Pitt PSY 1205 - Abnormal Psychology Chapter Three Notes

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Abnormal Psychology Chapter Three NotesCauses and Risk Factors for Abnormal Behavior (pages 56-60)- Although many investigators now prefer to speak of risk factors rather than causes because of how difficult it is to pinpoint specific causes of abnormal behavior, it is still the ultimate goal- Necessary, Sufficient, and Contributory Causeso Contributory causes one that increases the probability of a disorder, but is neither necessary nor sufficient for the disorder to occuro Distal causal factors casual factors occurring relatively early in life that may not show their effect for many yearso Proximal causal factors casual factors that operate shortly before the occurrence of the symptoms of a disordero Reinforcing contributory cause a condition that tends to maintain maladaptive behavior that is already occurring- Feedback and Bidirectionality in Abnormal Behavioro Casual pattern when more than one casual factor is involved (two way/bidirectional influences must be taken in to account) - Diathesis-Stress Modelso Diathesis a predisposition toward developing a disorder; a vulnerabilityo Additive model: individuals who have a high level of diathesis may need only a small amount of stress before a disorder develops (diathesis and stress add)o Interactive model: some amount of diathesis must be present before stress will have any effect (diathesis and stress interact) o Protective factors influences that modify a person’s response to environmentalstressors, making it less likely that the person will experience the adverse consequences of the stressorso Resilience the ability to adapt successfully to even very difficult circumstanceso Developmental psychopathology focuses on determining what is abnormal at any point in development by comparing and contrasting it with the normal and expected changes that occur in the course of development Viewpoints for Understanding the Causes of Abnormal Behavior (pages 60-61)- The three traditional viewpoints that have dominated the study of abnormal behavior in recent years are biological, psychological, and sociocultural- Biopsychosocial viewpoint acknowledges that biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors all interact and play a role in psychopathology and treatmentThe Biological Viewpoint and Biological Causal Factors (pages 61-71)- Mental disorders are thus viewed as disorders of the central nervous system, the autonomic nervous system, and/or the endocrine system that are either inherited or caused by some pathological process- Imbalances of Neurotransmitters and Hormoneso Sometimes psychological stress can bring on neurotransmitter imbalances by an excessive production and release of the neurotransmitter, dysfunctions in the normal processes by which the neurotransmitters, once released into the synapse, are deactivated, and possible problems with the receptors in the postsynaptic neurono Neurons that are sensitive to a particular neurotransmitter tend to cluster together, forming neural paths between different parts of the brain known as chemical circuitso Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis)brain endocrine system involved in responding to stress in which the hypothalamus and pituitary send messages to the adrenal gland which releases a stress hormone that feeds back on the hypothalamus- Genetic Vulnerabilitieso Genotype-environment correlation when the genotype shapes the environmental experiences a child has Passive effect resulting from the genetic similarity of parents and children Evocative effect when the child’s genotype evokes particular kinds of reactions from the social and physical environment Active effect when the child seeks out or builds an environment that is congenial (niche building)o Genotype-environment interaction people with different genotypes may be differentially sensitive or susceptible to their environmentso Three primary ways to study behavior genetics Family history/pedigree method investigator observes samples of relatives of each subject to see whether the incidence increases in proportion to the degree of hereditary relationship; the incidence of the disorder is also compared with its incidence among the relatives of the index cases (limitations: hard to disentangle genetic and environmental effects since people who are more closely related tend to share more similar environments) Twin method using identical and fraternal twins to discover what mental disorders are heritable and by how much (no concordance rate for any disorder has been 100%, so we can conclude that no mental disorders are completely heritable)  Adoption method capitalizes on the fact that adoption creates a situation in which individuals who do not share a common family environment are nonetheless genetically relatedo Linkage analysis studies of mental disorders capitalize on several currently known location on chromosomes of genes for other inherited physical characteristics or biological processeso Association studies start with two large groups of individuals, one group with and one group without a given disorder and then researchers compare the frequencies in these two groups of certain genetic markers that are known to be located on particular chromosomes - Temperamento Our early temperament is thought to be the basis from which our personality develops; five dimensions are fearfulness, irritability and frustration, positive affect, activity level, and attentional persistence and effortful control (seem to be related to three important dimensions of adult personality – neuroticism ornegative emotionality, extraversion or positive emotionality, and constraint (conscientiousness and agreeableness)- Brain Dysfunction and Neural Plasticityo Developmental systems approach acknowledges not only that genetic activityinfluences neural activity, which in turn influences behavior, which in turn influences the environment, but also that these influences are bidirectional The Psychological Viewpoint (pages 71-83 but know all the stuff from 71-72 and 75-83)- The Psychodynamic Perspectiveso Psychosexual Stages of Development Oral stage: during the first two years of life, the mouth is the principal erogenous zone; an infant’s greatest source of gratification is sucking, a process that is necessary for feeding Anal stage: from ages 2 to 3, the anus provides the major source of pleasurable stimulation during the time when toilet


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