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CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY





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DEFINITIONS

You need to be able to define clinical psychology and terms associated with clinical psychology
What is clinical psychology about?
Clinical psychology is concerned with abnormal behaviour and seeks to define what makes a
behaviour abnormal and then diagnose the problem so that that it…

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of the population ­ i.e. the behaviour of 5% of the population. According to the social norm
definition, any behaviour which deviates from what society sees as desirable behaviour is
classed as abnormal.

Why is it difficult to define abnormality?
Even amongst psychologists there is disagreement about the causes of…

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Expensive compared with secondary data because data is gathered from the start.
Limited to the time, place and no. of Ppts whereas secondary can come from multiple
sources to give more range and detail.
Researchers may be subjective in what kinds of data they look for, for example data which…

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Describe animal experiments:
Although it is thought that schizophrenia is a condition only found in humans, it is possible to
model the disorder and test treatments on animals.
Humans and animals have similar hormonal system, nervous system and brain with rats
sharing humans' hind-, mid- and fore-brain.
This means that…

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If it is found that MZ twins have a higher concordance rate than DZ twins, it must be because
the disorder has a genetic component, but anything less than a 100% concordance rate in MZ
twins shows schizophrenia must have an environmental factor.
Describe how twin studies have been used…

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The dividing line between behaviour is sudden. For example IQ scores for which one score
would be classed as normal while another would be considered abnormal.
The definition does not account for whether the behaviour is desirable or not. For example a
high IQ score, which would be classed as…

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Axis 5 (GAF): is the global assessment of functioning scale, which ranges from 100-0; 0 being
in danger of hurting oneself and 100 being a superior level of functioning.

Briefly outline the changes to the DSM and explain why revisions have been necessary:
An example of a revision came in…

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Describe and evaluate studies looking at the validity of the DSM
Lahey et al (2006) found that there was good predictive validity in relation to ADHD diagnosed
children's social and academic functioning over a six year period.
Andrews et al (1999) looked at how far DSM IV agreed with ICD…

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The DSM III (text revisions) takes account of cultural issues in acknowledging culture bound
syndromes.
There has been an attempt to remove focus from bizarre symptoms in schizophrenia, as it
was acknowledged that such symptoms are open to interpretation and that there are cultural
issues in such interpretation.
Other features/symptoms…

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There is an increase of activity at dopamine synapses which is associated with increased
feelings of paranoia and explains why hallucinations may occur as the brain is too active.
It is possible that an increase in dopamine in one site in the brain (the mesolimbic pathway)
contributes to positive symptoms…

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