PSY 436, Week 1 Notes
PSY 436, Week 1 Notes PSY 436
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This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Blake Meranto on Wednesday January 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 436 at University of Southern Mississippi taught by Dr. Joye Anestis in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Abnormal Psychology in Psychlogy at University of Southern Mississippi.
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The content was detailed, clear, and very well organized. Will definitely be coming back to Blake for help in class!
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Date Created: 01/27/16
Characteristics of mental illness (3 D’s- Deviance, Dysfunction, and Distress) At least one of the “D’s” is necessary to label an issue as a mental illness Deviance from the norm Norms are rules that guide behavior in groups Statistical infrequencies or irregularities that occur in a relatively small amount of people Advantages Easier to compare a person to the population More concrete b/c it uses numbers Simple and easy to understand Disadvantages Does not consider variations between cultures Mental illnesses are more gradual than absolute Ex: 79 may be normal and 81 abnormal, but how different are they really? Probably not very much. Abnormalities do not necessarily equate to mental illness Ex: Einstein has an abnormally high IQ but does not have a mental illness Dysfunction Does the symptom cause the person to be unable to function adequately? Can be relative to a population Something is considered a dysfunction when it interferes with regular activities. Advantages Usually one of the main reasons that individuals seek help for themselves or close ones Disadvantages Very subjective (what may be dysfunctional to some may not be to others) Odd behaviors do not necessarily cause dysfunction Distress Is the person uncomfortable as a result of the behavior or symptom? Advantages Leads people to seek professional help Takes away the need for an outside individual to make a judgment b/c the individual identifies the issue Disadvantages Some people may feel overly distressed because of something that isn’t generally observed as distressing People may feel fine about a behavior that is extremely distressing to other individuals Very subjective Not very absolute (How much distress is too much distress?) Models of Psychopathology Biological Psychopathology comes from brain function and other physical processes Structural causes Some sort of injury or disease causes a change in structural processes, therefore causing abnormal mental processes Cerebral cortex (outermost layer aka “gray matter”) Advanced thinking processes (consciousness, thinking, functioning, etc.) Deal with attention & concentration Hypothalamus Regulates eating, drinking, sexual behaviors Influences emotions Limbic system Hippocampus, cingulate gyrus, and amygdala (mainly deals w/ aggression and emotion) Regulates emotions and impulses as well as basic drives Biochemical causes Imbalances of body chemicals cause mental issues Neurotransmitters are biochemical “messengers” Most medications effect neurochemical levels Reuptake occurs when the neurons that initially released the neurotransmitter into the synapse reabsorb the neurotransmitter (i.e. it gets recycled) Serotonin function- processing of information; regulation of mood, behavior, and thought processes Dopamine function- influences novelty-seeking, sociability, pleasure, motivation, coordination, and motor movement GABA function- regulation of mood, especially anxiety, arousal, and behavior Hormones (released by the endocrine system) Influence mood, energy levels, and stress responses Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis releases cortisol (stress hormone) Dysregulation=difficulty effectively managing stress Genetic causes Genotype An individual’s genetic composition Fixed at birth Probands- individuals with the disorder Controls- people who clearly do not have the disorder in question First-degree relatives Twin studies help to verify or rule out genetic components Some twins who have been adopted have had similar mental disorders despite how they were raised Psychodynamic Humanistic Cognitive-behavioral Sociocultural 3 criteria for abnormal thoughts/behaviors/feelings: Deviation from the norm Dysfunction Distress Basic idea of biological models: abnormalities with brain structures, neurochemicals, genes, etc. cause mental illness Problems with the Biological Model No biological factor that fully accounts for any form of mental disorder Ignores other important, critical, environmental factors (culture, stress, family) Unknown how biological factors actually cause mental disorder Only know they are significant risk factors Psychodynamic Theories (Sigmund Freud) Focuses on things going on in the mind Childhood experiences shape one’s adult personality and influence the person that he/she becomes The causes/purposes of our behaviors are not always clear b/c they may be part of the unconscious mind When we are stressed or anxious, we use defense mechanisms to cope Some are helpful and some are detrimental Everything that we do has meaning/purpose and is goal directed Freudian slip- a verbal mistake that reveals unconscious thought Structures of the mind Id: pleasure (unconscious mind) Focuses on meeting the needs of oneself No focus on morals, ethics, rules, etc. Wants immediate gratification Superego: morality (unconscious mind) Complete opposite of the id Operates on the morality principle (doing what is right, correct, and good) Blocks the id so that the individual can fit in with societal standards Ego: reality and thought mediator (conscious mind) Mediates between the demands of the id and the rules of the superego to meet the needs of both without breaking societal laws/morals/rules Stages of Growth Oral stage (0-1 year of age): mouth is the chief means of meeting satisfaction Can be caused by early weaning or breast-feeding for too long Activities such as smoking, nail biting, and thumb sucking may occur if an individual does not pass this stage Anal (2-3 years of age): attention is focused on defecation and urination Excessively strict or permissive toilet training If a person is fixated at this stage, they may become anal- retentive (overly neat) or anal-expulsive (sloppiness) Phallic (4-5 years of age): sexual organs become the prime source of gratification Latency (6-12 years of age): lack of overt sexual activity or interest One sex does not typically prefer to intermingle with the other sex Genital (12+; puberty and on): mature expression of sexuality If a person gets stuck on a stage (fixation), they will have issues later on in life related to that stage Internal struggles (aka intrapsychic conflict) between the id, ego, and superego result in anxiety, which lead to an individual’s reliance on defense mechanisms Denial- an individual refuses to accept an issue at hand Repression- if a terrible thing is happening to you and you push it back into your unconscious so that you don’t have to think about them Overcompensation- to deal with anxiety over an area of weakness, an individual may focus heavily on positive attributes about themselves The problem occurs when one relies on negative coping mechanisms too often Problems with the psychodynamic model Little empirical support exists to support this theory’s assumptions There is no way to test that the id actually exists Abstract concepts that Freud talks about are untestable Studying this concept requires clients who are verbal, intelligent, and wealthy (many hours of therapy=high cost) Freudian analysis is usually multiple times a week for many weeks on end Humanistic Models Suggest that all humans are naturally good, moral people and are living their lives to fulfill their potential for good so that they can reach a state of self-actualization Self-actualization- striving to be the best that a person can be We seek to be creative and meaningful in our lives, and we have mental issues when something gets in the way of that goal See Figure 2.7 on page 34 in Perspectives on Abnormal Psychology Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Most basic and necessary needs are at the bottom If a person cannot accomplish one level, they will have difficulty rising to the next Carl Rogers Client-centered therapy: the only expert in the client’s life is the client Relies on unconditional positive regard and empathy for the client Allow the client to control the focus of the therapy People naturally try to develop themselves in healthy, positive ways Self-actualization- the fulfillment of the tendency to be the best that one can be Problems occur when one’s self-conflict contraindicates what their environment tells them (i.e. She thinks that she’s great, but society says that she is ugly.) Problems: Lacks empirical support Many concepts are abstract and untestable Inability to address those with severe disorders (i.e. schizophrenia and dementia) More effective for individuals who are verbal and intelligent, someone who can think about their behaviors/actions and adequately verbalize them Behavioral Models Focus on what can be seen (environmental stimuli) and measured (behavioral responses) Assumes that all behavior, both good and bad, is learned, so negative behaviors can essentially be replaced with positive ones Classical conditioning (Pavlov) Pairs a neutral stimulus with a naturally salient stimulus (something that naturally causes a response) If you do this enough over time, the neutral stimulus will eventually cause a conditioned response Operant conditioning Behaviors are shaped by rewards and punishments If a behavior is rewarded, it will likely be repeated If a behavior is punished, it will likely not be repeated Positive reinforcement: giving a pleasant experience or a consequence after a behavior i.e. Giving a toy after a positive occurrence i.e. Giving a slap on the wrist after a negative occurrence Negative reinforcement: removing something after a behavior which may increase or decrease the likelihood of the behavior in the future i.e. Taking away a game console after a child does something bad to teach them to not repeat the negative behavior. i.e. Removing a previous punishment after a child does something right to encourage positive behavior. Modeling (Bandura) Behaviors are learned by imitating others Observational learning (Bandura) An individual observes rewards and punishments received by others This is the basis for the belief that violent video games cause violent behaviors and unlawfulness in children Cognitive Models Emotions and behavior are influenced by how we perceive and think about our present and past experiences There is no reinforcement or learning that causes a person’s irrational thinking Cognitive distortions: irrational, inaccurate thoughts we have about environmental events These cause the abnormal thoughts/feelings/behaviors Cognitive-Behavioral Models There is really an interplay between learning and personal interpretations Problems with cognitive, behavioral, and cognitive- behavioral models: Some reduce complex behaviors to simple learning or interpretations Does not always incorporate biology (i.e. stress hormones, brain structure abnormalities, genetics, etc.) Unclear of which came first when dealing with thoughts and an abnormal mental state i.e. Did problematic thoughts cause depression, or did the depression lead to problematic thoughts?
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