-effect relationship between two or more events  Used to test a theory Putting the scientific method to use  Verifiability – a theory is verifiable if it can be tested by others  Objectivity – a result is objective if it is based on observable phenomena and is uninfluenced by emptions or personal points of view  Empiricism – the gaining of knowledge through observable facts and experiences  Reliability – a finding that is consistent across time and experimenters; not due to chance o Ex: Galileo dropped two iron balls of the Leaning Tower of Pisa Is it objective?  Studied mental processes through a process called “introspection” o tried to describe the fundamental structure of the human mind  a result is objective if it is based on observable phenomena and is uninfluenced by emotions or personal points of view Empirical World  Used to describe things that are experienced by most individuals in a similar matter  Different sub-disciplines of psychology seek different kinds of explanations – “levels of analysis”  Some explanations focus on functional accounts – what behaviour or mental process is there, and what is the purpose of these processes of behaviour, either within an individual or within a social context  Other explanations stress evolutionary theory, neural explanations of behaviour An ordered series of steps  Research method refined to hypothesis, or statement that suggests a relationship between events  Study to test this hypothesis is designed and conducted and the data is analyzed  Conclusions are drawn and the study is communicated to the wider scientific community  After enough hypotheses are tested, scientist may create a new theory or update an existing theory 11/21/2012 8:54:00 PM Week 4: The Nature and Causes of Psychological Disorders Clinically Significant?  Symptoms are considered to be clinically significant if a clinician judges them to be sufficiently significant, marked, or substantial Internal or External?  Internal – driven from within – a sense of pride, satisfaction in a job well done, or the need to overcome a challenge  External – factors that are more tangible – material reward, good grades, or praise – and come from someone other than the individual Voluntary or Not?  Individuals can not receive diagnosis of a mental disorder if their behaviour is voluntary  People with mental disorders to not choose to behave as they are What does it mean to have a mental disorder?  They may be so mild as to be almost unnoticeable or so severe that they affect an individual‟s ability to function normally  Defined as being a behavioural or psychological symptom or pattern that‟s associated with significant amounts of distress or disability o Different norms for each culture or society  3 categories of risk factors, biological, psychological and sociocultural  don‟t understand the real root cause  genes play a role in certain mental disorders  what is „normal‟?  significan improvement from a mental disorder requires treatment Genetic or Environmental?  It is commonly accepted that most mental disorder have a genetic basis but that our environment can significantly affect to what degree the genetic disposition is manifested Mind, Brain and Environment  The brain changes in important ways when it interacts with the environment – the expression of genes can change as a result of trauma  Mental disorders are best understood as part of diathesis-stress model o Only fully expressed when triggered by environmental stress What would you ask?  History of mental health  Time it has been going on  Ask about daily life and tendencies (voluntary actions)  Rule out external causes  Assess clinical significance in terms of severity Three Prongs and More  DSM-IV-TR – the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM) outlines the various mental disorders and the specific criteria required for each disorder diagnosis  Three prong test – a patients symptoms qualify if: o They cause a clinically significant impairment o They are NOT a predictable reaction to an external event o They are NOT a voluntary result of an individuals voluntary choice The DSM-IV-TR  Outlines the various mental disorders recognized in North America and specific criteria required for each disorder‟s diagnosis  Complex scheme of diagnostic categories using standard terminology was needed because accurate classification leads to better treatment and more faithful research  Some subjectivity will always exist when diagnosing mental disorders Good and Bad of DSM  Many psychologists disagree about the extent to which specific symptoms should be included  Create bias when we label people with disorders  Males and females manifest symptoms differently and are diagnosed more often with certain issues Of Leaves and Disorders  As our knowledge of mental disorders develops over time, our method of classifying these disorders changes  DSM-V contained important changes to methods we use to diagnose some mental disorders st nd  1 and 2 edition, homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder and the 3 rd edition opted to remove the diagnosis (1970s) Living with a Disorder  Major Depression – disorder that can be describe by a personality low mood which affects the persons ability to function normally o Biological: disruption of sleep, disruption of appetite o Psychological: sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest in life o Social: lack of interest in the world, withdrawal from friends  Anxiety Disorders – group of disorders characterized by i. Physical symptoms of anxiety and fear ii. Unrealistic anxiety or cognitive distress iii. Escape or avoidance behaviours o Biological: racing heart rate, increased blood pressure o Psychological: worrying that is unproportional to the subject, generated anxiety that interferes with daily functioning o Social: afraid to be around people, impairments in social situations  Schizophrenia – severe psychological disorder categorized by disorganized thought, perception and behaviour o Biological: diminished facial expression, monotone vocal tone, repetitive or agitated movements o Psychological: delusion, hallucinations or paranoia, disorganized thoughts and speech o Social: impaired ability to identify emotional states of other people, inappropriate emotional reactions or absence of emotion  Autism Spectrum Disorder – a range of disorders consistent of Autism, Asperger‟s and other pervasive development disorders o Biological: abnormal neurological development, sensitivity to sounds, smells, tastes, or sights o Psychological: repetitive or obsessive behaviours, inflexible adherence to routines or rituals o Social: impairment using non-verbal component, impaired ability to observe others feelings Daily Life is Hard  Gender differences are found in most mental disorders  Men and women respond differently to the stressors that can trigger a psychological disorder  Males are socialized to keep emption in and become more self reliant where femals are socialized to show emotion and be nurturing Anxiety Disorders Disorder Description Panic Disorder Experience of reoccurring, unexpected panic attacks Specific Phobia Experience of significant anxiety in response to a specific situation or object that does not present any real danger (e.g., blood, heights, snakes, etc.) Social Experience of significant anxiety in response to social situations Phobia/Social or situations in which the individual is being evaluated Anxiety Disorder Obsessive- Experience of obsessions (uncontrollable thoughts, images, or Compulsive impulses) and/or compulsions (repetitive behaviours or mental Disorder acts) Post-Traumatic Re-experiencing a traumatic event and experiencing symptoms Stress Disorder of anxiety in response to any stimuli that relate to the traumatic event Generalized Excessive and uncontrollable worry, often about common Anxiety Disorder concerns for an extended period of time (i.e., 6 months or more) Criteria for Mental Disorders  Symptoms or actions o Cause a clinically significant impairment in an individual‟s ability to function o Are NOT a predictable reaction for an external event o Are NOT a result of an individuals voluntary choice Panic and Agoraphobia  Panic disorder – when the panic reaction occurs without being precipitated by a particular fear arousing situation  Agoraphobia – when people experience intense anxiety about being in situations where they may not be able to escape if they need to or they might not be able to help if they experience an attack  Panic attack – the sudden onset of intense fear and anxiety Causes of Panic  Combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors  The fear response to normal fluctuations in physical sensations triggers the physiological flight-flight system, which intensifies their physical symptoms, propagating a cycle of panic Social Phobia  Phobic disorder – a panic-like reaction that clearly occurs in response to specific stimulus or situations  Key to the three prong test  whether the person is having predictable reaction to the environment or whether their reaction is not commensurate wit the actual task Compulsions  Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) – characterized by obsessions and compulsions, although occasionally people with OCD experience only obsessions or compulsions, not both  Obsessions – are recurrent, unwanted thoughts or images that the individual recognizes as being irrational, yet they are uncontrollable  Compulsions – specific rituals or acts that are completed with the goal of reducing anxiety PTSD  Post traumatic stress disorder – an anxiety disorder that develops following the experience of an extremely traumatic event  Main features = feeling intense fear, re-experiencing the event, through dreams, flashbacks, thoughts  Have difficulty sleeping and concentrating GAD  General anxiety disorder – marked by excessive and uncontrollable worrying about everyday events  Physiological symptoms = restlessness, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping  Begins with genetic predisposition to anxiety or early traumatic experience Somatoform Disorders  Somatoform disorders – a category of mental disorder that involve physical symptoms similar to a medical illness but for which no medical cause can be found Dissociation  Dissociative disorders are a group of disorders characterized by “a disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity or perception Personality Disorders  Personality disorders – people with personality disorders exhibit patterns of thought, feelings, interpersonal interactions and impulse control that are considered inappropriate or discordant with their culture  Difficult to diagnose  Causes of personality disorders are not well understood Borderline Personality Disorder  Antisocial personality disorder – marked by a lack of empathy or care for others, lack of guilt for misdeeds, antisocial behaviour, and persistent lying, cheating and stealing  Borderline personality disorder – disturbances in their sense of self, difficulty regulating their mood, unstable interpersonal relationships and fear of abandonment o Impulsive behaviour, including self-injury is a common method of coping Week 5: The Nature and Cause of Psychological Disorders Psychoactive Substances  Psychoactive substance – a chemical substance that acts upon the central nervous system where it affects brain function, resulting in changes in peoples emptions, perceptions or thoughts  Substance disorders have symptoms that overlap or resemble the symptoms of other disorders Substance-Related Disorders  not every use of a psychoactive substance creates a disorder Dependence and Abuse  Substance dependence – when an individuals repeated use results in “tolerance withdrawal and compulsive drug-seeking behaviour”  Substance abuse – when a person‟s repeated use of a substance results in serious adverse consequences  Must meet following criteria a. Repeated failure to fulfill important obligations due to the substance b. Repeated use of the substance in a dangerous situation c. Repeated legal problems due to the substance d. Continued use of the substance despite it causing problems in the individuals social or interpersonal relationships Intoxication and Withdrawal  Substance intoxication – occurs when a person suffers clinically significant negative or harmful behavioural changes or psychological effects because of the influence of a psychoactive substance  Substance withdrawal – occurs when a person suffers clinical significant negative or harmful behavioural changes or psychological effects because they recently stopped prolonged use of psychoactive substance Differential Diagnosis Genes and Environment disorders  Diathesis-stress model – predisposition (genetics and early development) can combine with environmental stressors to contribute to the development of a mental disorder Positive and Negative Symptoms  Major symptoms of schizophrenia: delusions, hallucinations, grossly disorganized catatonic behaviour, flattened effect, etc.  Positive symptoms – reflect an excess or distortion of a normal brain function (delusions, hallucinations)  Negative symptoms – reflect a diminuition or loss of normal brain function (slowed speech or movement)  POSITIVE = PRESENCE  NEGATIVE = ABSENCE Schizophrenia or Schizophreniform Disorders  Schizophrenia – psychological disorder that lasts at least six months and includes at least one month of active phase symptoms that could include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behaviour or negative symptoms  Schizophreniform disorder – where the individual experiences the symptoms of schizophrenia for a period of only one to six months  Schizoaffective disorder – where a person experiences a mood episode such as depression or mania at the same time he/she is exhibiting schizophrenia symptoms such as hallucinations or delusion Other psychotic disorders  Delusional disorder – marked by delusions that are considered non- bizarre: based on things that could probably happen (being followed, being powerful)  Brief psychotic disorder – an episode of psychotic symptoms that lasts between one day and one month  Shared psychotic disorder – development of a delusion that is similar to a delusion already held by someone close to the individual  Substance induced psychotic disorder – where the psychotic symptoms are judged to be a direct consequence of taking a psychoactive drug or a medication, or exposure to a toxin Diathesis-Stress Model  Leading explanation of psychosis and many other psychological disorders result from a combination of a biological predisposition or traits that may lead to the onset of the disorder  Diathesis – medical term for predisposition, vulnerability or tendency Biological Bases of Schizophrenia  Affects perception, emption, cognition, motivation, etc.  Dopamine is one of the chemicals used in the brain to communicate among brain cells  Theory that too much of this neurotransmitter results in many of the symptoms experienced by individuals with this disorder o Neurons communicate through electrochemical processes and each neuron receives chemical messages from its neighbours through its dendrites o When a neuron receives enough of the proper messages it undergoes a rapid electrical change known as an action potential or nerve impulse – action potential travels down the axon to the terminal bonds at the end of the axon o Causes a release of neurotransmitters which in turn sends a message to the next neuron Mood Disorders  Major depressive disorder – a period of intense depressed mood and/or loss of interest in activities that persists for at least two weeks and is accompanied by at least four other additional symptoms  Dysthymic disorder – chronic depressed mood that d=persists for at least two years and is accompanied by additional symptoms that do not meet criteria for major depressive disorder  Bipolar I Disorder – experience of at least one manic episode define as a period of abnormally elevated mood that persists for at least one week and is accompanied by at least 3 additional symptoms  Bipolar II Disorder – experience of at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode defined as a period of abnormally elevated mood that persists for at least four days and is accompanied by at least three additional manic episodes  Cyclothymic Disorder – long-term (at least two years) cycling of moods that alternate between depressed (not sever enough to be major depressive) and hypomanic (not severe enough to be manic) states Major Depression  Major depression – mood disorder characterized by significant, persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness and accompanies by symptoms such as loss of appetite, significant change in sleep patterns and other behaviours  Symptoms must last for at least two weeks  Major depression is recurrent Other depressive disorders  Dysthymia – less severe than major depression with symptoms similar, but significantly less severe o More chronic, last two years o High risk for developing major depression  called “double depression”  Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – form of depression that occurs during winter months or periods where daylight is strongly limited o Symptoms include lethargy and sleep disturbances, along with craving for carbohydrates and potential weight gain o More common in the northern hemisphere Bipolar Disorder  Bipolar disorders – mood disorders that have periods of mania or hypomania, and periods of depression. People with bipolar disorders will experience times with an overabundance of energy and plans, and times with strong depressive symptoms  Bipolar I Disorder – characterized by episodes of mania that are accompanied by episodes of depression where mania is the dominant feature  Bipolar II Disorder – hypomanic and depressive episodes o Hypomanic – period of abnormally elevated mood that persists for at least four days  Cyclothymia – related disorder Week 6: The Treatment of Psychological Disorders Treatment of Mental Disorders in Ancient Times  People‟s attitudes towards mentally ill individuals and towards treatment have changed tremendously  There have been both positive and negative versus about people with mental disorders o Negative perceptions largely dominated throughout both history and cultures  Common to believe that people were possessed by demons or evil spirits o Treatments focused on removing spirits from the individuals o Exorcisms, starvation, beatings, etc. Asylum Movement
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