AS PSYA2 Complete notes

A collection of class notes covering the PSYA2 exam, there are some references to a book we were given but mainly all information is in this file.

I managed to get a B grade using this and past exam papers so i hope they're helpful!

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The identification, study and treatment of mental disorders.
Abnormality Definitions:
Unable to function in society.
Behaviour that inhibits your life.
Not within social norms.
Uncommon behaviour.
Deviation from Ideal Mental Health.
Deviations from Social Norms
Failure to Function Adequately
Abnormality differs between culture and time periods.
Defining a person or behaviour as `abnormal' implies something undesirable and
requiring change.
Must be careful how the term is used.
Psychologists need methods for distinguishing `normal' from `abnormal'.
Don't want to include people who shouldn't be classed as abnormal, or exclude
people who should be classed as abnormal.
Our definition of abnormal must be objective:
It must not depend on an individual opinion or point of view.
It should produce the same results no matter who applies it.
Must not be over or under inclusive, must not label traits as `abnormal' or `normal' if
they aren't.
Ideal Psychological Health
Sense of worth
Stable relationship
Good sense of reality
Understand the surrounding world

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Failure to Function Adequately
Under this definition, a person is considered abnormal if they are unable to cope with
the demands or ever day life.
They may be unable to perform the behaviours necessary for day to day living such as
Holding down a job.
Interact meaningfully with others.
Making themselves understood.…read more

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Deviation from Ideal Mental Health
Jahodas Criteria:
The further away from the criteria you are, the more likely you are to develop mental health
Page 9 Blue Booklet
Over demanding criteria:
According to this definition most people would be classed as abnormal.
Subjective criteria
Many of these concepts are not clearly defined and are not easy to measure.…read more

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Deviation from Social Norms
A persons thinking or behaviour is classified as abnormal if it violates the unwritten
rules about what is expected or acceptable behaviour in a particular social group.
Their behaviour may:
Be incomprehensible to others.
Make others feel threatened or uncomfortable.
The degree to which a norm is violates, the importance of that norm and the value
attached to it by the social group to different sorts of violation is important.
E.g.…read more

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Cultural Relativism
Page 12 Blue Booklet
Universalism: Something not specific to anything.
Ethnocentric bias in diagnosis:
In the west, the social norms that are adopted reflect behaviours of the majority `white'
population. Deviation from these norms by ethnic groups means that ethnic minorities are
more likely to be over represented in the mental illness statistics.…read more

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Biological Model
All psychology and behaviour has a physical/biological cause:
Environmental factors (toxins/stress)
Twin Studies
Identical (MZ) / Non-identical (DZ)
Concordance between the two
Studies have found that psychological disturbance is associated with
biological changes e.g. Neurotransmitters and hormones.
Impossible to tell whether biological changes are cause or effects of
psychological symptoms.
Drug Therapies:
Development of drug therapies which are often effective in controlling
psychological symptoms.
When drugs are discontinued, symptoms often reappear.…read more

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Offered if:
Several medications have been tried and failed (several generations of
medications may be tried)
Side-effects of anti-depressants are too severe.
ECT has been used and worked before.
Patients' life is in danger.
Patient is suicidal.…read more

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Psychodynamic Approach
Ego Tripartite
Super Ego
Abstract, concepts require interpretation.
Unfalsifiable, impossible to scientifically test.
Sexist and dated, represents views about women in the Victorian Era.
First approach to associate childhood with later abnormality.
Psychodynamic Approach Therapies (Psychoanalysis)
Goal is "simply to make the unconscious, conscious.
Free Association
Talk freely about anything.
Therapist would analyse what is said to detect possible conflicts/trauma in the
Patient projects thoughts as they occur, even if they seem unimportant or irrelevant.…read more

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Behaviourist Model
Abnormal behaviour is the consequence of abnormal learning from the environment.
Both normal and abnormal behaviour is learnt in the same way.
Classical Conditioning
Operant Conditioning
Social Learning
Classical Conditioning
Learning by association
Two environmental changes (stimuli) that occur together become associated.
Response to one may transfer to the other.
Before Conditioning Before Conditioning
Unconditioned Unconditioned Neutral Unconditioned
Stimulus Response Stimulus Response
During Conditioning After Conditioning
Unconditioned Conditioned Conditioned
Response Stimulus Response
Operant Conditioning
Organisms operate according to their environment.…read more

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Acquisition of Phobias:
Through Classical Conditioning (direct)
Traumatic experience e.g. being bitten by a dog.
False alarm e.g. having a panic attack in a lift.
Through Social Learning Theory
Observing fear in another e.g. a parent.
Hearing about danger from another e.g. a friend.
Maintenance of Phobias:
Phobias are maintained through Operant Conditioning.
Approaching phobic object/situation elicits conditioned anxiety response.
Retreating from phobic object/situation reduces anxiety.…read more


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