Abnormal Psychology

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Scientific study of psychological disorders
John Grey
19th century, insanity always due to physical causes
Abnormal behavior
A psychological dysfunction within an individual that is associated with distress or impairment in functioning and a response that is not typical or culturally expected
Supernatural model
view of dysfunction in human behavior that posits important roles for spirits, demons, grace, sin, etc.
Biological model
view that psychological disorders have a biochemical or physiological basis
Psychological model
view in which mental disorder is seen as arising from psychological processes
Number of people in a population displaying a disorder at a given time
Number of new cases appearing during a given period
Acute onset
begin suddenly
Insidious onset
begins gradually
One-dimensional model
Suggest that psychological disorders have a single cause.
Multidimensional integrative approach
psychological disorders are always the products of multiple interacting causal factors
Multidimensional influences
biological, behavioral, emotional/cognitive, and social
Genetics influence on personality
About half of our lasting personality traits and cognitive abilities to genetic influence
genetic influence (%) and psychological disorders
Diathesis model
a person may be predisposed for a mental disorder that remains unexpressed until triggered by environmental factors
Clinical Assessment
Systematic evaluation and measurement of psychological, biological, and social factors in a person presenting with a possible psychological disorder.
Classification of symptoms
process of determining weather whether a presenting problem meets the established criteria for a psychological disorder
a prediction of the course of a disorder
Assignment of objects or people to categories on the basis of shared characteristics.
Degree to winch a measurement is consistent
Degree to which technique measures what it is designed to measure
Application of certain standards to ensure consistency across different measurements
Mental status exam
A set of interview questions and observations designed to reveal the degree and nature of a client’s abnormal functioning.
clinical interviews
A clinician meets face to face with a client in an unstructured or structured format
a 3rd unaccounted for variable
experimental study
A study in which the researcher manipulates one of the variables and tries to determine how the manipulation influences other variables.
external validity
Extent to which we can generalize findings to real-world settings
Categories: Abnormal Psychology