Abnormal Psychology Chapter 2

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Goal: Study abnormal behavior scientifically. Science aims for objectivity. “Perspective or conceptual framework from within which a scientist operates
List the Paradigms
Genetic, Neuroscience, Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral
Genetic Paradigm
Heredity plays a role in most behavior. Relationship between genes and environment is bidirectional (Nature via Nurture)
Gene Expression
Proteins influence whether the action of a specific gene will occur
Extent to which variability in behavior is due to genetic factors. Heritability estimate ranges from 0.00 to 1.00. Group, rather than, individual indicator
Shared Environment
Events and experiences that family members have in common
Non-Shared Environment
Events and experiences that are unique to each family member
Behavior Genetics
Study of the degree to which genes and environmental factors influence behavior
Molecular Genetics
Identifies particular genes and their functions (by studying alleles and polymorphism)
Diathesis-Stress Model
Inherit vulnerability tendency (“diathesis”). Tendencies activated by life events (“stress”) (Eg: Schizophrenia, substance abuse, blood-injection injury phobia)
Knockout Studies
Removing specific genes in animals to observe effect on behavior
Study of how the environment can alter gene expression or function (eg. Cross-fostering adoptee method: Rats born to mothers with low parenting skills who were raised by mothers with high parenting skills showed lower levels of stress reactivity)
Reciprocal Gene-Environment Interaction
Genes predispose individuals to seek out situations that increase the likelihood of developing a disorder. (eg. Adolescent girls with genetic vulnerability for depression more likely to experience events that can trigger depression)
Linkage Analysis
Uses DNA blood testing to examine the influence of genetics in mental disorders.
Neuroscience Paradigm
Examines the contribution of brain structure and function to psychopathology. Mental disorders are linked to aberrant processes in the brain.
Neurochemistry behind mental disorders
Too much or too little of a specific neurotransmitter owing to changes in synthesis of the transmitter. Too much of a specific neurotransmitter owing to changes in reuptake of the transmitter. Too many or too few receptors on the postsynaptic neuron membrane. Neurotransmitter imbalances in different, interacting neural circuits
Reabsorption of leftover neurotransmitter by presynaptic neuron
Chemicals that allow neurons to send a signal across the synapse (gap) to another neuron.
Serotonin & Dopamine
Depression, mania, and schizophrenia
Anxiety and other stress related disorders
Frontal Lobe
used for reasoning and other higher mental processes
Parietal Lobe
Receiving center for sensations of the skin and bodily positions
Temporal Lobe
Primary auditory and general association areas
Occipital Lobe
Reception and analysis of visual information
HPA Axis
Involved in stress, hypothalamus
Sympathetic Nervous System
Excitatory. Heartbeat acceleration, pupil dilation, gastrointestinal inhibition, electrodermal activity increases. Part of Autonomic nervous system (involved in anxiety like panic and PTSD)
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Quiescent. Heartbeat deceleration, pupil constriction, gastrointestinal activation. Part of Autonomic nervous system
Psychodynamic Paradigm
Greatest contribution to psychology is treatment. Doesn’t help with empirical understanding of the causes of psychopathology. Abnormal behavior reflects unconscious conflicts within the person. Developed by Freud.
Ego Analysis
Views the ego as capable of controlling id impulses and the external environment. Form of psychoanalysis.
Brief Therapy
Focuses on a few specific problems and involves few sessions. Form of psychoanalysis.
Interpersonal Therapy
Focuses on current personal problems. Therapist uses empathic listening and makes suggestions for improvement. Form of psychoanalysis.
Pathogenic Beliefs
Beliefs that occur outside of conscious awareness. Trigger maladaptive thoughts and emotions
Implicit Memory
Cognitive neuroscience paradigm. The unconscious may reflect efficient information processing rather than a repository for troubling material
Object Relations Theory
Longstanding patterns of relating to others
Attachment Theory
Type and style of infant’s attachment to caregivers can influence later psychological functioning.
Relational Self
Individuals will describe themselves differently depending upon which close relationships are told to think about.
Problems with Freud’s paradigm and theories
Freud had no scientific data to support his theories. Freud’s theories (unconscious, libido, etc.) cannot be observed. Theory explains behavior (post-hoc) after the fact. Observations not representative of population.
Cognitive Behavioral Paradigm
Roots in learning principles and cognitive science. Behavior is reinforced by consequences (Attention, Escape or avoidance, Sensory stimulation, Access to desirable objects or events). Focuses on observable behaviors.
Systematic Desensitization
Relaxation plus exposure. Important for anxiety disorders.
A mental process which includes: Perceiving, judging, reasoning, conceiving, & recognizing
Behavioral Therapies
Systematic desensitization, flooding, aversion conditioning.
Organized network of previously accumulated knowledge. We actively interpret new information.
Beck’s Cognitive Therapy
Initially developed for depression. Depression caused by distorted thoughts. Help patients recognize and change maladaptive thought patterns.
Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy
Irrational beliefs: Internal, repetitive thoughts that reflect assumptions about self. Musts or shoulds: Unrealistic demands we place on self, others, and the world
Humanistic Approach
Theorists argue we are driven to self-actualize, that is, to fulfill our potential for goodness and growth. Carl Rogers.
Factors Common to Paradigms
Emotion (Expressive, Experiential, Physiological) Most psychopathology includes disturbances of one or more component. Sociocultural Factors: Culture, ethnicity, gender, & social relationships (May increase vulnerability to psychopathology: e.g., women more likely to experience depression than men)
Categories: Abnormal Psychology