Textbook Notes (363,396)
Canada (158,365)
Psychology (4,731)
Prof (1)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1.docx

6 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Psychology 2030A/B

Psych 2030 Chapter 1: Abnormal Behavior in Historical Context What is a Psychological Disorder?  A psychological disorder is a psychological dysfunction within an individual that is associated with distress or impairment in functioning and a response that is not typically or culturally expected  A phobia is a psychological disorder characterized by marked and persistent fear of an object or situation  3 categories to a psychological disorder: psychological dysfunction, personal distress, and atypical or not culturally expected 1) Psychological dysfunction:  Psychological dysfunction refers to a breakdown in cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning  Many people experience mild versions of reactions consistent with phobias without meeting the criteria for the disorder; knowing where to draw the line between normal and abnormal dysfunction is often difficult. For this reason, these problems are often considered to exist on a continuum or as a dimension, rather than as categories that are either present or absent  Definition of continuum: A continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct  Definition of dimension: An aspect or feature of a situation, problem, or thing 2) Personal Distress  This criterion of a disorder is satisfied if the individual is extremely upset. By itself, this criterion does not define abnormal behavior (there are certain situations where being distressed is normal, i.e. death of a loved one). Category is satisfied if the suffering and distress are very much part of life and that is not likely to change, or, for some disorders, by definition, suffering and distress are absent  Most psychological disorders are simply extreme expressions of otherwise normal emotions, behaviors, and cognitive processes 3) Atypical or Not Culturally Expected  At times, something is considered abnormal because it occurs infrequently; it deviates from the average. The greater the deviation, the more abnormal it is.  Another view is that your behavior is abnormal if you are violating social norms, even if some people are sympathetic to your point of view (consider cultural differences: in western culture becoming “possessed is strange and you’re probably crazy, whereas in other societies it is accepted and or expected)  Harmful dysfunction: useful to determine whether the behavior is beyond the individuals control (something he or she doesn’t want to do)  In conclusion, the most widely accepted definition of abnormal is: behavioral, emotional, or cognitive dysfunctions that are unexpected in their cultural context and associated with personal distress or substantial impairment in functioning. This definition is useful but we must pay attention to what is functional or dysfunctional (or out of control) in a given society.  The best we can do is to consider how the apparent disease or disorder matches up to a typical “profile” of say depression, or anxiety in each individual case. We call this typical profile a “prototype”: the patient can have only some features or symptoms of the disorder (a minimum number), but not all of them. And still meet the criteria for the disorder because the set of symptoms is close to the “prototype”.  Very difficult to define “disorder”, a very conceptual concept, based on observations as opposed to facts. The planning committees of the DSMV are wrestling with improvements they can make to definitions of “disorder”. To assist in this process the planning committees have conceptualized 3 research questions for further investigation. First, they will carefully analyze the concepts that underlie disorders in the DSM-IV-TR, evaluating the degree to which the concepts conform (or don’t) to the numerous ways we currently have for understanding disorders. Second, they will survey mental health professionals worldwide to see whether any striking commonalities in the concepts of mental disorders used emerged. Finally, using the same survey process, they will determine what, in the eyes of mental health professionals, separates people who truly meet the criteria for the disorder from individuals who have mild form of the same problems that does not interfere with their functioning. The goal is for these surveys to shed light on the difficult problem of defining a psychological disorder. The Science of Psychopathology  Psychopathology is the scientific study of psychological disorders.  Within this field are specially trained professionals, including clinical and counseling psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric social workers, psychiatric nurses, marriage and family therapists, and mental health counselors.  Clinical psychologists typically receive a Ph.D. following a course of graduate level study that lasts approximately 5 years. This education prepares them to conduct research into the causes and treatment of psychological disorders and to diagnose, assess, and treat these disorders.  Instead of a Ph.D. clinical psychologists sometimes receive a Psy.D. (Doctor of psychology) degree for which the training is similar to the Ph.D. but with more emphasis on clinical practice and less on research training. No Psy.D. programs currently exist in Canada. In Canada regulation of the psychology profession is under the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories (i.e. in Ontario professional psychologists are regulated by the College of Psychologists of Ontario)  Only those who are licensed or registered with their provincial board or college are permitted to call themselves psychologists (ie. In advertising)  The labels “psychotherapist” and “therapist” are not regulated by the provincial and territorial psychology boards or colleges. Thus, in Canada, the label of “psychologist” conveys information about the training and qualifications of the professional, whereas the label of “psychotherapist” does not. In addition, the terms “therapist” and “psychotherapist” are not specific to a particular profession.  Psychologists with other specialty training, such as experimental and social psychologists, concentrate on investigating the basic determinants of behavior but do not assess or treat psychological disorders  Counseling psychologists (Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D. (doctor of education)) tend to study and treat adjustment and vocational issues encountered by relatively healthy individuals. Whereas clinical psychologists usually concentrate on more severe psychological disorders (however, there is a lot of overlap between the two)  Psychiatrists first earn an M.D. in medical school and then specialize in psychiatry during a 3 to 4 year residency-training program. Psychiatrists also investigate the nature and causes of psychological disorders, often from a biological point of view, make diagnoses, and offer treatments. Many psychiatrists emphasize drugs or other biological treatments, although most use psychosocial treatments as well  Psychiatric social workers typically earn a masters degree in social work as they develop expertise in collecting information relevant to the social and family situation of the individual with a psychological disorder. Social workers also treat disorders, often concentrating on family problems associated with them.  Psychiatric nurses often have advanced degrees, such as a master’s or a Ph.D., and
More Less

Related notes for Psychology 2030A/B

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.