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Deviation from Social Norms...

A social norm is an unwritten rule describing desirable behaviour for individuals in society.
Someone is considered abnormal if they deviate from these social norms.


Low historical relativism ­ Social norms vary over time therefore the definition is
constantly changing. For…

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Subjective ­ It is based on a personal opinion so a judgement about someone's
abnormality is open to interpretation.
Low validity ­ Very few people meet the criteria for normal mental health at all times.
There are often times when we don't have a resistance to stress for example,…

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Bipolar ­ PET scans discovered that people with bipolar had 30% higher levels of brain
chemicals dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.


The structure of the brain is different in those experiencing a mental abnormality. This can occur
through injury or through illnesses, such as tumours or strokes.


Amnesia ­…

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Biological Therapies...

Anti-Anxiety Drugs:

Benzodiazepines enhance the action GABA, a brain hormone that quietens the activity in the
central nervous system making a person feel calmer.

Beta-blockers reduce the activity of adrenaline and noradrenaline by binding the receptors on the
cells of the heart and other body parts that are…

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Developed by Freud, the approach assumes that much of our behaviour is driven by our
unconscious motives and that mental disorders arise from unresolved, unconscious conflicts
originating in childhood.

The Structure of Personality...

Defence Mechanisms:

Reaction Formation ­ You turn the feeling into its opposite.
Denial ­ You completely reject…

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Phallic 3 ­ 6 years Penis/clitoris is main source of pleasure. Completion is adoption of the
parents' moral attitudes.
The Oedipus Complex ­ Boys: Boy likes his mother and wants his
father out of the way, fears father will know this and will castrate him,
identifies with father and adopts…

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Dream content that is recalled is the manifest content. The real meaning of the dream is called the
latent content. The latent content is hidden by the use of symbols. This use of symbols is known as
dreamworks. This symbolic imagery is a reflection of our unconscious conflicts. The analyst…

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Classical Conditioning...

A neutral stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus through repeated presentations. The
two are paired so the stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus which then produces a
conditioned response on its own.

Anorexia example Food and weight gain are paired with anxiety and sadness. Dieting and
weight loss…

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Evaluation of Behavioural Approach...

The approach is positive and does not label people as `ill'. It perceives mental disorders as
maladaptive responses which can be altered.

The approach considers individual differences and social and cultural contexts as it perceives a
patient's own behavioural history as having shaped their maladaptive behaviour.…

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Ellis' ABC Model...

A: Activating Event

Mary and her boyfriend split up.

B: Beliefs

Rational Beliefs

Mary tells herself that although it is a sad situation they were not compatible and she will learn
from the experience.

Irrational Beliefs

Mary tells herself that the break up is her fault and…


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