Textbook Notes (368,566)
Canada (161,966)
Psychology (3,337)
PSYC 3390 (102)
Chapter 4

Abnormal Psychology Chapter 4.docx

9 Pages
Unlock Document

PSYC 3390
Mary Manson

Chapter 4 10/23/2012 8:44:00 AM The Basic Elements in Assessment - The presenting problem is the major symptoms and behaviour - A formal diagnosis is necessary for some kinds of health coverage - An adequate assessment should include an objective description of the persons behaviour, long-term personality characteristics, social context that the individual operates in Assessement of the Physical Organism - Medical examination may include a general physical exam and special examinations aimed at assessing the structural (anatomical) and functional (physiological) integrity of the brain as a behaviourally significant physical system - A physical exam consists of the kinds of procedures most of us have experienced in getting a medical checkup—a medical history is obtained and major systems of the body are checked - A client may get an electroencephalogram (EEG) to assess brain wave patterns in awake and sleeping states—graphical record of the brains electrical activity. You place electrodes on the scalp and amplify the minute brain wave impulses from various areas which inturn drive oscillating pens whose deviations are traced on a strip of paper moving at a constant speed - When an EEG reveals a dysrhythmia (irregular pattern) in the brains electrical activity, other techniques may be used in an attempt to arrive at a more precise diagnosis of the problem - Radiological technology like computerized axial tomography (CAT) scans is another specialized technique—they reveal images of parts of the brain that might be diseased - CAT scans have been increasingly replaced by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), these images of the interior of the brain are frequently sharper with MRI because of its superior ability to differentiate subtle variations in soft tissue—MRI involves the precise measurement of variations in magnetic fields that are caused by the varying amounts of water content of organs and parts of organisms—MRI studies have considerable potential to illuminate the contribution of brain anomalies to nonorganic psychoses like schizophrenia - PET scan allows an appraisal of how an organ is functioning—this provides a metabolic portrait by tracking natural compounds like glucose, as they are metabolized by the brain or other organs - The use of PET scans in research on abnormal functioning on brain pathology, like schizophrenia, depression and alcoholism may lead to important discoveries about the organic processes underlying these disorders, therefore providing clues to more effective treatment— unfortunately, PET scans have been of limited value thus far because of the low-fidelity pictures obtained - The functional MRI (fMRI) can reveal brain structure but not brain activity—fMRI measures changes in local oxygenation of specific areas of brain tissue that in turn depend on neuronal activity in those specific areas—thought to hold more promise for depicting brain abnormalities than currently used procedures, like neuropsychological examinations - Studies have shown that impaired time estimation found in schizophrenics might result from dysfunction in specific areas of the brain, thalamus and prefrontal cortex and auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia might relate to cortical functioning - fMRI and MRIs are sensitive to artifacts created by slight movements of the person being evaluated—also, the results of the studies are sometimes very difficult to interpret - there is a growing cadre of psychologists specializing in neuropsychological assessment—which involves the use of various testing devices to measure a persons cognitive, perceptual and motor performance as clues to the extent and location of brain damage - standardized tasks that involve perceptual-motor and other tasks can provide clues to the probable location of the brain damage, even though PET scans, MRIs and other physical tests may be more effective in determining the exact location Psychosocial Assessment - analogue situations are designed to yield information about the persons adaptive strategies, involving role-playing, even re-enactment, family interaction assignments or think-aloud procedures - clinicians instruct clients in self-monitering—self observation an objective reporting of behaviour, thoughts and feelings as they occur in various natural settings - the use of rating scales in clinical observation and in self-reports helps both to organize information and to encourage reliability and objectivity - one of the rating scales most widely used for recording observations in clinical practice and in psychiatric research is the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS)—this provides a structured and quantifiable format for rating clinical symptoms like somatic concern, anxiety, emotional withdrawal, guilt feelings, hostility, suspiciousness and unusual thought patterns - psychological tests measure coping patterns, role behaviours, motive patterns, personality characteristics, values, levels of depression or anxiety and intellectual functioning - a clinician can choose from a wide variety of intelligence tests—the Wechsler intelligence scale for children revised and the current edition of the Stanford-binet intelligence scale are widely used in clinical settings for measuring intellectual abilities of children - adult scale involves comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory and processing speed with 15 subtests: the vocabulary subtest consists of a list of words to define, presented orally to the individual, designed to evaluate knowledge of vocabulary, which has been shown to be highly related to general intelligence and the digit span subtest tests short term memory - personality tests are either projective or objective—projective tests are unstructured and rely on various ambiguous stimuli, like inkblots and vague pictures, rather than on explicit verbal questions, and in that the persons responses are not limited to the true, false, or cannot say variety—the idea is that people reveal a good deal about their personal preoccupations, conflicts, motives, coping techniques and other personalities through their projective interpretation of the stimuli - the Rorschach test is named after the Swiss psychiatrist who intitiated the experimental use of inkblots in personality assessment in 1911—results can be unreliable because of the subjective nature of test interpretations, however, certain psychodynamic issues, like the impact of unconscious motivations on current perceptions of others, can be results of the test - a thematic apperception test (TAT) was introduced in 1935 and is still used in clinical practice and personality research—the TAT uses a series of simple pictures, some highly representatio
More Less

Related notes for PSYC 3390

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.