[PSY 360] - Midterm Exam Guide - Ultimate 23 pages long Study Guide!

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6 Feb 2017
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PSY 360
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Chapter 1(Lecture): Defining Abnormality
Thursday, January 5, 2017
10:55 AM
How do we define what is and is not normal?
Are Comedic Behaviors Abnormal?
Are unconventional behaviors abnormal?
Crossdressers; men wearing kilts; goth people
Is climbing Mount Everest normal?
Is shaving one's armpits normal?
Psychological Disorders
How do we decide what is psychologically normal?
Why do we need a classification system for mental disorders?
Definition of Psychological Abnormality
A "harmful dysfunction" in which behavior is judged to be:
Atypical- not enough in itself
Disturbing- varies with time and culture
Maladaptive- harmful
Unjustifiable- sometimes there's a good reason
Other definitions of psychological abnormality?
7 Elements of Abnormality:
Suffering
Many forms of psychological "abnormality" are associated with discomfort and
pain
However, the experience of pain is not necessary and sufficient in and of itself
to qualify one for the label of "abnormal"
The type of suffering that qualifies as abnormal, then, is contextually defined
Worse than any normal suffering
EX: clinical depression, phobias, OCD
Maladaptiveness
This is defined in terms of how well a behavior enables an individual to
accomplish certain goals (often socially prescribed) in life
Initial grief after a parent dies is okay but not okay when it is prolonged without
treatment.
EX: schizoid personality disorder; antisocial personality disorder
Unpredictability and Loss of Control
Most of us prefer some measure of order and predictability in our lives, and
when we interact with people who are wildly inconsistent in their interactions
with us, we frequently feel disconcerted by this
Waking up with a tattoo you don't remember getting
EX: bipolar disorder, borderline PD, Psychosis
Vividness and Unconventionality
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Behavior that grabs one's attention as a significant norm violation
Saying inappropriate things without control
EX: Tourette's syndrome
Violation of Moral or Cultural Standards
Individuals who behave in a manner counter to cultural standards are generally
labeled abnormal
Gender variance has not been completely removed from DSM-V
EX: ross dressers, people who don’t athe regularly
Observer Discomfort
We often find it very easy to label individuals as "abnormal" when we find their
behaviors and interpersonal idiosyncrasies unnerving or somehow disconcerting
EX: Catatonia, talking to oneself
Irrationality and Incomprehensibility
We often fear what we do not understand
EX: schizophrenia, masochism, OCD
Three Biologically Based Perspectives on Abnormality
The Categorical Approach
This approach is derived from physical medicine, and it draws a clear distinction
between categories of normal and abnormal behavior
It also assumes that these categories do not overlap
What would be an example of a categorical condition?
You are pregnant or not pregnant, but not both simultaneously
You are HIV positive, or you are not. You cannot be both simultaneously (at
least not presently)
The Dimensional Approach
This approach assumes that there are specific dimensions of behaviors that are
universal to all people, and it assumes that people might fall at different levels
along each of these dimensions (i.e., they might be high and low on different
dimensions)
Differences between normal and abnormal behavior are seen as more a
function of degree rather than kind.
What would be an example of this approach to assessing mental illness?
Normal depression or. clinical depression or normal forgetting vs. Alzheimer's
related forgetting
The Prototype Approach
A prototype is a conceptual enmity depicting an idealized combination of
characteristics, one that more or less regularly occur together in a less perfect
or standard way at the level of empirical reality"
Basically, this approach assumes the existence of categories that are not
mutually exclusive, and which are loosely based on constellations of attributes
that are analogous to dimensions
The Psychoanalytic Perspective on Abnormality
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