PSYCH 257 Chapter 1-11: PSYCH 257 Psychopathology Notes (1)

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Published on 24 Dec 2015
Chapter 1: Abnormal Behaviour in Historical Context
Psychopathology – scientific study of psychological disorders
Psychological Disorder – psychological dysfunction within an individual that is associated with distress or
impairment in functioning and a response that is not typical or culturally expected
oDysfunction – breakdown in cognitive, emotional, or behavioural functioning; not able to think, feel, or
behave in a typical way
Ex. going out on a date should be fun, but you experience severe fear all evening and just want to
go home (not feeling as people should)
Ex. anorexia – only allows herself to eat veggies because she thinks if she eats anything else it will
make her fat (not thinking as people should)
oDistress or Impairment
Distress – feeling upset about the problem
By itself, this criterion doesn’t define abnormal behaviour
oEx. anorexia – some people feel pride in their control of eating and weight
(opposite of distress)
For some disorders, suffering and distress are absent
oEx. bipolar – extremely elated and acts impulsively as part of manic episodes
Impairment – interfering with functioning; impairs ability to do certain activities (socially,
academically, etc.); not able to perform typical duties you’d be expected to do
Ex. anorexia – can’t go out with friends to dinner because of food issues
Ex. bipolar – in manic episodes, they might become promiscuous even if in a committed
relationship or spend lots of money that they don’t have (impairs relationship and
Ex. so shy that you make every attempt to avoid interactions even though you would like
to have friends (social functioning is impaired)
oDeviant – response is atypical or not culturally expected, deviates from the average, different from socio-
cultural norms
Ex. OCD – check if stove is turned off 30 times before leaving house (most people only check once
or twice)
Ex. Muslims fast during Ramadan, but that’s not anorexia; students typically drink more than
adults, but that’s not a substance disorder
oHarmful Dysfunction – a psychological disorder is caused by a failure of one or more mechanisms to
perform their evolved function and the dysfunction produces harm or distress (this provides a potentially
objective analysis of the structure/function of the relevant psychological mechanisms, along with allowing
a subjective or culturally bound consideration of harm/distress)
Phobia – psychological disorder characterized by marked and persistent fear of an object or situation
Clinical Description – represents the unique combination of behaviours, thoughts, and feelings that make up a
specific disorder
oPresenting Problem – why the person came to the clinic
oPrevalence – how many people in the population as a whole have the disorder
oIncidence – how many new cases occur during a given period
oCourse – pattern (chronic – last a long time; episodic – likely to recover in a few months but have a
recurrence later; time-limited – will improve without treatment in a relatively short period)
oPrognosis – anticipated course of a disorder
Etiology – study of origins/causes of disorders; includes biological, psychological, and social dimensions; used to
include supernatural, but not any more
oTheories about etiology inform treatment and vice versa
Ex. if you think the etiology is biological, then the treatment is thought should be biological (and
vice versa)
Psychoanalytic Theory (Sigmund Freud)
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oStructure of the mind, its defence mechanisms, and the stages of early psychosexual development
oThe mind has three major parts:
Id – source of our strong sexual and aggressive energies; our instinctual drives
Humans are fundamentally born with this innate (primitive) pleasure-driven urge (Id) that
we seek through sex or aggression
Libido – sex drive; the positive energy or drive within the Id
Thanatos – death instinct
Pleasure Principle – overriding goal of maximizing pleasure and eliminating any associated
Ego – part of our mind that ensures we act realistically; executive/manager of our minds
Reality Principle – logical, reality-based principles; secondary process/urge
Purpose is to mediate conflict between the Id and the Superego, juggling their demands
with the reality of the world
oIf unsuccessful, psychological disorders develop
Fully aware
Defence Mechanisms – unconscious protective processes that keep primitive emotions
associated with conflicts in check so the Ego can continue its coordinate function
oEx. denial, displacement, projection, rationalization, reaction formation,
repression, sublimation
Superego – conscience
Moral Principle – moral lessons and societal norms instilled in us by parents and culture
Purpose is to counteract the aggressive and sexual drives of the Id that are potentially
oThis is the basis for conflict (intrapsychic conflicts)
oPsychosexual Stages of Development – oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital
Oedipus Complex – young boys desire to have sex with their mothers and want to take the place
of their father
Castration Anxiety – the fear that the father may punish the son for that lust by removing
the son’s penis helps the boy keep his lustful impulses toward his mother in check
Oedipus Rex – Greek tragedy where Oedipus is fated to kill his father and, unknowingly,
marry his mother
Conflict is resolved when the boy reconciles the simultaneous anger and love for the father
and then channels his libidinal impulses into heterosexual relationships
Electra Complex – counterpart conflict in girls; young girls desire to replace the mother and
possess the father
Central to this possession is the young girl’s desire to have a penis, so as to be more like
the father and brother (Penis Envy)
oWhen females develop healthy heterosexual relationship and look forward to
having a baby, it is viewed as a healthy substitute for having a penis, and thus
resolves the conflict
oHypnosis – a state in which suggestible subjects sometimes appear to be in a trance
People can talk about things more freely that they would not be able to let out if they were fully
Freud and Breuer “discovered” the unconscious mind through hypnosis
Catharsis – emotional release; recalling and reliving emotional trauma that has been made
unconscious and releasing the accompanying tension is therapeutic
Etiology of Hypnosis – intrapsychic conflicts between different structures of mind
Humanistic Theory (Carl Rogers)
oEtiology of this theory was unique experiences and perspectives, thwarted needs, and conditional regard
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oSelf-Actualization – humans are born with innate desire to learn, explore, and pursue what we are
interested in
We can all reach our highest potential, in all areas of functioning, if only we have the freedom to
Every person is basically good and whole, so most blocks originate outside the individual (ex.
difficult living conditions or stressful life or interpersonal experiences may move you away from
your true self)
Environmental situations thwarts needs
oEx. confused with what their parents tell them they should be doing and what is
actually good/bad for the individual
Hierarchy of Needs – beginning with our most basic physical needs (food and sex) and ranging
upward (self-actualization, love, self-esteem); social needs (friendship) fall somewhere in between;
cannot progress up the hierarchy until lower level needs are satisfied
oPerson-Centered Therapy – give individual chance to develop during the course of therapy, unfettered by
threats to the self; therapists take a passive role, making as few interpretations as possible
Give clients what they missed during their childhood, be supportive, and they will eventually find
that self-actualization again
Unconditional Positive Regard – complete and almost unqualified acceptance of most of the
client’s feelings and actions
Empathy – sympathetic understanding of the individual’s particular view of the world
Hoped-for result is that clients will be more straightforward and honest with themselves and will
access their innate tendencies toward growth
Behavioural Model
oEtiology was learning by:
Operant Conditioning (B. F. Skinner) – behaviour changes as a function of what follows the
behaviour; rewards increase/strengthen behaviour, punishments decrease/weaken behaviour
Ex. anorexia – gets complimented when loses weight, gets teased when gaining weight
Ex. if someone tries to be assertive in social situations and gets criticized/judged for it,
they might start to withdraw from social situations and eventually develop social anxiety
Using punishment as a consequence is relatively ineffective in the long run and the
primary way to develop new behaviour is to positively reinforce desired behaviour
Shaping – process of reinforcing successive approximations to a final behaviour or set of
Observational Learning – watching others and repeating their reactions
Ex. prof’s daughter and wasp story
Classical Conditioning (Ivan Pavlov) – neural stimulus is paired with a response until it elicits that
response; temporal association
Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS) – stimulus that elicits response in almost anyone and
requires no learning
Unconditioned Response (UCR) – natural or unlearned response to this stimulus
Conditioned Stimulus (CS) – stimulus associated with the UCS acquires the power to elicit
the same response
Conditioned Response (CR) – the same response as UCR, but elicited by the CS
Why dogs salivate before the presentation of food
oUCS – food
oUCR – salivation
oCS – metronome
oCR – salivation
Stimulus Generalization – response generalizes to similar stimuli
Requires repeated pairing of UCS and CS
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