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Chapter 14

PSY100Y5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Personality Disorder, Root Mean Square, Social Rejection

Course Code
Dax Urbszat

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Chapter 14: Psychological Disorders
What is the basis for judging behaviour as normal vs. abnormal?
Who makes the judgment?
Abnormal Behaviour: Myths, Realities and Controversies
The Medical Model Applied to Abnormal Behaviour
Defn: medical model proposes that it is useful to think of abnormal behaviour as a disease
Explains why it is called mentalillness”, mentaldisorder” or psychopathology (pathology refers
to the manifestations of a disease)
Became the dominant way of thinking about abnormal behaviour during 18th and 19th century and
its influence remains strong today
Before the 18th century, conceptions of abnormal behaviour were based on superstition
oPatients thought to be possessed by demons, witches or to be victims of God’s
oTreated using chants, rituals and exorcisms
Rise of medical model brought improvement in treatment of patients
Ineffectual approaches to treatment eventually gave way to scientific investigation of causes and
cures of psychological disorders
Thomas Szasz- asserts that disease/illness can only affect the body…minds can’t really be sick
oArgues that abnormal behaviour usually involves deviation from social norms rather than
an illness
oAccording to Szasz, medical models disease analogy coverts moral and social questions
about what is acceptable behaviour into medical questions
Diagnosis: distinguishing one illness from another
Etiology: apparent causation and developmental history of an illness
Prognosis: forecast about probable course of an illness
Criteria of Abnormal Behaviour
in making diagnoses, clinicians rely on variety of criteria, the foremost of which are the following:
deviance, maladaptive behaviour and personal distress
people are often viewed as disordered when only one criterion is met
judgments about mental illness reflect prevailing cultural values, social trends, and political forces and
scientific knowledge; Diagnoses involves value judgments of what is normal or abnormal
people are judged to have psychological disorders only when their behaviour becomes extremely
deviant, maladaptive or distressing
normality and abnormality exist on a continuum

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Psychodiagnosis: Classification of Disorders
defn: systematic classification of psychological disorders
sound system for classifying psychological disorders can facilitate empirical research and
enhance communication among scientists and clinicians
American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Classification scheme of about 100 disorders in DSMI
Each revision of DSM system expanded list of disorders covered
Current version has about 300
Judgments about individuals on five separate dimensions of “axes”
Axis I and Axis II- diagnoses of disorders
-record most types of disorders on Axis I
-use Axis II to list long-running personality disorders/ mental retardations
-people may receive diagnoses on both Axes I and II
Remaining axes used to record supplemental information
Axis III- patients physical disorders (General Medical Conditions)
Axis IV-Psychosocial and Environmental Problems; clinician makes notes regarding types of
stress experienced by individual in previous year
Axis V- Global Assessment of Functioning; estimate made of individuals current level of adaptive
functioning (in social and occupational behaviour)
The Prevalence of Psychological Disorders
How common are psychological disorders?
Epidemiology: study of the distribution of mental or physical disorders in a population
Prevalence: percentage of a population that exhibits a disorder during specified time period
Lifetime prevalence: percentage of people who endure specific disorder at any time in their lives
Estimates of lifetime prevalence suggest that psychological disorders are more common that
most people realize
Increases often because new criteria of psychological disorders are added frequently (ex.
Alcohol/drug-related disorders)
Most recent large-scale epidemiological study estimates lifetime risk of psychiatric disorder to be
These figures are estimates that depend to some extent on sampling methods and assessment
techniques used
Overview of DSM Diagnostic System:
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