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Chapter 1

PSY 3330 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Doctor Of Education, Doctor Of Psychology, Psychopathology

Course Code
PSY 3330

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Ch. 1: Abnormal Behavior in Historical Context
oDx=diagnosis or DSM mental disorder
oTx =treatment
oEt=Etiology=cause=Theory of Et =Theory
oAb=Ab Behav=Ab Psych= Psychopathology
oHa =Happiness
oPP/Well-Being= Positive Psychology Paradigm which criticizes the DSM approach
oTwo types of twins
Monozygotic (MZ) Identical
Dizygotic (DZ) Fraternal
Understanding Psychopathology
oPsychological disorder: a psychological dysfunction within and individual associated
with distress or impairment in functioning & response that’s not typical or culturally
Abnormal behavior
Psychological dysfunction: a breakdown in cognitive, emotional, or behavioral
Dysfunction for Judy: she fainted at the sight of blood
These problems are often considered to be on a continuum or a dimension
rather than to be categories that are either present or absent
oPersonal Distress/Impairment
The behavior must be associated with distress to be classified as abnormal
adds an important component & seems clear: the criterion is satisfied if the
individual is extremely upset.
Most psychological orders are simply extreme expressions of otherwise normal
emotions, behaviors, & cognitive processes
oAtypical or Not Culturally Expected
oMany people are far from the average in their behavior but few would be considered
Might call them talented or eccentric-many artists & movie stars are in this
Cultural perspective is important
Behavior is abnormal if you are violating social norms even if some people are
sympathetic to our view point
oMost widely accepted definition used in DSM-5 describes behavioral, psychological, or
biological dysfunctions that are unexpected in their cultural context associated with
present distress & impairment in functioning, or increased risk of suffering, death, pain,
or impairment.
Prototype: “Typical” type of a disorder; when most or all symptoms that experts
would agree are part of the disorder are present.
Diagnosed if their symptoms are close to the prototype
oJudy Example
Phobia: psychological disorder characterized by marked & persistent fear of an
object or situation

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Blood-injection-injury phobia
oScience of Psychopathology
Psychopathology: Scientific study of psychological disorders.
Clinical psychologists & counseling psychologists: receive the Ph. D.
degree (sometimes an Ed.D., doctor of education, or Psy.D., Doctor of
oPrepares them to conduct research into the causes & treatment of
psychological disorders & to diagnose, assess, and treat these
Psychiatrists: first earn an M.D. degree in med school & then specialize
in psychiatry during residency training that lasts 3-4 years
oInvestigate the nature & causes pf psychological disorders-usually
from a biological point of view
oEmphasize use of drugs
Psychiatric social workers: earn a master’s in social work
oSocial workers treat disorders often concentrating on family
problems associated with them
Psychiatric nurses: earn a master’s or even Ph.D. & specialize in the
care & treatment of patient with psychological disorders usually in
Marriage & family therapists & mental health counselors: spend 1-2
years earning a master’s degree & are employed to provide clinical
service services by hospitals or clinics usually under the supervision of a
doctor-level clinician.
Mental health professionals that take a scientific approach to their clinical
They keep up with the latest scientific developments in their field &
therefore use the most current diagnostic & treatment procedures.
Evaluate their own assessments or treatment procedures to see whether
they work
Might conduct research, often in clinics or hospitals that produces new
info. About disorders or their treatment becoming immune to the fads that
plague our field
Clinical Description
Presenting problem:
oPresents: a traditional shorthand way of indicating why the
person came to the clinic
oClinical description: represents the unique combination of
behaviors, thoughts, & feelings that make up a specific disorder
Clinical refers both to the types of problems or disorders
that you would find in a clinic or hospital & to the activities
connected with assessment & treatment
Important function is to specify what makes the disorder
different from normal behavior or from other disorders.
Prevalence: how many people in the population as a
whole have the disorder

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Incidence: how many new cases occur during a
given period (like a year)
oOther statistics include the sex ratio (% of
males or females that have the disorder
Course: Individual pattern of disorders
oChronic course: they tend to last a long
time sometimes a life time
oEpisodic course: individuals likely recover
within a few months but it can reoccur
oTime-limited course: disorder will improve
without treatment in a relatively short
oAcute onset: disorders begin suddenly
oInsidious onset: Disorders develop
gradually over an extended period
oTypical course: disorder that we can know
what to expect in the future & how best to
deal with the problem
oPrognosis: anticipated course of a
“Prognosis is good”: the individual
will probably recover
“Prognosis is guarded”: the
probable outcome doesn’t look
Developmental psychology: the study of changes in behavior over time
oDevelopmental psychopathology: the study of changes in abnormal
oLife-span developmental psychopathology: stud of abnormal behavior
across the entire age span
Studying psychological disorders: Focus: Clinical description, Causation
(etiology), Treatment & outcome
oEtiology: study of origins; has to do with why a disorder begins
(what causes it)
Includes biological, psychological, & social dimensions
Historical Conceptions of Abnormal Behavior
oSupernatural Model
Exorcist example (Stephen King-greatest horror novel written in the 20th
Humans have supposed that agents outside our bodies & environment
influence our behavior, thinking, & emotions
Agents (might divinities, demons, spirits, or other phenomena such as
magnetic fields or the moon or the starts are the driving forces
Since the era of ancient Greece, the mind has often been called the soul
or psyche & considered separate from the body
Demons & Witches
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