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Chapter One Notes

by: Margaret Bloder

Chapter One Notes PSYCH 3830

Margaret Bloder
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Notes cover the elements of abnormality, how to classify mental disorders, mental health epidemiology and research methodology! (everything included in chapter one)
Abnormal Psychology
Pam Alley
Class Notes




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Margaret Bloder on Sunday January 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYCH 3830 at Clemson University taught by Pam Alley in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 188 views. For similar materials see Abnormal Psychology in Psychlogy at Clemson University.


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Date Created: 01/24/16
Abnormal Psychology: Chapter 1 I. What do we mean by abnormality? There are 7 elements known as the prototype model (assesses the degree to which the person resembles the 7 elements) 1) Suffering: the experience of pain 2) Maladaptive Behavior: some kind of interference with their overall well-being (ex: having anorexia and becoming hospitalized) 3) Statistical Deviancy: statically rare; doesn’t occur very much (ex: intellectual disability) 4) Violation of the standards of society: when the individual does not follow the conventional rules of the society 5) Social Discomfort: person is engaging in some type of behavior that makes people around them uncomfortable 6) Irrationality and Unpredictability: behavior that deviates from the norm, irrational behavior 7) Dangerousness: danger to themselves and others Classification System Advantages:  provides us with a nomenclature (naming system)  helps us to structure the information which increases our ability to do research Disadvantages:  increases the possibility that a label can negatively affect a persons self esteem  stigma: disgrace  stereotypes: automatic belief that people have about another person based on knowing one thing about them II. Definition of a Mental Disorder: 4 Main Points  Clinically significant psychological syndrome involving a disturbance in thought, emotions, and/or behavior -A symptom is a single indicator of a problem and can involve cognition, affect, and/or behavior. A syndrome is a group or cluster of symptoms that all occur together.  Associated with significant distress and/or disability -Disability involves impairment in one or more important areas of functioning, such as social, academic, or occupational.  Not simply a predictable and culturally sanctioned response to a particular event -Grief over the death of a loved one is considered an expectable and normal response and does not indicate a mental disorder.  Considered to reflect a dysfunction in the individual -A mental disorder is always the product of a dysfunction, which resides in the individual, not in the group. III. Mental Health Epidemiology: Study of the frequency and distribution of mental disorders in a given population Prevalence and Incidence 1. Point Prevalence: Estimated proportion of actual, active cases of the disorder in a given population at any instance in time (Ex: What % of students at Clemson currently suffer from depression?) 2. One Year Prevalence: Estimated proportion of actual cases of the disorder in a given population over the course of a whole year (Ex: What % of students at Clemson have suffered from depression in the last year?) 3. Lifetime Prevalence: Estimate of how many people have suffered from a particular disorder at any time in their lives (Ex: Students at Clemson who currently and previously have been depressed… largest span of time) 4. Incidence: Number of new cases that occur over a given period of time (typically 1 year) (Ex: Number of Clemson students who just developed depression) Comorbidity: Presence of two or more disorders in the same person Mild forms of mental illness-7% have two or more additional disorders Severe forms of mental illness-50% have two or more additional disorders IV. Research Methodology I. Scientific Method 1. Specify the problem  Hypothesis: a testable prediction, often derived from a theory 2. Design and conduct the study  Operational definition: a definition stated in terms that can be observed and measured  Subject bias: when the subjects in the study behave in a way they think the experimenter wants them to behave  Single-blind design: a technique in which subjects are kept uniformed about the hypothesis of the study so that this knowledge does not affect their behavior  Experimenter bias: occurs when experimenters, who are aware of the hypothesis of the study, subtly influence the subjects to behave according to prediction  Double-blind design: both the subjects and the experimenter conducting the study are kept uniformed about the hypothesis, helping prevent both subject and experimenter bias from negatively affecting the results 3. Collect data  Statistical analyses: a set of techniques borrowed from mathematics that can be used to describe the data and to determine the probability that the results are due to chance 4. Report the conclusions  Replication is the repetition of a study to see if the same results will be obtained II. Types of Research Methods 1. Case Study: used to study all or many aspects of a single subject in an extensive, in depth matter Advantages: allows us to collect information that we may not find out otherwise Disadvantages: lacks generalize ability 2. Naturalistic Observation: used to study how people or animals behave in their natural environments with no attempt made to manipulate their behavior Advantages: has a good bit of generalize ability Disadvantages: very little control of what you’re going to watch 3. Laboratory Observation: used to study how people behave in the laboratory setting with no attempt made to manipulate their behavior Advantages: more control Disadvantages: doesn’t allow us to make any statement about cause and effect 4. Survey: used to study the attitudes, beliefs, opinions, and intentions of people via questionnaires or interviews Advantages: collect a large amount of information in a short period of time at minimal cost Disadvantages: random sampling, people are not always honest/accurate, sometimes survey questions are not accurately constructed 5. Correlational Study: used to see if two variables are associated or related in some way 6. Epidemiological Study (gender, location, etc.): used to study the frequency and distribution of diseases 7. Experimental Study: used to determine the nature of a causal relationship by manipulating a variable (or variables) and observing the effects III. Random Sample vs. Random Assignment Surveys Random sample: sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion  allows us to generalize from the sample to the larger population Experiments Random Assignment: assignment of subjects to experimental and control conditions by chance so that each subject has an equal opportunity to be in any condition  allows us to eliminate possible alternative explanations for the results Correlation Coefficient: numerical index that indicates the magnitude and direction of the relationship between two variables R(correlation coefficient) = +(indicates direction of relationship, positive or negative) .54(measures magnitude of relationship, -1 to +1) *Correlation does not equal causation* Group Comparison Study: a study of the relationship between people’s membership in a particular group and their scores on some other variable 1. Criterion Group: individuals with a specific disorder 2. Comparison Group (or control group): individuals who do not exhibit the specific disorder being studied but who are comparable in all other major aspects Group Experimental Design: Influence of Exposure to Sexually Explicit Materials on Men’s Willingness to Perpetrate Violence against Women  Hypothesis: exposure to sexually explicit materials makes men more prone to perpetrate violence against women  Independent variable (manipulated): exposure to sexually explicit material  Dependent variable (measured): willingness to perpetrate violence against women  Operational definition of DV: number of rape myths accepted by men on a ten-item questionnaire  Random Assignment of subjects into two groups: 1. Experimental Group: men view sexually explicit film 2. Control Group: men view film without sexual content  Statistical Analysis: after the data is collected, we compare the two groups to assess the size of difference in men’s willingness to perpetrate violence against women as a result of their exposure to a sexually explicit or nonsexual film. If the difference is large enough (that is, statistically significant), then the hypothesis has been supported. Single Case Experimental Study: one individual is studied intensively before and after undergoing a manipulation or intervention Vs. *Both allow for much more intensive assessment of participants, but findings might not generalize to the wider population Case Study: involves one individual but does not utilize an intervention ABAB or Reversal Design A: Measure baseline B: Introduce intervention C: Withdraw intervention D: Reintroduce intervention Purpose: Examine behavior on and off the treatment Ex: Joe pulls his hair…A. Measure how many times he pulls his hair within an hour B. Put a weight on his wrist as a reminder C. Take away the weight D. Re-introduce the weight and measure how many times


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