• Created by: elliesp
  • Created on: 12-04-17 11:58
what are the four definitions of abnormality?
statistical infrequency, deviation from social norms, failure to function adequately, deviation from ideal mental health
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what is statistical infrequency?
it means deviation from the statistical norm which is behaviour that is rare in the population and is seen as abnormal
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how does statistical infrequency calculate what is considered abnormal behaviour?
it uses a normal distribution curve where extremes are seen as abnormal (approximately 5% are seen as abnormal and the cut off point for abnormality is 2 S.Ds above or below the mean)
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advs of statistical infrequency?
objective definition so easy to "diagnose", therefore no interpretation needed and no bias.
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disadvs of statistical infrequency?
1) some "abnormal behaviours" are frequent e.g 10% depressed at some point, 2) unusual traits could be positive e.g high IQ, 3) ignores cultural factors (e.g schizophrenia hearing voices spiritual experience in some countries)
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what is the definition of deviation from social norms?
an individual is considered "abnormal" if they don't conform to society's unwritten rules and behave in a way that is inappropriate within society or a certain situation
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what are social norms influenced by? examples?
culture (hearing voices etc), social context (chicken suit for promoting KFC or for no reason), age/gender (adult screaming & crying in public vs baby), historical context (abnormal in past but not now e.g homosexuality)
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advs of deviation from social norms?
1) distinguishes between desirable & undesirable behaviour, only abnormal if behaviour damages others (genius not abnormal unlike in S.I) 2) flexible, as takes into account situational (naked on beach/town) & developmental norms (nappies at 2/10 yrs)
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disadvs of deviation from social norms?
1) objective & society's opinion so could abuse human rights (e.g gays = mental), 2) ignores cultural factors, behaviours not universal,"abnormality" won't be same everywhere 3) deviant behaviour not always = mental disorder e.g shouting persistently
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what is failure to function? examples?
when your behaviour suggests that you're not coping with every day life so are seen as abnormal, e.g low hygiene and crying
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Who established the signs of personal disfunction? what are they?
Rosenhan and Seligan, 1) severe personal distress, maladaptive behaviour (stop attaining goals), unpredictability, irrationality, doesn't conform to interpersonal rules (eye contact etc), causes discomfort for observers
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advs of failure to function definition?
it attempts to include the subjective experience of the sufferer/individual, so is more valid criteria for assessing abnormality
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disadvs of failure to function? (first two only)
1) issues with subjectivity, down to interpretation whether they're distressed or distressing (hard to tell), 2) could be argued that its just deviation from social norms (e.g spiritualists speaking to dead seen as irrational)
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disadvs of failure to function (contd)?
3) abnormality not always w/ disfunction (e.g Harold Shipman), 4) doesn't consider cultural factors, normal functioning varies (e.g non-white lower class patients often diagnosed w/mental disorders possibly bc lives so different to dominant culture)
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what is the deviation from ideal mental health?
this approach perceives abnormality the same way as physical health and looks for signs of absence of well being
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who suggested the characteristics for ideal mental health (and when)? what are they?
Jahoda (1958) coping with stress, accurate perception of reality, environmental mastery (successful in work, leisure etc.), self actualisation (reach full potential), good self esteem and lack of guilt, independent of others
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advs of ideal mental health?
1) comprehensive definition, covers range of criteria &main reasons you'd seek mental help 2) positive approach to abnormality, focuses on achievements not failures & allows to target areas to work on, important for treating different disorders
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disadvs of ideal mental health?
1) ignores cultural factors, Jahoda's criteria specific to West (independent may be seen as bad & personal achievement seen as self-indulgent as only focuses on you), 2) unrealistic, very few attain all criteria & unclear how many met to be normal
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what is a phobia?
an irrational fear that produces a conscious avoidance of the object or situation and interferes with a person's daily living
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what are the 3 types of phobias? explain.
1) specific phobia (fear of an object e.g spider) 2) social anxiety (e.g public speaking) 3) agoraphobia (fear of being outside or in public)
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what are the 3 characteristics of phobias?
emotional, behavioural and cognitive
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explain what makes up the emotional characteristic in phobias?
1) high levels of anxiety due to presence of feared object 2) fear from exposure (immediate fear response due to presentation of object/ situation)
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explain what makes up the behavioural characteristic in phobias?
1) panic (provokes distressed behaviour e.g screaming/crying), 2) avoidance (efforts made to avoid feared object) 3) endurance (remain in presence of it but still high anxiety)
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explain what makes up the cognitive characteristic in phobias?
1) irrational beliefs 2) cognitive distortions (their perception if the phobic stimulus may be distorted) 3) selective attention (find hard to look away from phobic stimulus)
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What is the basic behaviourist explanation of phobias? Who suggested this?
Mowra suggested phobias are acquired through learning. They are established by classical conditioning and continue due to operant conditioning
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explain how phobias are developed through classical conditioning? example?
fears are established when the individual associates the neutral stimulus with a fear response (e.g Watson and Rayner aka Little Albert)
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how does operant conditioning allow a phobia to be maintained?
operant conditioning acts as maintenance as responses learned by classical conditioning tend to decline over time e.g negative reinforcement may maintain a fear (spider -> fear -> avoid -> relief -> repeat)
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what are the two main types of phobia treatment?
flooding and systematic desensitisation
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who invented systematic desensitisation? briefly explain the aims
Wolpe. The aim is to gradually reduce anxiety, achieved by classical conditioning.
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Briefly explain how systematic desensitisation works?
Association of CS & CR producing phobic response replaced, new response to stim learned, phobic stim associated w/relax not anxiety (counter cond.), impossible relax&anxiety as one stops other (reciprocal inhibition), learn to relax w/object = cured
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Explain the steps of systematic desensitisation?
1) anxiety hierarchy - 8/10 steps on least-most frightening situo regarding phobic stim, 2) relaxation techniques - teach to relax (breathing exercises etc) 3) gradual exposure - start w/lowest step & go up once relax. Relax at highest level = cured
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Who invented flooding and what is it?
Stampfl invented flooding and it is the immediate exposure to a very frightening situation/phobic stimulus
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How does flooding work?
Flooding involves extinction i.e the learned response stops when the conditional stimulus (spider) is encountered without being bitten (spider). Without the option of avoidance, the patient quickly learns the phobic stimulus is harmless.
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What are the two forms of flooding?
1) In-vivo (actual exposure) 2) virtual (imaginary exposure)
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How much time does it take to complete the process of each phobia treatment?
Flooding = 2/3 hours (only 1 session), Systematic desensitisation = several sessions
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what is OCD?
a condition characterised by obsession (recurring thoughts) and or compulsive behaviour
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what is an obsession?
an obsession is an overbearing cognition (takes place in mind)
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what is a compulsion?
a compulsion is an urging behaviour (something you do)
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what are the 3 noticeable types of characteristics in OCD sufferers?
behavioural, emotional, cognitive.
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what is statistical infrequency?


it means deviation from the statistical norm which is behaviour that is rare in the population and is seen as abnormal

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how does statistical infrequency calculate what is considered abnormal behaviour?


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advs of statistical infrequency?


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disadvs of statistical infrequency?


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Amazing, btw evaluation of phobia treatments are missing

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