PS280 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Personal Distress, Dsm-5, Chlorpromazine

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14 Aug 2019
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Concepts of Abnormality
-eccentric and unusual behaviour/beliefs are not necessarily abnormal according to diagnostic criteria
-behaviours that are repugnant and threatening to others (ex murder) are not always sign of underlying
psychological disorder
Psychological abnormality: behaviour, speech, thought that impairs ability of person to function in
expected way
Mental illness: term conveys same meaning as psychological abnormality, but implies medical rather
than psychological cause
Psychological disorder: specific manifestation of impairment of functioning, as described by some set
of criteria that have been established by panel of experts
Psychopathology: both scientific study of psychological abnormality + problems faced by sufferers
Some principles considered when establishing criteria for abnormality:
(1) Statistical concept: abnormal behaviour = occurs infrequently in population
-however not all infrequent behaviours/thoughts are abnormal (ex innovative ideas, geniuses)
-20% of population will experience an affective disorder, 25% anxiety, 27% substance abuse
(2) Personal distress: however not all who have psychological disorders are distressed (manics, anti-
socials) + others some level of personal distress is normal
(3) Personal dysfunction: behaviour is maladaptive and interferes w functioning
-harmful dysfunction (Wakefield) is more key and links abnormal and evolutionary psych
-ex antisocial behaviour may result exclusion from society = lower chance to reproduce)
(4) Violation of norms: however most criminals that violate norms are not disordered
-social norms are also culturally relative (ex homosexuality)
(5) Diagnosis by an expert: ex using DSM-5
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