Abnormal Psychology Chapter 2-3

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biological (genetics, neuroscience)
psychological (behavior, cognitive)
emotional influences
social/interpersonal factors
developmental factors
Diathesis-Stress model
Diathesis: predisposition/vulnerability
Stress: environmental stressors
Development of the Disorder: The stronger the diathesis, the less stress is necessary to produce the disorder
(inherited predisposition to develop the disorder + prenatal trauma, childhood/sexual/physical abuse, family conflict, significant life changes = psychological disorder)
model of depression
low diathesis = large environmental exposure doesn’t change disposition; high resilience
high diathesis = environmental exposure increases disposition

* no exposure to triggers during lifetime = no increased chance of disorders, regardless of genetics

– childhood experiences have tremendous impact

diathesis or tendency; the predisposition to express a certain trait or behavior
gene-environment correlation model (reciprocal gene-environment model)
association between the genotype a child inherits from their parents and the environment in which the child is raised
study of heritable changes in gene expression that does not involve changes to the DNA itself
– a change in phenotype without a change in genotype
focus on knowing how the nervous system and brain works and how it is central to any understanding of our behavior, emotions, and cognitive processes
chemical messenger
brain circuits
neural pathways in the brain
effectively increases the activity of a neurotransmitter by mimicking its effects
decrease, or block, a neurotransmitter
inverse agonist
produce effect opposite to those produced by the neurotransmitter
the process of drawing neurotransmitters back from the synaptic cleft
reuptake inhibitors: block the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters, causing continued stimulation along the brain circuit
excitatory transmitter that “turns on” many different neurons, leading to action
gabba-aminobutryic acid (GABA)
inhibitory transmitter that regulates transmission of information and action potential
serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine)
main neurotransmitter in 6 circuits that regulate behavior, moods, and thought processes
– monoamine class
norepinephrine (noradrenaline)
part of the endocrine system
– monoamine class
stimulates pleasure and reward centers in the brain
– catecholamine (monoamine class)
cognitive science
study of thought, learning, and mental organization
– draws on aspects of psychology, linguistics, philosophy, and computer modeling
learned helplessness
when rats or other animals encounter conditions over which they have no control and give up attempting to cope and seem to develop the animal equivalent of depression
> can occur with people under great duress
prepared learning
organisms which learned to fear environmental threats feaster had a survival and reproductive advantage
implicit memory
one of two types of human long-term memory; acquired and used unconsciously
flight or fight response (acute stress response)
physiological response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival
> sympathetic nervous system activates: rapid heart beat, flushed skin, dilated pupils, sweating, trambling
emotion (of fear)
subjective feeling of terror, a strong motivation for behavior, and a complex physiological or arousal response
more persistent period of affect or emotionality
momentary emotional tone that accompanies what we say or do
principle that in open systems a given end state can be reached by many potential means
2.1.1 The fact that some phobias are more common than others (e.g. height and snakes) and my have contributed to the survival of the species in the past suggests that phobias may be genetically prewired. This is evidence for which influence?
2.1.2 Jan’s husband Jinx, was an unemployed jerk who spent his life chasing women other than his wife. Jan, happily divorced for years, cannot understand why the smell of Jinx’s brand of aftershave causes her to become nauseated. Which influence best explains her response?
behavioral (and emotional)
2.1.3 Nathan, age 16, finds it more difficult than his 7-year-old sister to adjust to his parents’ recent separation. This may be explained by what influences?
2.1.4 A traumatic ride of a Ferris wheel at a young age was most likely to have been the initial cause of Juanita’s fear of heights. Her strong emotional reaction to heights is likely to maintain or even increase her fear. The initial development of the phobia is likely a result of ________________________ influences; however, ________________________ influences are perpetuating the phobia.
(1) behavioral
(2) emotional
2.2.1 The first 20 pairs of chromosomes program the development of the body and brain
2.2.2 No individual genes have been identified that cause any major psychological disorders
2.2.3 According to the diathesis-stress model, people inherit a vulnerability to express certain traits or behaviors that may be activated under certain stress conditions
true (gene-environment correlation model)
2.2.4 The idea that individuals may have a genetic endowment to increase the probability that they will experience stressful life events and therefore trigger a vulnerability is in accordance with the diathesis-stress model
2.2.5 Environmental events alone influence the development of our behavior and personalities
2.3.1 Movement, breathing, and sleeping depend on the ancient part of the brain, which is present in most animals
2.3.2 Which neurotransmitter binds to nueron receptor sites, inhibiting postsynaptic activity and reducing overall arousal?
2.3.3 Which neurotransmitter is a switch that turns on various brain circuits?
2.3.4 Which neurotransmitter seems to be involved in our emergency reactions or alarm responses?
2.3.5 This area contains part of the reticular activating system and coordinates movement with sensory input
2.3.6 Which neurotransmitter is believed to influence the way we process information, as well as to moderate or inhibit out behavior?
2.3.7 More than 80% of the neurons in the human CNS are contained in this part of the brain, which gives us distinctive qualities
cerebral cortex
2.3.8 This area is responsible for most of our memory, thinking, and reasoning capabilities and makes us social animals
frontal lobe
2.4.1 Karen noticed that every time Tyrone behaved will at lunch, the teacher praised him. Karen decided to behave better to receive praise herself
2.4.2 Josh stopped trying to please his father because he never knows whether his fathr wil be proud or outraged
learned helplessness
2.4.3 Greg fell into a lake as a baby and almost drowned. Even though Greg has no recollection of the event, he hates to be around large bodis of water
implicit memory
2.4.4 Juanita was scared to death of the tarantula, even though she knew it wasn’t likely to hurt her
prepared learning
2.5.1 What we ____________ is strongly influenced by our social environments.
2.5.2 The likelihood of you having a particular phobia is powerfully influenced by your ________________.
2.5.3 A large number of studies have demonstrated that the greater the number and frequency of _________________ relationships and _________________, the longer you are likely to live.
social; contacts
2.5.4 The effect of social and interpersonal factors on the expression of physical and psychological disorders may differ with ___________.
2.5.5 The principle of _______________ is used in developmental psychology to indicate that we must consider a number of paths to a given outcome
Categories: Abnormal Psychology