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Research Approaches in Abnormal Psychology

by: KatieAlbritton

Research Approaches in Abnormal Psychology Psy 247

Marketplace > University of North Carolina - Wilmington > Psychlogy > Psy 247 > Research Approaches in Abnormal Psychology
GPA 3.7
Abnormal Psychology
Dr. Clemens

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About this Document

These notes discuss some of the research methods used in the study of abnormal psychology, as well as some different perspectives on what causes mental illness.
Abnormal Psychology
Dr. Clemens
Class Notes
Abnormal psychology, PSY 247, research methods
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by KatieAlbritton on Tuesday August 18, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Psy 247 at University of North Carolina - Wilmington taught by Dr. Clemens in Fall 2013. Since its upload, it has received 275 views. For similar materials see Abnormal Psychology in Psychlogy at University of North Carolina - Wilmington.


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Date Created: 08/18/15
Research Approaches in Abnormal Psychology Katie Albritton Study Soup A scientific attitude and approach to the study of abnormal behavior Helps us understand etiology and nature of disorder And helps us reduce error Based around the hypothesis Sources of information Case studies Generate hypotheses study rare phenomena Selfreport date Descriptive study Observational approaches Cannot infer causation Correlation Meaning association this thing is associated with that thing Runs on a scale of negative one to positive one More on this a wee bit later Research Methodologies Naturalistic Observation Case studies Surveys and questionnaires Correlational Research Experimental Research Correlational Research Correlation A number that indicates the relationship between two or more variables Values can range from 1 to 1 Scatterplot graphs are used to represent a correlation visually When a strong correlation exists one variable let39s use SAT Score can be used to predict the value of a second variable let39s go with college GPA for relevance 1 indicates a perfect positive relationship this rarely happens in actual research XY as one goes up the other goes up 1 indicates a perfect negative relationship also rarely happens XY as one goes up the other goes down 0 indicates no relationship Thus the closer your value is to zero regardless of if it is positive or negative the weaker the relationship Correlation NEVER means causation There may be a third variable or a situational issue Experimental Method The experimenter deliberately manipulates a variable The effect of that manipulation on another variable is then measured Strong tests are used Independent variable The one that is manipulated Dependent variable The one being measured The experimental group receives different levels of treatment such as a drug being tested The control group is treated exactly the same as the experimental group but does not receive the treatment Random assignment Subjects must be assigned to groups randomly to avoid bias Validity Your ability to generalize your results Choosing your sample Sample A group of participants selected to represent the population Random sample Each member of the population has an equal chance of being selected for the sample Representative Sample Makeup of the sample matches the population Examples Proportion of males and females If you were studying UNCW students using a representative sample most of your participants would need to be women Experimental Research Advantages Conclusions about causality can be made Unwanted variables can be controlled or eliminated Disadvantages Ethical issues Milgram39s Work Lab situation is artificial and results may not generalize well to the real world Reactance Socially desirable responding People may lie to make themselves look good or bad It happens Institutional Review Board The IRB reviews proposals to do psychological research and looks for ethical issues All research proposals must be approved by the IRB before the research can begin Causes and Risk factors Necessary Cause If this event has happened then this cause has occurred Examples Down Syndrome If this disorder has happened then that person has a third chromosome It is a fact Sufficient Cause If this cause is there it will result in the disease or event Examples Alcoholism Barring intervention of course the constant consumption of alcohol is sufficient to cause alcoholism Contributory Cause This cause increases the probability of an event It is not destined to happen but this cause could make it more likely Examples Diabetes Having relatives with diabetes means you are more likely to develop the disease but it does not guarantee that you will get it Biological Causal Factors Neurotransmitter imbalance causes mental illness Neurotransmitters are chemical substances used by the nervous system to send signals The Neuron is the basic cell of the nervous system and has many parts m The long tail part that carries the electrical signals generated by the neuron down toward the synapse Dendrite Small tendrils on the main body of the neuron that receive signals from other neurons 1 always thought they looked a little like very small trees Synapse The space between the end of one neuron39s axon and another39s dendrites Neurotransmitters pass between the two through this space Receptors Small parts on the dendrites that receive the neurotransmitters Terminal Buttons The end of the axon where neurotransmitters are released from Myelin Sheath The bumpy looking sheath around the axon that helps speed up the electrical signal This part is being broken down by the immune system when a person suffers from Multiple Sclerosis DiathesisStress Models Diathesis Any vulnerability to mental illness be it physiological or psychological Stress Any environmental or psychological factor These models suggest that a combination of Diathesis and Stress causes mental illness Neurotransmitters Serotonin Implicated in depression Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders GABA Relaxation Alcoholism Anxiety Disorders Dopamine Pleasure Addiction Schizophrenia There are many more but these are the big three Biological causal factors Genes Chromosomal abnormalities The relationship of genes to Phenotypes Genotype A person39s total genetic endowment Phenotype The observed structural and functional characteristics Epigenetics Methods for studying genetic in uences The Pedigree family history method The Twin Method Study twins and see if they develop in the same way psychologically There have been some very interesting results found in twin studies The adoption method Study environmental factors Brain dysfunction and Neuroplasticity Developmental systems approach Neurons are exible not fixed Behavioral Bases of Behavior How people learn to behave within the biological range Eugenics Argue for total biological basis Free Will extreme biologists and behaviorists argue that there is no free will I choose to believe otherwise Behavior The result of reinforcement and punishment Reinforcement Anything that increases the probability of a behavior Punishment Anything that decreases the probability of a behavior Neither is inherently positive or negative There are positive and negative forms of both Positive applying something Reinforcement Giving Timmy a cookie for being good at Grandma39s Punishment Making Timmy do more homework for failing a test Negative taking something away Reinforcement Taking away something that upsets Timmy after he is good Punishment Taking away Timmy39s Game Boy when he39s been bad Operant Conditioning Learning through reinforcement and punishment Reinforcement always works better than punishment It is best to teach what to do than what not to do With punishment people learn to escape punishers Delayed punishment does not work Physical punishment does not work Kids learn to lie and be aggressive 123 Magic Most effective parenting book for 214 year old children Cognitivebehavioral perspective Attributions Attributional style Cognitive therapy Schema Events are neutral The meaning we apply to the event determines reaction Attributions are causal inferences Sadderbutwiser effect People who are more pessimistic tend to have a clearer view of reality and are better at seeing attributes clearer Screw You Effect We look for information that confirms our views of ourselves This is the end of research approaches in Abnormal Psychology I hope these notes were helpful


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