abnormal psychology exam 1

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what constitutes a psychological disorder?
patterns of abnormal behavior that involve marked personal distress or impaired functioning or behavior
defining abnormal (6)
1. statistical anomaly
2. social deviance
3. faulty perceptions or interpretations of reality
4. significant personal distress
5. maladaptive or self-defeating behavior
6. dangerousness
statistical anomaly (perfect memory)
something that is atypical or occurs infrequently
social deviance (nude beaches)
-compliance with social norms and expectations
-varies between different cultures
faulty perceptions or interpretations of reality
significant personal distress
constant worry
maladaptive or self-defeating behavior (anorexia)
-often associated with some type of impairment (cognitive, emotional, behavioral)
-even impairment is not always abnormal (grief)
to self or others
diagnostic and statistical manual
mental disorder factors
-clinically significant
-cognition, emotional regulation, behavior
-significant distress or disability
-socially deviant behaviors, culturally approved
mental disorder definition
psychological dysfunction associated with distress or impairment in functioning that is not typical or culturally expected
define psychopathology
scientific study of psychological disorders
3 important elements of psychological disorders
1. clinical description
2. causation
3. treatment and outcome
clinical description (6)
1. often begins with the presenting problem (what the individual or others have noted to be of concern that led to treatment or evaluation)
2. description aims to distinguish clinically significant dysfunction from expected human experience
3. describe PREVALENCE (number of people who have the disorder) and INCIDENCE (number of new cases in a specific time period) of disorders
4. describe the onset of the disorder (acute vs insidious-immediate vs gradual)
5. describe the course of the disorder (episodic, time limited, or chronic course)
6. prognosis (good vs guarded)
what contributes to the development of psychopathology?
what causes mental illness? (5)
1. genetic transmission
2. biochemical disorder
3. prolonged, intense stress
4. recreational drugs
5. environmental toxins
two things about treatment development
1. how can we help alleviate psychological suffering?
2. includes pharmacologic, psychosocial, or combined treatments
two things about treatment outcome research?
1. how do we know that we have helped?
2. limited in specifying actual causes of disorders
major psychological disorders have existed in
all cultures and across all time periods
causes and treatment of abnormal behavior have ___________________ across cultures, time periods, and world views
historically varied widely
3 dominant traditions of abnormal behavior
1. supernatural
2. biological
3. psychological
supernatural view
deviant behavior as a battle of good vs evil
what causes supernatural behavior
-demonic possession, witch craft, sorcery
-the moon and stars (lunacy)
treatments for supernatural
exorcism, torture, beatings, and crude surgeries
biological view
“you got rocks in your head”
hippocrates view
abnormal behavior as a physical disease
hippocrates example
hysteria: the wandering uterus
galen extends hippocrates work
-humoral theory of mental illness
-treatments remained crude (induced vomiting and bloodletting)
psychological view (4 theories)
1. psychoanalytic theory (freudian-focus on unconscious drives)
2. behaviorism (focus on reinforcement and punishment)
3. humanistic theory (focus on the desire for positive growth)
4. social-cognitive theory (integrates the social environment and our cognitive appraisals of self and the world)
biopsychosocial approach (4)
1. psychopathology is multiply determined
2. unidimensional accounts of psychopathology are incomplete
3. must consider reciprocal relations between biological, psychological, social, and experiential factors
4. defining abnormal behavior is complex, multifacted, and has evolved
what are 3 parts of a multidimensional model?
-abnormal behavior results from multiple influences (biological, psychological, and sociocultural
-“system” of influences that cause and maintain suffering
-interdisciplinary, eclectic, and integrative
contributing factors of the biopsychosocial approach (6)
1. genetic contributions
2. nervous system
3. behavioral and cognitive factors
4. emotional influences
5. social and interpersonal influences
6. developmental factors
facts about genetic contributions
-less than 50%
-no individual genes have yet been identified
-Diathesis-stress model (diathesis=vulnerability)
-cup susceptibility model
what are the two branches of the nervous system
1. CNS (central nervous system)-brain and spinal chord
2. PNS (peripheral nervous system)-somatic and autonomic branches
what is the field of neuroscience
role of the nervous system in disease and behavior
implications of neuroscience for psychopathology
1. relationships exist between brain functioning and abnormal behavior (OCD)
2. treatment can change brain structure and function and medications often affect the nervous system
3. psychosocial influences can change brain structure and function
contributions of behavioral and cognitive science
conditioning and cognitive process
-classical conditioning (pavlov dogs)
-operant learning (reinforcing/punishment)
-learned helplessness (dogs in cage and shocks/Seligman)
-social learning (modeling and observational learning)
emotional contributions
emotions and emotional dysregulation can contribute in significant ways to the development of psychopathology
-intimately tied with several forms of psychological and biological illnesses
-anger, hostility, fear, sadness, distress, and emotional suppression
cultural, social, and interpersonal contributions
-gender effects
-social effects on health and behavior
-cultural factors
gender effects
exert a strong and puzzling effect on psychopathology
social effects on health and behavior
-frequency and quality of interactions is important
-related to mortality, disease, and psychopathology
cultural factors
-influence the form and expression of behavior
-important in dictating normalcy
life-span development perspective
-address developmental charges
-influence and constrain what is normal and abnormal
the principle of equifinality
-several paths to a given outcome
-paths vary by developmental stage
2 methods of treatment
-biomedical treatments
psychotherapy treatment (3)
1. meta-analysis-averages the results of a large number of studies
2. the average psychotherapy client was better off than 75% of the clients who remained untreated
-researchers still lack clarity about why psychotherapy works
biomedical therapies (2)
1. psychopharmacology-field of study that examines the effects of therapeutic or psychiatric drugs
2. 1 in 5 american adults take psychotropic drugs
drug therapy (2)
-different classes of psychotropic drugs are used in treating different types of psychological disorders (anti-anxiety, psychotic, depressant)
-all medications act on neurotransmitter systems in the brain
purposes of clinical assessment (4)
-to understand the individual
-to predict behavior
-to plan treatment
-to evaluate treatment outcome
diagnostic classification (3)
-central to all science
-assignment to categories based on shared attributes
-psychiatric diagnosis involves determining whether a person’s problems meets all criteria for a psychological disorder according to dsm-v
categorical approach
strict categories (TNT vs Knights)
dimensional approach
classification along dimensions (on a scale of 1-10 how anxious are you)
prototypical approach
combines classical and dimensional view (dsm-v)
2 widely used classification systems
1. ICD (international classification of diseases by WHO)
2. DSM-V
basic characteristics of dsm-v (5)
1. clear inclusion and exclusion criteria for disorders
2. disorders are categorized under broad headings
3. empirically grounded
4. all clinical diagnosis
5. prototypic approach to classification
dsm-iv multiaxial classification system (5)
axis 1-clinical disorder
axis 2-personality disorders and mental retardation
axis 3-general medical conditions
axis 4-psychosocial and environmental problems
axis 5-global assessment of functioning (GAF) 0-100
criticisms of the dsm-v (8)
problem of COMORBIDITY
-when one person is diagnosed with two or more disorders
-comorbidity is common
-limits the validity of separate diagnosis
-labeling issues and stigmatization
-expansion of diagnosable disorders
-classification changes
-changes in diagnostic criteria
-lack of research in development
two key concepts in assessment
reliability and validity
-consistency in measurement (test and retest & inter-rater reliability)
accurately measuring what it is supposed to
instruments or methods that are reliable and valid in one culture
may not be in another culture
avoiding ________in assessment in critical
cultual bias
standardizations and norms (3)
1. ensures consistency in the use of a technique
2. provides population benchmarks for comparison
3. examples: administration scoring, evaluation procedures
6 methods of assessment
1. clinical interview
2. psychological tests
3. neuropsychological assessment
4. behavioral assessment
5. cognitive assessment
6. physiological measurement
clinical interview (2)
-most common clinical assessment method
-structured or semi-structured
mental status exam (5)
1. appearance and behavior
2. thought process
3. mood and affect
4. intellectual functioning
5. sensorium (general awareness of surroundings)
Categories: Abnormal Psychology