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Chapter

Abnormal Psychology.docx


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 3390
Professor
Mary Manson

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Abnormal Psychology
Chapter 1: Abnormal Psychology: An Overview
- Family aggregation, whether a disorder runs in families.
- About 20 percent of Canadians will suffer from a mental disorder at some
point in their lives, with anxiety disorders being especially common.
- WHAT DO WE MEAN BY ABNORMAL BEHAVIOUR?
- Double- blind study; neither the participants nor the experimenter who was working
with the participants knew who got the genuine magnets.
- The Elements of Abnormality
-Suffering
-Maladaptive behaviours
-Deviancy;
-Violation of the standards of society
-Social discomfort
Irrationality and unpredictability
- At the most fundamental level, classification systems provide us with a nomenclature ( a
naming system) and enable us to structure information in a more helpful manner.
- Disadvantages of Classification
-Stigma
-Stereotyping
-labelling
- Symptom: A symptom is a single indicator of a problem. It can involve affect ( e. g., sad mood,
anxiousness), behaviour ( problems sleeping, lethargy), or cognition ( excessive worry, suicidal
thoughts).
-Syndrome: A syndrome is a group or cluster of symptoms that all occur together. For example,
sad or depressed mood, problems sleeping, concentration problems, weight loss, and suicidal
thinking are all symptoms that reflect the syndrome of depression. Note that in the case of

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depression, depression can be a symptom ( when it refers to depressed mood). It is also the
name of the syndrome
- DSM- IV Definition of Mental Disorders
• Associated with distress or disability ( i. e., impairment in one or more important areas of
functioning)
• Not simply a predictable and culturally sanctioned response to a particular event ( e. g., the
death of a loved one)
• Considered to reflect behavioural, psychological, or biological dysfunction in the individual
- Wakefield’s definition
A mental disorder is a mental condition that
• causes significant distress or disability,
• is not merely an expectable response to a particular event, and
• is a manifestation of a mental dysfunction.
- Culture Specific Disorders
o Taijin kyofusho. This syndrome, which is a form of anxiety disorder (
see Chapter 6), is quite prevalent in Japan. It involves a marked fear
that one’s body, body parts, or body functions may offend or
embarrass others or make them feel uncomfortable. Often, people
with this disor-der are afraid of blushing or fear upsetting others by
their gaze, facial expression, or body odour
o some individuals of Latino- Caribbean and Latin Mediterranean origin
is ataque de nervios; often triggered by a stressful event like divorce
or loss of a loved one, include crying, trembling, un-controllable
screaming, and a general feeling of being out of control. Sometimes
the person may become aggressive physically or verbally. In other
cases, the per-son may faint or experience something that looks like a
seizure. Once the ataque is over, the person may quickly return to
normal and have no memory of what happened.
-HOW COMMON ARE MENTAL DISORDERS?
- it is generally found that women with depression outnumber men with depression by a ratio
of about 2: 1
- Epidemiology is the study of the distribution of diseases, disorders, or health- related
behaviours in a given population.

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- Prevalence refers to the number of active cases in a population during any given period of
time.
- Point prevalence refers to the estimated proportion of actual, active cases of the disorder in a
given population at any instant in time.
- One-year prevalence figure, we would count everyone who suffered from depression at any
time during the whole year.
- We might also wish to get an estimate of how many people had suffered from a particular
disorder at any time in their lives ( even if they are now recovered). This would provide us with
a lifetime prevalence estimate.
- Incidence; This refers to the number of new cases that occur over a given period of time (
typically one year). Incidence figures are typically lower than prevalence fig-ures because they
exclude already existing cases.
- In Canada, the best available data come from Statis-tics Canada’s Canadian Community Health
Survey ( CCHS) Mental Health and Well- Being. The survey was conducted in 2002 with 36 984
respondents from across all provinces, aged 15 and over, and involved direct and for-mal
diagnostic assessment of participants.
- Comorbidity is the term used to describe the presence of two or more disorders in the same
person. Comorbidity seems to be especially high in people who have severe forms of mental
disorders. In the NCS R study, half of the people with a disorder that was rated as serious on a
scale of severity ( mild, moderate, serious) also had two or more additional disorders
- RESEARCH APPROACHES IN ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY-
- Acute ( short in duration) or chronic ( more long- lasting)
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation ( TMS), which generates a magnetic field on the surface of
the head, we can stimulate underly-ing brain tissue
- Comparison group ( sometimes called a control group). This is a group of people who do not
exhibit the disorder being studied but who are comparable in all other major respects to the
criterion group ( i. e., people with the disorder). By “ comparable” we might mean that the
two groups are similar in age, number of males and females, education level, and similar
demographic kinds of variables.
- Unlike a true experimental design ( described below), observational research does not in-
volve any manipulation of variables. Instead, the re-searcher selects groups of interest
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