AP Psychology Notes

Chapter 12: Abnormal Psychology

  1. Overview
    1. Abnormal Psychology
      1. The study of people who suffer from psychological disorders
  2. ​​Defining Abnormality
    1. Common Characteristics
      1. Harmful/disturbing to the individual
      2. Disturbing to others
      3. Not shared by many members of the population
      4. Does not make sense to the average person
    2. Insanity
      1. A legal term
        1. purpose
          1. to differentiate between people who can be held responsible for their crimes (the sane) and those with psychological disorders (the insane)
    3. ​​​Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
      1. Provides a way for psychologists to diagnose patients
      2. Contains symptoms of all psychological disorders
      3. Doesn’t contain causes because different perspectives disagree
        1. most psychologists are eclectic
          1. accept/use ideas from many perspectives
  3. Categories of Disorders
    1. Intern’s Syndrome
      1. The tendency to see in oneself the characteristics of disorders about which one is learning
      2. Not a psychological disorder
    2. Anxiety Disorders
      1. Phobias
        1. contact with feared object/situation results in anxiety
        2. specific phobia
          1. an intense fear of an unwanted situation
          2. ex.   agoraphobia- open spaces
          3. arachnophobia- spiders
          4. social phobia- public embarrassment
      2. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
        1. constant, low level anxiety
      3. Panic disorder
        1. acute episodes of intense anxiety without any apparent provocation
        2. increase in frequency
        3. additional anxiety due to anticipating the anxiety attacks
      4. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
        1. persistent, unwanted thoughts cause you to feel the need to engage in a particular action
      5. Post-traumatic stress disorder
        1. flashbacks/nightmares following your involvement in or observation of an extremely troubling event
      6. ​​​Theoretical causes
        1. psychoanalytic
          1. unresolved, unconscious conflicts between the id, ego, and superego
        2. behaviorist
          1. conditioning
          2. cognitive learning
        3. cognitive
          1. dysfunctional ways of thinking
    3. ​​​Somatoform Disorders
      1. A person manifests a psychological problem through a physiological problem
      2. Hypochondriasis
        1. frequent physical complaints for which doctors can’t locate the cause
        2. may believe that minor problems are indicative of severe physical                                               illness
      3. ​​​Conversion
        1. severe physical issue with no biological reason
          1. paralysis
          2. blindness
    4. ​​​Dissociative Disorders
      1. Involve a disruption in conscious processes
      2. Psychogenic amnesia
        1. can’t remember things
        2. no biological basis can be identified
        3. fugue
          1. find themselves in an unfamiliar environment
      3. ​​Organic amnesia
        1. biologically induced
      4. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
        1. formerly called multiple personality disorder
        2. several distinct personalities
        3. results from childhood trauma
      5. Theoretical causes
        1. psychoanalytic
          1. traumatic events have been so repressed that a split in consciousness results
    5. ​​​Mood or Affective Disorders
      1. Extreme/inappropriate emotions
      2. Major depression
        1. most common
        2. symptoms
          1. sad more than 2 weeks without clear reason
          2. change in sleep and appetite
          3. worthlessness
          4. lack of interest in enjoyed activities
        3. Seasonal Affective Disorder
          1. depression only at certain times of year
      3. ​​Bipolar disorder
        1. manic episodes
          1. high energy
          2. feel confident and powerful
          3. sense of well-being
        2. depressed episodes
      4. ​​​Theoretical causes
        1. Aaron Beck
          1. cognitive theorist
          2. unreasonably negative ideas people have about the cognitive triad (yourself, your world, your future)
        2. pessimistic attributional styles
          1. attribution- an explanation of a cause
          2. internal, global, and stable attributions for bad events
        3. learned helplessness
          1. Martin Seligman- dog shock experiment
          2. when your prior experiences have caused you to view yourself as unable to control controllable aspects of the future
        4. biology
          1. the disorders run in families
          2. depression- low serotonin or norepinephrine
          3. bipolar- more acetylcholine receptors
    6. Schizophrenic Disorders
      1. Schizophrenia
        1. disordered, distorted thinking
        2. delusions and hallucinations
          1. delusion- belief that has no basis in reality
        3. common delusions
          1. persecution- paranoia
          2. grandeur- power and influence
        4. hallucinations
          1. perceptions in the absence of sensory stimulation
      2. ​​Disorganized schizophrenia
        1. make up neologisms
          1. their own words
        2. string together a series of nonsense words that rhyme (clang associations)
        3. inappropriate affect
          1. inappropriate emotions for the situation
        4. ​​​flat affect
          1. no emotional response
      3. ​​​​Paranoid schizophrenia
        1. delusions of persecution
      4. Catatonic schizophrenia
        1. motionless in strange postures
          1. waxy flexibility- they will allow their body to be moved into any new pose and will hold it
        2. move jerkily and quickly for no apparent reason
        3. can alternate between them
      5. Undifferentiated schizophrenia
        1. distorted thinking, but no other symptoms
      6. Symptoms
        1. positive symptoms
          1. ​​​excesses in behavior, thought, or mood
          2. ex: neologisms, hallucinations
        2. negative symptoms
          1. deficits
          2. ex. flat effect, catatonia
    7. ​​​Schizophrenic Disorders: Theoretical Causes
      1. Dopamine hypothesis
        1. high levels of dopamine are associated with schizophrenia
        2. if the drugs lower the level too much, tardive dyskinesia results
          1. muscle tremors and stiffness
      2. ​​Abnormality on 5th chromosome
      3. ​​Enlarged brain ventricles
      4. Brain asymmetry
      5. Negative symptoms- genetic factors
      6. Positive symptoms- too much dopamine
      7. Double blinds
        1. when a person is given contradictory messages
      8. Diathesis-stress model
        1. environmental stressors can provide the circumstances under which a biological predisposition for illness can express itself
    8. ​​Personality Disorders
      1. Less serious
      2. Types
        1. antisocial
          1. don’t have regard for other’s feelings
          2. view the world as a hostile place
        2. dependent
        3. paranoid
        4. narcissistic
        5. histrionic
        6. obsessive-compulsive
    9. ​​​​Other Disorders
      1. Paraphilias (psychosexual disorders)
        1. sexual attraction to that which is not usually seen as sexual
        2. pedophilia, zoophilia, fetishism, masochism, sadism
        3. voyeur
          1. aroused by watching others engage in sexual behavior
      2. ​​Eating disorders
      3. ​​Addiction disorders
        1. use of alcohol/drugs
        2. substance use disorder
          1. use of such substances regularly affecting your life negatively
        3. substance dependence
          1. addiction
      4. ​​Developmental disorders
        1. autism
          1. seek less social and emotional contact
          2. slow to develop language skills
          3. seek less parental support when distressed
      5. ​​ADHD
        1. attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
        2. difficulty paying attention or sitting still
        3. overdiagnosed because of typical boy behavior
  4. The Rosehan Study: The Influence of Labels
    1. David Rosehan
      1. 1978- he and associates sought admission to mental hospitals
        1. claimed to hear voices
        2. reported no other symptoms
        3. once admitted, behaved as they usually did
        4. their every behavior was interpreted as a sign of their schizophrenia
    2. ​​Issues Raised
      1. Should patients carry their diagnosis for life?
      2. Are disorders the product of a particular environment?
      3. What level of care could undetected imposters receive?

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Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Chapter 12: Abnormal Psychology" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 12 Oct. 2013. Web. 05 Dec. 2019. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/psychology/outlines/chapter-12-abnormal-psychology/>.