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This set of flashcards includes the whole topic of abnormal psychology, which addresses topics discussed in chapter sixteen

Abnormal Behavior

Deviates from social norm, hampers indiviudal's funtion, is a threat to others, labeled as abnormal by society, and is characterized by some degree of perceptual or cognitive distortion.

Psychodynamic Approach to A.B. (abnormal behavior)

bhv is result of intrapsychic conflict

Humanistic Approach to A.B.

problems arise when people are overly sensitive to others judgments or when they are unable to accept their own nature

Behavioral Approach (aka leaning perspective) to A.B.

bhv result of either classical or instrumental conditioning gone awry

Cognitive Approach to A.B.

result of disturbed thinking

Biological Approach to A.B.

caused by underlying biological abnormalities in nervous system (specifically brain)

Biopsychosocial Approach to A.B.

interaction of biological with psychological and social factors

Diathesis Stress Theory

people have differential genetic vulnerability to particular psychological disorder (genetic predisposition). The abnormal behavior is triggered by a stressful event.

Axis I of the DSM

clinical syndromes and major disorders (schizophrenia; anxiety disorders; mood disorders; sleep/eating/gender-identity disorders)

somatoform disorders (axis I)

center on person's relationship with own body

sexual disorders (axis I)

engages in sexual bhv that distress individual or others or causes difficulty for individual in other aspects of life

Axis II of the DSM

personality disorders (long standing disturbances of p that disrupt person's function)

Axis III of the DSM

Psysical Disorders

Axis IV of the DSM

severity of psychosocial stressors

Axis V of the DSM

global assessment of person's level of functioning


how often disorder occurs in population


number of new cases that begin during certain time period


extent when there is overlap in presenting symptoms of conditions of different disorders


degree to which various family members show same characteristics of a disorder

Anxiety Disorder

feelings of anxiety that are so intense or frequent that they cause distress to or difficulty for an individual

Types of Anxiety Disorders

phobias, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, stress disorder, OCD

Panic Disorder

brief, abrupt, and unprovoked but recurrent episodes where a person experiences intense and uncontrollable anxiety

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

general, persistent, debilitatingly high levels of anxiety

Stress Disorder

extreme reaction to highly stressful event or situation

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

mood (feelings or tension, apprehension, panic); cognitive (spends time trying to figure why mood symptoms are occurring); somatic (sweating, hyperventilation, high pulse rate/blood pressure, muscle tension); motor (restlessness, fidgeting, etc)

Three types of anxiety (as described by the psychodynamic explanation)

Objective anxiety, Moral anxiety, Neurotic Anxiety:

Objective Anxiety

Threats in the external world

Moral Anxiety

Derives from fear of punishment by superego, which arises from conflict within the person over expression of impulses from the id. After the impulses of the id have worn out and are expressed, the person experiences moral anxiety.

Neurotic Anxiety

person's fear that the superego (with the aid of the ego) will not be able to control the id and that the person may not be able to avoid engaging in unacceptable behavior)

Learning Theory explanations to Anxiety Disorders

conditioned fears and observational learning.

Cognitive explantion to Anxiety Disorders

emphasize automatic self-defeating thoughts.

Automatic Thoughts

thought patterns that people seem to fall into without being aware of them and that they experience without effort

Humanistic Explanation to Anxiety Disorders

the person experiences a discrepancy between the perceived self and the idealized self, causing feelings of failure, which causes anxiety

Biological Explanations

inhibitory neurons that serve to reduce neurological activity may function improperly in people with anxiety disorders; a link between a gene that controls the brain's ability to use serotonin and anxiety-related behavior

Mood Disorders

psychological disorders involving periods of extremely sad, low-energy moods or swings between extremely high and extremely low moods

Major Depression

feelings for at least six weeks of sadness, discouragement, and hopelessness

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

form of depression that typically occurs during winter months or the months surrounding them.

Bipolar Disorder (Manic-Depressive Disorder)

mood disorder in which the individual alternates between periods of depression and mania

Depressed people are susceptible to one or more of five logical errors that lead them to see things in an unfavorable manner

Aribitrary inference; selective abstraction; overgeneralization; magnification and minimization; personalization

abritrary inference

refers to drawing a conclusion even though there is little/no evidence to support it

selective abstraction

involves focusing on an insignificant detail of a situation while ignoring the more important features


drawing global conclusions about ability on basis of single fact or episode

magnification and minimization

refer to committing gross errors of evaluation by magnifying small, unfavorable events, yet minimizing important, large favorable events


involves taking person responsibility for events that are situational

Hopelessness Depression

a series of negative events in a person's life can lead that person to feel hopeless about future; feelings of hopelessness spark depression, which sparks both further negative events and further feelings of hopelessness

Biological Explanation to mood disorders (depression)

abnormally low levels of neurotransmitters may be linked to depression (norepinephrine and serotonin imbalance)

motives for suicide

surcease: people who have given up on life and see death as only solution
manipulation: use suicide to maneuver world according to their desires (call for attention)


class of disturbances marked by perceptual symptoms (hallucinations), cognitive symptoms (delusions), and emotional symptoms-such as a flat effect (a blunting of emotions) or inappropriate affect-and even motor behavior

Symptoms are either...

Negative: deficits in bhv, such as affective flattening, language deficits, apathy, and avoidance of social activity
Positive:delusions, hallucinations, and bizarre bhv

To be diagnosed as schizophrenic, one must show...

1.Impairment in areas such as work, social relations and self-care
2.At least two of the cognitive, affective, or motor characteristics
3.Persistence of these symptoms for at least 6 months

Disorganized Schizophrenia

experience hallucinations and delusions, and their speech is often incoherent. They show flat affect, and may grimace or have fatuous smiles for no particular reason, may giggle in a childish manner, invent words, and experience rapid mood swings.

Catatonic Schizophrenia

exhibit stupor and immobility for long periods of time. Often stare into space, seemingly completely detached from rest of world; because they move so little, their limbs may become stiff and swollen. This form less common today than in past

Paranoid Schizophrenia

delusions of persecution, hearing voices criticizing or threatening them. May have delusions of grandeur, hearing voices telling them how wonderful they are. Particularly susceptible to delusions of reference, taking an insignificant event and interpreting it as thought it has great personal meaning for them

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia

catchall category used for schizophrenic symptoms either that do not quite fit any of the other patterns or that fit more than one pattern

Residual Schizophrenia

applies to persons who have had at least one schizophrenic episode and who currently show some mild symptoms but do not exhibit profoundly disturbing bhv.

Social Drift Hypothesis

those who suffer from schizophrenia tend to drift downward in SES (socioeconomic status)

Primary Narcissism (part of psychodynamic explanation of schizophrenia)

the schizophrenic returns to very early stages of psychological development. This phase occurs early during the oral stage, before ego has differentiated itself from id. In this phase, reality testing suffers because ego is undifferentiated; schizophrenics are securely wrapped up in themselves but out of touch with world (not widely supported)

Labeling Theory (part of Learning theory explanation of schizophrenia)

once people are labeled as schizophrenics, they are more likely to appear to exhibit symptoms of schizophrenia, in part because they come to feel rewarded for acting this way, or others are rewarded for labeling them this way. (Creates self-fulfilling prophecy)

Biological explanation of schizophrenia

neurochemical imbalances; excess of dopamine; structural abnormalities in the brain (enlarged ventricles in the brain); primarily caused by a virus contracted by the mother during the prenatal period (speculative theory).

Dissociative Disorder

involve an alteration in the normally integrative function of consciousness, identity, or motor behavior

Dissociative Amnesia

characterized by sudden memory loss of declarative knowledge and usually affects the recollection of events that took place during and immediately after a stressful event. Person has difficulty remembering most of his own important details (name, address, family members). Able to function relatively normally. Recovery of lost info is usually as rapid as loss was, after which the episode ends and memory loss is not repeated

Dissociative Fugue

person responds to severe stress by starting a whole new life and experiencing total amnesia about past. He assumes a new identity, may take a new job, and behaves as though he or she were a totally different person, perhaps with a new personality. Recovery time is variable.

Dissociative Identity Disorder

result of extreme early trauma (severe child abuse); characterized by appearance of two or more identities (alters) within same individual, in which each identity is relatively independent of the others, has its own stable life, and occasionally takes full control of person's bhv. One personality may confuse existence of others; tend have rich fantasy life and are susceptible to self-hypnosis. Recovery takes extensive therapy

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

difficulty in focusing attention for reasonable amounts of time. Tend to be impulsive and disruptive in social settings; unable to sit still and constantly seem to be seeking attention.

Conduct Disorders

habitual misbehavior, such as stealing, skipping school, destroying property, fighting, being cruel both to animals and to others, and frequently telling lies. Often a precursor to antisocial personality disorder

Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)/autism

1.minimal or no responsiveness to others and seeming obliviousness to surrounding world
2.impairment in communication, both verbal and nonverbal
3.highly restricted range of interest, sitting alone for hours, immobility or rocking back and forth, and starting into space.

Personality Disorders

psychological disorders involving exaggerated and maladaptive personality characteristics that persist over a long period of time and that cause problems in a person's adjustment to everyday situations.

Paranoid Personality Disorder

individual is suspicious of others, expects to be poorly treated, and blames other for things that happen to him.

Schizoid Peronality Disorder

individual has difficulty forming relationship with others. He tends to be indifferent to what others think, say, of feel about him.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

individual has serious problems with others and shows eccentric or bizarre bhv. He is susceptive to illusions and may engage in magical thinking, believing that he has contact with supernatural. May be a mild form of schizophrenia.

Borderline Personality Disorder

show extreme instability in moods, self-imagine, relationship with others

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

individual has an inflated view of himself and is intensely self-centered and selfish in his personal relationships. The individual lacks empathy for others and often uses others for his own ends. He often spends time fantasizing about past and future successes

Histrionic Personality Disorder

individual generally acts as though he is on stage, is very dramatic, and continually tries to draw attention to himself. The individual is lavish in his emotional displays, but shallow in depth of his emotions. He often has trouble in relationships and tends to be manipulative and demanding.

Avoidant Personality Disorder

individual is reluctant to enter into close personal relationships. He may wish for closeness but be so sensitive to rejection that he becomes afraid to be close to others. this individual often ahs very low self esteem and devalues much of what he does

Dependent Personality Disorder

The individual lacks self confidence and has difficulty taking personal responsibility for himself. The individual subordinates his needs to those of loves ones, partly in fear of losing the loved ones if the individual's needs are expressed. He is extremely sensitive to criticism.

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

displays excessive concern with details, rules, and codes of bhv. Tends to be perfectionistic and require everything to be done just so; individual further tends to be highly work oriented. Has trouble relating to others and tends to be cold and distant in interpersonal relationships.

Antisocial Personality Disorder

tendency to be superficially charming and appears to be sincere. In fact, individual is insincere, untruthful, and unreliable in relations with others. Has no sense of responsibility and feels no shame or remorse when hurting others. Tends to process info in away that views many acts toward him as aggressively motivated and in need of an aggressive response. Person is extremely self centered and is incapable of genuine love or affection. Typically act poised, calm, and verbally facile.

Factors affecting Antisocial Personality Disorder

Both genetic and environmental factors. Many have low natural baseline levels of arousal and may seek stimulation through antisocial means in order to arouse themselves and make lives less seemingly dull.

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