A Level Psychology - Education and Abnormality

Notecards on the key learning points for the A Level CIE Psychology Examination having picked the topics: Psychology & Education and Psychology & Abnormality  References:- Psychology in Practise: Education ~ Merv Stapleton     Hodder Education

http://mot-to-work.blogspot.com.es/

http://www.education.com/reference/article/praise/

http://psychology.about.com/od/psychologytopics/tp/theories-of-motivation.htm

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/human-motivation-theory.htm

http://nursingplanet.com/theory/self_efficacy_theory.html

http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_How_Does_ADHD_Affect/

http://www.minddisorders.com/Py-Z/Stanford-Binet-Intelligence-Scale.html

http://www.minddisorders.com/Py-Z/Wechsler-Intelligence-Scale-for-Children.html

http://www.sonoma.edu/users/s/swijtink/teaching/philosophy_101/paper1/goleman.htm

http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/p/intelligence.htm

http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/a/fluid-crystal.htm

http://www.allpsychologycareers.com/topics/measuring-creativity.html

http://psychologydictionary.org/means-ends-analysis/

http://psychologydictionary.org/backward-search/

http://psychologydictionary.org/working-backward/

L&T stands for "Learning and Teaching" and M&E stands for "Motivation and Educational" as title character count is limited

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Behaviourism: Classical Conditioning Intro

  • A Russian psychologist called Ivan Pavlov was the first to use classical conditioning when he noticed that a dog salivated when he saw the bucket that he had come to associate with food
  • Pavlov then went about trying to make the dog salivate over something that would not naturally produce this behaviour - a bell
  • First he rang the bell and obviously the dog didn't salivate 
  • Then he rang the bell again but this time fed the dog directly after ringing it - it salivated
  • He repeated this a number of times and then rang the bell without feeding the dog and the dog still salivated
  • This process of learning by association is known as classical conditioning 
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Behaviourism: Classical Conditioning Term

Terms and Examples of which in Pavlov's Dog Study

Before Conditioning

  • Neutral Stimulus (bell ringing)  Neutral Response (no salivaiton) 
  • Unconditioned Stimulus UCS (food)  Unconditioned Response UCR (salivation)

During Conditioning

  • Conditioned Stimulus CS (bell ringing) + UCS  UCR (salivation)

After Conditioning

CS → Conditioned Response CR (salivation)

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Behaviourism: Classical Conditioning

  • Basically in many schools the way the teachers treat the pupils becomes the UCS 
  • Then the negative attitude that the pupils develop towards certain teachers is the UCR
  • Then the subject that that particular teacher teaches becomes the CS
  • And the negative attitude becomes the CR
  • Therefore if the teacher begins this psychological chain reaction then the pupils academic performance in their area will be lower than it would be 
  • Therefore teachers should try to provide as many positive associations with their subjects as possible
  • An extreme example of the result of this chain reaction is school phobia where the child not only becomes afraid of a particular subject or teacher but also the building and the atmosphere that makes his/her uncomfortable
  • This phobia can be alleviated by using systematic disensitisation 
  • This basically means tackling the phobia step by step
  • E.g. Dressing the child in uniform and taking them to the bus stop
  • When they can do this without getting anxious then you might move on to catching the bus and going past the school ... etc
  • It is imporant that a relaxed atmosphere is kept at home so that the child associates each step with a feeling of relaxation rather than anxiety otherwise it won't work  
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Behaviourism: Operant Conditioning Intro

  • As we have seen with classical conditioning the CR is very similar to the natural response to the unconditioned stimulus
  • However classical conditioning only works with something they already know know to do
  • To teach somebody something completely new we normally use operant conditioning 
  • Operant conditioning is the process of forcing someone or something to learn something new because there is a reward at the end and repeating this
  • A psychologist called Thorndike called this the law of effect: behaviour that has a pleasant consequence for the organism
  • Therefore eliminating irrelevant beehvaiour and focussing on the behaviour that will get them the reward faster
  • Another study of operant conditioning is the "Skinner Box" which introduced negative reinforcement to this theory
  • Using negative reinforcement encourages the organism to display a certain behaviour not because they will get a reward but to avoid a punishment
  • And then by introducing a command when using operant conditioning you can get the organism to display a certain behaviour or do something only when you want it to
  • This is known as discrimination
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Behaviourism: Programmed Learning

The principles of operant conditioning can be applied to education in two major ways:

  • The production of programmed learning exercises
  • Classroom management

Programmed Learning

  • Series of steps or frames in which students are presented with material 
  • If they produce the correct response they are encouraged and move on to the next frame
  • There are two types of programmed learning: linear and branching
  • Linear is the easier option with just a series of questions that the student has to answer 
  • After they answer the question the correct answer is revealed regardless of whether they got it right or not and they move on to the next frame and this continues until the end - Used to test knowledge on a subject
  • In a branching programme if a student gives an incorrect response they are directed to additional information/questions that help them understand why they got it wrong before they move on to the next frame - Used to help pupils understand stuff 
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Behaviourism: Classroom Management

There are quite a few important factors that teachers must take into consideration so that they teach and the children learn to the best of their ability:

  • Children should be actively responding to the teacher's questions
  • Teachers should provide immediate feedback to the students on their responces
  • This provides an error-free learning atmosphere
  • Teachers should positively reinforce desired or appropriate behaviour via the use of reinforcers such as: praise, gold stars, "good work" stamps, etc ...
  • They should also negatively reinforce or punish inappropriate behaviour through the use of: detention, extra homework, or the threat of these punishments
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Cognitive Learning: Bruner

Bruner, like Piaget and others, preferred a way of thinking called constructivism. He believed that each individual constructs their own version of reality through:

  • Their experiences
  • The cognitive processes that they use on these experiences
  • The schemas that they develop

Bruner saw the learner as an active information processor who needs to simplify and make sense of their environment by forming concepts or categories

  • The learner does this by gathering everything from their relevant experiences and developing basic rules or coding systems about how these categories relate 
  •  So basically Bruner sees our understanding of the world as a complex associative arrangement of categories and coding systems
  • The role of the school is to provide the vehicle that allows these categories and coding systems to be formed
  • The centre of this idea is that the learner is active in this process and does not merely just listen to people rant on about stuff and so should be taught via discovery learning
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Cognitive Learning: Bruner #2

  • Lefrancois defined discovery learning as "the learning that takes place when students are not presented with subject matter in it's final form but rather are required to organise it themselves. This requires learners to discover for themselves the relationships that exist among items of information."
  • This implies a very different role for teachers ... more student centred approach
  • Rather than giving the knowledge they simply guide the students to learn it themselves

For discovery learning to be effective a number of conditons need to be satisfied:

  • Set -         The learner is ready to discover by being prepared to look for         relationships between items of information
  • Need State -         The learners level of arousal should be moderate rather than too         high or too low  
  • Diversity of training -  The learner needs to be exposed to information in a range of         situations in order to develop codes to organise it
  • Mastery of specifics - The learner needs to be prepared to discover specific relevant information. The wider the range of information the more likely they are to discover relationships
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Cognitive Learning: Bruner #3

Bruner gave a number of tips for effective discovery learning in the classroom:

  • The curriculum models used should facilitate the development of coding systems 
  • Teachers should provide the learners with the basic underlying principles that give structure to the subject so that they can build on these in their learning
  • Any concept can be taught to a child of any age as long as the teaching uses the mode of representation appropraite for that age group
  • From sensory-motor (enactive), to concrete images (iconic) , to abstract (symbolic) representation 
  • Teachers should return to topics as the child develops to increase depth and complexity
  • Bruner termed this a spiral curriculum allowing the learner to develop general codes relating to the information presented and relationships between categories which is transferable and easy to recall
  • Learners should be encnouraged to make educated guesses as this can facilitate the formation of codes and make it easier for htem to understand stuff
  • Teachers should use a range of teaching aids to help the children to form categories because this allows the learners to find out the different ways in which they should display different information
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Cognitive Learning: Ausubel

  • Ausubel believed that discovery learning was a waste of time and didn't give better results than the traditional method where the teacher passes on the knowledge to the student 
  • This is known as expository teaching and reception learning 
  • Ausubel also believed that something only gets a meaning when it can be related to something that you already know
  • So without being taught the basics by a teacher discovery learning shouldm't really work and Ausubel thought that the traditional method was more fool-proof

Ausubel termed linking new material to something that you already know subsumption and suggested that it takes two forms: 

  • Derivative Subsumption - relating the new information to similar things that you already know (e.g. owls are birds, therefore they can fly)
  • Correlative Subsumption - changing what you already know to relate to the new information being given (e.g. penguins are birds that can't fly so not all birds can fly)
  • The result of this is a hierarchy of less organised but more stable concepts ranging from general principles at the top to specific concepts at the bottom
  • This structure represents our understanding of the world 
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Cognitive Learning: Ausubel #2

Like Bruner, Ausubel also made a number of tips for effective reception learning in the classroom:

  • Teachers should use advance organisers - these are a complex set of ideas given to the learners before the new material is introduced. Basically the introductory comments that the teacher makes before the lesson to introduce the learners to the topic they are going to be learning to ser a firm foundation for new concepts to attach to and to aid recall
  • Teachers should use discriminability - Ausubel argued that information that is similar to what the learner already knows is less likely to be remembered so teachers should use a range of methods to highlight the differences between what they are teaching and the knowledge that the students already have as well as emphasising the similarities
  • Teachers should make learning meaningful - basically they should only teach material that the student has been properly prepared to learn otherwise they won't get it. Students should be given sufficient background information to understand the topic
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Cognitive Learning: Vygotsky

Vgotsky's main belief was that culture and language are very important in the development of human cognitive abilities:

  • Culture can be defined as "the physical, social, emotional, political, economic, artistic and spiritual environment in which we live and the way that we interact with others both within and outside that environment."
  • Vgotsky belived that we learn language through social interaction and that culture influences the social interaction and therefore the way in which we learn language
  • As culture changes so does language and so does out thinking
  • Vgotsky saw knowledge of culture being passed on from adult to child as a master does to an apprentice
  • Vgotsky also belived that we have some innate elementary mental functions like attending and sensing and that very young infants are controlled by these functions and are therefore not capable of "proper" thinking
  • Though, or higher mental functioning, only comes when we learn language therefore enhancing someone's language skills enhances their ability and therefore their understanding of the world 
  • So the key to successful learning for teachers is providing learners with the language to deal with complex concepts
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Cognitive Learning: Vygotsky #2

When applying Vgotsky's ideas into education there are two important concepts that need ot be considered:

  • The zone of proximal development (ZPD) - this is the difference between what the learner can achieve on their own and what they can achieve with help or instruction from a more experienced person
  • Another way of seeing the ZPD is an individual's learning potential
  • Everyone's is different and  the teacher needs to be aware of each students ZPD to  be able to offer the right support at the right time and maximise learning
  • The second concept is scaffolding - this is a process in which, via language, a more competent person attempts to pass on knowledge and understanding to a less competent person 
  • But this is more than just an instruction  -  the idea is that the teacher provides a framework within which learners are able to learn effectively for themselves
  • E.g. a teacher could easily instruct you on how to write an essay by dictating one to you but you wouldn't have learned anything -  so language is a big thing 
  • So instead of dictating the essay the teacher should give you information on how to write an essay but you would write the essay yourself so you can apply this knowledge in other areas ...
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Cognitive Learning: Vygotsky #3

  • ... This process of communication via language between teacher and learner is sometimes called semiotic mediation 
  • The shared understanding of a task that they come to as a result of this interaction is known as intersubjectivity
  • Without language this intersubjectivity, this passing on of knowledge and the learning that accompanies it, would not occur, and the individuals ZPD would remain untouched
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Humanistic Learning: Intro

  • We have seen that both the behaviourist and cognitive perspectives are scientific approaches
  • The humanistic approach is an anti-scientificway of investigating human beings
  • The main belief of this perspective is that everyone is unique and we cannot devise a set of rules that apply to everybody because everybody's circumstances are completely different 
  • Therefore to be able to understand the individual we must be able to understand that individual's subjective experience of what it is like to be them
  • Humanistic psychologists argue against the purely factual qualities of the other perspectives and reject both 
  • They disagree with the opinion that by applying certain processes to certrain people at a certain time we can predict, and therefore control, their behaviour and their learning
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Humanistic Learning: Basic Principles

  • One of the main psychologists in this field was Carl Rogers who in one of his books introduced 19 propositions on the nature of human beings 
  • Humanistic psychologists consider us to be proactive, unique individuals who exercise free will over our behaviour 
  • We are who and what we are because that is what we have chosen to be
  • Therefore no one can fully know us simply because they are not us 
  • This focus on the individual means that humanism tries to introduce new methods, attitudes, concepts and approaches to combat the traditional approaches to psychology in education 
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Humanistic Learning: Rogers' Main 5

1. Reality is phenomenological - Reality is what each individual conceives it to be so it is different for everyone and no one else can really know hat our reality is like

2. Behaviour is motivated by the need to self-actualise - We all have a deep-seated need to become the most complete human being we possibly can, and we spend out lives striving to achieve this goal 

3. Behaviour occurs within the context of personal realities - The best way to understand another person is to try and see the world as they do. This means we need effective, open, honest communication

4. The self is constructed by the individual - We learn who we are as a result of coming to terms with our experiences and combining them with the beliefs and attitudes that we have gained from others

5. Our behaviours conform with out notions of self - Generally speaking, we behave in ways that support the ideas we have about who and what we are

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Humanistic Learning: Learning Styles

  • Many humanistic psychologists claim that the traiditonal method of education works well for some children but not so well for others 
  • The fact that individuals work best in different ways, at different times of the day, in different environmentsm suggests that each of us has a different learning style
  • Many traditional schools fail to recognise this and don't vary their lessons enough to suit the many learning styles
  • So students that come out of the traditional education system with lower grades than others may not have got those grades because of a lack of ability or intelligence but because they were not taught in the manner best suited to them as an individual
  • However many schools are attempting to vary teaching styles in their classes in order to reach out to a broader range of students and teach them so that they can learn to the best of their ability
  • However this is often hard because of financial pressures and the such
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Humanistic Learning: Changes

1. Students must be profiled on entry to determine their learning style - Through the use of inventories such  as Renzulli and Smith's Learning Style Inventory or Gregorc's Style Delineator. These are both questionnaires about how students learn

2. Students must be given choice over the learning environment - By providing a range of different settings, such as individual study rooms, rooms with soft carpets or lying on to work and, group working rooms and so on

3. Students must be given choice over when they learn - By rotating subjects so that the same lesson is offered at various times in the week, incl. early morning and late afternoon

4. Students should have control over the assessment schedule - Exams and coursework should be taken when the student is ready, not according to some pre-determined timetable

5. Students should be fully involved in the organisation of the school - By having effective school councils with a large number of student representatives rather than just token student members 

6. The school should put equal emphasis on creativity and problem-solving, not just on the end product (exam results) - By ensuring student involvement at all times and aawarding creatitivty and problem solving as well as academic achievement

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Humanistic Learning: Process Education

  • Rogers believes that the humanisitc approach is centred around problem-solving and builds on the natural potentials of the student
  • He argues that students are eager to develop and learn and this desire ofr knowledge should provide the basis of the education system
  • To draw from this: 
    • subject matter should be relevant 
    • self-evaluation should be enouraged 
    • the student should be made to feel safe and secure
    • experimental learning rather than instruction should be supported
    • in order to develop their independence, creativitiy and self-reliance
  •  In this way the education system would equip students with the essential tool needed for modern life: the ability to live comfortably with change
  • Focuses a lot on the process of education - how things are taught
  • Rogers sees teachers as facilitators of learning rather than instructors in knowledge
  • Limited teachers take up Rogers' ideas & very few have whole-heartedly taken up the humanistic approach but many use parts of it in their day-to-day teaching
  • Many argue that the failure of so-called "free-schools" (Summerfield a famous example in the UK) to match the exam results of traditional schools shows the weaknesses in the humanistic approach - but education isn't just about exam results                                                
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SEN: Definition

According to the Department for Education and Employment, a child is considered to have special educational needs:

  • If he or she has a learning difficulty which needs special teaching
  • A learning difficulty means that the child has significantly greater difficulty learning than most children the same age
  • Or it also means that a child has a disability that needs different educational facilities from those that schools generally provide for children of the same age in the same area
  • Children who need special education are not only those with obvious learning difficulties, such as those who are physically disabled, deaf or blind
  • They can also be those whose learning difficulties are less apparent such as slow learners and emotionally vulnerable children 
  • It is estimated that up to 20% of school children may need special educational help at some point in their school career 
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SEN: Giftedness Definiton & Assessment

  • Gifted children are described as lying at the opposite end of the spectrum to those we normally consider to have SEN 
  • Marland states that "gifted and talented children are those identified by professionally qualified persons who by virtue of outstanding abilites are capable of high performance."
  • The most common way of measuring giftedness is with IQ tests
  • Anyone scoring between 130 and 140 is considered borderline gifted whilst those scoring above 140 are labelled gifted 
  • Sternberg and Wagner, however, believe that giftedness is defined by a student's insight skills, ability to separate relevant from irrelevant information, combine isolated pieces of information into a coherant whole and relate newly acquired information already in their possession
  • Many believe that this definition is more accurate because it revolves around children being able to make a good life for themselves rather than just being one in a statistic
  • Renzulli's definiton of giftedness is in the middle of the before two apporaches, he argues that giftedness is shown by those who display:
    • Above average general or specific ability (measured by achievement and/or IQ score)
    • High levels of task commitment (or persistance and motivation)
    • High levels of  creativity (may be seen in the generation of novel ideas and/or problem-solving)
  • Despite these disagreements about definiton there is  general agreement that gifted people share a range of characteristics but which ones and to what extent depend on the individual
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SEN: 5 Stages of Assessment

Stage 1 - Parties involved: School (through SENCO)

Action to be taken: Teacher records concerns about child's learning difficulties and discusses them with parent(s) and SENCO

Stage 2 - Parties involved: Teacher, SENCO, Parent(s)

Action to be taken: SENCO assesses child's learning difficulties and, together with the teacher, reviews the additonal support offered in the classroom to the child. SENCO also consults parent(s) and draws up and Individual Education Plan (IEP) for the child

Stage 3 - Parties involved: Teacher, SENCO, Parent(s), Outside expertise (e.g educational psychologist or headteacher)

Action to be taken: If the child's SEN are not met by provision arranged under stage 2 then additonal advice from outside agencies like the Educational Psychology Service or specialist teachers will be sought. If the child's progress is not as expected, the headteacher will decide whether or not to ask the local education authority to  make a statutory assessment 

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SEN: 5 Stages of Assessment #2

Stage 4

Parties involved: Local Education Authority (LEA), School, Education Adviser, Doctor, Educational Psychologist, Heath Visitor/Therapist, Parent(s)

Action to be taken: The LEA considers the need for an assessment and, if appropriate, makes one. They will ask for and consider reports from a variety of individuals and agencies that have involvement with the child or are in a position to offer some insight into the child's learning difficulties. If appropraite a statement of SEN is issued

Stage 5

Parties involved: LEA, School, Parent(s)

If a statement is issued, then the LEA and school have to take immediate steps to make the provison for the child's SEN set out in it.

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SEN: Types

  • .Dyslexia - a variable, often familial, learning disability involving difficulties in acquiring and processing language that is typically manifested by a lack of proficiency in reading, spelling, and writing
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - a problem with inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination. For these problems to be diagnosed as ADHD, they must be out of the normal range for a child's age and development
  • Dyscalculia - the mathematical equivalent of dyslexia; difficulty in learning, understanding and using the symbols involved in mathematics. A student with dyscalculia may also have spatial difficulties such as a difficulty in lining up numbers in columns
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder - the term given to a 'family of biologically based disorders which compromise a number of different medically diagnosed conditions':
    • Autism
    • Autistic Disorder
    • Atypical Autism
    • Rett's Syndrome
    • Childhood Degenerative Disorder
    • Asperger's Syndrome
    • Pervasive Developmental Disorder
    • Pervasive Developments Disorder, not otherwise specified
    • Semantic Pragmatic Disorder
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SEN: Autism Characteristics

Restricted language development

Example of behaviour: Echolalia - repetition of phrases, words or sounds. While this is part of normal language development in babies, in autistic children it persits through childhood.

Insistence on sameness

Example of behaviour: Autistic children develop a preference for things and events to occur in the same way again and again. They can become very upset if their routine is altered.

Restricted social development

Example of behaviour: Baron-Cohen argues that many autistic children lack a theory of mind. Which means that they don't understand that other people can see things in a different way to them. This means they find it harder to interact socially.

Inconsistent intellectual development

Example of behaviour: Generally poor on verbal tests of intelligence but may score well above the average on spatial tasks and tasks involving rote memory. Some autistic children (known as autistic savants) show 'islands of intelligence' which means they show giftedness in one particular area such as the ability to use numbers, art and music

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SEN: Autism Assessment

  • Children and adults, together with their parents or carer,s are seen for a whole day. 
  • A detailed developmental history is taken using the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO)
  • This is a semi-structured interview designed to elicit information about the person's past history up to current day-to-day functioning. 
  • At the same time, an in-depth neuropsychological assessment is carried out with the child or adult concerned. In addition, information is collected from previous assessments and any other relevant sources.
  • All this information is brought together to formulate a clear diagnosis and recommendation of needs. 
  • In-depth reports are prepared.
  •  Care is taken to consider the interventions already in place and where it is possible to endorse current practice.
  •  If further intervention or new options for a person are felt necessary, guidance is given for consideration.
  • A clear understanding of the nature of the difficulties experienced by the child or adult concerned is very important for the person, families and professionals involved.
  •  This helps professionals working with the person and their family to provide appropriate intervention and support.
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SEN: Giftedness Characteristics

  • Shows superior reasoning powers and marked ability to handle ideas
  • Shows persistent intellectual curiosity; asks searching questions.
  • Has a wide range of interests, often of an intellectual kind; develops one or more interest to considerable depth
  • Is markedly superior in quality and quantity of written and/or spoken vocabulary
  • Reads avidly, and absorbs books well beyond his/her age
  • Learns quickly and easily and retains what is learned
  • Shows insight into mathematical problems and grasps mathematical concepts readily
  • Shows creative ability or imaginative expression in such things as music, art, dance and drama; shows sensitivity and finesse in rhythm, movement and bodily control 
  • Sustains concentration for lengthy periods and takes responsibility for academic work
  • Sets realistically high standards for self and is self-critical in evaluating achievement
  • Shows initiative and originiality in academic work; shows flexibility of thought
  • Observes keenly and is responsive to new ideas
  • Shows social poise and an ability to communicate with adults in a mature way
  • Gets excitement and pleasure from intellectual challenge; shows an alert and subtle sense of humour
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SEN: Causes

  • There are numerous theories about the causes of learning difficulties and according to Selikowitz most are based on some problem with the brain
  • However, he also points out that many of these theories only explain one part of the process of developing a learning difficulty
  • Selikotwitz suggested that genetic factors and environmental factors can contribute to developing a learning difficulty
  • These factors can lead to some form of brain damage and/or maturational lag leading to a cognitive or information processing defict
  • It is the nature of this defict that leads to the diagnosing or labelling of the specific learning difficulty 
  • So in general terms, the causes of specific learning difficulties can be thought of as bioenvironmental in nature
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SEN: ADHD Characteristics

  • Fidgeting/restlessness
  • Difficulty remaining seated when required to
  • Easilty distracted
  • Difficulty in turn-taking in games and group situations
  • Often blurts out answers to questions
  • Difficulty in following instructions
  • Difficulty at tasks requiring sustained attention
  • Often shifts from one incomplete acitivty to another
  • Difficulty in playing quietly
  • Often talks excessively
  • Interrupts others often
  • Often does not seem to listen
  • Often loses things
  • Often takes physical risks, without considering the consequences
  • Chronic procrastication 
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SEN: Autism

  • In 1943 Kanner defined autism as "an inability to relate ... in the ordinary way to people and situations ... an extreme autistic aloneness that, whenever possible, disregards, ignores, shuts out anything that comes to the child from outside.'
  • Autism affects 2-4 children in every 10,000 
  • Boys with autism outnumber girls but 4:1 
  • Psychodynamic psychologists propose that autism results from the child actively withdrawing from the insensitive, aloof, physically and emotionally distanced response of it's parents - especially the mother
  • There is little evidence to support this theory thought becuase not all children with autism have suffered this "emotional refrigerator" parenting style
  • Furthermore not all children who have are autistic
  • Other psychologists believe that autism sprouts from children modelling their parents behaviour but this has been disregarded for similar reasons 
  • There has also been a debate as to whether autism could be related to an infant's reaction to the MMR triple vaccine
  • All of this highlights one of the shortcomings of the psysiological approach: our lack of knowledge of the detailed workings of the body's biochemistry and how it ineracts with the environment
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SEN: Mainstream or Specialist?

  • There is a lot of debate about whether or not SEN should be met in mainstream schools or just in specialist schools
  • Many psychologists believe children with autism would benefit from being specialist education early on so that they can develop the skills to be able to cope in less specialised curcumstances later in life
  • However many believe that it is also important to integrate our mainstream schools so putting children with SEN in them could be beneficial 
  • The Disability Rights in Education Act of March 2001 gives people with SEN the rights to have their needs met in mainstream schools or in specialist schools at any time in their education
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SEN: Autistic Mainstream Pros

  • Access to 'better' models of social and linguistic behaviour
  • Easier access to full curriculum resources including the National Curriculum
  • Specialist subject teaching to develop child's interests and strengths
  • Peers available as a resource for 'buddies' and teaching aids
  • Higher expectations to develop knowledge and skills and improve life chances
  • Broader opportunities for curriculum development, qualifications and career choice
  • Locational opportunity for social integration within a community and for family involvement
  • Opportunities to spread awareness and tolerance of autistic spectrum disorder in society
  • A better context for developing understanding of, and conformity to, the cultural values and rules of society
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SEN: Autistic Mainstream Cons

  • Many staff and pupils to be understood and adjusted to
  • Curriculum may not be designed to meet the special needs of the pupil
  • Less likelihood of staff having knowledge of autistic spectrum disorders
  • Poorer staff:pupil ratio to identify and meet needs and develop skills, except when extra adult support is allocated
  • Less realistic expectations and less availability of curriculum methods that reduce stress and enable teaching
  • Fewer opportunities to learn in functional contexts and to address difficulties that interfere with life chances
  • Poorer understanding of isolating effects of the disorder and fewer resources to support families
  • Fewer opportunities for staff to share problems/experiences/successes with others and gain support
  • Assumptions of 'normality' as a framework offer less understanding and less tolerance of difference
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SEN: Autism Strategies

  • Processing of concrete, visible and spatial information is better than that of abstract, invisible, temporal information for many children with autism
  • Teachers need to utilise ways of presenting information visually, in ways that are more suitable for the child, e.g. teach telling the time using a digital rather than analogue clock face because the former may be easier to process than the 'invisible' areas of a typical clock face
  • There is a need to focus on the teacher-pupil relationship and for teachers to regard themselves as learners of how the child can be enabled to learn, and the pupils as teachers of how they learn. 
  • Some information may need to be presented in an asocial context due to the difficulties autistic children have with social situations, e.g. the use of computer-based instead of teacher-based learning activites
  • The computer can be used as an interface between teacher and pupil to facilitate learning about social behaviour
  • Teachers need to provide opportunities for pupils with autism to share their experiences and understnading with others as a precursor to developing common, negotiated understnaind, e.g. the student might 'teach' a stooge how to complete a jigsaw puzzle that they are very familiar with
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SEN: Autism Strategies #2

  • Teachers need to enable those with autism to progress from slef-regulation to independent thinking, e.g. organising the classroom layout so that paticular sreas of the room bcome associated with particular activities by the autistic student
  • This gives the student some sense of control over the environment, and thereofre a feeling of power and independence
  • A multi-sensory approach should be adopted when appropriate 
  • Basically informaiton should be presneted that stimulates all five senses rather than just relying on sight and sounds 
  • This could be the basis of moving towards more conceptually-based education
  • The learning environment needs to be predictable and ordered if learning is to be effective
  • This includes the behaviour of the teacher
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SEN: Dyslexia Strategies

Children with dyslexia can have difficulties in more than one area and teachers should be aware of this when trying to work with them

  • Reading errors 
    • Carefully structured (phonetic) schemes, such as the Alpha-to-Omega and Orton-Gillingham-Stillman methods. 
    • Both of these teach sounds first and gradually move up to word. 
    • They also emphasise the need for constant revison to compensate for possible poor retention
  • Spelling errors
    • Phonetic errors, where the child may have difficulty with converting phonemes (sounds) to graphemes (written symbols), can be addressed by teaching the pupil to break the words down into small parts
    • Lexical errors, where the words 'sounds right' but 'looks wrong' (e.g. writing "nite" for "night") suggest that the child has problems remembering the appearance of words 
    • This can be addressed by using tasks that practise the visual recall of familiar words
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SEN: Dyslexia Strategies #2

  • Writing errors
    • These could be due to motor-planning difficulties (like dyspraxia) where the child has difficulty in planning and carrying out organsied sequences of motor movement. 
    • So the child may be able to separately perform all of the movements necessary to be able to write a words but might not know how to string them together to actually do it
    • One of the main parts of the strategy used to correct this is correcting the child's posture and the way that they hold a pen
    • They may then be caught manuscript, then precursive writing and finally cursive 
    • The speed at which the child progresses through these stages depends on the severity of their learning difficulty
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SEN: Giftedness Strategies

  • In the past many belived that the most effective strategy for educating gifted children was to remove them entirely from the mainstream system to allow them to excell
  • However many also belived that doing this would deprive them of the social interactions that tehy would need to interact with others (possibly less gifted than them) later on in life
  • Lefrancois suggested that there are two approaches to educting gifted children acceleration and enrichment
  • Acceleration consists of progressing the gifted children more rapidly than the non-gifted children even though they follow the same curriculum
  • This is why we can sometimes find 12,13,14 year olds in university
  • Enrichment provides gifted children with additonal and different school experiences from their peers to allow them to fulfil their potential
  • it is argued that acceleration, while catering for the child's intellectual development, could deprive them of the social skills needed in the modern world
  • Enrichment does not have the same effects but psychologists still aren't sure which is the best option
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L&T Styles: Intro

  • A student's learning style is the combination of behaviours that they engage in when learning 
  • Kolb points out that any individual's learning style is a result of the interaction of the heredity, past experience, and present environment and is not necessarily a fixed constant
  • Leith showed that personality strongly affects a child's preferred learning style
  • Having measured student's personalities using Eysneck's Personality Inventory (EPI) Leith arranged them to study a course on genetics
  • Leith found that extroverts learnt better when engaged in collaborative learning 
  • And introverts learnt better alone
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L&T Styles: The Onion Model

  • Curry's onion model uses the different layers of an onion to categorise and describe different learning styles
  • The outer layer (instrcutional preference) is the student's preference for ways of learning and being taught 
  • Here, major influences come from the learning environment
  • Variables such as:
    • Teacher and parental expectations
    • Teaching style
    • The physical environment of the classroom etc 
  • Can have affect this and therefore makes it the most unstable of the three learning styles or "layers"
  • The middle layer is labelled the "informational processing style" and focusses on the strategies that students use to process information
  • This style - although still influenced but things such as how clearly the teacher explains the task- is more stable than the outer layer
  • The final layer is the "cognitive personality style" and reflects the student's approach to thinking 
  • Some children may explore problems from many different angles before coming to a logical conclusion 
  • Whilst others focus on a single aspect of a problem and don't move on until they have solved that part
  • Basically, Curry argues that the core of our learning style is shaped by pur personality 
  • Some people have more "flexible" onions and others have more "rigid" onions - depends 
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L&T Styles: Myers-Briggs

  • Extrovert or Introvert (E or I)
    • Extroverts: Active, like to try things out, focus on outer world of people
    • Introverts: Passive, think things through and focus on inner world of ideas
  • Sensors or Intuitors (S or N)
    • Sensors: Practical, detal-oriented, focus on facts and procedures
    • Intuitors: Imaginative, concept-orientated, focus on meanings and possibilities
  • Thinkers or Feelers (T or F)
    • Thinkers: Sceptical, decisions based on logic and rules
    • Feelers: Appreciative, decisions made on personal and humanistic considerations
  • Judgers or Perceivers (J or P)
    • Judgers: Set and follow agendas, seek closure even with incomplete data
    • Perceivers: Adapt to changing circumstances, resist colsure to obtain more data

These learning styles can be inter-mixed for form 16 different preferences (e.g. EITP or ISFJ)

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L&T Styles: Grasha's 6

  • Ideally children should be able to draw from all of these styles choosing the ones most appropriate for the task at hand, but in reality most of us rely on one or two and rarely, if ever, utilise the other styles
  • Children and teachers should be made aware of these styles so that children can develop a range of useful and varying study habits and teachers can manage the curriculum in such as way that numerous learning styles are utilised 
  • Independent
    • Independent, self-paced study; preference for working alone on coursework projects
  • Dependent
    • Looks to teacher and fellow students for guidance and structure; prefers to be told what to do by an authority figure
  • Competetive
    • Motivated by desire to do better than other students; likes recognition for academic achievement
  • Collaborative
    • Co--operates with teacher and fellow students; prefers small group discussions and group projects
  • Avoidant
    • Unenthusiastic about and uninterested in learning; sometimes overwhelmed by class activities and often absent
  • Participant
    • Interested in class activities and eager to work; aware of & shows desire to meet teachers expectations
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L&T Styles: Formal & Informal

  • Based on research Bennett drew up a typology or classification of teaching styles 
  • A formal teaching style is where the teacher is very much in control
  • It is the teacher who decides what is to be taught, how, the layout of the classroom and even the seating arrangement of the students
  • Often considered to be the traditonal method of teaching 
  • The informal approach involves much more negotiation between the students and teachers about how they want to be taught
  • Bennetts original research showed that the formal approach is a lot more effective 
  • Students who were formally taught outperformed those taught informally in English and Mathematics with the exception of one class
  • Bennett suggested that this exception could have been because the teacher although using the informal style was still highly organised, well prepared, and extremely good at motivating her students and structured her lessons effectively 
  • Therefore it is important to note that an informal teaching style does not necessarily mean a disorganised and unprepared teacher
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L&T Styles: High & Low Initiative

  • Fontana describes an alternative way of classifying teaching styles
  • He argues that a "high-initiative" teacher can operate in both formal & informal contexts
  • But will show the same fundamental characteristics in both
  • The characteristics of a low-initiative" teacher are basically the opposite of all the ones I am going to list now: 
  • Characteristics of a high-initiative teacher
    • Aware of the needs of individual students 
    • Varies learning tasks to address those needs
    • Willing to learn from students 
    • Uses relevant, task-centred, appropriate questions
    • Allows students to make full use of their skills and abilities  
    • Uses a variety of tasks which challenge and stretch students
    • Allows students to make infofrmed choices
    • Manages the curriculum in a flexible and stimulating way
    • Encourages the development of self-confidence, independence and responsibility in students 
    • Allows students to make decisions and set up problem solving activities
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L&T Styles: Measuring

  • Teaching and learning styles are very abstract things
  • So in order to identify which style someone uses or to measure the extent to which they use one style ove another we have to ask them questions
  • Giving students and teachers questionnaires, invetories ans scales to complete about their learning and teaching behaviours is one of the most common ways of measuring them
  • We measure teaching and learning styles to assess the effectiveness of different styles
  • There are a wide range of instruments to measure learning styles such as:
    • The Approaches to Studying Inventory (ASI) (Entwistle, 1981)
    • The Inventory of Learning Processes (ILP) (Schmeck, 1983)
    • The Study Behaviour Questionnaire (SBQ) (Biggs, 1987)
    • The Study Process Questionnaire (SPQ) (Biggs, 1987)
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L&T Styles: ASI

  • Developed in 1981
  • Made up of 64 Likert-type items organised into 16 scales
  • A Likert scale is when the respondent has to rate a series of characteristics on a numerical scale (e.g. on a scale of 1 to 7 - 1 being vey hard and 7 being very easy)
  • The 16 scales of the ASI are then further categorised into groups ranging from 2 to 6 in number to yield four learning orientations
  • The Reproducing, Meaning, Achieving and Non-Academic Orientations
  • To complete the ASI students simply rate themselves for each of the 64 to gain a score for each item
  • These are then added together to determine a score for each of the 16 scales and from these the student can calculate which learning orientation they use most
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L&T Styles: ASI #2

  • Meaning Orientation: 
    • Deep Approach: Uses active questioning in learning
    • Use of Evidence: Is able to relate evidence to conclusions
    • Inter-relating Ideas: Relates current topic to other parts of the course
  • Reproducing Orientation
    • Surface Approach: Displays a preoccupation with memorisation
    • Syllabus Boundness: Relies on teacher to define learning tasks 
    • Improvidence: Over-catious reliance on details 
    • Fear  of failure: Pessimism and anxiety about academic outcomes
  • Achieving Orientation
    • Strategic Approach: Aware of implications of academic demands made by teacher
    • Achievement Motivation: Competitive and confident
  • Non-Academic Orientation
    • Disorganised study methods: Unable to work regularly and effectively 
    • Negative attitudes to studying: Lack of interest and application
    • Globetrotting: Over-ready to jump to conclusions
    • Extrinsic motivation: Interested in courses for the qualifications they offer
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L&T Styles: Kyriacou/Williams

  • In a study carried out in 1993, Kyriacou and Wilkins set out to see whether or not the introduction of guideline on teaching the National Curriculum published by the Department for Education and Employment had actully had an effect on the way that teachers taught
  • As part of the study they measured the degree to which teachers employed either a teacher-centred style or a student-centred style
  • They used phrases of opposite meaning and the respondent had to indicate towards which end of the scale their behaviour tended to lie
  • Like the ASI this produces a score that is used to then classify the teaching style
  • As well as providing a good example of a measuring instrument for teaching styles this study also shows us that teachers can alter their style depending on external influences
  • They reported that most teachers had leant towards a more student-centred style since the introduction of the National Curriculum 
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L&T Styles: Improvement

  • As we have seen we all have preferred methods of learning and teaching 
  • They are not fixed and change over time
  • However, there are also numerous strategies that we can "add on" to our habitual style in order to improve the effectiveness of our learning
  • These strategies can be categorised into three groups:
    • Those that aim at matching teaching styles to learning styles
    • Those that focus on specific aspects of learning
    • Those concerned with learning about how we learn
  • We will look at one example from each of these categories:
    •  
      • McCarthy's 4-MAT System
      • The PQRST Method
      • The SPELT Approach
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L&T Styles: 4-MAT System

  • The obvious strategy for improvement is for the teacher to give each of their students a learning styles inventory and from the results of that survey, plan their lessons accordingly
  • Then they could at least be able to conduct part of the lesson in a way that matches the variety of learning styles present in the students
  • One way of achieving this is for teachers to implement McCarthy's 4-MAT System of lesson planning
  • In the first stage, motivation, students are asked to individually draw up a lesson plan for the topic to be covered 
  • McCarthy called this creating the experience and then reflecting on the experience by sharing their ideas in small groups
  • The second stage, concept development, is where the students' own lesson plans are discussed in relation to the topic (integration of reflections into concepts) before relevant content is provided either directly by the teacher or by using handouts and textbooks (presentation and development of theories and concepts)
  • The third stage is practise where students are asked to carry out practical exercises and activities in order to develop further understanding of the content
  • This allows them to practise and reinforce new information and to peronalise the experience
  • The final stage, application, involves students in applying to knowledge that they have gained to a novel situation by developing a plan for applying new concepts 
  • The final stage is doing it and sharing it with others - discussing ideas in small groups
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L&T Styles: 4-MAT System #2

McCarthy’s 4-MAT System / Grasha’s Learning Styles / ASI Learning Styles

Motivation / Collaborative Participant / Meaning Orientation

Concept Development / Dependent / Reproducing Orientation

Practise / Competitive / Achieving Orientation

Application / Independent / Meaning Orientation

  • Another advantage of this approach is that students are given the opportunity to experience learning styles other than their preferred one
  • They may even discover that for some of the tasks an alternate way of learning is better than their usual method
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L&T Styles: PQRST Method

  • The PQRST Method in intended to improve a student's ability to study and remember material presented in a textbook
  • The method takes its name from the first letters of its five stages: Preview, Question, Read, Self-Recitation and Test
  • The PQRST method is suitable for use with most learning styles but particularly collaborative, participant, and independent learning styles 
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L&T Styles: PQRST Method #2

The Five Stages of PQRST

Preview

  • Skim read a chapter paying attention to headings and sub-headings. Carefully read any introductory or summary sections
  • Induces student to organise the chapter and their thoughts about the topic it covers

Question

  • Carefully read headings and sub-headings, turning them into questions
  • Prepares the student to seek out specific information. Acts as an Advanced Organiser

Read

  • Carefully read each section of the chapter, looking for answers to the questions developed in stage two
  • Induces students to elaborate the material whilst encoding it
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L&T Styles: PQRST Method #3

Self-Recitation

  • Attempt to recall the information read by reciting the main points either sub-vocally or vocally
  • Induces the student to practise recall of the material 

Test

  • At the end of the chapter, attempt to recall the main points and how they relate to each other
  • Induces further elaboration, practise of recall and rewards student via a sense of achievement
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L&T Styles: SPELT

  • SPELT approach to metacognition 
  • This is an example of learning how to learn
  • Aims: 
    • To make students increasinly aware of their own cognitive processes and achieve metacognitive empowerment  
    • To develop active teacher participation in identifying and discovering cognitive strategies and methods for teaching them
    • To ultimately develop autonomous learners who know how to learn and are in control of their learning 
  • Range of learning/thinking strategies that form SPELT:
    • General problem-solving, mathematical skills, reading skills, memory techniques, modd-setting strategies, comprehension monitoring, organisational strategies etc
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L&T Styles: SPELT #2

Implementation:

Phase One

Students taught before mentioned strategies by trained teachers using formal teaching style

Phase Two

Students practise the use of and begin to evaluate the cognitive strategies learned in phase one. The teaching style is now informal with the teacher acting as facilitator

Phase Three

Students encouraged and supported in developing new cognitive strategies and evaluating their effectiveness. Informal student centred teaching

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M&E Performances: Definitions

  • Motivation is a need of some sort
  • The three different approaches share the idea that we possess deep seated urges that force us to behave in certain ways
  • Extrinsic motivation refers to motivation to engage in an activity as a means to an end 
  • Intrinsic motivation is motivation to be involved in an activity for its own sake 
  • Learners can be high in both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, low in both, or high in one and low in the other. 
  • The type of motivation learners experience also depends on the context they are in, and their motivations can change over time.
  • Challenge, control, curiosity, fantasy, and aesthetic value are all sources of intrinsic motivation.
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M&E Performances: Behaviourist

  • Positive and negative reinforcement are used in virtually all classrooms; teachers praise and admonish students, they give high and low grades, they smile and frown.
  • These and a thousand other indicators of approval or disapproval are examples of reinforcement. 
  • When reinforcement is used judiciously and systematically, it can have profound effects on behavior. 
  • However we are not simply hungry rats in a Skinner box. 
  • If we look into a classroom, we will see that behaviour is not simply driven by external rewards like chocolate bars or gold stars or high marks. 
  • Rather behaviour is driven by cognitions and by emotions. It is not surprising that current applications of behavioursit principles to the classroom take thinking into account. 
  • As Stipek (1988) notes, the most powerful reinforcers for students are stimuli such as praise, and that given that the effectiveness of these stimuli clearly depend on a student's interpretations of the teacher's behavior, it is apparant that cognition is central to understanding how reinforcement works as a motvator.
  • Thus a simplistic stimulus-response reading of behaviouristic principles will not offer an adequate understanding of the use of reinforcement in the classroom.
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M&E Performances: Humanistic

  • Humanistic theories of motivation are based on the idea that people also have strong cognitive reasons to perform various actions
  • This is famously illustrated in Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs
  • This presents different motivations at different levels
  • First, people are motivated to fulfill basic biological needs for food and shelter, as well as those for safety, love and esteem
  • Once the lower level needs have been met, the primary motivator becomes the need for self-actualization, or the desire to fulfill one's individual potential
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M&E Performances: Cognitive

  • Cognitive motivation is based on two primary things: information available and past experience. 
  • A person will think about a situation based on what sensory input is available, and he will also refer to his past and try to relate previous experiences to the situation at hand. 
  • Motivation theories are used in education, sports, in the workplace, and in helping people overcome health problems such as poor diet, overeating, and alcohol or drug abuse. 
  • Under the broad heading of cognitive motivation, behavioral scientists have developed a number of theories about why people take the actions they do that are not mutually exclusive.
  • According to this theory, behavior is strongly influenced by observing others.
  • People learn by considering the actions of other people and whether these actions resulted in success or failure, reward or punishment, and so on. 
  • It is not always necessary to interact with others to be influenced by them; experiments have shown that television, video, and other media can have an important effect on behavior and motivation. 
  • There is more to it than simply copying someone else's behavior: the observer thinks about what he sees and draws conclusions from it. 
  • This kind of learning is often quicker, and may be safer, than a trial and error approach.
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M&E: Maslow

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M&E: Maslow's HON

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M&E Performances: Brophy

  • Brophy conducted a functional analysis of praise in the classroom and noted that teachers' verbal praise did not equate to positive reinforcement because praise was typically used infrequently, without reference to specific behaviors and often without credibility and sincerity. 
  • Brophy noted that classroom research suggested that only 6% of interactions involved praise, and he concluded that high rates of praise were not evident in classrooms. 
  • Brophy described 12 guidelines for both effective and ineffective praise.
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M&E Performances: Brophy #2

  • The key ingredients for effective praise according to Brophy are:
    • Praise should be used as a response to a specific behaviour
    • The behaviour, deserving of praise, should be described in specific terms
    • Praise should be sincere, credible and spontaneous 
    • Praise should reward the attainment of clearly defined and understood performance criteria
    • Praise should provide information about the student's competencies
    • Praise should be given in recognition of noteworthy effort or success at a difficult task
    • Praise should attribute success to effort and ability implying similar success in the future
  • Ineffective praise:
    • Is delivered randomly or unsystematically 
    • is retricted to global positive reactions delivered in a bland fashion
    • with minimal attention to the student or behaviour
    • Rewards participation unrelated to performance
    • Compares the student's performance to that of other students
    • Is given without regard to the effort needed to complete the task
    • Attributes success to ability alone or to external factors such as luck or ease of the task
    • Is given by the teacher acting as a power figure and external authority in a manipulative manner
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M&E Performances: McClelland

  • McClelland's approach to motivation focussed more on the personalities of individuals and basing your method of motivation on these characteristics
  • However he says that regardless of our gender, culture or age we all have three motivating drivers, one of which will dominate the others 
  • The three motivators are: 
    • Achievement
    • Affiliation
    • Power
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M&E Performances: McClelland #2

  • Dominant Motivator: Achievement 
  • Characteristics of this person:
    • Has a strong need to set and accomplish challenging goals
    • Takes calculated risks to accomplish their goals
    • Likes to receive regulr feedback on their progress and achievements
    • Often likes to work alone
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M&E Performances: McClelland #3

  • Dominant Motivator: Affiliation
  • Characteristics of this person:
    • Wants to belong to the group
    • Wants to be liked, and will often go along with whatever the rest of the group wants to do
    • Favours collaboration over competition
    • Doesn't like high risk or uncertainty
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M&E Performances: McClelland #4

  • Dominant Motivator: Power
  • Characteristics of this person:
    • Wants to control and influence others
    • Likes to win arguments
    • Enjoys competition and winning
    • Enjoys status and recognition
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M&E Performances: Bandura

  • Self-efficacy is the belief that one has the power to produce a certain effect by completing a task or activity related to the skill you want to acquire
  • Self-efficacy relates to a person's perception of their ability to reach a goal
  • It is also the belief that one is capable of performing in a certain manner to attain certain goals
  • The expectation that one can master a situation and produce a positive outcome
  • Bandura's Social Cognitive Model says that there are 3 factors that influence self-efficacy:
    • Behaviours
    • Environment
    • Personal/Cognitive Factors
  • Self-efficacy develops from experiences in which goals are achieved through perseverance, overcoming obstacles and by observing others who have succeeded through sustained effort
  • Self-efficacy and self-esteem are different concepts but they are related
  • Self-efficacy relates to a person's perception of their ability to reach a goal
  • Whereas self-esteem relates to a person's self-worth
  • Teachers should try and improve students' self-efficacy when encouraging them to reach their goals and even strive for more difficult ones
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M&E Performances: Learned Helplessness

  • The concept of learned helplessness was first developed by Seligman and Maier 
  • They showed that once dogs had been placed in an inescapable traumatic situation they subsequently gave up trying to escape from a later, similar, but this time escapable situation
  • So basically since the dogs had experienced the helplessness of the first situation they acted helpless and didn't even bother in the second situation
  • This also applies to people
  • Learned helplessness in students can arise from people often giving them bad advice and making them believe that they are destined to fail at whatever they do 
  • However it can also arise from making incorrect assumptions about failure
  • E.g. a student failing an exam puts it down to not revising enough then they are in control and they can revise harder and re-sit the exam 
  • However if the student puts it down to simple lack of ability then there is little they can do to correct the situation and they will think they are doomed to failure and will stop trying 
  • Dweck et al have shown that one reason why students sometimes make these incorrect assumptions lies in the quantity and quality of the feedback they receive about their work
  • They also show that there are gender differences in the quality and amount of feedback given
  • I.e. girls are more likely to develop feelings of helplessness than boys
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M&E Performances: Learned Helplessness #2

  • In an observational study measuring whether positive or negative behaviour or work-related - intellectual (quality) or non-intellectual (e.g. neatness) - was given to fourth and fifth grade pupils 
  • It was found that whilst there was little difference in the total amount of feedback given to the boys and girls, girls tended to receive a significantly lower proportion of positive feedback and a higher proportion of negative feedback about the quality of their work compared to boys
  • A subsequent experiment required children to slove firstly a set of silvable anagrams, then a set of unsolvable anagrams ad they were finally given three attempts at solving a set of peoblems that they were never allowed to finish and which they were told that they had not done very well on
  • The children were then asked to select one of 3 reasons for thier failure at the final task 
  • During the anagram-solving tasks the children had been given the same sort of gender-related failure feedback that had been observed in the afore study
  • The results showed that girls were more likely to attribute their failure to lack of ability
  • Whereas the boys generally attributed it to a lack of effort or the fussiness of the experimenter
  • The conclusion that can be drawn from these studies is tha if the majority of negative feedback given (especially to girls) focuses on the quality of the work produced, then feelings of hopelessness and learned helplessness are more likely to result
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M&E Performances: Attribution Theory

  • The "explanation and evaluation of behaviour, both the behaviour of others and our own"
  • Weiner suggests that attributions may be classified on 3 dimensions:
    • Locus
    • Stability
    • Controllability
  •  Locus: Is concerned with whether or not we perceive ourselves as being in control of our destiny
  • If we do we have an internal locus but if other things like luck, and fate determine what happens to us we have an external locus
  • Stability: Is concerned with the fluctuation or otherwise over time of the factros that affect our behaviour 
  • E.g. luck is an unstable attribution because it can change from good to bad 
  • But our abiltiy to perform a certain task is more or less stables, adter we have reached a certain level of skill
  • Controllability: Is related to our perception of how much influence or control we have over those factors that affect our behaviour 
  • You can control how mucch effort you put into revising but you cannoy control how difficult or easy the exam paper are going to be
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Disruptive Behaviour in School: Types

There are three categories to disruptive behaviours in class:

  • Conduct:being distracting, attention-seeking, calling out randomly, constantly being out of your seat, having side discussions etc
  • Immaturity:Speaks for itself
  • Verbal and Physical Aggression:Bullying, pestering other pupils, threatening to harm yourself or others, swearing etc
  • Sometimes some of these behaviours can be caused or influenced by ADHD (attention defict hyperactivity disorder) or a poor teaching style
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Disruptive Behaviour in School: ADHD

  • A child is described as having ADHD when they display innappropriate levels of innattention, distractability, impulsivity, restlessness or hyperactivity
  • Studies have shown that children with ADHD are more likely to:
    • Have difficulty learning in school 
    • Get lower grades
    • Get more failed grades
    • Be expelled
    • Be suspended regularaly
    • Drop out of school 
    • Not bother with continuing their education past high school
  • A child's ADHD can sometimes lead to:
    • Missing important details in assignments
    • Daydreaming regularly in class and in lectures
    • Difficulty in organising their work
  • Their hyperactivity can sometimes distact other students in class and lead to easily provoked and hard to control outbursts
  • To overcome this it is useful for the child in question to have one-on-one sessions with the school counsellor and for the managing body to put together a positive behvaioural intervention plan 
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Disruptive Behaviour in School: Conduct

  • Children who display bad conduct in their school life run the risk not only of damaging their learning ability but also that of those around them
  • By distracting other students the child is depriving themself and the other students of valuable lesson time which can lead to incomplete assignments or rushed work
  • By being attention seeking the child deprives the other children of time with the teacher that they may need just as much or even more as the disruptive child
  • Many of the other common behaviours can have the same effect
  • If the teacher is constantly having to deal with a particular child it disrupts the flow of the lesson 
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Disruptive Behaviour in School: Aggression

  • Aggression can have many of the same effects as bad conduct:
    • Hogging all of the teacher's time 
    • Making learning difficult for the other students
    • Disrupting the flow of the lesson
  • However it can also lead to an atmosphere of fear in the classroom and if the aggression is directed at one person in particular this can distract them from their studies 
  • Aggression tests the teacher's ability to restore calm to a classroom that is under threat
  • It also tests the students' trust in the teacher to be able to do this effectively
  • Although it is harder for teachers to pick up on verbal aggression in larger schools it is still pivotal that they do because it can do just as much more long-lasting damage than physical
  • Verbal aggression can cause other students to believe things about themselves that are not true or are out of context
  • This lead to them falling into learned helplessness and a decreased amount of effort shown in their work
  • Physical aggression may lead to a child having to stay home from school because of an injury or not wanting to come to school all together
  • Although the school can suspend or even expell the child displaying the aggression; they cannot undo the damage that has been done to their victims
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Disruptive Behaviour in School: Preventive Strateg

  • At the school level, preventative strategies for dealing with disruptive behaviours are concerned with establishing rules, procedures and routines which ensure that students know what behaviours are and are not appropriate and equally important: the consequences of innappropriate behaviours
  • Much research has been done about this and a psychologist called Cotton narrowed it down to 7 points that any school operating effective preventive discipline should follow 
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Disruptive Behaviour in School: Cotton's 7

Commitment: All staff should be committed to establishing and maintaining appropriate student behaviour as an essential precondition of learning

High Behavioural Expectations: Staff share and communicate high expectations for appropriate student behaviour

Clear and Broad-Based Rules: Rules, punishments and procedures for dealing with disruptive behaviour are developed with input from students, who thus feel a sense of ownership and belongingness. The rules are clearly written, widely disseminated, and both students and staff understand what is and is not acceptable

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Disruptive Behaviour in School: Cotton's 7 #2

Warm School Climate: A warm social climate, characterised by a concern for students as individuals. All staff take an dinterest in the personal goals, achievements and problems of students, and support them in their academic and extracurricular activities

A Visible, Supportive Headteacher: A headteacher who is very visible in the hallways and classrooms, talking informally with staff and students speaking to them by name, and expressing an interest in their activities

Delegation of Discipline Authority to Teachers: Whilst the headteacher miantains responsibility for dealing with serious problems, teachers are help responsible by the head for handling routine classroom discipline. The head arranges for staff development around this issue as needed

Close Ties with the Local Community: A high level of parental involvement in school functions and activites, with a high flow of information about its goals and activities from the school to the parents 

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Disruptive Behaviour in School: Preventive Strateg

  • We can see that schools that operate preventative strategies are those that have clear expectations about how students should behave and ensure that students, staff and parents are aware of those expectations 
  • In addition these schools espouse the humanistic ideas of respect for and interest in the individual student
  • One preventative strategy is for teachers to be given appropriate training in the development of Kounin's five characteristics of classroom management 
  • As Short puts it: "research on well-disciplined schools indicates that a student centred environment, incorporating teacher-student problem solving activities as well as activities to promote student self-esteem and belongingness is more effective in reducing behaviour problems than punishment
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Disruptive Behaviour in School: Classrooms

Components of Effective Classroom Management that Act as Preventative Strategies

  • Holding and communicating high expectations for student learning and behaviour. 
  • Through the personal warmth and encouragement they express to students and the classroom requirements they establish, effective manager/teachers make sure that students know they are expected to learn well and behave appropriately
  • Clearly establishing and teaching classroom rules and procedures. 
  • Effective managers teach behavioural rules and classroom routines in such as way as they teach subject content. 
  • These are reviewed at the beginning of the school year and periodically thereafter. 
  • Classroom rules are diplayed in primary school classrooms
  • Clearly stating consequences and their relation to student behaviour. 
  • Effective managers are careful to explain the connection between students' misbehaviours and teacher-imposed punishments. 
  • This connection too is taught and reviewed as needed 
  • Enforcing classroom rules promptly, consistently and fairly
  • Effective managers respond quickly to disruptive behaviour, respond in the same way at different times and impose the same punishment regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability
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Disruptive Behaviour in School: Classrooms #2

  •  Sharing with students the responsibility for classroom management 
  • Effective managers work to inspire in their students a sense of belonging and self-discipline, rather than seeing discipline as being externally imposed
  • Maintaining a brisk pace for instruction and making smooth transitions between activities 
  • Effective managers keep things moving in their classrooms, which increases learning as well as reducing the lieklihood of misbehaving
  • Monitoring classroom activities and providing feedback and reinforcement 
  • Effective managers observe and comment on student behaviour, and they reinforce appropriate behaviour through the use of verbal, symbolic and tangible rewards
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Disruptive Behaviour in School: Corrective Strateg

  • Corrective strategies can be defined as ways of dealing with disruptive behaviour after it has occurred
  • Lefrancois argues that in any disciplinary situation it is very important that:
    • 1. The individual is not harmed
    • 2. Whatever the teacher does is in the best interest of the child
    • 3. Whatever the teacher does is done in consideration with that person's self-esteem and humanity 
    • 4. The disciplinary measures invoked should be applied in the interests of the entire group
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Disruptive Behaviour in School: BM

  • Defining the Problem: Draw up a list of behaviours that are too frequent (i.e. speaking out of turn) and too infrequent (volunteering answers to questions). The student can be involved in this step
  • Measuring the Problem: Determine how serious the problem is, perhaps by counting occurences
  • Determining Antecedents and Consequences: Identify what happens before the behaviour, and its consequences. In other words idetify what triggers the behaviour and what reinforces it
  • Deciding whether and how to change Antecedents and Consequences: Consider whether there are existing consequences that serve to reinforce a too-frequent behaviour. Identify new consequences that might reinforce an infrequent behaviour
  • Planning and Implementing the intervention: Devise a programme to modify the behaviour in question through the use of selective reinforcement
  • Following up: Evaluate the effectiveness of the programe with the student and determine whether or not additional or different intervention is desirable
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Disruptive Behaviour in School: BM

  • So the teacher's attention is reinforcing the talkativeness while the child paying attention is going unrewarded
  • Therefore the teacher decides that the best way to reverse this is to pay more attention to him, to ask him questions at the beginning of the lesson so that the class discussion will begin with him and he may feel more inclined to join in 
  • However, at the same time she tries to ignore the talking to other students 
  • The aim of this is to reinforce his attentiveness and extinguish his talkativeness through withdrawl of reinforcement 
  • While this may work in theory, the biggest problem with the behaviour modification approach is that the teacher is not the only person who can provide reinforcement in the classroom
  • The attention from fellow students may be far more important to the student than that received from the teacher 
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Disruptive Behaviour in School: Cognitive

  • The cognitive approach uses the principles of behaviour modification and allies them with cognitive strategies so that, not only is the student's behaviour changed but so is the way they think about what they are doing
  • Meichenbaum argues that very often the effects of the consequences of our behaviour may be more closely related to our ability to imagine and anticipate those outcomes than to the outcomes themselves
  • So, cognitive behaviour modification attempts to address not only the maladaptive behaviour, but also the maladaptive cognitions that lead to the behaviour in the first place
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Disruptive Behaviour in School: Meichenbaum

  • Cognitive Modelling: Teacher performs task while talking out loud about what they are doing, why they are doing it, and why they have discarded other options 
  • This focusses the students' attention on the task and what needs to be done to complete it 
  • It also allows them to realise that mistakes can be corrected, and that a slower methodical approach leads to success
  • Co-Working: The student is asked to repeat the task, and the talking out loud, but the teacher guides them as they do so
  • The student experiences success at the task, for the first time
  • Imitation: The student repeats the task while self-instructing alou, but without guidance from the teacher
  • Sub-vocal Performance with Lip-Movement: The student repeats the task, but this time repeats the self-instruction in thought while moving their lips
  • Sub-vocal Performance without Lip-Movement: The student repeats the task again but this time only sub-vocal instuction is used and no lip movement occurs
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Disruptive Behaviour in School: Meichenbaum #2

  • One example of a cognitive behaviour modification strategy is the SIT (self-instructional training) described before
  • The programme was devised in an attempt to reduce the disruption in learning caused by the impulsivity and hyperactivity displayed by a group of children
  • SIT basically supports children in developing their understanding of what needs to be done to succeed at a task whilst, at the same time, encouraging them to pay more attention to what they are doing, to take their time and think about the next move they need to make 
  • In Meichenbaum and Goodman's original 1971 study the first task given to the children was a line-drawing task
  • In four subsequent sessions, increasingly complex and demanding tasks were used, and the children seemed to become more reflective and less impulsive in thier approach to these tasks and subsequent work
  • They also made significantly fewer errors
  • To sum up, teachers can call upon a range of schoolwide and classroom management techniques or strategies to attempt to prevent disruptive behaviours from occurring in the first place. 
  • However, if they do occur there is also a wide range of corrective strategies available to them, behaviour modification and SIT being just two examples
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Intelligence: Concept

  • Intelligence is defined by Wikipedia as "the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills"
  • An American psychologist called Terman developed the concept of mental age and gave us the formula for the calculation of a person's intelligence quotient or IQ
  • The formula is: 
    • MA/CA x 100 = IQ
      • Where MA is mental age and CA is chronological age
  • There are many tests that you can take in order to work out your intelligence
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Intelligence: WISC

  • There are 3 different Wechsler Intelligence Tests:
    • The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC)
    • The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) 
    • The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI)
  • The current version of the WISC (the WISC-III) consists of three subtests and takes between 50 and 75 minutes to complete
  • It is somewhat flexible because the administrator can end some of the subtests early if the child appears to have reached the limit of their capacity
  • Tasks on the WISC include general knowledge questions, traditional arithmetic problems, English vocabulary, completion of mazes and arrangement of blocks and pictures 
  • Children who take the WISC are scored by comparing their scores with test takers of the same age 
  • The WISC contains 3 IQ scores based on an average score of 100 
  • The WISC subtests measure specific verbal and performance abilities 
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Intelligence: WISC #2

  • The child's verbal IQ score is derived from their scores on six of the subtests:
    • Information
    • Digit Span
    • Vocabulary
    • Arithmetic
    • Comprehension
    • Similarities
  • The child's performance IQ is derived from the scores of the remaining seven subtests:
    • Picture Completion
    • Picture Arrangement
    • Block Design
    • Object Assembly
    • Coding
    • Mazes 
    • Symbol Search 
  • WISC scores yield an overall intelligence quotient, called the full scale IQ, as well as a verbal IQ and a performance IQ
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Intelligence: Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test

  • The Stanford-Binet test is a popular intelligence assessment that gauges one's cognitive ability
  • The test normally consists of sixty questions
  • The questions ask you to define one thing an an opposite of another, make comparisons or rearrange letters into words
  • This test normally takes between 45 to 90 minutes but can take as long as 2 and a half hours because the older the child the more questions they are given 
  • The test is comprised of four cognitive area scores which together determine the composite score and factor scores
  • These areas include:
    • Verbal Reasoning
    • Abstract/Visual Reasoning
    • Quantative Reasoning
    • Short-Term Memory
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Intelligence: Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test #2

  • The test consists of 15 subtests but not all of them are adminstered to all age groups 
  • However six of them always are which are:
    • Vocabulary
    • Comprehension
    • Pattern Analysis
    • Quantative
    • Bead Memory
    • Memory for Sentences
  • The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale is a standardised test which means a large number of children and adults were adminstered the test to develop a norm
  • Test scores provide an estimate of the level at which a child is functioning based on a combination of many different subtests or measures of skills
  • A trained psychologist is needed to evaluate and interpret the results, determine strengths and weaknesses, and make overall recommendations based on the findings and observed behavioural observations 
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Intelligence: Reliability of Tests


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Intelligence: Cattell & Factor Analysis

  • Cattell specialised in the statistical analysis of personality traits using factor analysis
  • Factor analysis is a statistical technique used to find major trends in large amounts of data
  • It is designed to analyse data from lots of different variables, to find which is most important or fundamental
  • Cattell began with a list of over 4,000 words that described personality traits and used factor analysis to isolate 15 factors that provided the most variance in descriptions of personality
  • He also added in general intelligence as a 16th factor
  • Cattell was able to produce a personality profile by rating an individual on each of the factors
  • He then did a higher-level analysis of his 16 factors and found two underlying dimensions:
    • Extraversion/Introversion (which he called exvia/invia)
    • Anxiety/Non-Anxiety
  • Using his findings he produced the 16 Personality Factor a test to rate individuals on each of the factors
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Intelligence: Cattell & Factor Analysis #2

  • To find out what Cattell's 16 Factors were visit: http://psychology.about.com/od/trait-theories-personality/a/16-personality-factors.htm
  • Cattell believed that there were two types of intelligence:
    • Fluid Intelligence
    • Crystallised Intelligence
  • He defined "Fluid Intelligence" as: "... the ability to perceive relationships independent of specific practise or instruction concerning those relationships."
  • Fluid intellgence involves being able to think and reason abstractly and solve problems 
  • This ability is considered independent of learning, experience and education
  • Crystallised intelligence involves knowledge that comes from prior learning and past experiences
  • Situations that require crystallised intelligence include reading comprehension and vocabulary exams
  • This type of intelligence is based upon facts and rooted in experiences
  • As we get older and accumulate new knowledge and understanding, crystallised intelligence becomes stronger 
  • Both types of intelligence increase throughout childhood and adolescence
  • Fluid intelligence peaks in adolescence and begins to decline progressively around age 30 or 40
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Intelligence: Gardner, Multiple Intelligences

  • Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences is one of the more recent theories 
  • Instead of focussing on the analysis of test scores, Gardner proposed that numerical expressions of human intelligence are not a full and accurate depiction of people's abilities
  • His theory describes eight distinct intelligences that are based on skills and abilities that are valued within different cultures
  • The eight intelligences that Gardner described are:
    • Visual-Spatial Intelligence
    • Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence
    • Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
    • Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
    • Interpersonal Intelligence
    • Musical Intelligence
    • Intra Personal Intelligence
    • Naturalistic Intelligence
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Intelligence: Sternberg, Triarchic Theory

  • Psychologist Robert Sternberg defined intelligence as: "mental activity directed toward purposive adaptation to, selection and shaping of, real world environments relevant to one's life."
  • While he agreed with Gardner that intelligence is more than just one, single, general ability he suggested that some of Gardner's intelligences are better viewed as individual talents
  • Sternberg proposed what he refers to as "successful intelligence", which is comprised of three different factors (triarchic)
  • Analytical Intelligence: This component refers to problem-solving abilities
  • Creative Intelligence: This aspect of intelligence involves the ability to deal with new situations using past experiences and current skills
  • Practical Intelligence: This element refers to the ability to adapt to a changing environment
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Intelligence: Goleman, Emotional Intelligence

  • Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic.
  • Goleman introduced five components of emotional intelligence
  • Self Awareness: The ability to recognise and understand personal moods, emotions and drives as well as their effects on others. Hallmarks of self awareness include self-confidence, realistic self-assessment and a self-depricating sense of humour 
  • Self Regulation: The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods, and the propensity to suspend judgement and think before acting. Hallmarks include trustworthiness and integrity; comfort with ambiguity; and openness to change
  • Internal Motivation: A passion to work for internal reasons that go beyond money and status. Hallmarks include a strong drive to achieve, optimism; even in the face of failure, and orginisational commitment
  • Empathy: The ability to understand the emotional makeup of others . Hallmarks include expertise in building and retaining talent, cross-cultural sensitivity and service to clients and customers
  • Social Skills: Proficiency inmanaging relationships and an ability to find common ground and build rapport. Hallmarks include effectiveness in leading change, persuasiveness and leadership skills
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Intelligence: Guilford, creativity

  • During WWII Guilford developed special tests to select individuals to enter a pilot's training programme
  • This work led him to begin researching IQ tests and he was of the opinion that they didn't effectively measure creativity
  • For most of the 20th century psychologists belived that IQ and creativity were directly linked
  • Guilford proved otherwise; in his psychological model "The Structure of Intellect" he used the factor analytic tehnique to separate creative thinking skills from others 
  • Guilford identified two forms of thinking:
    • Divergent thinking
    • Convergent thinking
  • Divergent thinking is associated with creative thoughts, or the ability to access memory to derive unique, multiple and numerous answers to open-ended questions
  • Convergent thinking means coming up with "one-right-answer" for each question, commonly associated with IQ tests
  • Psychologist E. Paul Torrance built on Guilford's research developing the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, (TTCT), tests that attempt to psychometrically measure divergent thinking and other problem solving skills
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Intelligence: Problem-Solving

  • Means-End Analysis: a method used in artificial intelligence which involves setting up smaller sub-goals which complement the end aim or goal and then constantly re-evaluate the performance of those sub goals 
  • By completing them, the final goal decreases in size or severity due to the inceremental movement towards it
  • Backwards Searching: refers to a problem solving strategy whereby the solver works backwards from the end goal to the beginning state.
  • A problem-resolution method wherein the solver starts at the objective state and tries to discover a passage back to the problem
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Models: Definitions etc

  • One definition of abnormal given by Google is: "deviating from that which is normal or usual, typically in a way which is undesireable or worrying
  • Some of the characteristics of a mental disorder include:
    • Occurring within an individual
    • Causing personal distress or disability
    • Not usually being a culturally specific reaction to an event
    • Not primarily being a result of social deviance or conflict with society
  • When it comes to behaviour there are certain social norms that are widely held as standard behaviour and plainly acceptable
  • Most of the time we sue them without even realising it and it is perfectly natural for us to be able to draw conclusions as to where behaviours are situated on such scales as good-bad, right-wrong, justified-unjustified and acceptable-unacceptable
  • Behaviour that violates these norms could be classified as disordered
  • E.g. the repetitive rituals performed by people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) 
  • E.g. the conversations with imaginary voices that those with schizophrenia engage in
  • However this method of defining mental disorder is both too broad and too narrow (I know that sounds like it makes no sense but it really does) 
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Models: Definitions etc #2

  • E.g. it is too broad in that criminals violate social norms but are not always considered psychopaths or psychologically treated
  • E.g. it is too narrow in that highly anxious people do not typically violate any social norms but they have a condition nonetheless
  • Also, social norms vary greatly depending on your culture and/or ethnic group
  • Therefore, behaviour that clearly violates a social norm in one group may be totally normal to another
  • E.g. in some cultures it is considered socially abnormal to directly disagree with someone
  • Another widely adopted way of defining mental disorder is describing it as harmful dysfunction 
  • This concept is both scientific and and psychological
  • The judgement as to whether something is "harmful" requires some standard and is likely to depend on the social norms in the specific culture or ethnicity 
  • Dysfunctions are said to occur when an internal mchanism is unable to perform its natural function
  • However many have argued against this theory because most of the time there is no logical way to determine which part of the body is not functioning properly 
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Models: Jahoda's 6 Criteria

  • Marie Jahoda came up with a list of 6 criteria that you need to meet in order to not be abnormal:
    • Self-attitudes - having high self-esteem and a personality identity
    • Personal growth and self-actualisation - how much you develop to your full capabilities
    • Integration - being able to cope with stressful situations
    • Autonomy - Being independent and able to look after yourself
    • An accurate perception of reality - seeing life as it really is, not in a way no one else perceives it 
    • Mastery of the environment - being able to adjust to new environments
  • However (like all methods of describing abnormality) this method has been highly criticised because this criteria is very demanding and it's very hard for any one individual to successfully meet all six
  • E.g. those with low self-esteem don't always have a mental disorder, maybe they're just insecure
  • Also a lot of this criteria is only applicable to people of the Western world 
  • This approach deals more with defining normality as opposed to abnormality but is anyone really normal?
  • If we used this method for everything those smarter or dimmer than the norm would be considered abnormal
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Models: S-Cool Notes

  • Type: Statistical Infrequency
  • Definiton: Deviation from the norm or average population
  • Criticism: Does not account for social acceptability or type of behaviour; e.g. high intelligence is abnormal becuase it is rare, as is eccentric behaviour
  • Type: Deviation from social norms
  • Definition: Going against society's accepted codes of behaviour
  • Criticism: Social norms vary from one society to another and standards change all the time; e.g nowadays having a child out of wedlock is a lot more acceptable than it used to be
  • Type: Failure to function adequately
  • Definiton: Person cannot maintain social relationships or hold down a job
  • Criticism: Apart from social dysfunction, this also includes being in a state of distress. Problems include the fact that some mental disorders do not cause distress and that sometimes it is normal to be distressed. Withdrawl from society may be mental disorder, but not necessarily 
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Models: S-Cool Notes #2

  • Type: Deviation from mental health
  • Definition: Person does not meet all criteria considered necessary for "normal" healthy functioning
  • Criticism: The standards for ideal mental health are generally difficult to measure and so demanding that most people fail to meet them anyway

Cultural Relativism

  • Model: Biological (medical)
  • Assumpsions on Causes: Physical causes, (genetics, biochemistry)
  • Treatments: Somatic - drugs
  • Model: Psychodynamic (psychoanalytical)
  • Assumptions on Causes: Unresolved emotional conflicts in early life, now repressed
  • Treatments: Talking to bring out and work through unconscious conflicts
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Models: S-Cool Notes #3

  • Model: Behavioural
  • Assumptions on Causes: Abnormal behaviour is learned by association and reinforcement
  • Treatments: Focus on learning new responses to situations
  • Model: Cognitive
  • Assumptions on Causes: Faulty thinking distorts perception of things
  • Treatments: Challenging the way a person sees themselves
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Models: Biological Treatments - Drugs

  • There are three main types of drugs used to treat abnormality:
    • Anti-anxiety -  used to treat stress and work by depressing the central nervous system and relaxing muscles 
    • Anti-depressant - used to treat depression and improve mood by increasing seratonin levels by blocking the enzyme that breaks down seratonin
    • Anti-psychotic - used to treat schizophrenia by sedating and alleviating the symptoms of hallucinations; they do this by blocking dopamine 
  • Strength: Cheap, fast and effective
  • Strength: Schizophrenia was untreatable before drugs; however they are not a cure, they only help reduce hallucinations
  • Weakness: They treat the symptoms, not the cause and fail to deal with underlying issues
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Models: Biological Treatments - ECT and PS

  • The idea of ECT (electrocolvulsive therapy) is to "jump start" the brain by mimicking an epileptic fit
  • ECT consists of the patient being given an anasthetic and muscle relaxant then lying down on a bed wearing loose clothing
  • An electrode is then attached to the right hemisphere of the brain and a shock of 70 - 130 volts is passed through the elctrode 
  • This causes a convulsion mimicking an epileptic fit which lasts for around on minute
  • The patient will not remember the experience so wll recall nothing
  • Weakness: If it works, we don't know why
  • Weakness: 60-70% of patients report an initial improvement; however within a year 60% of these patients report feeling depressed again, so it only works for the short term
  • Psycho surgery in other words is basically brain surgery 
  • It is based on the theory that something has damaged the brain therefore this damage must be removed
  • A hole is drilled into the skull and an electrode is used to burn away the damaged cells
  • Weakness: This is only used as a last resort as it may cause a change in personality, plus the procedure is irreversible and permanent
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Models: Behaviourist Treatments - SD

  • There are four main treatments offered by behaviourists:
    • Systematic Desensitisation
    • Implosion Therapy
    • Aversion Therapy
    • Behaviour Modification 
  • Systematic Desensitisation is based on the idea that we learn fear through classical conditioning (when a stimulus is paired with a fear response
  • It is most commonly used to cure phobias
  • It aims to uncondition the phobia in small, graduated steps 
  • "Little Peter" the boy who was afraid of rabbits and was studied by Jones is a good example of this
  • They broke the treatment down into 16 steps, starting by showing Peter a picture of a rabbit progressing to a photo and eventually a real rabbit
  • When Peter showed no fear towards the rabbit he was rewarded with food and by the end of the treatment his phobia of rabbits and other stimuli (e.g. cotton wool) was gone  
  • Strength: Scientific research evidence (Little Peter) supports the therapy
  • Strength: It is effective and has an application to the real world as it is a therapy that is used by clinical psychologists
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Models: Behaviourist Treatments - Therapy

  • Implosion therapy is also known as flooding and is also used to cure phobias 
  • The client is exposed to the particular feared object without the ability to escape 
  • This causes them to have  a panic attack but they cannot biologically maintain this state so the fear will eventually subside
  • This means they will have re-learned the fear response so they are not phobic anymore
  • Strength: Fast and effective
  • Weakness: Client may have a heart attack
  • Aversion therapy is based on classical conditioning and was used as a deterrant for violent behaviour and aggression in prisons 
  • It works by pairing undesirable behaviour, such as aggression, with an unpleasant consequence such as induced vomiting
  • After repeating this several times the offender will vomit without any induction
  • Weakness: It is now considered so unethical that it is no longer used
  • Weakness: It only works in the short term and it has been found that eventually the unpleasant consequence wears off 
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Models: Behaviourist Treatments - BM

  • This is often used for patients with anorexia 
  • To begin with the institution may set the patient a target
  • E.g. to gain 1 kg per week
  • When they reach their target then they are given a star and once they have acquired a certain number of stars they are allowed a visit out of the institution
  • However, if they do not meet their target they wil be punished by being made to eat a high fat meal
  • Therefore this gives an incentive for the desired behaviour and a deterrant for the undesired behaviour
  • Weakness: the therapy does not work on its own, it must be used in conjunction with other therapies
  • Weakness: The patient may become dependent on the reward system and may not be able to think for themselves
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Schizophrenia: Symptoms

Positive Symptoms

  • Positive symptoms are excesses and distortions, such as hallucinations and delusions
  • For the most part, acute episodes of schizophrenia are characterised by positive symptoms
  • Delusions (a positive symptom) can range from imagining rejection from those you love, to believing that there is someone out there determined to make your life a living hell
  • Delusions and paranoia often go hand in hand because having the delusions can make you paranoid
  • Delusions can take several other forms as well, including the following:
  • A person may believe that thoughts that are not his or her own have been placed in his or her mind by an external source; this is known as thought insetion
  • E.g. A woman may believe that the government has inserted a computer chip in her brain so that thoughts can be inserted into her head 
  • A person may believe that his or her thoughts are broadcast or transmitted, so that others how what he or she is thinking; this is known as thought broadcasting
  • E.g. When walking down the street a man may look suspiciously at a passerby, thinking that they are able to hear what he is thinking even though he is not saying anything out loud 
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Schizophrenia: Symptoms #2

  • A person may believethat an external force controls his of her feelings of behaviours
  • E.g. A person may believe that his or her behaviour is being controlled by the signals emittted from cell phone towers 
  • A person may have grandiose delusions, an exaggerated sense of his or her own importance, power, knowledge or identity 
  • E.g. A woman may believe that she can cause the wind to change direction just by moving her hands 
  • A person may have ideas of reference, incorporating unimportant events within a delusional framework and reading personal significance into the trivial activities of others
  • E.g. People with this symptom might think that overheard segments of conversations are about them, that the frequent appearance of the same person on a street where they customarily walk means that thye are being watched, and that what they see on television or read in magazines somehow refers to them
  • Although delusions are found among more than half of people with schizophrenia, they are also found among people with other diagnoses, including bipolar disorder, depression with psychotic features and delusional disorder
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Schizophrenia: Symptoms #3

  • The most drammatic distortions of perception are hallucinations, sensory experiences in the sbsence of any relevant stimulation from the environment
  • Basically, seeing and hearing things that aren't actually there
  • More often than not hallucinations are auditory rather than visual 
  • 74% of a sample of people with schizophrenia reporting having auditory hallucinations
  • Some people with schizophrenia report hearing their own thoughts in someone else's voice
  • Many people with schizophrenia find their hallucinations frightening and annoying
  • Neuroimaging studies have examined what happend in the brain during auditory hallucinations
  • For example, studies using the fMRI have found greater activity in the Broca's area, the productive language area of the brain  
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Schizophrenia: Symptoms #4

Negative Symptoms

  • Negative symptoms are more serious than positive ones and normally endure beyond an acute episode 
  • The presence of negative symptoms is also a strong predictor of poor quality of life 
  • Avolition: Apathy or avolition refers to a lack of motivation and an absense of interest or inability to perform tasks that before were very routine 
  • These may include work, school, hobbies and/or social activities
  • E.g. People with avolition may not be motivated to watch TV or hang out with friends or have difficulty persisting at work, school or household chores; therefore spending most of their time sitting around doing nothing
  • Asociality: Some people with schizophrenia have severe impairments in social relationships referred to as asociality 
  • They may have few friends, poor social skills, and very little interest in being with other people
  • They may not desire close relationships with family, friends or romantic partners
  • Instead they may wish to spend much of their time alone
  • When around others, people with this symptom may interact only superficially and briefly and appear aloof or indifferent to the social interaction
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Schizophrenia: Symptoms #5

  • Anhedonia: A loss of interst in or a reported lessening of the experience of pleasure is called anhedonia
  • There are two types of pleasure experiences in the anhedonia construct:
    • Consummatory pleasure
    • Anticipatory pleasure
  • Consummatory pleasure is the amount of pleausre experienced in-the-moment or in the presence of something pleasureable
  • E.g. The amount of pleasure you experience as you are eating a good meal 
  • Anticipatory pleasure is the amount of expected or anticipated pleasure from future events or activities
  • E.g. The amount of pleasure you expect to receive after graduating from college
  • People with schizophrenia appear to have a defict in anticipatory pleasure but not consummatory pleasure
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Schizophrenia: Symptoms #6

  • Blunted Affect: This refers to a lack of outward expression of emotion
  • A person with this symptom may stare vacantly, the muscles of the face motionless, the eyes lifeless
  • When spoken to, the person may answer in a flat monotone voice and not make eye contact with the person they are talking to 
  • Blunted affect was found in 66% of a large sample of people with schizophrenia
  • The concept of blunted affect refers only to the outward expression of emotion, not to the patient's inner experience, which is not impoverished at all
  • Over 20 different studies have shown that people with schizophrenia are much less facially expressive
  • However, people with schizophrenia report experiencing the same amount or even more emotion than people without schizophrenia
  • Alogia: This refers to a, basically, the fact that people with schizophrenia don't talk much
  • A person may answer a question using one or two words and is not likely to give much detail in their answer or elaborate on it at all
  • E.g If you ask a person with alogia to describe a happy family experience, the person might respond with "getting married" and will not give any further detail even when requested
  • Most symptoms can be categorised into either the experience domain or the expression domain
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Schizophrenia: Symptoms #7

Disorganised Symtoms

  • This is basically only disorganised speech and disorganised behaviour
  • Disorganised speech: Also known as formal thought disorder, refers to problems in organising ideas and in speaking so that a listener can understand
  • The exert on the following card describes an interview with a person with schizophrenia named John
  • Although John may repeat certain things, none of it is connected in any way and is impossible to understand
  • Speech may also be disorganised by what are called loose associations or derailment
  • In this case the person may be understood but may have difficulty sticking to one topic 
  • Many people think that disorganised speech is associated with problems in language production but this does not seem to be the case
  • Instead, disorganised speech is associated with problems in what is called executive functioning - problem solving, planning and making associations between thinking and feeling
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Schizophrenia: John Interview

  • Interviewer: have you been feeling nervous or tense lately?
  • John: No, I got a  head of lettuce
  • Interviewer: You got a head of lettuce? I don't understand 
  • John: Well, it's just a head of lettuce
  • Interviewer: Tell me about lettuce. What do you mean?
  • John: Well ... lettuce is a transformation of a dead cougar that suffered a relapse on the lion's toe. And he swallowed the lion and something happened. The ... see, the ... Gloria and Tommy, they're two heads and they're not whales. But they escaped with herds of vomit, and things like that
  • Interviewer: Who are Tommy and Gloria?
  • John: Uh ... there's Joe DiMaggio, Tommy Henrich, Bill Dickey, Phil Rizzuto, John Esclavera, Del Crandell, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Roy Mantle, Ray Mantle, Bob Chance
  • Interviewer:  Who are they? Who are those people? 
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Schizophrenia: Symptoms #8

  • Disorganised Behaviour: This takes many forms
  • People with this symptom may go into inexplicable bouts of agitation, dress in unusual clothes, act in a childlike or silly manner, hoard food or collect garbage
  • They seem to lose the ability to organise their behaviour and make it conform to community standards 
  • They also have difficulty performing the tasks of everyday living

Movement Symptoms

  • One other symptom of schizophrenia does not fit neatly into any of the other categories but it a part of the DSM criteria
  • Grossly abnormal psychomotor behaviour refers to the disturbances in movement behaviour 
  • Catatonia is a prime example of this symptom
  • Several motor abnormalities, define catatonia 
  • People with this symptoms may gesture repeatedly using peculiar and sometimes complex sequences of finger, hand and arm movements, which often seem to be purposeful
  • Some people manifest an unusual increase in their overall level of activity, including much excitement, wild flailing or the limbs, and great expenditure of energy similar to that seen in mania
  • At the other end of the spectrum is catatonic immobility where people adopt unusual postures and maintain them for very long periods of time 
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Schizophrenia: Types

  • There are four types of schizophrenia:
    • Catatonic
    • Paranoid
    • Dirorganised 
    • Undifferentiated
  • People with catatonic schizophrenia often display motor disturbances, stupor, negativism, rigidity, agitation, inability to take care of personal needs and a decreased sensitivity to painful stimulus
  • People with paranoid schizophrenia often display delusional thoughts of persecution or of a grandiose nature, anxiety, anger, violence and argumentativeness
  • People with disorganised schizophrenia often display incoherance, regressive behaviour, flat affect, delusions hallucinations, innapropriate laughter, repetative mannerisms and social withdrawl
  • People with undifferentiated schizophrenia often display symtoms of more than one type of schzophrenia
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Schizophrenia: Case Studies

  • There have been many case studies on people with schizophrenia
  • The links to a few of them are given below:

iws.collin.edu/mrose/Handouts/.../Case%20Study.doc

http://www.mhpn.org.au/Portals/0/CoordinatorsArea/CaseStudies/Case%209%20-%20Simon%20(Chronic%20Schizophrenia)%20Facilitator%20version.pdf

http://voices.yahoo.com/schizophrenia-case-study-maddie-her-plastic-bags-5554939.html

 

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Schizophrenia: Explanations - Genetics

  • The rate of schizophrenia in the population is around 1%
  • Studies on twins show that in identical (monozygotic) twins, if onehas schizophrenia then the other has a 40 - 50% chance of developing the illness
  • Concordance rates for schizophrenia are 3 times higher in identical twins than in non-identical (dizygotic) twins
  • If a parent has schizophrenia then their child has about a 10% chance of developing it
  • The search for genes that may contribute to schizophrenia has indicated that chromosomes number 6 and 13 might be involved but evidence is uncertain
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Schizophrenia: Explanations - Genetics #2

  • Gottesman and Shields conducted a study on twins in 1966 to see if schizophrenia did - in fact - have a genetic basis
  • They planned to test different twin pairs to see the concordance rate for schizophrenia in twins
  • They collected a sample of twin pairs where at least one of them has been admitted to a psychatric hospital with schizophrenia or a related psychosis
  • Of the 62 patients in the participant sample, exactly half were male and half were female
  • Their ages ranged from 19 to 64 with the average age being 32
  • Their zygocity was determined using 3 methods:
    • fingerprint testing
    • blood testing
    • resemblance assessments
  • Multiple data collection methods were used involving both primary and secondary resources, these included:
    • hospital notes
    • case histories based on self-report questionnaires and interviews with twins and parents
    • tape-recorded 30 minute samples of verbal behaviour from semi-structured interviews
    • personality testing
    • testing to measure disordered thinking, conducted both on twin sets and parents  
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Schizophrenia: Explanations - Genetics #3

  • The researchers wanted to look at concordance rates 
  • If one twin had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, they wanted to know how often their counterpart would be diagnosed with schizophrenia or a related psychosis
  • The patient who had been admitted to the psychiatric hospital initially first coming to attention was called the proband
  • The data was analysed between each proband and their twin, the twin pairs being categorised in four ways:
    • Category 1: both the proband and co-twin had been hospitalised and diagnosed with schizophrenia
    • Category 2: both had hospitalisation, but the co-twin has been given another diagnosis related to schizophrenia
    • Category 3: the co-twin had some psychiatric abnormality, but nothing related to schizophrenia
    • Category 4: proband has schizophrenia but the co-twin was diagnosed as clinically normal
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Schizophrenia: Explanations - Genetics #4

  • In summary the results showed that there was a significant difference found between MZ and DZ twins in all measures
  • MZ twins were always more similar in diagnosis than DZ twins in each case where the co-twin had some diagnosis
  • Similarity was greater between female twins compared to male twins (both MZ and DZ twins)
  • Concordance rates were higher for both MZ and DZ twins for severe schizophrenia compared to mild schizophrenia
  • The findings suggested that the closer the genetic relationship between two people the higher the concordance of schizophrenia is and that this relationship is more prevalent among females than males
  • However, as twins in the MZ twin pairs did not have 100% concordance, the implication is that schizophrenia is tnot entirely caused by genes 
  • Instead the results lead Gottesman and Shields to believe that genetic factors can predispose someone to schizophrenia by lowering their threshold for coping with stress
  • Also, environmental triggers may be needed to start the development of the disorder
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Schizophrenia: Explanations - Biochemical

  • The main biochemical explanation for schizophrenia is the dopamine hypothesis 
  • This idea is based on the role of chemical messengers between nerve cells called neurotransmitters
  • There seems to be a chemical imbalance in the action of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brains of those with schizophrenia

Evidence for the dopamine hypothesis#

  • Drugs: Antipsychotic or neuroleptic drugs are known to dampen the effect of dopamine by blocking dopamine receptors
  • These help to relieve symptoms of hallucinations and delusions in many sufferers 
  • A good way to imagine this is to imagine a house (the brain) with very noisy, partying inhabitants (overactive dopamine system)
  • Now imagine the windows and doors being firmly closed to muffle the noise - this is like the action of neuroleptic drugs
  • More evidence for the dopamine theory comes from drugs that increase the release of dopamine - e.g. amphetamines
  • An overdose produces symtoms similar to those of schizophrenia 
  • This is known as amphetamine psychosis  
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Schizophrenia: Explanations - Cognitive

  • Research into similarities and differences in cognitive functioning between schizophrenia and non-schizophrenia sufferers is in its infancy and no acceptable conclusions about the origins or causes of schizophrenia have been established yet 
  • Cogntive psychologists suggest that disturbed thinking processes are the cause rather than the consequence of schizophrenia 
  • It is suggested that people with schizophrenia cannot filter information in this way and they simply let in too much irrelevant information 
  • Frith's model (1992) attempted to explain the onset and maintenance of the positive symptoms of schizophrenia 
  • His idea was that people with schizophrenia a cognitively impaired in that they are unable to distinguish between actions that are brought about by external forces and those that are generated internally
  • He believes that most of the symptoms of schizophrenia can be explained in terms of deficts in three cognitive processes:
    • Inability to generate willed action
    • Inability to monitor willed action
    • Inability to monitor the beliefs and intentions of others
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Schizophrenia: Treatment - Biochemical

  • Schizophrenia appears to be a combination of a thought disorder, mood disorder and and anxiety disorder
  • The medical management of schizophrenia often requires a combination of antipsychotic, antidepressant and antianxiety medication
  • However many people discontinue their use of medication either because of the side effects or laziness
  • Antipsychotic medications help to normalise the biochemical imbalances that cause schizophrenia 
  • There are two types of antipsychotic medication:
    • Traditional
    • New
  • Traditional antipyschotics effectively control the hallucinations, delusions and confusion of schizophrenia
  • This type of antipsychotic drug, such as haloperidol, chlorpromazine, and fluphenazine has been available since the mid-1950's 
  • These drugs primarily block dopamine receptors and are effective in treating the "positive" symptoms of schizophrenia 
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Schizophrenia: Treatment - Biochemical#2

  • Mild side effects: dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, drowsiness and dizziness 
  • More serious side effects: trouble with muscle control, muscle spasms or cramps in the head and neck, fidgeting or pacing, tremors and shuffling of the feet 
  • Side effects due to prolonged use of traditonal antipsychotic medications: facial ticks, thrusting and rolling of the tongue, lip licking, panting and grimacing
  • There are many newer antipsychotic medications available since the 1990's including, Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa and Clozaril
  • Some of these medications may work of both the seratonin and dopamine receptors 
  • Thus treating both the "positive" and "negative" symptoms of schizophrenia and have fewer side effects than traditional antipsychotic medication
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Schizophrenia: Treatment - CBT

  • People with schizophrenia can be encouraged to test out their delusional beliefs in much the same way as people without schizophrenia do
  • Through collaborative discussions, some people with schizophrenia have been helped to attach a nonpsychotic meaning to paranoid syptoms and and thereby reduce their intensity and aversive nature
  • This is similar to what is done for depression and panic disorder
  • Researchers have found that CBT can also reduce negative symptoms, e.g. by challenging belief structures tied to low expectations for success (avolition) and low expectations for pleasure (anticipatory pleasure defict in anhedonia)
  • Findings from the few randomised controlled trials of CBT in schizophrenia suggest that this treatment, along with medication, can help reduce hallucinations and delusions 
  • A more recent meta-analysis of 34 studies of close to 2,000 people with schizophrenia across eight countries found small to moderate effect sizes for positive symptoms, negative symptoms, mood, and general life functioning 
  • CBT has been used as a conjunctive treatment for schizophrenia in the UK for over 10 years. and their results have been positive, even in community settings 
  • One study has found that stress management training was effective in reducing stress among people with schizophrenia 
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Abnormal Affect: Depression

  • There are two types of abnormal affect:
    • Depression
    • Mania
  • Depression is the emotional state marked by great sadness often accompanied by:
    • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
    • Withdrawl from others
    • Loss of sleep, appetite, sexual desire and interest and pleasure in usual activities
  • Depression is often associated with other psychological disorders 
  • E.g. panic attacks, substance abuse, sexual dysfunction and personality disorder
    • Paying attention can be exhausting
    • Conversations are a chore
  • Some prefer to sit alone while others are agitated and cannot sit still
  • Depressed people sometimes pace, wring their hands, continually sigh and moan or complain and cannot find solutions when confronted with problems
  • A sufferer may neglect personal hygiene and appearance and complain about numerous somatic symptoms (with no physical basis
  • Depression, although recurrent, tends to dissipate with time
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Abnormal Affect: DSM IV-TR Criteria

The DSM IV-TR Criteria for Depression are as follows:

  • Sad, depressed mood, most of the day, nearly every day for two weeks or loss of interest in pleasure in usual activities plus four of the following:
    • Difficulties in sleeping - insomnia, sleeping too much, early morning awakenings etc
    • Shift in activity level - lethargic or agitated
    • Poor appetite and weight loss or increased appetite and weight gain
    • Loss of energy, great fatigue
    • Negative self-concept, self-reproach and self-blame; feelings of worthlessness and guilt
    • Complaints or evidence of difficulty in concentrating - slowed thinking, indecisiveness
    • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide 
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Abnormal Affect: Sex Differences

  • Significant research shows that women are diagnosed with depression twice as much as men
  • In 7/8 studies of treated cases (people undergoing therapy) in the USA, females outnumbered males 2:1
  • In 10 studies outside the USA 9 showed more females depressed than males
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Abnormal Affect: Mania

  • Mania is the emotional state/mood of unfounded elation or irritability accompanied by:
    • Hyperactivity
    • Talkativeness
    • Flight of Ideas
    • Distractibility
    • Impractical and grandiose plans 
  • Some people who experience episodes of depression at times suddenly become manic
  • Pure cases of mania are rare
  • Manic episodes vary from days to months and they come on suddenly
  • Subject is loud and has an incessant stream of remarks (jokes, puns, rhymes) may shift from topic to topic 
  • They may be annoyingly sociable and display imprudent sexual behaviour 
  • Any attempt to curb these excesses can lead to anger or rage 
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Abnormal Affect: DSM IV-TR Criteria #2

The DSM IV-TR Criteria for Mania are as follows:

  • Elevated or irritable mood for at least one week plus three of the following (four if the mood is irritable)
    • Increase in activity level; at work, socially or sexually
    • Unusual talkativeness; rapid speech
    • Flights of ideas or subjective impression that thoughts are racing
    • Less than usual amount of sleep needed
    • Inflated self-esteem; belief that one has special powers, talents and abilities 
    • Distractability; attention easily diverted
    • Excessive imvolvement in pleasureable activities that are likely to have undesirable consequences (e.g. reckless spending)
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Abnormal Affect: Causes - Genetic

  • Some theorists believe that bipolar disorder results from self correcting biological processes that are ungoverned 
  • States of depression are kept from spiralling out of bounds by switching from one state to another
  • Other theorists mention three separate systems in the brain (controlled by neurotransmitters) that may become unbalanced and cause different groups of symptoms:
    • Lack of enjoyment/interest → excessive pleasure seeking activity due to brain's disinhibition-inhibition process
    • High sensitivity to pain/negative events → low sensitivity due to a separate disinhibition-inhibition process in the brain
    • Retarded motor activity → hyperactivity due to an unregulated movement processing system
  • Individuals are genetically vulnerable to bipolar disorder 
  • Studies were performed on families, twins and adopted individuals to see if genetic factors were responsible
  • Relatives of bipolar patients have 5x the normal 1% risk of developing the disorder
  • Identical twins have 5x the normal conordance for bipolar than non-identical twins 
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Abnormal Affect: Causes - Neurochemical/Environmen

  • Bipolar disorder is primarily a disorder that occurs in a specific area of the brain and is due to the dysfunction of certain neurotransmitters or chemical messengers, in the brain
  • These chemicals may involve neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, seratonin and probably many others
  • As a biological disorder it may lie dormant and be activated on its own or it may be triggered by external factors such as psychological stress and social circumstances
    • A life event may trigger a mood episode in a person with a genetic disposition for bipolar 
    • Even without clear genetic factors, altered health habits, drug or alcohol abuse, or hormonal problems can trigger an episode
    • Among those at risk for the illness, bipolar is appearing at increasingly early ages
    • This apparent increase in earlier occurences may be due to underdiagnosis of the disorder in the past
    • The change in the age of onset may be a result of social and environmental factors that are not yet understood
    • Although substance abuse is not considered a cause of bipolar disorder, it can worsen the illness by interfering with recovery 
    • Use of alcohol or tranquilizers may induce a more severe depressive phase 
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Abnormal Affect: Bipolar Treatments

  • Lithium Carbonate is the most effective treatment for bipolar disorder 
  • However, it is quote toxic on overdose 
  • Newer treatments use anticonvulsant drugs (drugs used to control seizures):
    • Carbomezapine
    • Valproate
    • Lamotrigine
    • Gabapentin
  • Bipolar disorder requires lifelong treatment, even during periods when you feel better
  • The primary treatments for bipolar disorder include:
    • Medications
    • Psychotherapy
    • Education and support groups
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Abnormal Affect: Bipolar Treatments #2

  • Medications for bipolar include
    • Lithium: Lithium is effective at stabalising mood and preventing the extreme highs and lows of certain categories of bipolar disorder and has been used for many years
    • Periodic blood tests are required, since lithium can cause thyroid and kidney problems 
    • Common side effects include restlessness, dry mouth and digestive issues
    • Anticonvulsants: These mood-stabalising medications include valproic acid, divalproex and lamotrigine
    • Depending on the medication you take the side effects can vary
    • Common side effects include wight gain, dizziness and drowsiness 
    • Rarely, certain anticonvulsants cause more serious problems such as skin rashes, blood disorders or liver problems
    • Antipsychotics: Certain antipsychotic medications, such as aripiprazole, olanzapine, risperidone and quetiapine, may help people who do not benefit from anticonvulsants 
    • Side effects can include weight gain, sleepiness, tremors, blurred vision and rapid heartbeat
    • Antipsychotic use may also affect memory and attention and cause involuntary facialor body movements
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Abnormal Affect: Bipolar Treatments #3

  •  
    • Antidepressants: In some people with bipolar disorder, antidepressants can trigger manic episodes, but may be ok if taken with a mood stabaliser
    • The most common side effects of antidepressants include reduced sexual desire and problems reaching ******
    • Older antidepressants, which include tricyclics and MAO inhibitors, can cause a number of potentially dangerous side effects and require careful monitoring
    • Symbyax: This medication combines the antidepressant fluoxetine and the antipsychotic olanzapine 
    • It works as a depression treatment and a mood stabaliser
    • Side effects can include weight gain, drowsiness and increased appetite 
    • This medication may also cause sexual problems similar to those caused by antidepressants
    • Benzodiazepines: These anti-anxiety medications may help with anxiety and improve sleep
    • Examples include clonazepam, lorazepam, diazepam, chlordiazepoxide and alprazoam
    • Benzodiazepines are generally used for relieving anxiety only on a short-term basis
    • Side effects can include drowsiness, reduced muscle coordination and problems with balance and memory 
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Abnormal Affect: Bipolar Treatments #4

  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is another vital part of bipolar treatment
  • Several types of therapy may be helpful; these include:
    • Cognitive behavioural therapy: This is a common form of individual therapy for bipolar disorder
    • The focus of cognitive behavioural therapy is identifying unhealthy, negative beliefs and replacing them with healthy, positive ones
    • It can help identify what triggers your bipolar episodes
    • You can also learn effective strategies to manage stress and cope with upsetting situations
    • Psychoeducation: Counselling to help you learn aboit bipolar disorder can help you and your loved ones understand the condition
    • Knowing what's going on can help you get the best support and treatment, and help you and your loved ones recognize the warning signs of mood swings
    • Family Therapy: Family therapy involves seeing a psychologist or other mental health provider along with your family members 
    • Family therapy can help identify and reduce stress within the family 
    • It can help your family learn how to communicate better, solve problems and resolve conflicts
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Abnormal Affect: Bipolar Treatments #5

  • Group Therapy: Group therapy provides a forum to communicate with and learn from others in a similar situation
  • it may also help build better relationship skills
  • Other therapies: Other therapies that have been studied with some evidence of success include early identification and therapy for worsening symptoms (prodrome detection)
  • Also therapy to resolve problems with your daily routine and interpersonal relationships (interpersonal and social rhythm therapy) 
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation: This treatment applies rapid pulses of a magnetic field to the head
  • It's not exactly clear how it helps, but it appears to have an antidepressant effect
  • However, not everyone is helped by this therapy, and it is not yet clear who is a good candidate for this type or treatment
  • More research is needed
  • The most serious potential side effect is a seizure 
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): Electroconculsive therapy can be effective for people who have episodes of severe depression or feel suicidal or haven't seen improvements in their symptoms despite their treatment
  • ECT can cause temporary memory loss and confusion
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Abnormal Affect: Depression - Biological

  • Depression has been linked with problems or imabalances in the brain concerning the neurotransmitters: 
    • Serotonin
    • Norepinephrine
    • Dopamine
  • The evidence is a bit cloudy mainly becuase it is very difficult to measure the level of neurotransmitter in a person's brain
  • In the 1960's, the "catecholamine hypothesis" was a popular explanation for why people developed depression
  • This hypothesis suggested that a deficiancy of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine (also known as moradrenaline) in certain areas of the brain was responsible for creating the despressed mood
  • Another line of research has investigated links between stress, depression and norepinephrine
  • Norepinephrine helps our bodies to recognise and respond to stressful situations
  • Researchers suggest that people who are vulnerable to depression may have a norepinephrinergic system that doesn't handle the effects of stress very efficiently
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Abnormal Affect: Depression - Biological #2

  • The neurotransmitter dopamine is also linked to depression
  • Dopamine plays an important role in regulating our drive to seek out rewards, as well as our ability to obtain a sense of pleasure
  • Low dopamine levels may explain - in part - why depressed people don't derive the same sense of pleasure from activities as they did before becoming depressed
  • The Permissive Amine Hypothesis

    • Mood disorders are caused by NA (norepinephrine) abnormalities; but the real culprit is 5-HT (seratonin) 
    • 5-HT is necessary to regulate NA activity, so if 5-HT levels drop sufficiently, NA levels are allowed to fluctuate to the extent that they cause abnormalities in emotion, such as depression
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Abnormal Affect: Depression - Cognitive

  • According to Beck (1996), depression is the result of faulty or maladaptive cognitive processes
  • The emotional and physical symptoms are a consequence of the thinking patterns that Beck assumes to be the cause of the disorder
  • According to Beck, depressed people have unrealistically negative ways of thinking about themselves, their experiences and their future
  • The Self: "I am a bad person" Experiences: "My life is terrible" The future: "Things will not get any better"
  • Becks theory suggests that many of the secondary symptoms of depression can be understood in terms of this core of negative beliefs 
  • E.g. a lack of motivation could be the result of a combination of pessimism and helplessness
  • A person might lose interest in things they used to enjoy if they do not have the expecctation that they will feel better by doing them
    • "I must get people's approval"
    • "I must do things perfectly or not at all"
    • "I must be valued by others or my life has no meaning"
    • "The world must always be just and fair"
  • These types of beliefs aren't uncommon, depressed people just give in to them more 
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Abnormal Affect: Depression - Cognitive #2

  • A third aspect of Beck's model corcerns how depressed people are prone to distorting and misinterpreting information from the world
  • They are inclined to make overly negative and self-defeating interpretations that lead to low mood and passivity
  • Common misinterpretations include:
    • Arbitrary Inferences - Drawing negative conclusions off the back of insufficient evidence
    • Selective Thinking - Focusing on negative details or events whilst ignoring positive ones
    • Overgeneralisation - Drawing sweeping conclusions based on a single incident
    • Catastrophising - Exaggerating a minor setback until it becomes a complete disaster
    • Personalising - Taking responsibility and blame for all unpleasant things that happen
    • Black and White Thinking - Seeing everything in terms of success and failure
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Abnormal Affect: Depression - Treatment

  • Pharmacological treatment often makes up a big part of the treatment regiment for people suffering with severe depression
  • The first class of drugs to be used regularly to treat depression were MAO inhibitors
  • MAO is an enzyme that deactivates the monoamines (i.e. dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine and seratonin) 
  • So, drugs that inhibit MAO act as potent monoamine agonists, increasing the effect of these neurotransmitters 
  • Although these drugs are generally effective in treating depression in many cases, MAO inhibitors have a number of side effects
  • The most dramatic of these side effects is known as the cheese effect 
  • People who are taking MAO inhibitors can experience a severe reaction when consuming certain foods such as cheeses with a kind of sympathetic arousal that can cause a significant increase in blood pressure 
  • This can even result in intracranial bleeding or cardiovascular collapse
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Abnormal Affect: Depression - Treatment #2

  • SSRI stands for Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitor
  • They are the most commonly prescribed  antidepressants
  • They can ease symtoms of moderate to severe depression, are realtively safe and have fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants
  • SSRi's ease depression by affecting neurotransmitters
  • SSRi's block the reabsorption of seratonin
  • Changing the balance of seratonin seems to help brain cells send and receive messages 
  • Which in turn boosts your mood
  • SSRI's are called selective because they seem to primarily affect seratonin, not other neurotransmitters
  • The SSRI's approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) are:
    • Citalopram
    • Escitalopram
    • Fluoxetine
    • Paroxetine
    • Setraline
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Abnormal Affect: Depression - Treatment #3

  • Back developed cognitive therapy in the early 1960's 
  • Breaking from psychoanalytic theory, Beck began to view depressed patients suffering from negative automatic thoughts that distorted their views of themselves and reality
  • His cognitive theory for depression focuses on helping patients find more rational ways of viewing their lives and not jumping to the worst possible conclusions about themselves, others, or their futures (catastrophising)
  • Beck began helping patients identify and evaluate these thoughts and found that by doing so, patients were able to think more realistically
  • This led them to feel better emotionally and behave more functionally
  • Successful interventions educate a person to understand and become aware of their distorted thinking and how to challenge its effects 
  • In his work he seeks to help clients change their negative feelings about themselves and their futures through such techniques as:
    • Gentle questioning
    • Positive self-talk
    • Stress inoculation training
  • His cognitive therapy explicitly involves the patient in a collaboration with the therapist and makes the patient his/her own authority
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Abnormal Affect: Depression - Treatment #4

  • Rational emotive behaviour therapy was one of the very first types of cognitive therapies
  • Psychologist Albert Ellis first began developing REBT during the early 1950's and initially called his approach "rational therapy" 
  • Ellis worked on REBT until his death in 2007
  • Ellis suggested that people mistakenly blame external events for unhappiness
  • He argued, however, that it is our interpretation of these events that makes us so psychologically distressed
  • To explain this process Ellis developed what he referred to as "The ABC Model"
    • - Activating Event: Something that happens in the environment around you
    • B - Beliefs: You hold a belief about the event or situation
    • C - Consequence: You have an emotional response to your belief
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Abnormal Affect: Depression - Treatment #5

The Basic Steps in Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy

  • 1. Identifying the underlying irrational thought patterns and beliefs
  • Basically what it says; finding the thought or belief that is causing the psychological distress
  • In many cases these irrational beliefs are reflected as absolutes, as in "I must", "I should" or "I cannot"
  • According to Ellis, some of the most common irrational beliefs include
    • Feeling excessively upset about other people's mistakes or misconduct
    • Believing that you must be 100% competent and successful in everything to be valued and worthwhile
    • Believing that you will be happier if you avoid life's difficulties or challenges
    • Feeling that you have no control over your own happiness; that your comtentment and joy are dependent upon external forces
  • By holding such unyielding beliefs it becomes almost impossible to respond to situations in a psychologically healthy way 
  • Possessing such rigid expectations of ourselves and others only leads to disappointment, recrimation, regret and anxiety
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Abnormal Affect: Depression - Treatment #6

  • 2. Challenging the irrational beliefs
  • Once these underlying feelings have been identified, the next step is to challenge these mistaken beliefs
  • In order to do this, the therapist must dispute these beliefs using very direct and even confrontational methods
  • Ellis suggested that rather than simply being warm and supportive, the therapist needs to be blunt, honest and logical in order to push people towards changing their thoughts and behaviours 
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Abnormal Affect: Depression - Treatment #7

  • 3. Gaining insight and recognising irrational thought patterns
  • As you can imgaine, REBT can be a daunting process for the client
  • Facing irrational thought patterns can be difficult, especially because accepting these beliefs as unhealthy is far from easy
  • Once the client has identified the problem beliefs, the process of actually changing these thoughts can be even more difficult
  • While it is perfectly normal to feel upset when you make a mistake, the goal of REBT is to help people respond rationally to such situations
  • When faced with theis type of situation in the future, the emotionally healthy response would be realise that while it would be wonderful to be perfect and never make mistakes, it is not realistic to expect success in every endeavor
  • You made a mistake
  • But that's okay because everyone makes mistakes 
  • All you can do is learn from the sitation and move on
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Addiction and Impulse Control: Definition

  • An addiction is a condition characterised by chronic drug-seeking behaviouras well as abuse of drugs, alcohol or other chemical substances
  • Symptoms usually include an intense psychological fixation with acquiring and using drugs 
  • Definitions of addiction usually focus on the psychological craving for the drug rather than the physiological withdrawl symptoms caused by the removal of the drug
  • Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (gambling) that can be pleasurable but the continued use of which becomes complusive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work or realtionships
  • Users may not be aware that their behaviour is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others
  • The word addiction is used in several different ways 
  • One definition describes physical addiction 
  • This is a biological state in which the body adapts to the presence of a drug so that drug no longer has the same effect; this is known as tolerance
  • Because of tolerance there is a biological reaction when the drug is withdrawn
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Addiction and Impulse Control: Definition #2

  • Another form of physical addiction is the phenomenon of overreaction by the brain to drugs (or to cues associated with the drugs)
  • An alcoholic walking into a bar, for instance, will feel an extra pull to have a drink because of these cues
  • However, most addictive behaviour is not related to either physical tolerance or exposire to cues
  • People compulsively use drugs, gamble or shop nearly always in reaction to being emotionally stressed, whether or not they have a physical addiction
  • Since these psychologically based addictions are not based on drug or brain effects, they can account for why people frequently switch addictive actions from one drug to a completely different kind of drug, or even to a non-drug behaviour
  • The focus of the addiction isn't what matters; it's the need to take action under certain kinds of stress
  • To treat this kind of addiction requires an understanding of how it works psychologically
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Addiction and Impulse Control: Types

  • Some types of addiction include:
    • Alcohol dependence 
      • Exactly what it says on the tin - being dependent on alcohol
    • Drug dependence
      • "                                         " - being dependent on drugs
    • Compulsive behaviours
      • e.g. gambling, shopping, eating and computers are emerging as behavioural addictions 
      • People can depend on these as much as alcohol or drugs
      • Some activities are so normal that it's ahrd to believe that people can become addicted to them
      • Yet, the cycle of addiction can still take over, making everyday life a constant struggle 
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Addiction and Impulse Control: Characteristics

  • Some characteristics of an addiction include: 
    • Loss of control
    • Using more of the substance than intended
    • Using the substance for longer than the intended time
    • Not being able to keep track of how much of the substance they have used
    • Continued use
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Addiction and Impulse Control: Causes - Genetic

  • Many people believe that alcoholism can run in families
  • In the 1970's studies documented that is does not
  • However, recently people are wondering whether it is purely a genetic thing or whether it is a mixture of genetics and environmental stimuli that causes alcoholism
  • The discovery of a specific genetic effect on the development of alcoholism would be beneficial for at least three reasons
    • It would be easier to identify those at risk so that they can then take precautionary actions to avoid developing alcohol-related problems
    • It can help us to understand the role of environmental factors and which ones are important in the development of alcoholism
    • It could lead ot better treatments, based on new understandings of the physiological mechanisms of alcoholism
  • Two major methods of investigating the inhertiance of alcoholism are studies of twins and of adoptees
  • Twin studies compare the incidence of alcoholism in identical twins with the incidence of alcoholism in fraternal twins
  • If there is a genetic component in the risk of alcoholism, then identical twins would be expected to exhibit similar histories of developing (or not developing) alcoholism
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Addiction and Impulse Control: Causes - Genetic #2

  • The genetic theory of addiction is also known as addictive inheritance
  • It attempts to separate the genetic and environmental factors of addictive behaviour
  • Studies have been done to control for the environmental componenents to determine if genetics play a greater role
  • Most studies looking at alcoholismhave determined that children born from alcoholic parents who are adpoted into non-alcoholic families have a three to four fold increase in the rate of alcoholism over the rest of the population
  • Indeed children born and raised by alcoholic parents have an even greater rate of alcoholism
  • This suggests that there is some genetic predisposition to alcoholic addiction
  • Though it seems likely that there is some sort of genetic component, scientists and psychologists have not yet found out what the gene actually codes for 
  • We are also not aware whether it is the addictive behaviour that is coded for or whether it is the biological mechanism that drives the behaviour
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Addiction and Impulse Control: + Reinforcement

  • The reinforcing properties of a drug are thought to be the reason why people get addicted 
  • Addictive drugs are positive reinforcers 
  • Positive reinforcement can lead to learning a new response
  • One of the main problems in treating people who abuse drugs is getting them to stay in treatment for long enough to work towards recovery
  • E.g. up to 80% of cocaine abusers drop out of traditional treatments
  • However, psychologist Stephen T. Higgins have shown that positive reinforcement - in the form of vouchers - is an effective way to help abusers to stay in treatment long enough to see positive results
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Addiction and Impulse Control: + Reinforcement #2

  • Voucher programs are a type of reinforcement known as Contingency Management (CM)
  • CM treatments are based on the behavioural principle that if a behaviour is reinforced or rewarded, it is more likely to occur in the future
  • In a voucher-based system to treat cocaine abuse, patients leave urine specimens multiple times each week and receive vouchers for each specimen that tests negative for drugs
  • These vouchers can be exchanged for retail items and services such as restaurant gift certificates, clothing, movie tickets and electronic items
  • The vouchers increase in value the longer the person stays off drugs
  • No money is ever given to patients 
  • The voucher program also includes intensive counselling to improve work skills and social relationships that reinforce healthy choices
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Addiction and Impulse Control: Personality

  • There is a theory adopted by some psychologists that some people have an addictive personality
  • Most of the time people with addictive personalities recover from one addiction and move on to another just because of the lack of willpower to give up something or anything that gives them a repetetive feeling of euphoria
  • Some traits that people with an addictive personality may display include:
    • Compulsive behaviour: basically over-doing anything; excessive repetition
    • Lack of self-control: habits becoming too demanding so that you can't control them
    • Refusal to accept responsibility: believing that your habit is someone else's fault; lying
    • Substituting vices: becoming addicted to something while recovering from a past addiction; e.g. recovering ahcoholics drinking excessive amounts of coffee (caffeine addiction)
    • Tendency towards multiple vices: being addicted to more than one thing at the same time
    • Family history: while trying not to become addicted to the same thing as your parents you become addicted to something else
    • Insecurity: when the addiction or compulsive behaviour is just masking your unhappiness, insecurity or fear of failure
  • So, these people find it harder to recover from an addiction and easier to get addicted
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Addiction and Impulse Control: Treatment

  • Token Economy: A token economy is a form of behavioural modification therapy that are used to treat drug addictions and general undesireable behaviour
  • It works on a basis of rewarding the subject with tokens when they display a desireable behaviour that can be "cashed in" for something that they want 
  • The tokens are only valid for suitable things and cannot be given as direct cash because there is no gurantee that the subject won't purchase the substance that they are addicted to
  • It is preferable that the tokens are attractive, easy to carry and dispense and diffcult to counterfeit
  • Subjects participating in a token economy must know exactly what they need to do to receive tokens
  • Desireable and undesireable behaviour needs to be explained ahead of time in simple, specific terms; as does the number of tokens awarded or lost for each particular behaviour
  • Initially tokens are awarded frequently and in higher amounts, however, as the individual learns the desired behaviour then the opportunities to earn tokens descrease (fading)
  • Token economies should never deprive individuals of their basic needs
  • I.e. sufficient food, comfortable bedding and reasonable opportunities for leisure
  • Also, cotroversy exists when it comes to placing individuals in treatment against their will and deciding which behaviours are considered desireable and undesireable
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Addiction and Impulse Control: Treatment #2

  • Aversion Therapy: In this therapeutic method the unwanted stimulus is paired with something that causes the addict discomfort
  • The goal is to force the addict to link the discomfort and the unwanted behaviour which would lead them to not want to do it anymore 
  • During aversion therapy the client may be asked to think of or engage in the behaviour they enjoy while at the same time being exposed to something unpleasant such as:
    • A bad taste
    • A foul smell
    • Mild electric shocks
  • One of the major criticisms of aversion therapy is that there doesn't seem to be much solid scientific evidence to prove its effectiveness 
  • There are also ethical issues as to the use of punishments in therapy
  • Practisioners have found that in some cases aversion therapy can increase anxiety which usually ends up interfering with the treatment process
  • And in other cases patients have experienced anger and hostility during therapy
  • Usually when it is used to treat alcoholism the alcohol is mixed with a substance that will instantly cause nausea so hopefully sooner or later the subject will realise that it isn't worth is for the short moment of euphoria that is mostly masked by the vomiting
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Addiction and Impulse Control: Treatment #3

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy: the main addition to this field of treatment was made by Carolynn S. Kohn in 2000 when he performed a study relating to people with kleptomania
  • Kleptomania is a condition in which people repeatedly and uncontrollably steal items that they don't need for personal use 
  • It is a disabling disorder and is sometimes overlooked in clinical practice 
  • Originially it was thought to be an obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder but recently is has been discovered that it relates more with addictive and mood disorders
  • It is common for people with kleptomania to have a parent or relative with a substance-abuse disorder
  • It has also been shown that SSRI's that are effective in treating obsessive-compulsive disorders are inneffective in treating kleptomania
  • In Kohn's study with Antonuccio on a 42-year-old woman with kleptomania he used cognitive restructuring
  • Treatment lasted over 39 sessions over 16 months 
  • She challenged and replaced irrational self-statements such as "I must not steal, it is damnable and leads to catastrophe." or "it would be unbearable if others found out."
  • In a five year follow-up session the client reported no lapses
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Phobias: Specific Phobias

  • A specific phobia is a disproportionate fear caused by a specific object or situation 
  • E.g. flying, snakes, heights etc
  • The person recognises that the fear is excessive but still goes to great lengths to avoid the feared object or situation
  • The names for these fears consist of a Greek word for the feared object or situation followed by the suffix - phobia
  • Two of the more familiar phobias are claustrophobia (fear of closed spaces) and acrophobia (fear of heights) 
  • In reality specific phobias tend to cluster around a small number of feared objects or situations 
  • A person with one type of specific phobia is likely to have another type of specific phobia as well
  • So, there is high comorbidity of specific phobias
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Phobias: Specific Phobias - Examples

  • Some examples and definitions of some extremely rare specific phobias include:
    • Neophobia: fear of anything new
    • Asymmetriphobia: fear of asymmetrical things
    • Bibliophobia: fear of books
    • Pedophobia: fear of children
    • Chorophobia: fear of dancing
    • Anglophobia: fear of "Englishness"
    • Alliumphobia: fear of garlic
    • Arachibutyrophobia: fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth
    • Technophobia: fear of technology
    • Musophobia: fear of mice
    • Hellenophobia: fear of pseudoscientific terms
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Phobias: Specific Phobias - Examples #2

  • Some examples and defintions of some more common phobias are:
    • Arachnophobia: fear of spiders
    • Opidiophobia: fear of snakes
    • Acrophobia: fear of heights
    • Agoraphobia: fear of situations in which escape is difficult
    • Cynophobia: fear of dogs
    • Astraphobia: fear of thunder and lightening
    • Trypanophobia: fear of injections
    • Pteromerhanophobia: fear of flying
    • Mysophobia: fear of germs of dirt
    • Coulrophobia: fear of clowns
    • Necrophobia: fear of corpses or dead bodies
    • Xenophobia: fear of strangers
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Phobias: Behavioural Explanation

  • The behavioural approach proposes that we acquire phobias through our learning style
  • Social Learning Theory: phobias can be acquired through modelling the behaviour of someone else
  • This theory is based on vicarious learning, which is learning by watching others
  • Determinist: Behavioural view suggests that traumatic experiences lead to phobias
  • Social Learning Support: An experiment by Bandura and Rosenthal (1966) supported the social learning explanation
  • In the experiment, a model experienced pain every time a buzzer sounded 
  • Later on, participants who witnessed the model in pain displayed an emotional reaction to the buzzer going off even though they experienced no pain
  • This demonstrated an acquired fear response
  • People with phobias often recall a specific incident when their phobia appeared 
  • This supports the behavioural explanation of phobias 
  • However, not everyone who has a phobia can recall such an incident 
  • It is possible that such incidents have occurred, but have been forgotten
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Phobias: Little Albert

  • Psychologist John. B Watson wanted to take Ivan Pavlov's research on classical conditioning to another level to show that emotional reactions could be classically conditioned in people
  • The participant in the experiment was known as "Albert B" b ut is known more popularly today as Little Albert
  • Around the age of nine months, Watson exposed the child to a series of stimuli including:
    • A white rat 
    • A rabbit
    • A monkey
    • Masks
    • Burning newspapers
  • He then observed the boy's reactions
  • The boy initially showed no fear towards the objects he was shown
  • The next time Albert was exposed to the rat Watson made a loud noise by hitting a metal pipe with a hammer
  • Naturally, the child began to cry after hearing the loud noise
  • After repeatedly pairing the loud noise with the rat Little Albert would cry simply after seeing the rat
  • So, sometimes phobias can be classically conditioned
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Phobias: Psychoanalytic Explanation

  • The psychoanalytic theory of phobias proposes that phobias are a direct result of the unresolved conflicts between the id and the superego
  • Psychoanalysts generally believe that the conflict originated in childhood and was either repressed or displaced onto the feared object or situation
  • So the object of the phobia is not the original source of the anxiety
  • The Id: the id is the first of the three parts of the personality that Freud believed in
  • It is the most primitive and and the original source of personality which is present in the newborn
  • It consists of everything that is inherited 
  • The id works on the pleasure principle - so basically seeking pleasure now and it doesn't care what it has to do to get that pleasure as long as it gets it
  • The Superego: the superego is the last personality structure to develop and is "the moral watchdog" over the entire personality
  • It is the internal representation of the values and morals of society that are taught to the child by his/her parents
  • The superego judges whether an action is right or wrong 
  • Whilst the id seeks pleasure, the ego tests reality and strives for perfection
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Phobias: Biomedical/Genetic Explanation

  • Some people acquire phobias whilst others do not, even if they have the same opportunities for learning
  • Therefore this suggests that biology plays a role
  • Research has shown that having a family member with a phobia increases the risk of the individual developing a similar disorder
  • E.g. Ost found that 64% of people with a blood phobia had at least one relative with the same disorder
  • The main evidence on genetic factors in developing phobias comes from twin studies, although additionally some family studies have been carried out
  • Twin studies are used to try to separate genetic factors from environmental factors 
  • They examine the rate of concordance between monoygotic twins and dizygotic twins
  • Torgerson studied pairs of MZ and DZ twins where at least one of the twins had an aniety disorder with panic attacks 
  • The concordance rate was 31% for MZ twins and 0% for DZ twins
  • Therfore, this supports the genetic explanation for phobias, however the support is limited as the concordant twins did not have the same phobia
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Phobias: Biomedical/Genetic Explanation #2

  • One of the problems with family and twin studies is that they fail to control for shared environmental factors 
  • E.g. MZ twins are likely to share for similar environments that DZ twins, as they are more likely to have the same interests
  • One way to control for a shared environment is to study twins that have been reared apart 
  • However, no such studies have been conducted on phobic disorders
  • A further issue with twin studies is that they are not representative of the whole population 
  • Twins only account for 2% of the general population 
  • Therefore we have to question to what extent we can generalise the findings from twin studies
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Phobias: Biomedical/Genetic Explanation #3

  • Another explanation is that people inherit an oversensitive fear response
  • Research shows that people with phobias often respond to normal situations with abnormal levels of anxiety
  • The oversensitive response can be explained by the functioning of the autonomic nervous system
  • Some individuals may have abnormally high levels of arousal in the ANS
  • This leads to increased adrenaline and is known as the adrenergic theory
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Phobias: Cognitive Explanation

  • Phobias may develop as a consequence of irrational thinking 
  • Such thoughts can create extreme anxiety and may trigger a phobia
  • The emotions we feel are a direct result of our interpretations of our experiences according to our existing schemas 
  • Phobics are likely to:
    • over exaggerate the negative consequences
    • under estimate their ability to cope
    • show "catastrophic misinterpretation"
  • Beck et al (1985) proposed that phobias arise because people become afraid of situations where fears may occur
  • Beck also argued that phobics tend to overestimate their fears, increasing the likelihood of phobias
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Phobias: Cognitive Explanation #2

  • Psychologist Peter DiNardo conducted a study in 1988 on people with dog phobias as well as a matched group who did not have the phobia 
  • About 50% of the dog phobics had had a frightening encounter with a dog, usually involving a bite
  • However, in the other group of individuals about 50% had also had a frightening encounter with a dog
  • They had not developed anxiety about another encounter with a dog 
  • Unlike the people who did become phobic 
  • This reflects a generalised psychological vulnerability 
  • It has also been proposed that some phobics may have dysfunctional assumptions
  • I.e. they are more fearful and overestimate risks and this results in them being more predisposed to developing phobias 
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Phobias: Systematic Desensitisation

  • Systematic desensitisation was the first therapy to be called behaviour therapy 
  • Psychiatrists Joseph Wolpe was one of the main contributors to the development of systematic desensitisation therapy 
  • Wolpe took his inspiration from Dr Jules Masserman 
  • Masserman made cats "neurotic" by giving them electric shocks in a certain box
  • Soon the cats became anxious when they were just put in the box
  • However, Masserman observed that the cats lost their "neurosis" if they were fed in the box that they were previously shocked in
  • Wolpe called this counter conditioning 
  • By encouraging the animals to have a response incompatible with anxiety, while exposing them to the stimulus that previously caused anxiety, he found that he could weaken and eliminate the conditional response of anxiety caused by being put in the box
  • Wolpe devised a procedure for counter conditioning in humans
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Phobias: Systematic Desensitisation #2

  • First, he taught the patients to relax deeply 
  • Then he encouraged them to visualise or imagine the anxiety-arousing stimulus while remaining relaxed
  • To graudually eliminate the anxiety arousing characteristics of the feared stimulus 
  • Wolpe has his patients make a fear hierarchy from least-fearsome to most-fearsome imagery
  • E.g. if a patient had ophidiophobia he/she may produce a list like this:
    • A tiny snake 50 feet away
    • A larger snake 30 feet away 
    • A large snake 10 feet away
    • A large snake on the ground right in front of me
    • A snake bumping against my foot and then slithering away
    • A snake being placed in my hands
    • A snake wrapping itself around my arm
    • A snake slithering up my arm towards by neck
    • A snake taking a big bite out of my cheek
    • Falling into a pit of poisonous snakes
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Phobias: Systematic Desensitisation #3

  • The patient started with the least anxiety-arousing imagine and moved on to the next only when they could imagine the first image while staying fully relaxed
  • Given enough time and enough practice with relaxation techniques the ophidiophobic individual could work through the hierarchy 
  • Eventually he or she would be able to imagine the worst, most horrible scene while staying fully relaxed
  • At this point the conditioned emotional response (CER) was fully extinguished 
  • The conditional stimulus (the sight of the snake) no longer elicted a conditional response of anxiety
  • Desensitisation works and is simple to administer making it a widely used treatment for people with phobias
  • However, how long it takes tends to depend on the individual; their determination and the severity of their phobia
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Phobias: Flooding

  • The underlying theory behind flooding is that a phobia is a learned fear and needs to be unlearned by exposure to the thing that you fear
  • By forcing a phobic to confront their fear, psychologists reason, that they will realise that there is nothing dangerous about it
  • One psychiatrist puts it this way:
    • If you give a horse an electric shock every time he puts his right forefoot on the floor. he will quickly learn to keep that foot off the floor. if you stop giving the shock then he will continue to keep that foot lifted off the floor. Why? Because he has no way of knowing that the floor is no longer elecrified unless he is forced to put his foot down again. In the same way, a person who has developed a phobia of a particular thing or situation will go to extreme lengths to avoid that situation. As long as they avoid exposure to the thing that they fear, they will have no way of knowing it can't hurt them
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Phobias: Flooding #2

  • Flooding in its purest form involves forced, prolonged exposure to the actual stimulus that provoked the original trauma
  • In real practice, that can be problematic, if not completely impossible 
  • It isn't really practical to fill a room with snakes and spiders, for example, and force someone to sit in it for hours
  • Most of the time nowadays psychologists use a process known as "implosion therapy" in which the phobic is bombarded with detailed descriptions of the situations that they fear for 6 - 9 hours straight 
  • By which point their fear of those situations have been lost
  • To increase the effectiveness of the therapy and shorten the time needed, often tape or CD recordings of the detailed descriptions are given to the patient so that they can listen to them in their own time 
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Phobias: Applied Tension

  • Applied tension is the name of the behaviour therapy approach developed by Öst
  • It is used to treat patients suffering from severe blood-injection-injury phobia
  • The rationale for applied tension is that through gradual practice the client learns to spot the earliest signs of their blood pressure decreasing
  • They then use special "coping skills", involving tensing muscles to counteract this by raising their blood pressure slightly
  • The tension coping skill, therefore, targets the second phase of the blood phobia response
  • I.e. the sense of fainting rather than the initial anxiety
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Phobias: Applied Tension #2

  • The steps of Applied Tension are as follows:
    • An assessment of the problem is carried out and the sequence of sensations is discussed (e.g. anxiety, dizziness, sweating, nausea, faintness, etc)
    • A simple tension "coping skill" is demonstrated by the therapist and is then copied by the client 
    • Seated in a chair, the muscles of the arms, chest and legs are tensed until a slight feeling of warmth develops in the face; this usually takes 10-20 seconds, and signals and increase in blood pressure
    • The tension is released to return to a normal physical state, but no attempt is made to relax further than normal
    • After a brief 20-30 second pause this is repeated, about five minutes in total during the session, and five sets of five repetitions are completed each day for homework
    • At the second session, after a week of practice, the therapist begins systematically "exposing" the client to anxiety-provoking images of blood, etc
    • When the client notices the first sensations of faintness they immediately employ the tension coping skill above to prevent their blood pressure from decreasing
    • During subsequent sessions, and as homework, the client progressively faces more difficult situations, while using their tension coping skill
    • Independent exposure continues for 6 months to maintain their improvement
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Phobias: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

  • Cognitive Therapy is based on the idea that certain ways of thinking can trigger, or fuel, certain mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and phobias
  • The therapist helps you understand your current thought patterns 
  • In particular to identify any any harmful, unhelpful, and false ideas or attitudes that you have which can make you anxious 
  • The aim is to change your ways of thinking to avoid these ideas 
  • Also to help your thought patterns to be more realistic and helpful
  • Behavioural Therapy aims to change any behaviours which are harmful for not helpful
  • E.g. with phobias your response to the feared object (anxiety and avoidance) is not helpful 
  • Various techniques are used depending on the condition and circumstances
  • E.g. for agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) the therapist will usually help you to face up to feared situations, a little bit at a time
  • A first step may be to go on a very short walk from your home with the therapist who gives support and advice
  • Over time, a longer walk may be possible, then a walk to the shops, a trip on a bus, etc
  • The therapist may teach you how to control anxiety when you face up to the feared situations and places
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a mixture of the twoso you benefit from changing thoughts and behaviours 
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Phobias: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy #2

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a form of treatment that focusses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviours 
  • CBT is a type of psychotherapy that is different from traditional psychodynamic psychotherapy in that the therapist and the patient will actively work together to help the patient recover from their mental illness
  • People who seek CBT can expect their therapist to be problem-focussed and goal-directed in addressing the challenging symptoms of mental illness
  • Because CBT is an active interevention, one can also expect to do homework or practice outside of sessions
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Phobias: Öst and Westling

  • The aim of Öst and Westling's 1995 study "Applied relaxation vs cognitive behaviour therapy in the treatment of panic disorder" was to compare the two treatments
  • The method was a longitudinal study in which patients underwent therapy for panic disorder
  • The design was independent and patients were randomly assigned to either applied relaxation or CBT
  • The participants were 38 patients with a DSM (diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders) diagnosis of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia
  • The patients were recruited through referrals from their psychiatrists and newspaper advertisements
  • There were 26 females and 12 males with a mean age of 32.6 years (age range 23-45)
  • They were from a variety of occupations and some were married, some were single and some were divorced 
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Phobias: Öst and Westling #2

  • The procedure involved a pre-treatment of baseline assessments of panic attacks, using a variety of questionnaires
  • E.g. The Panic Attack Scale, Agoraphobics Cognitions Questionnaire, etc
  • The patients recorded the details of every panic attack in a diary
  • Each patient was then given 12 weeks of treatment (50-60 minutes per week) with homework to cary out between appointments
  • Applied relaxation was used to indentify what caused panic attacks
  • Then relaxation training started with the tension release of muscles
  • This was gradually increased to that by session 8 rapid relaxation was used and patients were able to practise their techniques in stressful situations
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Phobias: Öst and Westling #3

  • CBT was used to identify the misinterpretation of physical symptoms 
  • It was then used to generate an alternative cognition in response
    E.g. not to feel panic when something stressful happened but to come up with an alternative explanation
  • I.e. "my heart racing is not becuase I am having a heart attack; it is a normal physical reaction to stress and it will slow down in a minute."
  • This was then tested in situations where participants had panic situations reduced, but were not allowed to avoid them, so that eventually they had to accept that their restructured thoughts were right
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Phobias: Öst and Westling #4

  • The patients were then reassessed on the questionnaires
  • After one year a follow up assessment using the questionnaires was carried out
  • The findings were that:
    • Applied relaxation showed 65% panic-free patients after the treatment and 82% panic-free after one year
    • CBT showed 74% panic-free patients after the treatment and 89% panic free after a year
  • The small differences were not really significant
  • Complications such as generalised anxiety and depression were also reduced to within the normal range after one year 
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OCD: Definitions

  • Obsession: An obsession is the inability of a person to stop thinking about a particular topic or feeling a certain emotion without a high level of anxiety
  • When obsessed, the individual continues the obsession in order to avoid the consequent anxiety
  • In the case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the individual may only have the obsessions, compulsions or both
  • An example of an obsession in OCD is a person who can't stop thinking about dirt or germs that they could come into contact with
  • In this case thinking about the dirt or the germs is the obsession
  • Compulsion: a strong, usually irresistable impulse to perform an act, especially one that is irrational or contrary to one's will
  • An irrational and often uncontrollable need to perform some action, often despite negative consequences
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OCD: Symptoms

  • OCD obsessions are repeated, persistent and unwanted ideas, thoughts, images or impulses that you have involuntarily and that seem to make no sense 
  • These obsessions typically intrude when you're trying to think of or do other things
  • Obsessions often have themes to them such as:
    • Fear of contamination or dirt
    • Having things orderly or symmetrical
    • Aggressive or horrific impulses
    • Sexual thoughts or images
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OCD: Symptoms #2

  • Obsession symptoms and signs may include
    • Fear or being contaminated by shaking hands or by touching objects that others have touched
    • Doubts that you've locked the door or turned off the stove
    • Thoughts that you've hurt someone in a traffic accident 
    • Intense stress when objects aren't orderly or facing the right way
    • Images of hurting your child
    • Impulses to shout obscenities in innappropriate situations
    • Avoidance of situations that can trigger obsessions, such as shaking hands
    • Replaying  pornographic images in your mind 
    • Dermatisis because of frequent hand washing 
    • Skin lesions becuase of picking at your skin 
    • Hair loss or bald spots becuase of hair pulling
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OCD: Symptoms #3

  • OCD compulsions are repetitive behaviours that you feel driven to perform
  • These repetitive behaviours are meant to prevent or reduce anxiety related to your obsessions 
  • I.e. if you believe you hit someone with your car, you may return to the apparent scene over and over becuase you just can't shake your doubts
  • You may also make up rues or rituals to follow that help control the anxiety you feel when having obsessive thoughts 
  • As with obsessions, compulsions normally have themes, such as:
    • Washing and cleaning
    • Counting
    • Checking
    • Demanding reassurances
    • Performing the same action repeatedly
    • Orderliness
  • Compulsion symptoms and signs may include:
    • Hand washing until your skin becomes raw
    • Checking doors repeatedly to make sure they are locked
    • Checking the stove repeatedly to make sure it's off
    • Counting in certain patterns
    • Arranging your canned goods to face the same way
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OCD: Diagnostic Interviews

  • Diagnostic Interviews: Holding a structured diagnostic interview to assess pediatric OCD is common in research studies and general clinical practice
  • They are used to diagnose possible patients and differentiate between possible diagnoses 
  • These interviews make the diagnostic decision because they use specialised questions that are designed to assess symptoms according to the DSM-IV criteria
  • There are different versions for adults, adolescents and children 
  • Another commonly used interview is the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV
  • These interviews are split up into the disorders and detailed questions regarding the disorders are administered only if the prospective patient displays the preliminary criteria for the disorder 
  • Each interview normally lasts between 60 and 120 minutes
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OCD: Clinician-Rated Instruments

  • Clinician-Rated Instruments: using these allows trained individuals to make an informed rating of how much the OCD is impairing and distressing the individual in comparison to other cases they have seen 
  • The most commonly used assessment instruments are the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) and CYBOCS (for children) 
  • These are conducted in an interview format with a trained clinician and measure OCD symptoms and how severe they were in the past week
  • The YBOCS and CYBOCS consist of several parts including items that question what the patient obsesses over and the compulsion that goes with it and also sections that deal with the severity of the symptoms 
  • E.g. there are questions about how much time the obsessions and compulsions take and how much distress they cause 
  • The scores for all items are determined by the clinician who uses the person's report, parent(s) or spouse's report and behavioural observations that they have made to come up with the diagnosis
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OCD: Self-Report Instruments

  • These have several advantages in OCD assessment because normally they are completed pretty quickly, independently and can be administered to more than one person at a time
  • They are useful as screeing questionnaires and are often used to find potential research participants and candidates for treatments
  • Also, some people may feel more comfortable completing something by themselves
  • This cuts out the possible under-reporting or over-reporting of symptoms that sometimes occurs during clinician-administered interviews 
  • However, there are some disadvantages such as the effect that the individuals response style leading to confusion in understanding what they mean by words such as "sometimes" or "often" 
  • Also some respondents may have some difficulty understanding the format or wording of the questionnaire and some may be careless in their answers
  • And because there are so many symptoms of OCD, using a self-report instrument could lead to an udnerestimation of their condition because specific and/or idiosyncratic symptoms may not be included in the measures
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OCD: Self-Report Instruments #2

  • Some examples of self-report measures may include the OCI-R (Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory - Revised) which is an 18-item self-report questionnaire based on the earlier 84-item OCI
  • There is also a self-report version of the YBOCS 
  • The Maudsley Obsessional Compulsive Inventory contains 30 true or false items to assess the presence of common obsessions and compulsions
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OCD: Other Measures

  • To supplement the measures we have already looked at, other questionnaires are often given 
  • In children it is very common for parents to rate their child's behaviour on questionnaires such as the Child Obsessive Compulsive Impact Scale (COCIS) or the Children's Obsessional Compulsive Inventory (COCI)
  • The COCIS assesses the presense and severity of symptoms 
  • The COCI queries the impairment related to OCD
  • Questionnaires about family involvement in symtoms such as the Family Accommodation Scale (FAS) are also commonly given to family members
  • The FAS assesses how much others accommodated the patient's obsessions and compulsions by providing reassurance, helping them to complete compulsions, changing their behavioural expectations of the patient, modifying family activities or routines and/or helping the child avoid objects, places, or experiences that may cause him or her distress 
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OCD: Explanations - Biomedical

  • This explanation of OCD is mainly focussed on a circuit in the brain that regulates our primitive behaviour
  • E.g. Aggression, sexuality and bodily excretions
  • This circuit relays information from a part of the brain called the orbitofrontal cortex to another area called the thalamus
  • The circuit also includes other regions such as the caudate nucleus of the basal ganglia
  • When this circuit is activated, these impulses are brought to your attention and cause you to perform a particular behaviour that appropriately addresses the impulse
  • E.g after using the toilet, you may begin to wash your hands to remove any harmful germs that you may have encountered 
  • Once you have performed the appropriate behaviour (in this case washing your hands) the impulse from this brain circuit diminishes so you stop washing your hands and go about your day as normal
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OCD: Explanations - Biomedical #2

  • It has been suggested that people with OCD have difficulty turning off or ignoring impulses from this circuit 
  • Therefore, this causes repetitive behaviours called compulsions and/or uncontrollable thoughts called obsessions 
  • E.g. your brain may have trouble turning off the thoughts of contamination after you leave the toilet which in turn causes you to wash your hands over and over again
  • In support of this theory, the obsessions and compulsions associated with OCD often have themes that are related to sexuality, agression and comtamination which are the very thoughts and impulses that this circuit controls
  • Also, neuroimaging studies which allow scientists and doctors to peer into the living brain have confirmed that people with OCD have abnormal activity in this particular brain circuit 
  • Specifically, people with OCD show abnormal activity in the orbital frontal cortex, cingulate cortex and caudate nucleus of the basal ganglia
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OCD: Explanations - Psychodynamic

  • Psychodynamic theories of OCD stress that obsessions and compulsions are signs of unconscious conflict that you might be trying to suppress, resolve or cope with
  • These conflicts arrive when an unconscious wish (usually related to a sexual or aggressive urge) is fighting with what our brain considers socially acceptable behaviour
  • It has been suggested that when these conflicts are extremely repulsive or distressing, you can only deal with them indirectly by tranferring the conflict to something more manageable 
  • E.g. hand-washing, checking, ordering, making sure everything is straight, etc 
  • Although it has been suggested that making the person aware of these conflicts can reduce symptoms of OCD, there is little scientific evidence that this actually works
  • Some believe that OCD is the result of psychodynamic conflicts that arise during childhood 
  • With OCD the main conflict is between the id and the ego
  • The id produces impulses that provoke anxiety, while the ego tries to reduce the anxiety by using defence mechanisms 
  • Id impulses can take the form of obessive thoughts and the ego defence mechanisms take the form of counterthoughts or compulsive behaviour
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OCD: Explanations - Behavioural

  • The behavioural theory suggests that people with OCD associate certain objects or situations with fear 
  • So they learn to avoid the things they fear or to perform rituals that help reduce the fear
  • This pattern of fear and avoidance/ritual may begin when people are under periods of high emotional stress 
  • E.g. starting a new job or ending a relationship
  • At such times we are more vulnerable to fear and anxiety 
  • Often things once regarded as "neutral" may begin to bring on feelings of fear
  • E.g. a person who has always been able to use public toilets may (when under stress) make a connection between the toilet seat and a fear of catching an illness
  • Once a connection between an object and the feeling of fear becomes established, people with OCD avoid the things they fear
  • Rather than confront or tolerate the fear
  • I.e. the person who fears catching an illness from public toilets will avoid using them
  • If forced to use them, he or she will perform elaborate cleaning rituals such as cleaning the toilet seat, cleaning the door handles of the cubicle or following a detailed washing procedure
  • Because these actions temporarily reduce the level of fear, the fear is never challenged or dealt with and the behaviour is reinforced
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OCD: Explanations - Cognitive

  • The cognitive theory of OCD focuses on how people with the condition misinterpret their thoughts
  • Most people have intrusive or uninvited thoughts similar to those reported by people with OCD
  • E.g. parents under stress from caring for an infant may have an intrusive thought of harming the infant 
  • Most people would be able to shrug off such a thought 
  • Individuals prone to developing OCD, however, might exaggerate the importance of the thought, and respond as though it represents an actual threat
  • They may think "I must be a danger to children if I have thoughts of harming children."
  • This can cause a high level of anxiety and other negative emotions, such as shame, guilt and disgust
  • People who come to fear their own thoughts usually attempt to neutralise feelings that arise from their thoughts 
  • One way this is done is by avoiding situations that might spark such thoughts
  • Another way is by engaging in rituals, such as washing 
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OCD: Explanations - Cognitive #2

  • Cognitive theory suggests that as long as people interpret intrusive thoughts as "catastrophic", and as long as they continue to believe that such thinking is true, they will continue to be distressed and to practice avoidance and/or ritual behaviours
  • According to cognitive theory, people who attach exaggerated behaviours to their thoughts do so because of false beliefs learned in earlier life 
  • Researchers think that the following beliefs may be important in the development and maintenance of obsessions:
    • "exaggerated responsibility", or the belief that you are responsible for preventing all misfortunes and any harm to others
    • the belief that certain thoughts are very important and should be controlled
    • the belief that somehow having a thought or an urge to do something will increase the chances that it will come true 
    • the tendency to overestimate the likelihood of danger 
    • the belief that you should always be perfect and mistakes are unacceptable
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OCD: Treatments - Drug Therapy

  • Antidepressants are sometimes used to treat people with OCD 
  • These include:
    • Clomipramine 
    • Fluvoxamine
    • Fluoxetine
    • Paroxetine
    • Setraline
    • Citalopram
    • Escitalopram
    • Venlafaxine
  • Similarly a lot of the drugs given to people with OCD are SSRI's 
  • Side effects of SSRI's and some antidepressants include
    • dry mouth
    • sweating
    • constipation
    • drowsiness
    • tremors
    • common sexual side-effects
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OCD: Treatments - Psychoanalytic Therapy

  • Psychoanalytic therapy looks at how the unconcious mind influences thoughts and behaviours 
  • Psychoanalysis frequently involves looking at early childhood experiences to find out what correlation there is between these and the person they are now
  • People undergoing psychoanalytic therapy often meet with their therapist at least once a week
  • They can remain in therapy for weeks, months or even years sometimes
  • Psychoanalytic therapy is often referred to as "the talking cure" because it involves the therapist listening to the patient talk about their lives
  • The therapist will look for patterns or significant events that may have has a role in the patient's current difficulties
  • Psychoanalysts believe that childhood events and unconscious feelings, thoughts and motivations play a role in mental illness and maladaptive behaviours
  • Many people believe that psychoanalytic theory is too time-consuming, expensive (if you are in therapy for a long time) and generally ineffective 
  • However, it does offer an ampathetic and non judgemental environment where the patient can feel safe sharing his/her feelings 
  • Oftentimes, simply sharing these burdens with another person can be beneficial 
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