Abnormality KASARA

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Anika
  • Created on: 07-04-13 11:00

Lesson 1 Social Norms

Deviation from SN: behaviour that doesnt follow accepted social rules, violations are classified as unacceptable. They vary from culture to culture.

Looks at impact of behaviour on others. Behaviour is examied on desirability, can be abnormal or undesirable. Every society has rules which govern behaviour on moral standards. Rules can be explicit and break the law. Other rules are codes of conduct. Deviation is used to identify abnormality.

  • DIS: doesnt always indicate a psychological abnormality so must be wary of all conditions e.g. if are eccentric.
  • DIS: context must be taken into account e.g. no clothes at nude beach is acceptable
  • ADV: chosing a non conformist lifestlye is good as have strong motivation and high principles
1 of 13

Lesson 2 Failure to function

Person's unable to cope with day to day life and experience psychological distress/discomfort. Impacts their life in all ways. Rosenham & Selgiman: 7 criteria which define mental abnormality & use as indicators, 5+ ab.

  • Suffering - people anxious and have anguish decreasing quality of life
  • Maladaptiveness - prevents individual from reaching major life goals
  • Vividness & unconventiality - behave different to the norm
  • Unpredictability & loss of control - behaviour varies and out of control e.g when drunk
  • Irrationability & Incomprehensibility - unable to understand why people behave like this
  • Observer Discomfort - people around the abnormal person feel uneasy
  • Violation of Moral & Ideal standards - outside moral standards and unnaceptable.

+: quite easy to asses consequence of dysfunctional behaviour to measure level of behaviour
-: hard to measure the seven ctrieria as the models subjective and lacks scientific value. There may be criteria when this behaviour is appropriate eg mourning.   Also abnormality isnt always accompanied by dysfunction, they may be abnormal but lead a normal lifestyle, some may have a bad day too and others may not function well at all.

2 of 13

Lesson 3 Ideal Mental Health

People who deviate from ideal or optimal mental health. Stems from humanist approach,focus on motivation/self development. Jahoda came up with 6 criteria, all must be filled tobe normal.

  • Autonomy - degree to which individual is independent of social behaviour
  • Perception of reality - dont distort perception of reality, not optimistic or pessimistic
  • Personal growth - individuals personal growth and self actualisation
  • Intergration - cope with stress, self attitude and personal growth works together
  • Environmental mastery - success and adaptiveness to love, work, play
  • Self attitudes - high self esteem and strong identity

Adv: focus on ideal optimal criteria we should strive for to be psychologically healthy.

Disadv: based on abstract concepts and ideas are difficult to define or measure. Not objective or scientific. ALSO only a few people can always fufill the criteria so that may imply we are all abnormal.

3 of 13

Lesson 4 Biological Approach

Assmes mental disorders can be treated medically. Symptoms can be clear and physical DSM and ICD-10. BING MODEL:

Biochemistry: examine biochem in relation of hormones, neurotransmitters and chemicals. Schizophrenics have high dopamine neurotransmitter and receptor cells in brain. Depression caused by neurotransmitter serotonin.

Infection: germs and bacteria cause mental illnesses/diseases. Barr found when woman are pregs be careful in 5th month as if get ill, can pass onto foetus and develop as abnormality in future

Neuroanatomy: structure of brain and nervous system. Post mortem studies show schiz brain structure has less grey matter, enlarged ventricles and smaller hypothalamus. Abnormal strucutre related to abnormality.

Genetics: illness/disease carried on by genes. Twins, identical (MZ) monozygotic, nonidentical(DZ) dizygotic. Twins allow concordance rates to be examined and see chances of disorders. Genemapping found C-13 gives schiz and G-11 gives depression. Kendler found schiz in 1 family increases chance of rest family getting by 18%.

4 of 13

Lesson 5 Eval of 4


  • Doesnt attach blame to the mentally ill, these people are unlucky and doesnt inflict blame upon selves. Society should be sympathetic.
  • Controlled studies have shown effectiveness of treatments as benefits greater than side effects. ECT and psychosurgery are less effective than drugs but still work
  • Increase use of brain and post mortem asdds to evidence and support psyco approach.


  • Applicable at explaining causes of disorders but not others. Can explain schiz but not others like phobias
  • Medicatio can have severe side effects that may outweigh benefits. Must be considered so right treatments used
  • Ignores other factors which can cause disorders eg. depress like environment or psychodynamic factors which bio approach ignores
  • Ethics be considered, if theyre below 16 consent from parents, psyciatrists mustnt take control over the person which infringes on rights, if theyre mental ill cant withdraw
5 of 13

Lesson 6 Psychodynamic Approach

Looks at dynamics of behaviour or forces that motivate it. Freud believes its unconscious which causes it, as does childhood. Based on theory of sexual personality development, passing through stages early on causes future. Stages are oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital. If too much pleasure given at one stage they come fixated. Unresolved traumas come repressed into Id. Must have a balance of three parts of the mind.

Id(unconscious): develop at birth, holds info about drives, childish/selfish, pleasure seek Ego (conscious): develop 6m, rational part, balance of superego/id, centre or personality Superego ( unconscious): develop at 5y, internal police, voice of parents, turns conscious Repression: ego defence mechanism where anxiety memory kept out conscious for protection. Memories can be recalled in psychoanalysis.

Adv: Caspi found childhood impacted futre, inhibited personaility by 3, by 21 depression occur. Impulsive at 3 gives anti-social personaility by 21.      First systematic model that focus on psyco factors. Enables other models to develop.

Disadv: Focuses on traumas and problems in childhood not current. But present could cause it, modern freud uses current. Ego, Id, superego cant be seen or measured so existence is questioned.

6 of 13

Lesson 7 Behaviour Model

says all behaviour can be learnt. Negative behaviour and maladaptiveness cause. By Waston and Skinner

Classical Conditioning: association e.g. Little albert. Neutral stimulus with no reaction is presented to a person. Then an unconditioned stimulus is presented, trigering emotional response. Pairing these two together creates an conditioned stimuls. Present the conditioned stimulus to the person created a conditioned response.

Social learning theory: observation. Young kids observe adults in situation and behaviour is copied in the future.

Operant Conditioning: reinforcements. Rewards and punishment is given to the people to incentivise them to show desirable behaviour.

ADV: easily tested & measured via lab observations. Easier to measure than psychodynamic. DISADV: Ignores other factors that cause abnormality, it only focuses on behaviour so doesnt include BING or psychodynamic. ALSO lab studies may not be completely reliable as lack EV and findings may be weak or diff results conducted. ALSO good at explaining behaviour in children only, not how adults learn new behaviour

7 of 13

Lesson 8 Cognitive Mdoel

people suffering from mental disorders have negative thinking. Lewinsohn found evidence that negative thoughts in young adolescents gave depression. Negative thinking --> Abnormality. Cognitive Triad by Beck: came up with stages of negative thinking

Stage 1: Negative thoughts about self 

Stage 2: Negative thoughts about world so continues globally     

Stage 3: Negative thought about future.

Adv: Influential model over last 15 years and negative thoughts are common so are relevant. It looks at cognitive and behavioural elements at how it is developed so includes more models.

Disadv: its limited as doesnt explain how some disorders develop eg schiz. Also cause and effect arent clear, unsure if negative thoughts cause disorder or disorder causes negative thoughts. Also behaviour and cognitive suggest different causes of an abnormality so attempts have been made to combine them.

8 of 13

Lesson 9 Drugs

Drugs are somatic therapies or chemotherapy. Minor/major tranquilizers (valium/chlorpromazine), stimulants (ritalin) and antidepressants. They modify how brain workds, the amount of absorbed depends on amount excreted. Liver breaks them down, diff amounts needed for effectiveness. Rise/fall avaliablity of neurotransmitters.

Placebo: inactive pill made of sugar given in condition 1. Comparison is made between mentally ill patients who take real drug and those in condition 1. If placebo has positive we know that its a psychological attitude which makes the person feel better. Adv: no side effects, can improve state via positive psychological thinking. Disadv: unethical, if found out can be react negatively.

Adv: enough evidence to supoort use of drugs and effectiveness of them of disorders. Most people develop tolerance to side effects so less risks when small dosage taken. Symptom reduction can improve persons life - eg. drug can reduce depression

Disadv: delayed effects as side effects can happen immediatley but improving effects can take weeks. Drugs dont cure the disorder they just reduce it for a period of time. Some are used to control patients and therefore overused not being effective enough.

9 of 13

Lesson 10 ECT

Electro Convulsive Shock therapy used to treat depressive thoughts by electric current.

  • 1) Muscle relaxers are given to prevent and minimise convulsions
  • 2) Currents passed through nondominant hemipshere but risk of memory less by placing electrodes on temples. Unilateral or bilateral.
  • 3) Anesthetics are used to put patients to sleep
  • 4) Additonal precautions are given eg. 02 before and after, mouth gaga used aswell.

Bilateral: Both sides hemisphere                   Unilateral: One side of hemisphere

Adv: faster acting than drugs, better treatment for depression and severe, good for schiz.

Disadv: short term memory loss, less effective if below 65, unclear about schiz benefits in LT, little idea about how it works so appropriateness questioned and affect neurotransmission.

10 of 13

Lesson 11 Psychoanalysis

Freud, cure using repressed memories & solving them. Feelings be explored & recovering traumas too. Use transferrence, expose emotional reactions about authority figures. Hypnosis: Put into a hypnotic state and then questions are asked to recover a repressed memory which you feel an emotion about, this has caused your disorder. Once recovered it should stop and therefore make you normal. Many patients are hard to hypnotise so little reliance of memory.
Free Association: therapist tells client to say the first thing that comes to mind when a word is said. This helps discover what the client is having an issue with. Its ineffective as sometimes theyre reluctant to say. If theres reluctancy it shows theres an issue with that topics so further probing is needed.
Dream Analysis: Mind has a sensor which keeps repressed material out of conscious so it will come out in dreams instead.
Adv: Matt considered 63 meta-analysis,comparing therapies 75% recovered with treatment than without. Hogeland used a scale to asses insight in clients with range problems who had therapy for a year. 46% clients improved bt doesnt mean it was due to insight.
Disadv: most clients reported repressed memories but the paitent colfve been influenced by therapy so not compeltely true. Doesnt pay enough attention to current difficulties. Behaviour and Cognitive appraoch is more effective.

11 of 13

Lesson 12 Systematic Desensitization

Joseph Wolpe to remove phobias and replace with relaxation response. Behaviour model.

  • Form a heirarchy fear involving conditioned stimulus, rank from least fear to most. Move up the heirachy facing each fear
  • Client reaches state of relaxation and imagines least threatening. This is repeated till fail to evoke any anxiety
  • Its repeated working the way to top of the heirarchy, muscle relaxation is given aswell.
  • Sessions vary from 4-6 to even 12.

Adv: Proven effective as Hoy proved it was better to have it done than not to have it at all. Based on theoretical grounds where they replaced feared stimuli with relaxation response. Basic elements are involved so simple manipulation.

Disadv: Only treat symptoms, not cause. Only be applied to specific anxieties, not on generalised anxiety. Lack of clarity about why its effective, muscle relaxation isnt that effective and it still works without it.

12 of 13

Lesson 13 CBT

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy changes the patterns of thoughts and behaviours that are causing the problem. Think about self &feelings. Focuses on present problems, how to improve state of mind. Therapy sessions can be 5-20. 2-4 to check it right session, then asked about background, then what to deal with in ST and LT then agree what to discuss in each session.

  • Analyse situation and break it down so you see thought, behaviour and feelings. See if theyre helpful and how they affect you
  • Work out how to change behaviour, it must be willing. Question your own thoughts and set small goals to help you achieve development by a time.

Adv: Most effective for severe depression, as affective as antidepressants, helps control symptoms without affective life

Diasdv: slow process but you have to do it yourself, if your feeling low its hard to carry out tasks set and concentrate and you must face problems to overcome it.

13 of 13


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Abnormality resources »