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PSYC 3140
Joel Goldberg

PSYB32 Exam Study Package: Week 2 Chapter 2 Current Paradigms and the Role of Cultural Factors May 13, 2008 • Paradigm: a set of basic assumptions, a general perspective, that defines who to conceptualize and study a subject, how to gather and interpret relevant data, even how to think about a particular subject The Role of Paradigms • Paradigm: a set of basic assumptions that outline the particular universe of scientific inquiry • it injects usual biases into the definition and collection of data and may also affect the interpretation of facts • meaning or importance given to a data may depend on a paradigm The Biological Paradigm • it is a continuation of the somatogenic hypothesis (mental disorders are caused by irregular biological processes • aka. Medical model or disease model • the germ theory was once very pervasive but then it was found that it cannot account for all diseases (ex. Diabetes) • medical illness are common in that; there is some biological process that is disrupted or not functioning normally • this paradigm was dominant from late 1800s to the middle 20 century • also called the medical model or disease model • Ex. Hall’s removed ovarian cysts or the whole ovary to treat melancholia, mania, and delusions Contemporary approaches to the biological paradigm • There are research supporting heredity having to increase the risk of certain mental disorders and may result from a chemical imbalance within the brain (depression), defect within the autonomic nervous system (anxiety disorder) and impairment in brain structure (dementia) • In each case, the psychopathology is viewed as caused by the disturbance of some biological process • Those using the biological paradigm assume that the answers to these puzzles of psychopathology will be found w/in the body Behaviour Genetics • Behaviour genetics: study of individual differences in behaviour that are attributable part to differences in genetic make up • Genotype: his or her unobservable genetic constitution (fixed at birth) • Phenotype: totality of his or her observable behavioural characteristics (changes over time & a product of interaction between genotype and environment) • Various clinical syndromes are disorders of the phenotype, not genotype • Diathesis: a predisposition, may be inherited, but not the disorder itself • Behaviour genetics relied on 4 basic methods for whether a predisposition for psychopathology is inherited o 1. THE FAMILY METHOD -Comparison of members of a family  People who share 50% of genes with a given individual are called first-degree relatives  Nephews and nieces share 25% of an uncles genes and is called second- degree relatives  Index cases/probands: are the individuals under investigation o 2. Comparison of pairs of twins PSYB32 Exam Study Package: Week 2  Concordant: when twins are similar diagnostically are said to be this  When MZ concordance rate is higher than DZ rate, the characteristic being studied is said to be heritable  But sometimes it’s not heritable but the rearing practises of parents  Equal environment assumption: the environmental factors that are partial cause of concordance rate are equally influential for MZ and DZ pairs  Sometimes results maybe similar because of the environment rather than biology o 3. Investigation of adoptees  Study children who were adopted and reared apart from their parents w/ abnormal disorders  Eliminates the effect of being raised by disordered parents o Linkage analysis  Study families in which a disorder is heavily concentrated  Tries to specify the particular gene involved  Collect diagnostic information and blood samples from affected individuals and relatives and use the blood sample to study the inheritance pattern of characteristics who genetics are fully understood genetic markers. Eg. Of genetic marker = eye colour. (it’s known to be controlled by a gene in a specific location on a specific chromosome) • Molecular Genetics o Allele: any one of several DNA codings that occupy the same position or location on a chromosome. Genotype is a set of alleles o Genetic polymorphism: variability among members of the species. It involves differences in the DNA sequence that can manifest in very different forms among members in the same habitat Biochemistry In The Nervous System • Each neuron has 4 major parts: cell body, dendrites, axons, and terminal buttons • It is stimulated through the cell body or dendrites, the nerve impulse (electrical potential) travels down the axon into the terminal endings • The gap between the sending axon and receiving neuron there is a synapse • The terminal buttons contain synaptic vesicles (filled with b; a chemical substance that allow a nerve impulse to cross the synapse) • The nerve impulse causes the synaptic vesicles to release molecules of their transmitter substances, and these molecules flood the synapse and diffuse toward the postsynaptic neuron • Postsynaptic cell contain proteins (receptor sites); sometimes excitatory or inhibitory • Then the last step is the presynaptic neuron is returned to normal state • Sometimes what remains is broken by enzymes, or pumped back by reuptake • Key Neurotransmitters o Norepinephrine: from the peripheral sympathetic NS, involved in produced high arousal states (must be involved in anxiety disorders) o Serotonin: brain NTs, involved in depression o Dopamine: brain NT, involved in schizophrenia o Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA): inhibits some nerve impulses, involved in anxiety disorders • This theory proposes that a given disorder is caused by too much or too little of a NT • Too much or too little of a particular transmitter could result from an error in these metabolic pathways • It may also be a problem in the reuptake process or the number of receptors o Delusions and hallucinations may result from too much dopamine receptors (increase in stimulation of the receptors) o Contemporary research has focused to a large extent on the possibility that the receptors are at fault in some psychopathologies PSYB32 Exam Study Package: Week 2 o too many or too easily excited receptors on the postsynaptic neuron increases the chance of the postsynaptic neuron to be stimulated Focus On Discovery 2.1: Structure and Function of the Human Brain • 3 layers envelop the skull called the meninges; divided by a midline fissure • Cerebrum is the thinking part of the brain • Connecting the two hemisphere is the corpus callosum • There are 10-15 billion neurons that make up the grey matter • The cortex is vastly convoluted; ridges are called gyri and depressions are called sulci or fissures • The frontal lobe: lies in front of the central sulcus • Parietal lobe: behind central sulcus and above the lateral sulcus • the temporal lobe: located below the lateral sulcus • the occipital lobe: located behind the parietal and temporal lobe • Deep fissures divide the brain into 4 lobes • Left hemisphere: controls right half of body, speech • Right hemisphere: control left half of body, spatial relations and patterns, is involved in emotion and intuition • They communicate via the corpus callosum • The grey matter is around the surface of the brain, the interior is mainly white matter (made up of large tracts or bundles of mylinated fibres) • Nuclei: centres and pockets of grey matter. Serve as connecting tracts from the cortex with other ascending and descending tracts and as integrating motor and sensory control centers • Basal ganglia: 4 masses of cortical cells are deep within each hemisphere • Ventricles: cavities deep within the brain and has cerebrospinal fluid • Diencephalon: contains the thalamus and hypothalamus (both consisting of groups of nuclei) o Thalamus: a relay station for all sensory pathways except olfactory (receives almost all impulses arriving from different sensory areas) o Hypothalamus: highest center of integration for many visceral processes, regulating metabolism, temperature, perspiration, blood pressure, sleeping and appetite • Midbrain: mass of nerve fibre tracts connecting the cerebral cortex with the pons, the medulla oblongata, the cerebellum and the spinal cord • Brain stem: comprises the pons, and medulla oblongata; functions as a neural relay station o Pons: contains tracts that connect the cerebellum with the spinal cord and with motor areas of the cerebrum o Medulla oblongata: main line of traffic for tracts ascending from the spinal cord and descending from the higher centres of the brain • Medulla: contains nuclei that maintain regular life rhythms of the heart beat, rising and falling diaphragm, and constricting and dilating blood vessels • Reticular formation: RAS (reticular activating system); plays a role in arousal and alertness • Cerebellum: consists of 2 deeply convoluted hemispheres; receives sensory information from the inner ear and from muscles, tendons, and joints; the information received and integrated relates to balance, posture, equilibrium and to smooth coordination of the body when in motion • Limbic system: developed earlier than mammalian cerebral cortex; control visceral and physical expression of emotion (quickened heart beat and respiration, trembling, sweating, and alterations in facial expression, appetite, mating, defence, flight, hunger and thirst o Cingulated gryus, septal area, and amygdala Biological Approaches to Treatment • An important implication of the biological paradigm is that prevention or treatment of mental disorders should be possible by altering bodily functioning • Clear connections exist between the cause of a disorder (a biological defect) and its treatment PSYB32 Exam Study Package: Week 2 • Psychoactive drugs has been increasing • Tranquilizers: (valium) can be effective in reducing tension associated with some anxiety disorders o It stimulates GABA neurons to inhibit other neural systems that create the physical symptoms of anxiety • Antidepressants: (Prozac)increase neural transmission in neurons that use serotonin as a NT by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin most widely prescribed psychoactive drug • Antipsychotic drugs: (Clozaril) use in treating schizophrenia; it reduces the activity of neurons that use dopamine as a NT by blocking their receptors • Stimulants: used in treating children with ADHD (attention, deficit, hyperactivity disorder); it increase the level of several NT that help the child pay attention. Eg. ritalin Evaluating the Biological Paradigm • Reductionism: the view that whatever is being studied can and should be reduced to its most basic elements or constituents • they assert that psychology and psychopathology will ultimately be nothing more than biology • they propose that reducing complex mental and emotional responses to simple biology Focus On Discovery 2.2: The Autonomic Nervous System • Nervous System = Somatic (voluntary) NS + Autonomic (involuntary) NS • Autonomic NS is important in emotional behaviour • It stimulates the endocrine gland, the heart, the smooth muscles found in the walls of the blood vessels, stomach, intestines, kidneys, and other organs • Autonomic NS = Sympathetic NS + Parasympathetic NS • Sympathetic NS o When energized, accelerates the heart beat, dilates the pupils, inhibits intestinal activity, increases electrodermal activity, and initiates other smooth-muscle and glandular responses that prepare the organism for sudden activity and stress • Parasympathetic NS o Maintains functions, deceleration of heart beat, constriction of pupils, and deceleration of intestinal contractions o Increase in blood flow to the genitals during sexual excitement The Psychoanalytic Paradigm • Originally developed by Sigmund Freud • Proposes that psychopathology is a result of unconscious conflicts in the individual Classical Psychoanalytic Theory Structure of the Mind • Freud divided the mind into 3 principle parts: Id, Ego and Superego • ID o Present at birth o Basic urges for food, water, elimination of warmth, affection and sex o Seeks immediate gratification and operates according to the pleasure principle o When it is not satisfied, tension is produced (sometimes fantasies) o Libido: energy converted into psychic energy o seeks immediate gratification and operates according to the pleasure principle o another means of obtaining gratification is primary process thinking: generating images, fantases of what is desired • EGO o Primarily conscious and begins to develop from the id during 2 6 months of life o Deals with reality o Secondary process thinking: planning and decision making functions PSYB32 Exam Study Package: Week 2 o Operates as a reality principle and mediates between the demands of reality and desires of the ID • SUPEREGO o Operates roughly as the conscious and develops through childhood • Psychodynamics of the personality: a complex interplay of the 3 parts by Freud Stages of Psychosexual Development • 4 distinct psychosexual stages, at each stage a different part of the body is most sensitive to sexual excitation and most capable of providing libidinal satisfaction to the id • Oral stage (1 stage) o Birth – 18 months o Demands of the infant is satisfied by feeding and sucking and biting associated with it • Anus stage (2 stage) o Main libidinous pleasure comes from passing and retaining faeces o 18months – 3 years • Phallic stage o 3 – 5 years o Gratification of id is by genital stimulation • Latency period o 6 – 12 years • Genital stage o Adult stage o Heterosexual interests predominate • A personality is developed by the way a person manages the conflicts between what the id wants and what the environment will provide during each stage • Sometimes a fixation occurs at a stage, and a person is likely to regress to this stage with stressed • The desires that are repressed toward the child’s opposite sex parent are known as the Oedipus complex (for males) and the Electra complex (for females). It is usually resolved through increased identification with the parent of the same sex and through the adoption of society’s moral values o Failure to do so may result in the child to feel guilty about sexual desires, fear intimacy, or develop other difficulties in romantic relationships Neurotic Anxiety • Objective (realistic) anxiety: the ego’s reaction to danger in the external world • Neurotic anxiety: a feeling of fear that is not connected to reality or any real threat o May arise when a person’s personality is not fully developed because they are fixated at an earlier stage • Moral anxiety: arises when the impulses of the superego punish an individual for not meeting expectations and thereby satisfying the principle that drives the superego (perfection principle) Defence Mechanisms: Coping with Anxiety • The anxious ego can be reduced in several ways • Neurotic anxiety can be handled by means of defence mechanisms • Defence mechanism: a strategy, unconsciously utilized, to protect the ego from anxiety • Repression: pushes unacceptable impulses and thoughts into the unconscious o Retain original intensity and immaturity • Denial: disavowing a traumatic experience, and pushing it into unconscious • Projection: external agents characteristics or desires that an individual possess but cannot accept in his or her conscious awareness (eg. A woman who unconsciously is averse to regarding herself as angry at others may instead see others as angry w/ her) • Displacement: redirecting emotional responses from a perhaps dangerous object to a substitute (yelling at a spouse instead of a Boss) • Reaction formation: converting ones feeling into its opposite PSYB32 Exam Study Package: Week 2 • Regression: retreating to the behaviour patterns of an earlier age • Rationalization: inventing a reason for an unreasonable action or attitude • Sublimation: converting sexual or aggressive impulses into socially valued behaviours, especially creative activity • Sometimes they are helpful in certain situation but most of the time they are maladaptive Relationship of Psychoanalytic Concepts to Psychopathology • Phobias: irrational fears and avoidances of harmless objects or situations o Freud believed they are caused by unresolved Oedipal conflict (with the fear of the father displaced onto some other object or situation • Obsessed-compulsive disorder: traced to the anal stage with the urge to soil or to be aggressively transformed by reaction formation into compulsive cleanliness Neo-Freudian Psychodynamic Perspectives • All have continued to embrace his emphasis on human behaviour as the product of dynamics within the psyche • They all share a psychodynamic perspective on mental disorders Psychoanalytic therapy • Classical psychoanalysis is based on Freud’s second theory of the ego when a previously punished and repressed id impulses presses for expression • The conscious part of the ego, encountering a situation that reminds it of a repressed conflict from childhood – is overcome by reducing tension • To lift repression o Free association  Patient reclines on a couch facing away from the analyst and is encouraged to give free rein to his or her thoughts, verbalizing whatever comes to mind without the censoring done in everyday life  The patient can overcome defences built up over many years  The resistances are noted by the analyst as they are assumed to signal a sensitive or ego-threatening area o Dream analysis  In sleep, ego defences are relaxed  Normally repressed material enters the consciousness (symbolic content = latent content) o Transference  Reflect relationships with important people in the patients past  Analyst encourage the development of transference by intentionally remaining shadowy figures and try to get out their personal lives  They can gain insight into their childhood and the origins of repressed conflicts • Countertransference: refers to the analysts feelings toward the patient (training is usually
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