Chapter 16 – Psych 1200.docx

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20 Mar 2012

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Chapter 16 Psych 1200
Defining normal and abnormal here are several possibilities:
1. The personal values of a given diagnostician
2. The expectations of the culture in which a person currently lives
3. The expectations of the person’s culture of origin
4. General Assumptions about human nature
5. Statistical deviation form the norm
6. Harmfulness, suffering, impairment
We are likely to label behaviour as abnormal if they are intensely distressing
to the individual
Personal distress is neither necessary nor sufficient to define abnormality
Most behaviours judged abnormal are dysfunctional either for the individual
or for society
Society’s judgments concerning the deviance of a given behaviour
Conduct within every society is regulated by norms
Both personal and social judgments of behaviour enter into considerations of
what is abnormal
Abnormal Behaviour: behaviour that is personally distressful personally
dysfunctional, and/or culturally deviant that other people judge it to be
inappropriate or maladaptive
The belief that abnormal behaviour is caused by supernatural forces goes
back to the ancient Chinese, Egyptians, and Hebrews, all of whom attributed
deviance to the work of the devil
The release the spirit, a procedure called trephination was carried out
Western medicine had returned to viewing mental disorders as biologically
based and was attempting to extend medical diagnoses to them
General Paresis, a disorder characterized in its advanced stages by mental
deterioration and bizarre behaviour
Each of us has some degree of vulnerability for developing a psychological
disorder, given sufficient stress
Vulnerability can have a biological basis, such as our genotype, over- or
under-activty of a neurotransmitter system in the brain, a hair-trigger
autonomic nervous system, a hormonal factor, or a personality factor
Stressor some recent or current event that requires a person to cope
Reliability: in psychological testing, the consistency with which a measure asses a
given characteristic, or different observers agree on a given score; the degree to
which clinicians show high levels of agreement in their diagnostic decisions
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Validity: the extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to; the degree to
which a diagnostic system’s categories contain the core features of the behaviour
disorders and permit differentiation among the disorders
The DSM-IV-TR, is the most widely used diagnostic classification system in
north America
Has 350 diagnostic categories, contains detailed lists of observable
behaviours that must be present in order for a diagnosis to be made
Five Dimensions:
Axis 1: Primary Diagnosis
Axis 2: Personality/Developmental disorders
Axis 3: Relevant physical disorders
Axis 4: Severity of psychosocial stressors
Axis 5: Global assessment of level of functioning
An alternative, or supplement, to the categorical system is a dimensional
system, in which relevant behaviours are rated along a severity measure
Assumption that psychological disorders are extensions different in degree,
rather than kind, from normal personality functioning
Personality disorders, where 6 basic dimensions of disordered personality
functioning Negative Emotionality, Schizotypy, Disinhintion, Introversion,
Antagonism, and Compulsivity are rated by clinicians to define a set of 6
personality disorders
These factors Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism,
and Openness to experiences are thought by proponents to be universal
dimensions of personality
Beneficial consequences helps to link normal and abnormal personality
Social and Personal Implications
Accept the level an as accurate description of the individual rather than of
the behaviour
Competency: a legal decision that a defendant is mentally capable of understanding
the nature of criminal charges, participating meaningfully in a trial, and consulting
with an attorney
Insanity: a legal decision that a defendant was so severely impaired at the time a
crime was committed that he or she was incapable of appreciating the wrongfulness
of the act or of controlling his or her behaviour
Medical Students’ Disease read descriptions of disorders, they often see some of
those symptoms in themselves
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Anxiety Disorders: a group of behaviour disorders in which anxiety and associates
maladaptive behaviours are the core of the disturbance
Anxiety responses have 4 components:
1. Subjective-emotional component, including feelings of tension and
2. Cognitive component, including subjective feelings of apprehension, a sense
of pending danger, and a feeling of inability to cope
3. Physiological responses, including increased heart rate and blood pressure
4. Behavioural responses, such as avoidance of certain situations and impaired
task performance
Incidence refers to the number of new cases
Prevalence refers to the number of people who have a disorder during a specified
period of time
Phobias: strong and irrational fears of particular objects or circumstances
Realize that there fears are out of all proportion to the danger involved, but
they feel helpless to deal with these fears
Agororaphobia: phobia of open and public places
Social Phobias: excessive fear of situations in which the person might be evaluated
and possibly embarrassed
Specific Phobias: phobias of dogs, snakes, spiders, airplanes, etc
The degree of impairment produced by a phobia depends in part on how
often the phobic stimulus is encountered in the individual’s normal round of
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: a chronic state of diffuse, or “free-floating”, anxiety
that is not attached to specific situations or objects
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (COD): an anxiety disorder characterized by
persistent and unwanted thoughts and compulsive behaviours
Obsessions: an unwanted and disturbing thought or image that invades
consciousness and is very difficult to control
Compulsions: a repetitive act that the person feels compelled to carry out, often in
response to an obsessive thought or image
Resisted only with great difficulty
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