Abnormal Psychology

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Thomas Szasz
mental illness is a myth; any deviant or abnormal behavior is a response or function of problems within society. in order to better control the public/deter people from behaviors which threaten the natural social order, society created the concept of mental illness
belief in the supernatural or divine (anti)religious influences on human behavior; spirits can inhabit an individual and control their behavior for better or worse
prehistoric practice of chipping holes in the skull to release evil spirits/demons (hallucinations/melancholia)
process of (shamans) coaxing evil spirits outside of a person using prayers, insults, “magic”, loud noises, bitter potions. extreme: whipping/starving an individual
hated out-group of deviant/abnormal/possessed individuals feared by the general public. worry that they might infect others
Renaissance (first popular in 16th century). demonological views of abnormal behavior continued to decline, turned away from community centers/small hospitals to large institutions whose primary purpose was to care for those afflicted with mental illness
Deterioration of Asylums
began to overflow, unsanitary, limited quality treatment, turned into prisons more or less, where patients were treated cruelly and inhumanely
1547, King Henry VIII, patients were bound in chains and cried out “loudly for all to hear” became a tourist attraction for the general public to come and gawk at foaming/crying/mentally unstable patients
Moral Treatment
nineteenth century approach to moral guidance, humane and respectful techniques, sympathy and kindness rather than chains and beatings (wow what a concept)
Phillipe Pinel, asylum in Paris for male patients, sympathy and kindness, free roam of the grounds, sunny-well ventilated rooms, support and advice
Engligh Quaker, William Tuke, northern England: York Retreat where patients focused on rest, talk, prayer, and manual work on quiet country houses
Benjamin Rush, US spread of moral treatment, Pennsylvania hospital, father of modern psychiatry, intelligent/sensitive workers in hospitals, investment in patients health and well-being (listening, reading, writing, walking, gift-giving)
Mental Hospital Reform
Dorothea Dix, Boston schoolteacher, made humane care a public and political concern, campaigns for reform/spoke about travesty of asylums,
Somatogenic Perspective
view that abnormal psychology has physical causes
Emil Kraeplin: syndromes, clusters of symptoms, physical causes, expected course
syphilis/general paresis
Psychogenic Perspective
abnormal behavior is psychological.
hypnotism/altered states, Franz Mesmer: abnormality developed from the blockage of universal fluids
University of Paris/neurologist, father of neurology, refined mesmerism or hypnosis even further, experimentation, briefly taught Sigmund Freud, interplay between physical and mental afflictions (hysteria/nervous system/hypnosis)
med school, 3 years residency, board exams, some neurology
-prescription pad power
-admits patients to the hospital
Clinical Psychologist
doctoral program in four years (if lucky), internship with 1900+ hours working with patients/dissertation, 1900 additional for licensing
-can write prescriptions
psychiatrists and psychologists study Freud’s methods, regular job+ coursework+personally psychoanalyzed, x# of patients at a discount,
Counseling Psychologist
PhD qualifies psychotherapy
marital, couple, family therapy
Clinical/Psychiatric Social Worker
two year degree, greatest # of mental health workers, lowest paid, refer to psychiatrist if medication is needed
halfway houses, release from mental hospitals, rehab programs, supervise released mental health patients
Little Hans
Freud 1909, four year old boy who was terrified of horses, Oedipus Complex, was attracted to his mother but feared rivalry/his father/castration and he displaced his fear onto the horse. treatment by symbols
Case Study
advantages: great resource for new ideas about behavior, tentative support for a theory, opportunity to study new/unusual behabiors,
disadvantages: little basis for generalization, can challenge a theory’s assumptions, biased observation,
Correlational Research Method
research method to determine the “co-relationship” between two variables. positive when both variables move in the same direction, negative when two variables move in inverse directions, on a scale of -1 to 1. 0 is no relationship. CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION
Biomedical Model of Abnormality
mental illness stems from brain/malfunction
anatomical problems
functions/parts of the brain that aren’t normal/don’t work
cluster of symptoms that go together
label/determination of affliction
having two or more illnesses at the same time
cause(s) of an illness
outcome/trajectory of the illness, plan of action, potential for healing
plan to fix/cure/help the illness
central nervous system
CNS, the neurons of the brain and the spinal cord
peripheral nervous system
PNS, neurons that connect to muscles, glands, and sensory receptors
somatic nervous system
sensory organs to the muscles, VOLUNTARY movement
autonomic nervous system
directs the activities of the glands/internal organs, UNCONSCIOUS natural processes/MOVEMENT
sympathetic nervous system
fight or flight, stimulates, revs up, increases heart rate/blood pressure/breathing etc, liver gives out gycogen, cortisol
parasympathetic nervous system
calms you down, homeostasis, regularity
too much/too little can lead to psychological disorders
medications block or increase the amount
psychotropic medications
pleasure circuit
too little: Parkinson’s (tremoring)
too much: schizophrenia/dementia
too little: depression
gamma amenobutryic acid GABA
too little: anxiety
stress induces release, adrenal cortex
index/proband case
individual with the illness in the family
pharmacology/drug therapy
biological therapy
psychotropic drugs
antianxiety drugs
propanediols: reduction of muscle tension, emotional calming
benzodiazepines: selectively diminish anxiety (Valium, Klonopin, Xanax, Adavan)

drowsiness, lethargy, short term memory problems, tranquilizers can be addictive

antidepressant drugs
tricyclics: three Carbon rings
MAO inhibitors (monoamine oxidase): require dietary restrictions (tyromine, chocolate, red wine, aged cheese, yogurt) or can cause kidney failure
SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) not allowing serotonin to metabolize
antipsychotic drugs
alleviate/reduce delusions and hallucinations
tardive dyskinesia – Klozopine, involuntary/spasmotic movements, drooling, etc
antibipolar drugs
manic depression
lithium carbonate
Prozac, Zoloft, Welbutrin, (Zyban for smoking)
Psychodynamic Model
Sigmund Freud, underlying (unconscious) forces
repression, denial, projection, intellectualization, rationalization, displacement, regression
instinctual needs/drives/principles
secondary reality principle, defense mechanisms
denial, repression, regression, projection, intellectualization, rationalization, displacement
reality anxiety
basic form of anxiety rooted in reality
dog bite, bee sting, impending accident
neurotic anxiety
unconscious fear that libidinal impulses of the id will take control at an inopportune time
moral anxiety
fear of breaching moral/societal codes of conduct/accepted behavior
oral stage
birth to 18 months of age
18 months to 3 years
phallic stage
3 to 5 years old
Oedipus complex
castration anxiety
Electra complex
penis envy
condition where the id, ego, and superego don’t develop properly and are frozen at an earlier stage of development
free association, dream analysis
resistance: avoiding particular conversation/subjects
transference: patient treats therapist how they would treat someone else in their life
manifest content
consciously remembered dream
latent content
symbolic meaning
Behavioral Model
abnormal behavior is learned
classical: DOES NOT introduce new behavior
operant: DOES introduce new behavior
Classical Conditioning/Pavlovian
unconditioned stimulus: meat powder
unconditioned response: salivation
conditioned stimulus: tone produced salivation
conditioned response:
Albert Bandura
Bobo the clown, behavior is learned through observation, violent reactions,
imagine unpleasant experience, experience extreme anxiety in a safe place, weakens the unpleasantness later
place patient in the real life situation, show they are safe
systematic desensitization
aversion therapy
punishment for behavior
alcohol-projectile vomit
pedophile-penis electrodes`
Cognitive Model
thoughts, processes, feelings, perceptions, judgments, memories, reinforcers in the environment
aid in the discovery of covert activities
Albert Ellis
Rational Emotive Therapy; empirical reality, rational thinking
action, belief, consequence
Aaron Beck
Cognitive therapy, alter the negative schema
Categories: Abnormal Psychology