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Lecture summaries for test 1.docx

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Tina Malti

Lecture 1 Chapter 1: Abnormality - Criteria for abnormal vs. normal: o Maladaptiveness (does this behavior interfere with person’s everyday life)  Dysfunction, Distress and Deviance o Unusualness (not a behavior that is common in society). Closely tied to cultural relativism. The unusualness of any behavior depends on the culture of the person o Cultural relativism (culture does not account for this behavior)- no universal standards for what is normal vs. abnormal. It all depends on culture. Gender roles within a culture are also important to consider. o Discomfort for person with behavior. But some people with abnormal behavior feel no discomfort. For example: psychopath o Mental illness (biological characteristics that can explain the behavior. Ex: neurochemical imbalance)- behavior caused by an identifiable disease? Problem: no straight forward medical tests that detect psychological problems (many hormones, neurotransmitters involved) - Abnormality as harmful dysfunction o Behavior must be both harmful and dysfunctional - Historical perspectives o Biological, supernatural and psychological theories - Ancient stone age theories o Supernatural view. Caused by possession by spirits. Treatment would be exorcism, and trephination. - Ancient Chinese theories o Biological. Internal organs control emotion. Balance between positive force (yin) and negative (yang). Too much of either is not good. - Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome o Focus on supernatural and biological. Wandering uterus. o Hippocrates: all diseases including abnormal behavior are caused by imbalaces in the body. - Medieval times o Supernatural. Witchcraft. Psychic epidemics. - The burning times o Time when suspected witches were killed - Asylums - Moral treatment in the 18 century o Psychological view. Psychological illness as not being able to keep up with fast evolving society, overcome with stress. More humane treatment of the mentally ill. Treatment focused on rest and relaxation. Chapter 2: Contemporary theories of abnormality - Vulnerability stress model: both have to be present for a full-fledged psychological disorder to emerge. - Biological approaches: o Structural theories- abnormalities in structure of the brain cause mental disorders. Ex: Phineas Gage. Damage to frontal lobe caused a dramatic change in personality- he became impulsive, emotional and socially inappropriate  Other key features are the hypothalamus and limbic system o Biochemical theories- imbalance of neurotransmitter ad hormones, or improper functioning of these hormones.  Neurotransmitter theories: too much or too little or poor functioning  Endocrine system theories o Genetic theories- accumulation of mutated genes or disordered genes lead to mental disorder. Most often multiple abnormal genes have to be inherited for predisposition for a disorder (vulnerability)  Twin studies  Adoption studies - Pros and cons of biological approaches: o Take away stigma or blame from the individual for having the disorder o Our understanding in this area is rapidly increasing- can treat better o BUT, reductionist and doesn’t take into account influence of society and env. - Psychological approaches o Psychodynamic theories: childhood trauma, unconscious conflicts lead to disorder. Freud is most important. Psychoanalysis was a way of exploring the mind, as well as treating psychopathology.  Libido, id, ego, superego,  Stages: oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital o Behavioral theories: reinforcement and punishment of certain behaviors lead to disorders. Also through classical conditioning.  UCSUCR. Pairing of UCS and CS  CSCR -operant conditioning through punishment and reward -modelling and observational learning o Cognitive theories: maladaptive ways of interpreting situations, and negative thinking lead to disorders  Maladaptive causal attributions – the idea that it’s their fault  Control theory – the idea that they have no control over things  Dysfunctional assumptions (which are not true) o Humanistic theories: when people don’t pursue their own values and potential, and try to conform to societal norms, disorders arise - Social and interpersonal approaches o Interpersonal theories: disorders are caused by negative relationships which have roots in early experiences with caregivers  Erik Erickson and psychosocial stages o Family systems theories: families create and maintain mental disorders in family members to maintain status quo  Roots of disorders are within the family, not individual  3 types: Enmeshed, disengaged, inflexible, pathological triangular relationships o Social structural theories: society puts individuals under great stress Lecture 2 Chapter 3: the research endeavor - Challenges in conducting research in abnormal psych o Difficult to get people to participate o Difficult to measure people’s abnormal behavior and feelings  Self-reports are distorted  Observer bias o Most forms of abnormality have many causes - Scientific method o Define the problem o Come up with testable hypotheses o Conduct suitable experiment o Gather and analyze data - Hypothesis and null hypothesis - Types of study: o Experimental studies – IV, DV, operationalization = the way variables are manipulated and measured o Case studies – studying an individual who has suffered a disorder  Pros of case studies: only way to look at rare disorders, provide rich info about an individual, good for generating ideas  Cons: low generalizability, low objectivity, cannot be replicated o Correlational studies: measure strength of relationship between variables.  Pros: good external validity  Cons: do not provide any info about causation. o Epidemiological studies: frequency and distribution of a disorder in a population  Prevalence = no. of cases at one point in time or a period  Incidence = no. of new cases occurring in a given time period  risk factors, protective factors - Experimental studies: o Int
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