51 terms

IB DP Psychology Abnormal

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Normality
A pattern of thoughts, feelings or behaviour that conforms to a usual, typical or expected standard within a cultural context
Abnormality
A psychological condition or behaviour that differs from how most people behave and that is harmful, or which causes distress to the individual or those around them. Abnormal behaviour is behaviour that does not match society's idea of what is appropriate.
Diagnosis
A decision made based on the information regarding the patient's history and the results of the doctor's examination.
Classification
A procedure of organisation that first places a term in the general class to which it belongs and then differentiates it from all other members of that class.
DSM
A classification system that describes the features used to diagnose each recognized mental disorder and indicates how the disorder can be distinguished from other, similar problems
ICD-10
(International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision) One of several internationally endorsed medical coding classifications list which gives a numeric code to diseases, signs and symptoms, possible complaints, abnormalities, and possible causes of injuries and diseases.
Validity of diagnosis
The extent to which the categories a diagnostic system identifies are clinically meaningful.
Reliability of diagnosis
The extent to which different diagnosticians, reach the same conclusion when they independently diagnose the same individuals.
Statistical abnormality
Abnormality can be defined as deviation from the average, where statistically common behaviour is defined as "normal" whilst statistically rare behaviour is "abnormal".
Deviation from social norms
A person's thinking or behavior is classified as 'abnormal' if it violates the unwritten rules about what is expected or 'acceptable behavior' in a particular social group.
Szasz (1960) - A supporter of the "Deviation from Social Norms" definition of abnormality.
Argues that abnormality, especially relating to certain mental disorders, is a socially constructed concept. This construction then allows for labeling of psychological patient; also a big critic of the classification system utilized in diagnosis of mental disorders, based on the ethical implications associated with labeling.
Failure to function adequately
a person is considered abnormal is they are unable to cope with the demands of everyday life, or if they cannot perform the basics for day-to-day life.
Deviation from ideal mental health
Deviation from characteristics required to meet Jahoda's 6 criteria for optimal living.
Jahoda (1958)
Described several characteristics that mentally healthy should possess including:
1. the ability to introspect
2. integration and balance of personality
3. self-actualisation
4. autonomy
5. ability to cope with stress and see the world as it really is
6. environmental mastery
Rosenhan & Seligman (1989)
Suggested that there are 7 criteria which can be used to determine if an individual's behaviour is abnormal (suffering; maladaptiveness; irrationality; unpredictability; vividness and unconventionality; observer discomfort; violation of moral or ideal standards).
Scheff (1966) - Argued that one of the adverse effects of labels is self-fulfilling prophecy:
people may begin to act as they think they are expected to. Once told they are mentally ill, their symptoms may increase.
Langer & Abelson (1974) - demonstrated the power of schema processing & the clear effects of prejudice.
Showed a videotape of a younger man telling an older man about his job experience. If the viewers were told beforehand that the younger man was a job applicant, he was judged to be attractive & conventional-looking, whereas if they were told that he was a patient he was described as defensive, dependent, & frightened of his own aggressive impulses.
Example of racial/ethnic bias in diagnosis
Jenkins-Hall & Sacco (1991)
Involved European American therapists being asked to watch a video of a clinical interview & to evaluate a female patient. There were 4 conditions representing the possible combinations of race & depression: African American & non-depressed or depressed; European American & non-depressed or depressed. Although the therapists rated the non-depressed African American & European American in much the same way, their ratings of the depressed women differed, in that they rated the African American woman with more negative terms & saw her as less socially competent than the European American woman.
Example of confirmation bias in diagnosis
Rosenhan (1973)
The medical staff at a ward for schizophrenia was convinced that the confederates he placed in the ward were indeed schizophrenic when they were really healthy. They were admitted into the ward and their behavior was attributed to symptoms of the illness. Example, note-taking = paranoia, pacing out of boredom = nervousness and agitation, waiting outside cafeteria for lunch = oral acquisitive nature of disorder. Only schizophrenics knew the confederates were fakes.
Kahneman & Tversky (1973)
Suggested that clinicians often believe that the more assessment techniques they use, the more valid their interpretation would be, and said this was not the case.
Powerlessness and depersonalization
Produced in institutions through a lack of rights, constructive activity, choice, and privacy, as well as frequent verbal and even physical abuse from attendants.
Culture bound syndrome
Sets of signs & symptoms that are common in a limited number of cultures but virtually non-existent in most other cultural groups.
CCMD-2
Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders
Cohen (1988) - Indian attitudes toward mental illness
Suggested that in India the mentally ill are cursed and looked down upon which may effect the low admission rates in regards to mental health in this, and many other, minority cultures.
Marsella (2003) - depression takes different forms in different cultures
Suggested that depression takes a primarily affective (emotional) form in individualistic cultures, but more somatic (physiological) symptoms such as headaches are found in collectivist cultures.
Kleinman (1984) - impossible to compare depression cross-culturally
Studied the somatization of symptoms in Chinese depressive patients. Found depression may be experienced with back pain in China or as feelings of guilt and anxiety in western cultures.
Culture blindness
The problem of identifying symptoms of a psychological disorder if they are not the norm in the clinician's own culture.
Cochrane & Sashidharan (1995) - taking on a bias that establishes a more ordered sense of western disorders.
Suggested that it is often assumed that disorders common in western societies are the norm, whereas disorders in other ethnic groups are somehow culture-bound.
Cultural Sensitivity
Clinicians should make efforts to learn about the culture of the person being assessed and suggested that this knowledge can come from professional development, consultation with colleagues, or direct discussion with the individual.
Symptomology
Identification of the symptoms.
Etiology
Reasons why people suffer from a disorder. Sociocultural, biological and cognitive factors that may contribute to the onset of a disorder.
Prevalence rate
Total number of people infected at one time in a population.
Lifetime prevalence
The percentage of people in a certain population who will have a given disorder at any point in their lives.
Onset age
The average age at which the disorder is likely to appear.
Anxiety disorders
A class of disorders marked by feelings of excessive apprehension and anxiety i.e. OCD, PTSD, phobia.
Affective disorders
Emotional disorders that are characterized by changes in mood i.e. unipolar depression, bipolar depression etc.
Eating disorders
Disorders that are characterized by severe disturbances in eating behaviour as a result of a preoccupation with weight concerns and unhealthy efforts to control weight i.e. anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa etc
Biomedical treatment
Therapies that target presumed underlying biological etiologies of psychological disorders.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Helps clients identify irrational, negative thoughts and replace them with more positive thoughts and coping behaviours.
Individual therapies
Therapy that involves the therapist working one-to-one with a client. Directive counseling, client centred therapy (Carl Rogers), psychoanalysis (Freud), dynamic therapy (Hans Strupp), behavioural therapy: behavioural modification, densensitization.
Group therapies
A type of psychotherapy in which people meet regularly to interact and help one another achieve insight into their feelings and behavior. Support system, not feeling alone, therapists and patients both gain insight into the disorders in question.
Mutlaq & Chaleby (1995) -Identified several problems with group therapy when applied in Arab cultures.
These include strict gender roles, deference to members in the group based on age and tribal status, and the misperception that the therapy session is simply another social activity.
Construct Validity
Degree to which a test actually measures what it claims to measure.
Predictive Validity
The success with which a test predicts the behavior it is designed to predict.
Comorbidity
The presence of one or more additional disorders (or diseases) co-occurring with a primary disorder for example alcoholism and depression.
File Drawer Effect
The practice of researchers filing away studies with negative outcomes therefore meta analyses may be biased in their findings.
Isolation of Variables
Especially in group therapy, there are so many variables inherent to the treatment that it is impossible to really determine which factors were the most important in an individual's improvement or lack thereof.
Outcome vs. Process
Whereas drug therapy often can be tested simply on an outcome basis (did it work or not?), many psychologists argue that psychotherapy needs to be assessed on a process basis - that is, a look at how the client has evolved over time and how the therapy has been adapted to meet the needs of the client.
Double Blind Study
Random assignment of test subjects to the experimental and control groups is a critical part of any double-blind research design. The key that identifies the subjects and which group they belonged to is kept by a third party, and is not revealed to the researchers until the study is over.
Social Desirability Bias
This refers to the fact that in self-reports, people will often report inaccurately on sensitive topics in order to present themselves in the best possible light (Fisher, 1993).
Spontaneous Remission
Also called spontaneous healing or spontaneous regression, is an unexpected improvement or cure from a disorder that is not related to therapy.