Introduction to abnormal psychology
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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: Psychopathology.

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Introduction to abnormal psychology l.jpg
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:

Psychopathology l.jpg

  • 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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  • 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

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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

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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

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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

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Integrative Approach

to Psychopathology

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Types of Models

  • One-Dimensional Models



  • Multidimensional Models


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Multidimensional Models

of Psychopathology







Cognitive & Emotional