AS unit 2 psychology

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Pituitary adrenal system (HPA)
Hypothalamus --> pituitary glands --> ACTH hormones --> adrenal cortex --> cortisol
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Sympathomedullary pathway (HANSAM)
Hypothalamus --> ANS --> sympathetic arousal --> adrenal medulla --> adrenaline/noradrenaline --> F or F
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Stress and the immune response - Kiecolt Glaser 1984 - participants
75 first year volunteer medical students. 26 females and 49 males with an average age of 23.
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Kiecolt Glaser - method
Blood sample one month before finals and on first day of finals. SSRS, UCLA scales and the NK cell activity was measured. Given a score of life events. If NK cell is low, immune system is not functioning as it is a lymphocyte.
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Kiecolt Glaser - findings
There was a decrease in NK cell blood sample taken a month before the finals than the second sample. If there were high stressful life event scores, NK cell activity would be lower. The higher the UCLA score, the lower the level of NK cell activity.
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Kiecolt Glaser - conclusion
Stress results in a decrease in the functioning of the immune system. Immunosuppression is associated with increased distress in a young and healthy population.
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Support - Cohen et al 1993
400 p who was given a blood test. Given questionnaires on life events and results were combined with psychological stress. They were given drops of the cold. They found higher scores on the questionnaire were linked with a greater risk of a cold.
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P volunteered - biased but was no difference between p in the study and those who were not p. Internal validity - don't know if NK cell represents entire immune system. Blood samples are reliable as cannot be manipulated.
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Sources of stress - Holmes and Rahe 1967
SRRS identified major life stress events. Each one of the 43 stressful life events was awarded a Life Change Unit depending on how traumatic it was by the sample. They asked 5000 p to rate the events in term of the amount of readjustment they need.
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Holmes and Rahe 1967 - findings
Death of spouse was the number 1 and given a value of 100. The score was totalled and used as an index of life stress. A score of 150 or more, would increase stress related illness by 30% while a score of over 300 would increase it by 50%.
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Holmes and Rahe - sailor study
2500 male American sailors. Total score was recorded. Their health status was recorded and was correlated with their illness scores. There was a positive correlation of +0.118. Shows a relationship between life changes and health.
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Support - Kanner et al 1981
Kanner came to the conclusion that day to day problems prove detrimental to health. Life events usually end in an increase of daily hassles which could account for the strong correlation between hassles and poor health outcomes.
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Support - Delongis et al 1982
The intensity of hassles correlated with health status and physical symptoms. There was no relationship between life events and health although there was a relationship for 2-3 years prior. It was found that daily uplifts did not effect health.
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Individual differences - people see different things as life events e.g. a holiday. Martin 1989 supports this. SRRS asked p to recall illness and recall is imperfect. Cause vs consequence.
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Daily hassles - Kanner 1981 - participants
Used an opportunity sample of 100 American p. 52 woman and 48 men who were well educated and middle class. They developed a 117 item hassles scale and a 135 uplifts scale to examine the relationship between hassles and health.
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Kanner 1981 - method
P were asked to circle the events they had experienced in the previous month and rate according to severity and frequency. Each p was tested once a month for 10 months with 2 psychometric tests for psychological well being.
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Kanner 1981 - findings
They found the hassles scale tended to be a more accurate predictor of stress related problems, such as anxiety and depression, than the SRRS. Uplifts had a positive effect on the stress levels of women, but not men.
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Support - Ruffin 1993
Found that daily hassles produced greater psychological and physical dysfunction than major negative life events.
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Cultural differences - social support protects against stress. Kim and McKenry 1998 looked at social support networks in different groups in America. Found that African-Americas used social support more. Causality - cannot draw causal conclusions.
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Workplace stress - Johansson 1978
14 employees in a Swedish sawmill. Job was highly repetitive and had no control over their work. They were compared to 10 low stress workers who had control over their workload. Adrenaline and noradrenaline was measured in urine, at work and home.
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Johansson 1978 - findings
People in the high stress group had higher levels of stress hormones at work than the low stress group and levels of illness and absenteeism was higher. High demand and lack of control are linked to stress related illness.
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Marmot et al 1997 - method
10,000 p were from 20 london government offices and were examined for CHD. Completed a screening questionnaire to form a baseline which asked about authority and skills. This gave them an index of decision control.
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Marmot et al 1997 - findings
Men in the lowest grade were 3x more likely to develop CHD compared with men in the highest grade. Women in the lowest grade were 2x more likely to develop CHD. Low control at work lead to the largest contributor of CHD.
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Shutz - Found employees who were underworked were as likely to have stress related illness as those with overworked employees. Internal validity - individual differences and sample size.
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Personality factors - Rosenman and Friedman 1974
Used men to see if type A personalities were more prone to CHD. Longitudinal study with 3200 male p over 8.5 years. Structured interviews were used to decide whether the men were type A, B or X. They looked at their health records over 8 years.
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Rosenman and Friedman 1974 - method and findings
Looked at whether they were smokers or overweight. Investigated whether personality type influenced the number that suffered CHD. Found that CHD was twice as obvious in type A than type B. 70% of type A men developed CHD.
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Williams et al 2003
15 year study which looked at young individuals with a type A personality. They found that certain types of type A behaviour was unhealthier than others. Hostility and impatient put them at risk of developing high blood pressure - linked to strokes.
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Support - Hecker et al 1988
Related each part of the type A behaviour to the risk of developing CHD and found hostility was the best predictor. Some aspects of type A behaviour were not correlated with CHD at all.
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Practical applications - alter hostility. Not applicable to all people - some are fine with type A personality.
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Hardiness training - Kobasa
Control - you are in charge of your life. Commitment - where you have a sense of purpose in your life. Challenge - seeing problems as challenges not obstacles. Those who are hardy will be less likely to suffer from stress related illness.
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Kobasa 1985
Rated p on hardiness, social support and exercise. P were assessed on their physical or psychological illness. Those with no protective factors had higher illness scores. Presence of 1,2 or 3 factors were associated with decreased illness scores.
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Practical applications - make employees more hardy. Population validity - male white workers. 3 C's were not clearly defined. Support - Lifton et al 2006 found low hardiness was represented among uni drop outs.
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Stress inoculation therapy
Thinking positive thoughts will lead to positive feelings instead of the stress response. They aim to change thinking patterns. 3 stages. Conceptualisation - patient is told about the negative effects of stress and risks. See stressors as challenges.
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Skills and training and real world application
Skills and training - taught how to cope with stressful situations which can range from relaxation techniques and positive thinkings. Real world application - given support through real life situations. Imagine dealing with situations through models.
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Cognitive behavioural therapy
Focuses on how individuals think about the stressor and thing positive thoughts. For example, an individual may think of themselves as a failure and have negative thoughts about themselves. This can lead to anxiety and depression.
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Effectiveness - CBT and BT made SIT very effective. Not many studies carried out. Directed at symptoms and causes. It takes time and money.
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Progressive muscle relaxation
Reduces bodily arousal. It trains clients to clench and unclench muscles to get them used to tension and relaxation. The client will be able to use this in every day like to reduce bodily arousal. The stress response mechanisms will be inactive.
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Effective - in reducing stress but not all situations due to time. Practicality - takes time and space, can be inconvenient. Targeting symptoms - addresses bodily arousal by reducing activation of stress response symptoms. Severe stressors need more.
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Hardiness training
Focusing - encouraged to be more self aware of the signs of stress (increased heart rate). Relieving stressful situations - patient put through stressful situations and analysed by therapist. Self improvement - form methods of dealing with stress.
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Support - Williams found high hardy people use more support seeking steps compared to low hardy people who used wishful thinking. Long lasting - increases self confidence and self efficacy. Time and costly. Training has been done on all male p.
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Slows down activity + enhances the effects of GABA (natural form of anxiety relief). Has a down effect on neurons and reduces serotonin. Binds to GABA receptors (allows more chloride ions to resist arousal). Increases arousal and stress to be reduced
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BZs are more effective than SSRIs.However, their effective is not consistent with stress. Gelpin found that BZs do not prevent PTSD. Long term use can lead to a dependency. BZs cause memory loss. Treat symptoms not causes.
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Beta Blockers
Reduce SAM response to stress by acting on SNS. Reducing adrenaline/nor which increases heart rate. Leads to cardiovascular disease by damaging immune system. Bind to beta receptors on heart causing slower heart rate and low blood pressure = relaxed.
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Beta blockers work quickly at reducing symptoms - Hedblad et al found low doses of beta blockers slowed the rate of atherosclerosis which is increased by high blood pressure. No severe side effects. Treat symptoms not causes.
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Publicly conforming to the behaviour of others in a group but privately maintaining one's own views. It is also short term.
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A conversion or true change of private views to match those of the group. These views are not dependent on the presence of the group.
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Normative social influence
We conform to get others to approve and accept us. You want to be normal and so will copy others in order to be considered as one of them.
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Informational social influence
This is based on our desire to be right. We will look to others who we believe are correct and this will give us information about how to behave.
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Research into conformity - Asch 1951
50 male students put into groups of 7. 2 cards: one had a vertical line, the other had 3 vertical lines. P had to identify which line matched. The correct answer was obvious. P called out answer 6/7. Accomplices gave wrong answers on 12/18 trials.
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Asch 1951 - findings
P conformed to 32% of correct trials. 74% conformed at least once. 26% never conformed. Most p experiences tension but resisted pressure. Some conformed because they didn't want to be the minority and be excluded.
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Historically biased - Perrin and Spencer 1980
USA was conservative in 1951. P&S repeated experiment in UK on young offenders and confederates from probation offices and found 0.25% conformed.
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Cultural bias - Smith and Bond 1998
Reviewed 31 cultural studies and concluded that collectivist cultures work as a society. The p in Asch's study would be less likely to conform to others as they want to be individual rather than in a group,
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Deceived the p - believed they were taking part in a 'vision test' and were not informed it was a study on conformity. They were put under stress in the procedure and felt foolish and angry after - exceeds undue risk.
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Furman and Duke 1988
Students had to listen to 2 versions of 10 musical excerpts. Students were majoring in music or in another subject. Each student selected a preferred version. They were then tested on verbal preference: music students did not conform.
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Research into obedience - Milgram 1963
40 male p who were deceived into giving electric shocks. The learner was tested on memorising pairs of words. The teacher had to give a shock when a mistake was made. Each shock increased. 15-450 volts. No shocks were given. Was gone until p refused.
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Milgram 1963 - findings
All p went to 300 volts or more. 65% went to the end of the shock generator. Most p found it stressful and wanted to stop, showing signs of extreme anxiety. They did not have a right to withdraw.
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Ethics. Internal validity - Orne and Holland claimed the p were going along with the act. Gender bias - all men.
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Variations of Milgram
Original - 65%. Moved to offices in less prestigious location - 47.5%. Learner agreed to participate if they could withdraw - 40%. Teacher and learner in same room - 40%. Teacher forced learner's hand on to plate to receive shock - 30%.
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Variations of Milgram x2
Teacher given support from 2 other teachers who refuse to obey - 10%. Experimenter left room and instructed via telephone - 20.5%. Teacher paired with assistant who threw the switches - 92.5%.
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Legitimate authority
Proposes that we obey authority figures because we respect their position and power and assume they know what they're doing. People will recognise authority as morally based. A formal setting or uniform will give the impression of authority.
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Legitimate authority - Milgram
In terms of the presence of the authority figure. For example, the basic rate was 65% whereas when they were instructed by a telephone, obedience fell to 20.5%. This is due to the p not knowing who was on the end of the phone.
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Legitimate authority - AO2
Rank and Jacobson 1997 contradict because the nurses in the study knew Valium. The nurses were allowed to speak to others before they gave the overdosed drug. This allowed time for discussion and would allow independent behaviour. 2/18 gave drug.
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Gradual commitment
P will be asked to perform harmless tasks. Once the person has complied with these tasks, they find it difficult to carry out more serious and increasing bad requests.
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Gradual commitment - Milgram
They found it difficult to disengage from the task because the voltage was on slightly more. 15 volts is a small amount and will not seem like much. If it suddenly went from 15 to 450 they would not do it.
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Gradual commitment - AO2
Meeus and Raaijmakers 1986 - p got punished if they hesitated to obey. They found that in a real life setting, people will obey the orders of an unjust authority figure even when they observe the pain and distress they cause.
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Protects people from having to confront the consequences of their actions which leads to have made people more likely to obey.
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Buffers - Milgram
In the original, p could not see the effects that the shocks were having and they could hear the screams and see the pain. When the learner was in the same room, obedience was 40%.
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Agentic shift
Autonomous individuals behave voluntarily and are willing to take responsibility for their actions. On the agentic levels, the individual believes to be acting on the instructions of others, as an agent and do not take responsibility for actions.
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Agentic shift - Milgram
P in Milgram's could be seen as 'agents' as the shocks increased. When the shock became strong, the experimenter announced his responsibility for the 'learner'. This may have allowed the teacher to make the agentic shift away from the autonomy.
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Agentic shift - AO2
Hofling's study shows agentic shift. 21/22 nurses were going to give the drug as it would have been prescribed from a doctor higher up in the hospital. Although they would've broken the rules, they were following orders.
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Independent behaviour - time for discussion
This allows people time to question their motives and think more about the repercussions of their actions.
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Time for discussion - AO2
Rank and Jacobson 1977 - found that when the nurses had an opportunity to discuss with other nurses, 2/18 gave the drug but in Hofling’s study, where they had no opportunity to discuss with others, all but one prepared to administer the drug.
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Independent behaviour - disobedient models
If participants are placed with another person who is not willing to obey then this will decrease obedience.
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Disobedient models - AO2
Milgram did a variation of the experiment. P were asked to shock confederates but were paired with a disobedient model. This allowed p to have their doubts affirmed by model. Rates dropped from 65% of the p giving the full 450 volts to 10% of the p.
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Independent behaviour - reactance
When a person feels their autonomy is being threatened by orders, they can act in a way that directly challenges that order.
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Reactance - AO2
Bickman - showed what happens when autonomy is threatened. 33% obeyed civilian because they were asked to do something by a civilian and their autonomy was threatened. Due to them being equal, they thought they should do it themselves and disobey.
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Individual differences - internal locus of control
There are individual differences that make someone show independent behaviour. For example, those who have an Internal locus of control (LOC) feel responsible for their behaviour.
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Internal locus of control - AO2
Elms and Milgram - found a link between those who were disobedient and those with a high internal LOC. However, this applies to disobedience in situations such as Milgram but would not for studies such as Bickman which is not linked to responsibility
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Individual differences - confidence
Those with confidence and autonomous are less likely to attempt to fit in and follow normative influence. They are less likely to look for others for the correct information as they believe that their own knowledge is sufficient for the purpose.
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Individual differences - moral reasoning
Kohlberg 1969 found those who used advanced stages of moral reasoning could resist the urging of the experimenter and showed higher levels of disobedience.
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Minority influence
Need to be consistent, flexible and non dogmatic. Could use informational social influence to make the majority conform.
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Minority influence - Moscovici et al 1969
6 p estimated the colour of 36 slides, all were blue but different brightnesses. 2 were accomplices. 2 conditions: consistent and inconsistent. 1 called the slides green all the time, 2 called the slide green 24 times and blue 12 times.
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Moscovici et al - findings
P in the consistent condition called slides green in 8.4% of trails and 32% of these p called the slide green once. P in inconsistent condition called slides green 1.3% of time.
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The snowball effect
Once a few members of the majority move towards the minority position, then the influence of the minority begins to gather momentum as more people gradually pay attention to the potential correctness of the minority view.
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Deviation from social norms
Explicit and implicit rules that society has about what is an acceptable behaviour. Based on moral standards and some are explicit e.g. laws.
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Deviation from social norms x2
Rules can be implicit but are agreed within society e.g. not standing too close to someone. People who violate these norms are considered abnormal e.g. laughing when someone told you someone has died (schizophrenia).
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Deviation from social norms x3
It can be used to demonstrate mental problems. If someones behaviour drastically deviates from a norm, we become concerned and they may require help e.g. people with depression can't motivate themselves to seek help.
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Can differ between cultures as social norms vary. Norms can change over time - homosexuality used to be consider as a psychological disorder by WHO but today it is considered acceptable. Legal norms e.g. **** are criminal but could have SZ.
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Failure to function adequately
People with a psychological disorder usually can't cope with everyday activities e.g. going to work. It is so common that doctors have to take it into account when diagnosing people.
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Failure to function adequately x2
There are manuals available to doctors when it comes to diagnosing these mental disorders e.g. GAF. This would be an important part of the overall assessment.
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Failure to function adequately x3
If someones behaviour seems abnormal, then if they are not harming themselves, or their behaviour is not dysfunctional, then no intervention is required. Someone who falls outside this disorder, should still seek help.
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Cultural relativism - what is functioning adequately in one culture may not be adequate in another. May depends on context e.g. someone taking an exam will behave differently to if they weren't.
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Evaluation - Comer 2005
Psychological abnormality is not necessarily indicated by dysfunction alone e.g. some people fight for what they want by going on a hunger strike. It is when abnormal behaviour interferes with daily functioning that it is viewed as abnormal.
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Deviation from ideal mental health
Jahoda 1958 looks at the positives rather than the negatives- mental health rather than mental illness. There are 6 criteria for optimal living which will promote psychological health and wellbeing. If you lack one, you'll be at risk of a disorder.
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Deviation from ideal mental health x2
Self actualisation, accurate perception of reality, personal autonomy, adapting to the environment, resistance to stress and positive attitudes towards self.
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Seeking full potential can be difficult and it a Western ideal - arranges marriages may not be seeking ones potential. Few people also achieve their full potential and so will all be abnormal.
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Brain damage
If brain structure is damaged, abnormality can occur e.g. alzheimer's disease. Excessive use of alcohol or drug abude can damage the break and can lead to hallucinations and Korsakoff's syndrome.
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Infection can increase mental illness. The flu has been linked to schizophrenia. 14% of cases can be linked to SZ in the womb during the first trimester. Syphilis can cause brain damage and lead to general paresis.
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A first degree relative of someone suffering from SZ has a 10% chance of suffering from it. McGuffin found that with MZ there was a 46% chance of twins suffering from depression and with DZ there is a 20% chance.
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SZ has been associated with an excess of activity in dopamine. Depression has been associated with a decrease in serotonin. PET scans provide images to measure neurotransmitter activity. People with depression tend to have higher levels of cortisol.
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Has research support from McGuffin whereas the psychodynamic approach has no proof. Reductionist - doesn't take into account childhood experiences etc.
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Psychodynamic approach
Based on the unconscious mind and the emotional problems within it. The psyche has 3 sections: id, ego, superego. The id and superego will conflict. Having a week ego, unchecked id impulses and a powerful superego can cause abnormal behaviour.
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Psychodynamic approach x2
Psychological disturbances in adults are assumed to be due to unresolved conflicts when the ego cant balance the demands of the id and superego and the result of early experiences when the immature ego is not developed enough to deal external events.
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Psychodynamic approach x3
Defence mechanisms stop your psyche from being damaged. If misused, they can negatively misshape your personality. They will have a powerful influence on behaviour. Little Hans' mechanism was displacement and this was linked to a phobia of horses.
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Psychodynamic approach x4
If conflicts between psychosexual models occur and are not resolved, then behavioural problems will occur. Children who make a mess during potty training will become anally retentive and this can lead to OCD.
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Not testable - no scientific support so biological approach may be better. Determinism - individuals have no control over personality development. Unethical - blames parents for abnormalities in their children.
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Behavioural approach
Classical conditioning - UCS = UCR --> UCS + CS = UCR --> CS = CR
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Behavioural approach x2
We learnt at an early stage what behaviours are learnt or punished. If childhood aggression is rewarded, then it will be repeated. Someone with depression or anxiety may receive a reward and so will continue it.
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Behavioural approach x3
Social learning theory - learn through observation and imitation. Phobias can be learnt through observing and imitating other peoples phobias of spiders for example.
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Practical applications - Becker (Fiji TV). Determinism - people are able to decide which behaviours they want to repeat.
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Cognitive approach
Believes abnormality stems from faulty cognitions and irrational thinking. Distortion in our thinking processes can take the form of negative thoughts and illogical errors. If we have rational thoughts, we will stay happy.
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Cognitive approach x2
Negative thoughts will lead to psychological disturbances. The ABC model looks at activating the event, the irrational belief and the consequences which is linked to phobias.
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Cognitive approach x3
Cognitive triad - negative views about the self, world and future. This interferes with cognitive processing and can lead to depression.
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Cause vs consequence (psychodynamic). Gustafson fond maladaptive thinking processes were displayed by people with anxiety, depression and sexual disorders. Everyone should be self sufficient. Can empower people to make themselves better.
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Biological - drug therapies
BZs have a calming effect on the nervous system and relax the muscles. SSRIs increase serotonin and so will reduce depression and MAOI will stop the blocking of serotonin in the nervous system.
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Biological - ECT
Unilateral or bilateral ECT. Electrodes are attaches to temples and patient is given anaesthetic and a nerve blocking agent. Given oxygen to help them breathe. Electrical current is given of 0.6 amps and they will have a seizure for up to 1 minute.
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Biological - psychosurgery
It involves removal of the brain tissue and can help with severe SZ. It destroys the fibres that context the higher thought centres to the frontal cortex.
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Psychodynamic - dream analysis
The repressed memory and impulses that appear in dreams are in a disguised form. They talk about the manifest content and identify the latent content through their subconscious and this will lead to catharsis..
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Psychodynamic - free association
Clients have to let their thoughts wander and these will reveal any underlying conflicts and unportable wishes. The therapist then interprets the clients words and makes the thoughts available to the client. This will lead to catharsis.
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Psychodynamic - transference
Client projects characteristics that are unconsciously associated with parents etc. The repressed feelings towards the person will be directed to the analyst. Repeating this will allow the feelings to come out and symptoms to disappear.
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Behavioural - systematic desensitisation - anxiety hierarchy
Based on CC. The patient has to relax, and is given anxiety provoking situations starting with the least scary. They are taught to associate the relaxation with the anxiety situation and the patient will be desensitised.
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Behavioural - aversion therapy
Used to deal with smoking and drinking. Someone who wants to stop drinking may be given an alcoholic drink with a nauseating substance in. They will then associate the sick with the drink and stop drinking.
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Behavioural - behaviour modification
It aims to modify behaviour that is antisocial by reinforcing appropriate behaviour and ignoring inappropriate behaviour. Can be used in schools and institutions.
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Cognitive - CBT
Encourages patient to be aware of beliefs that contribute to depression. The ABC model can help the client to understand their faulty cognitions. The behavioural element sets realistic goals for the client and more rational beliefs.
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Sympathomedullary pathway (HANSAM)


Hypothalamus --> ANS --> sympathetic arousal --> adrenal medulla --> adrenaline/noradrenaline --> F or F

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Stress and the immune response - Kiecolt Glaser 1984 - participants


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Kiecolt Glaser - method


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Kiecolt Glaser - findings


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