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Introduction To Abnormal Psychology

Introduction To Abnormal Psychology

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Introduction To Abnormal Psychology

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  1. Introduction To Abnormal Psychology • Instructor: Ray Hawkins, Ph.D. • Office: SEA 2.208, MWF(10-11 am & by appointment) • Phone: 232-3354 • TA: Pamela Krones • Syllabus • Web page:

  2. Psychopathology • Psychopathology examines the nature and development of abnormal • Behavior, Thoughts, Feelings • Definitions of abnormality vary widely and may not capture all aspects of psychopathology • Psychopathological aspect (causes, mechanisms) • Clinical aspect (assessment, treatment) Ch 1.1

  3. Defining Abnormal Behavior I • Case of Ernest H. (D&N, p.2) • Statistical infrequency suggests that rare behaviors are abnormal • Normal curve indicates that behaviors are common while others are rare • Common behaviors are at middle of normal curve • Rare behaviors fall at the tails of the curve • Temperament variations • Violation of norms suggests that abnormality is relative to a cultural/societal norm Ch 1.2

  4. Fig 1.1

  5. Defining Abnormal Behavior II • Personal distress suggests that behaviors that are accompanied by distress are abnormal • Disability/dysfunction argues that impairment of life function can be a component of abnormal behavior • Unexpectedness asks whether the responses of a person to an environmental stressor are appropriate, or adaptive Ch 1.3

  6. Abnormal Behavior in Context • Epidemiology (e.g., National Comorbidity Survey (1994)(D&N, p.112) • Prevalence, Incidence within a population • Course of disorder (chronic, or time limited) • Onset of disorders (acute or insidious) • Etiology (the study of why a disorder begins) • Maintaining factors

  7. Early Views of Psychopathology • Demonology (Supernaturalism)is the view that abnormal mental function is due the occupation by an evil being of the mind of a person • Treatment requires exorcism • Somatogenesis is the view that disturbed body function produces mental abnormality • Psychogenesis is the belief that mental disturbance has psychological origins

  8. Demonology During the Dark Ages • The Dark ages were marked by a decline in Greek and Roman civilizations and by an increase of influence of churches • Church authorities came to view witchcraft as an explanation of abnormality • Witches were in the league with the Devil • Torture was required to elicit “confessions” of witchcraft; death by fire was required to drive out supposed demons Ch 1.5

  9. Asylums • Asylums were created in the 15th century for the care/treatment of the mentally ill. • Asylums were meant to be a place of refuge • Care and treatment within an asylum was not always humane or effective • Pinel (1793) advocated for humane treatment of patients in asylums (“moral treatment”) • Removed shackles, improved diet, better treatment • Texas State Lunatic Asylum (“From Curer to Custodian” 1857-1880; Sitton, 1999) and Whitaker (2002) for an historical overview Ch 1.6

  10. Modern Approaches to Mental Illness • Systems of classification were developed which argued that mental illness has a biological cause • Kraepelin suggested that clusters of symptoms form a syndrome • Each syndrome has its own unique cause, course, symptoms, treatment, and outcome Ch 1.7

  11. Causation of Mental Illness • Physical disorder: general paresis involves paralysis and cognitive changes • General paresis was linked to brain destruction brought on by the infection related to syphilis • Psychogenesis is the view that psychological issues can produce mental disorder • Breuer used hypnosis to induce patients to recall their troubled past; some patients experienced mental relief. • Breuer’s technique is the cathartic method Ch 1.8

  12. Scientific Paradigms • Paradigms are conceptual frameworks that scientists use to study the world • “Zeitgeist” (spirit of the times) • Paradigms include assumptions about science and methods • Paradigms dictate what will and will not be studied (e.g. few scientists study ESP today) • Paradigms can dictate the methods used by a scientist (introspection versus experimentation) Ch 1.9

  13. Multidimensional Integrative Approach to Psychopathology

  14. Types of Models • One-Dimensional Models ONE CAUSE DISORDER • Multidimensional Models MANY CAUSES

  15. Multidimensional Models of Psychopathology Social Influences Biological Influences Behavioral Influences Cognitive & Emotional Influences