• Created by: ella_mae
  • Created on: 17-06-19 16:21
Statistical Infrequency
A person's characteristic, thinking or behaviour would be considered to be abnormal if it was found to be numerically rare. Behaviour that is less frequent is abnormal according to this definition
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Limitations to Statistical Infrequency
Anyone who differs from the average is technically abnormal. Stephen Hawkins could be abnormal due to this definition. SI also risks being era dependant and cultures also differ in terms of normal behaviour
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Positives of Statistical Infrequency
It offers the prospect of clear guidelines for identifying behaviours as normal or abnormal which introduces a level of objectivity into the process
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Deviation from social norms
Abnormality is when people demonstrate unusual behaviour which breaches unwritten social rules of acceptable behaviour. For example walking down the street naked
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Limitations of Deviation from social norms
Norms can vary overtime. EG- changes in attitudes towards homosexuality. This means that behvaiour that would have been defined as abnormal in one era is no longer abnormal in another. Some people may be simply eccentic and cultures vary social norms
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Failure to Function Adequately
When a person experiences psychological distress or their behaviour is matadaptive or they are unpredicatble/irrational. Their behaviour may cause others to feel distressed (EG-child abuser) This may prevent then from living happy, fulfilled lives
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Limitations to Failure to Function Adequately
Failing to function adequaltely in one culture may not be failing to function in another (EG- drinking alcohol may be considered to be failing to function in some but not all cultures. FTF does not provide an objective indication of abnormality
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Deviation from ideal Mental Health
Jahoda considered how a normal person behaves and then suggested that a failure to meet these criteria could be deemed to be abnormal
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Deviation from ideal Mental Health acronym
PASSEE; Have an accurate PERCEPTION of reality, A individual should be AUTONOMOUS, resistant to STRESS, Have the potential for growth&development (SELF-ACTUALISATION), have high self-ESTEEM, ENVIRONMENTAL mastery
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Limitations of Deviation from ideal Mental Health
Most people are unable to achieve all the criteria of ideal mental health. This definition is also based on Western, idealistic cultural ideas of what ideal mental health is
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Diagnosis of a Phobia
Usually un-ambiguous and clear. They will have; persistent fear or a specific siutation which is out of all proportion to the real danger, they have a sense catastrophic event will happen, a compelling desire to avoid and escape, know its excessive
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Cognative characteristic of phobias
There is an expectation of impending harm. We worry what will happen even though we know its irrational
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Behavioural characteristic of phobias
Not being able to move or running away or avoidance behaviour as it makes them feel better
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Emotional characteristic of phobias
Feelings of fread, terror, panic and anxiety which are overwhelming or severe
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Classical Conditioning explanation to phobias
Learning by association, therefore we learn by associating/linking neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus. EG- getting trapped in a lift and experiencing a panic attack causes anxiety when in contact with lift
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Operant Conditioning explanation to phobias
:earning by consequence. Reinforcers increase the likihood that a behvaiour will be repeated. EG- avoiding something unpleasant can be rewarded by the reduction of anxiety
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Social Learning Theory explanation to phobias
Learning by observation. By observing others we learn behaviour such as how to use a knife and fork. EG- a phobia may result if a person observes another person showing a fearful reaction to phobias
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Two process model
Hobert et al propsed the model based on the behavioural approach. This states that phobias are aquired by classic conditioning and then continue because of operant
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Alternate explanation of phobias
The concept of biological prepardness.
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Criticism of the behavioural approach
It explains behaviour in terms of relativity simple learning principles. It ignore cognative and emotional contributions to the development of psychopathology
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Supporting study of behavioural approach
Di Gallo found that 20% of people experiencing traumatic car accidents later developed a phobia of travelling
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Therapies based on classical conditioning
Therapies based on classical conditioning involve learning by association. These mathods are based on unlearning old, maladaptive associations and leaning more adaptive ones which usually involves learning not to associate certain stimuli with fear
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Systematic desensitisation
This method was introduced by Wolpe. It aims to gradually and systematically reduce the fear response to the phobic object through counter-conditioning. The underlying principle if that of reciprocal inhibition.
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Reciprocal Inhibition
It is impossible for an individual to experience extreme fear at the same time as being relaxed, therefore if a phobic can learn to be relaxed in the presence of the feared object, then the fear will be overcome.
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3 stages of systematic desensitisation
1. Anxiety Hierarchy- put together by the patient and therapist which is a list of situations related to the phobic stimulus that promote anxiety arranges in order of least to most scary 2. Relaxation 3. Exposure- patient is exposed to stimulus
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Alternatives of systematic desensitisation
In Vivo- using the actual stimulus in an anxiety hierarchy way. Flooding- exposing phobic patients to stimulus but without gradual build up, involving immediate exposure to a frightning situation lasting 2-3 hours
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Weaknesses to behaviour explanations & treatments
Other studies have failed to support )Munjack studies a group with driving phobias and found that 50% actually had a frightening experience. They only focus oon observable aspects of a disorder, fail to identify underlying causes causing symptom subs
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Strengths of behaviour explanations & treatments
Has face validity and the effectiveness for treatments dervived from the behavioural explanation supporting the view that phobias are learned patterns or maladaptive behaviour. SD treats Agoraphobia, Megrath found that SD was effective 75% of patient
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Behavioural characteristics for depression
Low activity levels, disruption to sleep/eating, aggression and self-harm
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Emotional characteristics for depression
Lowered mood, anger, lowered self-esteem
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Cognative characteristics for depression
Poor concentration, dwelling on negative thoughts, all or nothing thinking
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Causes of depression
Caused by faulty thinking, therefore people with mental disorders think in a different way to those who don't have MD. The roots of this faulty thinking lie in childhood. We develop schemas about ourselves and the world
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WHat does the cognative approach suggest to treat indiviudals with depression?
Suggests that the way to treat people with depression is to offer therapy where this faulty thinking is challenged and replaced with more appropraite, realistic thoughts
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Assumptions of cognative approach
Scehmas are a key part of depression and are formed in childhood as a result of our interactions. Negative schemas can lead to negative automatic thoughts
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Beck's negative triad
A- Negative view about oneself B- Negative view about the future C-Negative views about the world
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Albert Ellis' ABC model
Refers to 3 components of experience in which a person can ascertain if his or her belief system is distorted. A- activating event (event we encounter and objectively describe B- the belief (what you believe is the truth about the event C- consequent
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What doe Albert Ellis say
Some people may very dismal and hopeless interpretations of everything so consequently these people tend to be down more often. However, some people seem to be able to assess most situations in a manner that rarely makes them experience the extremes
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Strengths of Cognative model of Depression
Research supports the idead that many suffering from MD do appear to report irrational thought processes. The cognative approach seems to be the most popular model in Psychology and practice within the NHS
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Weaknesses of Cognative model of Depression
Implies that it is the patient who is to blame for the MD which may lead one to overlook situational factors. It suggests that faulty thinking causes MD however some pshchologists have proposed it could be the other way round
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Rational Meotive Behaviour Therapy
According to Albert Ellis and REBT the beliefs that upset us are all variations of 3 common irrational beliefs. Each of the 3 common beliefs contains a demand, either about ourselves, others or the world
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Three basic musts
1. I must do well and win the approval of others for my performances or else i am no good 2. Others must treat me considerately, fairly and kindly and in the want i want them to treat me 3, I must get what i want when i want it
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What happens during REBT?
The therapist challenges irrational thoughts by requiring the client to gather evidence of behaviours/incidents and then comparing the evidence with the though expressed to check whether they match or not.
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Logical Disputing
Involves questioning the rationality of the clinets belief
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Empirical Disputing
Involves asking the client questions which challenge the evidence that the clients beliefs are true
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Strengths of CBT
CBTs such as REBT empowers the person as they are given responsibility to change his or her pattern of thinking. Shown to be effective in over 400 studies. March et al compared the effects of CBR with antidepressants and after 36 weeks 81% improved.
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Weaknesses of CBT
Time consuming therefore expensive but less time consuming. Can not be used for all patients (very young), some may find the intense scrunity threatning. Focus on present and future not the past which patients may which to explore.
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Biological approach to OCD- Genes
Physicological disorders are caused by the same biological factors as physiological disorders. Something 'goes wrong' with normal bodily functions, eg- imbalance of neurotansmitters. we inherbit predispositional anxiety
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Obsessive Complusive Disorder
A mental disorder consisting of 2 main symptoms; obsessions (cognative components) and complusions (behavioural component). The sufferer experiences either obsessions or compulsions, or in many cases, both
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Thoughts/imagery occuring frequently, so intrusive as to cause stress. The sufferer has difficulty supressing the obsession and has little control over them. If they are socially unacceptable they may be abhorrent to the individual creating anxiety
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What are the over-whelming senses of anxiety that could interfer with everyday living?
Obessional thoughts- repeated, intrusive words that are distressing. Ruminations- internal debates which are endlessly reviewed. Doubts- repeatedly worrying that actions have not be carried out. Impluses- urge to do something agressive/embarrasing
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Behaviours which the sufferer feels compelled to do but which are often redundant in that they serve no purpose. They may take the form of rituals which they need to cpmplete before moving on. This behaviour reduces the anxiety caused by thoughts
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4 types of compulsions
1. Checking rituals 2. Cleasning rituals 3. Counting rituals 4. Dressing rituals
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Pattern of OCD
1. Obsessive thought 2. Anxiety 3. Complusive behaviour 4. Temporary relief (REPEAT)
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Behavioural characteristics of OCD
Compulsive behaviour. A person with OCD will repeat behaviours over and over again
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Emotional characteristics of OCD
A high level of anxiety s they are unable to control their compulsions and obsessions. The intrusive thought processes create anxiety as do the urges to repeat behaviours or rituals
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Cognative characteristics of OCD
Examples include; Obsessional thoughts about cleanliness to the extent that it dominates the thought processes and activities to reduce anxiety.
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Genetic explanations of OCD
OCD is polygenic so researher are interested in family and twin studies. Studies suggest that OCD tends to run in families, a person is more likely to have OCD than the general population if a first degree relative has the disorder.
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Murphy et al genetic explanations study
He looked for variations of the human serotonin transporter gene which controls the movement of the chemical between nerve cells in the brain. DNA was taken from 170 people; 30 had OCD. He found that 6/7 people who had 1 gene mutation had OCD
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Neural explanations of OCd
Focuses on the role of neurotransmitters in OCd. These are the chemical released by 1 neurone which cross the synapse to reach the next neurone, triggering an electrical impluse
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What is the serotonin process
1. Serotonin is a neurtransmitter implicated in OCD, a lack of it affects a persons mood. 2. Serotonin is released from 1 neurone, corssing the synapse, attatching to a receptor triggering a electrical activity
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Abnormal functioning of frontal lobes
Abnormal functioning of frontal lobes of the brain is common in OCd. The frontal lobes are responsible for logical thinking and decision making. The parahippocampus gyrus is resonsible for processing unplesant emotions, functioning abnormality in OCD
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Drug therapies
The biological approach stresses the role of neurotransmitters in MD. The perspective suggests that OCd is caused by abnormal levels of it. Low levels of serotonin are associated with OCD and its function
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Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors SSRI's
Some of the serotonin which is released in reabsorbed into the neurone which released it. SSRI's work by blocking this and in doing so increase the amount of serotonin in the synapse reducing symptoms of OCD and makes the perso feel better.
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Example of an SSRI
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Why do SSRI's work well in combo with CBT?
The drug reduces the patients anxiety so that they are more receptive to CBT therapy, as during CBT the patient will reflect on their thoughts in a calm frame of mind
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Used as alternates to SSRI's as they don't work to everyone. They have more severe side effects.
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Example of Tricyclic
Clomipramine which blocks the enzyme that breaks down serotonin. The consequence is that more serotonin is avaliable in the brain
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Strengths evaluation of drug therapies
Soomro found that SSRI's are more effective than placebo's at reducing OCD and are even more effective when the client takes SSRI's and has counselling. Symptoms decline by 70% for most taking SSRI's. Drug treatments are cheaper
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Weakness evaluation of drug therapies
Drugs don't work for everyone and some patients also have side effects including effects to blood pressure and the heart. OSme also believe that evidence of effective drug treatments are biased as the research is paid by drug companies
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Supporting evidence to the biological approach
Nestadt et al reviewed previous twin studies and found that 68% of identical twins shared OCD as opposed to 31% of non- identical twins, supporting a genetic influence to OCD
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Candidate genes
Psychologists have been much less seccessul at pinning down all the genes involved as it appears that several genes are involved and that each genetic variation only increases the risk
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Environmental risk factors
Environmental factors can trigger or increase the risk of developing OCd. Cromer et al found that over half of the OCD patients in their sample had a traunmatic event in their past and that OCD was more severe in those with more than one trauma
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Neural Mechanisms
Some antidepressants work purely on the serotonin system increasing levels of the neurtransmitter. Such drugs are effective in reducing symptoms, suggesting that the serotonin system is involved in OCD
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Limitations to Statistical Infrequency


Anyone who differs from the average is technically abnormal. Stephen Hawkins could be abnormal due to this definition. SI also risks being era dependant and cultures also differ in terms of normal behaviour

Card 3


Positives of Statistical Infrequency


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Card 4


Deviation from social norms


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Limitations of Deviation from social norms


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