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abnormal behavior

behavior that causes people to experience distress and prevents them from functioning in their daily lives

medical perspective

the perspective that suggests that when an individual displays symptoms of abnormal behavior, the root cause will be found in a physical examination of the individual, which may reveal a hormonal imbalance, a chemical deficiency, or a brain injury

psychoanalytic perspective

the perspective that suggests that abnormal behavior stems from childhood conflicts over opposing wishes regarding sex and aggression

behavioral perspective

the perspective that looks at the behavior itself as the problem

cognitive perspective

the perspective that suggests that people's thoughts and beliefs are a central component of abnormal behavior

humanistic perspective

the perspective that emphasizes the responsibility people have for their own behavior, even when such behavior is abnormal

sociocultural perspective

the perspective that assumes that people's behavior--both normal and abnormal--is shaped by the kind of family group, society , and culture in which they live

diagnostic and statistical manual

a system, devised by the american psychiatric association, used by most professionals to diagnose and classify abnormal behavior

axis I (clinical disorders)

disorders that produce distress and impair functioning

axis II (personality disorders and mental retardation)

enduring, rigid behavior patterns

axis III (general medical conditions)

physical disorders that may be related to psychological disorders

axis IV (psychosocial and environmental problems)

problems in a person's life such as stressors or life events that may affect the diagnosis, treatment, and outcome of psychological disorders

axis V (global assessment of functioning)

overall level of mental, social, occupational, and leisure functioning

anxiety disorders

problems in which anxiety impedes daily functioning

generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder

somatoform disorders

psychological difficulties displayed through physical problems

hypochondriasis, conversion disorder

dissociative disorders

the splitting apart of crucial parts of personality that are usually integrated

dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality), dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue

mood disorders

emotions of depression or euphoria that are so strong they intrude on everyday living

major depression, bipolar disorder

schizophrenia and psychotic disorders

declines in functioning, though and language disturbances, perception disorders, emotional disturbances, and withdrawal from others

disorganized, paranoid, catatonic, undifferentiated, residual

personality disorders

problems that create little personal distress but that lead to an inability to function as a normal member of society

antisocial (sociopathic) personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder

sexual disorders

problems related to sexual arousal from unusual objects or problems related to functioning

paraphilia, sexual dysfunction

substance-related disorders

problems related to drug dependence and abuse

alcohol, cocaine, hallucinogens, marijuana


fear of places where help might not be available in case of emergency

specific phobias

fear of specific objects, places, or situations

natural environment type

fear of events or situations in the natural environment (storms, heights, or water)

animal type

fear of specific animals or insects (dogs, cats, or spiders)

situational type

fear of public transportation, tunnels, bridges, elevators, flying, or driving

blood injection - injury type

fear of blood, injury, injections (person panics when viewing a child's scraped knee)

social phobia

fear of being judged or embarrassed by others


intense, irrational fears of specific objects or situations

panic disorder

anxiety disorder that takes the form of panic attacks lasting from a few seconds to as long as several hours

generalized anxiety disorder

the experience of long-term, persistent anxiety and worry

obsessive-compulsive disorder

a disorder characterized by obsessions or compulsions


a persistent, unwanted thought or idea that keeps recurring


an irresistible urge to repeatedly carry out some act that seems strange and unreasonable

posttraumatic stress disorder

an anxiety disorder characterized by vivid flashbacks or dreams of a traumatic event


a disorder in which people have a constant fear of illness and a preoccupation with their health

conversion disorder

a major somatoform disorder that involves an actual physical disturbance, such as the inability to use a sensory organ or the complete or partial inability to move an arm or leg

dissociative identity disorder (DID)

a disorder in which a person displays characteristics of two or more distinct personalities

dissociative amnesia

a disorder in which a significant, selective memory loss occurs

dissociative fugue

a form of amnesia in which the individual leaves home and sometimes assumes a new identity

major depression

a severe form of depression that interferes with concentration, decision making, and sociability


an extended state of intense, wild elation

bipolar disorder

a disorder in which a person alternates between periods of euphoric feelings of mania and periods of depression


a class of disorders in which severe distortion of reality occurs

disorganized (hebephrenic) schizophrenia

inappropriate laughter and giggling, silliness, incoherent speech, infantile behavior, strange and sometimes obscene behavior

paranoid schizophrenia

delusions and hallucinations of persecution or greatness, loss of judgment, erratic and unpredictable behavior

catatonic schizophrenia

major disturbances in movement; in some phases, loss of all motion, with patient frozen into a single position, remaining that way for hours and sometimes even days; in other phases, hyperactivity and wild, sometimes violent, movement

undifferentiated schizophrenia

variable mixture of major symptoms of schizophrenia; classification used for patients who cannot be typed into any of the more specific categories

residual schizophrenia

minor signs of schizophrenia after a more serious episode

process schizophrenia

symptoms develop slowly and subtly. there may be a gradual withdrawal from the world, excessive daydreaming, and a blunting of emotion, until eventually the disorder reaches the point where others cannot overlook it
harder to treat

reactive schizophrenia

onset of symptoms is sudden and conspicuous.
easier to treat.

type I schizophrenia

positive symptom schizophrenia.
presence of disordered behavior such as hallucinations, delusions, and emotional extremes

type II schizophrenia

negative symptom schizophrenia
absence or loss of normal functioning, such as social withdrawal or blunted emotions

predisposition model of schizophrenia

individuals may inherit a genetic tendency or an inborn sensitivity to the disorder that makes them particularly vulnerable to stressful factors in the environment, such as social rejection or dysfunctional family communication patterns

antisocial personality disorder (sociopathic personality)

a disorder in which individuals show no regard for the moral and ethical rules of society or the rights of others

borderline personality disorder

a disorder in which individuals have difficulty developing a secure sense of who they are, and base their identity on personal relationships

narcissistic personality disorder

a personality disturbance characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance

attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

a disorder marked by inattention, impulsiveness, a low tolerance for frustration, and a great deal of inappropriate activity


a severe developmental disability that impairs children's ability to communicate and relate to others

organic mental disorders

problems that have a purely biological basis, such as alzheimer's disease and some types of mental retardation


treatment in which a trained professional - a therapist - uses psychological techniques to help a person overcome psychological difficulties and disorders, resolve problems in living, or bring about personal growth

biomedical therapy

therapy that relies on drugs and other medial procedures to improve psychological functioning

clinical psychologists

psychologists with a Ph.D. or Psy.D. who have also completed a postgraduate internship. They specialize in assessment and treatment of psychological difficulties.

counseling psychologists

psychologists with a Ph.D. or Ed.D. who typically treat day-to-day adjustment problems, often in a university mental health clinic


M.D.s with postgraduate training in abnormal behavior. Because they can prescribe medication, they often treat the most severe disorders


either M.D.s or psychologists who specialize in psychoanalysis, the treatment technique first developed by Freud

psychodynamic therapy

therapy that seeks to bring unresolved past conflicts and unacceptable impulses from the unconscious into the conscious, where patients may deal with the problems more effectively


freudian psychotherapy in whcih the goal is to release hidden unconscious thoughts and feelings in order to reduce their power in controlling behavior


the transfer of feelings to a psychoanalyst of love or anger that had been originally directed to a patient's parents or other authority figures

behavioral treatment approaches

treatment approaches that build on the basic processes of learning, such as reinforcement and extinction, and assume that normal and abnormal behavior are both learned

aversive conditioning

a form of therapy that reduces the frequency of undesired behavior by pairing an aversive, unpleasant stimulus with undesired behavior

systematic desensitization

a behavioral technique in which gradual exposure to an anxiety-producing stimulus is paired with relaxation to extinguish the response of anxiety


a behavioral treatment for anxiety in which people are confronted, either suddenly or gradually, with a stimulus that they fear

dialectical behavior therapy

a form of treatment in which the focus is on getting people to accept who they are, regardless of whether it matches their ideal

cognitive treatment approaches

treatment approaches that teach people to think in more adaptive ways by changing their dysfunctional cognitions about the world and themselves

cognitive-behavioral approach

a treatment approach that incorporates basic principles of learning to change the way people think

rational-emotive behavior therapy

a form of therapy that attempts to restructure a person's belief system into a more realistic, rational, and logical set of views by challenging dysfunctional beliefs that maintain irrational behavior

humanistic therapy

therapy in which the underlying rationale is that people have control of their behavior, can make choices about their lives, and are essentially responsible for solving their own problems

person-centered therapy

therapy in which the goal is to reach one's potential for self-actualization

interpersonal therapy (IPT)

short-term therapy that focuses on the context of current social relationships

group therapy

therapy in which people meet in a group with a therapist to discuss problems

family therapy

an approach that focuses on the family and its dynamics

spontaneous remission

recovery without treatment

drug therapy

control of psychological disorders through the use of drugs

antipsychotic drugs

drugs that temporarily reduce symptoms such as agitation, hallucinations, and delusions

antidepressant drugs

medications that improve a severely depressed patient's mood and feeling of well-being

mood stabilizers

drugs that prevent manic episodes of bipolar disorder

antianxiety drugs

drugs that can reduce the level of anxiety a person experiences, essentially by reducing excitability and increasing feelings of well-being

electroconvulsive therapy (ect)

a procedure used in the treatment of severe depression in which an electric current of 70 to 150 volts is briefly administered to a patient's head

transcranial magnetic stimulation (tms)

a depression treatment in which a precise magnetic pulse is directed to a specific area of the brain


brain surgery once used to reduce the symptoms of mental disorder, but rarely used today

community psychology

a branch of psychology that focuses on the prevention and minimization of psychological disorders in the community


the transfer of former mental patients from institutions to the community

social psychology

the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and actions are affected by others


evaluations of a particular person, behavior, belief, or concept

central route processing

message interpretation characterized by thoughtful consideration of the issues and arguments used to persuade

peripheral route processing

message interpretation characterized by consideration of the source and related general information rather than of the message itself

cognitive dissonance

the conflict that occurs when a person holds two contradictory attitudes or thoughts (referred to as cognitions)

social cognition

the cognitive processes by which people understand and make sense of themselves and others


sets of cognitions about people and social experiences

central traits

the major traits considered in forming impressions of others

attribution theory

the theory of personality that seeks to explain how we decide, on the basis of samples of an individual's behavior, what the specific causes of that person's behavior are

situational causes (of behavior)

perceived causes of behavior that are based on environmental factors

dispositional causes (of behavior)

perceived causes of behavior that are based on internal traits or personality factors

halo effect

a phenomenon in which an initial understanding that a person has positive traits is used to infer other uniformly positive characteristics

assumed similarity bias

the tendency to think of people as being similar to oneself, even when meeting them for the first time

self-serving bias

the tendency to attribute personal success to personal factors (skill, ability, or effort) and to attribute failure to factors outside oneself

fundamental attribution error

a tendency to overattribute others' behavior to dispositional causes and the corresponding minimization of the importance of situational causes

social influence

the process by which the actions of an individual or group affect the behavior of others


two or more people who interact with each other, perceive themselves as part of a group, and are interdependent


a change in behavior or attitudes brought about by a desire to follow the beliefs or standards of other people


the social rank held within a group

social supporter

a group member whose dissenting views make nonconformity to the group easier


a type of thinking in which group members share such a strong motivation to achieve consensus that they lose the ability to critically evaluate alternative points of view


behavior that occurs in response to direct social pressure

industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology

the branch of psychology focusing on work and job related issues, including worker motivation, satisfaction, safety, and productivity


a change in behavior in response to the commands of others


a set of generalized beliefs and expectations about a particular group and its members


a negative (or positive) evaluation of a particular group and its members


behavior directed toward individuals on the basis of their membership in a particular group

social neuroscience

the subfield of social psychology that seeks to identify the neural basis of social behavior

interpersonal attraction (or close relationship)

positive feelings for others; liking and loving

reciprocity of liking effect

a tendency to like those who like us

passionate (or romantic) love

a state of intense absorption in someone that includes intense physiological arousal, psychological interest, and caring for the needs of another

companionate love

the strong affection we have for those with whom our lives are deeply involved


the intentional injury of, or harm to, another person


the process of discharging built-up aggressive energy

prosocial behavior

helping behavior

diffusion of responsibility

the tendency for people to feel that responsibility for acting is shared, or diffused, among those present


helping behavior that is beneficial to others but clearly requires self-sacrifice

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