Abnormal Psychology Test 1
Family Resemblance Criteria for Abnormal Behavior
Suffering /// Maladaptiveness /// Irrationality /// Unpredictability & Loss of Control /// Rareness & Unconventionality /// Observer Discomfort /// Violation of Norms and Standards
1. Suffering – if it is causing them distress, making them suffer. They don't want to be behaving that way, it's causing them problems and making them feel bad.
2. Maladaptiveness – if the behavior just doesn't work in the world that the person lives in, not a practical way to behave or gets you rewards in the particular culture/environment you live in, it's maladaptive. It isn't an effective way to behave. (Ex. – Agoraphobia? If they are afraid to leave the house, it means they can't get a job, can't get food, can't do anything. That is maladaptive. Though things like obsessive compulsive disorder actually HELP their job as they HAVE to do things correctly.)
3. Irrationality – If the behavior is irrational, not logical, just doesn't make sense, if the person insists on telling other people that they have a belief system that is off the wall and no one thinks that is a logical way to behave at all, we label that irrational behavior. Problem here is that what may seem irrational to one person might seem perfectly rational to somebody else.
Unpredictability & Loss of Control
4. Unpredictability & Loss of Control – Sometimes people seem to be behaving in unpredictable ways, and people around them think that this is a mark of abnormal behavior. Most people are predictable within reason when we interact with them. Sometimes it's who defines what constitutes unpredictability and loss of control, sometimes people disagree or see things differently.
Rareness & Unconventionality
5. Rareness & Unconventionality – If the person's behavior seems rare or infrequent because most people don't do that, it fits the rareness and unconventionality criteria. Who defines that? Again, to the person themselves they might think it's normal. (An experiment found that "Whatever I do, 65% of people will do. Acting the opposite way from me is unusual, only 35% would act otherwise." The sign experiment. They ended up attributing traits to the people on the other side of the experiment. It's all in who does the defining.)
6. Observer Discomfort – Does the person doing this make other people seeing it uncomfortable? Will a raving person smashing things make other people uncomfortable? Yea. What about people who jump off the stands naked and run around the field? Yea. This is the flip side of suffering, does it make US feel bad versus does it make THEM feel bad. But this also counts as who's perspective it is.
Violation of Norms and Standards
7. Violation of Norms and Standards – People that behave in a way that goes against conventional norms and standards are doing things that are probably causing observer discomfort as well. We consider somebody who goes around proclaiming to everyone that they believe in god as reasonable and normal. But if we see someone who tells us they were picked up by a UFO and experimented on by aliens, that doesn't really fly. It's abnormal in that respect.
Different Times and Societies…
Have looked at abnormal behavior differently than we do, abnormal behaviors shift from time and place to time and place. /// Abnormal people started being put into institutions. They would round up everybody though. People who were crazy/psychotic, people who couldn’t pay their bills, homeless people, troublemakers, etc. They were treated as if they were the same. They started using them sort of like free labor. Some enlightened people got the idea that maybe the people who were behaving abnormally aught to be segregated who were not paying their bills/crooks/etc. Lets have a different institution for the mentally ill as opposed to straight prison. But this didn’t work. They were rounded up and put in places that were worse than the institutions that they were before. In Paris they had these people chained up in the sewer system, chained to the walls with sewage running down the walls and rats biting them. They still thought that the evil spirits would leave their body if they treated the body badly. In the bedlam institution they would chain up the mentally ill in cages and treated it like a zoo. People in high society would pay money to come look at the strange people in cages. Gradually there was more human treatment and tried to help them recuperate and tried to get them to adapt to a rational way and return to society.
Animism (Possession of Evil Spirits)
Animism (possession of evil spirits) – in animism there is the belief that people can be possessed with animal spirits that make them act like wild animals. So if they saw someone acting abnormally they drew the conclusion that a spirit had gotten inside of them and was driving their behavior from inside. Back in prehistoric times they would chip a hole in the person's skull to let the spirits out. Back in Europe people started believing they were possessed by wolves, we have records of people going around claiming they were wolves and getting together to howl at the moon and running around naked in the forest. It became contagious. There were other people that responded to that by wanting to hunt them down and kill them. Many people have been intolerant of this animism. A way of curing witches of their evil spirit, was to beat the living hell out of the women or torturing them so that them to have the evil spirit leave because it was so uncomfortable and wanted to leave. From 1450 to 1650 there were over 100,000 women killed because they thought they were witches. So society can be VERY intolerant of abnormal behavior.
Physical Causes of Abnormal Behavior
Physical Causes – One of the things that would happen if women were exhibiting signs of what we would now call depression, they were diagnosed of having hysteria by the Greeks. Hysteria literally means they had a wandering uterus, so that they had a wandering uterus and attach itself to an organ to make it malfunction. This caused them to be depressed have symptoms of it. The way to treat that was to have these women have big necklaces made of alternating lumps of garlic and animal dung. There was another idea that crazy people were similar to animals and wanted to be trained and broken, like wild horses. There were lots of attempts to treat abnormal behavior like physical interventions, things like bleeding people, forced vomiting, brain surgery, even shock treatments later on, because of the belief that /// something was physically wrong with their body.
Psychogenic Causes of Abnormal Behavior
Psychogenic Causes – Psychologically caused. Psychogenic causes were the idea that there was something wrong with their mind/mental state. /// One of the early characters was Mesmer (created Mesmerism). He would have this huge tub filled with water and iron filings over the water, said that the iron filings and the water created a magnetic field and that people acting in abnormal ways had brain waves misaligned. He said there are magnetic forces and that if people's brains are aligned with those magnetic forces then everything is fine. He said that if not then they have to get realigned. He had metal rods going over the water with the iron filings, and if you were behaving in abnormal ways He would take the rod and put it on your head and the other end on the iron filings. This would fix the problem. Turns out that many people that came to him were cured. This was probably just the power of suggestion, but nevertheless he became very famous around Europe. He combined this with hypnotism as well. He would after hypnotizing them saying that the iron rods would cure them. This is why many people think that suggestion is what cured them.
3 Major Models of Treating Abnormal Behavior
The 3 major models of treating Abnormal Behavior would be… /// Biomedical Model /// Psychodynamic Model /// Learning Model
Biomedical Model – direct descendant of earlier thoughts of how abnormal behavior of physical causes, something physically wrong with the body. It looks for a syndrome of symptoms and causes of these symptoms in various things. /// GERMS /// GENES /// BIOCHEMISTRY /// NEUROANATOMY /// GENES + BIOCHEMISTRY
– Germs – These germs in their body causes them to have abnormal behavior. General Paresis Syndrome: They had extremely irrational thoughts in many cases delusions of grandeur (thought they were Napoleon or Jesus). Were out of touch with reality. Eventually they would become paralyzed in different parts of their body and deteriorate to the point where they would die. This was at one point fairly frequent in both Europe and the USA. Many people thought these symptoms looked like syphilis as it was the exact progression of syphilis. Doctors knew what syphilis was and what it did to people. There was this other thing (general paralysis syndrome) where it looked like the same thing except that many of them didn't have syphilis. They started realizing that syphilis germs can get syphilis and get infected and then get dormant and suddenly pop out active and THEN go through the stages. Dormant syphilis. During that time the normal tests for syphilis would test and it wouldn't detect the syphilis. They were stumped until a researcher named Krafft Ebing came along. He said "You know I think they are lying, and I know one thing about syphilis – if you have syphilis and survive it you can't get infected with it again." So He took a bunch of people with general paralysis syndrome syphilis injections (if this experiment had failed he would have been giving other people syphilis). Turns out that he was right. Shortly thereafter medical researchers came up with a cure with syphilis. That success meant that people who were approaching abnormal behavior as merely a physical disease were boosted in their claims that this was just a disease, and medicine can find the cure for it. The right approach to it is use medicine.
– Genes – Hit upon more modern times. Once they discovered DNA and basic genetic makeup, they started developing theories about the causes of different abnormal behaviors. Psychogenic behaviors really weren't psychogenic but biomedical. Schizophrenia (disordered thinking/perceptions/etc.) was said that all of it was caused by genetics, defective genes. They started working on proof that it was genetic, started doing experiments on twins. They looked at people who were identical twins vs fraternal twins. Identical = 100 percent genetical similarity, Fraternal = 50 percent. So if one identical twin has schizophrenia that the other would also have it. The concordance rate for fraternal twins is 10-15 percent, and identical twins is 50 percent – validating the theory, but there are other factors because it isn't 100 percent.
– Biochemistry – According to the biomedical models, Biochemistry plays a large part in making people behave abnormally. Part of the physical body. Various neurotransmitters in the brain. The dopamine hypothesis is that the schizophrenia is caused by too much dopamine in the brain. As proof of that there have been studies that there are drugs that lower the action of dopamine by blocking receptor sites of dopamine in the brain and that those drugs do help the schizophrenic behavior. Those drugs only reduce things like hallucinations or making people act less bizarre, but don't cure people. Then there are people saying those drugs are major tranquilizers – people who are doped out on these drugs are also so out of it that they don't do much of anything. So obviously if you do fewer behaviors at all then you will do fewer abnormal things too. For that reason some people say that they are just tranquilizers nothing more.
– Neuroanatomy – Maybe there is something wrong structurally with the brain. We know that some types of brain damage can cause people to behave abnormally. We know that some people have overdevelopment of certain parts of the brain cause obsessive compulsive disorder.
Genes + Biochemistry
– Could be a combination of Genes & Biochemistry – put together defective genes passed down from one generation to the next causing imbalances in the neurotransmitters and you'll get abnormal behavior. A study of the Amish bloodlines indicates that many of them have bipolar disorders because they all descended from the same 30 couples that settled in the USA. The people who were diagnosed with manic-depressive/bipolar disorder had a different set of white blood cell set of chromosomes than other people. This particular set of chromosomes/chromosome control white blood cell count in the body and those people who were diagnosed with this had an abnormality in that particular chromosome. They are also deficient in certain brain transmitters and that the area of the chromosome that controls the white blood cell count is right next to the brain transmitter, and they think there is a connection there (they aren't sure). They think this set of people has a genetic abnormality which causes a biochemical abnormality which causes bipolar disorder and abnormality.
Strengths of the Biomedical Model
– This model has various strengths – it's based in medicine research, it deals with measurable objective realities (you can take a blood test and actually see a difference, or see the neurotransmitters or germs under a microscope, it's real things and not abstract intangibles), and all of the success it has had in treating abnormal behavior.
Weaknesses of the Biomedical Model
– Weaknesses – these things have been cured by other things than drugs, without medical intervention, meaning there are other things than biology effecting abnormal behavior. Other things such as electrical shock can wipe out memory, and some other things cause really nasty side effects that can be brought on by the drugs (and are then not curable). A lot of them might just be problems in living (it is normal to stay depressed after the loss of a loved one, some people stay depressed longer).
Psychodynamic Model – Started with Sigmund Freud. Ernst Brucke was his mentor/professor. After getting into private practice He went to study under Jean Charcot, who was using hypnosis in the treatment of hysterical disorders similar to the disorders that Freud was interested in (ones with no physical cause). He said lots of times we delude ourselves, explain our behavior to ourselves after we do it. This can be seen through the lady with the posthypnotic thought of getting up and getting the umbrella, then gets up a few minutes later in a conversation picks it up and puts it back down then made some random excuse as to why she did so. This means the some of our thought processes are in the subconscious levels and we don't realize that we are doing so. A friend Josef Breuer started describing to Freud one day a patient he had treated, a young lady having hallucinations of black snakes coming after her. She also wouldn't eat or drink anything for a long time. Other times she would tear the sheets to shreds screaming, other time she would pick up things unpredictably and throw them at people. Other times she would sing in another language randomly. He had put her under hypnosis and tried to get her to talk about the events of her life. One of these times under hypnosis she remembered this time she had gone to visit this lady and she sees the lady has this small dog. The lady had a glass of water that she was drinking from, puts the glass of water next to her chair on the floor and bertha sees the little dog sees the dog lapping the water out of the water glass, then the lady drinks out of it, dog drinks out of it, etc. Disgusted the patient. After she had talked about that, the symptom of not drinking for days on end went away. Took 2 years to find all memories to cure all symptoms. He then said He was referring her to another physician because his wife was jealous, she goes crying home and then says that she is having Breuer's baby and pains. He then leaves with his wife on an extended honey moon (she wasn't pregnant). — Freud wrote down a theory, Project for a Scientific Psychology (book), about how these patients had such painful memories that they were repressed and caused symptoms of crazy behavior or not being able to walk. Said this is my new theory on psychological disorders without any physical causes. These theories were heavily based in Neurology. Sent this book to Wilhelm Fleiss, Fleiss said it was genius. Sent the second volume, Fleiss said it was genius. Didn't send the third volume because Freud said that his work had holes in it and he was going to destroy it, said to send the first two volumes back. Fleiss refused and is the only reason we have those two books today. Psychodynamic Theory/Psychoanalysis = Freud's Legacy. Reality principle – don't do anything unless it's real. Pleasure principle – go for anything even if it's a figment of your imagination because it feels good. /// ID, EGO, SUPEREGO. /// DEFENSE MECHANISMS /// PSYCHOSEXUAL DEVELOPMENT
EGO – set of neurons developed to tell what's pleasurable and what's real. That set of neurons has taken on a new role of telling us when to shut down, keeping you from acting on something not real. A dual role is to stop you from doing actions that would have you end up in jail, so that you see something you want in a store and if you acted on gut instincts you would grab it and take it, or if you saw a hot opposite sex person you would be stopped from jumping on them by the EGO. The EGO holds in check the basic gut reactions to things.
The ID – the old set of neurons that goes for things that are good, pleasure. A few years later Freud was describing to friends about his ideas, he HAD described them as physical structures in the brain but then later on changed to saying that He represented with metaphors because he couldn't prove that the structures were actually there. Then later on he changed again back to physical structures, then switched again, and so on and so forth he would continue to switch on and off.
PSYCHOSEXUAL DEVELOPMENT – all kids everywhere in the world go through the same psychosexual stages. Oral/Anal/Phallic/Latency/Genital
he said all kids when little is to suck on mother’s breast, so everyone goes through the ORAL STAGE. We experience the world orally as little kids. Freud said that if you don’t satisfy your urges to explore the world orally as a little kid, later on you won’t be able to trust people and it will cause problems.
ANAL STAGE is about the time of toilet training, a battle between the kid and parents. The kid finds out “I can actually withhold my feces and have control over my life because I can now be independent and do something my parents don’t want me to do.” Kids who don’t successfully resolve conflict between their own will and parent’s will be very sloppy/messy/chaotic in their life, but if training is too strict they will develop anal traits such as obsessive compulsive disorder.
Phallic – jealous of their own same sex parent and want their opposite sex parent from age 3-6.
From about age 6 – puberty is the LATENCY STAGE where they aren't interested in sexuality
Genital stage where they get true sexual urges. He developed a word association test (still used), read a set of words very slowly to a patient.
DEFENSE MECHANISMS – used to defend against psychological anxiety. These defense mechanisms are extremely important (even today). /// Repression, Projection, Reaction Formation, Displacement, Identification, Denial, Isolation, Intellectualization, Sublimation
Repression – what people do is those unconscious thoughts they can't bear to have those consciously so we shunt them off into the unconscious and repress them. Force unwanted thoughts out of your mind. A way of doing this is you can just block the memories for intruding into you cocncious awareness = Mental Inhibition. You can also withhold attention from those thoughts, like distracting yourself = Attention Withholding.
Projection – the way they defend themselves from traumatic thoughts, but they think about it but attribute it to other people. If they are having all these sexual thoughts, they see that in other people. Assimilation Projection – where people say "Well of course I'm having those kinds of thoughts, but so is everybody else." Disowning Projection – "everybody else is thinking about this but NOT ME!" You disown the thoughts. Both forms will allow you to get rid of that anxiety.
Reaction Formation – Where you fool yourself into thinking that you feel exactly the opposite of something than the way that you really do feel. So there is something that you want and desire, yet you think you hate it, or vice versa.
Displacement – used in terms of aggression. We say that people displace their aggression. The classic thing is the guy who gets chewed out by his boss, he would like to punch the boss but he needs the job. So he drives home and he's seething, and he gets home and the family dog comes over and he kicks the dog.
Identification – where Freud said if you have a really intolerable level of fear of someone or something that you especially if it's another person that that anxiety one way to get around it is to imitate that other person, to identify with that other person because if another person is so powerful that they make you tremendously afraid that if you become like them then you have the power. Freud predicted that would happen in really extreme circumstances. In ww2 (after he wrote it) this happened in the concentration camps. Many of the prisoners started imitating the guards.
Denial – the simplest defense mechanism of all, sort of immature defense mechanism. You just won't admit it happened.
Isolation – you isolate your feelings from the facts of an event. It has been used to explain why in a lot of cases of women who were raped are describing the incident of the event are devoid of all emotion.
Intellectualization – Rationalization as to why it happened.
Sublimation – Freud said this is the most mature defense mechanism. This is where you sublimate whatever they are, sexual/aggressive urges that are causing you anxiety, you turn them into something constructive.