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Chapter 5

B32 - Chapter 5.doc

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Konstantine Zakzanis

Chapter 5 There is less than total agreement about how ab beh ought to be studied and what are the facts of the field SCIENCE AND SCIENTIFIC METHODS Science is the pursuit of systematized knowledge through observation Comes from latin term to know refers to both a method and to a goal Its always imp for scientific observations and explanations to be testable and reliable (replicable) Testability and Replicability st A scientific approach requires 1 that propositions and ideas be states in a clear and precise way Must be testable in the public arena If the event cannot be reproduced scientists become wary of the legitimacy of the original observation The role of theory A theory is a set of propositions meant to explain a class of phenomena A primary goal of science is to advance theories to account for data often by proposing cause effect relationships A theory permits the generation of hypotheses ---expectations about what should occur if a theory is true ---to be testes in research Theories are constructions put together by scientists. Ex: repression is a theoretical concept A theoretical concept such as acquired fear is useful in accounting for the fact that some earlier experiences can have an effect on our current beh Several advantages can be gained by using theoretical terms: ex: we may want to bridge temporal gaps with theoretical concepts or theoretical concepts can also summarize already observed relationships EX: PG 134 Earlier school of thought called operationism proposed that each concept take as its meaning a single observable and measurable operation. This way each theoretical concept would be nothing more than one particular measurable event Theoretical concepts are better defined by sets of operations than by a single operation THE RESEARCH METHODS OF ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY All empirical research entails the collection of observable data Sometimes research remains at a purely descriptive level but often researcher observe several events and try to determine how they are associated or related Ex: eating disorder much more common in women than men. We want more than a description of relationships we want to understand the causes The case study Study ppl one at a time and record detailed info about them J.Brett Barkley is an ex Prepare a case study by collecting historical and biographical info on a single indiv often including experiences in therapy The role of the clinicians paradigm in determining the kinds of info actually collected and reported in a case study. Ex: case studies of psychoanalytically oriented clinicians contain more info about the clients early childhood and conflicts with parents than do reports made by beh practitioner Case studies from practising clinicians may lack the degree of control and objectivity of research using other methods . the case study has been used to: 1) provide a detailed description of a rare or unusual phenomenon and of important often novel methods or procedures of interviewing, diagnosis and treatment 2) disconfirm allegedly universal aspects of a particular theoretical proposition 3) generate hypotheses that can be tested through controlled research Providing Detailed description famous case history of multiple personally in 1954 patient Eva White who assumed at various times tree very distinct personalities. Her real name was chris Sizemore and she was called the three faces of Eve case. Claimed to have 21 separate personalities the case of Eve White, Eve black and Jane and eventually Evelyn one of only few detailed accounts of a rare phenomenon multiple personality now known as dissocociative identity disorder trichotillomania one of the DSM-IV-TR impulse control disorders. The irresistible urge to pull out ones hair is an understudies chronic condition that affects mainly adolescent girls and women focus interviews on 7 women who had this condition. Analyzed using a procedure called the constant comparative method which consists of unitizing, categorizing and identifying themes. Casati identified 10 major themes in the subjective experiences of the women with compulsive hair pulling. Six themes related to the negative emotions the women experiences (Embarrassment/shame, isolation, fear and guilt, anger/frustration, humiliation/pain and body image) Three of the themes related to the issue of control (lack of control, self disclosure and lack of info from the medical community) and the last theme related to triggers or precipitants of the compulsive hair pulling. Why is this study informative? Cuz in the past treatments have focused primarily on symptom reduction with limited effectiveness. This study identified themes in the subjective experiences of these ppl and demonstrated the impact of their concerns on emotional, social and psychological well being The case study as evidence Case histories are especially useful when hey negate an assumed universal relationships or law Case study fares less well as evidence in support of a particular theory or proposition. Case studies do not provide the means for ruling out alternative hypotheses Generating hypotheses Through exposure to the life histories of a great number of patients, clinicians gain experience in understanding and interpreting them Eventually they may notice similarities of circumstances and outcomes and formulation important hypotheses that could not have been uncovered in a more controlled investigation Kanner; noticed that some kids showed same symptoms such as failure to develop language and extreme isolation from other ppl. He proposed a new diagnosis infantile autismwhich was confirmed and is now in DSM Some case studies are so unique its impossible to generalize to other indiv including other ppl with the same disorder. Canadian ex is a case of preferential bestiality (zoophilia) reported. A 54 yr old white male was serving a 5 yr prison sentence for cruelty to animals a cruelty that had been exhibited in sexual activity with horses Case study is excellent way of examining the beh of a single indiv in great detail and generating hypotheses that can later be evaluated by controlled research Useful in clinical settings where focus is on one person. A case study may however not reveal principles characteristic of ppl in general and is unable to provide satisfactory evidence concerning cause effect relationships Epidemiological research Epidemiology is the study of the frequency and distribution of a disordered in a population Data re gathered about the rates of a disorder and its possible correlates in a large samples or population Epediologioical research focuses on determining three features of a disorder: 1) prevalence- the proportion of a population that has the disorder at a given point or period fo time 2) incidence- the # of new cases of the disorder that occur in some period of time usually a year 3) risk factors- conditions or variables that if present increase the likelihood of developing the disorder knowing this stuff is imp for planning health care facilities, services, etc depression is twice as common in women than men. Thus gender is a risk factor and this knowledge led to a theory of depression that suggests its due to a style of coping with stress that is more common in women than men The correlation
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