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Chapter 2

PSYB32 Chapter 2

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Konstantine Zakzanis

Chapter 2: Current Paradigms in Psychopathology LEARNING GOALS 1. Be able to describe the essentials of the genetic, neuroscientific, psychoanalytic, cognitive- behavioral, and diathesis-stress paradigms. 2. Be able to describe the concept of emotion and how it may be relevant to psychopathology. 3. Be able to explain how culture, ethnicity, and social factors figure into the study and treatment of psychopathology. 4. Be able to recognize the limits of adopting any one paradigm and the importance of integration across multiple levels of analysis. Summary  Scientific inquiry is limited by scientists’ human limitations and by the limited state of our knowledge: people see only what they are able to see, and other phenomena go undetected because scientists can discover things only if they already have some general idea about them.  A paradigm is a conceptual framework or general perspective. Because the paradigm within which scientists and clinicians work helps to shape what they investigate and find, understanding paradigms helps us to appreciate subjective influences that may affect their work.  Several major paradigms are current in the study of psychopathology and therapy. The choice of a paradigm has important consequences for the way in which abnormal behavior is defined, investigated, and treated.  The genetic paradigm holds that psychopathology is caused or at least influenced by heritable factors. Recent genetic findings show how genes and the environment interact, and it is this type of interaction that will figure most prominently in psychopathology.  The neuroscience paradigm emphasizes the role of the brain, neurotransmitters, and other systems, such as the HPA axis. Biological treatments attempt to rectify the specific problems in the brain or to alleviate symptoms of disorders, often through the use of drugs.  The psychoanalytic paradigm derives from the work of Sigmund Freud. The more contemporary contributions of this paradigm are primarily in
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