Social influence

What are the 4 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?
Any behavior that is statistically different or rare
The top and bottom 2.5% of a characteristic
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Evaluation of statistical infrequency
+ Real-life application (eg. IQ)
- Unusual characteristics can be good
- Not everyone benefits from a label
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What is a deviation from social norms?
Behaving in a way that is different from what society sees as normal
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Evaluation of deviation from social norms
- cannot be an explanation on its own
- Social norms are culturally relative
- Could lead to human rights abuses
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What is a failure to function adequately?
The inability to cope with everyday life.
Can no longer conform to interpersonal rules
Experience personal distress and behave in irrational or dangerous ways
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Evaluation of a failure to function adequately
+ Recognises the patient's perspective
- Hard to identify when someone is failing to function or just deviating from social norms
- Subjective judgment
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What is a deviation from ideal mental health?
It looks at what makes someone 'normal' and if the deviate from the ideal, they are abnormal
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What are the criteria for ideal mental health?
No symptoms of distress
Rational and perceive yourself as accurate
Self- actualize
Can help with stress
Have a realistic view of the world
Good self-esteem and lack of guilt
Independent of other people
Environmental mastery
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Evaluation of deviation from ideal mental health
+ Comprehensive - makes sense
+ Focuses on the positives
- Culturally relative
- Unrealistically high standards
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What is the two-process model of phobia acquisition?
They are acquired via classical conditioning
They are maintained via operant conditioning
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How are phobias acquired via classical conditioning?
UCS -> UCR (fear)
UCS + NS -> UCR (fear)
CS -> CR (fear)
Eg: Little Albert:
Loud noise -> fear
Loud noise + rat -> fear
Rat -> fear
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How is a phobia maintained via operant conditioning?
Operant conditioning = behavior being reinforced or punished
Negative reinforcement = avoiding something unpleasant
When a phobic stimulus is avoided, anxiety is escaped
This reduction in fear negatively reinforces avoidance so the phobia is maintained
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Evaluation of the two-process model
+ Good explanatory power
- Alternative explanations for avoidance
- Incomplete explanation
- Not all bad experiences lead to phobias
- Doesn't consider cognitive aspects
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What are the two treatments for phobias?
Systematic desensitisation
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What is systematic desensitization?
It is based on classical conditioning to gradually reduce anxiety via counter-conditioning
Phobias are learned and so can be unlearned
The conditioned stimulus gets paired with relaxation techniques
An anxiety hierarchy of most to least frightening thing
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Evaluation of systematic desensitization
+ Effective
+ Suitable for lots of patients
+ Acceptable for participants
- Time-consuming
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What is flooding?
Bombarding the patient with the phobic stimulus
Immediate exposure to the phobic stimulus
No option of avoidance so they learn the phobic stimulus is harmless through extinction
Not unethical as informed consent is needed
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Evaluation of flooding
+ Quick
- Less effective for certain phobias
- Traumatic
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What is the genetic explanation for OCD?
Candidate genes create vulnerability
SERT (serotonin)
COMT (dopamine)
These regulate mood
OCD is polygenic as there is over 230 genes been identified
Different gene combinations cause different types of OCD
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What is the neural explanation for OCD?
Associated with impaired decision-making
Abnormal functioning in the lateral frontal lobes and basal ganglia
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Evaluation of the biological explanation for OCD
+ Evidence to support
- Too many genes involved
- Environmental factors
- Serotonin isn't unique to OCD
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What is the biological treatment for OCD?
Drug therapy
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What is drug therapy?
They increase or decrease levels of neurotransmitters to increase or decrease their activity
Low levels of serotonin so drugs can increase it
SSRIs to prevent reabsorption and the breakdown so serotonin levels is increased
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What are some alternatives to SSRIs?
Tricyclics have the same effect as SSRIs but more severe side effects
SNRIs increase serotonin levels and noradrenaline levels
They are only used if patients don't respond to SSRIs
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How can SSRIs and CBT be used together?
They can be combined so SSRIs treat other mental health problems such as anxiety so that patients can engage more effectively with CBTE
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Evaluation of biological treatments for OCD
+ Effective
+ Cost-effective
+ Non-disruptive
- Side effects
- Evidence is unreliable
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What is statistical infrequency?


Any behavior that is statistically different or rare
The top and bottom 2.5% of a characteristic

Card 3


Evaluation of statistical infrequency


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Card 4


What is a deviation from social norms?


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Card 5


Evaluation of deviation from social norms


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