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Chapter 14

Textbook notes for chapter 14 of Psychological Science

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Ashley Waggoner Denton

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Conceptualization and classification of psychological disorders: - Psychopathology = a disorder of the mind (630) - To determine whether behavior represents psychopathology, we should consider whether the behaviour deviates from cultural norms, whether it is maladaptive, and whether it is causing the individual personal distress (631) - Etiology = factors that contribute to the development of a disorder (632) - The DSM groups mental disorders systematically by identifying their symptoms and classifies them through a multiaxial system, which provides assessment along five axes describing important mental health factors (632) - These factors are clinical disorders, mental retardation or personality disorders, medical conditions, psychosocial problems, and global or overall assessment of how well the person is functioning (632) - Assessment = examination of a person’s mental state to diagnose possible psychological disorders (633) - The first goal of assessment is to make a diagnosis, and assessment continues to see whether progress is being made with treatment (633) - When patients are assessed in the emergency room, they are given a mental status exam which provides a snapshot of their psychological functioning (633) - When they are assessed by psychologists, they are given a clinical interview to identify symptoms and potential causes (633) - In unstructured interviews, the interviewer probes many aspects of the patient’s problems in no particular order (633) - In structured interviews, the same questions are asked in the same order each time and answers are coded based on a specific formula (633) - Sometimes questionnaires like the MMPI are used, although they are rarely used on their own because of the patient’s potential biases in reporting (634) - Neuropsychological testing is sometimes used where the patient is asked to perform certain tasks like copying a picture or sorting blocks to test whether certain brain regions are working properly (634) - Comorbidity = many people who suffer from one mental disorder also suffer from others (635) Dissociative identity disorder: - DID = the occurrence of two or more distinct identities in the same individual (636) - DID is an example of the DSM category of dissociative disorders, which involve disruptions of identity, memory, and conscious awareness (636) - Most people diagnosed with DID are women who were severely abused as children, who dissociated from their bodies to cope with the abuse and pretend it was happening to someone else (636) - Eventually this dissociated state takes on its own identity (636) - Often the identities have periods of amnesia and sometimes only one identity is aware of the others (636) - Some researchers are skeptical that DID exists because it is usually only diagnosed after the patient has committed a crime (636) - Additionally, the number of reported cases skyrocketed in the 80s and 90s which may have been due to the prevalence of therapists who believed childhood trauma was repressed and often used hypnosis, and may have suggested DID traits to their clients (636) Causes of psychological disorders: - Diathesis-stress model = a diagnostic model that proposes a disorder may develop when an underlying vulnerability is coupled with a precipitating event (637) - Some mental disorders can arise from prenatal problems like malnutrition or exposure to alcohol, while others can result from childhood exposure to toxins (638) - Family systems model = a diagnostic model that considers symptoms within an individual as indicating problems within a family (638) - Socio-cultural model = a diagnostic model that views psychopathology as the result of the interaction between individuals and their cultures (639) - Cognitive-behavioral approach = a diagnostic model that views psychopathology as the result of learned maladaptive cognitions, ex. conditioning to be afraid of a white rat (639) - Women are more likely to internalize, ex. depression or anxiety, while men are more likely to externalize, ex. ADHD (640) Anxiety: - Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive anxiety in the absence of true danger (643) - More than 25% of people will have an anxiety disorder in their lifetime, and 9% of men and 16% of women live with an anxiety disorder in any given year (643) - Because of the arousal of the autonomic nervous system, chronic anxiety causes bodily symptoms like sweating, dry mouth, rapid pulse, headaches, and hypertension (643) - People who suffer from anxiety may exhibit restless motor behaviors like toe tapping and fidgeting (643) - About one in eight people suffers from a phobia such as fear of flying (644) - Generalized anxiety disorder = a diffuse state of constant anxiety not associated with any specific object or event (644) - Panic disorder = characterized by sudden overwhelming attacks of terror (645) - Agoraphobia = fear of being in situations where escape is difficult or impossible (645) - Obsessive compulsive disorder = frequent intrusive thoughts and compulsive actions (645) - Anxious people are more likely to perceive things as threatening and recall threatening events (646) - Inhibited children tend to have more anxiety as adults, suggesting that aspects of childhood temperament are preserved in the adult brain (646) - Anxiety disorders such as OCD may persist through conditioning, ex. you shake someone’s hand when he has a bad cold, you wash your hands, you feel relief, then you associate hand washing with the reduction of your anxiety (647) - The caudate, a brain structure involved in suppressing impulses, has structural abnormalities in people with OCD, and deep electrical stimulation of the caudate has been successful in alleviating the symptoms of OCD, suggesting a biological component (647) Mood disorders: - Major depression = severe negative moods or a lack of interest in normally pleasurable activities (649) - Dysthymia = depression that isn’t severe enough to be diagnosed as major depression (649) - Dysthymia generally lasts several years; most commonly,
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