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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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.


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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…

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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…


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