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Chapter 19

PSYB30H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 19: Prince Of Persia, Apparitional Experience, Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Course Code
Lisa Fiksenbaum

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Chapter 19: Disorders of Personality (Adjustment Domain)
Kody Scott, a gang member nicknamed "Monster," is a violent person who craves excitement, fears
nothing, and has no guilt or remorse. Scott most likely has: antisocial personality disorder.
The Building Blocks of Personality Disorders
The symptoms of personality disorders can be seen as maladaptive variations within many of the domains
of personality. These traits, emotions, cognitions, motives, interpersonal behaviour, and self-concepts.
Personality disorders can be thought of as: maladaptive variations or combinations of normal personality
Motivation is another basic building block of personality that is important to understanding personality
Reasons motives are important in understanding maladaptive personality disorders:
An exaggerated need for power at high levels may result in a maladaptive personality disorder.
Individuals with maladaptive personality disorders may have a lack of motivation for intimacy.
An extreme need for superiority is found in individuals with narcissistic personality disorder.
Cognition also provides a building block for understanding personality disorders
Cognition consists of mental activity involved in perceiving, interpreting, and planning.
Personality disorders involve an impairment of social judgment.
Emotion is another area that is important to understanding personality disorders
With many personality disorders there is extreme variation in experienced emotions.
Some disorders involve extreme volatility in emotions, whereas other disorders involve extremes of
specific emotions, such as anxiety, fear, or rage.
The self-concept is another building block in personality disorders.
Self-concept is the person’s own collection of self-knowledge – one’s understanding of oneself.
Self-esteem is also an important part of the self, and some disorders are associated with high or low
levels of self-esteem.
Social relationships are distributed or maladaptive in personality disorders.
Biology can also form the building block of several of the personality disorders.
The Concept of Disorder
A psychological disorder is a pattern of behaviour or experience that is distressing & painful to the person,
that leads to disability or impairment in important life domains (i.e., problems with work, marriage, or
relationship difficulties), and that is associated with increased risk for further suffering, loss of function,
death, or confinement.
The field of abnormal psychology is the study of the various mental disorders, including thought disorders,
emotional disorders, and personality disorders.
The field of: abnormal psychology mainly studies mental disorders.
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What is Abnormal?
There are many ways to define abnormal.
One simple definition is that whatever is different from normal is abnormal – this is a statistical
definition it that researchers can statistically determine how often something occurs and, if it is rare,
call it abnormal.
The statistical definition of abnormal focuses on: characteristics that are rare in the population.
Another definition of abnormal is a social definition based on what society tolerates.
If we define the term in this sense, behaviours that society deems unacceptable are labeled as
abnormal (i.e., incest and child abuse are considered abnormal).
Both the statistical & the social definitions of abnormality suffer from changing times & changing
social or cultural norms.
Which of the following is one of the biggest problems in using social and statistical definitions
of abnormal? Societal norms change over time (i.e., homosexuality today is not considered
Psychological definitions of abnormality focus on: social definitions of abnormality.
Abnormality (statistical, social, and psychological), psychologists and psychiatrists have developed the field
of psychopathology, or the study of mental disorders.
The diagnosis of mental disorders is a both scientific discipline and an important part of the clinical
work of many psychiatrists and psychologists.
The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
The most widely used system for diagnosing mental disorders, including personality disorders, is the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric
Association (APA) and currently in its 5th edition (called the DSM-5).
The DSM-5 sets the standard for diagnoses, and its system is the one taught by almost all
psychiatry and psychology doctoral training programs, the one that appears in hospital record
systems, and the one most insurance companies demand for reimbursement purposes.
B/c society standards change over time and b/c new research accumulates, the DSM undergoes revision
from time to time.
The APA began working on this revision and appointed working groups of experts to assist in each
broad area of mental disorders.
One change the personality disorders working group considered was to make diagnosis less categorical and
more dimensional.
The previous edition— DSM-IV— was based on a categorical view of personality disorders; one
either had this disorder or did not have the disorders.
The categorical view held that there is a qualitative break between people who are, for example,
antisocial and people who are NOT.
The DSM-IV is: a manual that describes categories of mental disorders.
oAccording to: categorical view, a person either has a disorder or does not.
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oThe: categorical view states that there is a qualitative break between abnormal and
normal personalities.
The dimensional view of personality disorders, each disorder is seen as a continuum, ranging from
normality at one end to severe disability or disturbances at the other.
According to the dimensional view, people with & without the disorder differ in degree only.
According to the dimensional view of personality disorders each disorder: is seen as a continuum
ranging from normality at one end to severe disability and disturbance at the other.
Modern theorists believe the: dimensional view of personality disorders provides a reliable and meaningful
way of describing: extreme forms of normal personality traits.
What is a Personality Disorder?
A personality disorder: is an enduring pattern of experience and behaviour that differs greatly from the
expectations of the individual’s culture (DSM-5).
The essential features of a personality disorder, according to the DSM-5, are:
A personality disorder shows an enduring pattern of inner experiences and behaviour that deviates
markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture.
The enduring pattern is inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of personal & social situations.
The enduring patterns leads to clinically significant distress or impairments in social, occupational,
or other important areas of functioning.
The pattern is stable and of long duration, and its onset can be traced back to adolescence or early
The enduring pattern is not better accounted for as a manifestation or consequence of another mental
The enduring pattern is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance.
A behavioral problem is not considered a personality disorder if it: is the result of drug abuse.
A characteristic common to all personality disorders is: impaired social relations.
Culture, Age, and Gender: The Effect of Context
A person’s social, cultural, and ethnic background must be taken into account whenever there is a question
about personality disorders.
Immigrants often have problems fitting into a new culture or persons who originate in a different
culture often have customs, habits, expressions, and values that are at odds with, or that create social
problems within, a new culture.
For example, Chinn has just immigrated to Buffalo, New York from Singapore. He seems
depressed and quite withdrawn. A friend suggests that he makes an appointment with a
psychologist. Chinn's problems are most likely the result of: his recent immigration to Buffalo.
A psychologist should be especially hesitant before diagnosing a personality disorder in all of these groups:
Adolescent populations
Adults undergoing a severe loss
Immigrant populations
EXCEPT: criminal populations (do not hesitant).
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