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Chapter 1

Psychology 2030A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Reality Principle, Introjection, Nicole Oresme

Course Code
Ian Nicholson

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Chapter 1: Abnormal Behaviour in Historical Context
- Psychological disorder = a psychological dysfunction within an individual that is associated
with distress or impairment in functioning and a response that is not typical or culturally
Case: Jody
-a blood-injury-injection phobia
- Phobia: a psychological disorder characterized by marked and persistent fear of an object or
What is a psychological disorder?
Psychological dysfunction
-Refers to the breakdown in cognitive, emotional or behavioural functioning
-Usually exist on a continuum or as a dimension, rather than as categories that are present or
Personal Distress or Impairment
-Defining psychological disorder by distress alone doesn’t work, although the concept of
distress contributes to a good definition
-Most psychological disorders are simply extreme expressions of otherwise normal emotions,
behaviors, and cognitive processes
Atypical or Not Culturally Expected
-The criterion that the response be atypical or not culturally expected is important but also
insufficient to determine abnormality
-Your behavior is abnormal if you are violating social norms but may be accepted in other
- Wakefield: Harmful Dysfunction
oA psychological disorder is caused by a failure of one of more mechanisms to perform
their evolved function and the dysfunction produces harm or distress
Provides a potentially objective or scientific view of dysfunction along with
allowing a subjective or culturally bound consideration of harm or distress
-A related concept that is also useful when considering the definition of a psychological disorder
is to determine whether the behavior is beyond the individuals control
- Prototype: matches symptoms of a typical disorder
- Szasz: claimed mental illness is a myth; should not diagnose it
- Albee: argued that the biggest mistake made by clinical psychology was uncritically accepting
the concept of “mental disease” and using the medical model and associated diagnoses in
conceptualizing abnormal behavior
The Science of Psychopathy
-Scientific study of psychological disorders
- Counseling psychologists: tend to study and treat adjustment and vocational issues
encountered by relatively healthy individuals whereas clinical psychologists concentrate on
more severe psychological disorders
The Scientist-Practitioner
-Take a scientific approach
oBy one of 3 ways:
1) keep up with latest scientific developments in their field (Consumer of science)
2) evaluate assessments or treatment procedures to see whether they work (Evaluator of
3) conduct research that produces new information about disorders or their treatment
(Creater of Science)

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Clinical Description
- Presenting problem: patient presents with a problem
- Clinical description: unique combination of behaviours, thoughts and feelings and make up a
specific disorder
- Prevalence: how many people in the population as a whole have the disorder
- Incidence: how many new cases occur during a given period
- Chronic course: last a long time, maybe a lifetime
- Episodic course: likely to recover in a few months
- Time limited course: disorder will improve without treatment in a relatively short time
- Acute onset: begin suddenly
- Insidious onset: develop gradually over time
- Prognosis: anticipated course of a disorder; either good or guarded
Causation, Treatment, Outcomes
- Etiology: study of origins; why a disorder begins; biological, psychological, and social
The Past: Historical Conceptions of Abnormal Behaviour
-Supernatural model, biological model, psychological model
oExplain why someone is “acting like that”
-Last quarter of 14th century: witches/demons, stress/melancholy (sin of acedia (or sloth))
- Nicholas Oresme: disease of melancholy (depression) was a source of bizarre behavior
- Charles VI: The Mad King : became mad due to evil and sorcery
- Treatments: snake pits, ice cold water, torture etc
- Paracelsus: suggested that the movements of the moon and stars had profound effects on the
peoples psychological functioning
oLunatic: stemmed from the word, luna
The Biological Tradition
oHippocrates: father of modern medicine (also Galen later)
oPsychological disorders could be treated like any other disease
Considered brain to be seat of wisdom, intelligence etc
oHumoral Theory: normal brain functioning was related to four bodily fluids or humors: blood,
black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm
oDisease resulted from too much or too little of one
Too much black bile = depression (melancholia)
oPhlegmatic personality: apathy/sluggishness, but can also mean being calm under
oCholeric person: hot tempered
oSanguine: ruddy in complexion
oTreated by regulating the environment to increase/decrease heat, dryness, moisture or
cold depending on which one was imbalanced
oTwo treatments:
Blood was removed with leeches OR
Vomiting was induced
oSomatic symptom disorders
Physical symptoms appear to be the result of an organic pathology for which no
organic cause can be found
Wandering uterus theory (found only in women)

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The 19th century
oDelusion of persecution or delusion of grandeur (God)
oLouis Pasteurs germ theory of disease: identified of specific bacterial micro-organism
that caused syphilis
oPenicillin cures syphilis
John P Grey
oInsanity always had physical causes
oMentally ill should be treated as physically ill
The Development of Biological Treatments
oSakel: Insulin shock therapy
oVon Meduna: electroconvulsive therapy to cure schizophrenia
o1928: bromides: 1 in 5, then disappeared
Consequences of the Biological Tradition
oKraepelin: father of modern psychiatry
Disorders were due to brain pathology
First to distinguish among various psychological disorders
The Psychological Tradition
oThought that the two causes of maladaptive behavior were the social and cultural
influences in a persons life and the learning that took place in that environment
oFocus on psychological factors as well as social and cultural ones
Moral Therapy
oMoral really meant “emotional” or “psychological” rather than a code of conduct
oIts basic tenets included treating institutionalized patients as normally as possible in a
setting that encouraged and reinforced social interaction
oPinel made mental institutions more humane
oRush: the father of North American psychiatry, introduced moral therapy to New World
Asylum Reform and the Decline of Moral Therapy
o1st: Immigrant rush; only worked when 200 or fewer in one setting
o2nd reason: mental hygiene movement – Dorothea Dix
increase in number of mental patients
oFinal blow to moral therapy: that mental illness was caused by brain pathology and
oPsychoanalysis: Freud
Structure of the mind and the role of unconscious process in determine
oBehaviourism: Watson, Skinner, Pavlov
Focuses on how learning and adaptation affected the development of
Psychoanalytic Theory
oAnimal magnetism
Undetectable fluid found in all living organisms that could become blocked
oFather of hypnosis
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