AP Psych Chapter 15: Abnormal Psychology

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Medical Model
the concept that diseases have physical causes that can be diagnosed, treated, and, in most cases, cured. When applied to psychological disorders, the medical model assumes that these mental illnesses can be diagnosed on the basis of their symptoms and cured through therapy, which may include treatment in a psychiatric hospital.
Involves distinguishing one illness from another.
Causal relationships of diseases; theories regarding how the specific disease or disorder began.
Refers to the apparent causation and developmental history of an illness.
Forecast for the disorder
Is a forecast about the probable course of an illness.
Criteria: Deviance, maladaptive behavior, personal distress
Criteria for abnormal behavior

Deviance:People are often said to have a disorder because their behavior deviates from what their society considers acceptable.

Maladaptive behavior: in many cases, people are judged to have a psychological disorder because their everyday adaptive behavior is impaired.

Personal distress: frequently, the diagnosis of a psychological disorder is based on an individual’s report of great personal distress.

The DSM-V is a manual listing the psychological disorders and describing how they are diagnosed.
The tendency for people diagnosed with one mental disorder to exhibit symptoms of other disorders as well
The study of the distribution of mental or physical disorders in a population.
The percentage of a population that exhibits a disorder during a specified time period.
Disorder classes
Anxiety disorders
A group of conditions where the primary symptoms are anxiety or defenses against anxiety
Patient fears that something awful will happen to them
Is in a state of intense apprehension, uneasiness, uncertainty, or fear.
Dissociative disorders
Involve a disruption in the conscious process
There are three types: Psychogenic Amnesia, Dissociative Fugue, and Dissociative Identity Disorder
Mood disorders
Experience extreme or inappropriate emotion
Schizophrenic disorders
1. disorganized thinking
2. disturbed perceptions
3. inappropriate emotions and actions

Delusions, hallucinations

Personality disorders
Well-established, maladaptive ways of behaving that negatively affect people’s ability to function.
Dominates their personality.
General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
A disorder in which people are almost constantly plagued by exaggerated worries.
Phobic Disorders
Anxiety disorders characterized by excessive and irrational fear of, and consequent attempted avoidance of, specific objects or situations.
Panic Disorder
An anxiety disorder marked by a minutes-long episode of intense dread in which a person experiences terror and accompanying chest pain, choking, or other frightening sensations
An anxiety disorder in which the main symptom is an intense fear of public places
An anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted repetitive thoughts and/or actions.
a disorder characterized by an acute emotional responce to a traumatic event or severe emotional stress such as an airplane crash, repeated physical or emotional trauma
Concordance rate
The degree to which a condition or traits shared two or more individuals or groups
Dissociative amnesia
Dissociative disorder characterized by the sudden and extensive inability to recall important personal information, usually of a traumatic or stressful nature.
Dissociative fugue
A dissociative disorder involving sudden and unexpected travel away from home, extensive amnesia, and identity confusion
Dissociative identity disorder
A dissociative disorder involving extensive memory disruptions along with the presence of two or more distinct identities, or “personalities”; formerly called multiple personality disorder
Major depressive disorder
Depressive disorder characterized by loss of interest in almost all of life’s usual activities; a sad, hopeless, or discourage mood, sleep disturbance; loss of appetite; loss of energy; and feelings of unworthiness and guilt.
A diminished ability to experience pleasure.
Bipolar disorder
(formerly known as manic-depressive disorder) characterized by the experience of one or more manic episodes as well as periods of depression.
Compulsive fretting; overthinking about our problems and their causes.
False beliefs that are maintained even though they clearly are out of touch with reality
Sensory perceptions that occur in the absence of a real, external stimulus or are gross distortions of perceptual input
Paranoid schizophrenia
Dominated by delusions of persecution, along with delusions of grandeur (people maintain that they are famous or important).
Catatonic schizophrenia
Marked by striking motor disturbances, ranging from muscular rigidity to random motor activity
Disorganized schizphrenia
A particularly severe deterioration of adaptive behavior is seen.
Nancy Andreasen
(Who) Proposed an alternative approach to subtyping that divides schizophrenic disorders into just two categories, based on the presence of negative versus positive symptoms
Dopamine hypothesis
View that schizophrenia is related to, and may be caused by, excess activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain.
Expressed Emotion
Etiology of Schizophrenia
degree to which a relative of a patient displays highly critical or emotionally over involved attitudes toward the patient

A family’s EE= good predictor of the course of the schizophrenic patient’s illness (post hospitalization: high EE = relapse rates 3x low EE)

Antisocial Personality Disorder
Type B personality disorder
Chronically violating the rights of others; failing to accept social norms, to form attachments to others, or to sustain consistent work behavior; exploitive and reckless
82% male 18% female
Legal status indicating that a person cannot be held responsible for his/her actions because of mental illness
Involuntary commitment
People are hospitalized in psychiatric facilities against their will
Culture-bound disorders
Abnormal syndromes found only in a few cultural groups.
Eating disorders
-genetic vulnerability- not much research
-cultural values


Categories: Abnormal Psychology