AQA PSYA2 notes

1. Psychopathology - Abnormality

2. Social Psychology - Conformity , Obedience and Social Change 

3. Biological Psychology - Stress

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First 44 words of the document:

1. Failure to function adequately
2. Deviation from social norms
3. Deviation from ideal mental health
1. Biological
2. Psychodynamic
3. Behavioural
4. Cognitive
1. Drugs
2. ECT
3. Psychoanalysis
4. Systematic desensitisation
5. CBT

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Abnormal - people that don't fit in with society
Failure to function adequately
This definition of abnormality focuses on the everyday behaviour of an individual. When someone
deviates from this normal pattern of behaviour you can argue that they are failing to function
- You can be abnormal but could still be able to be in a relationship and hold down your job.
- Unpredictability; we rely on the behaviour of people around us being predictable.…read more

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The key features of the biological approach to psychopathology are that disorders have an organic
or physical cause. This approach argues that mental disorders are related to the physical structure
and functioning of the brain. This is because the brain controls behaviour and therefore abnormality is
caused by brain activity or rather abnormal brain activity. According to this approach abnormality is
seen as an illness. Therefore those people suffering from depression, as diagnosed by a medical
doctor, are seen as suffering from a mental illness.…read more

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The psychodynamic approach is based largely work by Freud. The two key features of this approach
is the structure of personality and psychosexual development. Freud proposed that there are three
parts of the personality; the id, the ego and the superego. The id desires pleasure, the superego is
our conscience and the ego part of our personality attempts to balance the demands of the id with
the moral rules of the superego.…read more

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A key features of the behavioural approach is that All behaviour is learned in the same way whether
it is normal or abnormal. The emphasis of this approach is on the environment and it ignores the role
of biology or of any internal thoughts or feelings. The learning can take one of three forms: classical
conditioning, operant conditioning and social learning.…read more

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The cognitive approach see's abnormal behaviour being caused by faulty thinking. A major influence
on thought processes is schemata. Schemata is an organized system of knowledge that we use to
understand and interpret the world. For example our schemata influence how confident, happy and
good at relationships we are. Schemata may be shaped by our experiences, for example, failing at
school may lead to the schemata that I will always be unsuccessful.…read more

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Drugs are used to treat abnormalities, notably schizophrenia and depression. Schizophrenia is
treated through the use of antipsychotic drugs such as chlorpromazine and clozapine. These drugs
act on a wide range of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, which is thought to cause schizophrenia
if raised levels of activity are present.
Depression is treated in biological therapies using anti-depressant drugs. Selective serotonin
reuptake suppressors (SSRI's) are the most recent form of anti-depressant drugs. The most famous
SSRI is called prozac.…read more

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ECT: this can be either unilateral ECT (electrode on one temple) or bilateral ECT (electrodes on both
temples). Patient is given a short acting anaesthetic and muscle relaxant before the shock is
administered. Oxygen is also administered. Small amount of current (about 0.6 amps) passed through
the brain lasting for about half a second. The resulting seizure lasts for about a minute. ECT is usually
given three times a week for up to 5 weeks.…read more

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A therapist (psychoanalyst) may use different techniques to uncover the origins of the client's
problems, Techniques could include, free association, dream interpretation, projective techniques.
Psychoanalysis aims to uncover the ego's self defence mechanisms so that client's understand the
origin's of their problems in order to cure them. In free association, `the talking cure,' the client
states the first thing that comes into their mind in order to lower the ego defence mechanisms and in
so doing bring to the surface material from the subconscious.…read more

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Discuss systematic de-sensitisation in terms of treating abnormality (8 marks)
Systematic de-sensitisation is used by the behaviourist approach to abnormality and is based on
classical conditioning. It uses counter-conditioning and is mainly used to treat phobias. The process
involves five stages with the first being where the client lists different situations and ranks them in
terms of their fearfulness. The client is then taught deep relaxation and the client visualises least
fearful situation whilst practising the deep relaxation they have been taught.…read more


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