Current paradigms in psychopathology and therapy
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Current Paradigms in Psychopathology and Therapy. Past and Present Tomàs, J . What is a paradigm?. What do you think???. A Paradigm:. is a conceptual framework to examine a given phenomenon. has a set of basic assumptions .

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What is a paradigm l.jpg
What is a paradigm?

  • What do you think???


A paradigm l.jpg
A Paradigm:

  • is a conceptual framework to examine a given phenomenon.

  • has a set of basic assumptions.

    Determines which methods (data collection, analysis) will be used to study a given phenomenon.


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Paradigms in Abnormal Psychology

  • Biological

  • Psychodynamic (Psychoanalytical)

  • Behavioral

  • Cognitive

  • Humanistic


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A. Biological Paradigm: Disease Model

  • Basic assumptions:

  • 1. Biology plays a role in pathological behavior.

  • 2. Psychopathology is caused by disease.



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Flaws with Biological model

  • 1. Factors unrelated to biology may influence the onset of psychopathology.

    E.g., environmental factors (life-style, abuse) may play role in some mental disorders (depression).

  • 2. Multiple factors may influence onset of psychopathology.



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Evidence that biology plays a role comes from 2 sources:

  • 1. Behavioral Genetics – examines how much of individual differences in behavior are due to genetic makeup.

  • 2. Biochemistry in the nervous system


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Behavioral Genetics: Theory

  • Genotype – the physiological genetic constitution of a person. (fixed at birth, but not static)

  • Phenotype- the observable expression of our genes (changes over time & is product of interaction with genotype & environment).

  • E.g., A child may be hard-wired for high intellectual achievement, but will need environmental stimulation to produce development.


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We may have a biological predisposition for a mental disorder.

  • This is called a Diathesis.

  • Does having a diathesis automatically mean you will develop the mental disorder?


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No!!!! disorder.

  • It will depend on how your biology interacts with environmental factors (parental rearing, peers)


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How do we study behavior genetics? disorder.

  • 1. Family members

  • 2. Twin studies

  • 3. Adoption studies

  • 4. Linkage analysis


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Family Members: disorder.

  • Studies the 1st & 2nd degree relatives of individual with a given mental disorder.

  • 1st-degree relatives-parents & siblings (50%-shared genes)

  • 2nd-degree relatives-aunts, uncles (25%-shared genes)

  • Are compared with index cases (probands).


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If there is a genetic predisposition: disorder.

  • 1st degree relatives of the index case(s), should have the disorder at a higher rate than in the general pop.

  • E.g., 10% of 1st degree relatives of index cases with schizophrenia can be diagnosed with schizophrenia


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Twin method disorder.

  • Monozygotic (100% shared genes) & dizygotic twins (50% shared genes) are compared.

  • Start with diagnosis of one twin & see if other twin develops same disorder.

  • When twins are similarly diagnosed, they are said to be concordant.


If disorder is heritable concordance rate will be higher for mz than for dz twins l.jpg
If disorder is heritable-- concordance rate will be higher for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • Problems:

  • 1. May reflect environmental factors.


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Adoption studies for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • Examine children who were adopted & reared apart from their “abnormal” parents.

  • Reduces environmental influences, should reflect effect of genetics.


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Linkage Analysis: for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • Uses DNA blood testing to examine the influence of genetics inmental disorders.


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B. Psychodynamic Paradigm for MZ than for DZ twins.:

  • Argues that our behavior results from unconscious conflicts.

  • Conflicts are outside of our awareness (iceberg theory).


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Structures of mind for MZ than for DZ twins.:

  • 1. Id (unconscious) “wants” to satisfy basic urges (thirst, hunger, sex).

  • 2. Ego (primarily conscious) tries to satisfy id impulses without breaking societal norms.

  • 3. Super-ego (conscious) our morality center which tells us right from wrong.


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Psychosexual stages of development for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • 1. Oral (birth to 1 yr)- needs gratified orally (sucking).

    2. Anal (2yr)-needs met- through elimination of waste.

  • 3. Phallic (3-5 yrs)-needs met through genital stimulation.

  • 4. Latency (6-12 yrs)-impulses dormant.

  • 5. Genital (13+)-needs met through intercourse.


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Defense mechanisms- unconscious & protect ego from anxiety. for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • Repression

  • Projection

  • Reaction formation

  • Displacement

  • Denial

  • rationalization


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Problems: for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • 1.  Freud had no scientific data to support his theories.

  • 2. Freud’s theories (unconscious, libido, etc.) cannot be observed.

  • 3.  Theory explains behavior (post-hoc) after the fact.

  • 4. Observations not representative of population.


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Freud’s therapy for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • Premise—we have repressed information in unconscious that needs to come out.

  • How???

  • Free-association, dream analysis, hypnosis.


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C. Behavior paradigm for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • Focuses on observable behaviors.

  • Premise—abnormal behavior is learned!!

  • Learning (classical & operant conditioning, modeling)


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Classical conditioning for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • Pavlov’s study:

  • Step 1: Meat Powder (UCS)---Salivation (UCR)

  • Step 2: Bell (CS) ---- Salivation (UCR)

  • -Meat Powder (UCS)----

  • Step 3: Bell (CS)---------Salivation (CR)


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Conditioning emotional responses: Watson & Raynor for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • Classically conditioned 11-month-old infant to fear white rats (Santa beard, cotton).

  • Presented infant with cute white rat—child showed interest in rat, was then presented with a loud noise (startle response).


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Operant conditioning: for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • Desired behaviors are reinforced (positive, negative), whereas undesirable behaviors are extinguished (punishment).


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Modeling (Albert Bandura) for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • We learn how to behavior, by watching others.

  • Whether we will produce a given behavior is determined by whether we have seen it reinforced or punished.(Famous Bobo Doll study)


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Behavioral therapies for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • Systematic desensitization (phobias, anxiety)

  • Flooding (phobias, anxiety)

  • Aversion conditioning (pedophiles)


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Criticisms of theory: for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • 1. Abnormal behavior not connected to particular learning experiences (schizophrenia).

  • 2. Simplistic circular reasoning (Description as explanation).

  • 3. Useful for treatment, but not as cause for most mental disorders.


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Cognitive for MZ than for DZ twins.:

  • Premise- how we organize and interpret information

  • Criticism of Cognitive Paradigm

  • Concepts are slippery, not well defined.

  • cognitive explanations do not explain much

  • E.g., depressed person has negative cognition--I am worthless.


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Therapy for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • Cognitive-Behavioral therapy

  • Rational Emotive therapy


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E. Humanistic: for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • Theorists argue we are driven to self-actualize, that is, to fulfill our potential for goodness and growth.


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Roger’s Humanistic therapy for MZ than for DZ twins.

  • We all have a basic need to receive positive regard from the important people in our lives (parents).

  • Those who receive unconditional positive regard early in life are likely to develop unconditional self-regard.

  • That is, they come to recognize their worth as persons, even while recognizing that they are not perfect. Such people are in good shape to actualize their positive potential.


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