PSYCH 215 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Fetus, Psychosurgery, Classical Conditioning

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4 Feb 2017

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Models of Abnormality
Sunday, January 29, 2017
7:10 PM
Models/ Paradigms
In science perspectives used to explain events are known as models or paradigms. Each model
spells out the scientist's basic assumptions, gives order to the field under study and sets guidelines
for its investigation
To understand how a clinician treats a specific set of symptoms, we must know his/her preferred
model of abnormal functioning
Until recently, clinical scientists tended to agree on a single model of abnormality, "demonological
model" which was used to explain abnormal functioning during the middle ages; devil's work, and
treatment would include prayer or whipping.
Different types of models are accepted today
1. Biological Model: sees physical processes as a key to human behavior
2. Psychodynamic Model: people's unconscious internal processes and conflicts
3. Behavioral Model: Emphasizes behavior and the way it is learned
4. Cognitive Model: Thinking that underlies behavior
5. Humanistic-existential model: stresses the role of values and choices
A. Family-social perspective: focuses on the individuals family and social interaction
B. Multi-cultural perspective: emphasizes an individuals vulture and the shared beliefs
The Biological Model
Proponent's of the biological model believe that a full understanding of a patients thoughts,
emotions and behavior must include an understanding of their biological basis
Biological theorists view abnormal behavior as an illness brought about by malfunctioning parts of
the organism (problems in brain anatomy)
Brain made up of nerve cells called neurons, neurons form brain regions
1. Cortex: outer layer of the brain
2. Corpus callosum: connects the brain's two cerebral hemispheres
3. Basal ganglia: plays a crucial role in planning and producing movement
4. Hippocampus: helps regulate emotions and memory
5. Amygdala: key role in emotional memory
Psychological disorders can be related to problems in the transition of messages from neuron to
Impulse is received by a neurons dendrites (branch looking things)
Travels down a neurons axon
Transmitted through a nerve ending
Synapse seperates one neuron to the next
Neurotransmitter travels through synapse to receptors on other dendrites
Mental disorders are sometimes related to abnormal chemical activity in the body's endocrine
system ( located throughout body work along w/ neurons to control vital activities such as growth,
reproduction etc.)
Glands release hormones
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