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FSU CLP 4143 - Abnormal Behavior in Historical Context

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I. Abnormal BehaviorA. DefinitionPsychological Disorder- psychological dysfunction within an individual associated with distress or impairment in functioning and a response that is not typical or culturally expectedB. Abnormal vs. DeviantDeviant behavior defies societal normsDelinquency; crimeAbnormal behavior (psychological disorder)Causes internal distress or problem in functioningRequires a culturally atypical responseC. Normal BehaviorWhat is normal behavior?Be able to form trusting relationships with peopleKnow that people are not out to get youWhy is it necessary to specifically define abnormal forms of behavior?Safety issuesResearchD. Rosenhan (1973)On being sane in insane placesRosenhan D.L. (1973)Study aimed to test whether perception of mental disorder was determined by environmentMethod:8 sane people gained access to 12 different psychiatric hospitals in 5 statesEach pseudopatient arrived at hospital saying they heard voicesVoices seem to be saying “empty”, “hollow”, and “thud”Voices were unfamiliar but of same sex as patientOnce admitted, pseudopatient stopped faking all symptomsEach pseudopatient took notes about their experience/how they were treatedEach pseudopatient told they would be discharged when they were sane (no symptoms)ResultsAll but 1 pseudopatient admitted with schizophrenia diagnosisAll discharged with “schizophrenia in remission”Real patients often detected sanity (doctors did not)Average hospital stay=19 daysInterpretationPsychiatrists tend to make Type II errors  more likely to find an effect where there is none (e.g. find the sane to be insane)Points up problem with labeling peopleII. Historical PerspectivesA. Supernatural Explanations1300’s  curses, spiritual possessions, or sorceryExorcism was a common “cure” for mental illnessSome saw effect of emotional stress and promoted rest, family support as remedySupernatural causes still exist in some religions (but modern interventions reign)B. Biological Tradition1. Hippocrates & Galen400 B.C. – Hippocrates likened psychological disorder to physical disorder with possible brain pathology200 B.C. – Galen- balance of humors (bodily fluids) that influenced brain functionEach humor originated in different organ:Blood- heartBlack bile- spleenPhlegm- brainYellow bile- liver2. John P. GreyAmerica in mid- 1800sImproved hospital conditions for mentally ill  attention to social issueLed to deinstitutionalization= policy to release patients to communityHomelessness side effect3. Emil KraepelinEarly 1900’sFounded tradition of classifying distinct mental disorders by symptoms, on set, course, and etiology (cause)Influence continues- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Ed (DSM-IV)C. Psychological Traditions1. Psychoanalytic TheoryLate 1800’s – Sigmund FreudFreud originated “talk therapy” to treat emotional problemsSome basics of the theory:A. Two minds: conscious (in awareness) vs. unconscious (out of awareness)Root of all neuroses (non-psychotic illness) were in unconscious mindB. Drives or instinctsSexual instinct/driveDeath instinct/driveC. Structures of the mindId- source of instincts/drives; primitive part of the mindPleasure principle; “I want it now”Ego- voice of reasonReality principle; uses defense mechanism; “maybe I can find a compromise”Superego- conscience or moral code“Nice people don’t do that”D. Psychosexual stages of development5 stages: oral, anal, phallic, latency, genitalStages represent source of pleasureUnsuccessful passage  fixation  neurotic character2. Humanistic TheoryMid- 1900’s – Carl RogersBasic premise: people strive for self-growth or self actualizationGood therapy for relatively healthy peopleDid not offer explanation of abnormal behavior3. Behavioral ApproachMid- 1900’s – contrast to biological and psychoanalytic theoriesJoseph Wolpe- used Pavlovian learning principles to treat phobiasAbnormal behavior arose through learningOrigin of behavior therapySummary- Abnormal behavior defined- Rosenhan study highlights importance of context in defining abnormal behavior- Various explanations for abnormal behavior throughout history from supernatural to strict behaviorismI. Approaches to Understanding PsychopathologyA. Unidimensional ApproachesRely on one area of human functioningFocused exclusively on one section of functioningB. Multidimensional ApproachFive areas (broad domains) of functioning included:1. Biological influencesEx. hormones, genes, neurotransmitters2. Behavioral influencesEx. + and – reinforcements, conditioning3. Emotional influencesEx. attachments, hormones affect emotions4. Social influencesEx. Social economic status, institutions, relationships with others5. Developmental influencesEx. maturation, cultural expectation around pubertyII. Biological InfluencesA. Central Nervous System (CNS)CNS contains brain and spinal cordNeurons or nerve cells  use neurotransmitters to communicateBrain divided into 3 areas:1. Hindbrain- automatic functions (breathing)Medulla, pons, and cerebellum2. Midbrain- coordinate movementAmygdala3. Forebrain- cerebral cortex (allows forethought)B. Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)Somatic nervous system- controls musclesAutonomic nervous system- regulates major organ system; 2 parts:Sympathetic nervous system- fight/flight (activation)Parasympathetic nervous system- brings back to resting stateC. Neurotransmitters1. Serotonin (5-HT)Regulates behavior, mood, and thoughtLow levels associated with impulsivity, aggression, suicideDrugs acting on 5-HT used to treat mood and anxiety disordersSerotonin specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)Ex. Prozac2. Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)Major inhibitory neurotransmitterReduces anxietyDrugs that facilitate GABA reception used to treat anxiety3. Norepinephrine or noradrenalineRegulation of endocrine systemRelated in a general way to behavioral tendenciesIndirect link to psychological disorders4. Dopamine (DA)Major neurotransmitter in reward circuit in the brainImportant for the reward circuitNumerous DA receptorsSome associated with schizophrenia; some with substance abuseIII. Behavioral and Cognitive InfluencesA. Learned HelplessnessDiscovered in rats by Martin SeligmanDepression-like response an animal gives when faced with stresses that are out of their controlSeligman suggested human depression might result from similar processB. Social LearningSocial learning theory proposed by Albert BanduraPeople and animals


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