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Abnormal Psychology (PSYC2011) Sept 15 Class Notes

by: Jesse Catir

Abnormal Psychology (PSYC2011) Sept 15 Class Notes PSYC 2011

Marketplace > George Washington University > Psychology > PSYC 2011 > Abnormal Psychology PSYC2011 Sept 15 Class Notes
Jesse Catir

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About this Document

In class notes from week 3 of Abnormal Psychology (PSYC2011) with Professor Molock at GWU.
Abnormal Psychology
Sherry Molock
Class Notes
Abnormal psychology, abnormal psych, Psychology, PSYC2011, gwu, SherryMolock, Molock, gwupsyc
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jesse Catir on Wednesday September 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 2011 at George Washington University taught by Sherry Molock in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Abnormal Psychology in Psychology at George Washington University.


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Date Created: 09/28/16
~a lot on models (end of ch 4?) ~no penalty for guessing ~consider doing essays first ~know essay questions 3 and 4 Assessment and Classification Intro • Mental health professionals often focus on dimensions and categories to define abnormal behavior and mental disorder. • A dimensional approach refers to defining abnormal behavior along a continuum • A category is a large class of frequently observed syndromes or mental disorders • DSM still uses categories but talks of using dimensions more Terms • Classification refers to arranging mental disorders into broad categories or classes based on similar features • Diagnosis: place a person, based on group of symptoms in a category within a classification system • Syndrome: group of signs or symptoms that co-occur together ◦ Pathology and/etiology usually not clearly understood • Disorders: syndromes that can’t be easily explained by other conditions (e.g. OCD)(not as simple to say what the causes are, could be a number of things, unlike diseases where there are clearly defined causes and symptoms) • Diseases: disorders where pathology and etiology are clearly understood (e.g., sickle cell anemia) Critique of DSM and Classifications • Strong medical/bio bias • validity of process used to select classifications: some politics are involved ◦ premenstrual dysphoric disorder • Labels imply that all of persons behavior is abnormal • Labels lead to people being ostracized • Labels become self-fulfilling prophecies • Labels dont necessarily tell you about functioning Assessment • TEST Q: "systematic way" • Professional gathers info in systematic manner to obtain knowledge about individual to make appropriate recommendations • Theoretical model of abnormality influences types of questions you ask, type of assessment tools you’ll use and how you will interpret in o • Referral: important part of assessment; it is the question that you are being asked to answer by the teacher, parent, client, court system, colleague (the referral question must be specific) (example q: is this persons behavior due to them being a bad person or them having a mental disorder) • TEST Q: cannot do an assessment without history • Techniques used in assessment ◦ interview ◦ life history records (e.g. school, medical records) ◦ tests ◦ observations • Want to be sure techniques you use yield reliable and valid results Reliability • TEST Q: Reliability = consistency  • Reliability: consistency of test or technique • Test-retest: agreement between tests when person takes same test at 2 different times (easiest) • Internal consistency: correlate items of test with one another and/or with total score • Alternative form: equivalent forms of test are given to minimize practice effects (same test dif q’s) • Inter-rate: see degree to which independent observers agree on ratings of observations • TEST Q: you want good reliability, .80 and above is good Validity • TEST Q: Validity is usefulness of test
 • TEST Q: a valid test is always a reliable test, but a reliable test is not necessarily valid. this is why you need to look for reliability AND validity • validity: does the test measure what it is supposed to measure? ◦ content: are items representative of content area ◦ concurrent: do items correlate with related but independent behaviors or test scores ▪ Do items on BDI correlate with items on Reynolds Depression Scale ◦ predictive: does test predict future behavior ▪ Does the SAT predict GPA in college? ◦ construct: does test measure theoretical concept it is supposed to reflect? compare test to series of tests and/or observations ▪ Do IQ tests correlate with Achievement tests? Job success? • Internal validity: ◦ pertains to what happens INSIDE the study ◦ are you confident that your results are true? ◦ TEST Q: best way to ensure you have internal validity is by randomization • External Validity: ◦ can results be generalized outside of your study ◦ best way to have external validity is to control for all nuisance variables, but this is very hard. you can’t control these variables in real li e Assessment Techniques • Observations: ◦ systematically monitor and record over behavior ▪ Naturalistic: done in natural environment by trained observers; can be informal or based on elaborate observation schema TEST Q: HAVE GOOD EXTERNAL VALIDITY BUT NOT GOOD INTERNAL VALIDITY ▪ Analogue observations: done in  controlled setting; may ask participants to engage in specific behaviors. TEST Q: GOOD INTERNAL BUT POOR EXTERNAL VALIDITY • Interview: involves an interaction between two persons ◦ structured: ask a standard set of questions in standard manner; usually involves checklists (e.g. DISC); more reliable and valid ◦ semi-structured: ask certain questions but more flexibility in a way you ask questions, order in which you ask them and ability to probe for more info Objective Psychological Tests •  Standardized measures that are used to  assess intellectual abilities, personality, social skills, cognitive skills and vocational interests that are administered in a standard way and use standardization sample ◦ tests are administer same way to all people, scored using same criteria for all people ◦ results are compared to norm reference group that should be representative of the people who take the test  Projective Tests • Tests have stimuli that are relatively ambiguous  ◦ More ambiguous the stimuli, more you project your own personality onto the stimuli • Types of Projective Techniques ◦ Association: state what stimulus means to you (Rorschach) ◦ Construction: generate story, sentence (TAT) ◦ Expressive: express yourself thru activity (DAP) Culture and Clinical Assessment     (COPY SLIDE LATER) Scientific Methods (FOCUS ON THIS) • Scientific method: involves the systematic collection of data thru controlled observations so can test hypotheses • Hypothesis: statement that usually describes the relationship between two variables • Theory: group of principles or hypotheses that are used to explain phenomenon Characteristics of Clinical Research • Potentially self-correcting: exchange ideas and info thru conferences, meetings, publications and work has to be replicated to try to remove personal bias from theories • Hypothesizing relationships: try to identify and explain relationships between variables • Operational definitions: tell you what the variable is and how you plan to measure it • TEST Q: need to know what you did to be able to replicate it. How people do these experiments is really important • Reliability and  validity: measures used have to be reliable and valid • Base rates: rate of occurrence of behavior in natural environment • Statistical vs clinical significance: research findings have to  be statistically significant; even if it is statistically significant, maybe clinically irrelevant ◦ Ex: people who successfully plead guilty by reason of inanity are much more likely to have a psychotic disorder; on the other hand, successful plea occurs less than 1% of the time Clinical Case History • in depth study of individual’s life ◦ frequently used by Freud • Advantages ◦ not artificial, helps generate hypotheses ◦ helps get at material that is difficult to access • Disadvantages ◦ selectivity: bc hx retrospective, memories are distorted (weapon vision) ◦ can’t replicate behaviors or generalize beyond individual  Experiment • TEST Q: experiments are designed to look at cause and effect relationships • Independent variable (IV): variable that experimenter manipulates; the “cause" • Dependent variable (DV): the outcome, the “effect”  • experimental group: receives treatment • TEST Q: control group: similar to E group except doesn’t get the IV • people like random samples bc hard to control every variable that would make control and experimental group the same • confounds: nuisance variables that can influence the results ◦ TEST Q’s: ◦ nonrandom assignment: people are not randomly assigned to groups ◦ experimenter bias: experimenter intentionally or unintentionally influences S's ◦ subject bias: S behaves a certain way bc know in experiment: ▪ Try to control E and S bias via double blind ◦ demand characteristics: sharks of study induces S to behave a certain way bc trying to figure out what hypotheses are ◦ reactivity: when you change your behavior bc you know you’re in an experiment ◦ TEST Q: most clinical research not done with random assignment Confounds • Differential mortality: people in one group drop out at different rate than people in another group ◦ Ex: people in Exp group drop out at higher rate than people in control froup • Hawthorne Effect: people behave differently bc they are in an experiment. example of subject bias. • TEST Q: Control for confounds: random  assignment into groups  • Double blind studies Experiment • Advantages ◦ best method to ascertain C and E relationships ◦ helps understand etiology  ◦ can be replicated • Disadvantages ◦ artificial ◦ maybe impractical or unethical ▪ Does PCP cause hallucinations Correlations • this IS a scientific study, however u cannot study C and E relationships • Examine relationships between variables • correlation coefficient: r ◦ tells you the strength of relationship: l 1 l ◦ tells you the direction of the relationship: +1 to -1 ▪ dollar value decreases, interests rate increase ▪ high self esteem related to high school achievement • Advantage: not artificial, avoid ethical problems • Disadvantages: cannot examine cause and effect relationships • TEST Q: will give example and you will have to tell strength and relationship


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