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Classifying People
The DSM-IV contains all mental health disorders and offers a new method of classification ­ a multitaxal
classification. Individuals can be rated multiple axes/dimensions. It's now more concrete and descriptive.
They're useful to acquire new information. This can help development of new treatments and medication.
This type of classification has been criticised for stigmatising people by putting them in artificial groups.
Deviation from Social Norms
Deviating can be seen as abnormal, but cultures vary, so there isn't a universal set of rules.…read more

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Failure to Function Adequately
Not coping with the demands of day-to-day life. Criteria include: dysfunctional behaviour,
observer discomfort, unpredictable behaviour, irrational behaviour, personal distress. (More
than one ticked = considered abnormal).
Symptoms Associated
Impairment of intellectual functions, such as memory or comprehension. Alterations to
mood that lead to delusional appraisals of the past or future, or lack of any appraisal.
Delusional beliefs, such as of persecution or jealousy. Disordered thinking.
Cultural relativism.…read more

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Biological Approach
Assumptions of the model
Genetics: faulty genes are known to cause some diseases that have psychological effects,
e.g. Huntington's disease that leads to the deterioration of mental abilities.
Neurotransmitters: Too much or too little of a particular neurotransmitter, e.g. dopamine
for anxiety or schizophrenia, or serotonin for depression. Drugs like cocaine also increase
dopamine levels.
Infection: disorders may be caused by viral infection, such as general paresis caused by
Brain Injury: Brain damage. E.g.…read more

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Psychosurgery brain surgery involving destruction or separation of parts of the brain.
Moniz developed the front lobotomy, in the 1930s, to separate parts of the frontal lobes
from the rest of the brain. This reduced aggression and generally made people more placid.
It's not a cure, just a change, the irreversible change to personality made some patients
easier to manage. A last resort.
Drugs change neurotransmitter levels in the brain.…read more

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Psychodynamic Approach
Assumptions `personality' refers to the unique character that each of us have. Freud
suggested that this developed out of an interaction between innate drives and early life
Conflict in Development Freud divided the personality into the id, ego and superego.
Id is driven by the pleasure principle, an innate drive to seek immediate satisfaction. By the
end of the infants first year, the ego develops as a consequence of experience with reality.…read more

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Psychoanalysis treatment introduced in the early twentieth century. Aim was to allow patients to
access repressed thoughts and unconscious conflicts. Freud called this insight. Hypnosis: altered
mental state, involving deep relaxation. Gradually lost interest as it was difficult. Free association:
given a cue word and is asked to say any ideas or memories that come into their mind. Dream
analysis: it was thought that a certain part of the mind keeps repressed thoughts in the unconscious
and this is less active during sleep.…read more

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Strengths Useful approach to disorders like depression and anorexia. Considers the role of
thoughts and beliefs. Allows a person to take control and make a positive change. Lots of
research to support. Despite ignoring biological and genetic factors it's not reductionist as it
takes a complex view of psychological disorders.
Limitations faulty cognitions may be the consequence of a disorder rather than the
cause. Cognitive therapies may take a long time and be costly, maybe more effective when
combined e.g. cognitive behavioural methods.…read more

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Aversion Therapy Stops an undesired behaviour by associating it with something
unpleasant. Alcoholics given a drug that produces nausea at the same time. Nail biting, bad
tasting coating.
Systematic Desensitisation Treatment for phobias. The person makes a `feat
hierarchy'. Put into situation of their least feared event. Encouraged to use a relaxation
technique. This is repeated until the feared event is linked only with relaxation. Process
repeated for each stage of their hierarchy. Based on conditioning principles.
Strengths Scientific, clear, testable concepts.…read more


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