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1. Individual Differences<br /> Explaining and Treating Abnormality<br />By the end of this topic, you will be able to: <br />Describe the key features…
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  • 1. Individual Differences<br /> Explaining and Treating Abnormality<br />By the end of this topic, you will be able to: <br />Describe the key features of the biological approach to explaining abnormality<br />Describe the key features of three psychological approaches to explaining abnormality:<br />The psychodynamic approach<br />The behaviourist approach<br />The cognitive approach <br />Evaluate each of these approaches – i.e. assess their strengths and weaknesses <br />Describe the key features of biological treatments for abnormality, including drugs and Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)<br />Describe the key features of psychological treatments for abnormality, including psychoanalysis, systematic de-sensitisation and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)<br />Evaluate each of these treatments, in terms of their usefulness<br />Describe and evaluate research methods associated with this area of psychology<br />Describe and evaluate ethical issues associated with this area of psychology<br />Explaining abnormality - key terms<br />Depression SchizophreniaBi-polar disorderAnxiety disordersPsychosis PhobiaPlace<br />Biological Reductionist Diathesis-stress Deterministic Cognitive RetrospectiveReinforcement <br />Use this section to make a note of any other words or phrases from this topic which you are unfamiliar with. Look their meaning up in your textbook or ask your teacher for help.<br />Explaining abnormality – where do we start?<br />This is George. He used to have ‘ideal’ mental health, but lately he has started to feel really down, and his doctor has now diagnosed him with depression. George has a loving family, is happily married, has a good job which he enjoys, and has few financial worries. There are no obvious situational reasons for his depression.<br />So, what might have caused George to develop such an ‘abnormality?’ Write down as many possible reasons as you can think of... be prepared to share them with the rest of the class. <br />What are ‘approaches’ and why do we need them?<br />The purpose of psychology is to attempt to explain human thoughts, feelings and behaviours. However, there is not just one way to do this, because there is never a definitive way to explain human beings (we are complex creatures!) Different approaches to psychology exist because there are different ways of explaining phenomena. For example, emotions can be explained in terms of the thoughts associated with them, or the physical changes they produce. <br />3529330196850<br />Approach: A way of explaining (approaching) psychological phenomena. You will study the biological, psychodynamic, behaviourist and cognitive approaches to abnormality. Another example… think of one word to describe an orange. You might say it is round, or juicy, or sweet, or… orange. All would be correct – each one is just describing a different aspect of the orange. This is the same concept as using different approaches to explain abnormality – there is not one right or wrong approach – each approach is just concerned with a different aspect of how an individual may develop an abnormality. <br />During this module, you will learn about four approaches to explaining abnormality, but these approaches can also be used to explain all areas of human functioning – they are not just limited to abnormality. For example, each of the four approaches could be used to explain how we develop morality. <br />Key assumptions of each approach to abnormality<br /><ul><li>The Biological ApproachAll mental disorders have a psychical cause (infection, genetics, biochemistry or neurology)Mental illnesses can be described in terms of clusters of symptoms (syndromes)Symptoms can be identified, leading to the diagnosis of an illnessDiagnosis leads to appropriate physical treatments The Psychodynamic Approach Much of our behaviour is driven by unconscious motivesChildhood is a critical period in developmentMental disorders arise from unresolved, unconscious conflicts originating in childhoodResolution occurs through accessing and coming to terms with repressed ideas and conflicts
  • 2. The Behavioural Approach All behaviour is learned – including ‘abnormal’ behaviourThis learning can be understood in terms of conditioning and modellingWhat was learned can be unlearned, using the same principles The same ‘laws’ apply to human and non human animal behaviourThe Cognitive Approach Abnormality is a result of faulty cognition (thinking)It’s the way that you think about the problem, rather than the problem itself, that is the cause of the disorderMental disorders can be overcome by learning to use more appropriate ways of thinking The aim is to think positively and rationally </li></ul>Use this page when you have finished studying the biological approach, to form a mind map of what you have learned, e.g. assumptions, causes of abnormality, research methods, treatments and ethical issues.<br />The Biological Approach <br />163830-322580The Biological approach - Physical causes of mental abnormality<br />There are four main physical explanations for mental abnormality.<br />Complete the table below with details of each – pages 225/226 of your textbook.<br />Physical cause Explanation of how it affects mental processes Examples of the types of mental abnormality this physical cause has been linked withNeurology(brain damage)Abnormality may occur if the brain is damaged in some way. This can happen if an individual is born with brain damage, or develops it in later life as a result of illness or trauma. InfectionSchizophrenia has been linked to the mother catching flu during early pregnancy. Syphilis (an STD) is known to cause brain damage if left untreated. BiochemistryGenetics<br />5401945-147955Research method focus – The use of family, twin and adoption studies<br />Family, twin and adoption studies have helped us to understand how much abnormality might be due to genetic factors. For example, a review of twin studies into schizophrenia by Gottesman and Shields (1976) found that in MZ twins there was a concordance rate of 35-58% compared with dizygotic (DZ) twin rates that ranged from 9-26%.<br />Answer these questions to check your understanding of these research methods: <br />What is meant by nature versus nurture?<br />How might family studies (e.g. brothers and sisters, or mothers and children) be useful when investigating the genetic basis of abnormality?<br />What other reasons, apart from genetics, might explain why members of the same family are more likely to develop certain mental disorders?<br />What is meant by ‘concordance rate’ when talking about twin studies?<br />5465844-51701<br />What is a monozygotic (MZ) twin?<br />What is a dizygotic (DZ) twin?<br />Why might twin studies be useful in investigating the biological basis of abnormality?<br />Are identical (MZ) or non-identical (also known as fraternal or DZ) twins more likely to be diagnosed with the same mental disorder? Why?<br />How might adoption studies help us to understand the affect of genetics in explaining mental abnormality? <br />Evaluation of the biological approach to psychopath0logy<br />498729028575Doesn’t blame the suffererCarries stigma Takes control away from the suffererLots of researchResearch is inconclusiveReductionist <br />The Biological model – psychiatrist vs psychologist<br />190501485905801995148590<br />What is the difference between a psychologist and psychiatrist?<br /><ul><li>A psychiatrist: A psychologist: Is trained as a medical doctor, then specialises in psychiatry Has a degree in psychology, then has three years of training to become a clinical psychologistIs likely to diagnose abnormalities using the medical approach - i.e. assume there is an underlying physical cause to the mental abnormality Is likely to diagnose abnormalities using one of the psychological approaches e.g. using the psychodynamic approach they will assume that unresolved childhood conflicts are the basis of the mental abnormality Is likely to prescribe a medical treatment, such as drugs or surgeryIs likely to prescribe a therapeutic treatment, such as cognitive behavioural therapy or psychoanalysis</li></ul>Biological treatments – Electroconvulsive Therapy<br />Aims:Most suitable for which types of mental disorder? Procedure:4181475124460<br />Evaluation of Electroconvulsive Therapy<br /><ul><li>Procedure:Seems to be effective Reoccurrence of symptoms is highOnly used when other methods have failedUnsure of why it works4360817100965Potential side effects</li></ul>Biological treatments – Drug therapy<br />Aims:Most suitable for treating which types of mental disorder?Types of drugs commonly used:5033645101600<br />Evaluation of drug therapy<br /><ul><li>Do seem to be effectivePossible placebo affect?Possible side effectsOnly treats symptoms, not underlying causeEthical issues477356612972</li></ul>Biological treatments – Psychosurgery<br />Aims and ProcedureEvaluation4695621142036<br />Use this page when you have finished studying the psychodynamic approach, to form a mind map of what you have learned, e.g. assumptions, causes of abnormality, research methods, treatments and ethical issues.<br />The Psychodynamic Approach<br />The Id, The Ego and the Superego<br />Freud believed that the personality (the psyche) was made up of 3 parts; the Id (‘the it’), The Ego (the ‘I’) and the Superego (the ‘over-I’). He said that the Id and the Superego were always in opposition with each other, and that it is the role of the Ego to negotiate their demands. Furthermore, Freud suggested that psychological abnormality is a result of unsuccessful mediation of the Id and the Superego by the Ego. Complete each box with a description of each part of the psyche, then explain what might happen if this part is too weak or too strong. <br />The Ego: Consequences of weak Ego: <br />425854180266<br />The Superego:Consequences of strong Superego: The Id:Consequences of strong Id: <br />-41465548895Defence Mechanisms<br />Freud said that the Ego could suffer anxiety as a result of conflicts between the Id and the Superego. He believed that it developed tactics for reducing these feelings of anxiety – known as ‘defence mechanisms.’<br />Complete this table with 4 defence mechanisms of your choice – use your textbook (p. 230) to help, but DON’T just copy ‘how it works’ – put it in your own words. Then, come up with your own example of a time when you or someone you know demonstrated this defence mechanism. Be prepared to share your examples with the class. <br />Mechanism DescriptionExample<br />Psychosexual stages of development<br />Stage + ageFocus of pleasure Requirements for successful completionConsequences if not successfully completedPleasure gained from oral activities, such as sucking and eating. If child allowed to suck too much – over optimistic and gullible.Not allowed to suck enough – pessimistic and sarcastic. Pleasure gained from defecation (passing of faeces).Parents too strict with potty training – anal retentive personality – tidy but mean. Parents too relaxed with potty training – anal expulsive personality – generous but disorganised. Genitals. Oedipus/Electra complex – rivalry between child and same sex parent for attention of opposite sex parent. Unsuccessful completion of Oedipus/Electra complex leads to weak morality and gender identity. Freud believed that girls did not develop a strong sense of morality because of their ‘penis envy’. Social relationships – no psychosexual focus. No lasting consequences. Genitals, but not to such a degree as phallic stage. Focus is on whether earlier psychosexual stages have been completed successfully. If they have, then adult will be ‘normal’. <br />Freud – Little Hans<br />The analysis of a phobia of a five year old boy - The case study of Little Hans<br />Freud’s ideas about infant sexuality were based on his work with adult women <br />(and his own self analysis)<br />The CASE STUDY - (psychoanalytic therapy) was carried out by correspondence and interviews with Hans’ father<br />The one with the ‘widdler’ (castration anxiety)<br />First reports when Hans was three, a ‘peculiarly lively interest in his widdler’<br />His mother told him that she would call for ‘Dr. A’ to cut it off<br />Hans tries to give up ‘putting his finger to his widdler’<br />Hans comment that widdlers are ‘fixed in of course’ suggests a castration anxiety <br />The one with Hans’ sister and the bath<br />Hans’ baby sister was born - he was told the stork had brought the baby<br />Early jealousy of sister was repressed and manifested as fear of bath<br />Hans’ father asks Hans if he wishes Mummy would let go of his sister when she is bathing so she, Hanna, falls in<br />Freud interprets this as death-wish against his sister for taking his Mummy away from him<br />The one with the white horse<br />Hans sees a horse fall down in the street and thinks it is dead<br />Hans is terrified and believes that all horses will fall down<br />Hans’ father interprets this as a death wish against him<br />Hans starts playing biting games and tells his father not to ‘trot away’ from him <br />The one with the giraffe<br />Dream about a big giraffe and a crumpled giraffe<br />Hans took the crumpled one away from the big giraffe who called out<br />Hans sits on crumpled one<br />Hans denies that this is a dream<br />Father sees this as reproduction of bedroom scene – big giraffe = father and little giraffe = mother<br />The one with the plumber<br />Plumber replaces Hans bottom with a bigger one<br />Plumber does the same with Hans’ widdler<br />This is interpreted as resolution of Oedipus conflict because Hans now wants to be like his father rather than to get rid of him (identification with the aggressor)<br />The one with the happy families<br />4874260145415Hans is playing with his imaginary children<br />He fantasises that he is Daddy and his Mummy is their Mummy<br />Hans’ father is the children’s’ Grandfather<br />He has consciously acknowledged his desire for his mother<br />This resolves his Oedipus complex<br />He is no longer afraid that his father will castrate him <br />Freud’s conclusion <br />Little Hans phobia of horses was really fear of father (displacement) <br />Castration anxiety during resolution of the Oedipus Conflict<br />Anxiety resolved when Oedipus conflict successfully resolved<br />Hans identifies with his father <br />7342340-470139<br />The Case of Little Hans<br />What happened?Freud’s interpretation + how this links to his theories Hans often plays with his ‘widdler’ and says that it is ‘fixed in of course.’Hans becomes scared of going in the big bath. Hans develops a fear of horses. He is particularly afraid of white horses with black mouths, wearing blinkers. Hans has a dream about two giraffes – a big one with a long neck, and a smaller ‘crumpled’ one. Hans took the crumpled one away from the big one, who cried out. Hans dreams that a plumber takes away his bottom and his ‘widdler’ and replaces them with bigger versions. Hans fantasises that he is playing with his own children. His mummy is their mummy, and his daddy is their grandfather. <br />Evaluation of the psychodynamic approach to psychopath0logy<br /><ul><li>Influential UnscientificRetrospective dataDeterministic389139083995Does not consider adult experiencesBlames parents</li></ul>Psychological treatments<br />Psychoanalysis (Psychodynamic approach)<br />Aims: Procedure:Dream analysis:Free association:Transference: <br />Evaluation of psychoanalysis<br /><ul><li>Time consuming and expensiveOnly suitable for limited range of mental disordersMixed findings on effectivenessDifficult to judge effectivenessTherapist has the power – not the individual Focuses on the past -3429023495</li></ul>Use this page when you have finished studying the behaviourist approach, to form a mind map of what you have learned, e.g. assumptions, causes of abnormality, research methods, treatments and ethical issues.<br />The Behaviourist Approach<br />Classical Conditioning<br />Label each stage with the appropriate stimulus or response. The box below tells you how many of each you should use. 1. Before conditioning <br /> <br /> Food Drool <br />2. During conditioning <br /> <br /> Bell Food Drool <br /> <br />3. After conditioning <br />Unconditioned stimulus x 2Unconditioned response x 2Neutral stimulus x 1 Conditioned stimulus x 1Conditioned response x 1 <br /> Bell Drool <br />4925354-332749The Case of ‘Little Albert’ <br />Watson and Rayner (1920)<br />Aim:Procedure: Results/conclusions: Evaluation: Now, summarise this study using five key words: -184785198120<br />Ethical issues in studying psychological abnormality<br />What ethical issues can you think of that may arise when studying participants who may be mentally ill? Discuss these questions (any others you think of) with a partner: <br /><ul><li>Ethical guidelinesConsentGiving adviceColleaguesDeceptionDebriefingRight to withdrawObservationConfidentialityProtection of participantsAre psychologically abnormal participants able to give fully informed consent?
  • 3. Is it in the best interests of psychologically abnormal people to be involved in a study? Might it cause them further distress?
  • 4. Can psychologically abnormal participants ever be fully aware of their right to withdraw?
  • 5. Would it ever be ethical to deceive a psychologically abnormal participant? Would debriefing be sufficient?</li></ul>Some patients, especially children and those with mental impairments, may not be able to give informed consent for treatment of their mental disorders. Explain how informed consent could be gained in an ethical manner for these types of patients. Below is an example exam question which concerns one of the particular ethical issues which might be associated with the study of psychological abnormality: <br />How might you answer this question? (clue: think about who might be able to give consent on the participant’s behalf, if they are unable to give it themselves) <br />…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… <br />…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… <br />…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… <br />…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… <br />Use this page to make notes on other ethical issues which might be specific to studying psychological abnormality. Include information on how they might be reduced or resolved: <br />Operant conditioning<br />Operant Conditioning is the term used by B.F. Skinner to describe how the consequences of an action can make that action more or less likely to be repeated. Complete the table below.<br />Positive reinforcementDescription: Does it make the behaviour more or less likely to be repeated?Negative reinforcementDescription: Does it make the behaviour more or less likely to be repeated?PunishmentDescription: Does
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