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Chapter 1

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PSYC 2030U
Ronn Young

What is a psychological disorder? (Criteria) - Extreme expressions of otherwise normal emotions, behaviours and cognitive processes  A psychological dysfunction within a person  Associated with distress or impairment in functioning  Response = not typical and culturally not expected o Although celebrities far from the average in their behaviour, they are considered to be talented or eccentric o Example: it is not normal to have blood spurt from your clothes, but when Lady Gaga did it while performing it only enhanced her celebrity  These behaviours would not be accepted by other members of our society o Violating social norms:  another view for behaviour being considered abnormal  Useful for considering important cultural differences in psychological disorders  Example: to enter a trance state and believe that you are possessed would point to a psychological disorder in most western cultures, but in many other societies this behaviour is accepted as expected o Some religious behaviours may seem unusual to us but are culturally or individually appropriate  sapolsky’s discussion What is a Psychological dysfunction? - A breakdown in cognitive, emotional or behavioural functioning o Example: being on a date, but experiencing severe fear all evening and anting to just go home when there is nothing to unafraid of. If this fear happens on every date than your emotions are not functioning properly Concept check Check your understanding of the definitions of abnormal behaviour. Write the letter for any, all or none of the following definitions in the blanks a) social norm violation b) impairment in functioning c) dysfunction d) distress - Jan’s neighbour collects aluminum cans and attaches them to the inside walls of her house for decoration. She has 2 rooms completely wall papered with cans and has started on a third. Jan knows of no one else who engages in similar behaviour and therefore, believes her neighbour to be abnormal. Jan could be using one of 2 definitions of abnormality. Which, if any, are they? o A)AND C) SOCIAL NORM VIOLATION & DYSFUNTION - Miguel recently began feeling sad and lonely. Although still able to function at work and fulfill his other responsibilities, he finds himself being down much of the time, and he worries about what is happening to him, which of the definitions of abnormality apply to Miguel’s situation? o D) DISTRESS - Three weeks ago, Tony, a 35 year old business executive, stopped showering, refused to leave his apartment, and started watching television talk shows. Threats of being fired have failed to bring Tony back to reality, and he continues to spend his days staring blankly at the television screen. Which of the definitions seem to describe Tony’s situation? o B) AND C) IMPAIRMENT IN FUNCTIONING &DYSFUNTION 1 - Jane is afraid to leave her home. She used to force herself to go out to maintain contact with friends and relatives’ however; recently she refuses to go anywhere. Which definitions apply to this situation? o B)IMPAIRMENT IN FUNCTIONING The diagnostic and statistical manual  Contains the current listing of criteria for psychological disorders The science of psychopathology - Psychopathology o The scientific study of psychological disorders o Within the field: trained professionals  clinical and counselling psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric social workers, psychiatric nurses, marriage and family therapists, and mental health counsellors o Clinical psychologists  PHD (doctor of philosophy)  course of graduate study that takes 5 years (prepares them to conduct research into the causes and treatment of psychological disorders and to diagnose, assess and to treat these disorders  concentrate on more severe psychological disorders: sometimes receive a Psy. D instead: (doctor of psychology) similar to PHD but more emphasis on clinical practice less on research training o Psychologists with other specialty training , such as experimental and social psychologists, concentrate on investigating the basic determinants of behaviour but do not assess or treat psychological disorders o Counselling psychologists  can receive a PhD, Psy. D or Ed,D (doctor of education)  study and treat adjustment and vocational issues encountered by relatively healthy individuals o Psychiatrists: MD IN Medical school  specialize in psychiatry during 3-4 year residency training program  investigate nature and causes of psychological causes from a biological perspective , make diagnosis and offer treatments o Psychiatric social workers  master’s degree in social work develop an expertise in collecting information that relates to the social and family situation of the individual that has a psychological disorder o Psychiatric nurses advanced degrees such as masters or a PHD: specialize in the care or treatment of patients with psychological disorders (usually in hospitals as a part of the treatment team) o Marriage and family therapists & mental health counsellors:  master’s degree (takes 1-2 years): provide clinical services in hospitals or clinics, usually under the supervision of a doctoral- level clinician o Using scientific methods, mental health professionals can function as scientific practitioners, they not only keep up with latest finding s but they also use scientific data to evaluate their work and often conduct research within their clinics or hospitals The scientist practitioner 2 Consumer of science: enhancing the practice: keep up with latest scientific developments in their field Evaluator of science: determining the effectiveness of the practice: they evaluate their own assessments or treatment procedures to see if they work Creator of science: conducting research that leads to new procedures useful in practice: the research that they conduct (in clinics or hospitals usually) to produce new information about disorders or their treatment Studying psychological disorders - There are three major categories that compose the study and discussion of psychological disorders Clinical description: o The presenting problem (why did the person come to the clinic?) is the first step in determining the clinical description (the unique combinations of behaviours, thoughts and feelings that make up a specific disorder o Important function of a clinical description: to specify what makes the disorder different from normal behaviour or from other disorders. - Some key terms: o Prevalence: number of people a disorder in the total population at any given time o Incidence: number of new cases of a disorder appearing during a specific time period o Sex ratio: what percentage of males and females have the disorder - Most disorders follow a typical individual patter or course o Chronic course: schizophrenia follows this and it’s when the disorder tends to last long time, sometimes even for a full life time o Episodic course: disorders like mood disorders follow this and it’s when the person with this disorder is likely to recover within a few months and it may come back later in life o Limited course: the disorder will improve in a short period of time and will improve without treatment - Closely related to the differences in the course of disorders are differences in onset o Acute onset: this means that the disorder begins suddenly o Insidious onset: when the disorder develops gradually over an extended period of time o Prognosis: the anticipated course of a disorder  If this is good the patient will probably recover  If this is guarded than the outcomes do not look so good - Age = important for a clinical description:  Children experience panic and anxiety different from adults so their reactions may be mistaken for symptoms of physical illness Causation: (etiology), treatment and outcomes 3 - Etiology : is the study of origins and has to do with why a disorder begins (what causes it) and includes biological, psychological and social dimensions - Treatment = important to the study of psychological disorders: if a new drug or psychosocial treatment is successful in treating a disorder, it may give hints about the nature of the disorder Concept check: A clinical description includes the unique combination of behaviours, thoughts and feelings that compose a given psychological disorder. Match the following words that are used in clinical descriptions with their corresponding examples: a) presenting problem, b) prevalence c) incidence d) prognosis e) course f) etiology - Maria should recover quickly with no intervention necessary. Without treatment, David will deteriorate rapidly o PROGNOSIS - Three new cases of bulimia have been reported in this county during the past month and only one in the next county o INCIDENCE - Elizabeth visited the campus mental health centre because of her increasing feelings of guilt and anxiety o PRESENTING PROBLEM - Biological, psychological and social influences all contribute
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